Don Corleone : We have known each other many years, but this is the first time you’ve come to me for counsel or for help. I can’t remember the last time you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let’s be frank here. You never wanted my friendship. And you feared to be in my debt.
Don Corleone : I understand. You found paradise in America. You had a good trade, you made a good living. The police protected you and there were courts of law. So you didn’t need a friend like me. Now you come and say “Don Corleone, give me justice.” But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me “Godfather.” You come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married and you ask me to do murder – for money.
[the Don turns away dismissively, but Bonasera stays on]
Don Corleone : Bonasera, Bonasera, what have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you’d come to me in friendship, this scum who ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by some chance an honest man like yourself made enemies they would become my enemies. And then, they would fear you.
[He places his hand around Bonasera in a paternal gesture]
Don Corleone : Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this justice a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.
[a gratified Bonasera offers his thanks and leaves]
Don Corleone : [to Hagen] Give this job to Clemenza. I want reliable people, people who aren’t going to be carried away. I mean, we’re not murderers, in spite of what this undertaker thinks…
Bonasera : I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a “boy friend,” not an Italian. She went to the movies with him. She stayed out late. I didn’t protest. Two months ago he took her for a drive, with another boy friend. They made her drink whiskey and then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her. Like an animal. When I went to the hospital her nose was broken. Her jaw was shattered, held together by wire. She couldn’t even weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life. A beautiful girl. Now she will never be beautiful again.
[He breaks down at this point, and the Don gestures to his son to get him a drink]
Bonasera : I went to the police, like a good American. These two boys were brought to trial. The judge sentenced them to three years in prison, and suspended the sentence. Suspended sentence! They went free that very day! I stood in the courtroom like a fool, and those two bastards, they smiled at me. Then I said to my wife, “For justice, we must go to Don Corleone.”
Don Corleone : Why did you go to the police? Why didn’t you come to me first?
Bonasera : What do you want of me? Tell me anything. But do what I beg you to do.
Tom Hagen : [on the phone] This is Tom Hagen, calling for Vito Corleone at his request. Now, you owe your Don a service. He has no doubt that you will repay him. In one hour he will be at your funeral parlor to ask for your help. Be there to greet him.
[as ordered, a nervous Bonasera meets the Don at his parlor]
Don Corleone : Well, my friend, are you ready to do me this service?
The Code of Conduct Bureau has slammed corruption charges against the Chief Justice of Nigeria at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, court documents showed.
Walter Onnoghen became the Chief Justice in March 2017, less than six months after the homes of several federal judges, including those of the Supreme Court, were searched in an anti-corruption raid.
On January 10, the Nigerian government filed charges against the head of the country’s judicial arm, accusing him of asset declaration offences.
The government said it was only in 2016 after the controversial crackdown on judges that Mr Onnoghen partially declared his asset, but still failed to declare a series of bank accounts, denominated in local and foreign currencies, linked to him at a Standard Chartered Bank branch in Abuja.
The government consequently filed six charges of non and fraudulent declaration of assets by Mr Onnoghen, with trial expected to commence on January 14 at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
The CCT said in a separate statement Saturday afternoon that trial would commence on Monday at the premises of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Jabi, commercial neighbourhood in Abuja
A spokesperson for the Supreme Court did not immediately return requests for comments Saturday afternoon.
The trial could further strain relations between the judicial and the executive arms of the federal government, which had been largely tense since the raid on federal judges’s homes in October 2016.
Two judges of the Supreme Court were amongst those whose houses were raided. They were charged for corruption, but none of them has been found guilty of wrongdoing.
PREMIUM TIMES obtained copies of the January 10 charges on Saturday.
The charges appeared to have been triggered by a group.
The group, the Anti-corruption and Research based Data Initiative, had sent the petition below against the CJN to PREMIUM TIMES.
The complaints were sent to the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
PETITION ON SUSPECTED FINANCIAL CRIMES AND BREACHES OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT BUREAU REQUIREMENTS AGAINST HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE W. S. NKANU ONNOGHEN, GCON, THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA
We write to bring to your attention serious concerns bothering on flagrant violations of the law and the Constitution of Nigeria by the Honourable Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Specifically, we are distressed that facts on the ground indicate the leader of our country’s judicial branch is embroiled in suspected financial crimes and breaches of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.
