Nicholas Ibekwe

Nicholas Ibekwe is Premium Times' Head of Investigations. He is a graduate of English Language from the Lagos State University. He has a Master's in International Journalism from City University, London, United Kingdom. Nicholas, who is 2016 fellow of the World Press Fellowship, has won several awards and recognition for his work including the Wole Soyinka Prize for Investigative Journalism, two-time finalist, (FAIR) Forum for African Investigative Reporters) Award, and 2011 Chevening Scholar.

Posts by Nicholas Ibekwe:

Healthy rice paddy, Jega

Rice farmers react to Premium Times’ report on Anchor Borrowers’ Programme

Following the publication of a special report on the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, on June 4, 2018, PREMIUM TIMES received a letter of complaint from the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) claiming that the story contained “misinformation, inaccuracies and unfair generalisations.” RIFAN then listed eight findings in the…

Traditional method of thrashing harvested paddy

SPECIAL REPORT: Fraud allegations, unremitted loans, crop failure, other anomalies dog Nigerian govt’s “rice revolution”

Speaking to a packed audience at the 10th Bola Tinubu Colloquium, an annual conference held to mark the birthday of Mr Tinubu, the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Lagos in March, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said agriculture was at the core of the government’s economic…

President says INEC reserves right to order elections

How Buhari administration encourages human rights abuses – U.S. Government

Just days before President Muhammadu Buhari meets his American counterpart, Donald Trump, in Washington DC, the United States government has released a report indicting the administration of the Nigerian leader of the festering human rights abuses in the country. The US Department of State in its “Country Reports on Human…

Why I’ll be a better president than Buhari – Moghalu

Following Tuesday’s declaration by president Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election in 2019, a former deputy governor of the central bank and presidential aspirant, Kingsley Moghalu has said he will make a better president than Mr Buhari. Mr Moghalu, who has not declared under which political party he will run for…

File photo of a local PSP operator evacuating the waste at Tinubu Square.

Waste Controversy: Lagos govt, Visionscape lied – PSP operators

The Lagos State Government and Visionscape were not truthful in a recent statement released on the waste controversy in the state, private waste managers have said. The local waste collection operatives, commonly known as Private Sector Participants (PSPs) denied reaching a resolution with both parties. This is contrary to widely…

Dan Etete

Swiss authorities block bank accounts linked to Malabu Oil scam

The government of Switzerland has blocked several bank accounts in the country linked to the planned bribery trial of Eni and Shell executives in Milan, Italy, as it relates to the infamous Malabu oil scam. On Monday, the office of the Swiss Attorney-General confirmed that at the request of public…

Winnie Mandela

Winnie Mandela dies at 81

Winnie Mandela, anti-apartheid campaigner and the ex-wife of South Africa’s most famous and first black leader, Nelson Mandela, has died at 81. According to the South African Herald newspaper, her personal assisitant, Zodwa Zwane, confirmed her passing Monday afternoon. "It is with profound sadness that we inform the public that…

A heap of waste in Festac

INVESTIGATION: How Lagos govt sidelined local operators for foreign company with no experience in waste collection

Brimming with confidence like the salesman of an elixir that promises to finally cure an intractable disease, the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, told participants at an environmental conference last July, that Visionscape, a foreign waste management company, was the solution to the state’s perennial refuse-collection problem. The governor,…

Why I confessed to rigging elections for PDP – Mantu

A former deputy senate president, Ibrahim Mantu, has revealed why he confessed to rigging elections for the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). During an interview on Channels Television, Mr Mantu, a former member of the PDP’s Board of Trustees, said he was actively involved in compromising election officials, security…

osibanjo

Why we won’t stop talking about Jonathan’s corrupt government – Osinbajo

Despite calls from some segments of the country for members of President Muhammadu Buhari's government and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to stop harping about corruption in the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday in Lagos said he and members of his administration…

EFCC operative used to illustrate the story

Director who was fined N750,000 for stealing N33 billion now to spend six years in prison, pay N23 billion fine

John Yusuf, a former assistant director of the federal civil service, whose 2013 sentencing of two years in jail with an option of N750,000 for stealing N33 billion of police pension fund caused widespread outrage in the country, will now spend six years in prison in addition to paying a…

Boko Haram

#DapchiGirls: Nigerian military, police ignored warnings of Boko Haram attack‎ – Amnesty International

Hours before Boko Haram insurgents arrived in Dapchi where they seized 110 schoolgirls on February 19, both the Nigerian Army and the police were alerted to the impending operation but took no serious action to repel it, a new report by Amnesty International states. The revelation marked the strongest indication…

