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Special Report

Seven Dead In Anambra Tanker Explosion

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Eyewitnesses said that the tanker driver, who was negotiating the Amawbia roundabout in Awka, lost control and fell sideways.
As a result, the tanker was engulfed by fire, killing several persons and destroying properties worth millions of Naira.

Anambra State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Andrew Kumayi, who was at the scene, told AIT that about six other persons were rescued and taken to the hospital for medical attention.
A shop owner whose wares were destroyed spoke on what caused the accident, appealing for government’s assistance to rebuild the business.
The Police in Awka said that investigations are on to ascertain the cause of the accident.

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Special Report

Obiano offers N5m bounty for arrest of ex-Anambra lawmaker’s killers

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Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has announced a N5 million reward for anyone with useful information on the identity of the killers of the President General of Nimo Town Development Union (NTDU), Chief Frank Anthony Igboka.
Igboka, who was a former member of Anambra State House of Assembly, was assassinated Tuesday night by unknown gunmen inside his car around Oye Nimo market area in Njikoka local government of the state.
Confirming the killing, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Haruna Mohammed said that it happened about 8.18pm and preliminary investigation showed that Igboka was shot at close range by four armed men.
The gunmen, he said, escaped in a pickup van towards Abacha Eziowelle road, while 25 expended ammunitions were recovered at the scene.
Commissioner of Police Mustapha Dandaura visited the scene Tuesday night and ordered for a full scale investigation to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the incident and to bring perpetrators to justice.
In a statement by the State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, Gov. Obiano, setting aside a N5 million reward, had directed the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State to personally lead a team to apprehend the killers immediately.

He said, “He has, in addition, directed the Department of State Security, intelligence officers in the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Navy as well as the Nigerian Security and Defence Corps to join the Nigeria Police Force in the task to bring the culprits quickly.
“The governor described the killing as utterly heartless, noting that Chief Tony Frank’s elder brother, Chief Charles Igboka, a former Nigerian diplomat in Europe, died only two weeks ago and was yet to be buried.
“It is a shame that the killing of Chief Igboka should take place in the week leading to Easter when men and women of goodwill throughout the world are reconciling themselves with God and fellow human beings.
“His father, Sir Vincent Igboka, a distinguished papal knight, was a great Christian missionary who devoted his whole being to the spread of the Good News. He worked in such a way that he is being considered for canonization in some quarters.”
Emphasizing that no stone would be left unturned in the effort to make Anambra remain the safest and most peaceful state in Nigeria, Obiano said, “Anyone who thinks that he can spill the blood of an innocent Anambra person and go scot-free is living in a fool’s paradise.”
“All the persons who have in the last five years attempted to spill blood in the state have been caught up by the long arms of the law. Chief Igboka’s killers cannot be different.”

 

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Special Report

Gov. El-Rufai directs all Political Appointees to resign April 30th

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai ahead of his May 29 inauguration for a second term, has given directives to all political appointees in the state to submit their letters of resignation by 30th April, 2019.

A statement which was issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, made it known that each notice of resignation must be brought forward alongside a handover note, duly signed by the political appointee on behalf of the MDA or office to which he or she had been appointed.
The statement explained, “As he commences selecting the team for his second-term in office, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has directed all political appointees to submit letters of resignation by 30th April 2019.
“The governor will exercise his constitutional prerogative to decide on re-appointments while giving the Kaduna State Ministry of Finance adequate time to compute severance payments and reconcile any liabilities.

“According to the directive, each notice of resignation must be submitted along with a handover note, signed by the political appointee on behalf of the MDA or office to which he or she had been appointed. All resignation letters should be properly addressed to the Principal Private Secretary.”
The Governor thanked all the appointees for the selfless contributions and also service to the state during his first term as governor of the state.
The notice also specified that all the Commissioners in the State Executive Council, all Permanent Secretaries and Special Advisers are also all affected with the directive.

