Alleged Sexual Assault: Baba Ijesha closes defence (Channels)
Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James Omiyinka popularly known as Baba Ijesha has closed his defence before the Lagos State Special Offences Court after calling his last witness in his ongoing trial over allegations of sexually assaulting a minor.
Baba Ijesha was arraigned before the court by the Lagos State government on a six-count charge of indecent treatment of a child, defilement of a child, sexual assault by penetration, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Friday, his lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dada Awosika told Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo that the fourth defence witness, Olukayode Ogunbanjo, was his client’s last witness in the matter. Read more
1 dead, 3 injured in Lagos gas explosion (Nation)
One person identified as Hassan Usman was on Thursday night killed and three others injured after a gas explosion occurred at the Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos State.
The explosion, which occurred at a gas station inside Amuwo Odofin Industrial Estate, was said to have caused panic among residents.
A witness, Wasiu Alabi, told reporters that they were frightened by a loud sound around 11pm, adding that even those who were already sleeping woke up and took to their heels.
“The loud bang took everyone unaware. People were running in different directions. Those who were already asleep woke up and ran too.Read more
Group tackles Ayu over Lagos PDP congress (Sun)
A group of leaders and stakeholders in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State have tackled the National Chairman of PDP, Dr, Iyorchia Ayu over the ratification of the state party’s congress, which took place in February.
While expressing shock and disappointment at the ratification of the congress by Ayu, the group, in a statement by Dr. Remi Akitoye, Senator Kofo Akerele-Bucknor, and Chief Mrs Onikepo Oshodi accused the party’s national chairman of behaving like a sole administrator contemptuous of the sobering voices of the South-West representatives.
According to the statement: ‘’Dr. Ayu hardly demonstrated the requisite gravitas and the innate democratic accommodation of a good leader as he hastily ignored everyone and purportedly ratified what has been universally condemned as a flawed congress. “Despite various petitions emanating from the aspirants, the BOT members, the Caretaker Committee and the concerned individuals which substantiated the fact that the congress was a brazen sham, Dr. Ayu still disregarded the various voices of reason. The reports from INEC, the Appeal Committee, the BOT Elders, the Caretaker Committee and other quarters were all unanimous about the untidy, flawed and the inconclusive nature of the botched congress.”
While declaring that there was a desperate attempt to destabilise Lagos State and render the Yoruba race inconsequential in the scheme of things in the party, the group vowed to challenge the ratification with all legitimate means. Read more
Lagos Information Chapel, US-based Medical Outfit collaborate on medical healthcare for members (Independent)
Members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos Information Chapel, on Thursday received various free healthcare support, made possible by the partnership of the chapel and a United States-based medical outfit, Mercy International Medical Mission Inc.
The duo provided medical checks for such ailments as high blood pressure, malaria, diabetes and eye problems, among others, for all the Public Affairs Officers in the Lagos State Public Service.
Founder and President of Mercy International Medical Mission (INC), Dr. Erelu Anu Esuola, said a similar event had already been organised by them for Lagos State government staff, while acknowledging that it is her own way of empowering the citizenry.
Dr. Esuola also commended the Lagos State NUJ, Information Chapel, especially its leadership, for bringing the programme to members. Read more
Keep your money in licensed banks, NDIC charges Nigerians (Guardian)
The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has urged Nigerians to always save money in licensed banks and desist from keeping their money in their homes or shops to avoid loss through theft, fire outbreak, armed robbery, floods and other disasters.
Managing Director of the bank, Bello Hassan, stated this in Enugu, yesterday, during the NDIC Day at the ongoing 33rd edition of the Enugu International Trade Fair.
Hassan said the Corporation would always protect depositors’ funds, urging Nigerians to report all cases of dubious activities by banks to both the NDIC and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Represented by the Deputy Director and Zonal Controller, Enugu Office, Mrs. Stella Henshaw, he stated that the Corporation provides deposit insurance coverage to depositors of deposit money banks, microfinance banks,primary mortgage banks, non-interest banks, mobile money operators subscribers and newly licensed Payment Service Banks (PSBs) since its inception. Read more
Moon sighted, Ramadan begins Saturday, says Sultan (ThisDay)
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar III, has announced Saturday, April 2, as the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
This, according to the Sultan, follows the sighting of the moon in almost every part of the country earlier Friday, which is the 29th day of the Month of Shaban and thereby signifies April 2 as the First day of Ramadan 1443AH.
