Good name, the Yoruba are wont to say, is better than gold and riches.
But some individuals seem not to see any rhyme or reason in this proverbial saying; hence, they don’t care a hoot sacrificing their family name on the altar of inordinate ambition.
Before our very eyes, Buruji Kashamu, a politician and businessman, by his actions and inactions, has shown evidence of a man who is less bordered about his name being dragged in the mud or carrying a perpetual blot.
The world, for the first time, had been drawn to his moral bankruptcy in 1998 when former President Olusegun Obasanjo had given a damning verdict on him.
Obasanjo’s vitriolic attack had come on the heels of Kashamu’s arrest in the United Kingdom on drugs-related charges after trying to enter the country with the sum of $230,000.
Though he was acquitted and released in 2003, the British authorities had subsequently refused a request seeking his extradition on drug charges by the United States of America, USA.
The British authorities, in declining the extradition request, had expressed concerns about his identity.
Obasanjo, who would not want the global community to tar the generality of the Nigerian citizenry with the brush of criminality, had then issued the famous statement that Kashamu’s “ ongoing freedom illustrated that drug barons will buy candidates, parties and eventually buy power or be in power themselves.”
Since then, Kashamu has been playing hide and seek with the law enforcement agencies, claiming he is not the wanted man!
Even then, big-framed Kashamu stirred another controversy when people claimed he is the character, Alhaji, the drug kingpin in the fictional work entitled Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman.
Again, Kashamu was in the news for the bad reason when he contested for governor on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019.
Kashamu, who has been evading extradition by the government to face criminal charges over drugs-related issues in the US, had put up all imaginable drama to secure the party’s ticket and also battled Ladi Adebutu, son of Sir Kessington Adebutu, to clinch the ticket.
As fate would have it, Kashamu, who once represented the Ogun East Senatorial district, was trounced by Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the election, which he considered a do-or-die affair.
Surprisingly, eight months after his “celebrated” defeat, Kashamu is back in the news still unable to accept the rude shock to his life.
To him, Ladi Adebutu was a spoke in the wheel of his political ambition. To him, the Adebutu exposed him to underserved ridicule.
Therefore, Kashamu, last Tuesday, he bared his fang on the Adebutus. But sadly, he inadvertently exposed his satanic tendencies to the chagrin of even his lean fans in and outside the state.
In a report by a section of the media, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC was said to have gone after Sir Kessington Adebutu, Chairman of Premier Lotto, over alleged tax fraud.
The EFCC action, according to the report, followed a petition submitted by Kashamu, who is behind Western Lotto.
Interestingly, Kashamu, who has failed to exercise restrain in his desperation, has further exposed the anti-graft agency as lacking in diligence and a willing tool in the hands of even unscrupulous elements in the society.
It is now clear that Kashamu’s personage thrives only on controversies.
But those who know better say he will return worsted this time round “because there is no iota of truth in the allegation.”
It is a fact the octogenarian businessman has been widely hailed as pioneering inclusive gaming in Nigeria.
Today, many have gone into the business, creating thousands of jobs for teeming Nigerian youths.
In fact, Adebutu’s betting exploits, it is said, had made former President Olusegun Obasanjo to establish a federal agency to regulate lotteries across Nigeria in 2005.
