Customs intercepts container suspected to be loaded with arms at port complex (Guardian)
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin Can Island command on Saturday confirmed the interception of a container suspected to be laden with arms and ammunition.
The Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr Uche Ejesieme, confirmed the interception in a statement.
According to Ejesieme, the container was intercepted on Friday in one of the port’s terminals during routine examination.
“Following this development, the command intimated the terminal operators and requested that the suspected container be transferred to our enforcement unit for 100 per cent examination. Read more
Lagos gives update on Oke Afa Sawmill fire incident (DailyTrust)
The Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service (LSFRS) said no death or injury was recorded in the fire that broke out at the Oke Afa building materials market in Jakande, Egbe, Lagos State on Friday night.
The service, in a statement on Saturday by its Director, Mrs Margaret Adeseye, also confirmed that the inferno, which started at about 9:17pm, has been extinguished.
“The intense fire, reported at about 21:17 hours on Friday, has been subdued with the application of copious water and chemical foam compound.
“This is with collaborative efforts of other emergency service providers in partnership with LSFRS,” the statement read. Read more
Food Security: FG empowers women, youths through poultry farming (Independent)
The Federal Government has unfolded fresh plans to strengthen the nation’s agricultural sector in the year 2022 through enhanced provision of agricultural incentives and maintenance of existing agricultural institutions across the six (6) geo-political zones of the country.
The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar said that the measure became inevitable to add impetus for the realisation of food security and intercontinental food production, adding that the Federal government had equally resolved to empower women and youths through poultry farming to promote self-economic reliance among them.
The minister stated this when he commissioned an ultra-modern Rubber Rural Resources Centre with Lohashilpi Sheeting Processing Technology at Ndioko Izombe and a 1000-capacity poultry farm at Umuelem and Umuokoro Umuihi, in the Oguta and Ihitte Uboma council areas of Imo State respectively.
Represented by the Imo State Director of the Ministry, Pastor Iwuchukwu Christian Onyema, the minister, who stressed the importance of the two facilities noted that while Rubber is such an essential raw material that is used in the creation of more than 40,000 products, including medical devices, surgical gloves, aircraft and car tyres as well as pacifiers, clothes and toys, poultry farming which contributes about 90% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) equally increase domestic income. Read more
NACCIMA seeks legislative action for establishment of appeal tribunal for Customs (Sun)
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has called for a legislative action to establish an independent appeal ombudsman to be called Customs and Excise Duties Appeal Tribunal.
The tribunal will serve as a vehicle for resolution of disputes arising from, relating to, and connected with assessment, payment and collection of duties and tariffs by the Nigeria Customs Service, thereby making going to court unattractive and as a last resort, the body said. National President of NACCIMA, Ide John Udeagbala, it was gathered, held several advocacy meetings with the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise & Tariff, Senator Francis Alimikhena, requesting the Committee to present a Bill for the Amendment of the Customs and Excise Management Act to allow for the establishment of an appeal tribunal.
In response to this request, the House of Representatives Committee on Customs & Excise invited NACCIMA and key stakeholders to a Public Hearing and Call for Memoranda on a bill for an Act to repeal the Customs & Excise Management Act, CAP. C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and to Enact an Act to Establish the Nigerian Customs Service and other Related Matters Act 2021. Udeagbala who was represented by first Deputy President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Chief Emeka Obegolu presented a position paper for NACCIMA. Read more
What transpired between soldiers, Delta policewoman’s son before his death – Army (Punch)
The Nigerian Army has narrated what transpired between Christian Ehima, a 24-year-old undergraduate of Computer Science in the University of Benin; and soldiers at the Railway Checkpoint in Igbanke, Edo State.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Saturday, said contrary to the allegations by Christian’s mother, Mercy Ehima, the soldiers at the checkpoint did not assault her son.
Nwachukwu also released video and audio evidence of the encounter between Christian, his mother and the soldiers.
Mercy, an Assistant Superintendent of Police with the Delta State Police Command, had said that her son was tortured to death by the soldiers at the checkpoint. Read more
Onyeka Onwenu, Patience Ozokwor set for stage (ThisDay)
A classic theatrical work from the stable of Doyenne Circle will see the Queen of Nigerian music, Onyeka Onwenu grace the stage at the Agip Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos on January 1st. Alongside other prominent Nollywood veterans and amazons like Patience Ozokwor, Kate Henshaw, Onwenu will be singing, dancing and acting as they bring their bare creative ingenuity to this intriguing stage play dubbed “Speaking Out”.
