Folorunso SmithJuly 23, 2015

Bill Cosby lost his latest bid to fend off a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1974.

This came as the California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the comedian’s petition to review the case.

The accuser’s attorney, Gloria Allred, said the decision cleared the way for litigation brought by Judy Huth, now in her 50s, to proceed.

The attorney added that she intended to take Cosby’s sworn deposition within the next 30 days.

Allred said: “We are looking forward to Mr. Cosby answering questions under oath at his deposition.

“It’s a very big victory.”

There was no immediate response from Cosby or his lawyers, who have consistently denied allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against the 78-year-old performer.

But the legal setback for Cosby came as his defence team mounted a new public relations blitz on his behalf.

In a round of interviews with various news outlets, including ABC’s “Good Morning America” and the New York Times, Cosby’s lawyer, Monique Pressley, said the media have distorted his deposition testimony.

The deposition was made public this month from a separate sexual assault lawsuit Cosby settled in 2006.

Pressley, a newly hired Cosby attorney based in Washington, said that while the deposition may have proved embarrassing to Cosby, nothing in his sworn statements marked an admission of criminal wrongdoing.

Huth is one of more than 40 women who have come forward in the past year to say that they were raped or molested by Cosby after he plied them with drugs or alcohol.

The complaint filed by Huth against Cosby is one of at least four pending civil lawsuits stemming from such accusations.

But Allred said Huth’s is the only one seeking damages for the alleged sexual misconduct itself.

The others are defamation suits whose principal causes of action allege the entertainer falsely branded his accusers as liars, by denying that he ever sexually assaulted them.

In addition, Los Angeles police are conducting a criminal investigation into a complaint brought against Cosby, an LAPD spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.

He declined to give details.

Cosby has never been charged.

Los Angeles County prosecutors declined last year to bring a criminal case against him over Huth’s allegations, saying the matter dated back too far under California’s statute of limitations.

Allred said the statute is more forgiving of civil complaints of childhood sexual abuse, allowing for a claim of repressed psychological injury that is discovered by the accuser in the last three years.

Cosby’s attorneys had sought dismissal of Huth’s lawsuit on procedural grounds, arguing among other things that she lacked required certification from a mental health professional to support her claims.

They also said in court papers that Huth sued Cosby only after she failed to extort money from him to buy her silence.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled against Cosby and a state appeals court refused to hear the case in May.

On Wednesday, the state Supreme Court did likewise, a decision that Allred said leaves Cosby no further legal recourse for blocking the lawsuit.

She said she expects to take Cosby’s deposition in Massachusetts, where the performer resides.


Folorunso SmithJuly 18, 2015


Popular radio personalities, Olisa Adibua of Beat 99.9 FM and Toke Makinwa of Rhythm 93.7 FM, have both been confirmed as the hosts of the 2015 Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry Awards.

The awards is slated to hold on August 8, 2015 at the Shell Hall, Museum Centre, Lagos Island.

It will recognise the most impactful companies and organisations with awards for being trailblazers in their industries.

A total of 18 awards will be given out at the LCCI Awards to companies in Banking, Insurance, Pension Management, E-Payment, Education, Telecoms, Professional Services, Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Trade/Retail Trade, Building & Construction and SMEs.

One of the main performers for the night will be Geoffrey, the 2014 winner of Project Fame 2014, who has been making strides in the Nigerian music industry this year with his Bursting My Brain debut single airing on major radio and TV stations.

Cultural dance troupe, Atunda Entertainment, will be performing their highly rated cultural dance steps at the awards ceremony as well.

Also performing will be Nigeria’s hottest girl group, R-Cube, who made a debut on the 2014 instalment of Project Fame.

The trio, who have been making headlines since releasing the eccentric ‘Show Dem’ video, will be thrilling attendees with their sonorous voices and sultry dance moves.


Folorunso SmithJune 29, 2015


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday appointed Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan to oversee the activities of the Department of Petroleum Resources with immediate effect.

This was contained in a statement issued by the DPR on Monday.

Ladan succeeds George Osahon, whose two-year tenure lapsed on June 19, 2015.

Ladan, who is a Petrochemist by profession, joined DPR on November 23, 1987 as a Senior Analytical Chemist and was deployed to the Safety and Environment Branch under the then Technical Services Division.

He rose through the ranks to occupy various key positions within the organization, including Zonal Operations Controller, DPR Kaduna.

Having attained the rank of Deputy Director, Ladan was appointed Head, Downstream Monitoring and Regulation Division from October 2005 to June 2013.

Thereafter, Ladan was appointed Head, Gas Monitoring and Regulation Division from June 2013 to May 2014 and then Head, Safety, Health and Environment Division from May 2014 until his recent appointment.

Ladan is highly accomplished both professionally and academically.

He is a Fulbright Scholar (Hubert H. Humphrey, North-South Fellow), where he bagged a Certificate in Environmental & Regulatory Policy/Public Affairs June 1991 M.Sc. Petrochemicals and Hydrocarbon Chemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, United Kingdom March 1986 B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria July 1982 West African School Certificate – Federal Government College, Kano June 1978.

He was born on June 24, 1957 and is married with children.


Folorunso SmithJune 27, 2015

President Muhammadu Buhari will henceforth mostly observe his Juma’at prayers at the Presidential Villa Mosque, according to a Presidency statement issued on Friday.

The statement was signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

It explained that the decision was to avoid the unnecessary hardships imposed on members of the public by road closures and other security measures usually associated with presidential movements to the National Mosque.

The statement however added that Buhari would still worship at the National Mosque and other mosques whenever the occasion called for it.

The statement issued in Abuja reads: “President Muhammadu Buhari participated in today’s Juma’at prayer at the Presidential Villa Mosque.

