3 suspected kidnappers arrested on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway (Punch)
Operatives of the Ogun State Police Command have arrested three members of a kidnap syndicate, who have been terrorising commuters along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The suspects Nathaniel Jacob, 24, from Nasarawa State; Isah Danladi, 22, from Kogi State; and Abubakar Rabiu, 23, from Niger State; were arrested on Thursday, at Fidiwo area along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state , Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this on Monday in a statement.
Oyeyemi said the arrest of the suspects followed a tip-off from some hunters, who sighted the suspects in the bush where they were planning on how to strike along the expressway. Read more
Customs Apapa Command generates N159.58b (Nation)
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Apapa Command on Monday disclosed that it generated over N159.58 billion in the First Quarter of 2021.
The Area Controller of the command, Ibrahim Yusuf, in a media briefing said that the revenues were receipts from customs duty and other charges.
He said the amount represented a 44.8 per cent increment on duty collection when compared to the 2020 figure of over N110 billion of the same corresponding months of January to March.
“The difference recorded was made possible because of robust stakeholders engagement, officers’ resolve in discharging their duties and increased level of compliance in the trade’s zone,” he said. Read more
Row over N10b COVID-19 bailout to auto industry (Nation)
The N10billion COVID-19 bailout as intervention fund to operators in the auto industry, expected to rescue ailing companies and firms to reposition the sector, seems to be shrouded in controversy.
It was gathered that the huge fund is causing ripples as some operators are alleging that they were side-lined in the disbursement.
It was learnt that among the operators, who have been asked to submit documents for verification, were the interstate luxury bus operators under the aegis of the Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association (PTONA).
PTONA having lost billions of naira during lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had expected they would deploy the palliative to beef up their business but up till today, they are yet to benefit. Read more
I’ve been preaching against Boko Haram for 15 years – Isa Pantami (Punch)
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has debunked reports alleging that the United States placed him on a ‘terror watch list’ for alleged ties with the late Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf.
Pantami, an Islamic cleric, also said he has been preaching against the terrorist sect for over 15 years.
Yusuf, founder of the militant Islamist group was killed in 2009 in Nigeria’s North-East. Yusuf’s death birthed a macabre era of unprecedented uprising; carnage, bombings, kidnappings, amongst other crimes against humanity, even till date, as military forces battle to clear the terrorists out of the entire North-East.
Social media platform, Twitter, was aghast on Monday when the reports published by some news platforms (not The PUNCH), went viral. Read more
Onyeama: Qatar to invest $5b in Nigeria’s economy (ThisDay)
The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.
Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.
The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy. Read more
40,000 Abuja residents have so far received COVID-19 vaccine jabs – FCTA (Tribune)
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Monday, said about 40,000 residents have so far received the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine jabs since the rollout of the exercise in March.
Acting Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Nda-Eyo Iwot, who disclosed this while monitoring the vaccination of FCT lawmakers, said the figure is part of the one million doses so far administered nationwide.
While commending the lawmakers for publicly taking the vaccine, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adesola Olusade said the move will not only validate the efficacy and safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine but also boost public confidence on the exercise. Read more
Again, gunmen attack Ebonyi community, kill 4 (ThisDay)
No fewer than four persons were killed in Ebele village in Ngbo community, Ohaukwu Local Hovernment Area of Ebonyi State in the early hours of Monday as gunmen attacked the community.
The attackers invaded the village through Agila community, a border town between Ebonyi and Benue States which have been enmeshed in a boundary dispute.
An eyewitness, who craved anonymity, said the attackers killed more than four persons and razed about seven houses.
The state Deputy Governor, Mr. Kelechi Igwe, who confirmed the attack, said that the onslaught was not carried out by Fulani herdsmen as being speculated in some quarters. Read more
PDP Congress: Makinde is my leader, Fayose declares (Punch)
The embers of disagreement between former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose; and Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, seemed to be permanently quenched on Monday when the former declared his submission to the leadership of the latter.
