Constitutional review: Sanwo-Olu demands state police, special status for Lagos (Punch)
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, demanded state police, fiscal federalism and a special economic status for the state as constitutional review public hearing begins across the country.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made the demands at the opening of the two-day Senate zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution under the leadership of Senator Oluremi Tinubu, held at Marriot Hotel, Ikeja in Lagos State, according to a statement by the state government.
He said, “For us in Lagos State, the issues of State Police and fiscal federalism are at the top of the priority list for us, in this ongoing review process. Equally fundamental, particularly for us in Lagos State, is the issue of a Special Economic Status for Lagos, considering our place in the national economy and the special burdens we bear by virtue of our large population and limited landmass. Read more
Sanwo-Olu commissions new Oshodi bus terminal (ThisDay)
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commissioned the multimillion naira bus terminal at Oshodi that will also service passengers using the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
The Mafoluku Bus Terminal was built by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) in collaboration with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), operators of the airport.
The terminal is a gateway station that will serve Mafoluku, Oshodi, and Ajao Estate environs, providing bus connections primarily to Oshodi Transport Interchange, Ikeja Bus Terminal, Mile 2 and other parts of Lagos.
The Mafoluku Terminal will also provide a means of connection to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) and the domestic wing of the airport. Read more
Lagos disburses N4.2 bn pension arrears in 2 years (Vanguard)
Lagos State Government said it has paid N4,203,784,514.49 arrears to pensioners in the state under the Defined Benefits Scheme otherwise known as ‘Pay As You Go’ from May 2019 to March 2021.
Commissioner for Establishment, Training, and Pension, Mrs. Ajibola Ponle, disclosed this on Wednesday, at the 2021 ministerial press briefing which is part of activities to mark the second anniversary of Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration.
According to Ponle, as part of the state’s commitment to the welfare of pensioners, Governor Sanwo-Olu approved payment of 33 percent increment for all state pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme and also paid the balance of the 25 percent rent allowance for officers on Grade Level 07 and above who retired between May 2000 and August 2004. Read more
Nigeria needs new constitution, not amendment – Okowa (Punch)
The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that Nigeria needed a new constitution and not an amendment to accommodate emerging issues of good governance and greater interest of Nigerians.
Okowa, who stated this on Wednesday when the Senate Sub-Committee on review of the 1999 Constitution visited him at the Government House, Asaba, said a new constitution for the country had become imperative in view of observed lacunas in the 1999 Constitution.
He said, “There is no doubt that there is still a lot to work on in our Constitution to have a near-perfect document, and I know that the National Assembly has continued over time, to cause some of the amendments to be.
“But, I also wished that some persons from other zones actually had the opportunity to come down here to hear the voices of our people directly because sometimes we do not understand the extent of the pains that people of the Niger Delta truly suffer in our nation. Read more
Police arrest nine cultists during supremacy clash in Ogun (Vanguard)
Men of the Ogun State command have arrested nine members of the Eiye cult group in the Ajegunle area of Ibogun during a supremacy battle between them and members of the Alora confraternity.
The suspects; according to a statement issued by the command spokesperson, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, include; Sodiq Olabisi, Oluwatosin Andrew, Oladimeji Oyedele, Wasiu Raheem, Oyedokun Lekan, Yusuf Ajetunmobi, Busari Taoreed, Bolaji Raphael, and Salami Toheeb were arrested following a bloody clash between the two groups.
Oyeyemi said, “while the clash was going on, a distress call was made to the police divisional headquarters in Ibogun, and the DPO, CSP Samuel Oladele led his men to the scene”. Read more
Buhari’s aide contradicts Accountant-General, says Ibori’s loot not returned to Delta (Punch)
The Special Assistant to President Muhammdu Buhari on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, has said the £4.2m looted by a former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, which the Federal Government recently repatriated from the United Kingdom, has not been returned to the state.
This is contrary to the announcement made by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, on Tuesday, that the looted fund had been returned to Delta State.
Idris spoke in Abuja on Tuesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Assessment and Status of All Recovered Loots Movable and Immovable Assets from 2002 to 2020 by Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for Effective Efficient Management and Utilisation. Read more
There’s a link between hard drugs and insecurity – Marwa (Vanguard)
The Director-General of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Buba Marwa drew a link between the use of hard drugs and insurgency.
