Double explosions injure 3 in Port Harcourt APC rally (Vanguard)
Three persons have been injured by double explosions that allegedly rocked a rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Rumu-Woji Play Ground, also known as Ojukwu Field, in Port Harcourt.
The Rivers State Police Command is yet to respond to the incident even as the rally point shares fence with the Mile 1 Police Divisional Office
Publicity Secretary of the APC, Rivers state, Darlington Nwauju, who shared photos of two females affected said, “It is another black day in the annals of democracy where all sorts of underhand strategies are being deployed to frustrate opposition political parties in Rivers State. Read more
Lagos police arrest 405 robbery suspects, kill 51 (Punch)
The Lagos State Police Command says no fewer than 405 robbery suspects were arrested and 51 others killed during an exchange of gunfire between 2021 and 2022.
The command’s spokesman, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the figures to the News Agency of Nigeria while speaking on the achievements of the command.
Hundeyin said 245 suspects were arrested, 25 killed from 17 robbery incidents in 2021, while 160 were arrested and 26 killed from 20 incidents in 2022.
He said that 350 robbery operations were foiled within the period under review, with 169 in 2021 and 181 in 2022. Read more
Election: Funke Akindele tours markets in Lagos, soliciting traders’ support (Vanguard)
Ms Funke Akindele, the Lagos Deputy Governorship Candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday toured major markets on Lagos Island, soliciting votes for the party’s candidates.
Akindele, a Nollywood star and running mate of Dr Abdul-Azeez Adediran, the PDP Governorship Candidate (Jandor), in the forthcoming general elections, told traders that only PDP would alleviate their suffering and hardship in markets and in the state.
The actress, who visited Mami Market, Obada Obalende, Obalende Ijeh Market, Ajah Market and other major markets was given a rousing welcome as traders swarmed and thronged around her in admiration.
In each of the markets visited, Akindele assured the traders that the PDP government would alleviate their plights, provide an enabling environment, social amenities and soft loans for them to do their business. Read more
Kano Shari’ah court judges, others sent to prison over N500m ‘fraud’ (DailyTrust)
A cashier with the Kano State Sharia Court Division, Hussaina Imam and 14 others, including judges and registrars have been arraigned before a magistrates’ court in the state for allegedly diverting the sum of N500 million meant for orphans.
When the case came up on Wednesday, before Chief Magistrate Mustapha Sa’ad Datti, the defendants were accused of committing an offence bordering on criminal conspiracy, joint act, and criminal breach of trust by public servants, theft and forgery.
The offence is contrary to sections 97, 79, 315 and 289 of Penal Code Law.
According to the first information report (FIR), the defendants, Bashir Ali Kurawa, Saadatu Umar, Tijjani Abdullahi, Maryam Jibrin Garba, Shamsu Sani and Hussaina Imam sometimes in 2020/2021 committed the offence in which Imam reportedly used her official position as the cashier in the Kano State Sharia Court of Appeal and conspired with the aforementioned persons. Read more
CBN to sanction banks hoarding new naira notes (Punch)
The Central Bank of Nigeria has vowed to sanction any commercial bank found hoarding the new naira notes, saying it had produced enough for distribution to all the banks across the country.
The CBN Kano Branch Controller, Alhaji Umar Biu, made the remark during a sensitisation programme on the new naira notes organised for traders at the Sabon Gari market in Kano on Thursday.
The sensitisation programme was also extended to the popular Kwari Market, Wapa Bureau De Change Market, Kofar Wambam market and the famous Kurmi market in the Kano metropolis.
He said the traders have the right to report any bank found either hoarding the new naira notes or charging customers before depositing their old naira notes. Read more
Alleged N190m Fraud: Court fixes judgement date for charges against Oronsaye (Channels)
Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja, has fixed April 5 for judgement in a 27-count fraud charges brought against a former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr Stephen Oronsaye by the Federal Government.
