As 2017 wraps up today, one can say it came with good, bad and ugly experiences judging by the events that made headlines and trended on social media. Each year comes with its defining moments and events that make it memorable. 2017 was not exception.
As Nigerians usher in new year 2018, The Regular News reviewed the year and presents the major events that shaped 2017 for Nigeria.
Buhari receives Boko Haram’s flag
Reports say the flag was handed over to the President by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. -Gen. Lucky Irabor.
Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole operating in the North-East said they had successfully captured “Camp Zero,” the strongest enclave of Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa Forest.
Irabor had said about 1,240 suspected Boko Haram terrorists were arrested during a mop-up operation by troops inside the Sambisa forest.
Meanwhile, the dreaded terrorist group is still carrying out attacks in the Eastern part of the country.
Nigerian-Turkish pupils, workers kidnapped
They shot indiscriminately and headed for the female hostel, where three pupils were seized.
A Turkish teacher, a matron, a supervisor and two intending candidates of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, who worked in the school, were also abducted by the assailants.
After 11 days in the den of kidnappers, pupils and staff members of the school regained their freedom.
While there are claims in some quarters that the school and families of the victims parted with millions of naira as ransom, the police insisted that their freedom was due to pressure mounted on the kidnappers.
Controversy trails Buhari’s absence from Nigeria
One of the major stories in the polity was the subject of President Buhari’s health that started dominating the national discuss, when during his third trip, on January 19, Mr. Buhari extended his medical vacation, after an initial announcement that his trip would last ten work days.
In the letter regarding his travel, dated January 18 Mr. Buhari had indicated that he would be away for 10 days on a medical vacation to attend to his health.
The leave was supposed to last between January 23 and February 6, according to the letter transmitted to both chambers of the National Assembly.
On March 10, exactly 50 days after his departure, Mr. Buhari returned but was not able to adequately discharge his duties.
About 58 days later, on May 7, the president embarked on another journey for his medical check-up, without any specific date for his return.
Various individuals and groups reacted to the president’s medical vacation, giving divergent opinions on the matter.
Apostle Suleman, Stephanie Otobo and Daniela Okeke sex scandal
The overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries, Johnson Suleman, became the butt of Internet jokes in March after he was embroiled in an alleged sex scandal with a Canada-based lady, Stephanie Otobo. Internet users poked fun at Mr. Suleman after Stephanie revealed to the media that her affair with the cleric involved a lot of sex. Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, she said that she had a nice time with Mr. Suleman in Naples, New York, and Lagos.
“I refused to have a threesome with him because I’m not a lesbian and I don’t like women touching me. He told me he did that with all his past girlfriends, that I was the only one (who refused), that it’s very rude that I can do that to him.”
A popular Nollywood big girl, Daniella Okeke, was also alleged as having benefitted from the cleric’s benevolence.
It was alleged that Mr. Suleman acquired a N160 million duplex located in Mende Maryland, Lagos and a $76,000 brand-new Mercedes-Benz 450 GL for the actress and that they had been neck deep in a relationship.
EFCC chairman saga
The Nigerian Senate refused to confirm Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, December 15, 2016.
Magu’s fate is yet unknown up till now . He might be replaced by the president though the presidency has debunked the rumour.
The Senate, in December, called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to remove Acting Chairman.
The Red Chamber said the time has come for the Executive arm of government to obey its resolutions.
It also suspended all confirmation of appointments until compliance with its resolution.
EFCC recovers looted N13bn in Ikoyi building
The commission after investigation named Mrs. Folashade Oke as the owner of Flat 7B, No. 13, Osborne Road, Osborne Towers.
Mrs. Oke is the wife of the suspended Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ayo Oke, whose agency had laid claim to the money. According to the EFCC, Mrs. Oke made a cash payment of $1.658m for the purchase of the flat between August 25 and September 3, 2015.
She was said to have purchased the property in the name of a company, Chobe Ventures Limited, to which she and her son, Master Ayodele Oke Junior, were directors. Payment for the purchase of the flat was said to have been made to one Fine and Country Limited.
The EFCC stated that Mrs. Oke made the cash payment in tranches of $700,000, $650,000 and $353,700 to a Bureau de Change company, Sulah Petroleum and Gas Limited, which later converted the sums into N360,000,000 and subsequently paid it to Fine and Country Limited for the purchase of the property.
The discovery caused a lot of uproar from individuals and groups asking President Buhari to sack the NIA boss.
Buhari later approved the recommendation to terminate the appointment of Ambassador Oke, and has further approved the setting up of a three-member panel to, among other things, look into the operational, technical and administrative structure of the Agency and make appropriate recommendations.
