Category: DIASPORA NEWS

Embattled MP Onasanya To Face Disciplinary Tribunal For Misconduct. Could Be Struck Off As A Solicitor

Shamed MP Fiona Onasanya, 35, faces being struck off as a solicitor for misconduct just months after she was jailed for lying to police

Shamed MP Fiona Onasanya will face the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on three allegations of misconduct, it was confirmed today.

Onasanya, 35, the MP for Peterborough, has been charged with three allegations: ‘failing to uphold proper administration of justice, failing to act with integrity and failing to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in her and the provision of legal services’ announced the Solicitors Regulation Authority, today.

The former commercial property lawyer was convicted on a count of perverting the course of public justice in January but served 28 days of a three-month prison sentence while continuing to receive her £77,379 salary.

A Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing will be held on an unnamed date, the allegations currently remain unproven.

The hearing could see Ms Onasanya suspended, handed an unlimited fine, or struck off as a solicitor, if the allegations are proven.

Despite the allegations and conviction Onasanya still holds her seat in parliament as the prison sentence she was handed was not long enough to mean she would be automatically removed from the house.

The MP still maintains her innocence against the conviction which saw her serve a month long sentence after lying to avoid a speeding fine.

Onasanya had a solid win, gaining her seat for Labour in Peterborough with a large majority of 607 in the 2017 general election.

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Meet the Only African Celebrity Plastic surgeon In Beverly Hills Giving Millions Back To Africa

Harvard-trained Ghanaian plastic surgeon and health consultant Dr Micheal Obeng has been the only African plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills working in some of the best hospitals in the U.S. since he started practising.

The former Chief of Plastic Surgery at St. Elizabeth Health Center was named among America’s Top Plastic Surgeons by the Consumer’s Research Council of America in 2011 and 2014. His clients range from royals to celebrities and rich socialites.

Having made millions off his envious job and enjoying celebrity status since his role in the U.S. reality show Second Wives Club, the plastic Surgeon is taking an African Tour to offer free plastic surgery to needy African children and adults.

Through his foundation R.E.S.T.O.R.E Worldwide, an organisation that offers free surgery and related medical services to children and adults in various African countries, he is set to visit South Africa and Kenya as well as Gabon to set up a R.E.S.T.O.R.E. mission before visiting other countries, reports Africa.com.

Over 500 surgeries have been successfully completed since 2008. Dr Obeng has donated more than KES 30,000,000 to facilitate R.E.S.T.O.R.E Worldwide efforts. The Foundation is intent on building a footprint of surgical expertise on the African continent.

During his time in Africa, he will offer free services to people with
disfiguring deformities from birth, accidents and diseases involving not only the head and neck region but also the extremities, trunk and breasts. He will also provide education to local healthcare personnel on how to execute complex surgeries, a project his organisation also takes up.

Dr Obeng specializes in cosmetic surgery of the ageing face, neck, breast, body, trunk, extremities and genitalia. He is one of the few surgeons in the world to successfully reattach a limb, remove ribs to streamline the waist and he is an expert in complex reconstructive surgery, hand, and micro-neurovascular surgery.

The more than successful plastic surgeon who was born into a poor home in Ghana and moved to the U.S. with nothing worked his way to the top by seeing himself through Harvard and is now giving back to people as a way of giving back to the society he came from

Culled from face2faceafrica.com


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The Problem With Nigeria: We Are Addicted To Mediocrity

By the late Prof Pius Adesanmi.

Start at councillor?

That is why a man like former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore could have an undergraduate degree from the University of Lagos, a masters degree from a US Ivy League, Columbia University, teach as a contract lecturer and contract instructor in the same Ivy League University for more than 10 years, while building a global media brand, one of Africa’s first online media brands that CNN and Al Jazeera reference for Nigerian news, run a parallel career as a global social movement leader who is solicited annually by social movement organizations in South Africa, Canada, Europe, Senegal, etc, and be dismissed so casually by the youth as inexperienced and deserving only of starting as a Councillor.

If the youth think that all there is to Sowore is student unionism and Sahara Reporters (and what by the way is wrong with that?), it is of course Sowore’s fault and the fault of those who rolled out his candidacy. It is your responsibility to market your multifaceted self and cosmopolitan skills and experiences to the electorate.

