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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Nigerian Kid Gets Global Attention For Solving Mathematical Problem

Nigerian Kid Gets Global Attention For Solving Mathematical Problem

A Nigerian boy, Chika Ofili, has been recognised by the Westminster Under School, London, UK for propounding a new mathematical formula in solving number divisibility especially of 7. In a test assessed by Miss Mary Ellis, his Mathematics teacher, who is also the author of ‘The Aliens Have Landed and 174 Other Problems’ book, Chika was able to solve a divisibility problem associated with number 7 in mathematics.

According to her, “Something very exciting happened last Friday when one of my pupils, Chika Ofili, popped into the classroom and asked if he could tell me something he had thought of over the summer holidays. I was intrigued.”

The Westminster Under School is an independent preparatory school for boys aged 7 to 13, in the heart of London. She continued: “I had given him a book called First Steps for Problem Solvers (published by the UKMT) to look at over the holidays and inside the book was a list of the divisibility tests, which are used to quickly work out whether a number is exactly divisible by either 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 before you actually start dividing. Except that there was no test listed for checking divisibility by 7.

The reason why it was missing is because there is no easy or memorable test for dividing by 7, or so I thought! “In a bored moment, Chika had turned his mind to the problem and this is what he came up with. He realised that if you take the last digit of any whole number, multiply it by 5 and then add this to the remaining part of the number, you will get a new number. And it turns out that if this new number is divisible by 7, then the original number is divisible by 7.

What an easy test!” She added that Chika demonstrated his test in class, saying “no one could find a counter-example to disprove it.” For example, take the number 532 53 + 2 x 5 = 63 63 is a multiple of 7, so 532 is a multiple of 7 (and therefore divisible by 7) Or take the number 987 98 + 7 x 5 = 133 13 + 3 x 5 = 28 28 is a multiple of 7, so both 133 and 987 are multiples of 7 In fact, if you actually keep going, you will always end up with either 7 or 49, if the original number is divisible by 7.

For example, take the number 2996 299 + 6 x 5 = 329 32 + 9 x 5 = 77 7 + 7 x 5 = 42 4 + 2 x 5 = 14 1 + 4 x 5 = 21 2 + 1 x 5 = 7 7 is a multiple of 7 and so is 21, 14, 42, 77, 329 and the original number 2996. The opposite is also true in that if you don’t end up with a multiple of 7, then the original number is not divisible by 7. For example, take the number 114 11 + 4 x 5 = 31 3 + 1 x 5 = 8 And since 8 is clearly not divisible by 7, neither is 31 nor our original number 114.

“But mathematically, we needed to find a proof. Once a theorem is proved mathematically it will always be true. Pythagoras proved his famous theorem over 2,500 years and when he died, he knew it would never be disproved. It is important to realise that a result cannot be proved by finding thousands or even millions of results which support it.

“I woke up early on Saturday morning still thinking about Chika’s test and rang my younger brother, Simon Ellis, who also happens to teach Maths, and asked him if he had ever come across the test. He hadn’t and immediately set about trying to write a proof. “An hour later he sent me a watertight algebraic proof!

He also discovered that the test works if you start by multiplying the last digit by 12, 19, 26, 33 … and then add it to the remaining part of the number. And furthermore, it works if you double the last digit and then subtract it from the remaining part of the number, of if you multiply the last digit by 9, 16, 23, 30 … and subtract.

And actually the doubling and subtracting test can be easily found on the internet. “But we both agreed multiplying the last digit by 5 and adding it to the remaining part of the number is much more appealing! “Mr O’Donnell urged me to tell the school about Chika’s discovery, so an impromptu demonstration followed in Monday’s assembly. We are now trying to figure out how to make this test more widely known, as it is so simple that it really should be taught alongside the other divisibility tests,” she wrote on the school’s website.

