Detained guardians deny seizing 5-month-old baby over hospital bill, say teenage mother neglected child for clubbing (Punch)
A Lagos-based couple, Mr and Mrs Oti Ugbonaya, has denied seizing a five-month-old baby from the teenage mother, Gift Nwafor, over unpaid hospital bill.
The couple alleged that Nwafor, who was their maid, abandoned her baby and went clubbing, leaving the child to suffer malnourishment which culminated in the eventual death of the baby.
The guardians, now detained at the Divisional Police Station Ajah, spoke in an exclusive interview with PUNCH Live over the weekend.
Photos of a dark, emaciated baby had gone viral days ago, with many social media users and activists including Harrison Gwamnishu of a non-governmental organisation, Behind Bars, accusing the guardians of seizing the baby from the mother and denying the child of nutritional needs till death. Read more
Sanwo-Olu signs N137.3b largest fixed bond by state government (Guardian)
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed the necessary documents required by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to finalise the issuance of Lagos State’s N137.3b 13% 2021/2031 Fixed Rate Bond Series IV Bond Issuance, under the N500b fourth debt issuance programme of the state.
Speaking at the signing ceremony with the issue houses in attendance, Sanwo-Olu said the conclusion of the process will bring to 377.715b the total value of bond issued from the Lagos State 500b debt issuance programme.
The governor stated that though the plan was to raise up to N125b but closed the book build with bids totalling N137.3b.
” This strong response from the investing community – to our administration’s debut bond issuance – is humbling and is indeed a testament to continued investor confidence in the State’s ability to deliver on its infrastructural and socio-economic developmental objectives; and to meet repayment obligations. Read more
Detained female soldier will be penalised for accepting corper’s proposal – Army (Punch)
The Nigerian Army on Sunday said an unnamed female soldier who got romantically entangled with a male corps member at the National Youth Service Corps Orientation Camp in Yikpata, Kwara State, will be penalised for violating military rules and regulations.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, in an exclusive chat with The PUNCH on Sunday, said the female officer violated military laws by getting involved in a public display of amorous relationship with a paramilitary trainee – a corps member.
Video clips showing a male corps member proposing to a female soldier at the Kwara NYSC camp hit the internet days ago eliciting pleasant reactions from many social media users.
One of the video clips apparently recorded on the camp’s parade ground showed the yet-to-be-identified corps member holding a ring as he knelt to ask the female soldier to marry him. Read more
Ojodu trailer accident: 3 survivors leave hospital (Guardian)
Three survivors in the truck accident involving students at Ogunnusi Road bus stop, Ojodu, Berger in Lagos State have been discharged.
Mr Dauda Ajibade, the father of 15-year-old Olarenwaju Ajibade, who was placed on oxygen for life support told The Guardian yesterday that his son, Olarenwaju is hale and fine and has been discharged from Gods Apple City Hospital.
He also confirmed that 12-year-old Akinkunmi Usain, a JSS1 student of Omole Junior School whose face was affected in the accident and Wisdom Ezejiofor, an SS3A student of Ojodu Grammar School, who also sustained bruises on his body, legs and waist have been discharged.
Dauda said: “We were discharged on Thursday evening. My son is all right now. But they referred us to Ikeja General hospital for further checkups. The hospital refunded the N100, 000, I paid for the initial deposit at the hospital. They also refunded the money others paid. I will be going to Ikeja on Monday for the appointment.” Read more
Anambra: Andy Uba Vows To Appeal Judgement As Court Nullifies APC Primary (DailyTrust)
The candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the November 6 Anambra governorship election, Senator Andy Uba, has rejected the judgement of Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court that nullified his nomination as the candidate of the party.
In a statement by the Deputy Director, Senator Andy Uba Governorship Campaign Organization (SAUGCO), Ikechukwu Emeka Onyia, said Andy Uba will appeal the judgment.
One of the APC governorship aspirants, George Moghalu, had dragged Andy Uba and the party to court challenging the that threw up Uba as the governorship candidate of the APC at the just conducted election.
The Federal High Court in Abuja had on Monday nullified Senator Andy Uba’s participation in the Anambra State governorship election. Read more
Nigerians spend N359 billion on medical tourism annually – NMA (Sun)
A Consultant Physician and Nephrologist, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu, has said it is estimated that Nigerians spend about N359.2 billion on medical tourism annually. This figure he said was N19.2 billion higher than the N340 billion budgeted for health in 2018.
Okwuonu who is the Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Abia State, disclosed this during a one-day symposium to create awareness of kidney transplants, successes as well as challenges and impediments organized by the Renal Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Umuahia.
