Saturday 29 March 2014

Nigerian singer Zara dies at 28!

Nigerian-American artiste who has been battling Multiple Sclerosis for a while now, Zara Gretti is dead.

The 28 year old singer reportedly battled with Multiple Sclerosis ( an inflammatory disease in which the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged) for over a year now.
one of her last tweets read: 

Singer Zara Gretti, real name Margaret Mary Oluwatoyin Ejiro Joseph passed on Friday morning.
She left Nigeria for the United States in 2013, where she has been receiving treatment for her ailment.
She was famous for her hit track “Abokoku’.
RIP Gurl....

Friday 28 March 2014

Beyoncé Breaks Down in Tears During Final Mrs. Carter Show Concert!

 Beyoncé has performed more than 100 concerts she first took the stage on Apr. 15, 2013 in Belgrade, Serbia. 

Beyonce, Crying

The "Drunk in Love" singer finished her long-running Mrs. Carter Show World Tour Thursday. 
In addition to signing throughout Europe, the Bey took her act to North America, South America, Australia and Asia. Her final show took place at the MEO Arena in Lisbon, Portugal, March 27.
Understandably, Beyoncé got emotional during her final show. "I want a [spotlight]. I want them to see me," she said. 
"If you all don't know, tonight makes 132 shows. Tonight is the last show of the Mrs. Carter Show. We started a year ago and I want to say this has been such a journey. In the past year, we've been through so much together. The Super Bowl, shooting the videos, all of these shows. When I first started the tour, my baby was not even walking yet. I just want you to know that I am so lucky."

Sleeping delegate at the National Conference, Hamma Misau is dead!

Information reaching our desk confirmed that retired Police AIG Hamma Misau, one of the delegates at the ongoing National Conference, whose sleeping pictures at the conference made waves on social media is dead.

It was gathered that he died last night at the National Hospital Abuja of an undisclosed illness, at the age of 67. 

He will be buried Friday 28th, of March. 

May his soul rest in peace, amen.

In the spirit of the National Conference!

The long awaited National Conference is finally here, and well meaning Nigerians pray and hope that only the best comes out of it. 

In the meantime, it seems the issues discussed are either too boring or tiring... some members took time off  to sleep away their boredom and tiredness.....

Peharps when they wake up, they will tell the Congress what the spirits said.....

As expected, some equally seize the opportunity to express know, a little scuffle...

..all in the spirit of the 'National Conference'.

Obama's 52-minute meeting with Pope Francis!

U.S President Obama met Pope Francis at the Vatican for nearly an hour Thursday amid a complex backdrop of conflict over contraception, concern for the plight of the poor, and the pontiff's emergence as a powerful persona on the world stage. 
According to reports, Obama arrived amid the pomp and tradition of the Catholic Church, making his way to greet the pope after a long, slow procession. 
"Wonderful meeting you, I'm a great admirer," the president said to Pope Francis when the two met in the Small Throne Room of the papal residence. "Thank you sir, thank you."
The pontiff and the president shook hands before sitting down with their translators at a wooden table in the Papal Library for their meeting.
"I bring greetings from my family," the president said. "The last time I came here to meet your predecessor I was able to bring my wife and children."
 Although the two were scheduled to meet for half an hour, their private discussion reportedly lasted only 52 minutes. Obama seem buoyed by the meeting as they emerged and the pope greeted a handful of Obama's senior advisers. Catholic Secretary of State John Kerry pronounced himself "a great admirer of everything you've been doing, as a Catholic, for the church."
Obama then presented the pope with a seed chest with fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House Garden, in honor of the pope's announcement earlier this year that he's opening the gardens of the papal summer residence to the public. The chest was custom-made of leather and reclaimed wood from Baltimore's Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of the oldest Catholic cathedrals in the U.S, and inscribed with the date of their meeting.

Obama is the ninth president to make an official visit to the Vatican. His audience marked a change of pace for the president, who has devoted the past three days of a weeklong, four-country trip to securing European unity against Russia's aggressive posture toward Ukraine.
Source: Fox news

Thursday 27 March 2014

Diezani’s jet scandal: Reps panel under pressure, uncovers third aircraft!

