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MTN Co-operative Boss, Others Defraud Staff of N1.4Bn



Cyril Ilok, prosecution witness, has told Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere how former staff of MTN defrauded MTN Employees Co-Operative Society (MEMCOM) members of the sum of N1.4Billion.


Ilok, who is the first prosecution witness works as a General Manager with the Business Risk Management Unit in MTN, told the court how the defendants stole the money meant to buy landed property and build the proposed “Yellow Estate” for members of the Co-Operative.


The defendants are Victor Akintunde, Gani Mustapha, Mutairu Babatunde, Primavera Engineering and construction Limited and Mabo Dredging Limited.


They are standing trial on eighteen count charge, bothering on stealing, conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretense, the charges was brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission’s, (EFCC).


Ilok while being led-in evidence by EFCC counsel, Babatunde Sonoiki, told the court how the 1st defendant, Victor Akintunde, who was the president of MEMCOS and the 2nd defendant, Gani Mustapha,a treasurer conspired to steal the money contributed by members of the Co-Operative.


According to Ilok, the 1st and 2nd defendants signed a memorandum of Understanding with the land owner and the total of 26.5 hectares was signed as N1,501,902,666.00 but the cost was discovered to be N963.3,000,000.00, leaving a difference of N373,500,000.


“MEMCOS through the 1st and 2nd defendants acquired 39 hectares of land for real estate development but they did not pay for the said numbers of hectares.


The defendants only paid for 13 hectares and part paid for the 26 hectares of the land located in Okun Ajah, Lagos.


“It was also discovered that the 1st and 2nd defendants have mismanaged the sum of N1,357,764,414.


The witness also told the court that the 1st and 2nd defendants were former staff of MTN while the 3rd defendant is the owner of the 4th defendant, Primevera Engineering and Construction Limited.


“It was discovered that there were a lot of irregularities in the expenses.

The total sum of N3.2billion had been collected by the executive of the Corporative led by Akintunde and Mustapha for the purpose of building houses for members of the cooperatives.


“When these irregularities were realized, the new management appointed KPMG, a professional auditing and accounting firm to investigate the books of account of the cooperative for the period of 2008-2011 executive led by the defendants before they handed over to new executive.


“During this period, I worked with KPMG on the investigation and I was also interfacing between the firm and the accused after which the report of KPMG was submitted to me to help summarize and thereafter, a petition was written to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission.


Ilok further told the court that the report of the firm shows that there were monies that were not paid.


“There were 13 hectares of land and 5 hectares were encumbered and the sum of N427,114,414,00 was to be refunded by Primavera Engineering to MEMCOS and a cheque was written by Primavera but it was returned unpaid.


“The company however issued another cheque of N300million to MEMCOS and it was cleared.

The difference between the amount that was cleared and the one which was returned was N127,114,414. The amount said to have been mismanaged is N1,357,764,414.00.


“It was also discovered that there were unreceipted payments, excess payment on documents and land, Five hectares of land was also defective among the hectares bought.


While being cross-examined by one of the defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, Ilok maintained that MEMCOS is insisting that the 1st and 2nd defendants should refund the defective 5 hectares of land.


He further said that the defendants did not account for what they did with N50million from the money given to them.


Ilok also siad he is not aware that the 4th defendant was engaged to do other things which includes perfection of documents, layout and building approval but money was paid to the company through the 1st and 2nd defendants.


He continued that the registration of the land is in contention and ineffective.

“The grouse of the MEMCOS is the failure of the defendants to have the money paid for 5 hectres refunded. The titled document was used by MEMCOS to obtain loan from Federal Mortgage Bank in respect of Yellow Estate project.


” I did not know the amount of loan MEMCOS got from the bank. I was not present at the negotiation between MEMCOS acting through the first and 2nd defendant and the owners of the 39 heactres of land. They did not account for what they did with the money. But Memcon insisted that the over payment should be refunded”, he said.




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ATCON Frowns on CBN Directive on E-Transaction Levy



(L-R) Ajibola Olude,Executive Secretary,ATCON, Olusola Teniola, National President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria and Ifeloju Alakija,NEC Member during a press conference to announce ATCON’s rejection of 0.005% cyber security levy introduced by CBN.

