Baby’s disappearance from church: Appeal Court frees convicted church founder (Sun)
The Akure Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday discharged and acquitted the founder of Sotitobire Prayer Centre, Akure, Prophet Alfa Babatunde who had earlier been sentenced to death by an Ondo State High Court over the disappearance of a year-old-baby, Gold Kolawole in his church.
Kolawole’s sudden disappearance during a programme at Alfa’s church had led to a protest by some members of the public. Some irate youths had during the protest burnt the church and vandalised many valuable belongings of the founder of the church.
The Department of State Services (DSS) had taken over the case and prosecuted Alfa who was eventually sentenced to death by the State High Court. The parents of the one-year-old baby had told the court that their baby (Kolawole) was allegedly used for rituals as he could no longer be seen despite efforts by security agents.
The State High Court, after series of adjournments, declared that Alfa was instrumental to the disappearance and eventual death of Kolawole, and thereby sentenced him to death by hanging. But the Appeal Court in its judgment set aside the ruling of the lower court and set Alfa free. Read more
It’s illegal to review Lagos #EndSARS panel’s findings – Falana (Punch)
Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, has described as illegal the review of the Retired Justice Doris Okuwobi’s #EndSARS panel findings on the incident which occurred at the Lekki Toll Gate in October 2020.
He said the White Paper committee set up by the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu did not have the legal backing and competence to edit, modify, alter or reject the report of the commission.
He said, “When the government set up a White Paper committee a fortnight ago, I questioned its legal validity. It was my view that since the committee is unknown to law, the members were not competent to edit, modify, alter, edit or reject the report of the commission, more so, that the members of White Paper committee did not have the opportunity of taking evidence from the witnesses who had testified before the commission.
“The governor cannot reject the report, summary of evidence and findings of the Okuwobi Judicial Commission in any material particular.Read more
Apapa Customs records N89b revenue in November (Nation)
The Apapa Area Command has generated an unprecedented revenue totaling N89,097,888,609.00 for November 2021.
According to the spokesman of the Command, Abubakar Usman , the revenue was the highest monthly collection by any command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
In a statement issued in Lagos, Usman, a Deputy Superintendent of Customs said: ‘’This feat is coming after the command generated N86B in the month of October following improved inter-agency synergies, enhanced trade facilitation, speedy dispute resolution and prevention of revenue loss.
‘’Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf who described the N89b collection as the beginning of improved outputs for the command, also said the tempo for rising revenue profile will be sustained. Read more
Compel my husband to give me N50,000 per month for our child’s food —Wife (Tribune)
A housewife, Ramatu Mansur, has dragged her husband, Kamal Mu’azu before a Shari’a court sitting at Magajin Gari, Kaduna, Kaduna State for assault.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in a petition, Ramatu, through her lawyer, Malam Sulaiman Lere, accused her husband of abuse and lack of care.
She prayed the court to dissolve their marriage and grant her custody of their 16-month-old daughter.
She further prayed the court to order the defendant to give her N50,000 monthly as feeding allowance for their child. Read more
Woman cries out for help over attack on son (Nation)
A 53-year-old woman, Abosede Adejoro, has cried out for assistance over an attack on her son by suspected gunmen.
Adejoro made the complaint while speaking with newsmen in Ekiti State where she had gone to visit her mother.
She said: “Trouble started with my son, Ayodeji, a journalist in 2020 when he covered the 2020 governorship election in Ondo state.
She explained that Ayodeji, had covered and aired the election during which he witnessed massive vote-buying by two prominent political parties in the state. Read more
We regret abducting Catholic priest, say pastor, other suspects (Nation)
The world was stunned when a Computer Science graduate of Seoul University, South Korea, Kingsley Obimunonye confessed to his involvement in the abduction of a Catholic priest, Fr. Fidelis Ekemgba in charge of St. Peter’s Catholic Church Parish, Amazu, Obowo Council Area of Imo State.
The priest, 71 years, was kidnapped on 17th September, 2021 at the entrance of his Parish on his return from mission assignment.
Kingsley (35) said at the parade ground at the State Police Command headquarters, Owerri that the deal was carried out with one Pastor Izuchukwu Anoloba of Apostolic Church of Christ, Lagos.
