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Feel free, unleash the talents in you

Oluwatoyin Mercy Olojo
Feel free! Love yourself! The role of self-love in truly being free cannot be overemphasized.
It goes beyond the feeling. Man! Woman! When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Do you see only your weaknesses or you can see your strengths too? Do you see just a baby-making factory, a common babysitter, just a breadwinner or you see a nurturer, husbandman, and builder of nations?
Do you see yourself as unworthy or weak? Do you see a trouble maker and gossip or a peacemaker? Do you see your filthy past or your glorious future? It is time to speak who you truly are into existence. This gradually helps you to consciously be who you should be.
You will have to accept yourself before you can have the world accept you. It’s not rocket science, you have to understand a product very well before you can successfully sell the same product to another person except you don’t mind looking silly to people.
You need to permit yourself to be the person God created you to be without apologies or fear. Be unapologetically successful. If Mary was not consecrated enough for the Savior to have come through her, He would have still been born of another virgin.
If she had given excuses to the angel Gabriel when He visited her instead of rejoicing, she might have been replaced. Luke 1:38 says that: “Mary responded, ‘I am the Lord’s servant, May everything you have said about me come true. And then the angel left her”.
If also Elizabeth had allowed strife, she would not have blessed her younger cousin, Mary as in Luke 1:42-45. Realize the power of being you. Understand your uniqueness. You are not just unique for nothing but God’s unique use. Deuteronomy 9:5-6 (KJV) says:
“Not for thy righteousness, or the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations, the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand, therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiff-necked people”
This shows that even though you are special, you are highly replaceable. This is because you are not chosen. After all, you are perfect but that God should be glorified. If God has shown you a place to function, someone else was most likely meant to be there before you but failed God. Would you also do the same?
Do not let yourself shrink. Society might have relegated you to certain roles as a woman especially as a second in command. However, you choose to understand or believe that, it is imperative to note that whoever you have been called by God to be could have been given to a man if he could do it the same way you can do it.
Refuse to be in the background when you’re designed for the spotlight. Be bold to be you; Love yourself, feel free and follow your purpose. True authenticity is being truly you! Hiding in the shadows of someone else for the sake of validation is tantamount to being fake.
Understand your uniqueness and make sure it portrays and glorifies God.
Does your approach to work and relationship with people point to God’s will? Do people see you and thank God? They won’t thank God for you if you are underutilized; they won’t thank God if you shrink or hide.
Learn to differentiate humility from timidity.
Not rising to responsibility is not being humble. Not fulfilling destiny is not being humble. Wouldn’t you rather die empty?
Commitment and consistency cannot be overemphasized as instruments to being free to be you. True success is being committed to who you were created to be. Avoid distractions! Stay on God’s word, be consistent!
“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62) KJV
There is never a time to look back. A man once said that if looking back was more important, the side mirrors and rearview mirrors of a vehicle will be bigger than its windshields.
Your future is not behind you.  It is trapped inside of you; unleash it! It is not about claiming sonship in God, it takes self-discovery. Sit down and ask yourself the value of your purpose to you and what it takes to fulfill it! To be truly free is to manifest God without any restrictions.
These are the days of His power and power is mainly reserved for people in authority. What do you exercise authority over? Are you ready to take charge of your territory for Christ?
The extent to which you can be convinced enough and be at liberty to be you is determined by the extent of God’s Spirit you carry. The Holy Spirit convinces, teaches, and guides you as well as encourages you in the Lord. God’s Spirit in you enables you to do the mind of God; to love as God loves, forgive as He does, and be kind to all mankind.
These are not the days of Esther, Deborah, Mary, or Hannah; these are your days and my days. Unfortunately, our time here on earth is limited and is a strong determinant of our place in eternity. Pending when you discover your place, be free to fit into God’s general purpose for mankind which is to bring Glory to Him, witnessing His love to all mankind.
You can’t be too old to make Heaven. You can only be too old to make an impact or to be who you were created to be. Begin now and regain the freedom to be you as to when you were a child!
Toyin, a motivational speaker, lives in Lagos


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P&ID fraud : Court convicts, winds up Marqott Nigeria Limited.