Supreme Court Orders NNPC To Pay N8.1bn To Contractor

Supreme Court Orders NNPC To Pay N8.1bn To Contractor

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld its earlier judgment, ordering the NNPC to pay $22.6 million (N8.1billion) in damages to BCE Consulting Engineers over a failed Consultancy Service Contract.

The NNPC, through its counsel, had approached the apex court seeking the review of a July 5, 2019 judgment over an alleged error of facts.

Judicial review is a procedure provided under the Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules for the review of extant judgments.

The counsel argued that the court did not hear their preliminary objection and that their cross appeal was dismissed with hearing.

Justice C. C. Nweze however dismissed the appeal, saying: “This apex court cannot be cajoled with this kind of application; it’s an abuse of justice.”

He, therefore, awarded the cost of N500,000 to be paid personally by counsel to the NNPC.

Efforts by The Guardian to get reactions from NNPC as at press time were unsuccessful. Calls to Acting Group General Manager Samson Makoji rang out while a text message was not replied to.
Dismissed LASU Lecturer Goes To Court Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

Dismissed LASU Lecturer Goes To Court Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

A lecturer in the Faculty of Science, Lagos State University (LASU), Dr. Ogunwande Isiaka Ajani, has challenged his dismissal over allegation of sexual harassment at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).He was dismissed by the LASU authorities following complaints by a female student, one Miss Yusuf Abosede, of alleged amorous and sexual overtures.

In the suit filed by his counsel, Akinyemi Oladipo, the claimant joined the university’s Governing Council, the vice chancellor, the registrar and chairman of the Joint Council/Senate (Academic) Disciplinary Committee as co-defendants.

In his origination summons before Justice Obaseki Osaghae, Ajani, claimed that he was not given fair hearing during the investigation before being dismissed.

The defendants, however, in their joint response through their counsel, A.O Agbola, have asked the court to dismiss the suit on the ground that it was frivolous, baseless and lacking in merit.

In her complaints against ogunwande, the student had alleged that the lecturer had been harassing her sexually. While appealing to the authorities to save her from the “harrowing experience”, she hinted that the lecturer was going to “conduct a test for them on Friday February 17, 2017.”

To ascertain the truth about the student’s allegation, the security operatives were placed on alert.After the test, the lecturer was said to have invited the female student to his office where he told her to forget about the test she just wrote with her colleagues, as it would not count.

According to suit, the claimant was alleged to have told the student that a special private tutorial session where she would re-write the test had been arranged for her in his office the following Sunday, February19, 2017.

The dismissed lecturer is therefore praying the court to quash the decision to dismiss him and set aside his dismissal, while the defendants insist that all the laid down rules and regulations were followed before the claimant was allegedly found “culpable in the grave allegation of sexual harassment of his student.”

DSS Fires In The Air To Disperse Protesters In Abuja

DSS Fires In The Air To Disperse Protesters In Abuja

 Nigerian security forces used tear gas and fired in the air on Tuesday to disperse protesters seeking the release of an opposition figure held since August after calling for a revolution.

Omoyele Sowore, the founder of local news site Sahara Reporters and a candidate in February’s presidential polls has been detained for “treason.”

At the end of September, the Nigerian judiciary ordered his release but the authorities have not complied.

About 80 protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the capital Abuja, shouting slogans against President Muhammadu Buhari, an AFP journalist said.

Some 50 heavily armed DSS agents confronted the demonstrators on bikes and in armoured trucks firing tear gas and shooting in the air, the AFP reporter said, adding that they also attacked one journalist.

Some sustained injuries after being trampled by demonstrators fleeing the scene.

The government of Buhari — who was re-elected this year — has accused Sowore and his “Revolution Now” movement of “plotting to destabilise Nigeria.”

Sowore, who came tenth in the polls and has been a virulent critic of the government, has drawn the ire of Nigerian authorities.

In August, Sahara Reporters, which regularly reports on government corruption, had called for nationwide protests against misrule in Nigeria.

Two days ahead of the planned protest, he was arrested on August 5 and has been in detention since.

