10 things you didn’t know about Fela-Femi Kuti


Fela Kuti

“Abami Eda” Fela Kuti

 •My father had two friends in school and they always came last in the class

•He failed from form one to five

•When he left for England to study, his younger brother, Beko, told him to consider music instead of medicine because Fela was not brilliant

•He used to drive his mother’s car to Lagos without permission to attend music shows

•He was almost denied admission in music school because at 19, he was considered too old to learn

•He ate lots of cake and ice cream

•He told his grandchildren to always call him Fela instead of grandpa

•He beat any child that misbehaved

•He was not practical when taking decisions

•He got angry if I didn’t bring my son to his show


Missing person cases rise on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway


Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Inset: Some of the victims

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Inset: Some of the victims

With cases of kidnapping, rape and murder rising on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway,MOTUNRAYO ABODERIN narrates victims’ ordeal on the highway

Textile merchant, John Eze, returned from a social engagement with his family on the night of the last Eid–el–Kabir and was opening the gate to his house in Surulere, Lagos State, when three gunmen suddenly appeared and ordered him back into his Infiniti Jeep.

They drove him off in the car after his wife and three kids were allowed to leave. About five hours after the kidnap, Eze was brought back to the house by a taxi driver who picked him up on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway naked.

Narrating his ordeal, the father of three, said through the  conversation of his kidnappers, he realised that the expressway was their escape route.

“On the way, they told me that they were going to kill me and throw my body into a ditch along the expressway. They were young boys of around 20 and 23 years. They were speaking yoruba language, they thought I did not understand the language but I do. They talked about a place around Sagamu intersection. Then one of them asked the driver to stop when we got to the old toll gate. It was around 12 midnight; he asked me to join him on the back seat and held a gun to my head. He asked for my phone number and I told him that I had three lines.

“He said I should give him the number I used as the car security code. I was shocked because when I bought the car three weeks earlier, I was told to change the code to any number of my choice, so I decided to use my phone number,” he said.

At the Sagamu interchange, Eze was stripped naked and was told to jump into the bush while the bandits drove off. He said they also told him that they would come to his house and kill his family if the car’s engine stopped working on the way.

“I had to beg them not to shoot me because they were drunk. I was walking naked in the night and nobody was ready to give me help on the expressway because they thought I was mad. But a taxi driver, who drove past me decided to stop a few meters away from me. I ran to him and explained what happened. He said he had helped someone in similar condition on the expressway in the past,” he said.

Eze’s car is yet to be found.

If Eze was lucky to return home, Folashade Odumola wasn’t. She left her Egbeda home on March 3 to attend the Holy Ghost Service at the Redeemed Camp which is located along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. But she disappeared on her way home and the whereabouts of the 33-year-old woman is still unknown. Her sister, Opeyemi, said her sudden disappearance has left the family sad.

“I think of my sister’s disappearance every day. It has left a void in my life. I wish she had not left the house to attend the service, maybe she would still be with us today. Different thoughts run through my mind and I wonder what could have happened to my sister. Without her, my life is incomplete. But as a Christian, I have the faith that God will bring her home soon,” Opeyemi said.

Folashade’s mother is still in a state of shock as all efforts to locate her daughter have yielded no result. Opeyemi said their mother now cries every day because of her daughter’s disappearance.

“My mother has searched everywhere for Folashade, she is depressed and confused. She cries all the time, praying for her daughter’s return,”she said.

Odumola is one of the many that have gone missing on the expresway.

Babatope Odewole who worked for Punch Nigeria Limited got missing four years ago. His wife said her husband left home for the office located along the expressway but did not return home. Odewole was not seen in the office on the day of his disappearance either.

“I miss him so much. I am his wife and it’s painful that we don’t have him around us. I’m just trying to keep my emotions calm, but it hurts. It even hurts more when the children ask about their father. They think he has travelled. Anytime their birthdays are approaching, they would start persuading me to call him and that I should tell him to come home.

“I know he is alive and my prayer partners have confirmed this. God is on our side. He will bring my husband back to me one day,” said Mrs. Odewole, a school teacher.

Apart from kidnapping, rape cases are also on the increase on the road and many of the victims have been murdered in cold blood. Two weeks ago, Sade Onabanjo (not real name) was raped and killed at the junction leading to one of the churches on the expressway.

High profile citizens have also fallen victims on the expresway. A retired Brig. Gen. Sylvester Iruh was murdered on July 10, 2012.

Iruh’s wife, Christiana, said her husband had a flat tyre and on the long bridge and he was shot with an arrow while trying to escape from his attackers.

“My husband had stopped on the long bridge to change his car tyre after it went flat. Other motorists warned him that the place was a dangerous spot on the expressway as robbers hide under the bridge, waiting for their victims. He then asked the other occupants of the car to get into the vehicle quickly so that they could leave the place. But before my husband could join them, two men came out from under the bridge and immediately shot him with an arrow. They also injured the other people with him. Witnesses said my husband died on the spot because of his injury,” Christiana said.