Okwuonu stated that it was cheaper and safer to have a kidney transplant in Nigeria than abroad and challenged government to provide the needed equipment as the country already has competent hands to handle kidney challenges.
He acknowledged that although the cost of kidney transplants in India ‘is slightly cheaper, the cost of travelling, lodging and other investigations makes it higher.’
He said it costs about $442,500 to undergo a kidney transplant in the United States, but between N5 million and N9 million in Nigeria. Read more
N22m Bitcoin: IGP orders investigation into police extortion allegation (Tribune)
The Nigeria Police Force said it has commenced investigations into the alleged professional misconduct, abuse of office and extortion of 22 million naira worth of Bitcoin from some citizens in Lagos State, levelled against a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Nwawe Cordelia and others, serving at the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Alagbon, Lagos.
This follows the setting up of a Special Investigation Panel by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, to carry out a discreet and transparent investigation into the allegation.
According to Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, who issued a statement on Monday, this development has become imperative following the report making the rounds in the media alleging the involvement of the officers in the extortion of 22 million naira worth of Bitcoin from two young Nigerians, Morakinyo Tobiloba Peter and Yusuf Samson Dayo at gunpoint on July 14, 2021 while driving along the Ikoyi/Ajah Expressway, Lagos State.
Consequently, DSP Cordelia and the other police personnel allegedly indicted in the report, have been ordered to report to the Special Investigation Panel, Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 to answer the allegations against them. Read more
INEC wants N305b for 2023 elections (Vanguard)
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, told the National Assembly, on Monday, that it would require N305 billion as projected expenditure for the 2023 elections.
Chairman, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed when he appeared before the Senator Barau Jibrin(APC, Kano North) led Senate Committee on Appropriations.
According to Yakubu, the N100 billion out of the N305 billion earmarked for the Commission has already been released, leaving a balance of N205 billion.
Meanwhile, the Senate has disclosed that it would consider and pass the 2022 Appropriation Bill Tuesday. Read more
NFVCB board members write Buhari, accuse Executive Director of reckless leadership (Vanguard)
The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), the agency of government saddled with the task of regulating the film and video sector of the Nigerian economy, is currently enmeshed in a leadership scandal, VANGUARD has learnt.
The Executive Director of the NFVCB, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, who was reappointed in April this year by President Muhammadu Buhari is accused of unilaterally dissolving the agency’s governing council and barring members from accessing the premises.
In a petition dated December 3, 2021, and addressed to the President, it was also alleged that Thomas has been expending monies belonging to the Board without recourse to the NFVCB Act.
The petition, which was signed by the Secretary of the governing board, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Katcha, is titled, ‘Compliant of Financial Malpractices and Misappropriations by the Executive Director, Adebayo Thomas of NFVCB’.Read more
Kanye West called ‘modern day Santa’ as he buys thousands of toys for Chicago Toy Drive 2021 (Independent)
Kanye West has been hailed as a “hometown hero” after donating over 4,000 toys for the Chicago Toy Drive 2021.
According to 16th Ward Alderman Stephanie Coleman, the rapper, who this year changed his name to Ye, bought thousands of toys for a toy drive being held in Englewood on Sunday (19 December).
“I’m so proud that Kanye is, once again, responding to our request to help the children of Englewood and beyond,” the politician told ABC7 news. “He is no stranger to our community.”
“His presence has always been felt in our neighbourhoods and he loves visiting, but this Christmas he has truly been our modern-day Santa Claus,” Coleman added.
According to Complex, other local businessmen, and leaders also donated toys for children. Read more
Eric Clapton announces new single co-written with fellow vaccine skeptic (NME)
Eric Clapton has announced the imminent release of a new single titled ‘Heart of a Child’, which he co-wrote with fellow vaccine skeptic Robin Monotti.
The single is due for release this Friday (December 24) via Bushbranch / Surfdog Records, and will mark Clapton’s second new track for the year after ‘This Has Gotta Stop’ landed back in August. Like that track – and his 2020 single, ‘Stand And Deliver’ – ‘Heart Of A Child’ seemingly addresses Clapton’s disdain for COVID-19 safety measures like vaccines and lockdowns.
As initially reported by Rolling Stone, a passage of the new song features the lyrics: “We lost the love of a man / I was proud to know / They locked you down boy / Made you grieve alone / Turn off the TV / Throw your phone away / Don’t you remember / What your daddy used to say.”