 

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Special Report

Court acquits Gwarzo, former SEC DG accused of fraud, abuse of office

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JUSTICE Baba Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has discharged and acquitted Mounir Gwarzo, the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who was accused by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) of fraud and abuse of office.
Zakwanu Garba, an Executive Commissioner of SEC, who was also joined in the suit, was also discharged and acquitted.
The ICPC had arraigned both men in court after they had been suspended by the former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun in November 2017.
In his judgement on Tuesday, Justice Baba-Yusuf said the prosecution did not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused persons were guilty of the crimes they were alleged to have committed
On the first count which accused Gwarzo of using his office as the SEC DG to enrich himself illegally, the trial judge said that the ICPC witnesses contradicted themselves. He also noted that a memo from the governing board of SEC, which was tendered in evidence by the ICPC, “clearly demonstrated that the decision of the board of SEC, as the highest decision and policy-making body of the commission, is legal”.
“As a result of this, the first defendant is acquitted on the first charge,” Baba-Yusuf ruled.
On the charge which claimed that Gwarzo paid himself illegal approved a car grant for himself, the judge held that “the burden of proof was on the prosecution, but through its own exhibit, which includes a board resolution which approved the car benefit for an executive director who had spent more than two years in office. The charge against Mister Gwarzo has not been established”.
Besides, the trial judge noted that the fourth witness, under cross-examination, agreed that the board’s resolution was lawful and that the car grant was non-refundable.
Justice Baba-Yusuf held that the testimony of Prosecution Witness Two also clearly showed that the first defendant had no role in deciding what he was entitled to and as such could not have used his office to enrich himself.
He, therefore, discharged and acquitted him.
The court also discharged the second defendant, Garba, on the grounds that the allegation that he aided Gwarzo to use his office to corruptly enrich himself was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
The suspension of Gwarzo from SEC caused quite a stir at the time, especially following revelations that there may have been more to it than met the eye.
Shortly after Adeosun suspended Gwarzo over multiple financial improprieties, a leaked memo emerged in the media detailing how both officials had sparred over a decision by SEC to go ahead with a probe into the activities of Oando Petroleum Plc.
The leaked memo was reportedly written by Gwarzo to Adeosun explaining why the probe on Oando should continue and urging the then Finance Minister to put it in writing if she insists that the probe should be dropped.
However, Adeosun denied she suspended Gwarzo because he refused to drop the Oando probe, but rather because he threatened to blackmail her.
The matter eventually got to the House of Representatives which, after a series of hearing, asked Adeosun to recall Gwarzo, but the recommendation was not followed.

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Special Report

CJN Tanko Tells Judges To Apply The Criminal Justice Act Strictly

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The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko has urged judges to always apply the Administration Of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA), 2015.

Justice Tanko, who was represented by the Administrator, National Judicial Institute, Justice Roseline Bozimo, said this at the opening of a workshop on the implementation of the administration of the criminal justice act for judges in Abuja on Tuesday.
He stated that the act has huge potentials of developing the Nigerian Criminal Justice system to meet global standards and in so doing promote accountability and efficiency and reduce the level of needless delays in the Nigerian criminal justice system.

Justice Rosaline Bozimo of her part, reminded judges on the urgency to get criminal matters dispensed with as it is the desire of Nigerians that the hydra-headed monster of delay in criminal trials be eliminated.
She was represented by the Director of Research, Gbenga Omotosho.
Judges from different parts of the country are attending the two-day conference.

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Special Report

Osun Govt. offers free train rides during the Easter celebrations

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Osun State Government in Southwest Nigeria is providing free train ride for those travelling home for Easter celebration.
The initiative is to assist the holidaymakers to return home for the celebration.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Adeniyi Adesina, said those traveling from towns enroute Lagos to Osun will also benefit from the free trip
He explained that the train will stop over at designated train stations in Ogun and Oyo states.
According to the schedule of movement, the train will depart the Iddo Terminus in Lagos by 10am on Friday, April 19, and arrive at 6.00pm at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park Train Station in Osogbo.
The return trip
On the return trip, the train will depart Osogbo at 10.00am on Monday, April 22.
It is the second time Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s administration will provide free train transport for citizens for religious celebrations, sustaining the legacy of the previous government.
The first time was in December 2018 when people traveled home for Christmas.

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Special Report

Anambra Jails 75 Persons for Collecting Illegal Revenue

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The Anambra State Government has confirmed that 75 persons have been jailed for collecting illegal revenue from unsuspecting members of the public despite the suspension of levies in the state by Governor Willie Obiano.
The Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Mr Christian Madubuko, who briefed journalists on Monday while parading three persons, including a traditional chief who were arrested for extorting money from traders using fake receipts, said the suspects would also be handed over to the police who would in turn charge them to court.