Ikoyi Whistleblower gets N421m, leaves country
The battle for the payment of 5 percent entitlements to the original whistleblowers of the Ikoyi loot has continued as the petitioners have headed to the Federal High Court, Abuja Division to seek for justice as both the Finance Minister and the Attorney General of the Federation(AGF), who had earlier received petitions and appeals had remained silent in this era of fighting corruption by the present administration.
Evans the billionaire kidnap kingpin arrested
In Nigerian history, The ‘most notorious kidnapper in the country’, Chukwudubem Onwuamadike, aka Evans, arrested at his residence in Magodo Estate, in Lagos.
Evans was apprehended by the inspector-general of police intelligence response team led by Abba Kyari, an assistant commissioner of police.
Efe wins #BBNaija
Efe Ejeba emerged the winner of Big Brother Nigeria House, #BBNaija.
He beat the multi-talented Bisola to win the N25 million star prize, a brand new Kia Sorento SUV, amongst other mouth-watering prizes.
Efe, an upcoming rap artiste, appeared to be the favourite of so many Nigerian celebrities. The Big Brother Nigeria 2017 began in January.
It had seen the eviction of nine housemates, Bally, Bassey, CocoIce, Gifty, Kemen, Miyonse, Soma, ThintallTony and Uriel, Mavis, Debbie Rise and TBoss.
2face backed out of nationwide protest
In January, popular Nigerian artiste, Innocent Idibia, better known as 2Baba, solicited the support of well-meaning Nigerians as he planned a nationwide protest against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
2Baba took to his Instagram page to confirm that the protest will hold on February 5 thus; “A call for good governance. A call for urgent explanation into the reckless economic downturn nationwide. A call for nationwide protests as we say no to the executive, no to legislature, no to judiciary… You have all failed us”.
Dammy Krane in credit card scandal
In June this year, Nigerian afro-pop singer and former Hypertek Records act, Dammy Krane was embroiled in a controversial credit card scam which eventually led to his arrest in Miami, U.S.
He was charged with grand theft, credit card, and identity fraud.
The news of his arrest quickly filtered through the social media space with mixed reactions from music lovers, critics and industry colleagues.
#BAAD2017: Banky W and Adesua Utomi’s glamorous wedding
Nigerian singer, Bankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, and his wife, Adesua Etomi, broke the internet this year with the announcement of their engagement and subsequently their wedding.
Their traditional wedding which was the talk of social media trended with the hashtag #BAAD2017. It had in attendance friends, associates and celebrities including Bovi, Basket Mouth, Kemi Adetiba, Tunde Demuren, Chigul, Lynxx, Juliet Ibrahim, M.I Abaga,Dotun Kayode, Toolz, Tolu Oniru, Linda Ejiofor, Sola Sobowale, among others.
The nuptial tie came shortly after Banky W successfully had a third surgery for skin cancer. Their engagement which was initially perceived as a publicity stunt was officially announced by Banky W in February. The couple then proceeded to Cape Town, South Africa for a high-profile ceremony.
Banky W however sparked social media outrage over a video he erroneously uploaded on the Internet which showed his new wife, Adesua, in a compromising situation.The video Banky W posted on the Internet revealed the buttocks of his wife. As usual,social media went into an instant frenzy.
Davido and the mysterious death of friends Tagbo, DJ Olu and Chima
DMW boss, Davido, remains one of the most talked about artistes in 2017. His blooming career was met by a major obstacle when actress Caroline Danjuma, accused the artiste and his crew of having a hand in Tagbo’s death.
The Lagos police commissioner, Imohimi Edgal, told reporters that Close Circuit Television footages from the hospital proved that Tagbo was brought in dead by Davido’s escort driver, Tunde Usutu, and two of his (Davido) friends, Agbeje Olaoye and Idris Busari.
After staying mute for some time, the embattled singer finally spoke up in a statement to exonerate himself.
Davido reconciles with Dele Momodu, Wizkid and reunites MO Hits
Multiple award winning Nigerian act, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido finally settled a longstanding rift with publisher of Ovation, Otunba Dele Momodu after months of rift between the duo.
This comes as a result of Davido having a child with Dele Momodu’s niece, Sophia which led to their long term beef.
Davido in the course of the rift called out Dele Momodu in some of his songs.
They finally buried their differences during this year’s Ovation Red Carol event that took place at the Eko Hotel and Suites on Sunday 17th December when Davido graced the stage.
In a similar development, the rivalry between Nigerian top artistes, Davido and Wizkid, ended as both artistes reconciled during Wizkid’s concert which held at the Eko Convention Center in Lagos on Sunday night.
Wizkid made the first move by inviting Davido to share the stage and spotlight with him to the delight of the audience.
Both stars performed Davido’s hit track, Fia and it was such a beautiful sight.