The English Football Association has been forced to issue a humiliating apology to Nigerian born female player Eniola Aluko for ill judged attempts at joking.
The FA admitted and accepted that jokes made by the team’s manager Mark Sampson were unacceptable and racially prejudiced.
The England striker was speaking before a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee about events that led to the sacking last month of Sampson as manager of the women’s national team.
Earlier in the year Aluko had alleged that in 2014 Sampson had asked her to make sure her Nigerian relatives didn’t bring the ebola virus to the friendly against Germany at Wembley. It was also claimed that Sampson had also made derogatory comments about another mixed-race player, Drew Spence, during his tenure as England women’s boss.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Sampson was sacked last month following unrelated revelations about inappropriate relations during his time in charge of the Bristol City women’s team, but yesterday’s hearing focused on the claims of racism.
Independent barrister Katharine Newton concluded in her report that Sampson – who had been exonerated on two previous occasions about the allegations – was not racist, but that his attempts at humour towards the two players were “ill-judged”.
Commenting on the findings Aluko said she felt “vindicated and relieved”, adding: “Although I’m grateful to be here, does it have to come to this? There’s been an agenda to protect Mark Sampson, and an agenda to protect the FA’s reputation.”
Aluko, who also alleged that England goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall had addressed her at one time in a fake Caribbean accent, revealed that she had been awarded an £80,000 settlement by the FA.
However, part of this payment would be made only if she released a statement in which she cleared the FA of being “institutionally racist”.
She explained: “Martin Glenn said if I wrote a statement he would release the second tranche of the money. I felt that was bordering on blackmail. I categorically refused to write it. It’s not for me to come up with that determination. I would never say the FA are institutionally racist.
“My comments were based on comments to me and Drew Spence and how they handled that. For Martin Glenn to say I should say that in order to get a payment I was contractually agreed to is appalling.”
FA chief executive Glenn has “sincerely apologised” to Aluko and Spence for the remarks made by Sampson and in a statement the organisation said: “Based on new evidence submitted to independent barrister Katharine Newton, she has now found that they were both subject to discriminatory remarks made by an FA employee. This is not acceptable.”
Neither Glenn nor FA chairman Greg Clarke believed there was a case for them to resign, even though one MP, Jo Stevens, described their governance as “shambolic”.
Instead, said Clarke, they would ensure there was no repeat of the scandal. “There were systemic, historic failings which contributed to this mess,” he admitted. “When I took the job, there was one other decent applicant. It’s career death. I’m willing to risk my reputation to make it better. If it doesn’t get better, it’s my fault.”
HOW THE STORY HAS EVOLVED
August 6: Sportsmail reveals that the Football Association paid hush money to Eni Aluko to keep quiet over an investigation into her claims of racism and bullying against Mark Sampson.
August 8: Aluko speaks out and says she was silenced after making her claims.
August 18: Sampson says he needs to communicate better after FA release summery of report into Aluko’s allegations.
August 21: Aluko claims Sampson once told her to make sure her Nigerian relatives did not bring Ebola to a match at Wembley.
August 23: Lianne Sanderson accuses Sampson and the FA of creating a culture of fear by axing players who dare to raise issues.
August 25: England boss Gareth Southgate gives his backing to Sampson.
August 25: Drew Spence is revealed as the player involved in Aluko’s allegations about a comment made at the 2015 China Cup.
August 30: Aluko says she is ’embarrassed and ashamed to be a participant of women’s football in this country’ after accusing FA of endorsing racism.
September 5: Sampson rejects Aluko’s allegations in his first TV interview since the claims were revealed by Sportsmail.
September 8: England midfielder Katie Chapman claims she was dropped after telling Sampson about her divorce.
September 11: FA officials will face grilling by MPs over the situation, it is announced.
September 14: It emerges that the FA could re-open their investigation after Spence writes to officials, corroborating Aluko’s claim.
September 16: It is revealed that Alex Scott was not interviewed during investigation into the allegations.