Speaking at the Wocdiff Centre, Osogbo, venue of the Zonal Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party, Fayose acknowledged, “The Governor of Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde, my brother, my friend and by the grace of God, our leader.”
The ex-Ekiti State governor also apologised to members of the party not in his faction for all they have all gone through over the years.
“I and Seyi Makinde are one from the beginning,” Fayose said, praying that the tenure of Makinde as the party leader in the South-West will usher the PDP into a season of great accomplishments. Read more
Nigeria seeks global action against drug trafficking, terrorism (ThisDay)
Nigeria has called for a well-coordinated international cooperation to tackle the links between drug trafficking and all forms of organised crime including terrorism.
This was one of the country’s demands at the ongoing 64th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) holding in Vienna, Austria.
Presenting Nigeria’s demand at the meeting, which was virtually held on Monday, is the Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd).
He said: “Nigeria calls for robust international cooperation to address the links between drug trafficking and terrorism, illicit financial flows, smuggling of migrants and other forms of organised crime. Read more
Microsoft buying speech recognition firm Nuance in $16b deal (Washington Post)
Microsoft, on an accelerated growth push, is buying speech recognition company Nuance in a deal worth about $16 billion.
Microsoft will pay $56.00 per share cash. That’s a 23% premium to Nuance’s Friday closing price. The companies value the transaction at $19.7 billion, including debt.
Shares of Burlington, Massachusetts-based Nuance surged about 19% in Monday premarket trading.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance comes after the companies formed a partnership in 2019. The Redmond, Washington, company said that the deal will double its total addressable market in the health care provider industry, bringing its total addressable market in health care to nearly $500 billion. Read more
Boyfriend ‘beat girlfriend’s son, 2, to death because he urinated on couch’ (Metro)
A 30-year-old man has been accused of beating his girlfriend’s two-year-old son to death for urinating on the couch. Alegray Jones, of Winter Haven, Florida, has admitted to hitting, throwing and squeezing the toddler until he passed out on Thursday evening. According to police, Jones became angry and beat the child after he urinated on a couch at home. Lakeland Police say Jones realized that the child needed medical help, but instead of calling for medics, he began texting the boy’s mother at 11pm while she was at work. Officers say the mother video called Jones when she received the text, and Jones is said to have told her that the boy would not wake up and showed her that he was not responsive. Read more
France moves to ban short-haul domestic flights (BBC)
French lawmakers have moved to ban short-haul internal flights where train alternatives exist, in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.
Over the weekend, lawmakers voted in favour of a bill to end routes where the same journey could be made by train in under two-and-a-half hours.
Connecting flights will not be affected, however.
The planned measures will face a further vote in the Senate before becoming law. Read more
Curfew lifted after protests over death of Daunte Wright (USAToday)
A curfew was lifted early Monday after the fatal police shooting of 20-year-old Black man during a traffic stop triggered a night of protests.
Daunte Wright’s death comes as Minneapolis, just 10 miles south, was already on edge in the middle of the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing murder charges in the death of George Floyd.
A woman who identified herself as Wright’s mother, according to a Facebook Live video, said her son was pulled over because of air fresheners hanging in his rearview mirror. Police in Brooklyn Center said in a statement the driver they pulled over had an outstanding warrant and got back into the vehicle when they tried to take him into custody. Read more
1 dead and another injured after gunman opens fire outside hospital in Paris (Metro)
A gunman has shot two people in front of a hospital in Paris this afternoon. One of the victims has died while the other is injured and being treated in intensive care at the private hospital in front of which they had been shot at around 1.40pm. The attacker fled on a motorcycle, the source said, adding that nothing was known yet about the motive for the attack. BFM television reported that the person killed is a man and the person injured is a woman who was working as a security guard for the hospital. Read more
Nevskaya Manufaktura: Fire destroys historic factory in St Petersburg (BBC)
One firefighter has died and two are seriously hurt after a massive blaze at an historic factory in St Petersburg.
