Christmas gift: Sanwo-Olu grants clemency to convicted inmates (NewTelegraph)
…Gov commutes three death sentences to life imprisonment, sets free six inmates
In what can be described as rare gift for the Christmas season, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday signed two Executive Orders, with one commuting death sentences of three convicted inmates to life imprisonment and the other setting free six others.
The two Orders; Executive Commutation of Death Sentence Order and Executive Grant of Clemency Order, were signed by the Governor on Christmas day and are both expected to take immediate effect. Read more
Lagos secondary school feature in first model UN conference (Nation)
Some pupils attending public secondary schools in Lagos State had their first experience of how the United Nations General Assembly works during the Secondary Schools Model United Nations (Lass-Mun) held at the Lagos Business School (LBS), Lagos recently.
The conference with its theme: “Making Cities Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable (Goal 11 SDG);” was geared at providing pupils drawn from public secondary schools in Education District III with the opportunity to engage and learn about diplomacy, international relations and the United Nation(UN).
In her speech, Tutor General /Permanent Secretary, Education District III, Dr. Yinka Ayandele said participating in the simulation of the UN General Assembly meeting would enrich their experience of world affairs.
“Our dignified delegates as ’emerging leaders’ are going to simulate a typical United Nations General Assembly meeting proceeding. Read more
Police launch manhunt for Lagos BDC operator’s killers (Punch)
The Lagos State Police Command has launched a manhunt for three yet-to-be-identified persons for allegedly killing a Bureau De Change operator, Ibrahim Mohammed, on Billings Way in the Oregun area of the state.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the suspects, who had foreign currency, drove an unregistered vehicle to the Alade Market, Allen Avenue area of Ikeja, around 7am, for a foreign exchange transaction with any of the BDC operators.
Ibrahim, who was into the business of changing money, was said to have attended to them and gave the suspects, who were sitting inside their car, the sum of N560,000. Read more
Christmas celebration not biblical, says Olukoya (Nation)
General Overseer of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM), Dr Daniel Olukoya, has said the church does not celebrate Christmas because it is unbiblical. Olukoya stated this on Wednesday during the Manner Water Service, which coincided with the 2019 Christmas celebration at the church’s headquarters in Lagos.
The popular cleric insisted that no book in the bible recorded the word ‘Christmas’ or that Jesus was born on December 25.
“If you really study the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, there is no word like Christmas. The bible only recorded that the Shepherds were taking care of their flocks during a very cold season when they sighted the star that announced the birth of Jesus Christ. Read more
Tankers collide, burst into flames on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway (Punch)
There was panic on Wednesday as two fuel-laden tankers crashed into each other at the Sagamu interchange end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
It was gathered that the tankers collided around 5.30pm and the impact led to an explosion.
PUNCH Metro learnt that one of the tankers was rolling backwards after suffering a mechanical fault when the other rammed into it from the rear.
Our correspondent gathered that no life was lost but the two trankers got burnt. Read more
Christmas Day in a Christian-Muslim household (BBC)
Muslim-majority Burkina Faso has been hit by a wave of violence by militant Islamists in recent years. Christmas Eve saw more than 30 people, mostly women, killed in a suspected jihadist attack.
But behind such grim headlines lies a more complex picture. The country has a history of religious tolerance, and it is not uncommon to see families made up of both Muslims and Christians, who make up about 23% of the population.
Journalist Clair MacDougall visited one such family in the capital, Ouagadougou.
Five-year-old Iris Osnia Ouattara is being raised by her parents in Burkina Faso in both the Catholic tradition of her father, Denis Ouattara, and the Muslim tradition of her mother, Afoussatou Sanou. Read more
Husband of heavily pregnant British woman is refused entry to UK weeks before Christmas (Independent)
A heavily pregnant British woman and her husband have been left “devastated” after the Home Office refused to grant him entry to the UK weeks before their first baby was due.
Elise Addiscott, 29, from south Wales, had been looking forward to spending Christmas Day with her husband, Kenny Monteiro, 26, a Cape Verdean national, before the birth of their baby in January.