The 30-act all-female cast musical, explores and highlights the journey of the girl child from birth, through childhood and adulthood, to motherhood. Beginning with a celebration of the birth of the girl child, ‘Speaking Out’ takes a roller-coaster ride through her daunting growth in a largely gender sensitive environment, an earlier release states further.
This inequitable society plagues her every step, from the celebration of her birth, through such typical challenges as child labour, education, female trafficking, dating, sex, spousal abuse, divorce and single motherhood. Singed but tireless, she emerges through all the odds with her daughter, stronger with dignity and pride, determined to live her life in full. The stage play promises a 360 experience, using spectacular dance, poetry, design, popular and traditional music and song.
It is a magnificent piece of work written and compiled by Chukwuma Okoye from the original works of Tony Marinho, using a plethora of the total female experience to tell a story driven by a musical force, as directed by the award-winning founder and director of Lagos and Abuja, Kenneth Uphopho. Read more
Lawmakers ask FG to remove grounded aircraft from all airports (ThisDay)
The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to ensure that all abandoned non-functional aircrafts are immediately removed from all airports across the country and impose heavy fines on the owners for non-compliance.
The resolutions of the lawmakers were sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro and 11 others at the plenary yesterday.
Moving the motion, Obanikoro expressed concerns over large number of abandoned, non-functional aircraft littering airports across the country, saying it gives an impression that Nigeria is a dumping ground for old planes.
He further expressed concerns that leaving such grounded aircraft within the airports constitutes safety hazards, and could serve as a hideout for stowaways. Read more
764,677 corps members complete entrepreneurship training (Nation)
Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Shuaibu Ibrahim, has said 764,677 corps members have so far completed full skill and entrepreneurship training.
It was done under the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme.
Ibrahim said 18,682 have set up businesses through self-help, bank loans and grants from donors after completing the SAED programme.
He spoke during the closing of the 2021 NYSC SAED Festival. Read more
Abuja filmmaker arrested for allegedly impersonating Regina Daniels (Independent)
A filmmaker, Richard Slyvanus has been arrested for allegedly impersonating Nollywood actress, Regina Daniels.
Sylvanus reportedly opened YouTube and Gmail accounts impersonating Regina Daniels, and also defrauded unsuspecting Nigerians to the tune of N1m. He was arrested after Daniels’ lawyer reported the matter to the police.
Federal Capital Territory Police Command spokesperson, DSP Josephine Adeh confirmed the arrest. Adeh further revealed that the matter is still under investigation.
“Sylvanus is in our custody. The police swung into action after getting a tip-off. He defrauded unsuspecting members of the public with an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and a YouTube account he opened to impersonate Regina Daniels. Read more
Carrie Underwood & More bring holiday cheer to Top 10 on album sales chart (Billboard)
Four out of the top 10-selling albums of the week were holiday efforts, as the march to Christmas nears ever closer.
On Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart dated Dec. 18 (reflecting the sales week ending Dec. 9), Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas TV soundtrack climbs 7-6, Carrie Underwood’s My Gift rises 12-7, Kelly Clarkson’s When Christmas Comes Around… flies 25-9 and Michael Bublé’s chart-topping Christmas holds steady at No. 10.
Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now MRC Data. Pure album sales were the sole measurement utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Adele’s 30 is No. 1 on Top Album Sales for a third week in a row, selling 149,000 copies (down 34%). It debuted with 692,000 copies sold, then sold 225,000 copies in its second week. Thus, 30 has sold over 100,000 copies in each of its first three weeks of release – the first album to do so since Taylor Swift’s 2017 release Reputation also sold in excess of 100,000 in its first three weeks. Read more
Cameroon students, fighters Say rights report on separatist school attacks reflects reality (VOA)
Separatists fighting to create an English-speaking state in western Cameroon have described as grossly one-sided a rights group report says that separatists attack schools, train children as fighters and have deprived at least 700,000 children from having education since 2017. Human Rights Watch also says government troops organized abusive counter insurgencies that affected education. Thousands of children who have fled the English-speaking regions relocated.
Twenty-one-year-old Kingsley Wirba warms up the engine of his motorcycle taxi as he gets ready to work in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé. Wirba says his hope of having education was shattered when separatists called Amba fighters torched his school in Kumbo, an English-speaking northwestern town in 2017.
“Some of these Amba fighters will come and attack the school, threaten our teachers, beat you up,” said Wirba. “One day like that we went to school, the fighters came, attacked one part of the school and had it burned down. There was no way for us to continue school there. I did not leave alone. Hundreds of students left. Even the teachers ran away.”