I told a youth yesterday that Omoyele Sowore has been a contract lecturer at Columbia University for the past ten years and his jaw dropped. He had no idea Sowore combined an academic career with running Sahara Reporters.

So, somebody who does not have what it takes to stand before pupils at Okokomaiko Community Development Primary School will run to social media and dismiss a Columbia University lecturer as inexperienced.

What I am getting at is the mental block which has prevented the youth from even examining Sowore’s and other youth candidacies beyond knee-jerk and default setting rejection.

You are not experienced!
You are not ready!
Start as a local government councillor!

They are saying the same of Fela Durotoye and even Kingsley Moghalu who was born in 1963!

That is the rote, the cliche that Obasanjo and Babangida taught them to repeat like the colonial chant, apes obey, when the two generals were in the youth demonizing phase of their careers.

Nobody will help you, Nigerian youth, overcome this mental block. You have to overcome it yourself by thinking of other ways in which it affects you.

Consider this scenario:

If you hear that one of you, children of ordinary peeps, has an appointment somewhere in Nigeria’s technocracy or bureaucracy, you are up in arms screaming he is too young or inexperienced.

Then the elite will do the kind of corrupt hiring they have been doing recently in places like the Central Bank, etc. They will parachute in their 20 something year-old children who have only just graduated from Britain or America. In fact, you saw your Governor or Senator or Minister beaming at the graduation ceremony in London or Washington only yesterday because their aides posted the photos on Facebook and Twitter. You even congratulated your “amiable Governor” or “amiable Senator” and abused those asking if he traveled to his child’s graduation ceremony at public expense.

Then that same boy or girl who graduated yesterday is parachuted in and offered a senior position at CBN or any of the Federal parastatals like they have been doing with breathtaking intensity under Buhari.

You scream about nepotism.

You scream about favoritism.

I have never heard you scream that those appointed children are too young or inexperienced.

Why?

You have been conditioned to apply that cliche only to yourselves and fellow children of the poor.

Examine and scrutinize these youth candidacies.

Stop apes obey, default setting dismissal.


*Pius Adesanmi was a Nigerian-Canadian who died alongside 156 other passengers in the ill fated Ethiopian Airlines crash in March 2019. The article was written by him in 2018 before Nigeria’s recently held general elections

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Meet Efe Obada NFL Star From Nigeria Who Was Abandoned On The Streets Of London At Just 10

Born in Nigeria, Obada moved to the Netherlands to live with his mother when he was eight years old. Two years later, he and his sister were taken to London.

The details of how they came to arrive in England’s capital are still unclear. The word “trafficked” has been used, but Obada has not exactly described it in those terms.

The most open he has been on the subject was in a blog on the Carolina Panthers website in August 2017. Writing there, he said he and his sister were brought over “by a stranger who was supposed to look after us – they did not”.

Revisiting that time now, he is reluctant to share full details of the traumatic experience. But what is certain is that at the age of 10, he was abandoned with his sister on the streets of Hackney, east London.

They spent two nights sleeping rough before a security guard gave them shelter in the tower block he was working in. With his help, the children were eventually looked after temporarily by a friend of their mother. When that arrangement broke down, Obada spent the remainder of his childhood in more than 10 different foster homes.

“It was my life. It was my story,” he says. “It was what I was going through.

“There were some lows but it was so normalised. Then getting into the NFL and looking back and having all these people having an opinion on my life it was like: ‘Oh, actually maybe that’s not normal.’

“But at the time it was normal for me. It was my surroundings. You have just got to survive. Do you know what I mean?”

Obada’s sister was with him throughout their time in foster care and they remain close, but he refuses to share anything more about her. It’s a similar story with his wife – “his rock”. He has said they met in London and that she “saw the broken child and loved it out of me”. But her name? Off limits.

The nature of his relationship with his mother now is another unknown.

Talk of dressing-room bonds being like family often feels like a sporting cliche. But in the context of Obada’s childhood, the words feel more powerful hearing him say them.

“For me, it really is,” Obada says. “I grew up in foster care. To be in a team, it really is like a family. There are a lot of guys that have taken me under their wing. It’s nice to belong somewhere.

“The locker room is like a second home. You have your own space but you are part of something bigger than you.