He said the moon was sighted in some of the towns in the country by some Islamic leaders and scholars including Sokoto, Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, Katsina, Plateau among others.
Sultan Abubakar, however called on the entire Muslim faithful in the country to start fasting tomorrow in accordance with the teachings of Islam. Read more
Daddy Showkey, Akpororo inspire at Sempe Sunday (Punch)
Sunday, March 27, 2022, will remain indelible in the minds of attendees of the ‘unusual’ Sunday service hosted by the God Bless Nigeria Church pastored by Tony Rapu.
At the special service held at the NAN Media Centre, National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, social rejects and miscreants were ministered to.
The highlight of the event was when popular comedians, Akpororo and Daddy Showkey mounted the stage.
While cracking jokes, Akpororo urged the people to be proud of their origins. He said, “Where you live does not concern God, it’s your heart he looks at.” Read more
As rainy season begins, Niger IDPs want to return home (DailyTrust)
Many farming communities in Shiroro, Munya, Rafi, Mariga, Mashegu, Rijau, Lavun, Wushishi, Kontagora, Paikoro, Bosso and Magama local government areas have been displaced by banditry and insurgency in the last eight years.
The displaced persons said that while they were worried over the hardship they faced in various camps, coupled with the loss of their farm produce, they were equally concerned about the possibility of returning to their communities to begin a new life and prepare for the rainy season.
They said some of them had lived for many months in a pair of clothes they fled their homes in.
They also said their animals, especially goats, still roamed around their communities, adding that some men who were brave enough sneaked in from time to time to get some of them and sell them to get money to buy food. Read more
NSA chairs 9th meeting of Cybercrime Advisory Council (Independent)
The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Retd) on Thursday, chaired the 9th Meeting of the Cybercrime Advisory Council.
This is as he directed additional cybersecurity sensitization for stakeholders, launched Cybersecurity Toolkits for MSMEs and charged relevant agencies on cybersecurity resilience and preparedness.
According to a statement signed by Zakari Usman, Head, Strategic Communication, the ONSA said the Cybercrime Advisory Council meeting updated members on activities and events since the 8th Meeting of the Council in compliance with the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) 2021 and the provisions of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.
The statement reads in part, “Council was briefed on the successful completion of 7 sector-based sensitization workshops by the Office of the National Security Adviser between September – December 2021 and informed stakeholders of 2 additional sector-based sensitization workshops on the implementation of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy for critical organizations scheduled between May -June 2022. Read more
‘Heartbroken’ Will Smith resigns from Academy after slapping Chris Rock at Oscars (Mirror)
Actor Will Smith has resigned from Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, saying on Friday that his slapping of presenter Chris Rock on stage at this year’s Oscars ceremony was “shocking, painful and inexcusable.”
“I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken,” Smith said in a statement.
“So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate,” he said.
At the Oscars ceremony last Sunday, Smith strode up to the stage after Rock made a joke about the appearance of Smith’s wife, then smacked Rock across the face. Read more
Walter Coblenz, ‘All the President’s Men’ producer, dies at 93 (Variety)
Walter Coblenz, who was Oscar-nominated for producing “All the President’s Men” and also produced “The Candidate” and “The Onion Field,” died March 16. He was 93.
Coblenz also produced the Emmy-nominated Joseph Wambaugh TV mini-series adaptation “The Blue Knight.”
After serving as assistant director and production manager on Robert Redford’s “Downhill Racer,” he went on to work with Redford on “The Candidate” and “All the President’s Men,” which racked up eight Oscar nominations and four wins.
Coblenz served as Sr. V.P. of production at both Tri-Star Pictures and Carolco Pictures, where he oversaw production on films including “The Natural.” “Places in the Heart,” “Terminator 2,” “The Doors” and “Rambling Rose.” Read more
“The Walking Dead” star addresses missing character’s whereabouts in season 11 (DigitalSpy)
The Walking Dead star Dan Fogler has finally addressed his character Luke’s disappearance from the show during a panel appearance.
Joined by co-stars Nadia Hilker, who plays Magna, and Cassady McClincy, who plays Lydia, at the Fandemic Tour Atlanta, the three discussed their time on the hit AMC zombie drama (via ComicBook).