He, therefore, called on the National Assembly to halt the move on the legalization of cannabis.
“Insecurity is clearly one of the key challenges, if not the most important challenge at the moment facing us as a nation today. It needs all institutions and all Nigerians to stand up to the occasion and not to leave everything to the security agencies alone. Security is everybody’s business.
“I must take this opportunity to state very very clearly, that, there is incontrovertible evidence of a linkage, between drug use and a spate of insecurity. Drugs are a clear propellant to insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, ESN, and other criminal activities. Read more
Kaduna varsity students protest fees hike (Nation)
Aggrieved students of the Kaduna State University (KASU) on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest in the main campus over plans by government to increase school fees from N35, 000 to minimum of N150, 000.
The students alleged the hike appeared to be a continuous attempt to deny them their right to education.
They described the action of Governor Nasir El-Rufai as a deliberate attempt to make education inaccessible to the masses in addition to N80, 000 hostel charges and sack of their parents who would have raised the fees.
They said 75 percent of them and colleagues in other state-owned higher institutions may be forced to discontinue their studies if the plans go on as most of them hitherto battle to pay the old rates of N24, 000 and N35, 000. Read more
South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma pleads not guilty for multi-billion dollar arms deal (BBC)
Jacob Zuma, the former South African president, has pleaded not guilty in a corruption trial involving a $5b (£3b) arms deal from the 1990s.
He is facing 18 counts of racketeering, corruption, fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.
Mr Zuma blames political enemies in the governing African National Congress (ANC) party for his legal troubles.
The arms deal involved buying new fighter jets, helicopters, submarines and warships. Read more
France imposes quarantine on UK arrivals over Covid-19 Indian variant fears (France24)
France on Wednesday declared a mandatory quarantine period for people coming from Britain due to the increasing prevalence there of a highly contagious coronavirus variant first detected in India.
France follows Austria, which on Tuesday said it was banning direct flights and tourist visits from Britain, and Germany, which on Friday said anyone entering from the United Kingdom would have to quarantine for two weeks on arrival.
“There is a new situation with the progression of the so-called Indian variant in the United Kingdom,” said government spokesman Gabriel Attal. “(France) will set up compulsory isolation for people coming from the United Kingdom.”
Attal did not say how long the quarantine period would last. There would be more details in the next few hours, he added. Read more
3 arrested over fatal Italy cable car accident (BBC)
Three people have been arrested in Italy over Sunday’s cable car accident that left 14 dead.
Investigators say the emergency brakes had been disabled and the three members of the operating company were aware.
According to a local transport official, the brakes’ failure meant the car was travelling at over 100km per hour (62 mph) when the cable broke.
The car plunged 20m (65ft) into the side of the Mottarone mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. Read more
Paris hotel cleaners claim landmark win after 22-month “battle for dignity”
Cleaning staff at an Ibis hotel in Paris hailed a historic victory on Tuesday after an almost two-year long battle to improve working conditions and pay.
“Slavery is over, mistreatment is over,” chanted the Ibis Batignolles workers as they celebrated the signature of a comprehensive agreement granting them better wages and regular working hours.
The 19 women and one male colleague had gone on strike for 8 months in July 2019, before they were placed on state benefits along with other hotel workers at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As their 22-month tussle dragged on, their frequent protests attracted a growing number of supporters, including union leaders, politicians and ordinary citizens. Read more
Samuel E Wright, Little Mermaid’s crab, dies at 74 (BBC)
Tributes have been paid to US actor Samuel E Wright, best known for voicing Sebastian the crab in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, who has died at 74.
Wright sang the 1989 animation’s Oscar-winning song Under The Sea and went on to play Mufasa in the original Broadway production of The Lion King.
Other roles included jazz star Dizzy Gillespie in Clint Eastwood’s Bird.
Disney marked the actor’s death with a billboard tribute at The Lion King musical’s original New York home. Read more
Amazon buys Hollywood studio MGM for $8.45b (BBC)
Amazon has agreed to buy the historic MGM studios for $8.45b (£5.97b).
