3 men docked over alleged possession of 2 human skulls (Guardian)
Three men were on Wednesday brought before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, over alleged possession of two human skulls.
The defendants, Kazeem Olanrewaju, 27; Amidu Kazeem, 38; and Muritala Salami, 43, are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and unlawful possession of human parts.
They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Prosecutor, Sgt. Modupe Olaluwoye told the court that the defendants committed the offences at 6.00 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2019, along Adeniji Adele Road, Lagos.
She told the court that the second and third defendants were caught in possession of two human skulls in a black nylon, which they had earlier claimed contained biscuits. Read more
Lagos commuters reject proposed hike in BRT fares (Guardian)
Some commuters in Lagos State on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the proposed increase of fares by the Primero Transport Services Limited, operator of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the BRT operator on Tuesday revealed its intention for an upward review of transport fares across all routes in the state to meet up with current realities.
The Managing Director of the firm, Mr Fola Tinubu, had told NAN that the current fares were grossly inadequate if the firm was to provide better services for the people.
According to him, the cost of operating the buses have increased so much that the firm is finding it difficult to survive and sustain operations. Read more
Family kicks as man guarding telecommunications mast dies (Punch)
The family of a security guard, Wasiu Olaide, who died on the site of a telecommunications mast belonging to Globacom in the Alapere area of Lagos State, has demanded justice for his death.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Wasiu was one of the security guards watching over the mast located at No. 7 Ademolu Adefuye Street, Alapere.
Until Wasiu’s death, it was learnt that he was operating as a commercial motorcyclist during the day and as a guard in the employment of Proserve Security to secure the mast at night.
When PUNCH Metro visited the scene of the incident, residents, who witnessed Wasiu’s last moments, gave two accounts of the circumstances surrounding his death. Read more
Lagos rescues 14-day-old baby from Jehovah Witness parents (Nation)
The Lagos State Government, through the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), has recovered a severely jaundiced 14-day-old baby whose parents denied her life-saving blood transfusion on religious grounds.
The baby girl (name withheld) was delivered prematurely at a private hospital in Surulere with headquarters at Ikoyi on December 18,, 2019 to Mr and Mrs Emmanuel Onokpise of Abata Close, Orile-Iganmu.
The baby was discovered to be severely jaundiced at birth and and the doctors prescribed that she be given urgent blood transfusion to survive. Read more
Three foreign sailors rescued from pirates in Ondo (Guardian)
Three foreign sailors kidnapped by pirates in the oil-rich south of Nigeria last week have been rescued, the Nigerian Navy said Wednesday.
The three — two Russians and one Indian — were saved in an operation late Tuesday by a navy team in the southwestern coastal state of Ondo, spokesperson Suleman Dahun told AFP.
“The rescue happened yesterday around 11 pm,” he said, adding that one of the hijackers had been arrested.
Separately, security sources said several pirates had been killed and operations were underway to seize the others. Read more
Lagos commences clean-up of Victoria Island, Ikoyi on Friday (Nation)
The Lagos State Special Committee on the Clean-Up of Ikoyi and Victoria Island, recently resuscitated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will commence the full enforcement of all environmental and traffic laws in the areas on Friday.
In a statement on Wednesday signed by its chairman, Mr Tunji Bello, the committee informed it will, working in conjunction with the Victoria Island and Ikoyi Residents Association (VIIRA) and different enforcement agencies in the State, remove all illegal structures and dislodge all squatters and miscreants in Ikoyi and Victoria Island.
He explained that the committee has already conducted a reconnaissance operation of several areas in Victoria Island and Ikoyi in November to identify specific areas of infraction. Read more
Mother, three daughters perish in Yobe fire (Punch)
The Yobe State Fire Service has confirmed that a mother and her three daughters were killed in a fire incident on Tuesday night at Red Bricks Quarters, on Maiduguri Road, Damaturu.
Damaturu Fire Station Officer, Mr Usman Habu, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday said the incident occurred about 11pm.
“We were informed about the fire incident at Red Bricks quarters, Maiduguri Road, Damaturu around 11.00 p.m. Read more
‘Child stowaway’ found dead in plane’s undercarriage in Paris (BBC)
The body of child aged around 10 has been found in the undercarriage of plane that had arrived in Paris from Abidjan, sources close to the investigation have told French media.
Air France confirmed that “the lifeless body of a stowaway” was discovered at Charles de Gaulle Airport early in the morning.
The body was found in the well of the landing gear of the aircraft that flew in from Ivory Coast, it said.
