Archive for August, 2012

Nigeria, Friday, won her second gold medal at the London Paralympics.

Power lifter, Ivory Nwokorie, won gold in the women’s 44 kg Power lifting category.

Nwokorie lifted 109kg to win the gold medal while Turkey’s Cigdem Dede got the Silver; the bronze medal went to Ukraine’s Lidiia Soloviova who lifted 100kg.

This second gold medal temporarily put Team Nigeria on the 7th position on the medals table.


Hamburg have completed the signing ofTottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart.

The Netherlands international has signed a three-year contract and returns for a second spell with the Bundesliga club, who he previously played for between 2005 and 2008 before moving to Real Madrid.

Van der Vaart went on to join Tottenham in 2010 and has played in both of their Premier League matches this season despite repeated speculation linking him with the German club.

While in the United States on Spurs’ pre-season tour, the 29-year-old insisted that he planned to stay at White Hart Lane but a move was revived as the transfer window drew to a close.

Earlier on Friday, Van der Vaart’s representative, Roberto Geerlings, confirmed that his client was on his way to Hamburg to undergo a medical.

Geerlings did state that at that point, a fee had not been agreed between the two clubs, but added that it was “clear that the two parties intend to find a solution”.

Van der Vaart made 63 top flight appearances for Spurs during his time in London, scoring 24 goals in the process.

The right-back moves to the Blues from Inter Milan for an undisclosed fee.

Roberto Mancini is an admirer of the 31-year-old having worked with him for two seasons while in charge at Inter and the defender is familiar with the 3-5-2 formation the City boss has been experimenting with in pre-season.

Maicon 2

The Brazil international, who can play in defence or further forward, spent the last six seasons at the Italian club making 235 appearances and scoring 20 goals.

He began his career at Cruziero in 2001 before moving to French side AS Monaco in June 2004.

Maicon was called up to the Brazilian national team in 2003 and has won 66 caps for his country.

One of his finer moments at international level was scoring a stunning goal against North Korea at 2010’s World Cup. 

Berbatov reunited with Jol at Fulham

Posted: August 31, 2012 in General

Dimitar Berbatov has completed his move from Manchester United to Fulham after penning a two-year deal with the Craven Cottage club.

The former Bulgarian international striker was expected to move to Fiorentina but the Serie A team said he failed to turn up for a scheduled meeting in Italy on Wednesday.

Berbatov played under Fulham boss Martin Jol when the Dutchman was in charge of Tottenham Hotspur. The forward left White Hart Lane for Old Trafford in 2008.

Chelsea are attempting to make a sensational deadline-busting swoop to bring Loic Remy to Stamford Bridge.

The London club are now deep in talks with the striker’s club Marseille over a shock 11th hour deal that would see them pay upwards of £15million for the France international.

Highly rated Remy was in talks with Spurs earlier this week, but suddenly those negotiations stalled without explanation yesterday.

Now it seems that is because Chelsea have hijacked the deal for the 25-year-old, as they make a concerted move to add depth to their squad before the window slams shut tonight.

Boss Roberto Di Matteo has only Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge as senior strikers at the club after Didier Drogba left in the summer and Romelu Lukaku went out on loan to West Brom.

Remy has been linked with several top clubs in Europe, but has set his sights on a move to the Premier League, and it seems Chelsea are close to offering the chance he craves.

The striker confirmed last night that talks with Spurs had broken down when he said: “Yes there were discussions with Tottenham, but they came to nothing and they will not continue.”

Keep up to date with all the transfer deadline day news and gossip in our live blog here.

Plus, check who your club has signed in our list of completed deals here.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident Theo Walcott “loves the club” and is “not obsessed by money” as negotiations continue over the England international’s future.


Theo Walcott

14. Theo Walcott

Appearances 1 (5)
Goals 1
Assists 1
Yellows 0
Reds 0

*Current Season

Earlier this week, it was reported the forward had rejected a contract extension at the Emirates Stadium after entering the final year of his existing deal.