The particulars of our findings indicate that:
His Lordship Justice Walter Onnoghen is the owner of sundry accounts primarily funded through cash deposits made by himself, up to as recently as 10th August 2016 which appear to have been run in a manner inconsistent with financial transparency and the code of conduct for public officials.
To give specific examples, here are some instances of cash deposits by Justice Onnoghen:
Justice Onnoghen made five different cash deposits of $10,000 each on 8th March 2011 into Standard Chartered Bank Account 1062650;
On 7th June 2011, two separate cash deposits of $5000 each were made by Justice Walter Onnoghen, followed by four cash deposits of $10,000 each;
On 27th June 2011, Justice Onnoghen made another set of five separate cash deposits of $10,000 each and made four more cash deposits of $10,000 each on the following day, 28th June 2011;
Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen did not declare his assets immediately after taking office, contrary to Section 15 (1) of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act;
Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen did not comply with the constitutional requirement for public servants to declare their assets every four years during their career;
The Code of Conduct Bureau Forms (Form CCB 1) of Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen for 2014 and 2016 were dated and filed on the same day. The acknowledgement slip for Declarant SCN: 000014 was issued on 14th December 2016. The acknowledgement slip for Declarant SCN: 000015 was also issued on 14th December 2016, at which point Justice Onnoghen had become the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The affidavit for SCN: 000014 was sworn to on 14th December 2016;
The affidavit for SCN: 000015 was sworn to on 14th December 2016;
Both forms were received on 14th December 2016 by one Awwal Usman Yakasai.
The discrepancy between Justice Walter Onnoghen’s two CCB forms that were filed on the same day is significant.
In filling the section on Details of Assets, particularly Cash, in Nigerian Banks, His Lordship as Declarant SCN: 000014 mentioned only two bank accounts:
Union Bank account number 0021464934 in Abuja, with balance of N9,536,407, as at 14th November 2014.
Union Bank account number 0012783291 in Calabar, with balance of N11, 456,311 as at 14th November 2014.
The sources of the funds in these accounts are stated as salaries, estacodes and allowances.
As Declarant SCN: 000015 His Lordship however lists seven bank accounts:
Standard Chartered account 00001062667, with balance of N3,221,807.05 as at 14th November 2016.
Standard Chartered account 00001062650, with balance of $164,804.82, as at 14th November 2016.
Standard Chartered account 5001062686, with balance of EUROS 55,154.56, as at 14th November 2016.
Standard Chartered Bank account 5001062679 with balance of GBP108,352.2, as at 14th November 2016.
Standard Chartered Bank account 5001062693 with balance of N8,131,195.27, as at 14th November 2016.
Union Bank account 00021464934 with balance of N23,261,568.89, as at 14th November 2016.
Union Bank account 0012783291 with balance of N14,695,029.12, as at 14th November 2016.
The foreign currency Standard Chartered Bank accounts that were declared by Declarant SCN: 000015 have been in existence since at least 2011.
Prior to 2016, His Lordship appears to have suppressed or otherwise concealed the existence of these multiple domiciliary accounts owned by him, as well as the substantial cash balances in them.
The Standard Chartered Bank dollar account 1062650 had a balance of $391,401.28 on 31st January 2011;
The Standard Chartered Bank Euro account 5001062686 had a balance of EURO 49,971.71 on 31st January 2011;
The Standard Chartered Bank pound sterling account 5001062679 had a balance of GBP23,409.66 on 28th February 2011.
It is curious that these domiciliary accounts were not declared in one of the two CCB Forms filed by Justice Onnoghen on the same day, 14th December 2016.
The Naira bank accounts in b (i) and b (v) above are also omitted in the CCB form of Declarant SCN: 000014.