MGM is one of Hollywood’s most famous studios, having produced classic films such as Some Like It Hot and Singin’ In The Rain.
The sale will give the tech giant’s Prime streaming service access to a huge back catalogue of content.
An Amazon executive said on Wednesday: “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, added: “The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of Intellectual Property in the deep catalogue that we plan to re-imagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team.” Read more
French Open: Carla Suarez Navarro to play after recovering from cancer (BBC)
Former world number six Carla Suarez Navarro will play at the French Open, a month after announcing she had recovered from cancer.
The Spaniard, 32, revealed last September she had early stage Hodgkin lymphoma and was having chemotherapy.
She had her final chemo session in January before saying in April that she had been “cured”.
“It makes me tremendously excited to be able to participate in Roland Garros,” she said. Read more
“I want a trophy” with France, says Benzema after long exile from international football (France24)
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema said he’s targeting a trophy with France after he was recalled to their provisional Euro 2020 squad following a controversial, six-year international exile.
The prolific star, sidelined by Les Bleus since 2015 over his alleged role in a blackmail plot, missed out on France’s 2018 World Cup win and their run to the Euro 2016 final on home soil.
Benzema, 33, told L’Equipe he was “proud” of his call-up, which followed talks with France coach Didier Deschamps earlier this month.
“I want to win a trophy with the French team,” he said, adding that he hoped to “bring a little bit extra” to the World Cup-winners. Read more
2020-2021 season: Simy, Zanusi, Onuachu make Africa best discoveries (Nation)
As the 2020-21 season draws to a close, Nigeria’s trio of Simy Nwankwo, Zaidu Sanusi and Paul Onuachu has been listed among ESPN’s top 10 Africa’s breakout stars of the outgoing season.
According to ESPN, the selected players burst onto the scene this term, and this took their careers to new heights during a memorable campaign in the outgoing football season across Europe.
Zanusi has been described as a relative unknown when he was signed by FC Porto in August as a replacement for Manchester United-bound Alex Telles, but the Nigerian has been a revelation for the Portuguese side.
Also, Simy had already tasted life in Serie A before this season, but 10 goals across two seasons — and 44 appearances — did little to suggest that he would be such a remarkable success in the top flight this term. Read more
NBA play-offs: LA Lakers beat Phoenix Suns as Brooklyn Nets win again (BBC)
Anthony Davis scored 34 points as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 109-102 to level their NBA Western Conference first round play-off series.
Davis, 28, also served up 10 rebounds, while LeBron James added 23 points for the Lakers to level the series at 1-1.
“I put it on myself as all leaders do and wanted to make sure I made a statement in this game,” said Davis.
“Since last year, LeBron has been on me about perfection, playing hard and playing in environments like this.” Read more
Jamie Murray blasts French Open over prize money cuts and ‘toilet’ hotel (France24)
Former doubles world number one Jamie Murray has strongly criticised French Open organisers for cutting prize money in his event and labelled the official players’ hotel an “absolute toilet”.
Murray will take part in the clay-court Grand Slam with Brazilian partner Bruno Soares when it gets under way in Paris on Sunday.
But the 35-year-old Scot, the brother of former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, is unhappy that prize money in doubles competitions has been slashed by 23 percent.
Total prize money has been cut by around 10 percent, while for a second successive year the event has been shifted in the calendar. Read more
Antonio Conte ‘close to joining Tottenham’ after £17m-a-year contract offer (Metro) Tottenham are making a big push to try and convince Antonio Conte to move to north London and have reportedly offered the Inter boss an enormous salary that dwarfs his current pay packet. Despite guiding Inter to the Serie A title this season, reports emerged on Monday that the 51-year-old had become disillusioned with the club’s financial situation – and a likely lack of investment this summer – and could leave within 48 hours. But now Italian newspaper La Stampa claim there is a different reason motivating Conte to leave: a mammoth offer to return to the Premier League with Spurs. Conte romped to the title with Inter, ending Juventus’ stranglehold (Picture: Reuters) Although the north Londoners finished just seventh last season, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has proposed a contract offer worth as much as £17million-a-year. Read more