The Judge fixed the date after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’, Oronsaye and others adopted their final addresses for and against the case.
While adopting his final brief of arguments through his counsel, Mr Ade Okeanya-inneh SAN, the former Head of Service of the Federation asked the court to dismiss the entire charges against him.
Oronsaye specifically requested Justice Ekwo to discharge and acquit him from the charges on ground of lack of evidence and merit. Read more
Police working to meet 5% employment reservation for PWDs – IGP (Guardian)
The Nigeria Police say they are working to meet the five per cent employment reservation for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in accordance with the provisions of the National Disability Law.
The Inspector General (IGP) of Police, Usman Alkali-Baba, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the ongoing 3-Day Disability Stakeholders Forum organised by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD).
Alkali-Baba, represented by Deputy Commissioner of Police Administration (DCP) Aina Adesola, said the present administration of the police was disability-friendly and working to enhance police relations with the community in Nigeria.
“I am very sure that the present administration has done and is doing almost everything to make sure that there is a cordial relationship between the police and the disability community. Read more
Atiku Support Organisation dissolves state structures, liaison officers (Leadership)
The foremost support group management body of Atiku Support Organisation (ASO) has announced the dissolution of its state structures and its liaison officers nationwide.
The national leadership of the group said the decision becomes necessary to create room for the all-important restructuring of the organisation and for better delivery ahead of the February 25 presidential election.
In a statement made available to Journalists Thursday in Abuja, signed by ASO’s Director-General, Abubakar Kabir Babawo, it assured that it will continue to do all that is necessary in ensuring its members remain fully committed to its objectives.
Babawo declared that all state chapters and their coordinators and deputies in particular, will be given priority to return back to their positions based on their loyalty, honesty, commitment, track record of competence, leadership skills and capacity. Read more
British actor reported missing in California (BBC)
British actor Julian Sands has been reported missing after going hiking in mountains north of Los Angeles.
He disappeared last Friday in the Baldy Bowl area during bad weather in the San Gabriel Mountains.
Police said ground rescue teams abandoned their search at the weekend because of avalanche risks, but it was continuing by drone and helicopter.
Mr Sands, 65, is known for roles in popular films and TV dramas including A Room With A View, 24 and Smallville.
His friends have expressed their concerns after his disappearance was confirmed. Read more
Brenda Edwards reveals Ed Sheeran spent a week with her after son Jamal’s death (RTE)
Brenda Edwards has revealed Ed Sheeran “was literally at my house for a week … just looking after us” after the death of her son Jamal Edwards.
DJ and music entrepreneur Jamal died in February last year at the age of 31.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain as the anniversary of her son’s death approaches, 53-year-old Edwards spoke about Sheeran’s upcoming song, which he has dedicated to Jamal.
“Ed sent me the final edit two days ago and I’ve kind of been in and out of crying ever since,” she said. Read more
K-pop rookies NewJeans break into US and UK song charts with “Ditto” (NME)
Six months after their debut, K-pop rookies NewJeans have broken into the song charts in both the US and UK with their song ‘Ditto’.
On January 18, the quintet’s song “Ditto’’ debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at Number 96 (after becoming their first top 10 entry on Billboard’s Global 200). Other K-pop artists who have also charted on the Hot 100 are BTS, Wonder Girls, BLACKPINK and TWICE.
The week before, the UK’s Official Charts revealed its Official Singles Chart for the week of January 13 to January 19, on which NewJeans’ song “Ditto’’ debuted at Number 95. Other K-pop artists who have landed on the Official Singles Chart include BTS, BLACKPINK and TWICE.
NewJeans, who were named to the NME 100 of 2023, first dropped ‘‘Ditto’’ as a pre-release single on December 19. It was later included in NewJeans’ January 2 single album ‘OMG’. Read more
Scream VI Trailer: Hayden Panettiere is back as Ghostface skewers the Big Apple (IndieWire)
Ghostface is ready to take a bite (literally) out of the Big Apple.
