Court drops case against four #EndSARS protesters (Punch)
A court in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on Monday discharged four out of six protesters arrested in November for demonstrating outside the National Assembly.
Last year, Africa’s most populous country was swept by weeks of widespread protests sparked by anger over brutality from the police’s loathed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The government disbanded the unit and pledged reforms but still struggled to contain the largest challenge to Nigeria’s governing elite in decades.
The six defendants were arrested on November 8, 2020 and charged with unlawful assembly. Read more
Lagos targets 60% COVID-19 vaccine rollout, says Sanwo-Olu (Guardian)
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has revealed the State Government’s plan on COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the effort to bolster mass vaccination of residents in the state.
Sanwo-Olu made the disclosure in a Channels Television programme Sunday Politics.
The governor said Lagos is aiming to achieve 60 per cent vaccine rollout when the vaccination programme commences in the coming weeks.
He stated that the stressing that the figure would help check rate of transmission and build the resilience of the State against the pandemic. Read more
Bandits kill 8-month pregnant woman on Kaduna highway (DailyTrust)
Suspected armed bandits have killed an eight-month pregnant health worker along the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari highway, after opening fire on a commercial vehicle travelling to Kaduna.
She was killed while traveling to Kaduna from Birnin Gwari at a place called Zankoro before Unguwar Yako on Sunday.
Many feared dead, houses burnt as IPOB, police, army clash in Orlu
FG approves recruitment of 30,000 agric graduates for NALDA
It was gathered that the bandits opened fire on the commercial vehicle around noon in an attempt to stop the vehicle.
The deceased’s cousin Aliyu Mahmud confirmed the incident to Daily Trust via phone and identified her as Aisha Yusuf.
He described her as a dedicated volunteer health worker in Birnin Gwari community. Read more
US launches air-quality monitors to track Lagos, Abuja pollution (Punch)
The United States Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard, on Monday, launched Air Quality Monitor to link Nigeria to air quality index information and health messaging from the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency.
A statement from the US Consulate General noted that the monitor would supply data to the ZephAir app.
Leonard expressed optimism that the new equipment will enhance the Consulate’s capacity to provide reliable data on air quality.
She also highlighted the United States’ commitment to environmental sustainability. Read more
Ondo Quit Notice: S’west, Jigawa, Kebbi govs adopt Akeredolu’s directive (NewTelegraph)
The order by the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu that herdsmen who illegally occupy Government Forest Reserves should vacate or get registered was on Monday adopted by some governors under the platform of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) as well as the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN).
The governors, who converged on Akure, the Ondo State capital during a meeting to engage MACBAN in order to find lasting solutions to the incessant killings, kidnappings and crises between herdsmen and farmers within the Southwest geo-political zone, all agreed that herders in Ondo State must register as demanded by Akeredolu.
The governors who attended the meeting included; the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi; Ondo State Governor, who doubles as the Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum, Akeredolu; Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku; Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde and their Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Bagudu Abubakar. Read more
N40b earned allowances released to ASUU (Nation)
President Muhammadu Buhari waived the ‘no work, no pay’ Trade Act for striking university lecturers to allow peace to reign, Minister of Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige, said at the weekend.
The government has released N40 billion for the payment of earned academic allowances for varsity lecturers and earned allowances for non-academic staff.
Also, the government may release N30 billion revitalisation funds to varsities by the end of this month.
Of the N40 billion, about N10 billion was voted for the payment of earned allowances of members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and technologists. Read more
Mop up illicit drugs in Nigeria, Marwa orders NDLEA state commanders (ThisDay)
The Chairman/CEO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd), has given commanders of the agency in all the states of the federation and special commands marching orders to mop up illicit drugs across the country.
He gave the directive during a meeting with commanders of the 36 states, FCT and special commands on Monday at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, where he also hinted of plans to seek government’s approval to conduct drug tests on tertiary institutions’ new students, security agencies, fresh recruits and all newly appointed government employees.
While telling the commanders, who briefed him on their posts and areas of responsibility that he is honoured and proud to serve as Chairman of NDLEA, he said all commanders must be desirous of keeping drugs out of Nigerian streets and homes, and so, “all of you must shape up and get all those engaged in the nefarious business to face the music, and I need results from now on”.