The development sparked speculation Walcott, who is rumoured to want £75,000-a-week in wages, could be sold to Liverpool or Manchester City before Friday’s transfer deadline.

But a short-term agreement is understood to be in place which will ensure the former Southampton player will not leave in the current window and Wenger remains relaxed.

The Gunners boss said at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Liverpool: “Theo has one year to go. We want to extend his contract. I think Theo loves the club.

“He is not obsessed by money, there is just a little difference [in the negotiations].”

Arsenal have already sold Robin van Persie and Alex Song to Manchester United and Barcelona, respectively, and the possible departure of Walcott would again raise questions.

Wenger, though, has brought in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla and he has always maintained his faith in his new-look squad.

Malysia Police has arrested three Nigerian students and a 23-year-old local woman, believed to be members of an African Scam syndicate, for allegedly cheating a 56-year-old a secretary of RM233,227.

The three Nigerians detained were identified as Fred Ajiri, 27, a college student as well as language centre students Akegwure Okpure Israel, 27 and Charles Obia, 28.

The three were arrested on Tuesday at about 3.13am at 1-09-05 Puteri Palma Condominium at the IOI Resort in Putrajaya.

State Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief, Supt Soh Hock Sing said the local woman was arrested earlier in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 23, at about 11.55am.

He said the scam was initiated through Facebook on May 5, when the victim, who is from the Portuguese Settlement here befriended a man who introduced himself as Dr Michael Clinton from Switzerland.

“In their on-line conversation, the man said that he was currently attached with the United Nations in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“Dr Michael told the victim that he was planning to open a clinic in Malaysia and asked if the victim would help him keep some money, amounting to US380,000 (RM1.2 million) which he would be sending to her.

“Dr Michael also told the victim that he would be coming to Malaysia sometime in the end of May ,” he said.

Soh said that the victim had on May 29, received an e-mail from Mrs Dorothy Scott which stated that she had received the money on behalf of from Dr Michael. On May 30, the victim received another e-mail stating that the money had arrived safely in Kuching, Sarawak.

“The victim was then told to pay RM54,500 as the Anti Money Laundering fee as it was being brought into the country in cash. The victim then made a transfer of the sum demanded to an AmBank Account belonging to Elfina Azyze at the RHB Bank branch in Melaka Raya.

“The victim was then asked to bank in an additional RM6,500 as a payment for the IMF Seal and the money was to be transferred into the same AmBank account and the victim did as told.

“On July 1, the victim received a call from an agent handling the funds from overseas and was told the the Malaysian Government had requested for a tax payment of seven per cent of the USD380,000 as the money was brought from overseas and that the amount had exceeded the sum allowed to be brought into the country.

“For this, the victim had to pay RM77.227.96. The victim then transferred the amount to the same AmBank account,” he said.

Soh said that the victim had on July 4, received a call from the same agent who now said that the money brought in was not USD380,000 but USD560,000 (RM1.75 million) and that the victim had to pay an additional RM85,000 as tax before the money could be released to her.

“The victim transferred the sum requested to the same AmBank account on July 6.

“On July 8, the victim received a call from the agent, who identified himself as Derek Moyo, and she was requested to come to the Cititel Hotel in Midvalley, Kuala Lumpur to collect the money but she had to bring RM10,000 as service fee to the agent,” he said.

Soh said that on July 9, the victim met Derek and a local man in a room at the Cititel Hotel and she was given a metal safe box in which the money sent to her by Dr Michael was being kept.

“When the box was opened the suspect said she was some US dollars before Derek took out a white bottle from the metal box and some A4 papers which was said contained instructions on how to wash the money.

“Derek then used the liquid to wash four pieces of USD100 bills. Derek then told the victim that the liquid was insufficient to wash all the money and that the money had to be brought to the lab at the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to be washed.