It is our humble view that, with the foregoing, we have laid before you facts which support the assertion that Justice Walter Onnoghen may have committed a breach of the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act as follows:
Non-declaration of assets immediately after taking office in several capacities prior to becoming the Chief Justice of Nigeria contrary to section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act;
Non-declaration of assets immediately after taking office as the Chief Justice of Nigeria contrary to section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act;
55Non-declaration of assets at the statutory intervals after taking office throughout his career as a federal judicial officer contrary to section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act;
False declaration of asset, and in particular, concealment of significant and declarable assets in the form of sundry bank accounts and the balances therein, contrary to section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act;
Consequent to this information, it is our expectation and request that you will discharge the constitutional duty of your office and take the necessary lawful actions to uphold and enforce the law in this matter by involving sister agencies such as:
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to conduct comprehensive statistical analysis of cash transactions on all the accounts for cases of suspicious transactions.
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to determine whether Standard Chartered Bank has not breached statutory duties to the Nigerian State in favour of, or in connivance with, His Lordship on Suspicious Transactions Reporting (STR).
The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the National Judicial Council (NJC) to determine whether the disclosed financial transactions are justified by His Lordship’s lawful remuneration.
As ordinary citizens, motivated by a clear belief that there must be high standards in public life, we have acted to expose a possible criminal breach of our laws. We believe it is now your duty to act, and to do so promptly.
Alice Walton is the richest woman in the world, with a fortune estimated at $46.7 billion, according to Bloomberg. She is the daughter of WalMart founder Sam Walton and while she focuses on curating art, she also co-manages the family’s holding company Walton Enterprises. BUT NOT FOR LONG !
At 21, Alexandra Andresen is the youngest billionaire in the world and has an estimated worth of $1.2 billion. The Norwegian heiress has won numerous horse dressage competitions and
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, who announced they are divorcing after 25 years of marriage, did not have a prenuptial agreement – meaning they will divide their gargantuan fortune equally, according to a report on Thursday,
Bezos, 54 — who sits at the top of Forbes’ world billionaires ranking with a real-time worth of $137.1 billion — and MacKenzie, 48 –an award-winning novelist — live in Washington state, a “community property state,” meaning divorcing couples without a prenup split assets 50-50, according to TMZ, which cited “sources with direct knowledge” of their arrangement.
Since Amazon was founded a year after the Bezoses tied the knot, MacKenzie could fetch as much as $66 billion based on the value of the company today, according to CNBC.
To fund a settlement of that magnitude, Bezos would have sell or pledge shares, which could dilute his ownership and control of the company.
He owns just under 80 million shares, or just under 16 percent of Amazon, CNBC reported, citing regulatory filings
But divorce lawyers say MacKenzie will very likely want the family fortune to keep growing, so she would probably not push for a settlement that would require him to sell shares, according to the news outlet.
The couple on Wednesday described their breakup as very amicable.
“We want to make people aware of a development in our lives,” Bezos tweeted. “As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends.”
He continued: “We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.”
The couple will remain “cherished friends,” the statement read.
Everything We Know About Amazon’s LORD OF THE RINGS Prequel Series So Far
EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT AMAZON’S LORD OF THE RINGS PREQUEL SERIES SO FAR
Is a Lord of the Rings prequel a good idea? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself since Amazon announced a new TV show based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s seminal series in early 2017. On one hand, a return to Middle-earth sounds like the perfect escapism from today’s world. Peter Jackson‘s original trilogy, based on Tolkein’s three Lord of the Rings novels—The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King—was, by my estimation, just about perfect, and still takes up valuable real estate in my heart. Nostalgia runs super deep for the source material, so revisiting Tolkein’s lush fantasy realm would be a real treat for fans like me.
But then I remember Jackson’s overstuffed Hobbit trilogy, and worry that any attempt to recapture that initial magic may be a fool’s errand. Indeed, Amazon’s proposed new series sounds almost too ambitious, and given the sped-up production timeline and mounting obstacles, it could be a massive failure in the making. Or it could be a Game of Thrones-sized cultural event, a show that busts through the gates and takes everyone by surprise. One thing remains true: I am fascinated by what this thing has the potential be, and every new announcement gets me even more excited. If they pull it off, this could be the biggest thing in TV.
Here’s everything we know about Amazon’s Lord of the Rings prequel series so far.
AMAZON PAID $250 MILLION FOR THE RIGHTS.
