Customs invade Lagos market, cart away rice, money (Punch)
Controversy has trailed the invasion of the Better Life section of the Ikotun Market in Lagos State by men of the Nigeria Customs Service.
While some of the traders claimed that the law enforcement officers carted away local rice, including the money they kept in their shops, the agency said only foreign rice smuggled into the state were taken away.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the incident happened around 1am on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
Some of the traders, who spoke to one of our correspondents, claimed that the officials took no fewer than 592 bags of rice and N5m cash. Read more
Lagos plans five new schools for dropouts (Guardian)
Lagos State Government, yesterday, said it had concluded plan to rehabilitate and upgrade its Alternative High School for Girls in Amuwo-Odofin, as well as construct additional one of such school in each of the five zones of the state to attract and reintegrate dropouts as well as those who may have shunned education early in life.
Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, said that the proposed upgrade and new schools was aimed at ensuring no one is left behind.
Wahab maintained that the fast-growing rate of the state’s population required a holistic educational approach that would prioritise the development of both formal and informal education to achieve a mass literacy goal for development. Read more
Apapa Gridlock: Lagos, unions parley over e-call up system ends in deadlock (Vanguard)
An emergency stakeholders’ meeting between representatives of Lagos State Government and union leaders in ports operation has ended in a deadlock.
This happened as the chaotic traffic situation for the four days running, on Thursday, along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway was totally shut down as truckers and tankers parked indiscriminately on the road causing untold hardship to motorists, commuters and businesses in the area.
The meeting, held in Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, was called on the instance of the state government as part of efforts to find relief on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway gridlock through the template of the newly introduced Electronic Call-Up system.
The meeting was attended by the Head of the Lagos Special Traffic Management and Enforcement Compliance Team, Mr. Toyin Fayinka, and representatives of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, led by the Lagos state chairman, Tayo Aboyeji and Association of Maritime Truck Owners, among others. Read more
Lagos inaugurates third sexual assault referral centre (Punch)
The Lagos State Government has inaugurated another sexual assault referral centre at the Alimosho General Hospital to tackle cases of sexual and gender-based violence in the state.
The centre, which is the third in the state and the 30th in Nigeria, is an initiative of the British Council and is funded by the European Union.
The wife of the governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, stated that the establishment of the centre showed the commitment of the administration to stop sexual and gender-based violence in the state.
Ibijoke noted that the facility was equipped with the personnel to help victims of sexual abuse and violence with services such as counselling and psychological support, medical tests for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. Read more
EFCC nabs 34 in Ibadan, Lagos over alleged internet fraud, romance scam, identity theft, others (Tribune)
The Ibadan zone of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a total of 34 suspected internet fraudsters, popularly known as ‘Yahoo Yahoo.’
They were apprehended in separate operations in Ibadan, Oyo State and Lagos.
Twenty four of the suspects, most of whom claimed to be undergraduates, were rounded up today April 1, 2021, at their hideout in the Apete area of Ibadan, Oyo State by EFCC operatives.
Items to include four exotic cars, mobile phones, laptops, SIM cards and several incriminating documents were got from the suspects. Read more
FG: Nigerians without NIN risk 14-year jail term (ThisDay)
The federal government yesterday put the number of Nigerians that have obtained the National Identification Number (NIN) as of Wednesday at 51 million, warning that those without NIN risk 14 years’ imprisonment.
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, said at a ministerial briefing in Abuja, coordinated by the presidential media team, that there were no plans to lift the ban on Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card registration.
Pantami also put the number of SIM card subscribers at over 150 million.
He stated that while 51 million had completed their NIN registrations, the remaining 99 million had problems of improper registration.Read more
Soludo recounts Isuofia attack, appeals for release of kidnapped commissioner (Tribune)
Professor Chukwuma Soludo a former CBN governor and an aspirant for the governorship of Anambra State under the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has recounted how the attack at his hometown of Isuofia took place.
Speaking on a Channels Television interview on Thursday, Prof Soludo used the opportunity to appeal for the release of the state’s Commissioner for Public Utilities, Engineer Emeka Ezenwanne who was kidnapped during the attack.
Prof Soludo, recounting his ordeal, said that he had attended mass earlier in the day and proceeded to the town hall for an interaction with Isuofia youths where over a thousand of them were seated alongside some government officials.
He said that he was about rounding off his preliminary remarks at the beginning of the meeting when gunshots started. Read more
INEC resumes continuous voters registration June (ThisDay)
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday announced dates for the resumption of the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), which was suspended in 2017.
The commission, however, ruled out making the National Identity Number (NIN) mandatory for the registration of voters.
It also reiterated its determination to prosecute the Kogi State Governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello, for double registration.