Wirba said his father was killed in 2017 during a gun battle between separatists and government troops in Kumbo. He said he drives a motorcycle taxi each day to be able to take care of himself and his younger sister in Yaoundé. Read more
“The Good Doctor” and Kung Fu stars announced for new Netflix TV series (DigitalSpy)
Netflix’s live-action adaptation of iconic animation Avatar: The Last Airbender has announced some new cast members, following the beginning of production last month in Canada.
As reported by Deadline, The Good Doctor, Cobra Kai and Star Trek: Picard actress Tamyln Tomita has been cast as Yukari, the mayor of Kyoshi Island. Maria Zhang has been cast as her daughter Suki, leader of the Kyoshi Warriors.
Yvonne Chapman, star of the new Kung Fu TV series, will play the heroic Avatar Kyoshi, while All My Love’s Elizabeth Yu will play the Fire Nation’s princess Azula. Meanwhile, Reservation Dogs’ Casey Camp-Horinek is playing Gran Gran, the matriarch of the Southern Water Tribe.
Previously, the show announced the casting for other important characters, including a PEN15 and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star as Prince Zuko. Read more
Brad Pitt hoping for a ‘more positive year’ as he turns 58: ‘His kids matter the most,’ says source (People)
Brad Pitt is keeping it “low-key” for his birthday weekend.
The two-time Academy Award winner doesn’t intend to go all out with the festivities when he marks his 58th trip around the sun on Saturday. “He plans to have a low-key birthday. Just sort of hanging out,” an insider tells People.
“He’s staying low-key in general. That’s really the kind of guy he is anyway,” the source says, adding that since his birthday is at the end of the year, “it’s a natural time for reflection for him.”
Pitt has had a busy year, filming two movies with Sandra Bullock. He makes a cameo in her upcoming romantic comedy adventure The Lost City, which also stars Channing Tatum; and, along with Joey King and Bad Bunny, he and Bullock also filmed Bullet Train in Los Angeles earlier this year. Read more
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. blames Cheryl Hines for holiday party vaccine recommendation (TMZ)
Sure looks like Cheryl Hines just got Jennifer Garner-ed … her husband Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is passing the buck on who suggested their holiday party guests should be vaccinated, and the blame’s falling at her feet.
The backstory here is RFK Jr. is an established anti-vaxxer — or at least anti-vaxx mandate — for children, so some guests were shocked to see invites to his and Cheryl’s shindig included a recommendation attendees should be inoculated … according to Politico.
Kennedy’s explanation to Politico was, “I guess I’m not always the boss at my own house.”
Well, he didn’t call Cheryl out by name, but … the insinuation’s pretty clear. Read more
Africa, India reject UN Human Rights Council plan to probe Ethiopia conflict abuses (DailyNation)
The African continent on Friday voted with India and other countries to reject an order to create an international probe into Ethiopia’s conflict, exposing the huge positional differences on the year-long war.
At a special session at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, members of the 47-member body endorsed the call by the European Union to create a team of experts to investigate atrocities in Ethiopia, much to the protests by Addis Ababa.
Twenty-one of the 47 members including the UK, Germany, Japan and South Korea endorsed the call, but the entire African representation of 13 members either voted against the draft or abstained.
India and Russia voted against the call, endorsing Ethiopia’s argument that there had been a previous investigation that called for accountability, which the Ethiopian government was willing to implement. Many of those who voted no have had run-ins with the Human Rights body over alleged interference. For example, Russia too has in the past rejected allegations of violations in crimes. Read more
Denmark to shut down public venues as COVID infections rise (BrisbaneTimes)
Denmark’s Prime Minister has announced that theatres, cinemas, concert halls, amusement parks, museums and art galleries across the country will be closed down under new restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Friday, local time, the measures also require stores smaller than 2000 square meters and restaurants to limit their number of customers. Restaurants must serve their last meals and alcoholic beverages at 10pm and close at 11pm.
The partial shutdown order was approved later Friday by Parliament’s 21-member Epidemic Committee. Most restrictions apply as of Sunday at 8am.
The Danish government is advising residents to limit social contacts over the Christmas holidays, and urged public and private companies to have employees work from home where possible. Read more
Nigeria’s Ajayi leaves Al Ahly after 5 years (AfricanFootball)
Al Ahly have announced that they have terminated Junior Ajayi’s contract by mutual consent.
The Nigeria international struggled for game time at the Egyptian football powerhouse this season under coach Pitso Mosimane.
Ajayi, who won bronze with Nigeria at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, enjoyed a lot of success with Al Ahly having joined the reigning African champions in 2016 from Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien.