Scream VI marks the first time the masked killer has ventured out of suburban haven Woodsboro, and also the first film sans Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott. Directed by Radio Silence’s Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the sixth franchise installment sees returning “Scream 5” stars Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Chad (Mason Gooding), and Tara (Jenna Ortega) attending college, with Tara’s half-sister Sam (Melissa Barrera) also moving to New York to protect her. The script is penned by Scream 5 co-screenwriters James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick.
“At the top of the film we see my character Tara avoiding her trauma and desperately trying to reclaim her teenage experience and become a normal college student,” Ortega told Entertainment Weekly. “There’s a lot of tension between her and Sam, she feels as though she’s too protective and unwilling to allow them both to move on. She feels suffocated.” Read more
M3GAN sequel in the works (FilmNews)
A sequel to cinema’s latest horror smash hit M3GAN is already in development.
The film’s producers announced on Wednesday, less than two weeks after M3GAN’s U.S. release, that a follow-up titled M3GAN 2.0 will hit cinemas on 17 January 2025.
Allison Williams, who played the inventor of the evil robotic doll, and Violet McGraw, who portrayed her niece and M3GAN’s best friend, will both return for the sequel.
Screenwriter Akela Cooper, who wrote the original, has been tapped to pen the screenplay. Director Gerard Johnstone has not yet been confirmed to return for the follow-up. Read more
China braces for another COVID wave, as 1st Lunar New Year without restrictions approaches (ABC)
With just days to go until the Lunar New Year, throngs of bundled-up travelers shuffle their way through the freezing temperatures towards Beijing Railway Station, the distinctive mishmash of eastern and western styles built in the 1950s to triumphantly herald Mao’s “New China.”
“We wish Beijing Railway Station all the best for the Year of the Rabbit!” shouts a group of youthful security guards, grinning while hoisting up red new year’s scrolls. Their crouching colleague preserved it on his phone for social media.
There is almost a sense of normalcy until a lone traveler in a full head-to-toe white hazmat suit, one that had become so ubiquitous in China’s age of covid, scurries past, rattling the wheels of his suitcase on the plaza tiles.
They are all rushing towards long-awaited reunions. Read more
Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat accuses WFI chief of sexual misconduct (BBC)
Protests have intensified in India after a top Indian athlete accused the chief of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and other coaches of sexually harassing women wrestlers for years.
Vinesh Phogat has alleged that at least 10 woman wrestlers confessed to her that they were sexually exploited by WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh.
She made the allegations during a protest held against WFI in capital Delhi on Wednesday.
Mr Singh has denied the allegations.
But Phogat and other women athletes said they would not compete in international tournaments unless Mr Singh was removed from the post. Read more
Abia Warriors continue winning streak, down Bayelsa United 3-1 (Guardian)
Abia Warriors, who defeated Enugu Rangers 2-0 away from home in Week One of the ongoing Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), yesterday, in Umuahia, beat visiting Bayelsa United 3-1 to maintain their early lead in the two-week old season.
Abia Warriors opened scores in the first half through Skipper Kalu Nweke (second minute) and returned in the second half to complete the deal through Bello Lukman’s 63rd minute goal and Henry Udezuka’s 87th minute strike.
In Jos, Enugu Rangers, who lost their opening game to Abia Warriors, were beaten yet again by Lobi Stars of Makurdi, who are currently playing their home games in the Tin City. Joseph Atule scored the winner for the Iorfa Boys in the 83rd minute.
The game of the day happened in Aba where former champions, Enyimba and Akwa United played out a goalless draw.
The match lived up to its billing as the fans were kept on the edge of their seats over 90 minutes. Read more
Flying Eagles to play Zambia’s U20 team in 2 friendly matches (Sun)
Seven-time African champions, Flying Eagles of Nigeria will take on their Zambian counterparts in two friendly games in Abuja, Nigerian as part of preparations for this year’s Africa U20 Cup of Nations.