Viewers last saw Luke the music teacher in season 10 episode, ‘A Certain Doom’, after he had survived the Whisperer War, a fate his comic book counterpart did not enjoy.
In the episode, members of the coalition infiltrate the Whisperers’ zombie hoarde resulting in Beta’s (Ryan Hurst) death. Read more
Idris Elba reveals the one song Meghan Markle requested at 2018 wedding to Prince Harry (Hello)
The Duchess of Sussex had just one song request from Idris Elba, who acted as DJ during her wedding reception to Prince Harry in 2018 – Dr Dre’s ‘Still Dre’.
The Luther actor revealed Meghan’s special request during an appearance co-hosting BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Rap Show with Tiffany Calver which airs on Saturday.
Idris took to the decks at the post-ceremony celebrations at Windsor Castle on 19 May 2018, and as he discussed some of the key moments from his life he was asked songs the guests were dancing to, to which he replied: “Still DRE by Dr Dre went off! It was Meghan’s choice.”
Idris was a guest at the wedding alongside celebrity guests including George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams. Read more
Tunisia’s president says no early elections after dissolving parliament (France24)
Tunisia’s parliamentary elections won’t be held within the next three months, President Kais Saied said late on Thursday during a meeting with Prime Minister Najla Bouden, according to a Facebook post by the president’s office.
Saied issued a decree on Wednesday dissolving parliament, which has been suspended since last year, after it defied him by voting to repeal decrees that he used to assume near total power.
The Free Constitutional Party, an opposition party that polls project would be the biggest in parliament if elections were held, urged Saied to call early elections following the dissolution of parliament.
Abir Moussi, the party head and a supporter of late autocratic president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, said that Saied has no choice, according to the constitution, and should call elections within three months. Read more
Kanye West tells Kim Kardashian he is ‘going away to get help’ amid public social media fallout (Fox)
Kanye West is disappearing to tend to himself.
Following months during which the Yeezy boss had been publicly addressing his divorce proceedings and co-parenting arrangement with estranged wife Kim Kardashian in interviews and on social media, West has reportedly told the mother of his children that he is “going away to get help.”
“For the sake of the kids, Kanye has told Kim he’s not making any public appearances or inflammatory social media statements, and he will go away somewhere to get better,” a source close to the Kardashians relayed to Page Six.
The insider said it remains to be seen whether West, 44, is planning to check into a treatment center or if he is simply removing himself from the public limelight and social channels. Read more
Liberia taxi driver: How returning $50,000 changed Emmanuel Tuloe’s life (BBC)
The story of what happened to Liberian Emmanuel Tuloe has the quality of a modern fable.
The 19-year-old, dressed in a school uniform of sky blue shirt and navy shorts, looks incongruous in a class full of pupils at least six years younger than him.
But the one-time primary school dropout is happy.
Last year, he was struggling to earn a living as a motorbike taxi driver when he found $50,000 (£40,000) in a mix of US and Liberian notes, wrapped in a plastic bag by the side of the road. Read more
I would have done better than Eguavoen – Rohr
Former Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has urged the sports ministry to probe the Nigerian Football Federation for Super Eagles’ inability to qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The Eagles were eliminated on the away goals rule following a 1-1 draw with Ghana in Abuja in the second leg of their play-off on Tuesday.
The 68-year-old w4ho was disengaged by the NFF last December in an acrimonious circumstance after a record-setting five years, four months and 10 days in charge of the three times African champions also queried against Cotonsport Garoua, Egypt, Sudan and Guinea and fr why he was sacked last December.
He was replaced by Austin Eguavoen who recorded four wins ( Bissau), two draws (against Ghana in the World Cup playoff) and a defeat (to Tunisia at the 2021 AFCON round of 16) in the three months he was in charge of the team. Read more
Former US football star Hope Solo arrested on drink-driving, misdemeanour child abuse charges (ABC)
Hope Solo, the former US women’s national football team star goalkeeper, has been arrested after being discovered passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in North Carolina with her two-year-old twins inside, according to police.
A police report said Solo was arrested on Thursday in a shopping centre parking lot in Winston-Salem and charged with driving while impaired (DWI), resisting a public officer and misdemeanour child abuse.
She has been released from jail and is due to face court on June 28, the report suggests.