“President Buhari did so out of consideration for avoidable hardships imposed on members of the public by road closures and other security measures which Presidential movements to the National Mosque necessitate.

“Accordingly, the President has decided that henceforth he will mostly observe the Juma’at prayers with other Muslims at the Presidential Villa Mosque.

“President Buhari will still join the larger Muslim Community for Friday prayers at the National Mosque and other mosques in Abuja occasionally.”

Folorunso SmithJune 26, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday said preliminary report of forensic auditors on BGL Group Plc revealed that the company eroded its shareholders’ funds to the tune of N48 billion.

The commission in a statement posted on its website said the company’s management progressively eroded its shareholders’ funds through losses sustained over a five-year period totalling about N48 billion as of December 31, 2014.

“From the preliminary report of the forensic auditors, it was revealed, among other facts, that indeed BGL Group was in a critical financial state,” said the statement.

It also stated that the commission received over 40 letters of investors’ complaints against BGL Group Plc alleging indebtedness to the tune of about N5.8 billion.

The statement said that investors’ funds were put at extreme risk through questionable investments by the BGL management in some illiquid and unlisted companies’ securities, one of which had been declared bankrupt.

It further stated said the group had significant liquidity challenges, which made it unable to meet its responsibilities towards clients and investors as evidenced by over N11 billion in unpaid matured funds to investors.

The statement said investigations were conducted and and all-parties meetings were arranged by SEC during which repayment agreements were struck between BGL and some of the affected investors.

It said BGL failed despite promises to restitute the affected investors, leading to its suspension from all capital market activities.

The statement added: “Backed by a court order from the Investments and Securities Tribunal, SEC set up a seven-man Interim Management Team for BGL Group.

“While the IMT in conjunction with the forensic auditors were conducting formal investigations, BGL obtained a Federal High Court order asking the IMT to vacate BGL premises.”

It said the commission complied with the ruling in spite an exiting order from the Investment and Securities Tribunal in obedience of the court order.

The statement said: “In view of the fact that the interim order has lapsed, we wish to reiterate to the general public that BGL Securities Limited, BGL Capital, BGL Asset Management and all BGL Group sponsored individuals and Mr Albert Okumagba remain suspended from all capital market activities.

“Additionally, they have all been invited to appear before the SEC Administrative Proceedings Committee sitting slated for Aug 4 and 5 2015 to explain the allegations of capital market infractions against them.”


Folorunso SmithJune 25, 2015

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega,‎ is expected to bow out of office next Tuesday.

Similarly, six National Commissioners of INEC, who were appointed at the same time with Jega, are also to go with him.

This was confirmed on Thursday in an INEC press statement in Abuja.

The INEC Chairman, who though is eligible for reappointment, was recently quoted in the media to have said he would not be interested to serve for a second term.

The National Commissioners, whose tenure of office will be expiring on the that same day with the INEC Chairman, are Colonel M.K. Hammanga (Rtd), Adamawa State (North East); Dr. Ishmael Jikiri Igbani, Rivers State (South South); Prof. Lai Olorode, Osun State (South West); Dame Gladys Nne Nwafor, Abia State (South East); Thelma Amata Iremiren, Delta State (South South); and Engr. Dr. Nuru A. Yakubu, Yobe State (North East).

The National Commissioners, it would be recalled, were sworn into office on June 30, 2010 by the immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

The tenure of four other National Commissioners of INEC will also expire by July and August this year.

While Dr. Abdulkadir S. Oniyangi, Kwara State (North Central) and Amina Bala Zakari, Jigawa State, (North West) will leave office on July 21, Dr. Chris O. Iyimoga, Nasarawa State (North Central)‎ and Ambassador Mohammed Ahmad Wali, Sokoto State (North West)‎ will bow out of service on August 11.

The tenure of 16 Resident Electoral Commissioners has already expired and they have since left office.

Those whose tenure has already expired are Ahmad Makama (Bauchi); Haliru A. Tambuwal (Sokoto); Abdullahi Umar Danyaya, (Niger); Abubakar U.G. Wara (Kebbi); Mr. Mike Igini (Delta); Prof. Selina Omagha Oko (Ebonyi); Hussaini Ahmed Mahuta (Katsina); Dr. A.L. Ogunmola (Oyo); Alhaji Ibrahim Zarewa (Kano); Prof. Tukur Sa’ad (Adamawa); Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo (Kogi); Kassim Gana Gaidam (Yobe); Mr. Timothy Ibitoye (Osun); Amb. Dr. Rufus Akeju (Lagos); Prof. C.E. Onukaogu (Abia); and Ibrahim Bagobiri Marafa (Zamfara).

The Commission’s statement however made it clear that Jega’s retirement ‎and that of other commissioners will not affect the operations of the commission.

The INEC posited that those left at the Commission can form a quorum.

The commission based its reason on section 159 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which states that not less than one-third of the total number of members shall form a quorum during meeting.

INEC is composed of 12 National Commissioners and 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to appoint their replacement before the Kogi State gubernatorial election, which is expected to hold in December this year.

Folorunso SmithJune 14, 2015

According to him: "I have observed with keen interest the scenario in the National Assembly that resulted in the election of Sen. Bukola Saraki and Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and other leaders of NASS and what attracted my attention more, though not surprising, were the incoherent and contradictory responses from the leaders of the APC, especially the faction led by the former Governor of Lagos, Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu who outrightly rejected the outcome of the election and without decorum blamed President Muhammadu Buhari as being responsible for the debacle in the National Assembly

Folorunso SmithJune 10, 2015

In a statement issued by the deceased's eldest child, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun, the eighth day Fidau prayers will hold at 10, Ogundipe Street, Alapere, Lagos on June 13

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