An investigation is under way. Read more
Gunmen storm Malumfashi, kill lecturer (Punch)
A man identified as Umar Faruk Funtua was, on Monday, shot dead by gunmen in Malumfashi, Katsina State.
Funtua, who until his death was a lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University School of Basic and Remedial Studies, Funtua, was said to be visiting a friend in Malumfashi when he was shot by the bandits.
Sources in Malumfashi said the gunmen swooped on the town in search of a businessman with a view to kidnapping him. Read more
Fire that almost wiped out entire Australian town is finally extinguished (Metro)
A massive bushfire that almost burned an entire Australian town to the ground has finally been extinguished. Brave volunteer firefighters from Country Fire Association in Mallacoota in East Gippsland, Victoria announced the news on Tuesday afternoon following an exhausting week-long battle. A photo posted on social media shows the crew huddled on a scorched roadside in uniform after putting out the blaze that tore through the area on New Year’s Eve. One firefighter wrote the team could finally go home, saying: ‘Mallacoota fire officially out. Strike Team 0204 on HMAS Choules tonight, home tomorrow. Read more
US forces leave Kuwait after Iran attack (Nation)
Amidst the rising tension in the Middle East region, Kuwait’s defense minister said it has received a letter from the Commander in Chief of a US military camp in Kuwait “declaring imminent withdrawal of all US military forces in three days,” state news agency KUNA said on Wednesday.
“Receiving such (a) letter from Camp Arifjan was unexpected and we are communicating with U.S. Department of Defense for more details and information,” KUNA reported the minister as saying. Read more
Iran attack: US troops targeted with ballistic missiles (BBC)
Iran has carried out a ballistic missile attack on air bases housing US forces in Iraq, in retaliation for the US killing of General Qasem Soleimani.
More than a dozen missiles launched from Iran struck two air bases in Irbil and Al Asad, west of Baghdad.
It is unclear if there have been any casualties.
The initial response from Washington has been muted. President Trump tweeted that all was well and said casualties and damage were being assessed. Read more
Maria Sharapova says women’s Brisbane event feels ‘second-hand’ alongside ATP Cup (BBC)
Maria Sharapova says the women’s Brisbane International feels like a “second-hand” event because the men’s ATP Cup has taken over centre court.
The WTA event is taking place at the Queensland Tennis Centre – the same venue as the Brisbane round-robin stage of the inaugural men’s team event.
“There’s a lot of girls that are deserving of that centre-court spot,” the five-time Grand Slam champion said.
Four of the world’s top five female players feature in a strong field. Read more
My approach to Tokyo Olympics will be different, says Brume (Guardian)
Nigeria’s lone medallist at Doha 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championship, Ese Brume, says she needs the support of Nigerian government to be able to achieve her aim of winning a medal in this year’s Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan. Team Nigeria was on the verge of missing out on the medals table once again before Brume rescued a ‘golden bronze’ in Doha with a jump of 6.91m, her second-longest career jump.
Brume became the first Nigerian athlete since 2013 to win a medal at the World Athletics Championship. She also made history as the second Nigerian woman to make the podium in the event after Blessing Okagbare leaped a distance of 6.99m to grab a silver medal behind the USA’s Brittney Reese (7.01m). Brume is also the third Nigerian after Okagbare and Chioma Ajunwa to make the final of the long jump event.
The long jumper is on her final year programme with Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta in North Cyprus, studying Tourism and Hospitality management. Read more
Asisat Oshoala: ‘I want to create my own history’ (BBC)
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala has said she wants to ‘create her own history’ after winning the 2019 Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) Women’s Player of the Year award on Tuesday.
The Super Falcons captain has now won the award for a fourth time equalling the record of fellow Nigerian Perpetua Nkwocha.
Oshoala’s year included a goal at the Women’s World Cup to help Nigeria reach the last 16 in France and 10 goals in 13 appearances after joining Spanish side Barcelona in February.
“I am really excited – proud of myself, four times is something to always remember,” she told BBC Sport Africa. Read more
Aribo off to Dubai with Rangers (Nation)
Super Eagles midfielder Joe Aribo has travelled to Dubai with his Glasgow Rangers teammates as the club step up their preparations for the second half of the season.
Glasgow Rangers will play a friendly against Uzbekistan champions Lokomotiv Tashkent on Saturday as part of their Dubai training camp.
Aribo has 17 league appearances for Rangers, scoring two goals and six assists. Read more
Tennis: Nadal vows to improve after leading Spain into ATP Cup last eight (Punch)
World number one Rafael Nadal vowed to raise his game in the ATP Cup knockout stages after overcoming an error-strewn performance against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka on Wednesday.
