Calabar carnival tragedy: Death toll now eight, relatives narrate ordeal (Guardian)
The death toll in Calabar Bikers Carnival tragedy has now increased to eight with three more deaths announced yesterday by unofficial sources.
A nurse at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, where the casualties are receiving treatment, who pleaded anonymity, said they have recorded three more deaths from the previous ones.
But an eyewitness and a member of the Bogobiri community, Dr. Sani Abubarka claimed that the death toll has risen to17, while 26 persons are lying unconscious with various degrees of injuries.
When The Guardian visited the hospital yesterday, about 20 children and adults were lying unconscious
Some of the relatives and well-wishers, who came to visit, told The Guardian that many injured people are still lying unconscious with degrees of injuries. Read more
Lagos community raises the alarm on damaged road (Punch)
Residents of Oju Odo, in the Ikotun area of Lagos State, have lamented the poor condition of the road linking Ikotun to other parts of the state.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the road started falling apart after incessant rainfall in June 2022.
Our correspondent, who visited the area on Tuesday, observed that a large part of the road had collapsed into a canal.
Tyres were used to barricade parts of the road to prevent commuters from plying it and falling into the canal. Read more
Women group urges justice for slain Lagos lawyer, Omobolanle (Guardian)
A coalition of women groups under the aegis of Womanifesto, yesterday, called for justice for the murder of Omobolanle Raheem, a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, shot by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Drambi Vandi.
The convener, Womanifesto, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, in a statement said: “We are appalled by her unjust murder and call on Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Police to prosecute ASP Vandi.
“We call for speedy, thorough, transparent and open investigation. This is death too many by reckless police officers. The Nigerian Constitution is clear on the right to life of citizens as a fundamental human right, which cannot be taken arbitrarily by anyone unlawfully.
“The Nigerian police are often quick to use firearms and force unlawfully. Unlawful use of force is a threat to life, liberty, security and equal protection under the law. It’s important to note that there are strict international standards governing how and when police can use force, or firearms; one of which is the United Nations Basic Principles on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement actors which states that police officers should only use lethal force or firearms as a last resort and when such force is strictly necessary to protect themselves from imminent danger or serious injury and when other options are not sufficient.” Read more
FG to announce salary increase soon – Ngige (DailyTrust)
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has said the Federal Government will soon make a pronouncement on salary increase for civil and public servants to cushion the effect of rising inflation.
He stated this while speaking with State House reporters after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said already the Presidential Committee on Salaries was doing a review and was expected to come up with salary adjustment in the New Year.
Recall that the minister had recently hinted that the government would adjust workers’ salaries to meet up with the economic realities in the country occasioned by inflation. Read more
Extend old naira notes withdrawal to june 30, Senate tells CBN (Tribune)
On Wednesday, the Senate decided that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should extend the deadline for the old naira notes till June 30, 2023.
Following redesigning the 1,000, 500, and 200 notes, the CBN earlier gave a deadline of January 31 to remove the old notes from circulation.
The policy generated controversy, with many stakeholders criticizing the decision as unrealistic. National elections, often heavily cash-induced, are due by February 25, according to the electoral body INEC.
The CBN has maintained that its cash limit policy was devoid of political interference and was meant to salvage the country’s economy from persons who have hoarded over 80 percent of the currency out of bank vaults, apparently for criminal enterprises.
Senator Ali Ndume moved a motion to extend the circulation of the old notes. The motion was seconded by Senator Adamu Aliero. Read more
Car explosion kills seven Lagos residents going for revival (Punch)
Seven persons were burnt to death on Wednesday and seven others injured in a car explosion around Odogbolu Junction on the Sagamu-Benin Expressway, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Our correspondent gathered that the accident occurred when a 15-passenger Mazda bus with number plate, AGL 886 YD, burst into flames due to engine oil overflow along the highway.
The Public Relations Officer of the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Ogun State, Babatunde Akinbiyi, confirmed the incident which happened around 2.50pm.
Akinbiyi said the corps learnt from an eyewitness that the car was coming from the Kosofe area of Lagos, inbound Epe, for a church revival when its engine caught fire. Read more
Herdsmen invade Ondo community; destroy farmlands, kidnap, rape women (Vanguard)
Residents of Ijagba, Imoru, and Arimogija in Ose Council area of Ondo state, have started fleeing the community to neighbouring towns and villages over an incessant attack by suspected herdsmen.
The herdsmen have warned the residents who are mostly farmers, to vacate their farmlands peacefully for them, failure of which they should be ready to lose their lives in return.
Reports had it that, the residents out of fear, fled their homes to neighbouring towns and villages to avoid being murdered in cold blood by the rampaging herdsmen.
