Tuesday, January 24, 2012

WITNESSES: Nigerian Security Forces Killed A Man And A Pregnant Woman Early Tuesday Morning In Kano

KANO, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian security forces killed a man and a pregnant woman early Tuesday morning (24 January 2012) in an assault on a neighborhood in this northern city where at least 185 people died in a recent terror attack by a radical Islamist sect, witnesses said.

Assault rifle rounds left bullet holes in the cement walls of the home in the sprawling city of Kano. Its interior metal doors were peppered with holes as well. Inside a living room, blood pooled around beige sofas, with a single rifle cartridge left behind. A man in traditional robes sobbed as he stood in the puddle.
Witnesses said security forces surrounded the home early Tuesday morning and started a gun battle that lasted hours. Relative Musa Ibrahim Fate said the dead man was a retired worker from the country's education ministry. A Sedan inside the compound, also riddled with bullet holes, bore federal government license plates.

Fate said the man, who he declined to name, was not a member of the sect known as Boko Haram, which claimed responsibility for the coordinated attack Friday in Kano that left so many dead. Security forces took the two dead bodies away, with family members still trying to figure out how to claim them for burial before sundown as is Islamic tradition.
"He didn't belong to any religious group. Is it because of his beard?" Fate asked. "That means you cannot dress the way you are. Is it good? Is this how government is going to treat us?"

Kano state police spokesman Magaji Musa Majiya declined to immediately comment, saying the local commissioner of police would brief journalists later Tuesday. However, the scene around the house remained tense as locals pressed against the front gate Tuesday morning. A military attack helicopter circled overhead.
Friday's coordinated attack in Kano represents Boko Haram's deadliest assault since beginning a campaign of terror last year. Boko Haram has now killed 262 people in 2012, more than half of the 510 people the sect killed in all of 2011, according to an Associated Press count.

Nigeria's weak central government has been unable to stop the killings, and its heavy-handed military response has been criticized by civilians who live in fear of sect attacks and government reprisals.
Boko Haram wants to implement strict Shariah law and avenge the deaths of Muslims in communal violence across Nigeria, a multiethnic nation of more than 160 million people split largely into a Christian south and Muslim north.

While the sect has begun targeting Christians in the north, the majority of those killed Friday appeared to be Muslim, officials said.

Adekunle Adetiloye, A Native Of Nigeria Sentenced To 17.8 Years In Credit Fraud, Identity Theft …One Of The Largest High-Tech Bank Robberies In U.S. History

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS... A U.S. judge said a Toronto man will serve 18 years in a U.S. prison for his role in what authorities are calling one of the biggest credit card fraud schemes in American history.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson on Monday sentenced Adekunle Adetiloye to 214 months in prison for mail fraud. The judge scheduled a Feb. 15 hearing to discuss returning the nearly $1.5 million in losses to credit card companies and banks. Federal prosecutor Nick Chase said during Monday's sentencing hearing that Adetiloye had an "insatiable hunger for other people's money."

Defence attorney Richard Henderson had asked for a sentence of fewer than 16 years. Henderson says any prison time for his client, a native of Nigeria, is more difficult than it would be for American citizens because he has no family in the United States.

Adetiloye was born in Nigeria, but lived in Toronto before moving to the U.S.

Suspicious living
Adetiloye was unemployed and receiving welfare, but he was somehow still living lavishly, complete with a Range Rover vehicle, extended trips to England and an expensive condominium.

That alone piqued authorities' interest, but then there were two credit cards tucked away in his wallet that seemed to confirm suspicions that the Canadian man was up to something nefarious. The pieces of plastic each bore different names — Donald Douglas and Vincent Andriole — and helped authorities prosecute a case they describe as one of the largest high-tech bank robberies in U.S. history.
"Characterizing this fraud scheme as massive, if anything, is an understatement," Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Chase from North Dakota said in court documents. He was convicted of mail fraud, but authorities also believe he masterminded a scheme to open nearly 600 fraudulent bank accounts and bilk 22 major banks out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Lawyers on both sides have declined requests from the Associated Press to comment until the case is complete.

But investigators' efforts to deconstruct the multifarious case are laid out in the nearly 12,000 pages of court documents filed by lawyers in federal court.