The couple married in August, a year after they met at the hotel Mr Monteiro works at in Cape Verde. Read more
Kanye West & The Sunday Service Choir Drop ‘Jesus Is Born’ & Fans Are Thrilled:‘Thank You, Kanye’ (HollywoodLife)
Just call Kanye Santa because he has delivered a gift! The rapper dropped ‘Jesus Is Born’ on Christmas Day, featuring his Sunday Service Choir!
On Jesus’s birthday, Kanye West dropped his latest gospel album, Jesus Is Born, starring his Sunday Service Choir. Fans were excited to see that Ye stuck to his word when he announced back in October that he had another album on the way. The surprise drop was announced on Kanye’s Twitter, when he shared the streaming link from a New Jersey-based Indie distributor, Vydia, opting for them instead of a major label release. Filled with 19-tracks of gospel, fans were quick to react to the album, which hit all major streaming platforms just in time for Christmas Day celebrations.
“So far this is a beautiful album last one was mid,” one fan tweeted. “man kanye actually dropped jesus is born, its a christmas miracle,” another joked, referring to the rapper notoriously pushing back the release of his October album, Jesus Is King. Read more
Man dies after being ‘shot on his doorstep’ on Christmas Eve (Independent)
A man has died after being shot on Christmas Eve in southwest London, the Metropolitan Police have said.
Officers were called to Battersea Church Road at about 9pm on December 24 to reports of shots being fired.
Police and the London Ambulance Service attended the scene, where a man believed to be in his 30s was pronounced dead after suffering gunshot injuries. Read more
Hong Kong protests: Christmas sees no halt in clashes (BBC)
Christmas Day in Hong Kong has seen no let-up in clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters.
The police used tear gas and pepper spray as demonstrators gathered again in a number of shopping districts.
The latest protests began on Christmas Eve, with police battling activists who were throwing petrol bombs.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said many residents and tourists had seen their Christmas celebrations “ruined by a group of reckless and selfish rioters”. Read more
Queen says ‘small steps can bring lasting change’ in Christmas address (Metro)
The Queen used her Christmas Day message to highlight how ‘small steps, not the giant leaps’ bring about lasting change in the world. In what the Monarch described as a ‘bumpy’ year for both her family and the country, she also said she had been ‘struck’ by the ‘sense of purpose’ younger generations have shown in tackling issues like climate change. Her comments follow a year which has seen young people inspired to become environmental campaigners by the example of schoolgirl activist Greta Thunberg. The Queen also spoke about the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first child. Read more
British troops move black rhinos to Malawi (BBC)
British troops have helped to move a group of critically endangered black rhinos from South Africa to Malawi to protect them against poaching.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles moved 17 of the animals, which are hunted for their horns, in the hope they can be better protected.
They were transported by air and road from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa to Liwonde National Park in Malawi.
The troops then spent three months training rangers to keep them safe. Read more
US Monastir want $1m for Okpotu (Nation)
Media reports have suggested that table-topping Tunisian club US Monastir will demand a transfer fee of around a million US dollars for Anthony Okpotu.
The 25-year-old striker moved to Tunisia as a free agent after he cancelled his contract with Moroccan club Difaa El Jadidi.
Okpotu has been linked with several top clubs including Egyptian giants Al Ahly and he could move as early as next month. Read more
Joshua approached to fight in Congo (Punch)
Anthony Joshua has been approached to fight in the African nation that staged the Rumble in the Jungle.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, then-called Zaire in 1974 when Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope tactics outfoxed George Foreman in a legendary heavyweight title fight, now wants to host a Joshua fight.
“(Promoter Eddie Hearn) is exploring an option in (Congo). There has been an approach,” Joshua’s manager Freddie Cunningham told Sky Sports.
Joshua has proudly spoken of his Nigerian heritage and a fight in Africa, following in Ali’s famous footsteps, is on his “bucket list.” Read more
Tennis awards 2019: Nadal, Andreescu, Gauff, Djokovic and Federer among the winners (Metro)
It’s been another fascinating year in tennis both on the men’s and women’s sides. Young stars have emerged, while a few familiar faces continued their charge towards more history. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal shared the spoils on the biggest stages in the men’s game, with two Grand Slams apiece, while four women picked up majors in 2019: Naomi Osaka, Ash Barty, Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu. Of course, those titles pale in comparison to the mighty Metro.co.uk awards on offer here, so without further ado here are your 2019 champions: Read more
Ndidi to start against Liverpool (Nation)
Wilfred Ndidi will start against Liverpool as Leicester takes on Liverpool in one of Boxing Day fixture in the English Premier League today in the top of the table clash.