A local, who spoke with newsmen in confidence, alleged that the armed bandits have been terrorizing them for over two weeks despite reporting them to security operatives. Read more
PDP threatens sanctions as G-5 govs meet Tinubu in UK (Punch)
The five aggrieved People’s Democratic Party governors have met with the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu in London, the United Kingdom.
The APC standard bearer was said to have lobbied for the endorsement of the five governors during the marathon meeting which was held on Tuesday.
Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu states and some political heavyweights from the South had vowed not to support the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, over the refusal of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign after Atiku obtained the presidential ticket of the party.
But hours after the governors meeting with Tinubu, the PDP said it was not aware of their parley with the ruling party’s presidential candidate, noting that as far it was concerned, the governors were in the UK on vacation. Read more
Covid in China: US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China (BBC)
The US has become the latest country to impose Covid testing on visitors from China, after Beijing announced it would reopen borders next week.
Italy, Japan, Taiwan and India also announced mandatory tests, but Australia and UK said there were no new rules for travellers from China.
After three years of being closed to the world, China will let people travel more freely from 8 January.
But the country’s ongoing Covid surge has sparked wariness.
China has officially reported about 5,000 cases a day this week, but analysts say the numbers are vastly undercounted – and the daily case load is closer to a million. Hospitals in major cities are overwhelmed and residents are struggling to find basic medicines, according to reports. Read more
50 Cent threatened with legal action after rapper is falsely linked to a murder in Hip Hop Homicides (Metro)
50 Cent might be ending the year with a lawsuit on his hands after linking rapper Memo600 to a murder in his latest television project Hip Hop Homicides.
Memo600 has publicly stated that he is suing the In da Club artist for defamation after being wrongly named as a suspect in FBG Duck’s murder.
Duck, whose real name was Carlton Weekly, was shot and killed in August 2020 by four people, in an upscale retail shopping district in Chicago, United States.
The latest episode of Hip Hop Homicides aired on December 22 and delved into the rapper’s death and looked at those allegedly involved, also mentioning Memo600. Read more
Sam Bankman-Fried ‘surprisingly optimistic’ at meeting with sexy crypto influencer Tiffany Fong (NYPost)
FTX bad boy Sam Bankman-Fried’s cushy house arrest was brightened up Tuesday by a visit from a sexy single crypto influencer who said he seemed “surprisingly optimistic” ahead of his trial on multiple fraud charges, The Post has learned.
Sources said Tiffany Fong stayed late into the night during her trip to see the accused fraudster — currently holed up at his mom and dad’s house in Stanford, Calif. — who has been federally charged in what is shaping up to be one of the biggest financial scandals in history.
Fong, 26, who specializes in crypto content, was the first person FTX founder Bankman-Fried opened up to about his rumored polyamorous sex life in a phone call which was first published in November. Read more
Russia scraps pomp in New Year revelry amid Ukraine fighting (RFI)
Russians are used to celebrating the New Year — the country’s main holiday — with pomp, joy and high spirits.
But this was a year like no other.
After ten months of intense fighting and a chaotic mobilisation, few are in the mood for grand celebrations.
While the streets of snowy Moscow are adorned with bright lights and decorations, they are also dotted with portraits of soldiers. Read more
Avatar 2 sails past $1b milestone at global box office and shows no sign of slowing down (Metro)
Avatar: The Way of Water has smashed past the $1billion mark at the global box office, and made cinema records.
James Cameron’s epic blockbuster sequel – starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Kate Winslet – was released on December 16, 13 years after the original film hit the big screen.
According to reports, it has raked in more than $1billion in tickets in the two weeks since the release, proving to be another successful release for the acclaimed filmmaker.
It has become the fastest movie to hit the coveted milestone in 2022 – Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World Dominion also hit the mark. Read more
Coolio died without a will, 7 kids to inherit $300k estate (PageSix)
Coolio died without a will in place, prompting his former manager to go to probate court on his behalf.
Jarez Posey has begun the legal process of having the late “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper’s estate appraised, according to court documents obtained by The Blast Tuesday.
The filing indicates Coolio’s seven adult children, who wear his ashes in necklaces, are listed as his next of kin and the probable beneficiaries of his estate.
The petition estimates the value of Coolio’s estate to be more than $300,000, and it includes “personal property and demand deposit accounts, financial accounts, insurance policies and royalties.”
However, the exact value has yet to be determined. Read more
Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict: Flights resume between Addis Ababa and Mekelle (BBC)
Families wept and kissed the tarmac at the main airport in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region as they reunited after being kept apart by war for more than 18 months.
