109 deaths in three months linked to 2023 polls, says CDD (Guardian)
About 109 deaths recorded across the country from January 1 to March 10, 2023, have been linked to the conduct of the 2023 general election, a pro-democracy organisation, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), has said.
The organisation, therefore, warned that if appropriate measures were not taken, today’s governorship and state assembly elections would be fraught with violence.
The group listed ways violence could manifest to include voter intimidation, ballot box snatching and the destruction of election materials. Read more
Business boom for petty traders as old naira notes bounce back (DailyTrust)
A cross section of petty traders interviewed in Kubwa town in the FCT have said that their businesses have started to boom again following the reintroduction of the old naira notes as legal tender. A tea vendor, Sani Isiaka, said the measure had given him relief from the consistent online banking failures from customers.
Isiaka, who happily brought out some old naira notes which he was paid with, said he is no longer experiencing difficulties with his bakery and suppliers over money.
An okpa seller, Okeke Queen, and her counterpart Okenyike Chinyere commended the policy, but added that they still encounter some challenges with some of their raw materials supplies in the village markets who are not aware of the return of the old naira notes. Read more
2 die in stampede over Ramadan gifts (Guardian)
Two middle-aged women, yesterday, died, in a stampede while struggling to receive Ramadan gifts at a mosque near Five Star Bus, on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos.
A pregnant woman also went into forced labour and delivered a set of twins in the process.
According to a witness, the mosque usually provides gifts to those who visit it at the beginning of Ramadan fast.
This year’s Ramadan starts on Wednesday, March 23, 2023. Read more
Alleged threat: MC Oluomo makes U-turn, says ‘‘Mama Chukwudi is my sister’’ (Tribune)
The Lagos State Parks Management Committee Chairman, Musiliu Akinsanya, also known as MC Oluomo, has denied threatening Igbo to steer clear of Saturday’s Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in the State.
MC Oluomo, in a now-viral video addressing a gathering, allegedly warned Igbo neighbours not to bother going to the polling units on Saturday if they intended to vote for candidates other than the ruling party’s flag bearers.
“It is not a fight. It is not wahala (a problem). What do we want to correct? Our PVC. And we will stand there. Yoruba should get there first and should vote first. Read more
Doctor accused of defiling wife’s niece loses bid to stop trial (Leadership)
Justice Rahmon Oshodi of Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court in Ikeja on Thursday refused to grant a no case submission application filed by a 57-year-old medical director, Dr Femi Olaleye, who is accused of defiling his wife’s niece.
Justice Oshodi, who ordered the embattled doctor to defend himself over the allegations brought against him by the state government, dismissed his application for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
Olaleye, who is the founder of Optimal Care Centre, was arraigned before the court on an alleged two-count charge of defilement and sexual penetration against a minor. Read more
Desmond Elliot condemns attack on LP opponent in Lagos (Vanguard)
The lawmaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Surulere Constituency, Desmond Elliot, has condemned the attack on the campaign team of his Labour Party opponent, Olumide Oworu.
Hoodlums had attacked some supporters of the Labour Party (LP) in the Surulere area of Lagos on Thursday, injuring some members of the party.
Oworu tweeted, on Thursday, that thugs invaded his campaign rally which was held on Tuesday at Iponri, Surulere. Read more
Adekunle Gold joins Def Jam (ThisDay)
Afrobeats star, Adekunle Gold is set to take his music career to a whole new level following a recent signing with Def Jam Recordings. The deal was disclosed in a statement by Nigerian Def Jam’s music executive, Tunji Balogun. The Afro-fusion singer, songwriter, since his rebranding from Adekunle Gold to AG Baby, has continued to hit major milestones.
Owned by Universal Music Group, the contract with the American multinational record company (Def Jam) comes at a defining moment and will see Gold join the league of Nigerian artistes pushing the frontiers internationally. Adekunle Gold’s latest single ‘Party No Dey Stop’ marks his debut for the label. “I’ve been following Adekunle Gold since I first heard his record ‘Sade’ in 2016,” Balogun noted in the statement.
