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Organ transplant: Court hears how Ekweremadu was scammed of N4.5million

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More revelations have started coming out of the trial of Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President, who is standing trial in London, including how he was scammed of N4.5million by Obinna Obeta, while arranging for his daughter Sonia to get a kidney transplant through David Nwamini, the donor he allegedly sourced for that purpose.

The lawmaker, his wife, Beatrice, daughter and Obinna Obeta, are standing trial in the Old Bailey, after his arrest and detention since last year, for allegedly attempting to procure kidney to perform a transplant procedure on the daughter, which is considered a serious crime in the UK with a stringent law against illegal organ transplant.

Though Obeta did not know from the onset of the discussion he had with the Senator’s younger brother, Isaac Diwe Ekweremadu, in September 2021, that the would be recipient was Sonia, he encouraged his former University of Nigeria, Nsukka, classmate to get his brother involved in funding the planned kidney transplant.

When the discussion progressed, Obeta sent a bill of N4.5m to Diwe, saying N1m was agent’s commission, and the rest for the 21-year old donor, only for Nwamini to receive a paltry N177,100, while Obeta’s brother-in-law, Ogbonna, who was supposed to be the agent, got just over N223,000, according to revelations in the court, where the jurors were told that neither Ogbonna nor Nwamini was told the amount that had been negotiated for them.

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Under cross-examination from the Senator’s barrister, Martin Hicks, KC, and the Crown prosecutor, Hugh Davies, KC, an agitated Obeta reluctantly admitted from the witness box that he had “scammed” both the Ekweremadus and Nwamini.

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When Hicks asked: “You were or were you not a substantial beneficiary of the monies paid by the Ekweremadus, were you?”

In reply, an angry Obeta was said to have retorted that the question suggested that his labour of love to save a life was for monetary reward, adding: “l don’t think l did that.”

Even though the evidence from the defence said it improved his First Bank of Nigeria balance to N4.9m from it’s previous balance of N400, his explanation, when Hicks asked what Nwamini gort outsied the N177, 100, he was trying to secure some money for him.”

The judge , Mr. Justice Johnson had to intervene to extract an answer from the doctor. He then asked Obeta, “l think the answer is it didn’t go to David.” It was then Obeta replied with a “yes.”

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When Davies later had the floor, he too asked if Nwamini was aware that something had been put aside for him from the Ekweremadus for agreeing to donate his kidney. Obeta told jurors: “l didn’t tell him anything.”

 

 

 

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Tough economy: Trouble in APC, as staff plan strike

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A loud grumbling has enveloped the 40 Blantyre Crescent, Wuse, Zone 2, Abuja, headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), where staff across different departments are threatening to down tools in protest of poor welfare and biting economic hardship.

Daily Trust, is reporting that the staff are specifically asking the party’s top echelon to make provision for their housing and other allowances, stressing that the economic situation of the country had become quite unfavourable to them.

The paper quoted one of the staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the party’s executive members had left them to suffer, while taking home humongous amounts of money as salaries and allowances.

Though Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, National Chairman of the party, is said to have commenced payment of N35,000 provisional wage award to them in January 2024, they argued that the largesse would in June, and they would be back to square one and therefore, they needed more stable welfare packages.

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In a swift riposte, Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, was quoted as dismissing the agitation, saying: “Those matters I don’t really discuss them. As you can see, there are many important things to discuss; at the national level, in Edo State. We are battling with all that. So, any in-house matters are not my focus right now.”

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BREAKING: Davido ups the ante, doles out N300million to orphanages

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David Adeleke Nigerian music sensation, otherwise known as Davido is stamping his giant feet with which he has mesmerised his audience across the world in the arena of philanthropy, with an announcement of a fresh donation of a whopping N300million to some orphanages across the country.

The latest is an increase of N63million up from the N237million the popular singer, who disclosed the largesse in a statement on his social media accounts on Tuesday, dolled out last year as part of the gesture in what is now turning out a yearly programme since it started a few years ago.

The gesture is coming at a time Nigeria is under an intense weather of deprivation and poverty, with the prices of food and other commodities hitting the roof and citizens, unable to afford basic items mostly going to bed on empty stomachs as a result.

In recent weeks, demonstrations had erupted in many parts of the country, including Niger, Kano, Ogun and Oyo States, where residents trooped into the streets to demand an end to the parlous situation, which they blamed on the insensitive policies of the government of Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian President.

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The singer, who first gave out N250m to 292 orphanages in October 2022, said the this year’s donation would be done through The David Adeleke Foundation (DAF), adding: “I and my foundation pledge the sum of 300 million Naira to orphanages around Nigeria … as my yearly contribution to the nation. Details of disbursement tomorrow.”

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BREAKING: Tinubu set to probe Buhari’s N23trillion Ways and Means debt

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At last, President Bola Tinubu, may be going through the N23trillion Ways and Means debt obtained by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, with a fine comb to determine what the funds, which is attributed to a major part of the current debt overhang in the country, went into.

The Nation, quoted Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy as revealing this much to participants at the ongoing Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI).

Besides, the Minister reportedly said the Federal Government would also present a bill to the National Assembly, soon to authorise the removal of “all taxes and levies that constitute nuisance from the country’s tax system, as a measure to wean itself from future Ways and Means indebtedness.

The government, Edun added, will vigorously pursue policies that will allow it harvest revenue in real time from Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and Corporate entities.

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It was also on the same day that the Minister explained that Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government, but emphasised the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Outlining the measures government was taking in tackling the situation, he revealed that, the government had released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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