The emotional scenes followed the resumption of commercial flights between the federal capital Addis Ababa and the regional capital Mekelle.
The city, which has a population of around 500,000, was largely cut off from the rest of the world during a brutal two-year war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people, and displaced millions of others.
The government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) finally signed a peace accord last month, opening the way for passenger flights to resume. Read more
Haaland sets record as Man City beat Leeds (BBC)
Erling Haaland became the fastest player to reach 20 Premier League goals as Manchester City overcame a stubborn Leeds to reduce Arsenal’s lead at the top of the table to five points.
Frustrated by a disciplined and determined home side and their own profligacy for much of the first half at Elland Road, City snatched the lead just before the break through Rodri’s follow-up finish and then sped into the distance in a one-sided second half.
Having seen a couple of efforts saved early in the game, Haaland – playing in the city of his birth against the side he supports – did not celebrate his goals but showed little mercy in securing them to bring up his impressive tally in just his 14th game of the campaign.
He could not miss for his first, set up in front of an open goal by the unselfish Jack Grealish, who himself had missed a hat-trick of good opportunities in the first 45 minutes.
Grealish was the provider again for Haaland’s second, which he slotted in from close range following a deflection to give Leeds too much of an deficit to overcome. Read more
Cody Gakpo speaks out after Man Utd target completes Liverpool move (Metro)
Liverpool have confirmed the signing of forward Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven.
The Reds swooped for the Netherlands international over Christmas, beating arch-rivals Manchester United to his signature in a deal reportedly worth £37million.
He will officially become a Liverpool player on 1 January, subject to a work permit, after completing his medical on Merseyside on Wednesday. The new arrival could make his debut for Jurgen Klopp’s side against Brentford on 2 January.
The Netherlands international enjoyed a sensational start to the 2022-23 season, scoring 13 times and laying on 17 assists in 24 appearances for PSV. Read more
LMC talks tough ahead abridged league (Guardian)
The League Management Committee (LMC) has told all clubs involved in the abridged league to shun every act of violence or be ready to face a stiffer penalty.
Amid objections by some stakeholders, the LMC, yesterday, rolled out its plans to kick off the abridged league on January 8, 2023.
“Any club, which engage in violent conducts will not be sanctioned with N500,000.00 as was the case in the past, but have three points deducted as punishment,” the chairman of the Nigeria Professional League Interim Management Committee, Gbenga Elegbeleye, said yesterday.
“We know what it means to have three points deducted from points already earned by a club in the league. Clubs have been informed to shun every act of violence during the course of the league,” he said.
In the draws held at the Sandralia Hotel, Jabi, Abuja, the IMC split the 20 league clubs into two groups of 10 in an abridge version. Read more
Joshua plans next step in title race (Punch)
Anthony Joshua has admitted he is ‘out of the championship title race’ as he plans his next step in the heavyweight division.
“AJ” last fought in August, suffering a second straight decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk while failing to regain the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles.
Joshua was then offered a shot at the WBC belt by Tyson Fury, but the Britons could not come to an agreement over what would have been the biggest heavyweight fight of this generation. Fury instead boxed Derek Chisora for a third time, beating his compatriot via TKO to stay undefeated.
Joshua, 33, has meanwhile been linked with a potential rematch against Dillian Whyte, whom AJ lost to as an amateur but knocked out in a 2015 professional contest. Read more
Doncic scores historic 60-point triple double (DailyTrust)
Luka Doncic scored the first 60-point ‘triple-double’ in NBA history to help the Dallas Mavericks claim a 126-121 overtime win over the New York Knicks.
The 23-year-old Slovenian racked up 60 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists, posting double figures in three key attacking metrics.
With the Mavericks down 115-113 in the final seconds, he deliberately missed a free throw, claimed a rebound, and scored a jumper to force overtime.
Doncic is only the seventh player to record a 50-point tripe-double in the NBA, and he becomes the youngest to achieve the feat, taking the record from all-time great Wilt Chamberlain. Read more
Djokovic, Nadal to kickstart bid for 2023 supremacy in Australia (Vanguard)
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal kickstart their 2023 campaigns this week in Adelaide and Sydney respectively, with the superstar veterans and great rivals eyeing up yet more Australian Open glory.
With the pair sharing 43 Grand Slam titles between them — Djokovic has 21 and Nadal 22 — the scene is set for an epic showdown at Melbourne Park in January.
Nadal is the defending Australian Open champion and Djokovic is a nine-time winner.
Djokovic returns Down Under for the first time since being sensationally detained and then deported ahead of the 2022 Australian Open because of his refusal to get vaccinated for Covid-19. Read more