Balogun added, “Over the years, everything in AG’s world has elevated — his songwriting has refined, the scope of his artistry has widened, his vocals have strengthened, his approach to fashion is more distinct, and his showmanship and performance ability have grown exponentially,” Balogun further explained. “He’s stepped into stardom on his own terms and is completely comfortable being his true self. Read more
NJC recommends chief judge’s compulsory retirement, probes judicial officers (Channels)
The National Judicial Council has recommended the compulsory retirement of the Chief Judge of Taraba State High Court, Justice F. B. Andetur, with immediate effect.
The NJC’s Director, Information, Soji Oye, in a statement on Friday, noted that the recommendation came after its 101st Meeting of March 16, 2023 held under the Chairmanship of Justice Kayode Ariwoola.
Justice Andetur was said to have been recommended for compulsory retirement, following the findings of an investigation committee to a petition written against him by Senator Muhammed Sanusi Dagash. Read more
Keanu Reeves, Chad Stahelski dedicate fourth ‘‘John Wick’’ film to Lance Reddick (Fox)
“John Wick: Chapter Four” star Keanu Reeves; the film’s director, Chad Stahelski; and more Hollywood stars are mourning the unexpected death of actor Lance Reddick.
Reddick, who starred in The Wire, Fringe and the John Wick franchise, died Friday. He was 60.
In a joint statement to Deadline, Reeves and Stahelski said, “We are deeply saddened and heartbroken at the loss of our beloved friend and colleague Lance Reddick.
“He was the consummate professional and a joy to work with. Our love and prayers are with his wife Stephanie, his children, family and friends. We dedicate the film to his loving memory. We will miss him dearly.” Read more
Sam Neill reveals diagnosis of stage-3 blood cancer in memoir (ABC)
Actor Sam Neill has revealed he is being treated for stage-three blood cancer, writing in a memoir that he was “possibly dying” from the illness diagnosed a year ago.
The New Zealander, who burst to fame after starring as Dr Alan Grant in the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, said he began treatment last March for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Neill, 75, makes the revelation in his book Did I Ever Tell You This?, which is being released next week. Read more
Gwyneth Paltrow defends her wellness tips dubbed a ‘‘starvation diet’’ (PageSix)
Gwyneth Paltrow blamed “very high levels of inflammation” and long COVID for her wellness tips that have since been dubbed a “starvation diet.”
“I have been working to really focus on foods that aren’t inflammatory, [and] it’s been working really well,” the actress said on her Instagram Story Friday.
“This is based on my medical results and extensive testing I’ve done over time,” the 50-year-old added, noting that her daily diet wasn’t “meant to be advice for anyone else.” Read more
Denzel Washington reuniting with Ridley Scott on ‘‘Gladiator’’ sequel at Paramount (Deadline)
Almost 16 years ago Denzel Washington and Ridley Scott wowed audiences with their hit crime drama American Gangster, and now it looks like the two A-listers are ready to get back together in a big way. Sources tell Deadline that Washington is in final negotiations to co-star in Scott’s sequel to his Oscar Best Picture winner Gladiator for Paramount.
Paul Mescal is on board to star opposite Washington, with Scott returning to the director’s chair.
Scott also will produce with Scott Free president Michael Pruss as well as Doug Wick & Lucy Fisher via Red Wagon Entertainment. David Scarpa penned the script. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are executive producing. Read more
Drew Barrymore responds to former co-star Hugh Grant insulting her singing in romcom (DigitalSpy)
Drew Barrymore has hilariously responded to Hugh Grant after he insulted her singing in their romcom Music and Lyrics.
The pair appeared together in the 2007 movie, which involved both showing off their vocal skills. However, in a recent interview with Wired, Grant didn’t hold back in his opinion of Barrymore’s singing, calling it ‘‘horrendous’’.