A South London peadophile rapist who lured a schoolgirl back to his flat and sexually attacked her has been jailed for 8 years.
Fortune Aragua, 25 was caught after the victim’s mother performed a citizen’s arrest on the paedophile who raped her 13-year-old daughter.
The south Londoner approached his victim while she was playing with a friend after school on 10 February this year. The girls, still in their uniforms, were on the way to the shops when Aragua approached and started chatting.
When the friend left, Aragua persuaded the girl, who told him she was only 13, to head back to his Stockwell flat.
He started kissing her but then his landlady suddenly returned so he locked the child inside his room and waited for the homeowner to leave.
Once the coast was clear, he sexually assaulted the girl, who was pleading with him to stop, and then raped her. She left shortly after the attack, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police.
But the girl told her mother as soon as she got home who, without a second thought, marched straight up to Aragua’s front door and made a citizen’s arrest on him before calling the police.
The attacker denied raping and sexually assaulting the child, saying he found her on the street looking unwell, offered her assistance then headed home without her.
But the Met’s forensics team discovered her DNA on his boxer shorts. This evidence helped convict him of rape, attempted rape and the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, at a trial earlier in the year.
Aragua – who also uses the name Izevbigie Sylvester – received an eight year prison sentence and will have to sign onto the Sex Offenders Register for life.
DC Gregg Nicol, the investigating officer from the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, said: “I am pleased with this sentence which reflects the seriousness of Aragua’s crimes.
“Aragua is a dangerous sexual predator who targeted and took advantage of a vulnerable young girl for his own satisfaction,” DC Gregg Nicol, a Met child abuse investigator, said.
“I would like to praise the victim for her bravery and courage in reporting this heinous crime to the police and for giving evidence at court which ensured Aragua was brought to justice. I hope this sentence will give her some measure of comfort and closure.”
The highly anticipated “Who wants to be an Entrepreneur” event held on Saturday 14th October at the prestigious Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, London and has since been the talk of town.
The seminar was attended by around 100 guests made up of both budding and established Entrepreneurs.
Organised by serial entrepreneur Dr Richard Obahor, the event attracted an impressive line up of high profile speakers, including:
Emma Jones MBE of Enterprise Nation appointed by UK PM as a Business Ambassador. Emma is also a regular feature on the Clive Bull LBC radio show, where she answers questions on entrepreneurship.
American serial entrepreneur Paul Oberschneider, who gave the keynote speech. Oberschneider is the American tycoon who built a $200 million dollar fortune from hotels and other interests. Paul boasts of a wealth of unique insights which he happily shared with the insatiable audience.
Udo Maryanne Okonjo, CEO of Fine & Country West Africa lit up the room and turned up the heat by challenging the audience who could not get enough to dream big, think Big and never ever give up.
Also speaking at the event were:
Marian Mola who has an incredible story about her life struggles and overcoming them. Sheun David Onamusi, the brains behind Still Dapper, Solemate and the first TM Lewin franchisee in Abuja.
Wale Oladunjoye a successful speaker on leadership and lifestyle.
Ire Hassan-Odukale, the 31 year old behind the Ikoyi Restaurant in the heart of London.
Keye Oduneye of the bespoke suit brand Keye of London.
The host Dr Obahor is a successful entrepreneur and property developer with interests both in the UK and in Nigeria. He shared his vision of creating the “Who Wants To be An Entrepreneur” platform as a ladder to hold up for others especially millennials to climb up.
Richard said Popular opinion is that people strive to get to the top, and upon arrival they remove the ladder thus denying access to those coming up behind them. They do this because they would rather enjoy the adulation of being the only successful individual in their clan, and we start to hear things like he/she is the only ‘black person’ to have ever achieved a certain status.
“We, however”, Richard added, “seek to change this narrative, and this has been the core objective in putting together the “Who wants to be an Entrepreneur” event. Rather than remove the ladder we seek to strengthen it so that as many people who want to, can gain access with as much support as possible”.