The ministry has intensified efforts on the clampdown of illegal revenue collection, since Governor Obiano suspended the collection of levies in the state.
Madubuko confirmed that about 100 persons have so far been arrested in the state for the offence, and that his office would not relent until all fake revenue agents were cleared from the state.
“Go to the Niger Bridge head in Onitsha, once you enter the state from Asaba, they start harassing you with all manner of taxes, and that does not tell good of our state. This must stop. We are handing these suspects over to the police who will charge them to court,” he said.
The suspects — Nze Francis Eze; leader of the revenue collection, Mr. Vincent EzeObi; the driver and Gilbert Ugochukwu — were arrested in Ekwulobia market, Aguata Local Government, while extorting money from market men and women.
Madubuko said: “They are enemies of the state government. The government has banned toll collections and yet they are collecting money from people. They are living on extorting money from people. They extort money from traders coming to do business in the state and those doing business in the state.
“Sometimes, they present all kinds of documents authorising them to carry out their illegal activities.
“Before handing them over to the police, we will take out time to call the traditional ruler and the local government authority, which they are claiming empowered them to collect the levies. Of course I am sure they are lying, because the state government cannot suspend levies and you say a traditional ruler authorised you.”


Content provided by David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

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Special Report

Gov. Obiano Resolves Herders, Farmers Crisis in Anambra

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The Anambra Government says it has resolved the crisis between herdsmen and crop farmers in the Anam community of Anambra West Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) some persons were killed and others injured at two farm settlements in Anam, Anambra West LGA of the state following the recent invasion of their farms by suspected herders.
Mr Don Adinuba, the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment in a statement on Tuesday in Awka, said the crisis was over.

He said that the swift resolution followed the directive by Gov Willie Obiano of the state to the Anambra State Security Council members to bring the crisis to an end immediately.
He added that the security chiefs were directed to find out both the immediate and remote causes of the crisis and proffer suggestion to avert similar crisis in the future.

  • “Following the directive, the Commissioner of Police, Director of the Department of State Security, Commanders of the Army and Naval formations in the state and the Commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, all intervened swiftly leading to end the problem.
    “Meaningful discussions were held with leaders of Anam town and those of the herdsmen.
    “It was apparent that the crisis was precipitated by the entry of some herdsmen from a neighbouring state into Anambra without following the protocol guiding the conduct of herdsmen in the state.
    “For instance, they entered Anam without informing the local leaders of the herdsmen association who would have registered them as members and informed them of the rules of doing cattle business in Anambra State.
    “The consequence was that the new entrants violated the rules in a repugnant manner and caused a breach of the peace,” the commissioner said.

 

Adinuba used the medium to commiserate with victims and assured them that government would not leave any person or group of persons in doubt about its determination and capacity to bring the culprits to book. (NAN)

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Special Report

ALAIGBO DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (ADF)APPOINTS MAZI OBI OKOLI BOARD OF TRUSTEE MEMBER (BOT)

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It is often said that when a child washes his hands clean, he eats with elders. This all but true saying of the Igbo people of West Africa has been proven true again. Mazi Obi Okoli- Ojeluigbozi who resides in the UK has been honoured with the exalted position of Member of the Board of Trustees in Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF).

In the letter of appointment signed by Prof. T. Uzodinma Nwala-ADF President and Prof. Nat. Aniekwu- ADF Secretary both conveyed with pleasure and honour the decision of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) Working Committee, to appoint Mazi Obi Okoli -Ojeluigbozi as a Member of her esteemed Board of Trustees. This followed his joint-nomination by three members of the Working Committee as well as other stakeholders.

The selection and appointment of Mazi Obi Okoli did not come to many as a surprise as Mazi has over the years distinguished himself as a great and patriotic son of Igboland. He has served Ndigbo with his time, talent and resources. Many Igbo in the UK can attest to his indefatigable love and sacrifice towards the promotion, protection and advancement of Igbo values, custom, tradition and development.

The ADF letter about his appointment partly reads “This is in recognition of your very numerous contributions to the welfare and development of the Igbo nation as well as your immense contributions to the advancement of the mission of ADF”. It is our hoped that this appointment will encourage him the more to devote himself “along with other committed Igbo patriots to the task of rebuilding and development of Alaigbo and the rebirth and advancement of the spirit of her culture and civilization, to place her as a major player in the global system”.