There were indications on Wednesday  that members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts had come under intense pressure to tread softly on their ongoing investigation into  the   alleged  financial excesses of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

It was   also learnt in Abuja that Alison-Madueke   chartered a third jet for her use, besides the two already in the records of the committee.
The Solomon Olamilekan-led committee is  investigating the expenditure of  N10bn on a Challenger 850 chartered and maintained for  the minister’s use.
The PUNCH had reported exclusively on Wednesday that the committee was holding preliminary meetings on the investigation when it stumbled on fresh information that Alison-Madueke also chartered a second jet for her trips.
A source disclosed that a return trip on the Global Express XRS to London for example, gulped €600,000 or N137m.

However,  a lawmaker told our correspondent that  since the House passed the resolution last week to   probe the allegations against the minister, “forces within Nigeria, especially outside the National Assembly,”  had been calling some  of the committee members relentlessly.
He said, “At a point on Tuesday, the pressure became unbearable. I think people are beginning to think that the House is embarking on a witch-hunt. But that is not the idea.
“We are doing our constitutional duty to expose corruption wherever it exists.
“If at the end of the day, the investigation proves that it was justifiable for a minister to spend billions of naira to charter aircraft, so be it.”
Efforts to get key  members of the committee to  comment  on the alleged pressure  hit a brick wall.
Olamilekan  neither answered our correspondent’s calls nor replied text messages on Wednesday.
 When contacted, the spokesman for the House, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, said   it would be inappropriate for the House to speak on a matter it had referred to its committee for investigation.
 “The matter is before the committee”, he said.
Findings by on Wednesday showed that the committee was gathering information on the existence of a third jet chartered by the minister for the same purposes as the first two.

A source close to the   Public Accounts  committee, who confided in  our correspondent, said,  “From available information, “there  are three aircraft the minister charters for her trips within and outside the country. “What they were doing was  to alternate the planes,”
The source, who did not want his name in print,   was however quick to add that the committee’s assignment was only to investigate and not to indict anybody.
Well, the assignment before the committee is an investigation. Nobody has been accused of any wrongdoing for now, but we have to establish all these allegations,” he said.

It was gathered that as of 4pm on Wednesday that the committee was yet to decide on the date it would summon Alison-Madueke.
 A meeting of the committee, which reportedly started around 1pm, had still in progress as of  4pm.

Top on the agenda were said to be the allegations against the minister.
 Another  source  said, “The members are meeting to discuss the methodology to adopt in the investigation.
“An aviation consultant is assisting with additional information.
“Essentially, the investigation is to establish whether the minister did spend these huge funds on the jets.
“Who approved the funds? Was the money appropriated by the National Assembly?
“What aspect of our laws allows a minister to fly in chartered aircraft overseas for her private or official trips.
“These are the issues and all agencies or officials involved will be invited to state their side of the case.”
Source: PUNCH

FG seeks Abacha $550m loot from US!

The Federal Government on Wednesday said it supported the United States’ seizure of   $550m corruption proceeds of a former Head of State, the late Gen. Sani Abacha and his associates.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, who stated this in a statement in Abuja said that the Federal Government would ensure the repatriation of the money to Nigeria.
He stated, “As the central authority for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, my office has received requests for Mutual Legal Assistance for the Central Authority of the United States and we are cooperating with the United States in line with the obligations we assumed under the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.
“The overall objective of these efforts is to ensure that Nigeria as the victim state is able to have the forfeited assets (money) repatriated to Nigeria to fund development projects for the benefit of the people in accordance with the dictates of Chapter IV of the United Nations Convention against corruption. Let me assure you that Nigeria as State Party to UNCAC will do all that is required to realise this objective.”

