A former Managing Director of Alpha Beta Consulting, Mr. Oladapo Apara, has sued the company, a former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu; and the current Managing Director of the firm, Akin Doherty; before a Lagos State High Court, Igbosere. In his statement of claim, the former Alpha Beta boss said Tinubu boasted that the then acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, would protect him. He wrote, “The 2nd defendant (Bola Tinubu) also warned the claimant not to even think of exposing his involvement in the financial affairs of the 1st defendant (Alpha Beta) to the EFCC as the then acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, will always protect him (Tinubu).” Apara also narrated how Alpha Beta was formed in 2002 when Tinubu was still the governor. The claimant said he was the one who came up with the idea of a consulting firm helping the state government to track and reconcile taxes. Apara said Tinubu accepted the proposal but gave many conditions including that his own people would own 70 per cent stakes in the company. Apara said as the head of the company, he began looking into its finances and he made many startling discoveries such as mysterious transfers of over ₦20 billion N20bn in different currencies to several companies including payment of ₦1 billion to Vintage Press, publishers of The Nation newspaper and Lagoon Press Limited, publishers of National Life Newspaper. The former Alpha Beta boss said he realised that all the payments were sanctioned by partners nominated by Tinubu and they were done without his knowledge contrary to the terms of their partnership.Apara stated that Tinubu was furious that he was looking into the company’s finances and ordered that he be demoted to deputy managing partner. He said he refused to obey this order and this led to a feud between both of them. The former Alpha Beta boss said he was forcefully removed from office while Tinubu’s former Commissioner for Finance, Doherty, was named the new head of the company. He said since his illegal removal, he had been denied his dividends as a founding partner of the company and asked the court to order full payment of his entitlements.
The Federal Government has released fresh guidelines for the reopening of schools in the country. The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, made this known during a briefing in Abuja. Giving an update on Thursday, Aliyu said, “The Federal Ministry of Education, the PTF and the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) have developed guidelines to ensure schools can reopen, minimise the risk of transmission and continue to operate safely. Schools and educational bodies that plan to reopen must have detailed communication protocols that include parents, school health teams, school authorities and local (and) state officials. They must also have a system for providing regular updates for parents, staff and relevant authorities as well as communicate changes to procedures effectively and clearly as well as taking effective measures to understand how COVID-19 can spread and how to mitigate the spread in line with official guidelines. Specifically, school authorities have the responsibilities to ensure that everyone gaining access to their schools is screened properly, is wearing a mask and sanitising their hands. Boarding schools must have identified areas for screening and putting positive students aside. There must be access to running water and handwashing facilities. Schools in the country had been shut for more than four months as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel disease.
The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa is in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on allegations of fraud. The spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said Obasa was invited and he honoured the invitation at the Lagos zone office of the commission on Thursday. Obasa, who is a two-time Speaker of the House, has been facing several allegations of corruption. The speaker had some months ago appeared before the House panel of enquiry on the corruption allegations levelled against him. While Obasa denied most of the allegations, he admitted that N80 million as estacode was approved for the training of the wives of 20 lawmakers in Dubai. The House committee subsequently cleared him, which sparked protests among several anti-corruption groups.
The World Bank says the coronavirus pandemic has reversed a decade of hard-won growth in Africa and could lead to a 3.3% contraction of its economy in 2020. The bank, however, predicted that growth would rebound next year. Africa has seen lower rates of infections than in other continents – accounting for 3.4% of global infections and 2.5% of deaths, but the World Bank warned of potential risks from the virus.. Lockdowns enforced to reduce the spread of the disease have led to recessions in many countries, notably South Africa, the second biggest economy. The World Bank warned that as many as 40 million Africans could be driven into extreme poverty. The pandemic is expected to regress the economic output per person to 2007 levels by the end of next year, the bank said, and disrupt learning for 235 million students. “Disruptions in the tourism industry and lockdowns will cause substantial slow-downs in Ethiopia, Kenya, and the island nations,” the World Bank said. Economies which are not overly reliant on commodities, like Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal, will be spared from steep contractions, thanks to fairly robust outputs in their farming sectors, the bank said.