About one month after the General’s death, a foiled robbery incident led to the death of commercial bus driver at Sapade on the expressway while passengers in the bus were also injured.

Two weeks after the driver was killed on the expressway, a popular businessman in Ikorodu, Mr. Johnson, was murdered on the highway. The 47-year-old had gone to pick his wife at the Ibeshe Jetty but unknown to him, robbers were lurking just outside his house. After robbing him of all valuables, including cash, phones and a computer, he was driven to a hideout in the bush along the expressway where he was murdered.

Adebusola Odunaya is one of the lucky few. She was abducted on September 21, 2012 while she was on her way to the market. The 37-year-old was taken to a secret location in the bush  on the expressway where she spent six days. Adebusola, who is the women leader in her church, said her release was a miracle.

“On the day I was kidnapped, I boarded a bus from Agege to Idumota. I remember that the conductor of the bus touched me with his handkerchief and I fell asleep. I woke up five days later in the forest along the expressway. When I woke up, I realised that my hair was cut and the sum of N500,000 that I was to use to pay for the goods I wanted to buy had been taken,” Adebusola said.

“Two men among the kidnappers ordered me to call my family. As I called my brother, they were telling me what to say. When I looked in front of me, I saw a horrible looking hut. There were two women lying unconscious near it. I don’t know if the women were alive or dead. The whole place looked scary.

“They later led me through the jungle to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and left me there. That was how I was freed from the kidnappers,” she added.

Another lucky victim was Mrs. Muibat Salam. On October 10, 2012, the wife of the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, was kidnapped in Osun State and transferred to Ogun State by her kidnappers. She was later rescued by members of the Ogun State Vigilante Service.

The rescue operation occurred around Ogunmakin, a village located in Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, along the expressway. Two of her abductors were killed during the operation while three others were arrested by the vigilance group. The group said a tip-off by residents of the area led to Salam’s rescue.

For Mr. Johnson Duru, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is one route he would always try to avoid. On January 4, 2013,  his family was attacked by armed robbers while they were returning to Lagos from Nkpologwu, Anambra State.

Duru said, “Plying the expressway both at daytime and night is fraught with danger.  A lot of people have been attacked on the long bridge, by hoodlums who lay siege to it. It was a frightening experience that I would not forget for a long time.”

The Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Police, Mr. Olumuyiwa Adejobi, however said he was not aware of frequent cases of kidnapping, rape and murder on the expressway.

“If people don’t come to us, we won’t know their problems. However, I would advise people to board a bus from authorised government motor parks instead of looking for free ride on the road,” he said.

Adejobi added that the Ogun State police had tightened security on the expressway.

He said, “We now have patrol vans on the expressway. These vans also monitor the Sagamu-Ijebu axis. We realised that parking the patrol vehicle on one spot will be of no use because these robbers spend about five minutes carrying out their operation, so it is better we move around the highway.

“However, we urge people to be sensitive to their environment. If they notice any strange occurrence on the expressway or within their neighbourhoods, they should call us.”

The chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Ogun State chapter, Mr. Akeem Adeosun, also urged travellers to always patronise motor parks.

“We keep telling our people to board buses at the motor parks but some still stand by the road looking for free rides to their destination. A large percentage of motorists that pick up passengers on the bridge have ulterior motives. We now have a task force group at specific bus stops on the expressway to prevent people from boarding vehicles on the road,” he said.

The chairman also urged passengers to ensure that they get the telephone number of the driver and the number plate of the vehicle they travel in.

“These details are essential especially for persons travelling long distances. They should also send these details to at least one relative,” he stated.

Adeosun added that most drivers keep a record of passengers in the buses and  advised passengers to always provide accurate information about themselves and their next of kins.


Gunmen kill policeman at daughters’ wedding


A policeman was killed by unknown gunmen at the wedding  of his two daughters  in Damboa town in Damboa local government area of Borno State, local sources said yesterday, saying the incident happened on Friday.

Residents told our correspondent that the deceased policeman was shot dead in front of his house while conducting the wedding Fatiha of his daughters shortly after the Friday congregation prayer(Jumat). It was gathered that the policeman ran from the  town for months following death threat sent to him by unknown persons only to return to the town last week in order to marry out his daughters.

”He came back last week to marry out his two daughters but was shot dead on Friday after Jumat while the wedding was going on”, a resident who did not want to be named said.Our reporter learnt that the deceased  officer was from  Michika local government area of Adamawa State but resident in Damboa. In another development, a telecommunications  network mast has been burnt down  in Ajigin village, an outskirts of Damboa local government area.