After a bidding war with Netflix, Amazon finally obtained rights to Tolkien’s series for a cool quarter of a billion dollars back in 2017, a negotiation brokered between Tolkein’s estate, book publisher HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema, which produced Jackson’s films. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the massive deal includes a five-season commitment and states that the show must be in production within two years. It’s been almost two years since the purchase, which means we can likely expect a slew of new information to pour in soon.
IT COULD BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE SHOW IN TV HISTORY.
That $250 million rights package was already massive, but once production and casting costs are factored in, THR estimates that this thing will cost over $1 billion. When courting the book rights, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos allegedly told his staff he wanted to find the next Game of Thrones; dumping billions of dollars into another beloved fantasy property is one way to do that, we guess. But will it pay off? That’s a steep price tag for a show that hasn’t even gotten off the ground.
IT WILL FOCUS ON YOUNG ARAGORN.
Last May, Lord of the Rings fan site TheOneRing.net reported that “multiple sources” confirmed to them that Amazon’s prequel series would focus on a young Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen‘s character in the film trilogy. They went on to state that the series will not cover the War of the Ring, as featured in Jackson’s trilogy, but would instead draw inspiration from the book’s appendices, which get into Aragorn’s family history and his role as the heir of Isildur and the rightful king of Gondor.
[BREAKING] We have confirmed from multiple sources that @AmazonStudios new billion-dollar #LOTR series will open its first season centered on a young Aragorn.
Though some of Aragorn’s appendices stories made it into Jackson’s films—namely, his relationship with Arwen (Liv Tyler)—there’s plenty of ground left to cover. Aragorn is a fascinating focal point for a series, as he remains a mostly mysterious figure even as a main character in the films; his disguise as the ranger Strider masques his noble ties, which harken deep into Middle Earth lore. As TheOneRing.net speculates:
We could, in flashbacks, learn essentials about the men of #Arnor, sister kingdom in the north to #Gondor, and how the surviving #Dunedain became a community of Rangers, seeking to protect the north from incursions of the Witch-king of Angmar.
Just where the series begins and ends is anyone’s guess. Considering Aragorn’s reign as King Elessar Telcontar continues after the main events of the War of the Rings, it’s even possible Mortensen could return to the role eventually.
PETER JACKSON MIGHT BE INVOLVED.
Creatively speaking, the only writers currently attached to the project are John P. Dayne and Patrick McKay, who are acting as showrunners, according to Deadline. The duo were supposedly recommended by J.J. Abrams, who worked with them on the upcoming Star Trek 4. The series will have a full writers room, so we can expect more names to pop up as the pre-production process rolls along
One name that has been tossed around is none other than Peter Jackson. According to Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, the company has been in talks with Jackson about his possible involvement in the series. That could mean the visual continuity of the series will be in step with what Jackson and his team created. That would make the best sense; if you want to tap into the well of nostalgia, and if you’re already in coordination with the original film studio, might as well go all in.
We don’t know what role Jackson would play in the new series, though executive producer and creative consultant is a safe bet.
Salke has also said she’s in talks with Tolkien’s grandson, Simon, whose involvement actually means a great deal. When the film trilogy was announced, Simon had agreed to cooperate with the filmmakers, which caused a riff between him and his father, Christopher, who did not wish to associate and who cut Simon off from the family inheritance. Though the two were briefly estranged, they have since reconciled. It’s unclear how the elder Tolkien feels about Simon’s involvement in this new series, and just what the family is providing to Amazon, but it’s good to know the estate is seemingly more on board this time around.
NEW ZEALAND MIGHT ONCE AGAIN PLAY MIDDLE EARTH.
Speaking of visual continuity, Salke also said the show might head to New Zealand, where Jackson’s films were shot, once production is underway. “I think we might be in New Zealand,” she told Deadline last June. “I don’t know, but we’re going to have to go somewhere interesting that could provide those locations in a really authentic way, because we want it to look incredible. There’s no shortage of ambition for the project. We’ll go where we need to go to make it happen.”
THE SERIES SHOULD DEBUT IN 2021.