“Derek told the victim that he needed more cash for this process,” he said.

However, the victim said that she did not bring the cash and could only transfer the money to the AmBank account after she had returned to Malacca.

However, the victim suspected something was wrong and made a report at the Banda Hilir police station upon Aug 16.

Soh said that all four suspects who had been arrested have been remanded till Aug 31 pending the investigations which are carried out Under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

Here are some transfer news

Posted: August 29, 2012 in Sports

Wayne Rooney, 26, fears Manchester United are preparing to offload him for £40m. (Daily Mirror)

England winger Theo Walcott has rejected a new Arsenal contract and could be sold for £15m with Manchester City and Liverpool favourites to sign the 23-year-old. (The Times)

Former Chelsea strikers Didier Drogba, 34, and Nicolas Anelka, 33, could be sold by Shanghai Shenhua because of an escalating row among the Chinese club’s shareholders. (The Guardian)

Turkish club Fenerbache are preparing an £8m bid for Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, 29, and have enquired about his Portuguese team-mate Raul Meireles, 29. (Daily Mail)

Newcastle will only accept offers for Argentine defender Fabricio Coloccini, 30, Ivorian midfielder Cheick Tiote, 26, or French playmaker Yohan Cabaye, 26, if they are too good to turn down. (The Independent)

Tottenham have been warned they may miss out on 22-year-old France international midfielder Yann M’Vila after having a £12m bid rejected earlier this summer. (Daily Telegraph)

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas wants to sign 25-year-old Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho from Porto and Russia striker Alan Dzagoev, 22, from CSKA Moscow, but could lose Jermain Defoe, 29, and Rafael Van Der Vaart, 29. (Daily Mirror)

German club Hamburg hope an offer of around £9m will be enough to tempt Tottenham to sell midfielder Van der Vaart. (Daily Mail)

Dimitar Berbatov’s agent is due in Florence to secure the 31-year-old Bulgarian’s switch from Manchester United to Fiorentina. (The Sun)

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis is hoping to revive his loan deal for Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone, 25. (Stoke Sentinel)

Swansea are to make a £2m bid for Crewe midfielder Ashley Westwood, 22. (Daily Mail)

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is considering a move for 30-year-old Southampton striker, and namesake, Rickie Lambert. (Daily Mirror)

SPL side Celtic are eyeing a move for Motherwell winger Chris Humphrey, 24, with Neil Lennon expecting to pay £200,000. (Daily Record)

QPR and West Brom are tracking Argentine Cristian Ansaldi, 25, who is currently on the books of Rubin Kazan. (The Sun)


In his statement  that further exposed his administration’s frustration with increased  criticisms, President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday repeated the optimism he has long held, assuring Nigerians of the impact of his government’s achievements by 2013.

Mr. Jonathan spoke at the 52nd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, where he described himself as “the most criticised president in the world,” saying his critics failed to understand the nation’s troubles that pre-dated his administration.

But the president assured, by 2013, he will be the “most praised”, a pledged  he has severally given as his administration grapples with some of this country’s fiercest attacks against a government.

“I think I am the most criticised president in the whole world,” he said. “But I tell this noble audience that before I leave, I will also be the most praised president.

“I have experienced that before in my governor ship journey in Bayelsa state. In fact, people who were close to me will tell you that even after the election, I told them, in my first 12 months, please cover your ears, because you will hear all kinds of things. But, as we progress, you will see changes.”

The president’s comments came barely after 48 hours of  a sharp reaction to his critic  by his media adviser, Reuben Abati, in what appears a coordinated attempt at scaling up the administration’s reaction to the criticisms Mr. Jonathan receives.

Mr. Abati’s article in most of the National dailies where he coordinatedly  attacked the president’s legions of critics, describing them as “idle and ignorant”, stirred more trouble with his laborious decision at responding to faint issues as allegations Mr. Jonathan is an alcoholic.