The US government had,  a few days ago,  formally wrote the Federal Government for assistance to serve forfeiture notice on Abacha’s son, Mohammed; and an associate of the late dictator, Atiku Bagudu.
The defendants were given up till March 25, 2014 to file an application before the US District Court for Columbia to either set aside the forfeiture order or vary it
Among others, the defendants forfeited over $550m and £95,910m in 10 accounts and six investment portfolios linked to the Abachas in France, the Britain, British Virgin Island and the United States,  under the US Kleptomaniac Asset Recovery
Adoke, in the statement,  said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria welcomes the forfeiture proceedings initiated by the United States Department of Justice against the property related to the corrupt conduct of late General Sani Abacha, the former head of state of Nigeria, and His Associates and the subsequent laundering of corruption proceeds.
“The proceedings will make it possible for the defendants to forfeit over $550million and £95,910 in 10 accounts and six investment portfolios linked to the Abachas in France, the Britain, British Virgin Islands and the United States.”
The minister said that the Federal Government applauded the American government’s move    to recover the proceeds of corruption for the benefit of the people of Nigeria.
The US government had on March 5, 2014 ordered a freeze of assets stolen by the former dictator and his accomplices.
According to a civil forfeiture complaint unsealed in the US District Court in Washington, the department wants to recover more than $550m in connection with the action.
This is the largest civil forfeiture action to recover the proceeds of foreign official corruption ever brought by the department,” said Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general
The US Justice Department had said the frozen assets, along with additional assets named in the complaint, represented the “proceeds of corruption” during and after the military regime of Abacha, who became Head of State through a military coup on November 17, 1993 and held that office until his death on June 8, 1998.
The complaint had alleged that Abacha; his associate,  Bagudu, and others “embezzled, misappropriated and extorted billions from the government of Nigeria and others, then laundered their criminal proceeds through the purchase of bonds backed by the United States using US financial institutions.”
Source: Punch

Tuesday 25 March 2014


Pictures below show the Lagos branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria office on fire Tuesday evening.

According to information received, the inferno started at about 5:40 pm, men of the Lagos state fire service were seen at the scene trying to put out the fire which eye witnesses believed started from the top floor of the building. 

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It will be recalled that the ex. CBN governor Sanusi Lamido in an interview, told the New York Times that he believes his insistence at a meeting with bank chiefs to order a special audit of all Nigerian banks to unravel how $20 billion went missing from the country's treasury led to his eventual 
suspension,he was suspended nine days after meeting with the bank chiefs.

The Presidency in a press briefing  however debunked Sanusi's allegations saying he was not being truthful.

With the Lagos branch of the CBN fire incident, and going by the manner in which allegations of fraudulent activities in the corridors of different regimes have been covered-up in the country over the years, with no one asking questions nor providing answers; one can only but suspect that perhaps this will be the last Nigerians will be hearing about the alleged $20 billion missing funds.

Monday 24 March 2014

Fulani kill 35 in Benue, 20 die in Borno attack!

