Adegoke: Lodgers record doctored, says hotel receptionist (Punch)
Adesola Adedeji, the receptionist on duty at Hilton Hotels, Ile-Ife, on November 5, 2021, that the late Timothy Adegoke, a Master’s student of Obafemi Awolowo University, lodged at the facility, on Friday, told an Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo that the record she submitted after completing her shift for the day was tampered with.
Adedeji also said the son of the owner of the hotel, Mr. Roheem Adedoyin, gave her a blank receipt to fill in substitution for a missing name, adding that she only knew about late Adegoke’s death when she was arrested by the police.
The receptionist who was the 7th defendant in the ongoing trial of the hotel owner, Dr. Ramon Adedoyin and 6 of his staff, while being led by her counsel, Okon Ita, also said that the initial record she submitted to the hotel auditor had 16 lodgers, with the late Adegoke being the first guest.
She however said the record book given to her at the police station had only 15 names, adding that the record was not prepared by her. Read more
NEMA evacuates 191 stranded Nigerians from India (Vanguard)
A total of 191 stranded Nigerians in India evacuated back home by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, have arrived Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja today, Friday 16th December 2022.
An Ethiopian Airline charted flight that conveyed the returnees touched down at the Abuja airport as they were received by a reception team led by NEMA and other relevant agencies. After being profiled and screened, the returnees were given a token of $100 for transportation to their various homes.
Addressing the returnees, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq welcomed them on behalf of the federal government. The Minister who was represented by a Deputy Director in the Ministry, Dr Suleiman Abubakar admonished them to be law abiding. She said the token provided them by the federal government was meant to support their movement home.
In his remarks, Director-General NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed advised the returnees to learn from their experiences and be law abiding citizens. Read more
Nigerians brave the odds to celebrate Christmas (Leadership)
Expectation ahead of Christmas and New Year celebration among many appears gloomy as the festive season’s draws nearer owing to the astronomical hike in food items.
Food items such as rice, vegetable oil, frozen and live chickens, tomato paste, pepper and condiments, which are essential for Christmas and New Year parties are beyond the reach of many, as they lament.
However, a visit to some of the major markets in Benin, the Edo State capital, shows that the prices of these items have risen as most consumers blamed the government for the surge in prices.
The prices of both foreign and local varieties of rice have increased. For instance, a 50kg bag of rice at Oba market that used to sell for N40, 000 now sells for N50, 000.
Mary-Jane Eche, a makeup Artist at Upper Mission in Benin said the cost of food items in the market has gone beyond the reach of many Nigerians. Read more
FG declares 26, 27 Dec, Jan 2 as Christmas, New Year public holidays (Tribune)
The federal government has declared Monday 26th, Tuesday 27th December 2022 and Monday, 2nd January 2023 as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day celebrations respectively.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Shuaib Belgore on Friday in Abuja.
Aregbesola felicitated with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
He enjoined Christians to emulate the doctrines of Christ in faith, hope and love. “We must imbibe the life of Jesus Christ in His practice and teachings on Humility, Service, Compassion, Patience, Peace and Righteousness, that His birth signifies. This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate his birth”, he noted. Read more
Currency hawkers, partygoers, VIPs mop up new notes (Punch)
Twenty-four hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria directed deposit money banks to start giving the redesigned naira notes to customers, partygoers, high net worth customers and currency traffickers are mopping up the new notes from the banks even as the notes are being rationed to the majority of customers.
Saturday PUNCH gathered on Friday that despite the official position of the banks that the new notes were not available in huge volumes, some categories of influential customers had infiltrated the banks and were being given new notes far above the limits set by the lenders.
One of our correspondents, who visited a branch of a new generation bank in the Abule Egba area of Lagos State on Friday, was told that the new notes were no longer available as what was allocated to the branch had been exhausted before 10am.
A senior official of the bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We received about N1.5m in N1,000 notes on Wednesday from our head office. We gave out about N250,000 on Thursday when the redesigned naira notes officially hit the market as a lot of customers were hesitant to collect them. Read more
Nigerian corrections moves to reform 74,824 inmate in custody nationwide (Guardian)
As part of an effort to fully implement the Nigerian Correctional Service, (NCoS), Act of 2019, which repeals the Prison Act of 2004, Controller General of their Service, Haliru Nababa, has said that treatment of the 74,824 inmates across all custodial centers has shifted from punitive to corrective and reformatory models.
Nababa made this know while interacting with a journalist at an end-of-year parley, yesterday in Abuja.
He said the service is undergoing a lot of changes in line with the dictates of the new Act and one of the recent is the rolling out of new uniforms for both personnel and inmates of various cadre.
According to him, “We are working to make sure that we improve service delivery as enshrined in our Nigerian Correctional Service Act
“The Service has changed its uniform to be more friendly, more accommodating and in line with Mr President’s local content of patronising local manufacturers.” Read more
Cultists on rampage in Rivers community (Vanguard)
Cultists, apparently in search of a missing gun, have invaded Abarikpo community, Ahoada East Local Government Area, Rivers State and allegedly killed two persons.