The tour has been consummated following a request letter from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on January 13, and which met with the ready acceptance of the Football Association of Zambia.
Through a letter dated January 14, 2023, Adrian Kashala, FAZ’s General Secretary, said the Zambia football-ruling body was agreeable to the proposal. The proposal for the tour includes FAZ flying the Junior Chipolopolo to Nigeria while the NFF will bear the cost of accommodation, feeding and other logistics for the Zambia delegation.
The two matches will take place on Friday, January 27 and Monday, January 30 2023 respectively. Read more
Man City top Premier League dominated Football Money League (France24)
Manchester City topped Deloitte’s Football Money League for a second consecutive year as the Premier League accounted for more than half of the top 20 clubs for the first time.
Total revenue from the top 20 revenue generating clubs rose to near pre-pandemic levels of 9.2 billion euros ($9.9 billion, £8.1 billion) for the 2021/22 season, according to a report published on Thursday.
That increase was largely due to a 1.3 billion euro rise in matchday revenue after two seasons impacted by coronavirus restrictions.
The Premier League’s rise in international television rights sales and strong commercial growth saw 11 clubs from the English top-flight make the top 20 for the first time. Read more
VIP seat for Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo clash fetches $2.6m (NYPost)
A Saudi Arabian businessman won the bidding to watch the latest chapter in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s celebrated rivalry in global soccer with a $2.66 million (10 million riyals) bid for a ticket to their showpiece game.
The Saudi government’s entertainment arm said on Twitter that Mushref Al-Ghamdi, general manager of real estate group AqarOne, was the highest bidder for a “Beyond Imagination” ticket.
The winner will attend Thursday’s match in Riyadh featuring a combined team from Saudi clubs Al Nassr — who recently signed Ronaldo —and Al Hilal versus Messi’s Paris St Germain in the duo’s first on-pitch meeting since Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in December 2020.
Winning bidder Al-Ghamdi will attend the winner’s ceremony after the match, enter the dressing rooms, and meet the two players who for years have vied to be the world’s greatest. Read more
Canada’s Fernandez ousted, Djokovic advances at Australian Open (CBC)
Canada’s Leylah Fernandez was eliminated from women’s singles play at the Australian Open after dropping a second-round match to Caroline Garcia of France 7-6 (5), 7-5 on Thursday.
Garcia dominated with the serve, delivering 11 aces in a spirited match that lasted one hour and 52 minutes at Rod Laver Stadium.
The tournament’s fourth seed also converted two of three breakpoint opportunities, while Fernandez capitalized on just one of nine.
Fernandez, finalist at the 2021 U.S. Open, is the second Canadian ousted from the tournament by Garcia, as she opened her tournament with a straight-set victory over Katherine Sebov (6-3, 6-0). Read more
Eddie Hearn snubs Jake Paul as British promoter tips new favourite influencer boxer (Express)
Eddie Hearn has revealed who his favourite influencer boxer is, and it isn’t Jake Paul. The Matchroom Boxing chief is a big fan of TikTok star Salt Papi who has been gunning for a fight with The Problem Child.
Papi is widely considered to be one of the best fighters in the influencer sphere. Last time out, he improved his record to 3-0 with an emphatic second-round knockout win over YouTuber Josh Brueckner on the KSI vs FaZe Temperrr undercard in London.
Impressed by his display, Hearn admitted that the Filipino puncher has all the makings of a solid professional and is keen to turn him over under his promotional banner. “Salt Papi can fight. Salt Papi’s my favourite. I wanna turn Salt Papi professional,” Hearn told the DAZN Boxing Show. “Leave him [at his current weight class], he’s a man of the people, he’s got a belly like me, we love him.”
Papi recently revealed that he received a direct message from Hearn following his latest victory reading “You the man Papi,” as fans speculated about whether Matchroom would make a move for the social media sensation. Read more