Barely twelve days after suspected Fulani gunmen destroyed over 100 villages and killed over 30 persons in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, the insurgents again reportedly attacked Gbajimba, headquarters of the local government, killing over 35 persons.
Eyewitness said the invaders attacked the town in the early hours of Sunday, shooting and burning houses while others stayed at the outskirts gunning down those scampering for safety.
It was gathered that over 35 persons were killed and that when the natives started running for safety, the mercenaries blocked the road, shooting at women and children.
Chairman of the local government, Mr. Frank Usa Adi, told newsmen that many casualties were recorded and that seven corpses have been moved to Makurdi while others have been taken to Abinsi.
He said more corpses have been recovered from the bush, disclosing further that the number of those rushed to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, for treatment, could not be immediately ascertained.
He also  expressed pessimism that many of those receiving treatment may not survive, calling on security agencies to protect the local government from complete destruction.
While describing the Sunday attack as serious, Adi said the suspected Fulani gunmen have encircled the entire area.
He particularly appealed to the state police command to deploy more policemen to the area, stressing that the area was almost abandoned shortly before the attack.
I cannot be specific about the number of casualties because more bodies are being recovered. But in respect of those having wounds, they are so many at the teaching hospital here “, he stressed.
When Daily Newswatch visited the teaching hospital, doctors and nurses were busy attending to the patients who were all covered with blood.
Even as there was restriction of movement, it was gathered that many had been taken to the intensive care unit.
Personal physician to Governor Gabriel Suswam, Mr Marcelinus Ortese, was also seen assisting medical officers at the hospital in the treatment of those injured.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO),  Daniel Ezeala, said  policemen were still combing the area to see if the mercenaries remained in the bush after the attack.
He confirmed that there was an attack and that his men would  give account of the exact thing that happened at the end of the day.
According to him, records of the number of houses burnt and the number of persons killed and injured were being taken so that correct figures would be given out to the media.
In a related development, suspected Islamic militants on Sunday, also detonated a bomb in a crowded marketplace in Bama, Borno State, killing at least 20 people, witnesses said.
Nigerian security officials said the attack bore the hallmarks of the al Qaeda-linked militant group, Boko Haram, fighting to carve an Islamic state out of North East Nigeria.
Security sources said Boko Haram has killed hundreds, possibly thousands, this year in a campaign of violence growing in intensity.
I travelled to Bama …to buy bags of beans. Suddenly, there was a deafening bang at the middle of the market. It was in the late afternoon and commercial activities were at their peak,” said Shuaibu Abdulahi, a trader at the market, who estimated the death toll to be as high as 29.
Abba Tahir, a bus driver, offloading passengers at the market, said he counted 20 bodies.
People were helping in evacuating the corpses after the confusion had died down. Some people who were injured were taken to the General Hospital,” Tahir said.
There was no claim of responsibility for the attack. The military spokesman for Borno State did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A military crackdown since last May has failed to quell the insurgency, which after four and a half years remains the leading security threat to Africa’s top oil producing nation.
Borno State has ordered all of its schools shut before the end of term to protect children after Islamist killed dozens of pupils in an attack last month, state officials said on Friday.
Security officials said Boko Haram had shot or burnt to death at least 29 pupils in a boarding school in North East Nigeria. A journalist, who counted bodies in the morgue after the attack, put the figure at 59.
The failure of the military to protect civilians is fueling anger in the North East, although state security officials have claimed some recent successes, including killing several militants as they tried to escape from a prison in Maiduguri this month.
source: Daily Newswatch 

Syria - Regime's barrel bombs terrorizing residential areas of Aleppo!

New satellite imagery, videos and eyewitness accounts reveal an alleged  indiscriminate nature of the government’s large-scale air campaign on opposition-held parts of Aleppo since November 2013. 

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The attacks on populated areas in Aleppo and its countryside continue despite a UN Security Council resolution on February 22, 2014, demanding all parties cease “indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, including shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs.”

Like R.I mentioned on one of our Syrian war stories: ..It takes only a few years to destroy, but it will take years, even centuries to build not just properties destroyed, but lives that have been shattered.....It is high time the Assad regime and oppositions reconsider their stands, for the sake of the continuous existence of the Syrian nation.

US reinforce troops in Hunt for Ugandan Warlord Joseph Kony!

Information reaching our news desk confirms that the United States President Barack Obama has stepped up efforts to capture Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

Kony is believed to be  the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, which is accused by the United Nations and Human Right groups of killing and mutilating innocent civilians and kidnapping thousands of children, forcing them to be soldiers and sex slaves.

It was revealed that Obama dispatched military aircraft to the central African nation to help track the brutal warlord, with several CV-22 Osprey aircraft arriving in the troubled country by the middle of the week.

According to the Washington Post, the White House began notified Congressional leaders about the plan on Sunday night.

Officials emphasized that the Ospreys 'will be used for troop transport and that the rules of engagement for U.S. forces remain the same as for about 100 Special Operations troops that Obama first sent to help find Kony in October 2011,' the paper reports.

It was gathered that U.S. military personnel will be allowed to 'provide information, advice and assistance' to an African Union military task force responsible for tracking Kony and the LRA.

U.S. forces are equally authorized to track Kony and his forces across Uganda, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Congo. 

The U.S. soldiers are however, not authorized to engage the LRA unless it is in self-defense. The number of U.S. forces who will be a part of the operation to track Kony are unlikely to exceed 300.

Sunday 23 March 2014

Importers decry undue delays of PAAR reports!