According to him, “Our maxim will be offensive action. This means we must go all out constantly on the offensive against the bad guys. Read more
Court orders release of El-Zakzaky’s wife from prison after testing positive for coronavirus (Guardian)
A Kaduna High Court on Monday ordered the Nigerian Correctional Service to release the wife of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Zeenat El-Zakzaky, to an isolation centre, for COVID-19 treatment.
Justice Gideon Kurada in his ruling specifically ordered that she should be moved to a government-approved isolation and treatment centre.
However, the Correctional Service authorities had in a statement last weekend claimed no inmate, including the Zeenat, was infected with COVID-19.
But Zeenat and Ibrahim El Zakzaky’s lawyer Femi Falana, SAN, said that his client tested positive to COVID-19. Read more
Uganda ordered to end Bobi Wine’s house arrest (BBC)
A Ugandan court has ordered the military and police to leave the home of opposition politician Bobi Wine.
He has not left his house in the outskirts of the capital Kampala since voting in the presidential election 11 days ago, in which he was declared runner-up to President Yoweri Museveni.
Monday’s ruling by the High Court in Kampala comes after a petition by Bobi Wine’s lawyers.
The state argued it needed to prevent him organising protests. Read more
Thailand says COVID-19 vaccinations to start next month (VOA)
Thailand said on Monday it would start its coronavirus inoculation program next month by administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to high-risk groups, as it faces accusations of being too slow to secure vaccines.
Health workers in Samut Sakhon province, the epicenter of the latest outbreak, where more than 900 infections were reported on Monday, would be the first to be inoculated with the initial delivery of 50,000 doses.
The elderly and people with chronic diseases would also be a priority, officials said. Read more
Israel extradites sex crime suspect to Australia (DW)
Israel on Monday extradited Malka Leifer, a former teacher wanted on child sex abuse charges, to Australia after a six-year legal battle.
Leifer faces as many as 74 abuse charges that she allegedly committed while teaching in Melbourne.
She is accused of abusing three sisters during her time as headmistress of Elsternwick’s Adass Israel School between 2001 and 2008. Read more
Turkey, Saudi Arabia eye improved ties after Gulf crisis ends (AlJazeera)
Two years ago, relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia stood at one of the lowest points in the history of the two regional powers following the murder in Istanbul of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
His killing in October 2018 at the hands of Saudi agents in the kingdom’s consulate led to unprecedented Turkish denouncements of the Saudi government, highlighting what it said was the role of those close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto ruler, in the assassination plot.
Today, however, ties between Ankara and Riyadh appear on the verge of a return to cordiality, thanks in part to the detente between Turkey’s ally Qatar and the four-nation Saudi-led bloc that imposed an embargo on Doha in 2017.
Earlier this month, a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) saw Saudi Arabia and its allies agree to restore ties with Doha, including reopening airspace and borders. Read more
Burnt bodies found in vehicles on US-Mexico border (BBC)
The burnt bodies of 19 people have been found close to the Mexican border with the US, according to officials from Tamaulipas state.
Police found two burnt-out vehicles on Saturday and initial findings indicate the people were shot and then set alight.
Violent drug gangs operate in the area, where migrants also try to cross the border into Texas.
An official said the victims may be undocumented migrants, reports AFP. Read more
EU, US call on Russia to immediately release Alexei Navalny and protesters (VOA)
Foreign Ministers of the European Union are meeting in Brussels Monday to debate the response of the 27-nation bloc to Russia’s arrest of opposition leader and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and the police crackdown on pro-Navalny demonstrators, as pressure grows to impose sanctions on the Kremlin.
Arriving for the meeting, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the most recent “wave of detention is something that worries us a lot, as well as the detention of Mr. Navalny.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that “everyone in Russia has the right to express their opinion and to demonstrate” under the Russian constitution. “The principles of the rule of law must apply there, too,” Maas added, “Russia has always committed itself to that.” Read more
Dominion Voting Systems sues Trump’s lawyer Giuliani for $1.3bn (AlJazeera)
Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani exploited false election-fraud claims to hawk gold coins, cigars and supplements on a podcast, according to a $1.3 billion defamation suit by a voting machine company.
