Command arrests officials of ride-hailing drivers’ association over protest (Punch)
Members of the Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Drivers’ Association have accused the personnel of the Lagos State Police Command of arresting some of their officials for organising a protest against ride-hailing firms.
Members of the association, which comprises drivers of Uber, Bolt and other ride-hailing firms, had on Monday commenced a one-week protest to demand a change in the welfare package of the drivers and incorporating the association in decision-making affecting the drivers.
However, when the drivers converged on the National Stadium, Surulere, on Tuesday, some policemen from the Surulere Police Station allegedly arrested some of the drivers and executive of the association. Read more
Lagos traders, beggars take over pedestrian bridges (Guardian)
On every pedestrian bridge in Lagos State, there are at least two traders and one beggar trying to make their living on the structure.
According to The Guardian investigation, despite efforts by men of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation and Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) to clear the bridges of traders and other elements, the bridges have remained a market spot for small businesses.
At the Ojota, Anthony, Obanikoro, Fadeyi, Charity, Five Star, and Ilasa pedestrian bridges, traders were seen trying to attract buyers to their wares.
On Anthony Bridge, one of the traders, Baba Chukwudi, told The Guardian he decided to hawk his wares on the bridge because “it is expensive to rent a shop.” Read more
Uber reacts to drivers’ demands as strike enters Day 3 (Guardian)
Ride-hailing giant Uber on Wednesday said “speaking with drivers is important” as the strike called by the drivers enters Day 2.
Uber, however, referred to the striking drivers as a “small group”.
“We are aware of a protest taking place by a small group of e-hailing drivers, resulting in slightly longer waiting times for riders,” a spokesperson for the ride-hailing company said in an email statement sent to The Guardian.
“We respect driver-partners as valuable partners with a voice and a choice and we want them to know that we are always open to their feedback.” Read more
Authorities probe suspected stowaway found dead on Lagos-Amsterdam flight (DailyTrust)
Authorities in Nigeria are currently investigating how a stowaway found his way into a Lagos-Amsterdam flight on Monday, Daily Trust can report.
Our correspondent reports that the body of a Nigerian man was found dead underneath a KLM flight that landed in Amsterdam on Monday.
Already, the Dutch authorities have launched an investigation into the man’s identity and cause of death after he was discovered inside a wheel arch.
“We are investigating the discovery of a mortal remains in the landing gear of an airplane from Lagos (Nigeria),” the Dutch Police Force wrote on Twitter. Read more
Don simplifies journalism, communication in book (Sun)
A retired mass communication don from the University of Lagos, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, has simplified journalism and communication in a book for easy understanding, learning and practice of journalism and communication skills.
The 322-page book, titled Journalism, Communication and Society, which was launched in Abuja, is a collection of professional work and experience from people that have made significant contributions to the journalism profession. The book was edited by Prof. Umar Pate, the vice-chancellor of the Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State.
Several media gurus, including the emeritus chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, acting director of the National Broadcasting Commission, Armstrong Idachaba, special adviser (media) to the President, Femi Adesina, and executive secretary, Nigerian Press Council, Dr. Francis Nwosu, among others, attended the public presentation of the book. Read more
2 arrested for snatching UNICAL student’s N88k phone, selling it for N10k (Punch)
Two men have been arrested by the security personnel of the University of Calabar for snatching a phone worth N88,000 from a 100-level Computer Science student of the institution, Godwin Okoro.
The suspects, identified as Kingsley Mathias, 22, and Bassey Edet, 23, said they sold the phone for N10,000.
According to the victim, he was on his way to withdraw money from the bank when he was accosted by the suspects, who snatched the phone, which he claimed was worth N88,000. Read more
Customs impounds 42 drums of explosives from Benin Republic (Guardian)
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), yesterday, intercepted 42 drums of calcium carbide smuggled into the country from the Benin Republic.
Security experts have warned that calcium carbide could be used as explosives to bring down a building, especially when some chemical components are added to it.
The Acting Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the unit, Comptroller Usman Yahaya, while displaying the explosives and other contrabands in Lagos, stated that aside from the calcium carbide, the unit also seized contrabands worth N3.1 billion and raised Demand Notice (DN) worth N242 million.
The controller, who said the unit acted based on credible intelligence, disclosed that the explosives were smuggled into the country through the porous borders under the Ogun State Command of the service. Read more
Buhari-led FEC ignores public outcry on Pantami (Punch)
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday said the Federal Executive Council did not discuss the issue of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, during its meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
There is currently ongoing call for Pantami’s resignation or sacking over his past controversial comments seen as supporting terrorist groups, including Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
The Presidency has, however, so far remained silent on the matter.