Though there’s no hard date yet, Salke told THR that Amazon hopes to have the Lord of the Rings prequel on the air by 2021. In just two short years, we could be saying hello to the next all-time great fantasy TV series. For now, I’m still holding my breath
IS MARY POPPINS AN ALIEN, WITCH, OR TIME TRAVELER? www.argument.com.ng
She uses an Umbrella instead of a Broom and The Party Symbols in Nigeria
are A Broom APC an Umbrella PDP
Mary Poppins Returns hit theaters on December 19, a magical confection of old-school Disney charm and that very-Mary burst of imagination. The film has delighted critics (myself included) and audience goers are in for a delicious treat. But in the information age, critics and fans alike are probing a little deeper into the Poppins mythos. Like, what is the exact source of Mary Poppins‘ magical powers and where the hell did she come from? We have some ideas.
The most likely possibility is that Mary Poppins is a witch of some sort. That could explain her ageless exterior, her ability to fly through the sky (with an umbrella in place of a broomstick), her enchanted bag, and other peculiarities like flying up the stairwell bannister or attracting animals. In the books, it’s implied that all children are born with magic, and that Mary merely never lost hers. That doesn’t necessarily make her a witch, but why, then, was she the only one with this unique ability? It feels vaguely Harry Potter-esqye in that “chosen one” sense.
We’re not the only ones who float this theory. It’s a popular one on Twitter.
All British lamp lighters and chimney sweeps know Mary Poppins is a witch.
The books may imply that Mary is merely some nameless magical being, but the movies make no such distinction, so we can go a little more wild in our theories here. For instance, what if Mary Poppins isn’t from this planet? That could explain why basic physics don’t really apply to her, and how she’s able to jump through time and space as she likes. If she’s from another planet, that could also explain her almost robotic mannerisms and ability to see straight into the soul of a problem.
Mary Poppins was an alien. That was everyone’s take away right?
Or maybe Mary’s simply hopped over from another dimension, and that’s why she’s able to leap into painted bowls and into the ocean-like depths of a simple bathtub. Her ability to bend and manipulate time and place would make sense if she’s somehow learned how to leap through string universes like Olivia Dunham.
I like this idea that Mary Poppins is an interdimensional illusionist sorcerer of unknown ancient, alien origin and questionable motives. The Earth will soon be caught up in one of her visions and she will finally have brought her proper order to things.
Good Morning America
.@GMA WORLD EXCLUSIVE: #MaryPoppinsReturns FULL trailer! On December 19, the story continues! https://gma.abc/2K1ffov
This is a pet theory of mine that could also explain the long gaps in her appearances. What if Mary was actually from another future timeline, and travels back intermittently to check in on the Bankses and other families? There’s a longstanding theory that Mary was also Bert’s nanny long ago, and that’s why he recognizes and even sings about her. (In the opening lines of the original Mary Poppins, he sings: “Can’t put me finger on what lies in store/ But I feel what’s to happen all happened before.”) If Mary is able to jump through time at will, that could explain why she doesn’t seem to age: she merely pops in for a few months from her timeline and then goes right back. What could be several decades for the Banks children is just a wee bit of time out of her schedule.
Or maybe she’s just a straight-up Time Lord. (Lin-Manuel Miranda seems to think so, at least.)
You know, I was upset about Mary Poppins being remade, but then I thought about it. Who has the power to change their form, have more room inside something than there should be, and can travel to lands that others might consider impossible? I think Mary Poppins is a Time Lord.
It certainly feels like Mary was sent from the heavens to care for the Banks family. That’s why she always arrives and leaves through the sky, and why she arrives at such opportune moments. Perhaps she exists only for the Banks family as an answer to the bits of themselves they’ve buried deep within. She comes from up above to bring out what they’ve always known rests inside, and then she flits off once they’ve learned their lesson. That sounds like a guardian angel to us, or at least some kind of special protector.
A shattering breach of trust: What happens to patients when their doctor is not who he claimed to be?
LARGO, Md. — In Yvette Hansberry’s home, a small, soft teddy bear sits on the mantel above the fireplace. Its beady eyes survey the small family room; its face always smiles.The bear is in a prime location because it contains the remains of the worst day of her life.