Locals said that the Airtel’s mast, was just repaired Thursday,was burnt  for the second time. No official statement on the two incidents and efforts to get the Borno police spokesman,DSP Gideon Jibrin, weres not successful as at the time of filing this report.


The war between Genevieve and Kate Henshaw.

Henshaw and Genevive

Saying these actresses rank among the best in their industry is stating the obvious. Apart from A-list, they are the most sought after and their wide range of endorsements tell their success story.
But unknown to their fans , they do not see eye-to-eye as a no love lost situation exists between the duo. They avoid each other like a plague. While Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, who was allegedly at daggers drawn with Genevieve, has since mended fences, with the later it remains to be seen what will become of Genevieve’s frosty relationship with Kate.


Mayhem returns to Anambra community, 3 missing


Mayhem returns to Anambra community, 3 missing

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State

No fewer than three persons have been reported missing in Aguleri-Otu, Anambra East Local Government during a bloody clash with its neighbour in Kogi State over boundary dispute. Sunday Sun learnt that about 200 houses were burnt and three people kidnapped, even as property worth several millions of naira were destroyed.

The Echonwa and Odeke people of Ibaji Local Government of Kogi State allegedly invaded the Okpali and Okpeze Aguleri-Otu communities in Anambra East Local Government during which the clash ensued. Transition Committee Chairman of Anambra East Local Government, Comrade Chiedu Obidigwe, confirmed the attack on Aguleri-Otu people.

He, however, described the attack as unprovoked and an invasion on his people as they were not ready for war. He accused the Kogi State government and Ibaji Local Government of fueling the war, adding:  “I am personally accusing the Kogi State government and chairman of Ibaji Local Government of inciting their people against our people, as they have not done anything tangible to contain the excesses of their people. “The chairman of Ibaji Local Government has done nothing to stop his people from invading us, but I have day in, day out reached out to our people not to take up arms to avoid outright war with the people of Ibaji and Kogi at large.

“We are not interested in fighting the Echonwa and Odeke from Kogi State. They have invaded us and as I speak to you, our people have been invaded at Okpali Aguleri-Otu, and Okpeze Aguleri by Kogi people. They are burning houses and chasing our people away from their ancestral homes and land in unprovoked attacks.

“Two of our people got bullet wounds; two motorcycles were burnt with property worth several millions of naira. As at now, nobody was killed and two people were arrested and taken to the police. “We are looking for two persons from our community and police are aware of that, and the only Army and police around that place are from Anambra State.

We have not seen or heard that any Army or police from Kogi State visited there.” It was gathered that the two truckload of the Nigerian Army guiding the Orient Oil locations could not do much as they had no brief to quell the war-mongers.


We won’t extradite Alamieyeseigha –FG

Chief Dipreye Alamieyeisegha

Dipreye Alamieyeisegha

The Federal Government on Friday toldSUNDAY PUNCH that it would  not extradite a former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, to the United Kingdom to face money laundering charges.

 While reacting to a statement by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Pocock, the FG accused the envoy of challenging the sovereignty of the country.

The President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration stated that it was not willing to extradite Alamieyeseigha because the British government did not go through ‘appropriate channels.’

An highly-placed government official who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter said, “The UK cannot dictate to us. The government is not willing to extradite the former governor because of what they (UK) are saying on the pages of newspapers.”

Also, SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that the UK request to extradite Alamieyeseigha predated President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Pocock was reported on Thursday to have said Alamieyeseigha, who recently got state pardon for his criminal conviction in Nigeria, still has an outstanding case of money laundering to answer to in the UK.

He said the UK government would not give up until Alamieyeseigha was brought to justice.

According to the envoy,  the UK had asked the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for Alamieyeseigha’s extradition and was still awaiting his position on the issue when Jonathan announced the state pardon.

He had said, “The former governor skipped bail in the UK on a charge of money laundering and returned to Nigeria. So, he has an outstanding charge in the UK, which is there for him to answer.

“We have already discussed it and the Nigerian government knows our views. But we would like to see him return and answer charge in the UK.

“I am very sure we asked in the past. But I am not sure we got a formal response. So, we are still waiting for a formal response from the Nigerian government.”

But a government spokesperson, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent that the request which Pocock talked about was an old one that was made shortly after the former governor returned to Nigeria.

When asked why the present administration refused to take action on an old request, he said, “The request is an old one. It was not made under this administration, you can check the date. The request predates this administration.

“I am sure the request must have been made in 2005/2006 when the events happened. That surely was before the inception of this administration.

“In any case, it is inappropriate for the envoy to be addressing issues such as this on the pages of newspapers. There are established diplomatic channels to address such issues because diplomacy has its own rules.

“What is expected of a foreign diplomat in another country is to go through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if he has such an observation to make.

“A diplomat is not expected to behave in a manner suggesting that he is interfering in the internal affairs of his host country. Diplomacy on the pages of newspapers is odd, it is almost like joining a protest movement.