In his support of this appointment, Chief Okechukwu Chukwuemeka- Membership Secretary ADF said the appointment of Mazi Obi Okoli is well deserved. He said that “One thing about the human endeavour is that, no matter when, every honest engagement is noticed and rewarded. But, alas, most of such rewards come clothed as work, more engagement”.  He charged Mazi Obi Okoli to understand that his appointment as a member of the ADF Board of Trustees is a huge reward that comes with one huge dose of work.

When contacted for comments Mazi Obi Okoli said ‘it was with joy and utmost praise to God almighty and Ndigbo that I accept the honour to serve as a BOT Member of ADF. He promised ‘to do all within his power, with the help of God and the support of all my brothers and sisters to serve in dignity, truth and honour’.

He thanked ADF executives and members for finding him worthy of such great honour and privilege.

It worthy of note that some of the greatest Igbo Elders serve as BOT of Alaigbo Development Foundation namely:

Prof T. Uzodinma Nwala (President of ADF)

Elder (Dr) Kalu Uke Kalu CON (Vice Chairman, BOT)

Barth Nnaji, CON, NNOM, FAEng, FAS. (Member, BOT)

Chief Innocent Nwoga (CON) (Member, BOT)

HRH Princess Alu Ibiam, (Member BOT)

Chief Emmanuel Okey Nwankwo. (Member BOT)

Bishop Obi Udemezue Onubogu, (Member, BOT)

Prof. Chimah Korieh, (Member, BOT)

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Special Report

Former Director General of Nigeria’s National Intelligence Agency Arrested

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On February 7, the Federal High Court in Lagos issued a warrant for the arrest of Ayodele Oke, former director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and his wife Folasade following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Just before they were due to appear in court, they apparently left the country for “medical treatment,” and the Nigeria media is not reporting where they are now. The EFCC has declared the couple wanted after their failure to respond to a court summons.
They are charged with the theft and laundering of staggering amounts of public money. One of the EFCC charges relates to roughly $43 million, £28 thousand, and ₦23 million—all in cash—that the EFCC found in their apartment in Lagos in 2017 following a raid. Another charge relates to $160 million that the couple allegedly diverted from the Nigerian federal government for their own use.

Protesters holding signs assemble outside the secretariat of the Nigerian Bar Association during a protest in Abuja over the suspension of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) in Abuja on January 28, 2019

In 2017, Oke was suspended as director general of the NIA. Vice president Yemi Osinbaijo headed a committee that investigated the incident and recommended to President Buhari that the director general be removed.
Oke is a member of Nigeria’s political class. He studied at Emory University in Atlanta, became a career diplomat, and served as Nigeria’s ambassador to the Secretariat of the Commonwealth of Nations in London. He was appointed director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) by then-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013. The Nigerian NIA is roughly analogous to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.
President Buhari has made the fight against corruption his signature policy, though critics have accused him of using it as a tool to go after his political enemies. Some media have said that Oke was “close to” Buhari and viewed how the case was handled as important to the president’s anti-corruption bona fides. However, at least in the media, there is little or no evidence of any such close relationship. At the very least, this episode is illustrative of the magnitude of corruption in parts of the upper reaches of Nigerian government.

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Special Report

President Buhari departs Nigeria for Jordan

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President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Nigeria for the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa holding at the Dead Sea, Jordan.
His official aircraft departed the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport, Abuja at 15:00 GYM.
The President, who is attending the forum on the invitation of King Abdullah II of Jordan, will deliver an address at the opening of the forum.
He will also hold bilateral meetings with some world leaders on the side lines of the forum.
President Buhari will deliver an address at the opening of the plenary alongside King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres.
The Nigerian leader will also join world economic leaders in an informal gathering at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre.
While in Jordan, President Buhari will hold bilateral meetings with some world leaders on the sidelines of the Forum.
Dubai Forum
President Buhari will later depart Amman on Sunday for Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to participate in the ninth edition of the Annual Investment Meeting, holding from April 8-10.
Invited by His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rachid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the Nigerian President as Guest of Honour, will deliver the keynote address under the theme, “Mapping the Future of Foreign Direct Investment FDI: Enriching World Economies through Digital Globalization.”
The meeting is the largest gathering of corporate leaders, policymakers, businessmen, regional and international investors, entrepreneurs, leading academics and experts showcasing up-to-date information, strategies and knowledge on attracting FDI.
The meeting also seeks to explore investment opportunities in more than 140 countries, connect businesses and countries willing to engage in sustainable partnerships with investors.
President Buhari will be accompanied on both trips by Governors Abubakar Badaru, Abiola Ajimobi and Yahaya Bello of Jigawa, Oyo and Kogi States.
Others on the entourage include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), and other top government officials.