Richard gave a hint that the “Who wants to be an Entrepreneur” event would hold again in 2018.
A thug who beat his girlfriend’s five-year-old son to death in a park after the boy lost a trainer has had three years added to his 18-year sentence, the Daily mailreports.
Marvyn Iheanacho, 39, watched proceedings via videolink from prison as Court of Appeal judges in London increased his life sentence for the murder of Alex Malcolm.
Lord Justice Treacy, Mr Justice Jay and Mr Justice Warby agreed with Solicitor General Robert Buckland that 18 years was ‘unduly lenient’, and did not adequately reflect the ‘serious aggravating features’ of the case.
Iheanacho, from Hounslow, west London, had denied murdering Alex, the son of his then partner Liliya Breha, but was convicted in July after a trial at Woolwich Crown Court and jailed for life.
Witnesses heard a child’s fearful voice saying ‘sorry’, loud banging and a man screaming about the loss of a shoe during the attack in Mountsfield Park in Catford, south-east London, the trial heard.
Alex suffered head and stomach injuries and died in hospital two days after the attack in November last year. One of his trainers was later found in the play area by police.
Iheanacho has a string of previous convictions for violent offences, including attacks on ex-partners and robbery.
Increasing the minimum term to 21 years, Lord Justice Treacy said: ‘In our judgment the minimum term of 18 years did not adequately reflect the serious aggravating features of this case, which relate not only to the offence itself but also to the offender’s past violent criminal conduct.’
A benefits cheat mum-of-five who made £1.5 million from her escort agency has been given a prison sentence for the second time after a retrial.
Janine Adeleke, 45, ran high class agency Carlton’s Of London which has a TOWIE star on its books while failing to disclose her income in a ‘quite breathtaking fraud’ for nearly eight years before she was caught.
She spent more than £103,000 on beauty treatments, leisure and holidays, and over £88,000 in high street stores, according to The Mirror
Adeleke, from Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, was found guilty two years ago and jailed for three years.
But a retrial, which has also found her guilty, heard how her family enjoyed private medical insurance, expensive holidays, and David Lloyd gym memberships.
She sent one of her children to the exclusive Roedean boarding school for girls, which costs £30,000 a year.
Judge Heather Norton told Canterbury Crown Court she had a “degree of understanding and compassion” for Adeleke spending the money on her children.
But she added: “This was quite simply breathtaking dishonesty on an extraordinarily wide scale and lengthy period.
“Your evidence, which was given over days, was evasive, difficult to follow and contradictory and when you were asked a question which you were not expecting, you had difficulty in providing a sensible answer and became flustered.”
Adeleke denied seven counts of cheating the taxman and money-laundering, but was convicted a second time on all charges after a jury retired for more than 10 and a half hours before returning guilty verdicts by 10-2.
Although she has been given another three year jail term, she will only be inside for a few weeks as she has already served nearly a half the original sentence.
Prosecutor Allistair Walker said that for eight years, between November 2006 and October 2014, Adeleke failed to disclose her significant income – much of it coming from the ‘exclusive female escort’ agency.
Investigators found that Adeleke had stolen £212,000 in unpaid Income Tax, National Insurance Contributions and tax credits payments by declaring that she had no income.
She also fraudulently claimed over £37,000 in Income Support and other state benefits, and laundered £157,000 of illicit cash.
They discovered that more than £1.2 million had passed through her bank accounts, enabling Adeleke to splash out at least £120,000 on private schools.
Mr Walker told the jury how Adeleke had been married but separated from her husband in 2006.
He added: “There followed a traumatic and bitter separation and there can be little doubt that as a consequence the defendant was left much less comfortably off.
“While claiming benefits she came to run a successful and expensive escort agency which boasted: ‘VIP Models of poise, sophistication and stunning good looks for elite gentlemen’.
“The profits she made from this she never declared The Mirror reports.
The agency took a cut of 35 per cent from its workers, who were charging between £200 and £2,000 an hour.