Complex case
Greg Krier, lead credit card fraud investigator for U.S. Bank, testified that it's the most complex case he has ever seen. His company, which has its own fraud unit, launched special training sessions focusing on the case in hopes of catching the culprits.

The case wound up in North Dakota after U.S. Bank's customer service center in Fargo intercepted calls by Adetiloye and others.

The complexity of the scheme, which took five years to investigate and litigate, was highlighted in a sentencing phase that has lasted nearly a year and included numerous hearings and briefings.

The lead investigator, one of 25 people who worked on the case, put in 2,000 hours, authorities said.

Defence attorneys argued that their client, the only person charged in the case, was a "marginal and minimal participant" whose role was to handle mail and withdraw money from ATMs. The government and the judge have said otherwise.

Investigators said the operation accessed information of nearly 16,000 people, about 500 of whom had their identities stolen for the purpose of obtaining credit cards. It's alleged that more than 100 commercial mailboxes were opened under false or stolen identities.

The government said Adetiloye went so far as to mask his handwriting after a judge ordered a test of his calligraphy

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson said in court documents that the evidence "indisputably demonstrates" that Adetiloye was a leader or organizer of the scheme. The judge has calculated losses to banks at about $1.5 million, but said it could have been as high as $5 million if credit limits had been maxed out. The trauma cannot be measured, Erickson said.

"The non-monetary harm to the victims was substantial," the judge wrote. "They lost sleep, they lost time with their families, they lost time at work, and they lost their sense of security. Some victims spent hours trying to reclaim their credit record and their identities." Court documents show that U.S. Bank suffered the most number of tainted accounts, at 130, for a total loss of about $76,000. The companies alleged to have lost the most money were Citibank, at about $271,000, and Discover, at about $248,000.

Brett Bogan, the security investigations manager at Reed Elsevier, the parent company of LexisNexis and ChoicePoint, told the court that data breaches of this type are extremely rare and knew of only one other case like it. He said the company sent out notices to more than 32,000 people whose personal information was compromised by the scheme.

"With their combined extensive and nationwide perspective, those entities place this fraud scheme at or near the top of their historical lists in terms of size and complexity," Chase said in court documents.

'Roots' (TV Mini-Series 1977) 35 Years Later: Where Is The Cast Now?

On 23 January 1977, ABC aired the first of eight consecutive episodes of the twelve-hour mini-series Roots. Arguably the most successful television movie of all time, it was nominated for a combined 35 awards, and won 14, including nine Emmy awards.

Roots had a lasting impact on viewers, television, and its cast. On the 35th anniversary of its airing, the Blogger takes a look back at where the 'Roots' actors were then, and where they are now.

Cicely Tyson: 

Tyson, a former Ebony magazine model (and ex-wife of Miles Davis) earned an Emmy nomination for her role as Binta in Roots.
Tyson is also known for her Oscar-nominated role in the film Sounder, and she won an Emmy award for actress of the year in the television movie The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. In 2011, Tyson appeared in her first music video in Willow Smith's “21st Century Girl.”

O.J. Simpson:

Even before his retirement from the NFL, Simpson embarked on a successful film career with parts in films such as Roots, in which he played Kadi Touray.
In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. He is now serving out a 33-year sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery at the Lovelock Correctional Center.

John Amos: 

Prior to Roots Amos was best known for his father role on Good Times. In 1977, he received an Emmy nomination for his role as an older Kunta Kinte in Roots.
Amos has continued to play minor roles in film and on TV, but has failed to find a role as self-fulfilling and influential to his career since. Alternatively, Amos has found his way back to theater, where he’s been recognized in productions such as August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Fences.

Ed Asner: 

Asner appeared in the first three episodes of Roots as 
slave ship captain Thomas Davies. Primarily known for his Emmy
 Award-winning role as Lou Grant on both The Mary Tyler Moore
 Show and its spin-off series Lou Grant.
Asner has acted in nearly 300 films and TV series. In 2009, he starred as the voice of Carl Fredricksen in Pixar's award-winning animated film, Up.