The Nigerian international was linked with a move to the Emirate with Arsenal ready to splash about N18.7 billion (£40million).
Gunners manager Mikel Arteta knows one of his most pressing priorities is to make Arsenal much tougher to beat, with serious questions having been raised over the defence for some time. Read more
Mikel Arteta issues Arsenal board with three transfer requests for January (Metro)
Mikel Arteta has told Arsenal he wants to sign two central defenders and a defensive midfielder in January, reports say. It is unclear how big a transfer kitty will be available to Arteta in the winter window, but the head coach insisted this week he still needs to sit down with club chiefs and discuss plans for January. Arteta has been hired to try and quell the turmoil at Arsenal, with the club sitting in the bottom half of the Premier League table following a run of just one win in 13 matches. Read more
Injured Iwobi to miss FA Cup clash against Liverpool (Nation)
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Alex Iwobi will miss among other matches the high profile January 5 FA Cup clash against Liverpool.
The Nigerian midfielder had already been ruled out of today’s Boxing Day Premier League game against Burnley as well as the EPL games against Newcastle United (December 28) and Manchester City (January 1).
The 23-year-old Super Eagles star suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of the goalless draw against Arsenal at the weekend. Read more
How Ancelotti aims to shine light on underachieving Everton’s history (Independent)
There are 29 plaques on the wall of Goodison Park, commemorating the select group branded ‘Everton Giants’. Dixie Dean, Neville Southall, Alan Ball and Brian Labone are among the men immortalised in brick. Carlo Ancelotti had cited his new club’s history and tradition as a reason to join before highlighting his own past. “I think you have to put a little plaque,” he said. “Here was sacked…”
It was an ignominious incident that did Chelsea little credit. Ancelotti, the previous season’s double winner, was beaten by a Jermaine Beckford wonder goal and dismissed in a cramped passageway in May 2011. “I was sacked in the corridor there,” he recalled. Signing up for Everton supported the old maxim: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Even a triple Champions League winner has a nemesis. “David Moyes was my nightmare,” Ancelotti reflected. “I never beat Everton.” Read more
Onuachu is key to Eagles future – Rohr (Punch)
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has defended his inclusion of Genk forward, Paul Onuachu, in the national team set-up.
The KRC Genk forward on several occasions has come under attack from football fans claiming the striker’s style does not suit the possession-based style of football played by the national team.
Onuachu has only been able to score once for the team in seven appearances with the goal coming in a 1-0 friendly win against Egypt in March and has gone five games without a goal for the Eagles.
The Franco-German coach (Rohr) says Onuachu is important to the team when it come, to helping them switch the tactics from possession football to long ball situations. Read more
Okobi extends contract at Swedish club (NewTelegraph)
Ngozi Okobi has signed a new two-year contract extension with Eskilstuna United, keeping her at the Swedish Damallsvenskan outfit until the winter of 2021.
The Nigeria international joined the Swedish top-flight side from Asarum in 2018 on a one-year deal from rivals Vittsjo with an option of an extension, which expired this November.
To secure her new contract extension, the midfielder scored a goal and made several assists in 22 outings to inspire Magnus Karlsson’s side to a fourth-place finish in the 2019 season. Read more
Oyedeji confident D’Tigress will book Tokyo 2020 ticket (Punch)
Former D’Tigers captain, Olumide Oyedeji, says he is 250 per cent certain D’Tigress will qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 2019 Women Afrobasket champions will face the United States of America, Serbia and Mozambique in the 2020 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade from February 6 to 9, 2020.
The top three teams in the group will book an automatic ticket for the summer Games in Tokyo. D’Tigress will open their account at the qualifying tournament against their African counterpart Mozambique at the Aleksandar Nikolić Hall, Belgrade. Read more