Both of them disclosed that they raked in N5 million within one week they held Fr. Ekemgba hostage. Read more
My plans for the future – Singer, Whaiskee (Sun)
Nigerian music artist, based in the United Arab Emirates, Emmanuel Onyinye Promise popularly known as Whaiskee from Awgu local government area of Enugu State has revealed his plans for the near future as a music artist and as an entertainment entrepreneur.
He said, “My plans in the next five years is to collaborate with three big and recognized artists and two international artists and also to achieve one major dream of going global with my music.”
Of the three Nigerian artists he would like to collaborate with, Whaiskee has let the cat out of the bag in a previous interview where he expressed his desire to collaborate with Wizkid, Tems and Ruger. He was blatantly effusive of his love for the trio describing their music and style as top class.
Excerpts: ““I would love to collaborate with Big Wizzy and also Tems because I love her vocals and with Ruger for his energy and vocals as well. But Wizzy is the king of them all. His music is out of this world. He is our beacon to the world. Everything about him is class; lyrics, energy, stagecraft and the personality too. He is simply awesome,” says Whaiskee who also has his hands in many other pies in the entertainment space both in Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates. Read more
EFCC re-arraigns Fayose on 11 amended charges (Channels)
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday re-arraigned the former Governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose, and his company, Spotless Limited before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
Fayose and his company were re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on 11 charges bordering on money laundering and non-declaration of his assets.
In the amended charge, Fayose and one Mr Abiodun Agbele, who is also standing trial on alleged money laundering offences before another division of the court, were alleged to have on June 17, 2014, taken possession of N1.219 billion, to fund Fayose’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State.
They were accused of committing criminal breach of trust, theft, and stealing public funds. Read more
Aisha Buhari Indicts FG on Gender-based Violence (ThisDay)
The wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has indicted the federal government over failure to fully implement its mandate against ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)
Mrs. Buhari, who said the time to do so was now, said the rising and unabated cases of SGBV which led to a declaration of the state of emergency by the federal government on 10th of June, had continued to be of national concern.
She stated this yesterday at the Second annual conference of the Governors’ Wives Forum, where she said that every state must see the need to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, and called for the establishment SGBV centres were cases should be reported in every senatorial district and local government.
The president’s wife who said in the pursuance of justice for survivors of SGBV, justice delayed is justice denied, called for the establishment of special courts to expedite action against cases of GBV and decimate all obstacles against the education of the girl-child. Read more
Immigration hardliner Karl Nehammer to take over as Austrian leader (Guardian)
Austria’s ruling conservatives have picked the interior minister, an immigration hardliner, to lead them and the nation after a wave of resignations by senior officials set off by Sebastian Kurz.
Karl Nehammer succeeds Kurz as party chief and will lead the coalition government with the Greens. He takes over a party in disarray since Kurz stepped down as chancellor in October because he had been placed under criminal investigation on suspicion of corruption offences.
Kurz denies any wrongdoing.
Nehammer said he planned to maintain the central law-and-order themes of Kurz’s two stints as chancellor since 2017. Read more
SA-born actor Antony Sher dies of cancer at 72 (TimesLive)
One of British theatre’s most celebrated actors, Antony Sher, has reportedly died of cancer.
According to the Guardian, the star’s cancer struggles were revealed in September when his husband, Gregory Doran, took compassionate leave to care for him. Doran is the Royal Shakespeare Company’s artistic director.
“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Greg, and with Antony’s family and their friends at this devastating time,” Catherine Mallyon, RSC executive director, and Erica Whyman, acting artistic director, told the BBC.
Sher captured the imagination of audiences in numerous productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company and was regarded by many as one of the finest actors to take the stage. Read more
Navy finds drinking water well near Pearl Harbor contaminated with petroleum (NBC)
The U.S. Navy said it has detected petroleum in a drinking water well near Pearl Harbor days after military families raised concerns that the water appeared to be contaminated.
Speaking at a virtual town hall on Thursday night, Rear Adm. Blake Converse said the Navy had “pretty conclusive indications that there are volatile petroleum products” in the Red Hill well.