A week before that fateful day, Hansberry had been six months pregnant. She had begun leaking a clear-looking fluid — enough for her to wear a pad when she went to work. Her OB-GYN, Dr. Charles Akoda, examined her, but dismissed her concerns, she said, pronouncing her “fine,” just as he had when she experienced light bleeding three
months into her term.
Still, Hansberry knew something was not right. “I had never been six months pregnant before, but I know you’re not supposed to be leaking any fluid,” she said.
She returned to the clinic, and this time was seen by the other OB-GYN at the practice. Almost as soon as she was on the examination ADVERTISEMENT
table, he told her she was in labor. She had been, by that point, for at least six days; the membranes from her amniotic sac were hanging down through her cervix and into her vaginal canal.
Hansberry was rushed to a hospital in an ambulance. Five hours later, her daughter arrived — three months early — and could not be saved.
Later, Hansberry would learn that her doctor’s name was not Dr. Charles Akoda. She would learn that his legal name was Oluwafemi Charles Igberase. And she would learn that he had used a fake Social Security card to obtain a medical license and advance his medical career.
For almost four years, he had performed exams on women, read sonograms, made birth plans, and delivered babies in Maryland’s Prince George’s County under a medical license not in his legal name. He has said he attended medical school before completing his residency but has provided no verifiable evidence of his training.
In late 2016, “Akoda,” as he was widely known, pled guilty to a federal fraud charge. He served six months in prison.
For Hansberry and the other women under his care, though, the revelation of the fraud has served as a shattering breach of trust, one that has changed the way they approach their medical care and their everyday lives, and has made them question institutions they expected to do them no harm.
Many had struggled with their treatment under Akoda’s care — they said his bedside manner was brusque and that he was quick to dismiss their own concerns about their health. In that way, their experience was not unlike that of legions of women who say they have their suffering minimized by doctors or their health problems overlooked.
But, even so, they had clung to at least one truth: They were in trusted hands.
Akoda declined to be interviewed at length for this story, citing fears of “further legal exposures.” He answered some brief questions in a series of text messages, and acknowledged using fraudulent credentials. But he insisted he is a “fully and properly trained physician.”
“I made some poor judgement which I know I’ll pay for for the rest of my life,” he said.
More than 200 of his former patients, including Hansberry, have joined a class-action suit against Dimensions Health Corp., which now operates the hospital where they were treated. The suit claims that the hospital was negligent in its hiring and credentialing of the man they knew as Akoda — and that they had suffered “humiliation, shame, mortification and other injuries” under his care.
The suit charges that he conducted unplanned emergency cesarean section surgeries that were “not medically necessary” and that, because his patients did not know his real identity, they were incapable of providing authorization or consent for any medical procedures. Dimensions Health Corp. declined to provide comment for this story.
Despite their discomfort with Akoda, many of the women said they were too embarrassed about the awkward or sometimes painful procedures they had endured to raise concerns with anyone in authority. Even now, as they recalled their interactions with Akoda, their discovery of his fraud, and their life since, they all have the same lingering question: How on earth could this have happened?
Hansberry, who has a trace of a Southern accent and eyes that hold back her tears, doesn’t have an answer.
“This,” she said, “is gonna be with me forever and ever.”
“I made some poor judgement which I know I’ll pay for for the rest of my life.”
OLUWAFEMI CHARLES IGBERASE
It is hard to know the exact details of Akoda’s life. Court documents list 11 possible pseudonyms. It is believed he was born as Oluwafemi Charles Igberase in Nigeria.
He is around 5’10” with an athletic build and dark brown skin. His hair is shaved and his head is smooth. He wears brown glasses that sit on his slightly protruding ears.
There are other known facts, known either because they appear in federal court documents or were provided during testimony under oath.
In October 1991, around age 29, Akoda entered the United States on a nonimmigrant visa. Over the next six years, he applied for and obtained fraudulent Social Security numbers using different names and different permanent addresses. He then used those fraudulent identities to try to and obtain certifications from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, which licenses international medical school graduates before they can pursue graduate medical education in the United States.