The government’s handling of his case has sparked criticism from rights activists and prominent Nigerians, including Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, as well as rights groups like Amnesty International.

Last week, according to local media reports, a spokesperson for the DSS admitted the agency had received a court order for Sowore’s release but said it was detaining him “because no person has turned up at the DSS to take delivery of him.”

Kennedy Uzoka Of UBA Wins Best Bank CEO Of The Year Award

Kennedy Uzoka Of UBA Wins Best Bank CEO Of The Year Award

Pan-African financial Institution, United Bank for Africa Plc got double honours over the weekend as it emerged the Bank of the year 2019; while its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, also emerged CEO of the year at the Business Hallmark Newspaper Awards, held at the Civic Centre in Lagos on Sunday.

Uzoka beat other CEOs to the prize owing to his sterling achievement since he assumed the leadership role of the bank three years ago, whilst UBA was crowned bank of the year following its exceptional performance as it recorded impressive performance in key financial indicators in 2019.

This is the second time this year that Kennedy Uzoka has emerged CEO of the year as he had only recently clinched the Business Day Banking Awards, (BAFI). The recognitions and awards have further endorsed his visionary leadership style which has consistently earned UBA a plethora of laurels.

Receiving the awards on behalf of the bank, at a well-attended ceremony, which assembled distinguished personalities, UBA’s Executive Director, Mr. Ayoku Liadi, who represented the GMD, thanked the organisers for the recognition, noting that he was proud to work at one of the best institutions in Africa.

"We are creating superior value for all our customers, because we believe they are key to our everyday operations and this commitment, without a doubt has been yielding dividends,” Liadi said.

He continued: “Whilst we are encouraged by these awards, the recognitions present new challenges to us, as we will intensify our commitment towards setting benchmarks for the industry, particularly in our strategic roles,”

The Organiser of the awards and the Chief Executive Officer of Business Hallmark, Emeka Obasi, who spoke at the event explained that the best CEO award is borne out of the need to recognise achievements of financial executives who have been outstanding in their profession and have contributed in no small measure to the growth of their organisations and the economy at large.

Obasi also noted that the award given to UBA, is no doubt a well-deserved one, as is evidenced in the banks numerous innovations, and consistent investment in cutting edge technology giving birth to many firsts, including the launch of Leo the Chat Banker, in January of 2018. This fear has earned the bank the number one position in the digital space.

“Uzoka also did well by focusing on consistent expansion of UBA’s activities and services across and beyond the African continent”, all this is worthy of recognition.” Obasi concluded.

Just recently, UBA released its nine-month results ended September 30, 2019, closing the period with an impressive after-tax profit of N81.63bn, a growth of 32% over that of 2018, a momentum the bank will most likely sustain into the full-year, pointing to the possibility of even higher profits.

The bank’s gross earnings for 2019 nine-month stood at N428.22bn, compared to N310.45bn in 2018, representing 37.94% rise, while profit hit N81.63bn, from N61.7bn in 2018. The UBA group’s impairment charges on financial assets for the period decreased to N6.66bn, compared to N10.67bn in 2018, resulting in a decline in loan loss provision of 37.58%, thereby boosting the bank’s profit for the period.
Atiku Abubakar Warns Those Toying With Death Sentence For "Hate Speech"

Atiku Abubakar Warns Those Toying With Death Sentence For "Hate Speech"

Atiku Abubakar wishes to sound a note of caution to those now toying with the idea of an Anti Hate Speech Bill, with punishment for supposed Hate Speech to be death by hanging. The contemplation of such laws is in itself not just hate speech, but an abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.

Atiku urges those behind this Bill to awake to the fact that Nigeria’s democracy has survived its longest incarnation, because those who governed this great nation between 1999 and 2015 never toyed with this most fundamental of freedoms. It is prudent to build upon the tolerance inherited from those years and not shrink the democratic space to satisfy personal and group interests.