Mr. Abati denied such drinks are served “officially” at the state house, and denied the president was a “glutton”.

The president said on Monday his government had been working hard to stabilise power and resurface roads, while also making efforts to bring to reasonable control the security challenges the country is facing.

“It is not easy,” he said. “We don’t have the magic wand. Except one is the miracle worker, that with the wave of the hand, probably will help to throw all these challenges away and prosperity will appear. But in pure governance issues, it takes time.

“Sometimes, even people who have held offices in government criticise me to the extent of personal abuses. Sometimes I ask, were there roads across the country and Jonathan brought flood to wipe out these roads? Or we had power and I brought hurricane to break down the entire infrastructure?

“If they say Boko Haram is because of poverty, were there massive irrigation projects in the North where agriculture can thrive and massive farms, and Jonathan brought drought to wipe out these farms? Under two years, can this possible?”

He appealed  for understanding, assuring that in the course of time, the results of his effort will be clear for even his critics to appreciate.

“Well, time will tell. What I can tell Nigerians is that let those who criticise continue to criticise. We will do our best, and as we progress, Nigerians will know the truth and we’ll see that we are committed and will surely transform this country,’’ he said.

The president used the opportunity to distanced himself from the advocates of state police, saying the country was not yet ripe for such an arrangement, considering that it could easily be abused by the governors, a development, he said, could worsen the country already bad security situation.


Why Barth Nnaji was forced to resign

Posted: August 29, 2012 in General

Contrary to the impression created by the presidency that the Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji, resigned from office on his own volition, highly placed sources familiar with the matter have told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Nnaji was actually  forced to resign Tuesday following a gale of allegations linking him with attempts to subvert the bidding process for the sale of Afam Power plant.
Aso Rock spokesperson, Reuben Abati, had released a statement Tuesday evening saying President Goodluck Jonathan had accepted the power minister’s resignation and wished him well in his future endeavours.
But presidency sources have told us the minister was compelled by Mr. Jonathan to resign after allegations of conflict of interest in the privatisation of the power plant was confirmed .
Reports earlier this week had linked Mr. Nnaji with direct interests in one of the firms shortlisted to bid for the 776 megawatts (MW) capacity Afam power plant, already slated for privatisation by the Federal Government.
The plant, consisting about 18 gas turbines, is considered the most  viable of the power plants slated for privatization by the Federal government, particularly with the recent approval of about N500 million for its rehabilitation.
Apart from his interest in acquiring the plant, Mr Nnaji reportedly used his privileged position to influence the emergence of one of the firms in pole position to be selected  winner, an effort traducers claimed reportedly earned him a gratification of a brand new Prado jeep and cash reward in excess of N89million.
Mr. Nnaji could not be reached Tuesday night to respond to these allegations but a source close to him, who asked not to be named, said “the allegations were untrue and were merely manufactured to tarnish the hard-earned reputation of the minister”.
The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has, since the commencement of the process of privatising the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) subsidiary firms, engaged the minister in a running battle, accusing him of pursuing a hidden selfish agenda.
NUEE General Secretary, Joe Ajaero, had, on behalf of the PHCN workers that have already been served sack letters, queried the decision to give them only 25 per cent of their entitlement for Pension and Gratuity, pointing out that the arrangement confirmed their fears that Mr. Nnaji’s reform was aimed at strangulating workers.
Prior to his appointment, Mr Nnaji was the chairman, Geometrics Power, one of the 18 private companies that were granted operational licenses by the Federal Government to undertake the generation of electricity to compliment the effort to boost the country’s available supply capacity.
It was gathered that the decision to ask Mr. Nnaji to turn in his resignation letter may have followed the confirmation by the Presidency of some of the allegations levelled against him.
President Goodluck Jonathan was said to have asked the minister to resign rather than sack him, to save his administration the monumental embarrassment such an action could generate.
Presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, could not be reached for comments as he did not answer calls to his mobile telephones.