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Roman Abramovich begs friends for $1m to pay staff

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Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has asked his Hollywood and US powerbroker friends to each lend him $1 million to keep him afloat as his assets are frozen by worldwide authorities.

Page Six reported that the Chelsea Football Club owner, whose bank accounts are frozen in the US and the UK, is desperately asking for loans from his prominent and powerful friends to maintain his whispered $750,000-a-week staff payroll — which includes the minions keeping his multiple luxury superyachts afloat.

But while Abramovich — who has hosted a series of starry celebrity parties on his boats and at his sprawling St. Bart’s estate — has many close friends in Hollywood, Wall Street and the tech world, we are told his associates are wary about lending him money, even as he takes part in the peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

A source told Page Six, “Roman is asking some of his closest powerful friends to let him borrow $1 million.

“He is saying he has never missed payroll for his staff, which is $750,000 a week, and with his assets frozen, he can’t pay his people.

“He has reached out to Hollywood producer and director Brett Ratner and the Rothschild family, among many others, for money, but — while they are good friends with Roman — they have not agreed to give him money, because either they do not have that in liquid cash, or moreover it is not clear what are the repercussions under international law.”

Ratner declined to comment and the Rothschilds could not be reached. Neither have given money to Abramovich.

The United Kingdom and the European Union sanctioned Abramovich — who has a net worth of $14.3 billion, according to Bloomberg — in early March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich then had his assets frozen by US hedge funds. The sanctions also prevented Abramovich from profiting from the $3 billion sale of his Chelsea Football Club.

Meanwhile, Abramovich is still doing what he can to keep his assets afloat, by including himself in peace talks to bring an end to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine. He was invited to the peace talks by the Ukrainians, who believe he has a direct line to Putin — which he denies.

Abramovich, 55, reportedly made his fortune in the privatization rush after the collapse of the Soviet Union and was the owner of Millhouse Capital, an investment firm with stakes in nickel mining and steelmakers.

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Breaking! Adeleke Makes First Appointments As Governor of Osun

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke

The newly sworn-in governor of Osun State,Senator Ademola Adeleke has named Mallam Olawale Rasheed as his Chief Press Secretary.

The governor also appointed Alhaji Kazim Olaleye and Teslim Igbalaye as Chief of Staff to the Governor and Secretary to the State Government respectively.

Details later….

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I reduced debt, left N14bn behind – Oyetola

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Former Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola

Former Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, has said his administration is leaving behind a total sum of N14 billion cash in the state’s coffers.

Oyetola also said between 2018 and time of his exit, his administration had paid a sum of N97 billion from the debt inherited, adding that the administration did not take any bank loan during his tenure as governor.

In a farewell message by Oyetola as contained in a statement made available by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Sunday, he further disclosed that his administration put Osun’s economy on a better footing through many people-centred and masses-focused projects implemented to make life worthwhile for the people of the state.

According to him, Osun under his watch has been stable economically as manifested in the astronomical increase in the Gross Domestic Product of the state since he assumed office.

He affirmed that Osun was more stable economically than he met it in 2018, saying despite all the visible socio-economic challenges confronting the state with its attendant effects, he was able to take care of the fears and evil of fiscal indiscipline and lack of implementation, which hampered projects and services in the nation’s public service.

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The statement quoting Oyetola further read in part, “As I step aside today( Sunday) following the conclusion of the four-year tenure you freely gave me, I thank God and I thank you for your support, cooperation and prayers over the years.

“I recall how the journey began four years ago; how by your belief in me and your conviction in the plans and programmes of our party, you exercised your right to vote for me. As we end our first term, rest assured that Osun is more stable economically than we met it in 2018 and it remained the most peaceful state in the country under our leadership.

“For four years, we did not take any bank loan facility. But we benefitted from the N3 billion monthly intervention from the Federal Government to all the states for six months to cushion the effect of deductions of budget support facility and salary bailout accessed by the previous administration, just as we have paid N97 billion from the total debt we inherited in 2018.

“We are leaving behind cash of over N14 billion. In addition to the N14 billion cash, another N8 billion is being expected between December and January from our performance in SFTAS and the Internally Generated Revenue. Also, another $72 million will come to the state soon from RAMP 3, NG-CARES, Nigeria for Women Project and Ease of Doing Business. These are earned based on performance. And we have indeed performed to earn them.

“It was part of the same performance that earned us the award of Best Governor on Efficiency of Public Expenditure and TOP Performer on Domestic Revenue Mobilisation by the World Bank’s States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability, SFTAS, recently. We have gone this length to let you know that Osun under our leadership was sustainable. It was done through fiscal discipline and personal sacrifices.” Punch

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Malawi Vice President arrested over $280,000 bribe

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Malawi has arrested its Vice President Saulos Chilima over a bribery scandal involving a British-Malawian businessman, says the country’s anti-corruption watchdog.

The vice president — who has been stripped of his powers — has been charged with several counts of corruption and taking bribes to influence government contracts, the Anti-Corruption Bureau said.

“He received advantage in the form of money amounting to $280,000 and other items from (British-Malawian businessman) Zuneth Sattar,” for the latter’s companies to be awarded Malawi government contracts, ACB spokeswoman Egrita Mdala said in a statement.

Chilima was due to appear in court on Friday afternoon. Officials and supporters from his United Transformation Movement party had already gathered outside in support.

President Lazarus Chakwera stripped Chilima of his powers in June when details of the alleged graft first emerged.

According to Malawi’s constitution, the president could not suspend or remove Chilima because he was an elected official.

Several ministers and former ministers have already been arrested in connection with the case, in which 53 public officials have been accused of receiving money from Sattar between March and October 2021.

Chilima partnered with Chakwera to win the 2020 presidential election re-run, sweeping to victory on an anti-corruption platform.

He had also joined Chakwera in challenging fraudulent elections in 2019, which led to a court-sanctioned poll the following year in which Chakwera defeated former leader Peter Mutharika.

AFP

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