Earlier in the year, Monotti – who describes himself as a “human rights advocate, architect, film producer [and] songwriter”, and is currently suspended on Twitter – hosted Clapton for an interview in which they riffed on the latter’s “disastrous” experience with the COVID-19 vaccine, and pondered the efficacy of virus-curbing measures like lockdowns and the controversy surrounding Ivermectin. Read more
Kanda Sayaka, Japanese Actor, Dead in Hotel Fall at 35 (Variety)
Japanese actor and musician Kanda Sayaka died on Saturday evening in Sapporo, Hokkaido. She was 35.
Her sudden death was confirmed by her agency and on her official website which removed all other content and replaced it with a notice.
“I would like to report to everyone who has supported Sayaka Kanda so far. Kanda Sayaka (35 years old) died suddenly at 9:40 pm on December 18, 2021. We are very sorry to give such a report to all the fans who supported us and all the people who took care of us. We are still unable to accept her passing and are trying to cope with it. We are currently investigating the detailed situation, but we kindly ask the media to refrain from interviewing relatives or posting articles by speculation,” said Kamaichi Mitsuhisa, CEO of Robe Co. in the statement.
Kanda was found unconscious, in a pool of blood, in an outdoors part of the hotel in Sapporo, where she was staying. She appeared to have fallen six floors from her 22nd floor room. She was pronounced dead after being transported to hospital.
Hokkaido police in the city said that they had not ruled out death by suicide or foul play. Read more
Leftist Gabriel Boric to become Chile’s youngest ever president (BBC)
Leftist candidate Gabriel Boric has won Chile’s presidential election to become the country’s youngest ever leader.
In what was expected to be a tight race, the 35-year-old former student protest leader defeated his far-right rival José Antonio Kast by 10 points.
Mr Boric told supporters he would look after democracy, promising curbs on Chile’s neoliberal economic model.
He will lead a country that has been rocked in recent years by mass protests against inequality and corruption. Read more
Bros plan new album (MusicNews)
Bros are set to record their first album in over 30 years.
The ‘When Will I Be Famous’ hitmakers – comprising twins Matt and Luke Goss and previously Craig Logan – haven’t released a record since 1991’s ‘Changing Faces’ but are currently in talks about recording new music, which they hope to release next year.
And Matt confirmed he and his brother are also considering making another documentary following the popularity of 2018’s ‘Bros: After The Screaming Stops’.
He said: “In 2022 we’ll address making a new record and possibly entertaining some of the offers we’ve had to make another documentary.
“There’s an energy when we’re together.”
The 53-year-old singer credited their previous documentary for bringing him and Luke closer together as he and the drummer were able to resolve their issues. Read more
Christmas ‘cancelled’ for millions in Europe as Omicron spreads (Metro)
Millions of people across Europe are facing a drastically stripped-back Christmas as politicians scramble to contain the spread of the Omicron variant.
Overall Covid cases are now rising again in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, and other countries with improving numbers are tightening restrictions as a precaution against the new strain.
A growing number of countries are now off-limits to most Brits due to the UK’s spiralling Omircon figures, while many are clamping down on domestic life. Here are some of the strictest rules being introduced around the continent:
The Netherlands: National lockdown.
Schools, non-essential shops, restaurants, bars, cinemas, museums and theatres were closed on Sunday and won’t reopen until at least mid-January.Read more
Despite Pandemic, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Nabs 3rd Best Box Office Opening of All Time (HuffPost)
Never underestimate your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, even with a mutating virus afoot. Despite rising concerns over the omicron variant, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” not only shattered pandemic-era box office records; it became the third best opening of all time behind “Avengers: Endgame” ($357.1 million) and “Avengers: Infinity War” ($257.7 million).
The Sony and Marvel blockbuster grossed a stunning $253 million in ticket sales from 4,325 North American locations, according to studio estimates on Sunday, also setting a record for the month of December. The web-slinger’s success couldn’t have come sooner for a movie business that has had a rollercoaster 2021 and could be headed for a difficult start to 2022 as the omicron variant of the coronavirus forces more and more event cancellations.
“This weekend’s historic ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ results, from all over the world and in the face of many challenges, reaffirm the unmatched cultural impact that exclusive theatrical films can have when they are made and marketed with vision and resolve,” said Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO, in a statement. “All of us at Sony Pictures are deeply grateful to the fabulous talent, both in front of and behind the camera that produced such a landmark film.”
In its five days playing in theaters internationally, it’s amassed $334.2 million in ticket sales, bringing its global total to $587.2 million against a $200 million production budget. The film has yet to open in markets like Thailand and Japan, and there is no release date set for China.Read more
Why Nigerian athletes weren’t allowed to partake in world swimming championships -UAE (Punch)
The United Arab Emirates has claimed that Nigerian athletes and officials were stopped from participating in the FINA World Swimming Championships holding in the country over, in a statement through the local organising committee of the competition, hinted that a member of the Nigerian delegation tested positive for COVID-19.