On multiple occasions, he failed these basic exams for certification. But he tried again and, in 1993 and 1994, received separate certifications. Two of those certifications were revoked after authorities noticed he had used different names and dates in his applications. (Applicants are not allowed to take these exams multiple times.) In 1998, however, he received a certification from the commission again.
He used it to apply to a residency program in New Jersey, where he was admitted. Officials later noticed he had used a false birth date and Social Security number and suspended him.
Still, using fraudulent credentials, Akoda applied to Howard University in Washington, D.C., for a residency in gynecology and obstetrics. He was admitted and completed his residency at Prince George’s Hospital Center. At Prince George’s, Akoda met Dr. Abdul G. Chaudry, who has had operating privileges there since 1980. Chaudry eventually hired Akoda — who obtained a medical license from the Maryland Board of Physicians in September 2011 — to join his clinic.
In the clinic, most of Akoda’s patients saw him by happenstance. Because both he and Chaudry worked in obstetrics, they were often on call at the nearby hospital, delivering babies and dealing with maternity ward patients. When Chaudry was not at the clinic, his patients would be seen by Akoda, even if they had barely known of his existence beforehand.
Of the six women who spoke to STAT, all said they had seen Akoda for the first time when he walked into their room, while they were expecting to see Chaudry.
They were not always pleased. One patient, Sylvia Nkeng, whose second child was delivered by Akoda, said most women at the clinic wanted to be seen by Chaudry. In her case, because she was working full time, while also taking classes, her schedule wasn’t flexible enough to allow her to be selective about which doctor she saw.
“All of that put me in a tight corner, where I couldn’t really do much about it,” she said.
Other women found themselves in similar circumstances. Prince George’s is a majority-black county, with a large immigrant population and limited health care options, especially for women’s health.
Hansberry said she began visiting Chaudry’s clinic because her mother had been seeing him for years. When she showed up in 2014 for her well-woman’s exam, Akoda saw her — and he was the one to tell her she was pregnant. She was 35 at the time and, though it was an accidental pregnancy, she was happy to hear the news.
Over the coming weeks, she was seen by both Chaudry and Akoda, but the latter more often. During those appointments, she said, she began to feel like something was off — that Akoda’s care was different than what she was used to experiencing.
“I know what a [vaginal] exam is supposed to feel like,” she recalled. “I’ve been doing it for a long time. It was just different … and at the time I didn’t pinpoint what it was.”
In interviews, women said they were “embarrassed” over the way Akoda treated them, but never considered telling others, not even their husbands.
Tina Young, whose child was delivered by Akoda, recalled that she had never seen Akoda before he walked into her delivery room at Prince George’s Hospital. At the time, she said, she wasn’t fully dilated, but Akoda put her feet in the stirrups and had her push. He reached his hand inside of her without asking, she said, and stretched her cervix more.
“He was grabbing my child from my womb,” she recalled. “It was excruciating.”
Young, who had given birth three other times, said she did not experience any complications with her previous births. But she didn’t feel normal for six months after the delivery Akoda performed, and she still has questions. She thinks about her experience at least once a week — especially when she looks at her daughter, now 2 years old.
In November 2016, when Akoda pled guilty, local news reports in Washington carried the story.
One of his patients heard his name on the radio while driving home; she at first assumed she must have misheard. Another heard about it from a friend at her baby’s christening. One woman dropped a cereal bowl when she turned around and saw his face on television.
Hansberry, a paraprofessional for D.C. Public Schools, was at work when she got a call from her mother with the news. She stepped into a closet and wept.
For Nkeng, the news was also traumatic. She was watching daytime television when Akoda’s picture appeared on her screen.
An immigrant from Cameroon, Nkeng speaks hesitantly, but as she recalled her experience with Akoda, her voice was saturated with anger. She was never given a detailed birth plan, she said, and when she raised concerns about cramping or just how big she had become, Akoda dismissed them.
Nkeng’s baby was due on Sept. 8. When the baby still hadn’t arrived 10 days later, Akoda told her to meet him at the hospital. There, he induced labor. Nkeng said he did not tell her what to expect and gave her no guidance on how long the process might last.