The well has been isolated since Sunday after military households reported concerns, according to Converse, the Pacific Fleet deputy commander.
He said the incident appeared to be isolated, with tests conducted “throughout the rest of the Navy water distribution system” coming back negative for the presence of petroleum. Read more
Wildaland: Davido, Stonebwoy, R2bees and over 20 acts set to headline Africa’s “Glastonbury” (JoyOnline)
A stellar line-up of Afrobeats stars across Ghana and Nigeria have been announced for the inaugural Wildaland Festival, slated for the Shai Forest Reserve in the Greater Accra Region on 26th and 27th December.
Christened as “Africa’s Glastonbury”, the Wildaland festival is a music and entertainment lifestyle festival and seeks to provide a distinctive entertainment experience that will merge the best of both African audiences in the wild every December in Ghana.
The festival, which will see the grand return to live events, will also be characterised by ultra-immersive real-time social content. Davido, R2Bees and Stonebwoy have been named as headliners for this year’s edition. Joining Nigeria’s roster are Adekunle Gold, Omah Lay, JoeBoy, Ayra Starr, Oxlade, Buju, Lojay, CKay, and Ruger.
Completing Ghana’s contingent are KiDi, Kuami Eugene, Black Sherrif, Gyakie, Wendy Shay, Kwabena Kwabena, Camidoh, Yaw Tog and Kofi Jamar. Read more
Migrant crisis front and centre in Pope’s Greece-Cyprus trip (VOA)
When Pope Francis visited the Greek island of Lesbos in 2016, he was so moved by the stories he heard from families fleeing war in Iraq and Syria that he wept and brought a dozen refugees home with him.
Speaking to reporters on the way home that day, he held up a drawing handed to him by a child from the island’s sprawling refugee camp.
“Look at this one,” he said, revealing a bird neatly decorated in colored pencil, the word “peace” scrolled in English underneath it. “That’s what children want: Peace.”
Francis is returning to Lesbos this week for the first time since that defining day of his papacy, making a repeat visit to the island where hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants have passed through on their journey to Europe. Read more
Boris Johnson says lessons must be learned from case of boy, 6, murdered by stepmum (Mirror)
Boris Johnson has promised ministers will leave “absolutely no stone unturned” to establish what went wrong in the case of murdered six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
The six-year-old’s stepmother, Emma Tustin, was jailed for life on Friday after being found guilty of his murder, while his father, Thomas Hughes, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.
In court it emerged that the youngster was seen by social workers just two months before his death.
They concluded at the time there were “no safeguarding concerns”. Solihull’s Local Child Safeguarding Partnership has now launched an independent review to ascertain why that decision was made. Read more
Jurors shown Epstein’s massage table, ‘Twin Torpedo’ sex toy during Ghislaine Maxwell trial (NYPost)
A number of key pieces of evidence in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial were shown to jurors for the first time Friday — including a massage table and a “Twin Torpedo” sex toy that were seized from Jeffrey Epstein’s Florida mansion in the early 2000s.
The massage table from the multimillionaire pedophile’s Palm Beach estate was brought into the Manhattan courtroom and briefly examined by a police officer who testified Friday.
The dark-green, collapsible table was shown to jurors as Assistant US Attorney Maruene Maurene Comey quizzed former Palm Beach Police officer Gregory Parkinson about a search warrant he and other cops executed at the estate in October 2005.
Parkinson put on black disposable gloves and briefly examined the table in the middle of the courtroom, about 10 feet from where Maxwell sat with her defense attorneys. Read more
Dangote hands over rehabilitated Abuja stadium to sports ministry (Punch)
The rehabilitated Moshood Abiola Stadium has been handed over to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development after repairs works were completed, Saturday PUNCH reports.
The repair work which is being handled by Aron Nigeria Limited is sponsored by billionaire Aliko Dangote.
Aron Executive Director Stakeholder Management and Corporate Communications of the Group, Mansur Ahmed, who represented Dangote, handed the rehabilitated stadium to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Friday.