The 19-time Grand Slam winner made 36 unforced errors before beating Nishioka 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
Unbeaten Spain — who won the revamped Davis Cup in Madrid in November — finished top of Group B with world number 10 Roberto Bautista Agut downing Go Soeda 6-2, 6-4 to secure the tie. Read more
UFC star Jorge Masvidal predicts Conor McGregor will knock out Donald Cerrone (Metro)
Jorge Masvidal believes Donald Cerrone has to grapple Conor McGregor if he wants to beat the Irishman at UFC 246. UFC veteran Cerrone welcomes McGregor back into the octagon on 18 January in Las Vegas after another lengthy absence for the promotion’s biggest star. Masvidal, one of 2019’s stand-out fighters, has one eye on a showdown with McGregor himself and predicted his rival would make quick work of Cerrone. ‘It can go many ways,’ Masvidal told ESPN. Read more
NPFL clubs court Abd’Allah after Enyimba exit (Nation)
No fewer than five Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs have contacted the erstwhile head coach of Enyimba, Usman Abd’Allah.
Abd’Allah and Enyimba parted ways on Monday after the People’s Elephant were thrashed 4-0 by Plateau United in Jos. But source close to the Kano State-born coach informed NationSport that a horde of NPFL clubs have indicated interest with a view to employing him.
Though the identity of the NPFL clubs are being kept under wraps, Abd’Allah has not opened up communication channels with any of them insisting that he would like to take a few days of rest to clear his head following his departure from Enyimba. Read more
Sports ministry denies presidential consent for Bash Ali’s ‘Guinness Record Fight’ (Guardian)
Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has refuted issuing any presidential endorsement to former World Cruiserweight Champion, Bash Ali, for his planned Guinness Record Fight.
In a letter sent to Ali through the sports ministry’s legal department and also made available to The Guardian, advised the boxer to desist from peddling false claims about a non-existent approval from the office of the Minister to embark on a world fight.
It added that no such approval was given by the President, contrary to claims by Bash Ali that the endorsement was conveyed to him by office of the minister, and that the boxer should keep to the facts only. Read more
Wild jubilation in Senegal as Mane is crowned Africa’s best (Punch)
From cities, through towns to rural areas across Senegal, the CAF Awards 2019 dominated discussions at all levels as Sadio Mane was crowned African Player of the Year on Tuesday in Hurghada.
It was the key subject in major media discussions from the print media, radio and television which set the tone for the coronation of Mane, a wonderful 2019 season with his club, Liverpool and the Senegal national team.
Sports daily, ‘Stades’ which translates to English ‘Stadia’ carried the banner headline “Sadio – coronation time” for the Tuesday edition clearly capturing the anticipatory mood of the entire country who clearly believed the topmost individual honour in African football was destined for the talismanic forward this time. Read more
Tennis star Osaka escapes death in Caribbean ocean (Guardian)
Tennis players typically use the off-season to rest and recover from their punishing schedules but two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka says she suffered a “near-death experience” while paddleboarding with her sister in the Caribbean.
The 22-year-old world number four, who begins the season at the Brisbane International this week, said they had been on vacation in the Turks and Caicos Islands when the incident happened.“She made me paddleboard and then the current took us and I almost died,” Osaka said in an interview with the WTA website https://www.wtatennis.com/news/1561796/naomi-osaka-on-meeting-beyonce-her-refreshing-off-season-and-hiring-wim-fissette. “I’ve never gone paddleboarding. I don’t like the ocean like that … So we went paddleboarding next to the house. Read more
Lazio fined €20,000 for Balotelli racist abuse (Punch)
Lazio were fined 20,000 euros on Wednesday for the racist abuse some of their fans aimed at Mario Balotelli during their 2-1 Serie A win at Brescia at the weekend.
In its decision, the disciplinary committee of the Italian football federation referred to “racially discriminatory” chants in the 21st and 29th minutes, and “insulting chants” on three occasions, all aimed at Balotelli.
The disciplinary committee also requested further investigation saying it wanted, among other things, proof of Lazio’s “effective collaboration in identifying the individuals involved.” Read more
News about Rohr’s contract, concocted stories – Ibitoye (Guardian)
The Media Officer of the Super Eagles, Toyin Ibitoye on Wednesday dismissed news making the rounds about Coach, Gernot Rohr’s contract situation as concocted stories.
Ibitoye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that speculation being spread by uninformed individuals were fake news.
NAN reports that Rohr was alleged to have been given stringent conditions for his contract renewal, which includes living in Nigeria and paying taxes and also monitoring the local leagues. Read more