The embattled minister participated virtually in the weekly meeting of FEC. Read more
Wike urges FG to allow states develop their minerals, pay royalty (Sun)
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, on Monday urged the Federal Government to allowed states to develop and operate their respective minerals and pay royalty to the central government.
Wike made the call when Mr Uchechukwu Ogah, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
He said the call became pertinent because the federal government which unilaterally controls the country’s rich mineral endowment has failed to translate the mineral wealth into overall economic development.
The Governor maintained that in order for the country to benefit from its vast mineral endowment, the federal government should concentrate on the formulation of policies that will facilitate an improvement in the governance of the mining sector to improve social welfare of the citizens. Read more
US grieves fresh police killings in wake of Chauvin verdict (France24)
Just as the guilty verdict was about to be read in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, police in Ohio shot and killed a Black teenager in broad daylight during a confrontation.
The shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, who was swinging a knife during a fight with another person in Columbus, is in some ways more representative of how Black and other people of color are killed during police encounters than the death of George Floyd, pinned to the ground by Chauvin and captured on video for all the world to see.
Unlike Chauvin’s case, many killings by police involve a decision to shoot in a heated moment and are notoriously difficult to prosecute even when they spark grief and outrage. Juries have tended to give officers the benefit of the doubt when they claim to have acted in a life-or-death situation.
While Tuesday’s conviction was hailed as a sign of progress in the fight for equal justice, it still leaves unanswered difficult questions about law enforcement’s use of force and systemic racism in policing. Read more
Italian hospital employee accused of skipping work for 15 years (BBC)
A hospital employee in Italy has been accused of skipping work on full pay for 15 years, local media report.
The man is alleged to have stopped turning up to work at the Ciaccio hospital in the southern city of Catanzaro in 2005.
He is now being investigated for fraud, extortion and abuse of office, Italian news agency Ansa reports.
He was reportedly paid €538,000 (£464,000) in total over the years he is thought not to have been working. Read more
Pakistan: Several killed in explosion at Quetta hotel (AlJazeera)
At least four people have been killed and 12 wounded in a powerful explosion in the parking area of an upscale hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, according to health authorities.
China’s ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong, was a guest at Serena Hotel, according to Zia Langove, home minister of Balochistan province. The ambassador was not at the hotel at the time of Wednesday’s explosion, Langove told Al Jazeera.
There was no immediate comment by the Chinese embassy.
“A car that was full of explosives exploded in the hotel,” Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad told local ARY News TV. Read more
“Ambitious targets need strong domestic support,” says analyst, ahead of US-led climate talks (France24)
After years of being a climate outlier due to Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, the US will steer global negotiations as it convenes tomorrow’s two-day global leaders’ summit on climate change. Its remit has arguably never been so urgent with 2020 ranking as one of the hottest years on record. Yet on the eve of the April 22-23 talks, the summit is already bearing fruit: The EU announced Wednesday it had reached a major climate deal exceeding the Paris accord targets, which climate scientists say are now necessary if a climate catastrophe is to be avoided.
The US-hosted climate summit of 40 world leaders, which runs Thursday through Friday, will be held virtually and is expected to yield tougher carbon emissions targets as countries recognise the need to make firmer pledges to protect the planet. Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden hinted he would commit to cutting US greenhouse gas emissions at least by half from 2005 levels by 2030 in what climate change advocates agree is a “highly ambitious but still achievable” goal. Read more
Top Ethiopia health official alleges ‘sexual slavery’ in Tigray (AlJazeera)
A young mother was trying to get home with food for her two children when she says soldiers pulled her off a minibus in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, claiming it was overloaded.
It was the beginning of an 11-day ordeal in February, during which she says she was repeatedly raped by 23 soldiers who forced nails, rock and other items into her vagina, and threatened her with a knife.
Doctors showed Reuters news agency the bloodstained stone and two 3 inches (7.6cm) nails they said they had removed from her body. Read more
Billionaire Sir James Dyson moves residency back to the UK (BBC)
High-profile businessman Sir James Dyson has moved his residency back to the UK from Singapore.
He now lives primarily in the UK according to filings for his companies, which include his family office.
Sir James had in 2019 faced criticism after he announced that he would relocate his firm’s global head office to Singapore.