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has decried recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to all banks on the collection of 0.005% levy on all electronic transactions into a National Cyber Security Fund account within the CBN which they said will affect some businesses.

Olusola Teniola, National President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Lagos.

Teniola noted that, the businesses which are to be affected are as follows; GSM Service Providers and all telecommunication companies; Internet service providers; Banks and other financial institutions; Insurance companies and Nigerian stock exchange

He explained that, the eventual implementation of this levy of 0.005% would cripple if not render useless government and private sector efforts to speed up the broadband penetration in Nigeria, adding that ATCON has a mandate to protect investment in the telecom industry from undue pressure from the government in the form of additional burden on its members that are already overtaxed by all tiers of governments.

“The underlining reasons for our Position is that the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act 2015, Section 44 that the CBN seeks to implement, states in Section 44 an establishment of a National Cyber Security Fund.

“In Section 44.2 (a) a Levy of 0.005 of all electronic transactions by the businesses specified in the second schedule to this Act.

“Where in the Schedule five categories including GSM Service providers and all telecommunication companies and Internet Service Providers are to apply this charge!

“ATCON believes any premeditated actions that are capable of killing the telecoms industry must be eschewed by all tiers of governments in Nigeria as the perceived benefits of imposing this levy on aforementioned businesses have the direct capability to erase if not destroy the achievements that have been made since the telecoms sector was liberated.

“We therefore advise government to review this directive as it would affect some macro-economic elements such as loss of employment and we as Industry will have to increase prices to cover the collection, processing and pass on these costs to the 150million subscribers.” he stated

He noted that ATCON is of the opinion that formulation and implementation of policies are not properly coordinated, stressing that while some government agencies are working towards migrating all government services online some other government agencies are working towards discouraging people from making use of electronic channels via this obnoxious levy.

“It should be stated for the purpose of records that government should not think that the elasticity of demand for the use of electronic channels is inelastic as this move can stop people from transacting their businesses via available electronic channels,” he added.

He stated that they have made several request to meet with Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN to discuss some of the issues facing their members with respect to sourcing for foreign exchange to purchase the needed equipment that would enhance the telecom industry but to their surprise the central bank of Nigeria has refused to honour their invitation.

“We believe that any action that has the potential to destroy the telecoms industry should be avoided by all tiers of government in Nigeria as the accruable benefits of imposing this levy on our members are far lower than the revenue that it is going to create for the government.

“In view of this and other reasons enumerated above, the Association’s position is that the proposed levy of 0.005% tax bill should be withdrawn and its implementation seriously reviewed,” he said.

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Airtel’s ‘Meet the in-Laws’ TVC Narrates Power of Mobile Internet & Connectivity



Leading telecoms operator, Airtel Nigeria, has unveiled a new Television Commercial (TVC), dubbed ‘Meet the in-Laws’, which demonstrates the power of mobile Internet as a phenomenon that enriches life and keeps everyone connected irrespective of age, class, tribe or gender


Following the success of“Data is Life”campaign in 2016, the new campaign is an incremental build that further expresses “Data is Life”in a more culturally relevant way, using insight true to a typical Nigerian family.

The new campaign emphasizes that like love; mobile Internet connects the world, brings people together, inspires new stories and helps to forge harmonious bonds.


In continuation of its award-winning “Amin” TVC, Segun is now married to Amaka and the new couple has just been blessed with their first child.


In line with local custom, Segun’s mom, renowned Nollywood actress, Idowu Philips aka Iya Rainbow; his mother-in-law, Nollywood actress, Ngozi Nwosu aka Mummy Peace and father in-law, actor, Dele Odule aka Papa Amaka came visiting ahead the Christening of their beloved grandchild.


To ensure peace and tranquility in the house, Segun made sure that all necessary household items were distributed evenly, especially items common to both mothers-in-law – Iya Rainbow and Mummy Peace.


Expectedly, the rivalry between the mothers-in-law went from bad to worse as they contended for virtually everything – including bed rooms, personal effects, mobile Internet (Airtel router), baby care, etc.


On the day of the baby Christening, Iya Rainbow took over the dance floor, becoming the cynosure of all eyes while twirling to the beats of the gangan drummers.


But arrival of Mummy Peace in elegant native attire with family and friends grooving to the afro-pop song of Small Doctor – “Penalty” – swayed the attention of the guests.