Tim Clarke, Assistant Director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said: “Adeleke broke the law to fund a lavish lifestyle and privately educate her children.
“She defrauded vital public services and stole benefits designed to help struggling families.
“She pleaded poverty, but this was far from the truth.
“She didn’t declare her income because she didn’t want to pay any tax.
“But she did want to claim state benefits, which are meant to support people on low incomes, and she certainly wasn’t entitled to receive them.
“As a further deception to hide her income, when Adeleke discovered she was being investigated, she laundered £157,000 through her elderly mother’s bank account.”
Adeleke was led away still protesting, and now faces demands to repay the money under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Iré Hassan-Odukale and Jeremy Chan are an unlikely pair seeking to take Nigerian and West African food to gastronomical levels to attract international patrons and a new followership of African cuisine.
Ikoyi has been in the works ever since Chan, 30, and Hassan-Odukale, 31, first met at a mutual friend’s birthday party when they were 15 in Chiswick.
“They say you should never work with your friends,” says Hassan-Odukale. “If we were more similar, it probably wouldn’t work but where one ends the other one picks up.”
The two were flatmates for two years, and share a mutual passion for food. “We were so obsessed with food that we used to save up for tasting menus at The Ledbury by not eating for four days,” says Hassan-Odukale. “But we’ll eat anything that’s edible. Our meetings are often over a breakfast in McDonald’s.”.
Their work is a composite of the food Hassan-Odukale grew up on in Ikoyi, a wealthy borough in Lagos, Nigeria, transformed into fine cuisine. Chan, the chef, has worked with Heston Blumenthal at Dinner, Noma and Claude Bosi at Hibiscus, and is keen to stress that it’s their own translation of West African cuisine.
Many Nigerians will be forgiven for being nervous around the new contemporary twist that the guys intend to put on traditional African food in order to make it more appealing to international palate. Who can forget the woeful take on Jollof Rice by chef jamie Oliver. But it would seem that the guys have made a real go of it and the restaurant has been buzzing for four months now.
The project represents a crossroads for both of them.
‘West African food is woven into London’s fabric but no one’s used it in a gastronomic context before’
“West African food is woven into London’s fabric, with plantain, peppercorns, spices, fermented chillis, beans, yams and raw produce readily available from any grocery store or food market in Peckham or Dalston,” he says. “But no one’s really used it in a gastronomic context. There’s this whole world of possibility for creativity with West African produce, and we’ve only scratched surface of what think can achieve with this project.”
The menu features ingredients unfamiliar to many Londoners (but they won’t be for long). Selim, for example, is a peppercorn used in traditional Nigerian broth which smells like smoked wood and eucalyptus and has a gingery taste. Chan is introducing it to London in the form of a sweet cookie. For mains, rare-breed lamb ribs use cuts from a four-horned Manx Loaghtan, served with a relish of fermented chillis, burnt onions, sweet and sour condiments; while cocktails include a plantain-based Old Fashioned served in a ceramic cup, and a Guinness cocktail — the stout is a hugely popular drink across Africa — with cacao nib- infused rum.
“It’s like you’re going to your gran’s house for dinner,” says Hassan-Odukale, who looks after front-of-house. “She’s made sure everyone’s taken care of, everyone’s had an amazing meal, and everyone leaves smiling, with that warm fuzzy feeling — sorry for sounding cheesy — but full and taken care of.”
Ikoyi is just beginning. They’re working on a cookbook and have concocted “hundreds of dishes that aren’t on the menu”. “Lots are wintery so we have to wait to serve them. We must be the only people looking forward to winter in London.”
“We want there to be an element of mystery,” adds Hassan-Odukale. “We don’t want you to go on Instagram and feel like you’ve been to the restaurant.”
The most important ingredient, after all, is making everyone feel at home. “We had such different backgrounds, we’re not trying to target one type of person.”
The West African restaurant, which opened in July 2017, is the last jigsaw piece in the £450 million St James’s Market development on Regent Street