The on-going reforms in the Nigerian Customs Service recently received a pat on the back, from President Goodluck Jonathan during a tour of the Apapa Command, on the visit of the Secretary General of the World Customs Organistation (WCO), Kunio Mikuriya to the Apapa Area Command in Lagos.

In his speech, President Jonathan stated  that the reforms will ‘boost security in the country by helping to curtail the influx of illegal small arms and light weapons into the country and enhance trade in the West African sub region’.
Earlier in an interview on ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Channels Television, in Dec. 2013, the Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Customs Service, Deputy Comptroller Wale Adeniyi, confirmed that  apart from check - mating illegal business transactions across borders, this step has generated great revenue for the Nation.

According to him, “In the last few years the roles of customs has gone through some changes. There have been more challenges, more functions. The dynamics of situations in the international system has changed, so much so that we now have other issues related to border security.”

“While trying to guaranty that the bad guys do not come in, we also must ensure that the good ones who are doing legitimate trade must have their processes facilitated.”

In achieving these goals, Adeniyi listed the key standards employed by the Nigerian Customs. These standards include quick service delivered in good time and simple procedures, with a mind-set of achieving quick turnover. He said.

Notwithstanding, despite the Common External Tariff Concordance linked to the Customs PAAR for easy navigation and accurate classification to ensure its feasibility, the introduction of the PAAR has been greeted with knocks.

Before now, government appointed destination inspectors at the Nigerian Ports were saddled with the responsibility of issuing the Risk Assessment Report (RAR) to vessel owners during clearance, which was issued in five working days.  This contract was terminated by the Federal Government in the last quarter of 2013 and the Nigerian Customs Services took over with the introduction and issuance of Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) to “fast-track goods clearance at the ports”.  A move reportedly taken 'in accordance with international best practice, economic competitiveness, enhancing trade, revenue collection and border security'.  

The impact of the Pre Arrival Assessment Report PAAR and FOB reforms on small and medium scale businesses is not without criticisms as some genuine entrepreneurs have expressed frustrations over challenges confronted when clearing their cargoes, due to delays in the issuance of the Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) and the increased FOB value of imports. They appealed to relevant government functionaries to intervene in their plight.
According to the Managing Director of Cambistry Ventures Limited - Lagos, Mr. Ikechukwu Okafor whose business is one out of the many businesses currently affected by the tardiness in issuing the Pre Arrival Assessment Report
The long process involved in the new Customs reforms have been unfair to genuine business owners as they have to wait for months before their consignments will be attended to, a development he said is rather stalling business activities, likewise, the longer the goods are delayed, the demurrage keeps skyrocketing.  “My consignment arrived on 24th February, 2014. As at today, PAAR has not been issued. I have approached my bank to find out why and their response is that they have in arrears 3,000 PAAR yet to be issued. My Business is suffering the loss of revenue with unnecessary demurrage charges. You can verify these from any of the banks.
“The other problem is the uplifting of the FOB value of the imports therefore making the importer to pay more duties. This action is of the belief by Nigeria Custom Service that most importers under- invoice their imports. The FOB value of my recent import was uplifted from $52,000 to $71,000. A 36% increase. This alone translated to increased duty of circa N700, 000. This development is certainly not favourable for genuine private business operators in the country”. He said.

Monday 17 March 2014

Kaduna State Attack Victims Buried En-mass!

Local authority said the remains of about 150 Southern Kaduna natives were on Saturday, March 15, 2014, buried in a mass grave in Unguwant Gata, Maroa Chiefdom of Karua Local Government Area, Kaduna state, North-west Nigeria.

Eye witness account said Sankwai, Tekum and Unguwan Gata villages in Maroa Chiefdom were on Saturday invaded by Fulani gunmen, killing no fewer than 200 natives and burning the three villages, after plundering them. Southern Kaduna villages were drab over the attacks as churches across the Chiefdom held special prayers for the deceased.

Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) the umbrella body for ethnic nationalities in the southern part of Kaduna State, said the people of the area are left with no choice than to defend themselves against what has become frequent attacks and killings by Fulani gunmen.
Addressing newsmen in Kaduna, President of SOKAPU, Dr. Ephraim Goje, said the persistent attacks and massacres of the people is a clear indication that the government and the security agencies were not capable of protecting the people. He said the frequent killings and destruction of homes and properties makes it imperative for the people to defend themselves by whatever means necessary.

The Fulanis have unofficially declared war on our people. No community has the monopoly of violence, so our people are being pushed to a level that we may take certain actions aimed at defending ourselves and our land in order to put an end to this impunity and senseless killings.” Goje said.
He added that since 2011, over 5,000 people had been displaced in the 40 attacks on communities in the southern part of Kaduna state.
We have identified the perpetrators as Fulani herdsmen as responsible for the attacks and killings, but each time we raise this observation, the Fulani socio-cultural organisations within the state have out-rightly denied the involvement of their people, asking for proofs.”
Goje further stated that two Fulani youths in Manchok led Saturday’s attack, during which 219 people were killed, noting that the Fulani youths died in the process and their corpses were identified by the locals.
The recent attack was led by two well known young Fulanis resident in Manchock town, who died in the process. Their dead bodies had clearly and unambiguously been identified by the natives and their corpses are now kept by the Joint Task Force, JTF, Command in Kafanchan for further forensic screening.
“This has clearly vindicated us and confirms our earlier position that the Fulanis have declared a jihad on the people of Southern Kaduna and Nigeria, evidenced by this genocide in Bondong, the murder in Katsina State, Birnin Gwari, Plateau, Zamfara, Taraba, Benue, among others.
“In some of these attacks, suspects had been arrested and handed over to security agencies for prosecution, only for the culprits to be seen working freely on the streets the next day.
“What comes to our minds now is that, truly, the Fulanis have unofficially declared war on our people. Let it be placed on record that no community has the monopoly of violence, so our people are being pushed to the wall and we may take certain steps aimed at defending ourselves and our land in order to put an end to this impunity,” Goje warned.
Goje lamented the lack of collaboration between security agencies in Kaduna and Plateau states noting that the attackers often come in from the Plateau axis to attack Atakar and Marwa Chiefdoms which borders Plateau State. Moreso, that each time the gunmen were chased by security agents from Kaduna State, they ran to Plateau state where they walk freely to celebrate their so-called victories.
Information source: Vanguard News

How a 17 -year -old Nigerian girl met her untimely death in Russia!