“It’s nice to be wanted and to feel like you are needed. I feel like I can help this team and they make me feel that way, that I’m important to them.”

Even discounting Obada’s childhood struggles his journey to the NFL has been remarkable.

The established route is through the incredibly competitive US collegiate system in which just 1.6% of the player pool actually make it to the big time.

When his future football peers were graduating from college aged 22, Obada was working in a factory in Welwyn Garden City in England. He had never played competitive sport in his life – let alone the notoriously complex game of American football.

His introduction came after a chance meeting with an old friend. Obada was encouraged to attend a training session with British American football team London Warriors. At 6ft 6in he had the stature to succeed. He also had the attitude to make it – not least because football offered him the opportunity to channel the aggression from his difficult childhood in a positive way.

After just five games with the Warriors, Obada was on his way to the United States. He attended a Dallas Cowboys practice session when they were playing in London in 2014. In April 2015 the Cowboys signed him – but he was released without ever playing a game.

“In the early days there was a lot of noes, but I was used to that,” he says.

“When I was growing up trying to apply for jobs in London and I didn’t have papers, I would go through the interview process but then it came to: ‘Where’s your passport?’ I got my noes from there.

“An opportunity like being in the NFL is something that you are going to have to hold on to as long as you can, because I know that once that opportunity is gone I am back in the warehouse doing 9-5.

“So that was my thing. As long as there is a chance and there are people around me that can help me through the door and give me the chance to progress and to grow, I am going to keep coming back – no matter how many noes I get.”

The NFL’s International Pathway eventually provided a yes. A programme set up in 2017 to give international athletes the chance to make it, Obada was part of the first intake.

Foreign-born NFL players are rare. Less than 3% of players in the 2018 season were born overseas. British players are rarer still. In the 52 editions of the Super Bowl to date there have only been five Britain-born winners – most recently the Philadelphia Eagles’ running back Jay Ajayi in 2018.

The NFL is keen to grow the game internationally, and particularly in the UK.

But for the chance to shine through that international focus, Obada might not have found himself assigned to the Carolina Panthers. He could well have followed a very different path in London.

Obada spends much of his downtime either reading about London’s youth violence problems online from the USA, or trying to do something about it. Three of his friends when he was a teenager were killed in gang violence. It remains an issue close to home.

“I feel like I’m a product of my environment. Put me in an environment like the NFL and I’ll thrive. Put me in an environment like south London with no help, no support, with funding cut left, right and centre, with charities closing down, youth clubs closing down…. All these different outlets for kids to learn vital skills in life are getting shut down because of the way things are set up.”

Obada plans on setting up his own foundation in the future but for now pours his energies into a charity called the Big Kid Foundation. It seeks to “equip young people at risk of social exclusion and youth violence to take control of their lives, find, develop and act on their own potential”. One of its missions is to “see a capital where no young person loses their life to violence”.

“I grew up around that,” he says. “I grew up in south London and I know how easy it is to get pulled into certain things. I just want to help them. I just want to show them that they’re just going through what I went through – running around, trying to find themselves. None of us have got a map, do we?

“I’m just trying to say to these kids, I came from where you are and this is what I have done. My life was like this. My life was negative at one point and look at it now.

“I just want to play it forward, to be around them and say things to them that I wish people said to me at that age.”

Talk of Obada’s role as a mentor inevitably leads on to the men who performed that role for him.


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People like Aden Durde, who spotted Obada’s talents while working as a coach with the London Warriors, and Will Bryce, the head of the NFL’s International Player Pathway programme.

“I am getting emotional just thinking about it, how these really good men invested in me. For someone like me, it’s amazing. I’m blessed. Honestly, I’m very blessed.”

Fast forward to 2019 and everyday life is very different to Obada’s days working in a warehouse.

The year-long contract extension he signed in January is worth £432,000 – reward for a breakthrough season with the Panthers. Obada’s 10 appearances last term included that eye-catching debut against the Cincinnati Bengals, where he ended up with the game ball, a de facto man-of-the-match award from his team-mates.

“When I got into the NFL I had this huge opportunity to 180 my life and set myself up in terms of financial security and looking after my family, my wife and my sister,” he says.