LeVar Burton: 

Burton became an overnight star with compelling and sympathetic portrayal of the prideful protagonist Kunta Kinte.
Since Roots, Burton is best known for his portrayal of Geordi La Forge on the sci-fi series Star Trek: The Next Generation and his educational kids' show Reading Rainbow. His most recent directorial project Reach for Me, in which he also played a supporting role, was released in theaters in March 2008

Georg Stanford Brown: 

Brown is best known as one of the stars of the ABC 1970s police 
television series The Rookies. In Roots he played the 
great-grandfather of author Alex Haley (pictured, left).
Brown has gone on to work as both a director (episodes of Hill Street Blues) 
and as a character actor (on shows like Nip/Tuck)

Ben Vereen: 

Vereen was already an accomplished theater actor before he won the Emmy
 for his portrayal of ‘Chicken’ George Moore in Roots.
Vereen has continued to appear on and off-Broadway in plays such as A Christmas Carol, Chicago, Fosse, I’m Not Rappaport, and Wicked from the mid-90s onward.

Louis Gossett Jr.: 

Gossett Jr. won an Emmy for his portrayal of Fiddler, a conflicted slave and mentor to Kunta Kinte in Roots.
Gossett Jr. won an Academy Award for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman. He has also won and two Golden Globe Awards in an acting career that spans over 50 years.

Leslie Uggams: 

Her portrayal of Kizzy won her the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1978, and an Emmy nomination for Best Leading Actress.
When not performing in the theater, Uggams can be found touring the country. She recently won an Audelco award for her performance in First Breeze of Summer, at the off-Broadway Signature Theater

{Credits - thegrio}

“Yes, I Am Still Wearing My Wedding Ring”… Seal On Divorce To Heidi Klum

It's a bling thing: Seal was still wearing his wedding ring as he stepped out in LA today ( Jan. 23. ) for the first time since his split from Heidi Klum
Singer Seal taped an episode of The Ellen Degeneres show set which aired yesterday, Jan. 23.

Although it was rumored the “Kiss From A Rose” singer would not discuss his pending divorce to Heidi Klum, Seal did open up about his feelings on the shocking announcement and revealed the reason why he continues to wear his wedding ring.

“I think we were shocked. You go into these things with the greatest intentions when you say ‘I do’ and you say ’til death do us part.’ Those vows hold value. They are not just words… You try and you work through it and the thing that you quickly realize when you are married and you become a parent you do the best that you can. It makes you actually appreciate your parents a lot more. The thing that I’m most proud about this great woman who I married (and I really do mean that from the bottom of my heart), is that together she has given me four incredible gifts…four beautiful children [Leni, Henry, Johan, and Lou]. She still, in my opinion is the most wonderful woman in the world. I think our priority was to remain civil and do this thing with dignity. We still very much love each other,” the 48-year-old singer said to host Ellen about his divorce from Heidi Klum. “To say that neither of us were grieving would be an out and out lie (and I don’t mind telling you that). I think the operative here is that we are civil to each other and we both have a tremendous amount of respect and love and we try and do this with as much dignity as we possibly can.”
Happy families: The couple have four children, Leni, seven, Henry, six, Johan, five and Lou, two
“Yes, I am still wearing my ring. I think it’s just pretty much a token of how I feel about this woman. We have eight years. Eight wonderful years together. Just because we have decided to separate doesn’t necessarily mean you take off your ring and you’re no longer connected to that person. We will be connected in many ways ‘til the rest of our lives…. though our children and also through this tremendous admiration, respect and love that we have for each other,” Seal said.
“Will we wear the ring for the rest of our lives? Who knows? But right now it feels really comfortable on my hand so I have intentions of taking it off anytime soon.”

Seal seems to be hoping for a possible reconciliation! Wishes do come through

Monday, January 23, 2012

BOKO HARAM: Bishop Oyedepo Spits Fire…“If It Is The Wish Of God For Nigeria To Break Up, God, Break It Now"

Following the unabated spate of bombings in the country, the Senior Pastor of Living Faith Church Worldwide (a.k.a Winners Chapel), Bishop David Oyedepo, has released God's judgement missiles into the camp of Boko Haram.

In his sermon on Sunday at Canaanland, Ota, he said:"Everyone connected with the escape of the Boko Haram kingpin, would soon face the wrath of God.

He declared his readiness to lead a revolution against jihadists, who continue to terrorise Nigerians and threaten the unity the country through their activities.

"God has anointed me to lead a revolution against jihadists. Enough is enough of their activities," he said
Speaking further, Bishop Oyedepo said, "if it is the wish of God for the country to break up. God, break it now."

He also warned that, "If the church should arise, Nigeria will no more be a nation."