For this reason, all other athletes from Nigeria were asked to quarantine and subsequently withdrawn from the competition.
But the claims by the UAE are contrary to the narratives of the Nigerian athletes and officials. Read more
Zanardi back home 18 months after horror accident (Guardian)
Alex Zanardi, who underwent neurosurgery after being injured while competing in a handbike race on Friday, celebrates after finishing Ironman Italy last September. Bryn Lennon/Getty Images for IRONMAN
Alex Zanardi, the former Formula 1 driver who became a Paralympic champion, has returned home to continue his rehabilitation after a horrific road accident in June 2020, his wife Daniela Zanardi announced on Monday.
Zanardi underwent carnio-facial reconstruction after suffering serious head injuries when his handbike crashed into an oncoming truck during a race in Tuscany.
“Alex was able to leave the hospital a few weeks ago and he is now back with us, at home,” Daniela Zanardi said in an interview broadcast by BMW, for whom Zanardi is an ambassador.
“After the long time in hospital, it is important for him to be back with his family and in his familiar environment.
“You also have to consider that, due to the coronavirus situation, Alex had only people with face masks and in protective equipment around him for one and a half years.
“He has returned a little bit to normality which gives him extra strength.” Read more
Finland’s Euro 2020 captain Tim Sparv retires (Guardian)
Tim Sparv, who captained Finland to their first major finals at Euro 2020, announced his retirement from football on Monday.
“I have given everything that I was physically able to and gone as far as I possibly could,” the 34-year-old said in a video message.
Sparv made his debut for Finland in 2009 and went on to win 84 caps, helping the “Eagle Owls” to make history as they qualified for their first-ever major finals.
He led them against Denmark in the Euro 2020 opener, a game they won but which was overshadowed by the collapse on the field of Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen, who suffered a heart attack.
Finland went on to lose to Russia and Belgium to finish third in their group, missing out to the Danes on goal difference for a place in the last 16. Read more
Premier League clubs opt against ‘circuit-breaker’ with festive fixtures to go ahead (Metro)
The Premier League have decided against a Christmas ‘circuit-breaker’ following a meeting between clubs on Monday to decide how best to deal with the current coronavirus crisis.
Representatives of every top-flight club held talks via Zoom to discuss the possibility of postponing a round of fixtures over the festive period in order to halt the spread of Covid-19 cases which has caused havoc and resulted in six matches being postponed at the weekend.
Some teams had suggested moving the games scheduled for December 28-30 to a later date, but, according to The Athletic, the majority of clubs felt that was a risky strategy and preferred to continue playing on.
Any postponement would have incurred an economic cost for the Premier League, while the fixture schedule is already rammed and would have created significant problems for teams who have already had several matches postponed. Read more
Peng Shuai: Chinese tennis star denies making assault claim as concerns persist (BBC)
Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has denied making an accusation of sexual assault, in her first media interview since alleging a top Chinese leader had coerced her to have sex.
Ms Peng sparked global concern when she disappeared from public view after posting the allegations online.
She has now said there had been “a lot of misunderstandings” about the post.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) said it was still concerned that she was being censored by the state. Read more
Tottenham knocked out of Conference League after UEFA confirm Rennes forfeit (Metro)
Tottenham have been knocked out of the Conference League after UEFA confirmed that the north London club had forfeited their scheduled group game against Rennes.
Spurs were due to play Rennes on December 9, but were unable to fulfil the fixture due to a Covid-19 outbreak within their squad.
There was hope that an alternative date for the match could be arranged, but now UEFA have confirmed that the fixture will not be played with Spurs forfeiting.
A statement from the chairman of the UEFA Appeals Body, said: ‘To declare the UEFA Conference League group stage match between Tottenham Hotspur and Rennes that was initially scheduled to play on December 9 2021 as forfeited by Tottenham.Read more
Rafael Nadal tests positive for Covid-19 on return to Spain (BBC)
Rafael Nadal has tested positive for Covid-19 after returning home from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion was beaten by Britain’s Andy Murray in the semi-finals of the exhibition event on Friday.
Nadal said he had experienced some “unpleasant moments” but hopes to improve “little by little”.
The 35-year-old has only just returned to action after a long injury lay-off.
Nadal wrote on Twitter: “On my return home after playing the Abu Dhabi tournament, I have tested positive for Covid in the PCR test that was performed on me when I arrived in Spain. Read more