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Facebook Announces its New Office in Lagos, Nigeria
As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent. Aimed at supporting the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region, the office is expected to become operational in H2 2021 and will be the first on the continent to house a team of expert engineers building for the future of Africa and beyond.Facebook’s office will be home to various teams servicing the continent from across the business, including Sales, Partnerships, Policy, Communications as well as Engineers.Commenting, Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Head of New Product Experimentation said: “The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world. All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm. We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem.” The investment of the new Facebook office follows the 2018 opening of NG_Hub, its first flagship community hub space in Africa in partnership with CcHub, and the 2019 opening of a Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos, in partnership with Teleperformance. Providing outsourced support to all English-speaking advertisers across Sub-Saharan Africa, the SBG office supports Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) through its Advocacy, Community & Education (ACE) programme, as well as its Marketing Expert sales programmes – all aimed at enabling SMBs to accelerate the growth and development of their businesses. “Our new office in Nigeria presents an important milestone which further reinforces our ongoing commitment to the region”, commented Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s Director of Public Policy, Africa. “Our mission in Africa is no different to elsewhere in the world – to build community and bring the world closer together, and I’m excited about the possibilities that this will create, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa.” Since the opening of its first office in 2015, Facebook has made a number of investments across the continent, aimed at supporting and growing the tech ecosystem, expanding and providing reliable connectivity infrastructures and helping businesses to grow locally, regionally and globally. This includes the recent rollout of its SMB Grants programme in Nigeria and South Africa, aimed at supporting over 900 businesses by providing a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild from COVID. The development of 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable project that will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, as well as its ongoing training programmes across the continent which support various communities including students, SMBs, digital creatives, female entrepreneurs, start-up’s and developers. Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa,said: “We’re delighted to be announcing our new office in Nigeria. Five years on from opening our first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa, we’re continuing to invest in and support local talent, as well as the various communities that use our platforms. The office in Lagos will also be key in helping to expand how we service our clients across the continent.”
Billionaire Businessman, Harry Akande, Battles Shoprite
Billionaire Harry Ayoade Akande towers above many of his contemporaries, particularly because he has been in warm embrace of fame for many decades.
Beyond his famed status as a successful businessman, he has also remained very relevant owing to his uncommon brilliance, a quality that has endeared him to many across the globe.
The Agbaoye of Ibadan, who set out to pursue his dreams quite early in life, had served as a business advisor and consultant to many other businessmen, including governments of several nations.
The world-class businessman in the past has scored many firsts in the nation’s business climate to the envy of many of his competitors.
Indeed, he would have scored yet another first in 2005, as the South African retail store, Shoprite, had several meetings with his company, AIC Limited, and agreed his company would be the exclusive operator and manager of its brand across West Africa, except Ghana where the Shoprite brand was already established.
Consequently , there were a series of business meetings between Akande’s representatives and Shoprite Checkers first in South Africa on April 16, 1998 and then at Akande’s office in Victoria Island, Lagos on May 27, 1998.
Shoprite was also said to have flown in representatives who were shown possible locations for retail stores at some locations ,including Lekki Roundabout, Trade fair Complex and Lagos National Theatre, Iganmu.
But when the South African retail giant was ready to commence operations in Nigeria, it allegedly sidelined Akande’s AIC and incorporated another company, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, and began using the new entity to operate in Nigeria, thereby breaching agreements between them.
The billionaire was upset and this led to a prolonged legal battle with Akande securing a 2018 major victory against the South African retail group for breaching contract between both parties in Suit No LD/488/2010 —AIC Limited (Claimant) v Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Ltd of South Africa and Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited (Defendants).
However, Shoprite owners appealed the judgement, while the Ibadan, Oyo State-born billionaire secured another victory in May 2020 at the appellate court.
Though the three-man panel of Court of Appeal , Lagos Division, didn’t agree to Akande’s cross appeal, demanding 50 per cent of $92.3million as loss of profit he suffered due to the incorporation of Retail Supermarkets Limited, it unanimously affirmed the judgment of a Lagos High Court that awarded $10 million (N4.7 billion) damages against Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited.
Apart from the $10 million award, the court had directed the South African retail giant to pay 10 percent per annum on the damages, with effect from the date of judgment until the final liquidation of the entire sum.
Consequently, the shrewd businessman has initiated a fresh legal battle at the Federal High Court to halt Shoprite Checkers’ exit moves out of Nigeria until the entire sum demanded is paid to the last kobo.
The billionaire, through his company, has got an ex-parte application for an order of Mareva Injunction restraining the South African retail giant, its privies, officers, nominees, successors-in-title, subsidiaries or anyone acting through it or by it from transferring, assigning, charging, disposing of its trademark, franchise and intellectual property in a manner that will alter, dissipate or remove these non-cash assets from the court’s jurisdiction.
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