The fire started at about 12:30 local time (09:30 GMT) on Monday, and quickly spread to all six floors of the Nevskaya Manufaktura building.
Strong winds hampered efforts to put out the flames, with a huge plume of black smoke visible across the city.
The building dates back to 1841, when it was used to manufacture fabric, and is an iconic landmark in St Petersburg. Read more
Osimhen not worth €80m, says ex-Napoli striker (Punch)
Former Italy striker, Bruno Giordano, has questioned Napoli over the €80m transfer fee paid for Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen, in the summer of 2020.
The Naples-based team won the race for the striker’s signature ahead of several other top European sides for a club-record fee of €70m which could potentially rise to €80m with add-ons.
The transfer fee makes him the most expensive African footballer ever.
Giordano, who played for Napoli between 1985 and 1988, scoring 23 goals in 78 appearances, said it was illogical for Osimhen to be more expensive than the highly sought-after Borussia Dortmund striker, Erling Haaland. Read more
Boston Celtics end Denver Nuggets’ eight-game winning run (BBC)
The Boston Celtics ended the Denver Nuggets’ eight-game winning streak with a 105-87 win in the NBA.
The Celtics trailed 79-65 late in the third quarter but went on a run of 31-3 to turn the game around at the Ball Arena in Denver.
“We just picked up the intensity,” said Jayson Tatum, who scored 28 points and made 10 rebounds for the Celtics.
“That was big because we could have let it get away from us.” Read more
Pelicans’ Zion Williamson, who is 6-foot-7, says playing point guard ‘feels natural’ (USAToday)
For the second straight game on Sunday, New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball was sidelined with a left hip flexor soreness.
That has given the Pelicans the opportunity to use Zion Williamson, who is listed at 6-foot-7, as essentially the point guard and initiate the offense. Williamson has handled the new duties better than could have been expected. In Sunday’s 116-109 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, he had 38 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. That followed Williamson’s 37-point, 15-rebound and career-high 8-assists effort in Friday’s 101-94 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
“We want to get him more experience at that spot going forward because I think that’s where his future is in this game,” Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I really do.” Read more
England’s Bronze doubtful for Canada friendly (BBC)
England defender Lucy Bronze is a doubt for the friendly against Canada on Tuesday.
Bronze missed the 3-1 friendly defeat by France in Caen on Friday because of a minor injury.
“She stayed back at St George’s Park when we were in France,” said interim boss Hege Riise.
“We will decide after the session on Monday if she is able to play and, if so, how many minutes. She is doing better.” Read more
Tiger Woods congratulates Hideki Matsuyama for history-making Masters win (USAToday)
Hideki Matsuyama made history Sunday, becoming the first Japanese male golfer to win a major championship by wrapping up the 2021 Masters title.
His history-making win earned kudos from the biggest name in the golf world: Tiger Woods.
“Making Japan proud Hideki,” Woods wrote on his verified Twitter account. “Congratulations on such a huge accomplishment for you and your country. This historical @TheMasters win will impact the entire golf world.”
Woods, who was absent from the 2021 tournament as he continues his recovery from a February car crash, has captured the green jacket five times, most recently in 2019, the most recent Masters to be played in its traditional April timeslot. That title marked Woods’ first major in nearly 11 years, and 15th major title overall. Read more
Son Heung-min issues apology after Tottenham’s defeat to Manchester United (Metro)
Son Heung-min has issued an apology to Tottenham supporters following their 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday. Son, who was heavily criticised by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his role in United’s disallowed goal, opened the scoring for Spurs in the first half. But a strong second-half display by United saw Solskjaer’s side pull level through Fred before goals from Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood sealed the 3-1 win. The defeat has put a further dent in Spurs’ hopes of securing a top-four finish in the Premier League, with Jose Mourinho’s side now six points behind fourth-placed West Ham. Read more