11 Robbery Suspects Arrested In Lagos Through A Careless Randy Gang Member Who Gave His Telephone Number To Female Housemaid After Robbery Operation

Lagos – The Police on Saturday in Lagos arrested 11 members of a robbery gang, through the mobile telephone number, given by a randy member of the gang to his girl friend.

A reliable police source said on Sunday that the detectives arrested the robbers through the randy suspect. The randy suspect was traced through the GSM number which he gave to the house girl, after the gang robbed the household the girl was serving.

The source explained that the suspected robber, who was expecting a call from the girl, whom he instantly fell in love with, was picked up, leading detectives to arrest 10 others member of the gang.

Two dismissed policemen were said to be among the robbery gang members arrested.

“The GSM number we got from the girl actually helped us,’’ said one of the detectives. He said that the robbery, which took place at No. 4, Akin Aioko Bakari Close, Langbasa in Ajah, a suburb of Lagos, was masterminded by a security guard (names withheld) in the house.

“The 32-year-old guard, who is an indigene of Kebbi State, invited the dismissed policemen to rob his employer,’’ the source added. He disclosed further that the ex-policemen thereafter invited a gang of seven suspected armed robbers, who carried out the operation.

According to the source, a commercial motorcycle operator who is a brother to the guard also assisted the gang in carrying out the operation. The source also alleged that the suspects went away with N17,000 cash, some property and a luxury car, all estimated at N8.3 million.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Samuel Jinadu, confirmed the arrest of the suspects, saying that the detectives recovered two pistols used in the operation from the dismissed policemen.

He said that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation on the arrest was completed. (NAN)

Nigerian Police Kill Four Boko Haram Members

Nigerian police said today they shot dead four members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram in the northeast city of Maiduguri and recovered explosive materials stored in a car, two days after the sect carried out its most deadly attacks.

Bomb attacks and fierce gun battles between the sect and police on Friday in Nigeria's second largest city Kano killed at least 178 people, according to hospital staff.

Kano is hundreds of kilometres west of Maiduguri, Boko Haram's home town.
"Four members of Boko Haram sect involved in killings in Maiduguri and environs have been under surveillance of security agencies and have been shot dead in Pomomari area of Maiduguri yesterday," an officer in the joint military task force said in a statement.

"Various IED (improvised explosive device) materials prepared for detonation were recovered from their car."
Deadly: The soldiers uncovered these fizzy drink cans filled with explosives in an abandoned car
Boko Haram, which was formed in Maiduguri in 2002, has killed hundreds of people in the last year, mostly in and around its home state of Borno, though its attacks have been spreading across the north of Africa's most populous nation.

Residents in Kano, a city of more than 10 million people, began to return to work today amid a heavy military presence as soldiers searched vehicles at dozens of checkpoints set up on the city's wide, dusty streets.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been severely criticised for not getting a grip on Boko Haram, a group he says have infiltrated the police, military and all areas of government.

Boko Haram, a Hausa term meaning "Western education is sinful", is loosely modelled on Afghanistan's Taliban.

The sect originally said it wanted sharia, Islamic law, to be applied more widely across Nigeria but its aims appear to have changed.

The sect focuses its attacks mostly on the police, military and government, but has attacked Christians more recently. It says it is fighting enemies who have wronged its members through violence, arrests or economic neglect and corruption.

Madonna University Final Year Student, Rammy Yesufu Slumps and Dies On Football Pitch

Late Rammy Yesufu   
Rammy Yesufu a final year student of Madonna University and also a member of the prestigious ABF Football and Social club, Adeniyi Jones, died yesterday while playing football on the pitch. He was said to have slumped, tried to get up but fell back before his friends rushed to him and took him to a nearby hospital. Just as the Nurse laid him down for treatment he gave up the ghost. 
Twitter Condolence...
Rammy Yesufu will be buried today at VGC, Lagos.

May his Soul RIPP…

{Story via ladunliadi, image via facebook}

30 Rock Star Tracy Morgan Rushed To Hospital At Sundance Festival After 'Falling Unconscious'

In good spirits: The actor didn't show any signs of feeling unwell as he posed with his fiancé
He was pictured smiling with his fiancé just hours earlier. But 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan is said to have been rushed to a hospital moments ago at the Sundance Film Festival, according to reports. The actor fell fell unconscious at an award ceremony TMZ has reported.