Owolola Adebola

Justice D.U Okorowo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has convicted and wound up Marqott Nigeria Limited,  one of the 30 companies associated with the  Process and Industrial Development Limited, P & ID,  for money laundering.

The company was convicted on Thursday,  June 16, 2022, after being found guilty of four-count charges bordering on money laundering preferred against it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Count one of the charges read: “That you, Marqott Nigeria Limited, being a designated Non-financial Institution; and Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca, being directors of and signatories to the bank account of Marqott Nigeria Limited, sometime in September 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to comply with the requirements of submitting to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, a declaration of activities of Marqott Nigeria Limited contrary to Section 16(1) (f) read together with Section 5(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011(as amended and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”

Count two read:  “That you, Marqott Nigeria Limited, being a designated Non-financial Institution; and Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca, being directors of and signatories to the bank account of Marqott Nigeria Limited, sometime in September 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to develop programs to combat money laundering and other illegal acts, to wit: failure to designate at management level a compliance officer within any strata of Marqott Nigeria Limited, contrary to Section 16(1)(f) read together with Section 9(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act”.

At the point of the first arraignment on February 7, 2022,  the defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, setting the stage for a full trial.

In the course of the trial, the EFCC presented many witnesses and tendered many documents as exhibits.

In his judgment,  Justice Okorowo found Marqott Nigeria Limited guilty of all the four-count charges and convicted it accordingly.   He also ordered that the company be wound up  and its entire assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Marqott was first arraigned on Monday,  February 7, 2022, for being an accomplice in the $9.6bn Gas Supply and Processing Agreement between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and  P&ID.

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N25.7bn fraud: Appeal Court affirms conviction of ex-Bank PHB MD, Atuche, others

Atuche and wife

Owolola  Adebola

A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division,  on Thursday, June 23, 2022,  upheld the conviction of a former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB Plc, Francis Atuche, as well as the bank’s former Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu.

Atuche and his co-convict, Anyanwu, had approached the appellate court to set aside their conviction by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on June 16, 2021, over a N25.7 billion fraud.

The panel, comprising Justices Sadiq Umar, Adebukola Banjoko and Kayode Bada, while resolving all the issues in the appeal in favour of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) except the sentencing, also clarified that Atuche’s jail term was 12 years concurrently, rather than 120 years,  handed down by the lower court, if calculated consecutively.

Also,  the panel reduced Anyanwu’s jail term from 10 years to eight years and affirmed the discharge and acquittal of Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth.

In an abridged ruling read by Justice Umar, the three-man panel upheld the EFCC’s arguments and unanimously dismissed the appeal.

It would be recalled that,  in 2021, Justice Okunnu, while sentencing Atuche and Anyanwu, had upheld the arguments of the prosecution counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, SAN.

About three years after their arraignment by the EFCC in 2011, they had approached the Court of Appeal, to challenge their trial by the lower court for lack of jurisdiction.
 But in a judgment delivered in September 2016, the court ordered Justice Okunnu to hands-off the trial but did not quash the numbers of counts against the defendants.
 Consequently, the EFCC  approached the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment and order a trial in the matter.
In its judgment,  the apex court directed that the case be returned to Justice Okunnu for the continuation of trial.
While the trial lasted,   Pinheiro opposed Atuche’s contention that the funds in dispute were loaned and not stolen.
Delivering judgment, Justice Okunnu had held that “The first and third defendants did not debunk the evidence of the prosecution that the loans were used to purchase shares.
“They rather contended that the monies granted as a loan could be used for whatever purposes.” The trial court,  therefore, sentenced Atuche and Anyanwu, but acquitted Atuche’s wife.