Dominion Voting Systems Inc.’s lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Washington, may now force Giuliani to defend his actions in spreading what the company says are bogus claims that it helped flip millions of votes to President Joe Biden and cost Trump a second term in office.
“He and his allies manufactured and disseminated the ‘Big Lie,’ which foreseeably went viral and deceived millions of people into believing that Dominion had stolen their votes and fixed the election,” the company alleged in its complaint.
Giuliani didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. Read more
Ahmed Musa set to join West Brom (Punch)
Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa is set to join Premier League club West Bromwich Albion on a short term deal.
The 28-year-old has been unattached since quitting Al Nassr in October 2020.
According to Daily Mail, the Baggies have requested a visa for the winger and have also scheduled him for a medical on Wednesday.
Capped 95 times by Nigeria, Musa’s career has stalled since he left CSKA Moscow in 2016. Having scored 55 goals in 167 appearances for the Russians, he joined Leicester City in the summer of that year. Read more
Osimhen returns after 77 days in limbo (Nation)
Some 77 days after playing his last game in the Italian Serie A, Victor Osimhen played for 25minutes yesterday in Napoli’s 2-1 away loss to Verona.
Osimhen was last in action for Napoli on November 8 in their 1-0 away win over Bologna before he joined with Nigeria for the 2021 AFCON Qualifiers against Sierra Leone where he sustained a shoulder injury on November 13 in Super Eagles 4-4 draw at home against the Leone Star of Sierra Leone in Benin City.
While still recuperating from the injury, Osimhen was tested positive to COVID-19 on January 1 while he was cleared of the virus on Friday January 22.
Yesterday, he came on in the 65th minute to replace Andrea Petagna but he could not save his team from going down to Verona in the tie.
Osimhen reportedly has a very light brace to stabilize his shoulder after dislocation. Read more
Jenson Button to drive in Extreme E for own team (BBC)
Former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button will compete in the new Extreme E racing series for his own team.
Button, 41, joins other high-profile names who have signed up for the climate-aware series, including seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.
“I’ve followed Extreme E with great interest – what they have managed to create is nothing short of incredible,” Briton Button said.
Extreme E will be streamed on the BBC iPlayer, Red Button and Sport website.Read more
Bale must battle to earn his Spurs, says Mourinho (Guardian)
Gareth Bale must earn his place in the Tottenham team on the training pitch and will not be picked so he can boost his match fitness, said manager Jose Mourinho.
The 31-year-old Wales international is back at Spurs on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid.
But the forward, hampered by fitness issues, has mostly been confined to Europa League games, playing just 45 minutes of Premier League football since early November.
Bale came on in the FA Cup third-round win over non-league Marine earlier this month and may get more time on the pitch in the fourth-round clash against Championship side Wycombe later on Monday.
But Mourinho said playing time was not a gift. Read more
Nasarawa go top as Sunshine win away at Wolves (Punch)
Chinedu Ohanachom scored the winner for Nasarawa United, who moved to the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League table after they defeated Warri Wolves 2-1 on Sunday at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, The PUNCH reports.
Ohanachom’s strike helped Nasarawa extend their unbeaten run in the NPFL to six games, having recorded four wins and two draws.
Uche Ihuarulam gave home side Wolves the lead after 21 minutes but Silas Nwankwo restored parity three minutes after the hour mark.
At the Godswill Akpabio stadium, Uyo, Sadeeq Yusuf scored twice for Sunshine Stars to help the visitors defeat Dakkada 2-1 and move to sixth in the table. Read more
Real Betis Target Ighalo (NewTelegraph)
Erstwhile Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo has been a huge transfer target for La Liga outfit Real Betis, New Telegraph can report.
According to Spanish sports daily Estadio Deportivo, Betis Betis are desperate to land the Manchester United striker in the January transfer window.
However, the deal would have taken place if not for the paucity of funds as the Spanish club is looking to sell some players to fund the deal.
Betis’ purse has been badly decimated by the coronavirus pandemic and needs external funding to carry out transfer activities It is for that reason that Real Betis’ Chilean boss Manuel Pellegrini has reiterated that he’s 99.9 percent sure there won’t be any new signings in the January transfer window. Read more