Mummy Peace attracted the trendy and classy audience with her ‘life-of-the-party’ show – live streaming and smartphone selfies’ session.


To demonstrate equal aptitude, Iya Rainbow also brought out her tablet smartphone for selfies, also getting similar attention from invited guests.


The new TVC, which was delivered in a comic and rich musical rendition, depicts the passion, love, and rivalry that exist in larger family settings.


It also expressed how data has become a critical part of our life.

Airtel appears to be speaking to two major themes with the new TVC.


The first idea is the posturing of the telco to occupy and own the ‘Data is Life’ narrative.


Consistently, Airtel has spoken to this theme and the ‘Data is Life’ sequel offers glowing testimony to the company’s narrative that data is not just the new oil but it equals life.


Indeed, a life without data leaves so much to be desired.


The new TVC also captures Airtel’s intent to democratize data.


The cast for the new TVC shows that regardless of age, social status and location, everyone has a strong craving for data.


The mothers-in-law fully depict that social media is no longer the exclusive preserve for younger people.


More than anything else, Airtel is promoting togetherness, family values and demonstrating the immense influence and power that mobile Internet now commands.




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Onitsha set to Host Hi-Life Fest Semi-final, 10 Singers & 5 Dance groups Battle for Grand Prize



Residents of Onitsha are all set for an exciting evening of beautiful traditional Igbo highlife music and cultural dance as HiLife Fest’s ‘The Complete Experience’ hits the city for the semi final stage of the talent hunt competition set to take place on Sunday, May 27 2018.


Onitsha lies at a major east-west crossing point of the Niger River.


Onitsha traditionally consists of nine villages and remains the economic hub of commerce, industry and education.


Yearly, the kingdom of Onitsha celebrates the Ofala Festival, which coincides with the traditional New Yam festival held in many other parts of Igboland.


The festival celebrates the Igbo’s culture of progress borne out of sheer resilience and determination.


Highlife music and cultural dance are often the hallmark of the festival celebrations, and at Hilife Fest, the future of this definitive part of our rich heritage is handed down to the young minds.


At the recently concluded quarter final, fans were treated to a thrilling and engaging delivery of top-notch highlife music in which 5 dance groups and 10 singers made it to the next level.


The semi-final stage will feature Prince Destiny Oluchukwu and Dons Ifeanyi (Anambra state), Chinedu Obiajulu and Emeka Ngwu (Enugu State), Agbom Emmanuel (Delta State), Kalapi Ojuka and Kelvin Emmanuel (Rivers State) Ifeanyi Ogbu (Ebonyi State), Chuks Arthur and Obioha Ikechukwu (Abia State) in the singing category.


For the dancers, Kanaowo Dance Group (Rivers State), Noel Africa Cultural Entertainment (Ebonyi State), Umuchiziri Egwu Cultural Dance Group (Enugu State), Asinnodricks Africa (Imo State) and Ofu-Obi (Anambra State) will slug it out for a spot in the grand finale.


Expressing joy on reaching the semi-finals, Emma Agbom gave kudos to the organizers for providing a rich platform for young people to showcase their talent to the world.


He was particularly thankful for the grooming and mentoring sessions at HiLife Fest Academy.


This, he said, impacted immensely on his performance in Aba.


Speaking after the quarter final concert, Guest Judge, Michael Ndubuisi, said, “It has been a very unpredictable competition.


“We’ve had some amazing talents from the various auditions in different cities.


“It’s almost impossible to even tell who will win as everyone is really talented, so I can’t wait to see which of these contestants will come out tops”.


With just one more hurdle between these contestants and the grand finale, the contestants will not afford to give anything other than their very best intent on impressing the intimidating line-up of Judges – veteran highlife maestro and creator of Zigma style, Chief Bright Chimezie, music producer and actor, David Jones David, studied instrumentalist, JJ Aguize, versatile dance instructor, Dr Nicholas Akas, and guest Judge Michael Ndubisi.


Highlife music has been an integral part of the Igbo culture.


It inspires and gives its lovers a sense of direction, belonging and connection with their roots.


This initiative by the Life beer brand is aimed at promoting this genre of music whilst also preserving the beautiful heritage of the Igbo people.

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