Freedom of Speech was not just bestowed to Nigerians by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), it is also a divine right given to all men by their Creator. History is littered with the very negative unintended consequences that result when this God given right is obstructed by those who seek to intimidate the people rather than accommodate them.

We should be reminded that history does not repeat itself. Rather, men repeat history. And often, to disastrous consequences.

Nigeria presently has too many pressing concerns. We are now the world headquarters for extreme poverty as well as the global epicentre of out-of-school children. Our economy is smaller than it was in 2015, while our population is one of the world’s fastest growing. We have retrogressed in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, from the position we held four years ago, and our Human Development Indexes are abysmally low.

It therefore begs the question: should we not rather make laws to tackle these pressing domestic challenges, instead of this Bill, which many citizens consider obnoxious?

Again, Atiku cautions that we must prioritise our challenges ahead of the whims and caprices of those who do not like to hear the inconvenient truth. Stop this folly and focus on issues that matter to Nigerians.
Release Sowore Now ..Soyinka Tells FG,DSS

Release Sowore Now ..Soyinka Tells FG,DSS

Nobel laureate Professor Wole Soyinka has added his voice to the call for the release of Mr Omoyele Sowore being held by the DSS.

This was a text of the press release pushed out by him on the matter


It should become abundantly clear by now that Civil Society organisations, committed to the entrenchment of the Rule of Law and the defence of fundamental human rights must come together. This is not a new cry. They must meet, debate, and embark on a binding pact of tactical responses whenever these two pillars of civilized society are besieged by the demolition engines of state security agencies.

The sporadic, uncoordinated responses as in the case of  Omoyele Sowore, the absence of a solid strategy, ready to be activated against any threat -- these continue to enable these agencies in their mission to enthrone a pattern of conduct that openly scoffs at the role of the judiciary in national life. Result? A steady entrenchment of the cult of impunity in the dealings of state with the citizenry – both individuals and organizations. The level of arrogance has crossed even the most permissive thresholds.

        It is heart-warming to witness the determined efforts of  “Concerned Nigerians” in defence of these rights. Predictably, the ham-fisted response of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) continues to defy the rulings of the court. The weaponry of lies having been exploded in their faces, they resort to what else? Violence! Violence, including, as now reported, the firing of live bullets.

Why the desperation? The answer is straightforward: the government never imagined that the bail conditions for Sowore would ever be met. Even Sowore’s supporters despaired. The bail test was clearly set to fail!  It took a while for the projection to be reversed, and it left the DSS floundering. That agency then resorted to childish, cynical lies. It claimed that the ordered release was no longer in their hands, but in Sowore’s end of the transfer. The lie being exploded, what next?  Bullets of course!

    Such a development is not only callous and inhuman, it is criminal. It escalates an already untenable defiance by the state. As I remarked from the onset, this is an act of government insecurity and paranoia that merely defeats its real purpose. And now – bullets? 

This is no longer comical. Perhaps it is necessary to remind this government of precedents in other lands where, even years after the event, those who trampled on established human rights that generate homicidal impunity are called to account for abuse of power and crimes against humanity.  The protests for Sowore’s release go beyond only acts of solidarity, they are manifestations of the judgment and authority of courts of law, under which this nation is supposedly governed. Either it is, or it isn’t. The answer stares us all in the face. The principles that now fall under threat implicate more than one individual under travail.

They involve the very entitlement of a nation to lay claim to membership of any democratic, humanized union.

    Enough of this charade, nothing more than a display of crude, naked power. Re-lease Omoyele Sowore and save us further embarrassment in the regard of the world. An apology to the nation by the DSS and the judiciary would also not be out of place. It would go some distance in redeeming the image of an increasingly fascistic agency and reduce the swelling tide of public disillusionment.

    Let the rule of law reign. Failing that, have the honesty to proclaim the death of ordered society. Then we’ll all know just where we stand.

WS Foundation for the Humanities
Abeokuta, Ogun State
November 12, 2019