ONE: James Ibori, former governor of Delta state has pleaded guilty in a UK court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud. The British police accuse him of stealing N37.5billion (£160million) over eight years. He admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London using offshore companies. Ibori was arrested in 2010 in Dubai before he was extradited to London, his wife, sister and mistress have also been convicted for money laundering.
TWO: On Thursday, an oil tanker 148km south of the Nigerian coast was attacked by pirates armed with guns however the vessel was able to thwart the pirates’ attempt at boarding it by taking evasive action. A day before, pirates invaded a Dutch-owned cargo vessel and kidnapped three hostages in the same area. And two weeks earlier, pirates shot at a Taiwanese-owned cargo vessel killing the captain of the vessel and causing the death of an engineer who fell to his demise. According to a maritime watchdog, pirate attacks are increasing in the Gulf of Guinea, there have apparently been reports of seven attacks off the Nigerian coast since January 1.
THREE: It is believed that Boko Haram is responsible for a recent spate of bombings targeting schools in Northern Nigeria. A powerful explosive was detonated at a primary school in Maiduguri, destroying classrooms and the headmaster’s office. Four primary schools have been forced to shut down in the past week due to bombings, leaving around 5,000 children temporarily without access to their education. The attacks were staged at night, thus there have been no casualties due to them.
FOUR: A recent incident at Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo has generated discussion on the state of private universities in Nigeria. Students of the university have joined in protests to express their anger at the mismanagement and bureaucratic nature of the institution. According to reports, a student with health problems died after been denied adequate attention from the university’s health center. The health center refused to put on the generator to support the student and when the ill student’s colleagues tried to transfer him to another hospital in town, the university’s security personnel frustrated their efforts.
FIVE: Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) has been credited with the strong growth in sub-Saharan Africa’s financial system by Standard and Poor, an international rating agency. This is said to be due to the ongoing to Nigeria’s financial sector reforms CBN has made under Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. It has also been noted that Nigerian commercial banks are now engaging the domestic economy. According to Standard and Poor, though Nigeria now has fewer banks, these banks are larger with better corporate governance and regulatory oversight.
SIX: A group of people from Ogoniland have sued Royal Dutch Shell under a U.S. law that allows foreign nationals to sue corporations in U.S. courts for claims of genocide, rape and other human rights abuses. The Nigerians behind the suit are seeking damages for torture and murder by the government in the early 1990s. Shell seeks a dismissal of the suit with their lawyer stating that the law cannot be used to sue corporations. The people behind the suit are relatives of victims murdered by the military regime then, they believe that the regime acted under orders from Shell to eliminate opposition to oil exploration in the Niger Delta.
NINE: Hannatu Musawa has written a thoughtful piece calling on the wives, daughters, sisters and mothers affiliated with Boko Haram to help in bringing their carnage to an end. Using Leadership as a springboard, Musawa hopes that her message can be spread and I sincerely hope her call is spread as far as possible, though one can only hope that the wives, daughters, sisters and mothers of those associated with Boko Haram have the power within them to stop their activities.
TEN: Ojukwu has been laid to rest in full military honour, with President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife in attendance.