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Jamoh raises hope on removal of war risk insurance  on Nigeria- bound cargo


— as Lloyd’s of London meets September with stakeholders
Eyewitness reporter
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has given assurance of early resolution of the vexed issue of war risk issuance slammed by the international shipping cartel on Nigeria- bound cargo.
The surcharge was imposed on Nigeria-bound cargo during the heady days of piracy on Nigerian waters.
But due to the efforts of NIMASA with the collaboration of other sister agencies, pirate incidents were brought down to a minimal level so much so that Nigeria has had zero piracy attacks since the beginning of 2022.
This has led the country to be removed from the red list of pirate nations in March 2022.
However, despite this feat, the international shipping cartel still maintains the war risk insurance on Nigeria- cargo.
This has made NIMASA embark on a campaign to make the shipping cartel drop the surcharge.
However, Dr. Jamoh, while speaking during the tour of NIMASA facilities in Lagos by the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, gave an indication of early removal of the surcharge.
According to him,  the Lloyd’s of London, which are the coordinators of insurance surcharges on Nigeria- bound cargoes, will meet in September to deliberate on Nigeria’s request for review of the surcharge.
” Our hope is that by September this year, the issue of War Risk Insurance will be addressed when the Lloyd’s of London, coordinators of insurance surcharges on Nigerian bound cargoes meet to deliberate on our position paper which highlights the short, medium, and long term plans to sustain the achievements in our war against piracy in Nigeria” NIMASA DG declared.
Meanwhile, Senator Gbemisola Saraki has expressed satisfaction with the management of NIMASA while she was on a tour of the assets and equipment of the agency in Lagos on Wednesday.
 Among the assets inspected included the NIMASA Command, Control and Computer Centre (C4i), the NIMASA Modular Floating Dockyard, the NIMASA E-library and Vessels belonging to the Agency undergoing dry docking at the Naval Dockyard Victoria Island.

The Honorable Minister expressed delight at the equipment and assets of NIMASA, stating that it underscores the importance the Federal Government attaches to combating maritime crimes and ensuring zero tolerance for illegal activities on the nation’s territorial waters.

While commending the synergy and collaboration amongst agencies of Government in the maritime sector, the Honorable Minister expressed delight at the fact that Nigeria has witnessed piracy-free waters since 2022.

Accordingly, she said; “for over 28 years, we have been in the press for the wrong reasons, over the piracy issues at the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).

” We were there when Mr. President commissioned the DEEP BLUE PROJECT last year and within that short frame of time, we have broken the jinx, and for the last five months zero attacks, so I think that says it all for my assessment of NIMASA”.

Furthermore, Senator Saraki noted the need to sustain the momentum to ensure Nigeria remains attractive to investors, adding that the Ministry is delighted at the steps NIMASA is taking to address the issue of War Risk Insurance premium on Nigerian Bound Cargoes.

“The most important thing now is that we don’t rest on our oars. The Free Trade Agreement and how it affects Nigeria is our focus.

“We hope to create an enabling environment to be very attractive and highly competitive when compared to neighboring countries and collaboration amongst all maritime agencies of Government in terms of information gathering and sharing is key in achieving this”. she said.

However, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh disclosed that the focus of the agency is sustaining the achievements in recent times, adding that the plans are in three categories of short medium and long term.

“Our focus now is to sustain the tempo

 “We are very optimistic that the clamour for the removal of war risk insurance premium on Nigerian bound cargos will soon yield positive results.
” The international community desires sustainability of Nigeria’s war on piracy and maritime crimes. The good thing is that they are part and parcel of our processes and procedures.
“We have the Nigeria Join Industry Working Group where all stakeholders including the INTERTANKO, the largest owners of tankers in the world, the INTERCARGO, the largest owners of Cargos in the world and the major oil marketing companies meeting regularly discussing developments in the Nigerian Maritime industry.
” We have also strengthened our collaboration with the Nigerian Navy.
” The SHADE Gulf of Guinea is another platform where inter-regional organisations such as the ICC and the European Union foster collaboration to secure the Gulf of Guinea.

“Though Nigeria was removed from the red list of piracy nations on the 3rd of March this year, it is natural that the international community will desire sustainability.

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