A 17-year-old Nigerian girl Forester Samson was reportedly stabbed and burnt to death in Moscow, Russia on March 3, 2014 by yet to be identified Russian gangstars.
The deceased, Forester Samson
According to a source, the perpetrators locked her body in a room and set it ablaze. Though, the police took her to the hospital, it was rather futile.
It was revealed that Forester was sponsored abroad by one Mercy who is suspected to be trafficking Nigerian girls on the promise that she would assist them with decent jobs in Russia. 
The teenager without hesitation, but with the approval of her mother jumped at the offer with high hopes.
According to the deceased’s elder sister, Sonia Samson, they got a call from Mercy, on Tuesday March 4, 2014 that Forester had died in an inferno. She added that the family was later told that Forester was stabbed before being set ablaze.
Sonia said, “Her madam is the one that called us on Tuesday and told us she was locked in a room and set ablaze by some unknown Russians. She told us that she was rushed to the hospital, that they were treating her.
“Later that day, she also told us that she was initially stabbed before she was burnt. Not too long after, she told us that she was dead. The madam said she was not the only victim in the attack. She said there were five other Nigerians, that another one died four or five days after the attack.
“My sister died mysteriously, just as another sister of mine was also killed by armed robbers. Sincerely, I am confused because I don’t know why all this is happening to us. Particularly for me, it is so painful that I don’t really know what to say or do. This is a difficult time for the family and I believe we need to be more prayerful more than ever before.”
Forester’s father, Friday Osazuwa Samson was shot in broad daylight in front of his shop at Upper Sakponba,  about four years ago in Benin by suspected armed robbers.  
It was gathered that until his death, Friday was a successful businessman, a distributor with Sona and Bendel breweries.
Siblings and other relatives of the Samson family are worried and pained by circumstances surrounding how Forester was lured into traveling to Russia, which they described as shady. Recognizing the fact that she did not travel to Russia for further education, even as they were not also informed of such plans, they are calling on concerned authorities to wade into the matter.
They are accusing Mercy of human trafficking and calling on National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to investigate the activities of this said Mercy. They also want the Nigerian Embassy in Russia to as a matter of urgency unravel the mystery surrounding the death of their daughter.
Sonia, who still finds it difficult to believe that her sister was gone, lamented that Forester’s death was too painful for her to easily accept. To her, she would have better been dreaming and be glad that the story was not true.
Information gathered also revealed that an uncle of the deseased, Mr Saturday Samson Osazuwa has accused her mother of conniving with Mercy to deceive and persuade the teenager to travel abroad. He queried why Elizabeth, the deceased mother decided to hide his niece’s whereabouts from him. Saturday, who now acts as a father figure to the children since their father’s death, said the mother refused to disclose where Forester was, even as he insisted on seeing her.
Said he: “The mother was aware that Forester had traveled abroad. Not just that, I believe she was part of the arrangement that her 17-year-old daughter should travel abroad. It is really unfortunate and wicked of her to have taken that decision.
“If my brother, her husband was alive, he would never allow such a thing for any of his children. What was Forester looking for in Russia? Was it to go there and school? Certainly not. Now, she has caused the entire family pain and sorrow. The girl was beautiful and intelligent. I still cannot understand what she was sent to Russia to do at her tender age.
“For more than five months, her mother was dribbling me whenever I wanted to see Forester. I sent for her to come and see me on a number of occasions but they kept telling me that she was residing with her mother’s relatives in Benin here only for me to receive a call from them that she was dead in a fire accident in Russia. This is the girl that they kept telling me was in Benin. Until her death, the mother refused to tell anybody in our family. If she thought that the children belonged to her alone, that is where she’s mistaken.”
Another uncle of deceased, Mr Evabayekha Christopher, described Forester’s mother as callous. He wondered why any reasonable mother would send her own daughter abroad for monetary reasons.
His words: “What exactly will Forester be doing abroad when she was supposed to be studying at the University of Benin or any other higher institution of learning in Nigeria? What she did is unacceptable to every member of our family.”
The late Forester, who would have been celebrating her 18th birthday on March 30 hails from Igbekhue in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. She completed her secondary education in 2013.

Missing Malaysian flight - recording casts suspicion on pilots!