This was as police in a quick distress call same Thursday gunned down notorious cultists, James Bright aka Borokiri, who was said to be terrorizing the area, bringing the number of victims to three.
A source, who preferred anonymity, told Saturday Vanguard that members of an Iceland cult group had invaded the community at about 2 am in the morning in search of their unit leader James Bright aka Borokiri who was said to have converted the arms and ammunition of the group to personal weapons.
The source alleged that the unit leader of the group was said to have engaged the invading faction in a gun battle which resulted in the death of two of the cult members. Read more
Military promotes 234 senior officers (Leadership)
The Military Council Board has approved the promotion of 234 senior officers from Army, Navy and Air Force to their next higher ranks.
A breakdown of the promotion shows that the Army Council approved the promotion of 122 senior officers to the ranks of Major General and Brigadier General respectively.
In the same move, the Navy Board approved the promotions of 55 senior officers to various ranks in the Nigerian.
Navy and the Air Force Council (AFC) also approved the promotion of 57 senior officers comprising 31 Air Commodores (Air Cdres) and 25 Group Captains (Gp Capts) to the next higher ranks in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
Meanwhile, 10 senior officers were granted terminal promotion on to retirement. Read more
Ngozi Fulani receives personal apology at Palace (BBC)
Lady Susan Hussey has given a personal apology to Ngozi Fulani, after asking her where she was “really from” at a Palace reception.
Lady Susan, a former lady in waiting, met black British charity boss Ms Fulani at Buckingham Palace on Friday.
She offered her “sincere apologies for the comments… and the distress they caused”, said Buckingham Palace.
A statement said Ms Fulani had accepted the apology and recognised the comments had not been malicious.
Ms Fulani, founder of the Sistah Space charity, was a guest at a Buckingham Palace reception last month when she described Lady Susan moving her hair to see her name badge, and challenging her to explain where she was “really from”. Read more
Backstreet Boys star AJ McLean says band ‘all fully support’ Nick Carter amid lawsuit for alleged rape (Metro)
Nick Carter’s Backstreet Boys bandmates are showing their support for him amid his rape allegations.
The pop star, 42, was recently accused of sexual battery against a woman in 2001 after a concert in Tacoma, with Shannon Ruth filing a lawsuit claiming that he sexually assaulted her when she was 17.
Carter has denied the allegations against him, while Ruth – who is autistic and has cerebral palsy – reportedly states in her lawsuit that she contracted HPV, and is seeking damages for an unknown amount.
Meanwhile, AJ McLean, 44, who is part of the boyband along with Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, and Howie Dorough – recently showed his solidarity for the I Want It That Way singer. Read more
2 police officers serving with UN’s Mali mission killed (France24)
Two police officers serving with the UN’s MINUSMA mission in Mali were killed and four others wounded on Friday, the force said on social media, the latest blow to the deployment.
“A United Nations police patrol was attacked on December 16 in Timbuktu (northern Mali). Two of our police officers, including a woman, lost their lives and four others were injured, one of them seriously,” MINUSMA said in a tweet that “strongly condemned” the bloodshed.
Mali has been grappling with a jihadist insurgency since 2012. Thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.
MINUSMA’s future is in doubt as violence rages in the centre, north and east of Mali. Read more
Amy Anderson died from return fire in shootout with cops Branden Estorffe, Steven Rubin: officials (NYPost)
The veterinarian who fatally shot two Mississippi police officers in a Motel 6 parking lot was killed by one of the cops who returned fire, authorities revealed Friday, as other new details emerged in the perplexing case.
Amy Brogdon Anderson and Bay St. Louis Police Officer Branden Estorffe discharged simultaneous shots after she first opened fire, killing Sgt. Steven Robin from inside her SUV, Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell told WLOX News.
Both of the latter shots were precise, and all three were found dead in the Bay St. Louis parking lot Wednesday morning. Anderson’s 8-year-old daughter was in the car and witnessed the chaos, but was not injured.
The commissioner divulged several other key details in the case, including why Anderson had been acting so frantically. Read more
High-level talks in Peru amid deadly protests (BBC)
High-level talks are taking place in Peru to try to resolve a deepening political crisis triggered by the ousting of the former president.
The Council of State, the body made up of representatives of all branches of power, and the country’s church leaders have been meeting in the capital, Lima.
Earlier, two government ministers resigned, following days of violent protests over the impeachment of Pedro Castillo on 7 December.
More than 20 people have been killed. Read more
Nick Cannon expresses guilt over not spending enough time with all 11 of his children (Metro)
Father-of-11 Nick Cannon is struggling to manage his time between his large brood.
The Masked Singer host, 42, currently has 11 children with a 12th on the way, since Alyssa Scott is pregnant and the couple shared Zen, who died in December 2021, aged just five months old.