INEC National Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said at a news conference in Abuja that the registration would be done both manually and electronically. Read more
NBA condemns, investigates assault on security guard by CCT chairman (Tribune)
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Thursday said it condemns and will investigate the alleged assault of a 22-year security guard by the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Yakubu Umar in Abuja.
A statement by the publicity secretary of the association, Dr Rapulu Nduka late Thursday said that the CCT chairman, as a member of the legal profession is expected, by the extant rules that regulate the conduct of legal practitioners in Nigeria, to maintain a high standard of professional conduct, and not to engage in any conduct which is unbecoming of a member of the legal profession.
According to the statement, “The attention of the NBA has been drawn to the video making the rounds where the chairman of the CCT, Danladi Yakubu Umar Esq., was seen, together with his security detail, allegedly assaulting a citizen at Banex Plaza, in Wuse Abuja. Read more
Some zebras are developing odd stripes, and humans could be to blame, says biologist (CBC)
A biologist studying abnormal stripe patterns in zebras says humans could be partly to blame for their strange look — and that it could be an early sign of problems for the species.
In a study published in the journal Molecular Ecology, Brenda Larison and other researchers looked at DNA from 140 plains zebras across Africa, including seven with abnormal stripes.
They found increased levels of inbreeding among zebra populations with unusual patterns on their coats. The researchers say it could be a consequence of habitat fragmentation.
Habitat fragmentation happens when a large habitat area is broken up into smaller areas by human-made developments like fences or roads. Read more
Jodie Foster demands Guantanamo Bay closure after The Mauritanian role (Metro)
Sitting in her Los Angeles living room, Jodie Foster is wearing a knitted black jumper with an animal on it. Or at least I think it’s an animal. All I can make out are two triangle-shaped orange ears poking up at the bottom of the frame of our video chat. I love the jumper, I tell her. ‘Oh, you like it,’ she beams, stretching it out so I can see it in full. ‘It’s a fox!’ It’s almost as classy as the moment Foster accepted her Golden Globe for best supporting actress for her new film The Mauritanian when she sat on the sofa with her wife, actress and photographer Alexandra Hedison, and their white terrier cross-breed, Ziggy. Read more
Cuba may soon become smallest country to develop its own Covid-19 jabs (France24)
Communist-ruled Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades. And yet the island may be about to become the world’s smallest country to develop its own coronavirus vaccines.
Cuba’s economic crisis is so severe that the country currently faces shortages of essential goods such as rice and paracetamol. But it may become a success story in the fight against Covid-19, as two of the 23 coronavirus vaccines in the final stages of testing around the world are Cuban.
Cuba began vaccinating tens of thousands of healthcare workers with a second Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, even though it has yet to complete clinical trials.
Last week, Cuba started vaccinating 150,000 healthcare workers with its Soberana 2 vaccine that is still in the third phase of clinical trials. Read more
Pope celebrates surprise Holy Thursday with ousted cardinal (VOA)
Pope Francis celebrated a surprise Holy Thursday Mass with the cardinal he fired last year, extending an extraordinary gesture to Cardinal Angelo Becciu by celebrating the liturgy that commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper with his apostles before his crucifixion.
News of the celebration in Becciu’s private chapel was confirmed by Becciu’s private secretary. In addition, a longtime friend who was in contact with Becciu after the papal visit said the cardinal was “very happy” with the meeting. A Vatican official said he couldn’t confirm Francis’ private initiative but added that “such a gesture of paternity doesn’t seem strange on a day like today, Holy Thursday.”
The visit carried enormous symbolic weight and could suggest Francis may have come to realize he had erred in his handling of the Becciu dossier. Francis has long prized the Holy Thursday service as a ritual of repentance and service. Read more
Nike wins lawsuit over ‘Satan Shoes’ with human blood (BBC)
Nike has won its lawsuit against Brooklyn art collective MSCHF over their controversial ‘Satan Shoes’ that contain a drop of real human blood in the soles.
The $1,018 (£740) trainers are modified Nike Air Max 97s that feature an inverted cross, a pentagram and the words “Luke 10:18”.
MSCHF produced the shoes in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.
It said only 666 pairs were made and all but one have already been shipped. Read more
Police could have ended George Floyd’s restraint after he was handcuffed, former sergeant testifies (CBC)
A former Minneapolis police supervisor, on duty the night George Floyd died, says officers could have stopped restraining him after he was handcuffed and no longer resisting.
That testimony from David Pleoger, now retired, was a key part of the prosecution’s case on the fourth day of the murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin. It included a snippet of a call between Pleoger and Chauvin — in which Chauvin says he was going to call Pleoger and request that he come to the scene where Chauvin and three other officers had had their encounter with Floyd.
Jurors also heard the emotional testimony of Floyd’s former girlfriend along with evidence from two paramedics who attended to Floyd that day, one of whom said that when he arrived, he thought Floyd was dead. Read more
Shadow of murderous brothers hangs over Libyan town (France24)
“They spared no child, no woman, no old man,” said Mohamed Amer, mourning those murdered during a reign of terror by six brothers who ruled a Libyan town with bloodshed.
