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Businessman: How pastor conned me of $38,000



… made my son to miss examination


Mr. Ken Chibueze Onu (an engineer) has narrated how Pastor Benedict Mgdire of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries, Georgia, United States of America (USA) branch, defrauded him of $38,000.

This was even as Onu claimed that his son, who attends the Chosen International Secondary School, was chased out of the school for not paying his fees. Onu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Kenglobal Trade and Industry Limited, said that he was also a member of the church.

He said: “I singlehandedly financed the opening of the Mbaitolu and Ikeduru branches of the church in Imo State. What is happening between Pastor Mgdire and I is quite unfortunate.

My son, who is schooling in the church’s school, located at Mgbidi Oru West, Local Government Area, Imo State, was sent out of the school because we couldn’t pay his school fees.”

Recollecting the genesis of his troubles, Onu said that after Mgdire returned from the U.S., he engaged him in discussions. He said: “I told him that I have a car park space on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.

He also told me that he had his own car showroom in the U.S. He told me that he used to import vehicles into the country and spare parts. One day, he came to borrow money from me.

By then, exchange rate was N500 per dollar.” Onu and Mgdire reached an agreement; rather than refund the money, Mgdire should ship vehicles to Onu. Onu said that he sourced most of the money from his banks and other means.

The money was later wired to Mgdire. He said: “I didn’t receive any vehicle. I called him several times, but he wouldn’t pick my calls. I suspected a foul play and reported to our General Overseer, Pastor Lazarus Muoka. Our GO told me that, if it was Mgdire, I shouldn’t worry. Other church ministers I complained to about him, said Mgdire was reliable.

I was so disturbed, because this was a breach of trust. He duped me! He lured me into his business and deceived me, using the name of God. He told me that if I could send a certain amount of money, he would supply me cars of my choice at a good rate.” When Onu realised that he was about to lose his money, his blood pressure jumped. He said that he almost died, but for God and his doctor.

He said: “My problem is that most of the money was borrowed from banks and the interest was galloping every day. At a point, I could no longer sleep. The pastor refused to pick my calls or do anything about our business deal.” Onu said that he tried to report the matter to as many pastors in the church as possible, but at a point, they all allegedly stopped picking his calls.

He decided to seek the intervention of their Public Relations Officer (PRO). The man allegedly told him to exercise patience, that the matter was an in-house one.

Onu said that eight months after, the bank loans and Mgdire’s inability to fulfil his part of the deal grounded his business and caused his son to be sent out of school.

He said: “Financially, my situation was getting worst. I could no longer take care of my family. I went to our GO and asked that the church should assist me; at least for my son to be allowed to continue his studies.” Onu was directed to the church education director, who after listening to him, replied that he was not in a position to do anything.

Onu was further pained after his boy was not allowed to sit for his examination. He added: “I called our GO several times until he picked. He told me that a lot of people had problems, just as I do. He said that if I couldn’t pay my son’s school fees, he shouldn’t come back to school.

I appealed to him to understand my predicament. I was into importation before now; and if not for what happened to me, I wouldn’t go to the GO to seek assistance for my son to continue his education.

Some of the buses the church is using, I assisted to buy them from the U.S. Until now, I have never gone to the church to seek help.” Thinking that his GO’s wife might be able to help, Onu sent several text messages to her, explaining his situation and that of his son. He said: “But my GO’s wife, Mrs. Joy Muoka, didn’t bother to reply my messages.

I was surprised because she used to be very nice to my family and I. I don’t know what went wrong. I don’t know my offence against the church. I don’t understand why the church and ministers abandoned my family and I. My financial situation was so bad that my landlord issued me a quit notice because I couldn’t pay my rent.” When everyone, especially his church failed him, Onu started making moves himself.

He tried to get information on when Mgdire might come into the country. In the course of probing, he discovered that Mgdire had been to Nigeria several times with consignments, but usually leaves immediately after selling them. Onu had to report the matter to the police. When our correspondent called Muoka about the matter, he said that he was not aware of it.

He added: “If there is any issue of such in the church, the people involved should settle the matter.” But Onu said he later recovered a container valued at $20,000 from Mgdire.