According to an arrest warrant, a passer-by noticed Solo passed out behind the steering wheel for more than an hour while the vehicle’s engine was running and the two children were in the back seat. Read more
England handed dream World Cup draw – and possible ‘Battle of Britain’ (Independent)
England face a potential first World Cup “Battle of Britain” after drawing the winner of the delayed European play-offs between Wales, Scotland and Ukraine.
In a favourable draw for Gareth Southgate’s squad in Qatar, the nation dodged Germany and will instead face the United States and Iran in their other group games.
England will hope it is third time lucky against the US, having lost 1-0 in 1950 in Brazil and then slipped to a 1-1 draw in 2010 after Rob Green’s goalkeeping howler.
A draw against Iran is equally notable, coming weeks after the UK finally secured the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who had been held without charge for six years by the Gulf state. Read more
Iga Swiatek reveals what helps her focus and get locked in (TennisWorld)
New world No. 1 Iga Swiatek revealed her team gives her pep talks before matches and that’s what helps her focus. Swiatek, 20, has been absolutely dominant in recent weeks as she is a win away from winning her 17th consecutive match.
Swiatek, who lifted her first title of the season in Doha in late February, defeated Jessica Pegula in the Miami semifinal to reach her third consecutive WTA final. After winning Doha, Swiatek made it all the way in Indian Wells to win back-to-back titles.
After beating Pegula, Swiatek revealed one of the keys to her recent success. “Before the match we have really good pep talks that are keeping me really focused on the job, because it’s not easy,” Swiatek explained, per WTA Insider.
“I try to use this streak as something positive and something that’s going to give me a kick, but yeah, it’s a pretty weird situation that I’m in.” Read more
Formula 1’s US power play sees them add Las Vegas to 2023 calendar (DW)
Formula 1 will add a third race in what some might see as a racing-saturated landscape in the United States. Las Vegas was chosen as F1 competes with the popular NASCAR racing series, and the sleeker IndyCar series.
Las Vegas has been chosen by the US-based rights owners of Formula One, as the sport competes for fans and sponsors with the hugely-popular NASCAR racing series — and the sleeker, F1-like IndyCar series.
Liberty Media, the US owners of F1, used dramatic strobe lights along the well-known Las Vegas Strip of hotels and casinos to announce a November, 2023 race in the desert metropolis that Americans know for its sinful promotional campaign, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
The Las Vegas race will be a Saturday night in November on a temporary 3.8-mile (6.12 km) street course that will feature the iconic Las Vegas Boulevard. and will be the third US stop of F1’s racing season in 2023. Read more
2022 Texas Open scores: Ryan Palmer takes Round 2 lead at TPC San Antonio, Hideki Matsuyama withdraws (CBS)
Ryan Palmer shot a bogey-free round of 6-under 66 at the Valero Texas Open to lead by two shots over Kevin Chappell, Dylan Frittelli and Matt Kuchar after Friday’s second round.
Palmer, at 10-under, surged into the lead with consecutive birdies midway through the back nine.
Chappell, the 2017 tournament winner, had the day’s low round of 65. Frittelli also got away with no bogeys during his 66, and Kuchar shot 69 with four-straight birdies on the back.
Palmer’s last Tour win came in 2019. He took the lead with a 5-foot birdie putt at the par-5 14th. At 15 he converted another birdie putt inside 10 feet. Read more
Denis Radovan, Christina Hammer part of Probellum Card in Cologne, April 30
Two of Germany’s boxing stars, world ranked Denis Radovan (15-0-1, 7 KOs) and former two-weight World Champion Christina Hammer (27-1, 13 KOs), will headline a night of action at the Sartory-Saal in Cologne on Saturday April 30 promoted by Wasserman Boxing and Probellum.
“Together with our partners we have set out to rejuvenate German boxing and this is already our third event within five months,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland. “We have a deep connection to Cologne, the Sauerland Event boxing stable was founded here in 2000, and now we’re excited to be back bringing a world class fight night to the city with local hero Denis Radovan as the main event.”
Radovan, who sits at #4 in the IBF World Middleweight rankings, can continue his push for world glory when he fights for the first time in his hometown of Cologne. The 29-year-old returns following a successful defence of his IBF European Title against British challenger Brian Rose on December 3, 2021.
“To finally get the chance to fight in front of my home fans in Cologne will be a great honour. Thank you to my promoter Wasserman Boxing for making this possible,” said Radovan. “I will be well prepared to defend my title in front of lots of spectators at the Sartory-Saal on April 30.” Read more