At the end of two days of labor, Akoda performed a cesarean section. Her son was 9 pounds, 14 ounces at birth, almost three pounds heavier than her daughter had been.
“I lost a lot of blood. Was it 2 or 3 pints of blood? They had to stop it at some point because my body couldn’t take it,” Nkeng said. “I was just gushing it out.”
Nkeng was at the hospital for three days after the C-section, but she was still losing a lot of blood. Still, she said, Akoda ordered her discharge.
Family members refused to take her to her own house, and instead got her to a relative’s where she could be monitored. There she continued to bleed heavily. “Where’s my son? Don’t let him see me die. Move him away from me,” she remembers telling her aunt before passing out.
Her family called an ambulance, which took her back to the hospital she had just left. She waited in the emergency room for Akoda to come back and examine her. He determined she had a blot clot and, without giving her warning, she said, sent his fist inside her to remove it.
After he removed the clot, Akoda told her she should be grateful, that he’d saved her life — and that she wouldn’t be able to have children for three years.
According to her medical records, Nkeng spent four days in intensive care before being transferred to another section of the hospital for another six days before she could go home.
After her release, she returned to the clinic and demanded Akoda be fired.
“What I experienced at the hospital almost cost me my life,” she said.
“This is gonna be with me forever and ever.”
Nkeng was one of the last patients Akoda saw while still working out of Chaudry’s office. Her son was born in September 2014. Later that year, Chaudry fired him. He later said in a deposition that the cause for the termination was Akoda’s tendency to cancel patient appointments so that he could leave work early, not his performance as a doctor.
After leaving Chaudry’s office, Akoda started his own practice in College Park, Md. Following a federal investigation, he was arrested in June 2016.
Howard University, which declined comment for this story, has acknowledged that it admitted Akoda to its residency program; it did so on the basis of his license from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. Chaudry, who also declined to comment, acknowledged in a deposition that he never reviewed Akoda’s certification documents.
Despite those oversights, Akoda never would have been able to see patients on his own had he not been permitted to work at Prince George’s Hospital Center.
At Prince George’s, and at most U.S. hospitals, the hiring process typically involves a rigorous application process. A doctor must submit all personal documentation, an application including letters of recommendation, and statements of purpose. That information is then submitted to a series of committees for approval: one that checks credentials, one made up of medical executives, and finally a board of directors.
Akoda’s application to work at Prince George’s included fraudulent letters of recommendation, and he used his fraudulent Social Security card and accompanying documents, according to court documents. The application went through several layers of gatekeepers without a problem.
Dimensions, the private nonprofit that now operates the hospital, has argued in court documents that, despite Akoda’s fraud, he was licensed to practice medicine during the time he was employed at Prince George’s. Those documents state the he performed satisfactorily on OB-GYN exams and that Howard University named him “resident of the year.” Dimensions says he was, in fact, a doctor, even if his name was not Dr. Akoda.
“As Shakespeare wrote over 400 years ago, ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet,’” Dimensions wrote in a motion to dismiss the case.
After Akoda’s conviction, Sylvia Nkeng became pregnant again and decided to switch practices. Tina Young, fearful of becoming pregnant again, began taking birth control for the first time in her life, even though she had always wanted 10 children. Monique Riggins, a plaintiff named in the class-action suit, said she still feels physical pain from her delivery more than three years ago.
Yvette Hansberry also got pregnant again. She, too, immediately switched doctors offices. She drove to a doctor in Virginia whose credentials she looked up online and verified in person.
Her daughter Zoey’s remains are kept inside the teddy bear on the mantel.
“That’s your sister,” Hansberry tells her second daughter, Sky, who is 2 years old.
If Zoey’s bear falls off the mantel — as it does sometimes in a breeze, or when its head gets far too heavy to sit up anymore — Sky instructs her mother and grandmother to return it.
On a recent day, Hansberry brought her hands to her face as she remembered her first pregnancy. Her breath caught for a moment in the back of her throat, her eyes welling with tears.
“That was my first child. She’s now sitting on my fireplace in an urn because I had to have her cremated,” she said.
“I trusted him,” she said. “I didn’t think to ask to see his credentials.”