The rehabilitation work was carried out on the main bowl pitch and scoreboard Read more
FG urged to probe $2.2m Kwese basketball deal (Nation)
Nigeria basketball stakeholders under the auspices of Friends of Nigeria Sports (FNS) has called on the Federal Government to probe the botched $2.2m Kwese Nigeria Basketball League during the era of former president of NBBF Tijani Umah.
Speaking in Lagos the group demanded President Muhammadu Buhari launch a full investigation into the matter, in line with the government’s avowed zero-tolerance for corruption.
According to spokesman of FNS Akeem Busari: “As concerned Nigerians, we want Nigerians and particularly, the Presidency to ask the past NBBF board, which NBBF account was the Kwese money paid into?
FNS demanded the Tijani Umar led board provides documents as it concerns the where about of the funds collected on behalf of NBBF and was never declared or retired. Read more
Dortmund ‘praying’ Haaland stays next season, says Riedle (France24)
Borussia Dortmund legend Karl-Heinz Riedle says the Bundesliga club is ‘praying’ star striker Erling Haaland stays next season as they fend off interest from the Premier League.
“We’re praying he will stay another year at Borussia Dortmund,” Riedle told international media on Friday.
“It will be very difficult to keep him after this season, but he is a crucial player for us.”
Haaland is set to feature on Saturday when Dortmund, who are second in the title race, host leaders Bayern Munich. Read more
Bernie Ecclestone states why public want Max Verstappen to beat Lewis Hamilton to title (Mirror)
Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone believes the public want Max Verstappen to beat Lewis Hamilton to the title because they simply want to see a new world champion.
The 2021 F1 season has thrilled from the off thanks to the titanic world championship battle between Mercedes’ Hamilton and Red Bull’s Verstappen.
The two men have won 16 races between them this season, with the Dutchman claiming nine victories to Hamilton’s seven. However, the Brit has experience on his side as a seven-time world champion – and 15-year veteran of the sport – while this is Verstappen’s first real title tilt.
Hamilton took successive wins in Brazil and Qatar to narrow Verstappen’s lead from 19 points to just eight with 52 still up for grabs at the remaining two rounds of the season in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Read more
Venus Williams asks fans to take health, wellness seriously after Virgil Abloh death (TennisWorld)
Former world No. 1 Venus Williams attended Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh tribute show and used the opportunity to urge her fans to take their health and wellness seriously. On Sunday Abloh passed away battling cancer in private for years.
Abloh was a highly-popular and respected designer and entrepreneur, who worked as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection from 2018. Also, Abloh was the CEO of the Off-White label. Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, was one of Abloh’s biggest fans.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate Virgil’s life and an opportunity for us to take our health and wellness more seriously because we are fortunate enough to be able to control it,” Williams said said in a video posted on Instagram, as quoted on TENNIS magazine.
“Just praying for Virgil and his family.” Read more
Lamine Diack: Ex-IAAF chief convicted of corruption dies in Senegal aged 88 (EveningStandard)
Lamine Diack, the former head of world athletics’ governing body who was convicted of corruption last year, died at home in Senegal on Friday, aged 88.
Diack led the IAAF from 1999-2015 but was later found guilty of running a clique that covered up Russian doping in return for millions of dollars.
A French court sentenced him to four years in prison in 2020, but he was never jailed.
He was under house arrest there before being released on bail so that he could return to Senegal. Read more
Angry Everton fans plan a walkout protest against the board in the 27th minute during their home clash with Arsenal on Monday (DailyMail)
Frustrated Everton fans will stage a walkout protest against the club’s board during their game against Arsenal at Goodison Park on Monday night.
Anger and disappointment has been building steadily among supporters during a winless run which has seen the Toffees slip from the European places to just five points above the relegation zone.
The final straw came on Wednesday night when Rafa Benitez’s side were embarrassed by bitter rivals Liverpool on home soil, losing 4-1 on a chaotic evening which saw director of football Marcel Brands embroiled in a heated argument with one furious fan.
There were also chants of ‘sack the board’ towards the end of the game and at full-time, while another supporter got on the pitch after the final whistle to remonstrate directly with players Anthony Gordon, Seamus Coleman and Abdoulaye Doucoure. Read more