He shares Golden Sagon, five, Powerful Queen, 23 months, and Rise Messiah, 10 weeks, with model Brittany Bell.
Nick and Abby De La Rose share twins Zion and Zillion, 17 months, and Beautiful Zeppelin, three weeks. Read more
Washington in ‘lockstep’ with Ukraine on defence (VOA)
The United States will provide additional security assistance to Ukraine, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications told VOA in an interview Friday.
Asked if Washington would heed Russia’s warning not to deliver sophisticated Patriot air defense missiles or risk the consequences, John Kirby replied, “Russia will not dictate to the United States or any other country what security assistance we provide to Ukraine.”
Kirby said Washington was in “lockstep with the Ukrainians, talking to them almost every day about what their needs are, and making sure that we are best meeting those needs.”
Kirby stressed that air defense capabilities were becoming a chief requirement of Ukraine’s military after Russia’s “unprecedented” airstrikes with cruise missiles and Iranian drones, “the likes of which we’ve just seen again over the last 12 to 18 hours,” he told VOA. Read more
Ajayi ruled out of Rotherham clash
17th December 2022 (Punch)
Nigerian defender, Semi Ajayi, will miss West Brom’s English Championship clash against his old club Rotherham United at The Hawthorns on Saturday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The 29-year-old defender who last played a competitive game for the Baggles in August sustained a shoulder problem during training last weekend
The former CArdiff defender had earlier recovered from a from an ankle injury he copped against Wigan Athletic in August which required surgery.
“We’re in a better shape because the only player we are going to be missing this weekend is Semi Ajayi,” Baggies coach Carlos Corberán told the club’s website. Read more
Gianni Infantino reveals FIFA plans for first ever Club World Cup in 2025 (Metro)
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has confirmed the inaugural 32-team Club World Cup will take place in 2025.
The already packed football calendar will have to accomodate a new competition that was initially due to take place in 2021 in China, but was abandoned due to the Covid pandemic.
Infantino failed to elaborate on which teams would be involved but insisted FIFA was ready to capitalise on the ever increasing popularity of the sport, highlighted by, in his words, the most successful World Cup ever in Qatar.
‘When it comes to the council meeting, we could confirm revenues of this four-year cycle – 7.5 billion,’ said Infantino. Read more
Deeney scores twice as Birmingham beat Reading (BBC)
Birmingham City skipper Troy Deeney proved the matchwinner on a freezing cold night at St Andrew’s as his early double helped beat Paul Ince’s Reading.
Deeney’s second-minute opener, followed by a 23rd-minute penalty and Tahith Chong’s first goal of the season, earned Blues a commanding half-time lead.
But, although Lucas Joao got one back on 83 minutes and Tom Ince added another four minutes into stoppage time, John Eustace’s Blues hung on for their eighth win of the season to move up to seventh in the Championship.
Blues got off to a dream start – and it owed a bit to luck. Read more
World Cup: Morocco, Croatia dust off for bronze battle (Leadership)
As Croatia and Morocco pick up the pieces after their World Cup semifinals defeats, the two teams will welcome the prospect of potentially leaving Qatar on a high when they square up in the third-place playoff on Saturday.
Beating two world class teams in Argentina and France to reach the final proved to be a step too far for Croatia and Morocco, who handsomely defied pre-tournament odds to reach the semis.
Morocco rewrote history along the way when Walid Regragui’s fearless squad became the first African team to reach the last four of football’s showpiece event.
They will be welcomed home as heroes regardless of the result having not only earned the respect and support of the continent and the Arab world, but also having found a place in the hearts of neutral fans who love a true underdog story. Read more
Polish referee Marciniak to take charge of World Cup final (DailyTrust)
Polish referee Szymon Marciniak will take charge of Sunday’s World Cup final between France and Argentina, FIFA announced on Thursday.
The 41-year-old has already officiated matches involving both teams at the tournament – Argentina’s last-16 win over Australia and France’s group stage victory against Denmark.
Marciniak’s assistants in Sunday’s match will be compatriots Pawel Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz. Read more
‘Bad news ahead of the final’: Mystery illness afflicts France players at World Cup (France24)
Several France players have caught colds, the French Football Federation said, as the team prepares for the World Cup final against Argentina, with defenders Raphaël Varane and Ibrahima Konaté the latest to fall ill on Friday. FRANCE 24’s special correspondents report about this mystery illness from Qatar.
Varane, Konaté and striker Kingsley Coman were all sidelined as Les Bleus were preparing to take on Lionel Messi’s Argentina in Sunday’s final.
The trio of absentees sparked further fears of a mystery virus in the French camp after two players – midfielder Adrien Rabiot and defender Dayot Upamecano – were ruled out of the semi-final win over Morocco.
Rabiot and Upamecano both returned to training on Friday. Manager Didier Deschamps refused to panic after Wednesday’s win and said they were being careful to ensure the illness did not spread. Read more