The Owerri-born player helped the Red Devils win four Egyptian Premier League titles two Egyptian Cups and two CAF Champions League trophies. Read more
Players, managers ecstatic as 2021/22 NPFL League season finally kicks off (DailyTrust)
Yesterday, the long-awaited 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League season finally kicked off with Mountain of Fire football club (MFM FC) hosting newly promoted Remo Stars at the Mobolaji Johnson Stadium, Onikan, Lagos four months after the previous season ended.
In August, Akwa United against all odds emerged champions for the first time in their history and four months after, a new season began albeit belatedly,
Prior to this resumption date, there was a deafening uncertainty in the local football community if the league would commence before Nigerian clubs that qualified for CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup began their continental campaigns.
Nonetheless, their fears were confirmed when at a recent parley with sports journalists in Abuja, the Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) Malam Shehu Dikko, said it was not possible for the league to resume before the start of the 2021-2022 CAF club competitions, rather Dikko assured that everything
was being done to ensure that the 2021/2022 NPFL season would kick-start in either October or early November. Read more
Man Utd transfer round-up: Pogba future decided as Rangnick set to move for Serie A star (Mirror)
Manchester United look set to be one of the busiest Premier League sides in the upcoming January transfer window.
Various reports have claimed interim manager Ralf Rangnick is set to be handed a £100m transfer war chest in the New Year.
The former RB Leipzig manager is only set to be in the Old Trafford dug-out until next summer, yet he could be set to have a huge say in the incomings and outgoings next month.
His United reign has began in steady fashion, with two 1-0 victories against Crystal Palace and Norwich City in his first two Premier League matches. Read more
New FIA President Ben Sulayem makes automotive history (GrandPrix247)
The election of the UAE’s Mohammed Ben Sulayem to the top job in world motorsport on Friday marks a historic shift for the FIA and reflects the increasing influence of the Middle East in the global automotive industry and international motorsport.
The 60-year-old Emirati is the first non-European to serve as president of the International Automobile Association, the governing body for a host of series including Formula One, rallying, endurance racing and electric Formula E.
His appointment comes in a year that has seen Saudi Arabia and Qatar added to the Formula One calendar on long-term contracts.
The region now has four races, with Abu Dhabi and Bahrain well-established on the schedule since 2004 and 2009 respectively. Read more
Ash Barty and Dominic Thiem to headline one-off Sydney tennis tournament (ABC)
World number one Ash Barty and 2020 US Open men’s champion Dominic Thiem will be the headline acts at the new, one-off Sydney Tennis Classic.
The WTA 500 and ATP 250 tournament will be held at Sydney OIympic Park from January 9 to 15.
Nineteen of the world’s top 24 women will compete in the tournament slated as a warm-up to the Australian Open.
Tennis superstars including newly-crowned Newcombe Medal winner Barty, world number three Garbine Muguruza, former world number ones Angelique Kerber and
Simona Halep, Roland Garros 2020 champion Iga Swiatek and Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic are expected to participate. Read more
Pep Guardiola expecting tough challenge against Newcastle at St James’ Park (ChronicleLive)
Man City boss Pep Guardiola has praised Eddie Howe as a “top manager” and thinks the St James’ Park atmosphere will be an important factor in Sunday’s crucial Premier League clash.
The Magpies have a horrendous record against this weekend’s opponents – losing 20 of their last 24 in all competitions – but have had improved success on home soil in recent years.
Last season, Steve Bruce’s Newcastle side battled hard against the champions-elect but ultimately fell short, losing 4-3 courtesy of a Ferran Torres hat-trick.
In November 2019, Jonjo Shelvey’s last-gasp curler snatched the Magpies a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw as Bruce frustrated Guardiola’s superstars. Read more
Ashleigh Barty ‘proud’ of unvaccinated teenage sensation Olivia Gadecki (TennisWorld)
World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty revealed she spoke with Olivia Gadecki but made it clear she didn’t try to change the 19-year-old’s mind. Gadecki enjoyed a breakout season in 2021 and she was expected to receive a wild card into the Australian Open.
However, Gadecki didn’t even give the Australian Open organizers a chance to give her a wild card since she ruled herself out of the Australian Open because of the vaccine mandate. “I’ve spoken to her a little bit, but she’s an adult and she has her own career and she makes her own decisions,” Barty said, per The Courier Mail.
“That’s something I’ve said to her a lot of the time. For me, I’ve grown up and made my own decisions that I’m accountable for and she‘s done the exact same thing. “So I’m not in a position where I’m going to try and sway her or do anything, in a sense, to change her mind.
“I’m here as a friend, to support her and love her and whenever I see Liv, I try and catch up with her and we chat through everything, not just tennis”. Read more