Tracy was being honoured at the Creative Coalition Spotlight Awards in Park City, Utah before he became unresponsive. Sources have told TMZ he 'appeared extremely intoxicated' as he got up to accept his award. He is said to have been escorted out of the building and fell unconscious outside.
Tracy had spent the evening socialising with other famous faces including his 30 Rock co-star James Marsden and actress Melissa Leo. According to the website an ambulance was then called and he was taken to hospital. Amy Roberts, spokesperson for Park City Medical Center, told TMZ that there was no drugs or alcohol found in the actor's system.
Co-stars: Morgan posed for a photo with 30 Rock actor James Marsden
Lewis Kay, representative for the actor, told the website in a statement: 'From a combination of exhaustion and altitude, Tracy is seeking medical attention.

'He is with his fiancé and grateful to the Park City Medical Center for their care. Any reports of Tracy consuming alcohol are 100 per cent false.'
Tracy has found himself in hospital in the past after being diagnosed with diabetes in the nineties and also having a kidney transplant in late 2010.


Britons Warned Against Travelling To Parts Of Nigeria As Bombing Death Toll Rises To 178

Visit: Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan travelled to Kano today, where he said the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram would 'face the full wrath of the law'
British travellers are being warned not to travel to parts of Nigeria after Friday's terrorist bombing that left scores of people dead. The death toll in the bombing, carried out by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram, in the northern city of Kano yesterday rose to 178 but the number could still rise.

The British Foreign office yesterday updated its travel advice for Nigeria with a warning that people should not travel to Kano.
Crowd: A number of people gathered to see President Jonathan as he visited the burnt office of the Assistant Inspector General of police
Foreign Secretary William Hague also spoke about the attack, saying he was 'shocked and appalled' by the violence. On its website, the FCO said: 'We advise against all travel to Kano whilst the curfew remains in force and for those in Kano to remain vigilant and to exercise caution.

'DFID (Department for International Development) and British Council have limited their operations in Kano whilst the curfew is in place.' It also urged British nationals in Nigeria to comply with all curfews.
Protection: A group of soldiers await President Jonathan's arrival at Kano airport to visit the city
Mr Hague said: 'The nature of these attacks has sickened people around the world and I send my deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of those killed and to those injured. 'There is no place in today's world for such barbaric acts and I condemn in the strongest possible terms those who carried them out. 'These events underline the importance of the international community standing together in the face of terrorism in all its forms.'

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan yesterday visited Kano and said Boko Haram would 'face the full wrath of the law'.
Deadly: The soldiers uncovered these fizzy drink cans filled with explosives in an abandoned car
He visited victims in hospital before traveling to the palace of the Emir, the city's Muslim figurehead. There he added: 'Our coming today is to express our condolence to the good people of Kano over the dastardly acts.

'Those causing havoc will never succeed ... The federal government will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to book. We will not rest until these terrorists are wiped out.'

Seal & Heidi Confirm Their Split After Seven Years Of Marital Bliss, Saying “WE HAVE GROWN APART”

The sad news which broke late last week that the seemingly happy couple were headed to divorce came as a shock…but Heidi & Seal have now come forward confirming their split after seven years of marital bliss.
All over? Seal has left cryptic Twitter messages on his homepage
The couple who have four children, Henry, Johan, Lou, and Leni, released a statement to People magazine stating that they simply grew apart. 
“While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy years of marriage, after much soul-searching we have decided to separate.

We have had the deepest respect for one another throughout our relationship and continue to love each other very much, but we have grown apart. This is an amicable process and protecting the well-being of our children remains our top priority, especially during this time of transition.

We thank our family, friends, and fans for their kind words of support. And for our children’s sake, we appreciate you respecting our privacy.”

Saturday, January 21, 2012

PHOTO: Joshua JEGEDE, Staff of GTBank Died Yesterday During Kano Multiple Bomb Blasts…

Joshua JEGEDE of GTbank was reportedly shot around SSS office on his way home back from office yesterday evening.

@faruksm tweeted, “My former colleague at GTBank, Joshua Jegede, was lost in the crossfire yesterday, on the way to his house near SSS office”
Joshua was married barely a year ago. May his sould RIPP…

More Twitter commiseration for late Joshua JEGEDE below:



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