He said: “We were able to track the container from the U.S., while monitoring his activities. We got information recently from a reliable source that Mgdire shipped in goods, which included vehicles and spare parts in a container.

We went to the terminal at Apapa, Lagos, where the container was cleared. Later, we learnt that he moved the container into the country through Ghana. I heard that he has been shipping containers full of goods into the country through Ghana. After selling the whole things, he would travel back to the U.S. without bothering to see me; me that he collected money from for over two years.”

On the day that Mgdire entered Landipo Market to contact people to buy some of the cars and parts he shipped into Nigeria, Onu got the information and alerted the police. Mgdire was arrested and moved to the State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba. Reacting to allegation levelled against him, Mgdire said: “Onu is like a brother to me. What happened between the two of us was a mere misunderstanding. Onu got police to lock me; he’s just suffering my body, not my soul.”

Mgdire’s brother-in-law, Dr. Tony Onwuka, who took his bail and stood surety, said that he couldn’t speak with our correspondent until he had contacted his lawyer.

Onwuka, however, said: “I believe that the issue between my brother-inlaw and Onu can be settled without going to press or making it public knowledge.”

Mgdire’s lawyer, Arthur, said that the two parties involved had agreed to resolve the matter amicably because they were brothers. He disclosed that Mgdire had earlier sent a car and $1,500 to Onu as part of money owed him. The Lagos Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Chike Oti, said that the matter was still under investigation.

Metro and Crime

Remarkable achievement! Nigerian-American girl born without hands wins handwriting competition



An inspirational story of a 9-year-old Nigerian-American girl, Anaya Ellick, is trending after she emerged winner of two national awards for exceptional handwriting skills in America. The feat, as outstanding as it is, is made even more remarkable considering that she was born without hands.

A third-grader in the Chesapeake area of Virginia in the United States, Ellick beat hundreds of others who competed with her to the award in competition in spite of her physical challenges.

She was named winner of the 2018 Nicholas Maxim Award, which is part of the 2018 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest on April 26. Ellick’s tale of extraordinary proportions shows she previously won the Nicholas Maxim Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship when she was a first grader two years ago.

Her story, one of the most profound depictions of the popular maxim – there is ability is disability, indicates that people should never limit the extent of their dreams and aspirations no matter the circumstance. With her feat, the amazing young girl has brought glory not just to her family but as well to Nigeria through academic brilliance.

The accomplishment by the girl, who found a way to be the best at writing despite the fact that she was born without hands, has left many observers wondering how she was able to pull it off. According to the organisers, the award recognises students with special-needs who have developed an exceptional skill in handwriting and even they are astonished that the 9-year-old who was also named winner of the contest’s print category, could do it again on a larger scale.

Being so close to home, Saturday Telegraph gathered that the little girl who doesn’t use prosthetic hands, took an unconventional approach to it all. She took time to learn how to hold a pencil between her arms both for the purposes of drawing and writing.

On account of the feat, her school has taken the lead in celebrating the Nigerian-American on social media. “Greenbrier Christian Academy is proud to announce third grader Anaya Ellick has won the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Cursive!,” a post by the school began.Anaya previously won the Nicholas Maxim Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship as a first grader in 2016 and has claimed the title again with her outstanding cursive writing. “What makes Anaya’s achievement as a National Handwriting Champion so special is Anaya was born without hands and does not use prosthetic.

In order to write, she is able to hold a pencil between her two arms and stand at her desk to get the proper angle needed for writing. “Anaya is an extraordinary young lady. Her tenacity continues to inspire all of us at GCA. She has well-earned first place finish reminds us all what determination and hard work can achieve.

We are so proud of Anaya and her accomplishments. “During our Foundations Academy Chapel, Anaya’s teacher, Mrs. Becky Cannaday, shared a message on our character trait of the month, boldness, and on the importance of letting your light shine for God’s glory.

“Cannaday encouraged students to be bold and reminded our Gators that boldness does not always mean being front and center, but can also be shown by humbly standing alone in doing the right thing, even when everyone else is not. Mrs. Cannaday went on challenge students to respectfully love others and to not be fooled by the world into acting in ways that do not glorify God. “As at the time of going to the press, after Cannaday’s message, representatives from Zaner-Bloser presented Anaya with a monetary award and trophy.