“He is expected to go through the proper diplomatic channels. Reacting on the pages of newspapers amount to challenging the sovereignty of the country and meddlesomeness in the affairs of the country.

“The action also amounts to carrying placards and joining protest against the host country.”

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Ambrose Momoh, said he was not aware of the UK request.

Momoh also said the minister, Mohammed Adoke, was not in town, and as a result, he could not immediately reach the AGF to get his (AGF’s) official position on the matter.

Similarly, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ogbole Ahmedu-Ode, said he was not aware of the request.

“All I can tell you is that normally, such request is routed through the foreign affairs ministry.

“All communication between foreign missions accredited to the country is through the ministry. For example, if an ambassador wants to visit the president or any minister, he writes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for clearance. The same thing applies to correspondence.

 “Anything short of this is a breach of diplomatic procedure,” he added.

Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary, Action Congress of Nigeria, Lai Mohammed, has warned the Federal Government against endangering its ties with other countries. He said Nigeria might be ostracised in the comity of nations if government did so.

Mohammed said, “We live in a global world and there’s inter-relationship between countries. Without commenting on the rightness or wrongness of the recent pardon of Alamieyeseigha, we warn the government not to jeopardise the interest of Nigerians because of any man.

“There is supposed to be cooperation among various countries on issues such as terrorism, money laundering, drug trafficking, etc. To that extent, the government is not correct to say that the UK demand is an attempt to meddle in the internal affairs of the country.”

Also, the National Publicity Secretary, Congress for Progressive Change, Rotimi Fashakin, said Jonathan would be playing with fire, if he attempted to shield Alamieyeseigha.

He argued that Alamieyeseigha committed an offence in Britain and jumped bail to avoid prosecution.

He said, “It is within international law; Nigeria is a signatory to an international treaty. It is not about Britain meddling in Nigeria’s internal affairs, no. The UK has the right under a known international law to request that Nigeria extradites him. The judicial process of his trial has not been concluded.”

Similarly, the Executive Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Debo Adeniran, said the Nigerian government shields corrupt leaders.

He said, “President Jonathan had declared that Alamieyeseigha is his benefactor. So, he has to protect him by all means.

“Nigeria has not been respecting the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty it signed with the UK. That is why it could not give enough evidence against James Ibori, when the UK requested Nigeria to confirm that he was  wanted for criminal activities. The Nigerian government is practically and openly protecting corrupt leaders.”

Alamieyeseigha, then a serving governor, escaped from the custody of the British authorities when he fled back to Nigeria in September, 2005.

The pardon granted Alamieyeseigha by Jonathan had also led to a diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United States with the latter threatening to sanction Nigeria for Jonathan’s action.


Patience Jonathan flown abroad for treatment

Wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Patience Jonathan

 Mrs. Patience Jonathan

There are indications that the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, has been flown abroad for medical treatment in an undisclosed German hospital.

Unconfirmed reports had it that the First Lady’s health might have relapsed, thereby necessitating her going abroad to receive fresh medical attention.

Mrs. Jonathan was conspicuously absent at a Good Friday service held at the Aso Villa Chapel on Friday although her husband attended with his mother, Eunice.

The President is currently in Lagos for the Easter break without his wife.

Her last public appearance was in France where she received a Global Women Leader for Peace Award 2013.

Our correspondent learnt that she returned to the country briefly after the event before embarking on a fresh trip.

But unlike the trip to France, a presidency source who pleaded anonymity, said Mrs. Jonathan did not embark on the current trip with her full entourage.

When contacted on the telephone, Mrs. Jonathan’s spokesman, Mr. Ayo Osinlu, confirmed that the First Lady was not in the country.

Osinlu however denied reports that Mrs. Jonathan is abroad for medical attention.

He said she was abroad attending to her foster mother who is sick. However, he did not disclose the country where the First Lady is attending to the ailing woman.

But investigations by our correspondent showed that Mrs. Jonathan may be in Germany.

It was further learnt that she is expected back in the country this week.

The source however could not say exactly when she will be back.

An online news medium, SaharaReporters, had reported on Saturday that Mrs. Jonathan  was sick again and was shuttling between Spain and Germany in search of treatment.

The report quoted a source as saying the First Lady was also contemplating receiving medical treatment from a United States hospital.

Mrs. Jonathan disappeared from the country for several weeks last year to attend to her failing health.

During the period, both the Presidency and Osinlu denied that the First Lady was receiving treatment abroad for an undisclosed ailment.

Specifically, Osinlu said Mrs. Jonathan was vacating abroad after the rigour of hosting a conference of African First Ladies.

But during a special thanksgiving service held in her honour recently at the Aso Villa Chapel, the First Lady admitted that she was sick and “died” for a week.