Such fame and fortune would have been unthinkable for the 10-year-old who arrived in London feeling one overriding emotion.

The frightened boy sleeping on the reception room floor of a Hackney high-rise is now sitting in a plush central office meeting room that bears his name.

Culled from bbc.co.uk


70 Nigerian Healthworkers In The UK NHS Honoured At Posh Gala Award Night

All roads led to the Grange City Hotel London last Saturday, as 70 most outstanding Nigerian healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom were recognised and celebrated for their contributions to the National Health Service (NHS).

Saturday’s event was the first time Nigerian healthcare professionals were presented under one roof celebrating each other.

According to one of the events organisers, Dr Abbey Akinoshun, “The event was awesome”!

Awards were presented to deserving professionals in Consultants, nursing. Midwifery, mental nursing, surgery, General Practitioners, dentistry, carers, medical technicians, trauma care, and several other fields.

The occasion was graced by all the Who’s Who in the Nigerian UK Diaspora including Lord Victor Adebowale, CEO, Turning Point, Nero Ughwujabo, Special Advisor to the British Prime Minister, Theresa May on social justice & young people, Yvonne Coghill, Director of Race Equality, NHS, Dr Dapo Williams, Philanthropist & Community Leader, Dr Alistair Soyode, Founder & CEO of BEN Television and Ayan De First, Cultural Ambassador.

Also present at the occassion were His excellency, Ambassador Oguntade, the Nigerian High Commissioner, Honourable Abike Dabiri, Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs and Professor Adewole, Minister of Health, Nigeria who both flew in from Abuja, Nigeria specially for the event.

(c) Baronessj.com

Comedian Akpos Makes History With 75 Mins Straight Stand-Up Comedy Show In London

It was great night for lovers of comedy and entertainment when UK based Nigerian comedian Akpos Ogagbe, stagged his first “one man show” tagged An hour with Akpos in London.

The multi award winning funnyman regalled his guests with hilarious and eye watering tales about his life experiences including, growing up in Nigeria and being an immigrant in the UK; religion, trending news and much more topical issues.

The evening hosted by London Events Host, Mc Cole, also featured other stand up comedians such as Njambi: British Kenyan, President Obonjo, ADE and Instagram sensation Klinton cod.

Musical entertainment was provided by Deoba Authentic and Bayo Bayz.

Dj Mind the gap was the Man on d wheels of steel, dishing out and keeping the guests on thrilled with various tracks.

Over 200 guests attended what has been described as a Night of laughter, music and dance.

The event which held at Alpha Lounge, Lewisham south east London, makes Akpos the first UK Nigerian Comedian to perform an uninterrupted stand-up comedy set for a straight 75 mins – an extra 15 minutes on top of that the advertised 60 minutes schedule!

*Pictures credit: JP Kingz
(c)Baronessj.com

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Erith Man Convicted Of Fraud And Money Laundering

A prolific money launderer from Erith who processed more than £6m has been convicted after a National Crime Agency investigation.

Kazeem Akinwale, 43, was caught after Christie’s auction house reported an attempted diversion fraud.

In March 2016 they informed the NCA that hackers had spoofed an employee’s email address, trying to divert the payment for a customer invoice into a new bank account.

Christie’s realised what had happened, did not pay the money and reported the hack which initiated the investigation into Akinwale.

NCA officers established that access to the intended beneficiary account was being made from the internet address at Akinwale’s home address in Mangold Way, Erith.

In April 2016 he was arrested at home and officers recovered a Toshiba laptop, a gold iPhone and a white Samsung phone which all belonged to him.

The Old Bailey heard that downloads of the devices contained a “money launderer’s treasure trove”.

There was also evidence on these devices of Akinwale’s alias, Ola Gapiano, a name which the trial heard he had been using since at least 2008.

The jury also heard this alias was a prolific go-to money launderer for fraudsters all around the world.

The devices contained numerous references to laundering fraudulent cash, and references to bank accounts belonging to worldwide victims and also those being used to receive and transfer the money.

This week Akinwale was convicted of possession of articles for use in fraud, possessing criminal property (beneficiary bank accounts that processed £6,087,596.37); transferring criminal property (using secondary bank accounts he also held), and acquiring criminal property (his commission of £73,270.86).

Sentencing is due to take place at a later date.

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