Classically hitting back, Barrymore took to her Instagram with a clip of her singing the tune ‘‘A Way Back Into Love’’ from the movie into a hairbrush. Read more
Poland to be first NATO country to provide fighter jets to Ukraine (CBS)
Poland said Thursday it plans to give Ukraine about a dozen MiG-29 fighter jets, which would make it the first NATO member to fulfill Kyiv’s increasingly urgent requests for warplanes to defend itself against the Russian invasion.
Warsaw will hand over four of the Soviet-made warplanes “within the next few days,” President Andrzej Duda said, and the rest needed servicing but would be supplied later. The Polish word he used to describe the total number can mean between 11 and 19.
“They are in the last years of their functioning, but they are in good working condition,” Duda said. Read more
Putin arrest warrant issued over war crime allegations (BBC)
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The court alleges he is responsible for war crimes, and has focused its claims on the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.
It says the crimes were committed in Ukraine from 24 February 2022 – when Russia launched its full-scale invasion.
Moscow has denied the allegations and labelled the warrants as “outrageous”. Read more
Osimhen beats De Bruyne, Benzema to Champions League Goal of the Week award (Guardian)
Super Eagles and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen’s goal against Eintracht Frankfurt has been voted UEFA Champions League Goal of the Week.
UEFA announced Osimhen’s goal as the best among the shortlisted on their Champions League verified Twitter handle on Friday.
Osimhen beat off competitions from Manchester City duo of Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to land the award. Read more
Heartland technical adviser, Obi backs team for NPFL promotion this season (ThisDay)
The technical Adviser of Heartland Football Club of Owerri, Christian Obi is optimistic that the club would return to Nigeria’s elite football division at the end of the 2022/23 Nigeria National League season.
According to the 2005 U20 bronze medalist in Moscow, “arrangement is in top gear at ensuring Heartland gain promotion to the Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL at the end of the season,” Obi said.
“I have prepared a crack team of players that are determined and ambitious, with the ultimate ambition of playing in the elite division with Heartland after this season,” he noted. Read more
Alexander Isak double earns last-gasp win for Newcastle to boost top-four hopes (IrishIndependent)
Alexander Isak scored an injury-time penalty as Newcastle boosted their Premier League top-four hopes with a 2-1 injury-time win at Nottingham Forest, whose relegation fears were heightened.
The Magpies had looked like being made to settle for a draw, but Isak’s spot-kick penalty earned a deserved three points, which saw them move to within a point of fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.
Forest had gone ahead midway through the first half through Emmanuel Dennis’ first goal for the club, but Isak levelled in superb fashion on the stroke of half-time when he volleyed home. Read more
Christian Atsu: Ghana funeral for footballer killed by Turkey earthquake (BBC)
Hundreds of people including Ghana’s president have paid their last respects to Christian Atsu, who died in last month’s earthquake in Turkey.
He was honoured with a state funeral in the capital, Accra.
“In life I love you darling, in death I’ll do the same,” read the tearful tribute from the footballer’s widow, Marie-Claire Rupio.
She was overcome with emotion and handed her speech to Atsu’s sister to finish reading. Read more
Embiid scores 38 in romp, 76ers rout Hornets 121-82 (DailyMail)
Joel Embiid had 38 points and 13 rebounds in just 29 minutes, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Charlotte Hornets 121-82 on Friday night for their seventh straight victory.
Embiid scored 12 points in each of the first two quarters before calling it an early night in a game the 76ers (47-22) led by 42 points in the second half.
Embiid also had five assists and was once serenaded in each half with chants of “MVP! MVP!” from the crowd by the many 76ers fans at Charlotte´s Spectrum Center. Read more
Sabalenka beats Sakkari to reach 1st Indian Wells final (France24)
Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka beat Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 in a Stadium Court slugfest on Friday to reach the final of the Indian Wells WTA and ATP Masters 1000 hard court tennis tournament.
World number two Sabalenka, who took her 2023 WTA record to 17-1, notched her fifth win in eight meetings against the seventh-seeded Greek and awaits the winner of the second semi-final between world number one and defending champion Iga Swiatek and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
That’s a rematch of the Australian Open fourth round match in which Rybakina stunned top-seeded Swiatek on her way to a runner-up finish. Read more