The National Handwriting Contest is an annual event sponsored by Zaner-Bloser to promote legible handwriting,” the message concludes. In a statement, GCA Principal, Tracy Cox, also spoke about the remarkable 9-year-old. “Anaya is a remarkable young lady.

She does not let anything get in the way of doing what she has set out to do,” said. “She is a hard worker and has some of the best handwriting in her class. Her determination is an inspiration to all of us at GCA,” she said.

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Metro and Crime

LCDA creation: Oke Ogun community hails Ajimobi on grassroots devt



Residents of Wewe, one of the 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) created from the 33 Local Government Areas of Oyo State on January 16, 2018, have given kudos to the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi for affording them at the grassroots level the opportunity of directly participating in the governance of the 42-year-old Pace setter state.

The commendation is sequel to the election and swearing in of the Council Chairman, Mr Olaniyi Olusegun Olawuwo, who was the first Caretaker Chairman of the area, created from the Saki West Local Government, and had within a very short period of time touched many of the sectors of the area.

Wewe community is known for its heavy reliance on agriculture, as well as some economic activities like iron pots, shear butter, bakery, table water factories and modern day businesses including tourist centre. Bordered in the East by Saki East Local Government; in the North by ATISBO Local Government; in the West by Saki West Local Government, and in the South by Asabari LCDA, Wewe LCDA covers about 60 kilometres terrain around a waterlogged area with many rivers adjoining Wewe River, which the LCDA was named after. According to Olawuwo, while speaking with Saturday Telegraph, his administration had been able to embark on and completed over 31 various projects including agricultural and natural resources, environment health, education and social services, primary health care, road construction among others.

Olawuwo while recounting his experience as the pioneer caretaker chairman and his mission to transform the LCDA said the creation of the council had in no small measure justified the reason Governor Abiola Ajimobi established the LCDA.

The level of development since the creation of LCDA has really gone deeper into the grassroots in the old local government areas. By the time we are privileged to execute our mission for this LCDA, without mincing words, it would be clear to everyone, even the critics of Governor Ajimobi, that the creation of LCDAs is primarily for the good of our people at the grassroots as promised by our Governor. “When I came on board, it was evident to me that we have a lot to do to key into the vision of our governor in ensuring development across the length and breadth of Oyo State.

You will recall vividly that his administration is championing rural and urban development. The urban cities have been enjoying massive development, so creation of LCDAs will match deep rural development.

“At Wewe LCDA, we came on board with a lot of hopes on our shoulder, hence our resolve to set the area on the road of development. In conjunction with the staff, we have been able to prove that the LCDA will in truth serve as a spring board for eventual development and as a platform to get our people’s view and come up with their actual needs”, Olawuwo said.

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Metro and Crime

Court declares teacher’s sacking ‘unlawful’



The National Industrial Court, on Friday declared as `unlawful’ the dismissal of one Akpomovine Ojo-Gabriel for embarking on maternity leave by the Hillside School, Abuja. Justice Rakiya Haastrup in delivering the judgement ordered payment of her salary and cost of suit.

The judge said the defendant’s failure to recognise the claimant’s maternity leave and refusal to allow the claimant resume after her leave was unjustifiable.

Haastrup said the stopping of her salaries is in breach of the terms of contract of the parties as contained in the staff handbook. The judge said the defendant breached the agreement in the section of the handbook that dealt with maternity leave which the claimant was entitled to as a staff.

“The handbook stipulates one month notice or salary in lieu of notice is required where the employment relationship is to be terminated by either party,’’ she said. Haastrup said the act of the defendant in mandating the claimant to re-apply for her position was null and void.

She ordered the payment of the claimant one month basic salary and any other entitlements that may be due and accrued. The claimant was also awarded the sum of N50, 000 as cost of prosecuting the suit.

The court, however, said the claimant was not entitled to the claim for an order of reinstatement. The claimant’s counsel, Kingsley Osuji, said his client before her dismissal was a teacher at Hillside School, Abuja, until she left for a two months maternity leave which was duly sought for and approved.

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