“I am the father of the martyr Moaid, killed in cold blood by the criminal gang of Kaniyat,” said Amer, a silver-haired father in his fifties.
The Kaniyat were a gang of six brothers who commanded a militia that traumatised the town of Tarhuna in war-ravaged Libya, systematically executing not only their opponents but slaughtering their entire families.
Those they did not kill they cowed into submission. Read more
At last, Edo 2020 begins (Punch)
Benin City, the Edo State capital, is agog, as the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival begins on Friday (today), with 8,000 athletes expected to vie for honours in 40 events.
The festival was initially scheduled for March 20 to April 6, 2020 but was called off following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thereafter, the festival suffered three more postponements in December 2020 as well as in January and February this year, due to paucity of funds, with the Edo State Government saying they didn’t have the financial strength to host the national event.
Again, with just few days to the commencement of the festival, The PUNCH exclusively learnt that the sports ministry was considering hosting the event in Abuja, as the ministry and the state failed to reach a truce over funds from the Federal Government to stage the festival. Read more
Lionel Messi names his demands to sign new Barcelona contract (Metro)
Lionel Messi is yet to agree to a new contract at Barcelona, but he is open to staying at the Camp Nou, if the significant demands are met by new president Joan Laporta. The 33-year-old’s current deal expires on 1 July and is already free to negotiate with foreign clubs over a summer switch. The Argentinian made it known that he wanted to leave last summer but was denied the opportunity, which left the world expecting to see him move clubs this year. Read more
Nathan Baggaley: Olympian tried to smuggle $150m of cocaine (BBC)
An Australian Olympic kayaker and his brother have been found guilty of attempting to smuggle A$200m ($152m; £109m) of cocaine into the country.
Nathan Baggaley and Dru Baggaley will be sentenced later this month. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Dru and another man were arrested in 2018 after a dramatic police chase at sea that also involved the navy and air force.
Nathan purchased the boat used in the incident. Read more
Nets star Kevin Durant apologizes for homophobic, misogynistic messages (CBC)
NBA star Kevin Durant apologized Thursday for threatening and profane comments he made to entertainer Michael Rapaport through social media.
Rapaport released images of the private messages Tuesday on his Twitter account, and they included homophobic and misogynistic language from the Brooklyn Nets forward.
“I’m sorry that people seen the language that I used,” Durant said. “That’s not really what I want people to see and hear from me, but hopefully I can move past it and get back out on the floor.” Read more
Emotional Lucas Torreira tells Arsenal to let him complete ‘dream’ move (Metro)
An emotional Lucas Torreira has declared that he wants to finish playing football in Europe at the end of the season and push through his ‘dream’ move to Boca Juniors, the team he’s supported since childhood. Torreira was deemed surplus to requirements at Arsenal following Thomas Partey’s arrival last summer and the 25-year-old headed in the opposition to the Ghanaian to join Atletico Madrid on loan, putting pen to paper on a one-year deal. But Torreira has failed to nail down a regular spot in Diego Simeone’s side – who sit four points clear at the top of the Spanish top flight – and the midfielder has grown increasingly frustrated with a lack of playing time over the course of the campaign. Read more
Abandoned Sierra Leone-Benin match to be played in June (BBC)
The abandoned qualifying game for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals between Sierra Leone and Benin will now be played in June, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has said.
The Group L match was called off ahead of kick-off in Freetown on Tuesday after five Benin players received news they had tested positive for Covid-19 and would not be allowed to play.
Benin questioned the veracity of those tests, and refused to play.
“The Caf Organising Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations has decided to postpone the Afcon 2021 qualification match between Sierra Leone and Benin to the next Fifa window in June 2021,” a Caf statement said.
“The committee made this decision after reviewing official accounts of the incidents that stopped the match from taking place at the scheduled time.” Read more
NHL’s most ‘gentlemanly’ player MacKinnon fined for tossing helmet (France24)
The National Hockey League slapped Colorado Avalanche all-star Nathan MacKinnon with a $5,000 fine on Thursday after the reigning Lady Byng trophy winner threw a helmet at Conor Garland of the Arizona Coyotes.
MacKinnon, who won the 2019-20 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy which is awarded annually to the most “gentlemanly” player in the league, was given the maximum allowable fine under the terms of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement.
The 25-year-old Canadian tore the helmet off Garland during a scuffle late in the third period of Colorado’s 9-3 win on Wednesday. The pair were broken up but MacKinnon scooped up Garland’s helmet then tossed it underhand into the face of the Coyotes player.The officials gave MacKinnon a double minor penalty for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct. Garland was handed a two-minute roughing penalty. Read more