Suspicions that one or both of the pilots on the Malaysian jetliner was involved in its disappearance have grown as the final recording from the cockpit gave no indication anything was wrong even though one of the plane's communications systems had already been disabled, it has emerged.
As authorities examined a flight simulator confiscated from the home of one of the pilots and dug through the background of all 239 people on board as well as the ground crew that serviced the plane, they also were grappling with the enormity of the search ahead of them, warning they needed more data to narrow down the hunt for the aircraft.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 took off from Kuala Lumpur at around 12:40am on March 8, headed to Beijing. Malaysia's government has confirmed the plane was deliberately diverted and may have flown as far north as Central Asia, or south into the vast reaches of the Indian Ocean.
Authorities have said someone on board the plane first disabled one of its communications systems - the Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS - at 1:07am. Around 14 minutes later, the transponder, which identifies the plane to commercial radar systems, was also shut down. 
The fact that they went dark separately is strong evidence that the plane's disappearance was deliberate.
Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference today that that the final, reassuring words from the cockpit - "All right, good night" - were spoken to air traffic controllers after the ACARS system was shut down. Whoever spoke did not mention any trouble on board, seemingly misleading ground control.
Air force Major General Affendi Buang said he did not know whether it was the pilot or co-pilot who spoke to air traffic controllers.
Given the expanse of land and water that might need to be searched, the wreckage of the plane might take months - or longer - to find, or might never be located. Establishing what happened with any degree of certainty will likely need key information, including cockpit voice recordings, from the plane's flight data recorders.
The search area now includes 11 countries the plane might have flown over, Mr Hishammuddin said, adding that the number of countries involved in the operation had increased from 14 to 25.
"The search was already a highly complex, multinational effort. It has now become even more difficult," he said.
The search effort initially focused on the relatively shallow waters of the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca, where the plane was first thought to be. Mr Hishammuddin said he had asked governments to hand over sensitive radar and satellite data to try to help get a better idea of the plane's final movements.
"It is our hope with the new information, parties that can come forward and narrow the search to an area that is more feasible," he said.
Malaysia is leading the multinational search for the plane, as well as the investigation into its disappearance.
Investigators are trying to answer these questions: If the two pilots were involved in the disappearance, were they working together or alone, or with one or more of the passengers or crew? Did they fly the plane under duress or of their own volition? Did one or more of the passengers manage to break into the cockpit, or use the threat of violence to gain entry and then pilot the plane? And what possible motive could there be for flying off with the plane?
Malaysia's police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar, said he requested countries with citizens on board the plane to investigate their background, no doubt looking for any ties to terrorist groups, aviation skills or evidence of prior contact with the pilots. He said that the intelligence agencies of some countries had already done this and found nothing suspicious, but that he was waiting for others to respond.
The government said police searched the homes of both pilots yesterday, the first time they had done so since the plane went missing. Asked why it took them so long, Mr Khalid said authorities "didn't see the necessity in the early stages".
He said police confiscated the elaborate flight simulator that one of the pilots, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, had built in his home and reassembled it in their offices to study it for clues.
Zaharie, 53, who has three grown children and one grandchild, had previously posted photos online of the simulator, which was made with three large computer monitors and other accessories. Earlier this week, the head of Malaysia Airlines said this was not in itself cause for any suspicion.
Malaysian police are also investigating engineers and ground staff who may have had contact with the plane before it took off, Mr Khalid said.
ACARS is used to send information about the plane's engines and other parts to the airline. Even though it was disabled on Flight 370, it continued to send out faint hourly pulses that were recorded by a satellite. The last "ping" was sent out at 8:11 a.m. - 7 hours and 31 minutes after the plane took off. It placed the jet somewhere in a huge arc as far north as Kazakhstan in Central Asia or far into the southern Indian Ocean.
While many people believe the plane has crashed, there is a very small possibility it may have landed somewhere and be relatively intact. Affendi, the air force general, and Mr Hishammuddin said it was possible for the plane to "ping" when it was on the ground if its electrical systems were undamaged.
Australia said it was sending one of its two AP-3C Orion aircraft involved in the search to remote islands in the Indian Ocean at Malaysia's request. The plane will search the north and west of the Cocos Islands, a remote Australian territory with an airstrip about 745 miles southwest of Indonesia, military chief Gen David Hurley said.
Given that the northern route the plane may have taken would take it over countries with busy airspace, most experts say the person in control of the aircraft would more likely have chosen the southern route. The southern Indian Ocean is the world's third-deepest and one of the most remote stretches of water in the world, with little radar coverage.
Malaysian officials and aviation experts said that whoever disabled the plane's communication systems and then flew the jet must have had a high degree of technical knowledge and flying experience, putting one or both of the pilots high on the list of possible suspects.
Zaharie, the pilot, was a supporter of a Malaysian opposition political party that is locked in a bitter dispute with the government, according to postings on his Facebook page and a friend, Peter Chong, who is a party member.
Mr Chong said that he last saw Zaharie a week before the pilot left on the flight for Beijing, and that they had agreed to meet on his return to organise a shopping trip for poor children.
"If I am on a flight, I would choose Captain Zaharie," he said. "He is dedicated to his job, he is a professional and he loves flying."
Later search and rescue experts said the hunt for the plane may hinge on inexact satellite data.
A satellite was able to connect with the aircraft's messaging system once an hour for four to five hours after the system was shut down and the plane disappeared from radar screens. The satellite tilted its antenna to receive messages from the plane, although no location information was exchanged.
Investigators have used the antenna angle, along with radar data, to draw two vast arcs where the plane is believed to be.
Air crash investigators have never used this kind of satellite data before to try to find a missing plane, but it may be the best clue left.
Source: Reuters