EXCLUSIVE: Blocked from America, Atiku sells controversial $2.95 million U.S. home

A luxury mansion co-owned by former Vice Presiden Atiku Abubakar, and his fourth wife, Jennifer Douglas, in the posh neighbourhood of Potomac, Maryland, United States, has been auctioned. The property gained international notoriety in 2005 after it was searched by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in connection with a…

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state

Land Use Charge: Lagos will protect tenants from “Shylock landlords” – Commissioner

The Lagos State government has vowed to protect tenants from those it described as “Shylock landlords” who might be planning to use the recent increase in land use charges in the state to arbitrarily increase rent. The state’s Commissioner for Information, Kehinde Bamigbetan, told journalists at a press conference in…

INTERVIEW: How I’m ridding NPA of corruption – Hadiza Bala Usman

Hadiza Bala Usman was appointed Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority at a time the agency was plagued by corruption and inefficiency. Ten months before her appointment, Swiss prosecutors had named four former top shots of the NPA in a $20.7 million bribery scandal involving a joint venture partner…

Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (Photo Credit: DailyPost)

Malabu Scandal: International anti-corruption agencies task AGF Malami on inconsistent letters to Buhari, UK court

A group of anti-corruption organisations has asked the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to explain the inconsistencies between his letter to President Muhammadu Buahri asking him to call off the prosecution of the main suspects in the Malabu oil deal, and the federal government’s application to a United…

INTERVIEW: Why Nigeria needs ‘democratic revolution’ in 2019 — Ex-CBN Deputy Gov. Moghalu

Kingsley Moghalu is a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria overseeing Financial Systems Stability. In this interview with PREMIUM TIMES' Ben Ezeamalu and Nicholas Ibekwe, he spoke about his tenure at the apex bank, the Nigerian political space, and his stand on the Biafran agitation. Excerpts. PREMIUM…

Recapture of Mubi Town

Nigerian military accuses Amnesty International of spreading falsehood

The Nigerian military has accused Amnesty International of a deliberate attempt to weaken its effort towards ensuring peace and security in the country. In a statement on Friday night, the military through its spokesperson, John Agim, a general, accused the global human right organisation of propagating “falsehood” through its 2017/2018…

Amnesty International accuses Nigerian security forces of widespread abuses

In 2017, Nigerian security forces carried out widespread human rights abuses such as extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests, mass detention in sub-human facilities, attacks on the media and journalists, violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, and forced evictions, Amnesty International said in its 2017/2018 Human Rights report released on Thursday. The report…

Corrupt Nigerians behind attack on incorruptible Buhari – MURIC

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has said that corrupt Nigerians are those behind the attack on President Muhammadu Buhari, whom the group described as incorruptible. Citing the example of South Africa, where it’s former president, Jacob Zuma was forced to resign from office after corruption charges were filed against him,…

INTERVIEW: What our Igbo and Yoruba services will do for Nigeria — BBC 

Last August, the BBC launched its Pidgin English Service as part of a new three-language expansion for Nigeria and the West and Central Africa region.  On Monday, the British broadcaster will launch the Igbo and Yoruba Service, the two other languages on the project.  PREMIUM TIMES' Nicholas Ibekwe spoke to…

UK declares Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s Christ Embassy church insolvent

The United Kingdom branch of Christ Embassy, owned by popular Nigerian televangelist, Chris Oyakhilome, is broke and has been declared insolvent by the Charity Commission, the agency that regulates charity organisations in the country. The ministry also admitted in its belated 2015 financial Statement (the church’s last annual return, which…

Wole Soyinka

Soyinka advocates creation of volunteer groups to tackle armed herdsmen

A Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has called for the creation of volunteer groups in states of the federation to monitor the activities of armed herdsmen. Mr. Soyinka made the call during a press-briefing in Lagos, which he titled: “Nomads and Nation: Valentine Card or Valedictory Rites.” Mr. Soyinka said since…

Buhari under a trance – Soyinka

The Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as being under a trance. Mr. Soyinka, who expressed frustration about what he described as the unforced errors of the Buhari administration, made the comment at a press briefing on the increasing agitation across the country following attacks by armed…

U.S. military probe recommends scaling down of West Africa missions after Niger deaths

An investigation conducted by the United States military after last October’s deadly ambush of American troops in Niger by Islamist militants has recommended a reduction of the number of ground missions in West Africa, the New York Times is reporting. The investigation also called on the Pentagon, the U.S. Department…