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Aguleri , The Citadel Of Igbo Civilisation

 

Five years after Boko Haram kidnap, 112 Nigerian girls still missing

Announcements, Arts & Books

Driving Job Creation for Africa’s Youth:  Mentor to Watch.

Ada Osakwe, CEO of Agrolay Ventures

Ada is an award-winning food entrepreneur and investor. She was also a lead in the launch of the Youth Employment in Agriculture Program (YEAP) that supported the rise of a new cadre of food-entrepreneurs in Nigeria through training, mentorship and financing. Ada is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow.

In 2016, she was Entrepreneur of the Year and featured on Choiseul 100 Africa list consecutively from 2016 to 2018. She received the ‘Achiever in Agriculture’ Award and was on the 2014 Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa list. She is also a mentor on the Future Global Leaders Fellowship.

People

Uzodinma Iweala : CEO of The Africa Center in New York.

Uzodinma is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and medical doctor. He is the CEO of The Africa Center in New York, promoting a new narrative about Africa and its diaspora through a focus on culture, policy and business. He is the author of three books: Beasts of No Nation (2005), a novel also adapted into a major motion picture; Our Kind of People (2012), a non-fiction account of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria; and Speak No Evil (2018), a novel about coming-of-age in Washington, D.C. His books have been mentioned by Time Magazine, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Times and Rolling Stone. ‘Uzodinma Iweala completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University and he earned a medical degree at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.’

 

 

ENTER NIGERIA Winning Sunday with The Young Netpreneur for the Week :Ken Nwadiogbu @kennwadio

 

Ken Nwadiogbu (b. 1994) is a Nigerian born Multidisciplinary Artist, popularly known as KenArt, whose practice is primarily centered around hyper-realistic drawings and works on paper.
Nwadiogbu believes that the society speaks- This voice inspires his art, which evaluates, interrogates and challenges socio-political structures and issues within the society. In his reply to this society, he is able to inspire one or two people to also re-valuate their socio-political structures as we know it. The desire to change his society and the way people think is what drives him to create art every day. Gender equality, African cultures, and Black power are a few aspects of his current research and artistic practice.
Nwadiogbu was born in Lagos, Nigeria and holds a B.Sc in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His art career started in the university, and with no formal training, has pushed him to become one of the most interesting young contemporary artists from Nigeria, creating works that question life- calling out some of the problems and becoming very grounded in human consciousness..
Nwadiogbu has been featured in lots of local and international group exhibitions and fairs, including the Insanity exhibition, sponsored by Frot Foundation, in Omenka Gallery, Nigeria; the TMC’s It’s Not Furniture, curated by Winifred Okpapi; the Artyrama’s group exhibition curated by Mr Jess Castellote; Art X Lagos, sponsored by Artyrama Gallery, in Lagos, Nigeria; the Moniker Art Fair, sponsored by Creative Debuts, in Brooklyn, NYC; the Anti-Trump show organised in UK; the Afriuture Exhibition by Ramati Art Africa in association with Commonwealth Africa Summit, in Toronto, Canada; amongst many others. He has been televised and publicized on different platforms like Guardian Life, Tush Magazine, WIRED Magazine, Candid Magazine, Bored Panda, BBC, CNN, and more as well as inspiring and encouraging young creatives through public speaking appearances like TEDx. He co-founded Artists Connect NG, the largest Nigerian artist gathering that took place at Lekki Leisure Lake, in Lagos, Nigeria.
To Nwadiogbu, Art is indeed timeless, it is his solace and hiding place, a safe haven he has found to be devoid of restrictions, boxes and boundaries.

 


 

 

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