This week he was also involved in a controversy over texting UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson over tax issues. Read more
COVID vaccine scarcity and fake doses hamper efforts in Americas (AlJazeera)
Amid a scramble to secure enough coronavirus vaccines in the Americas, there are reports of fake doses proliferating on the black market in several countries in the region, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.
“We have received some information from Mexico, Argentina and Brazil that some doses have been offered through social media, illegal markets offering vaccines that probably are falsified,” Jarbas Barbosa, assistant director of PAHO said during a weekly news conference.
“They are not real vaccines or maybe they are stolen doses from a health facility that no one can assure that they were properly stored,” Barbosa said. Read more
Crunch day in Benghazi as Al Ahli host Enyimba (Guardian)
Enyimba of Aba goes into today’s penultimate CAF Confederation Cup tie against hosts, Al Ahli Benghazi, knowing that they need at least a draw to enhance their chances of qualifying for the knock-out stage of the competition.
Enyimba is currently second on Group A table with six points from four matches, two behind leaders, Orlando Pirates, and two above third-placed Al Ahli.
A win or draw will set up the people’s Elephant for the final game of the group stage against Entente Setif of Algeria, who beat them 3-0 the last time out.
Enyimba, who beat Al Ahli 2-1 in the first leg in Aba, believe the game in Sudan would be better than their adventure in Setif, as many of their stars, who missed that game are back on board. Read more
We won’t force any athlete to represent Nigeria –Kida (Sun)
The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) said the decision to represent Nigeria at the Olympics or future international events rests solely on individual players.
NBBF President, Engr. Musa Kida made this known as calls for inclusion of rising Nigerian stars who recently got drafted into the National Basketball Association (NBA) league grows
Eight players of Nigerian descent currently dominate the 2021 draft class and the federation believes that the D’Tigers Technical crew has enough selection worries in future if things go according to plans.
Kida reiterated that in line with the board’s decision to give all Nigerians an opportunity to represent their fatherland, the door is open to any interested player who wants to suit up for the teams (men and women). Read more
FG yet to pay festival money – Edo govt (Punch)
The dispute between the Edo State Government and the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development over funding for the 20th National Sports Festival seems not over after our correspondent learnt the state was yet to get financial assistance from the Federal Government as earlier promised.
There were doubts over the hosting of the festival after the Local Organising Committee chairman, Philip Shaibu, said the state was ready to host the festival but lamented that the Federal Government was yet to release the funds needed to successfully hold the event.
The festival, which eventually started on April 2 after several postponements, witnessed a scare after the Edo State Government threatened to end it abruptly, just six days after it commenced. Read more
Benzema double takes Real level at the top (BBC)
Real Madrid went level on points with Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga with a win at Cadiz in a week dominated by the announcement and seeming collapse of the European Super League.
There were fan protests outside the ground against the new league, which Real had intended to compete in.
Inside, the visitors ran riot, sealing the win with three first-half goals.
Karim Benzema scored twice – the first a penalty – and provided the assist for Alvaro Odriozola to head in. Read more
Suns escape with win after Embiid’s Hail Mary toss rattles in and out (France24)
Chris Paul scored a team high 28 points as the Phoenix Suns escaped Philadelphia with a 116-113 NBA win on Wednesday after Joel Embiid’s desperation heave at the buzzer twice rattled off the rim.
The Suns would need all of Paul’s points and eight assists, including his final free throws because Embiid’s one-handed toss — almost the full length of the court — hit the backboard then bounced off the front and the back of the rim before falling away as time expired.
Shooting guard Devin Booker added 19 points as he and point guard Paul have combined to become the best backcourt in the NBA this season, giving the Suns the right mix of youth and experience to make a deep run through the postseason.
Phoenix improved to 42-16 on the season and are in second place in the Western Conference. Read more
Barcelona Open: Rafael Nadal fights back, Dan Evans loses & Fabio Fognini defaulted (BBC)
Spanish top seed Rafael Nadal survived a scare before fighting back to beat Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka in the second round of the Barcelona Open.
Nadal, who has not lost on clay to an opponent ranked outside the world’s top 100 since 2004, won 3-6 6-2 6-4 against 111th-ranked Ivashka.
British number one Dan Evans was unable to continue his excellent form on clay, losing to France’s Corentin Moutet in a spiky second-round match. Evans, seeded 16th, lost 6-4 5-7 6-3. Read more