EFCC arraigns 14 for illegal oil deal (Punch)
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned 12 persons, a vessel, MT Mother Comfort, and a firm, Azamosa Limited, for allegedly dealing in 240 metric tonnes of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) without the appropriate licence or lawful authority.
The defendants were arraigned on three counts before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Besides the vessel and the firm, the other defendants are Ojajuni Adebowale, Dele Napoleon, Aderemi Akinade, Stephen Ogunboye, Ekene Okendu, Agbanoma John, Azu Okengwu, Alum Julius, Awah Ucheojo, Femi James, Odenike Rasaq, and Neele Keerebari. Read more
Oshodi-Apapa Expressway on lockdown (Vanguard)
The ever-busy Oshodi -Apapa expressway has been on lock-down in the last 48 hours. Security agents and traffic managers are nowhere to be seen as chaos reign.
Consequently, motorists and commuters have remained stranded with tales of harrowing experience.
”We have been here for hours. We are helpless because there is nobody controlling the traffic. It appears the security agents and traffic controllers have abandoned their job,” said an angry motorist yesterday. Read more
#EndSARS: Man demands N10m compensation for mother’s killing (Punch)
A petitioner before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing allegations of human rights abuses against men of the disbanded police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Abayomi Adebayo, has demanded N10m compensation for the killing of his mother by SARS stray bullet in 2016.
Adebayo, who was all tears during his appearance before the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel on Tuesday, lamented that two years after the incident the policemen involved had not been brought to book and his family had not been compensated.
He told the panel that his mother was hit in the head by a stray bullet at her stall in the Mushin area of Lagos, where she fried and sold yam cake. Read more
Police want court to stop judicial panels set up to investigate its abuses (Guardian)
Nigeria Police Force has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking an order to stop the judicial panels of inquiry.
The panels of inquiry were set up by state governors to probe allegations of police brutality and human rights abuses of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other police tactical units.
The inauguration of the panels was directed by the National Executive Council (NEC), headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, during the heat of the EndSARS movement in October. Read more
Money laundering: Judge gives EFCC March 3 to bring Diezani to court (Punch)
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s request for more time to produce a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to face her money laundering charges.
The judge had on July 24, 2020, issued criminal summons against the ex-minster to appear in court to face trial.
But Diezani, who is believed to have left the country for the United Kingdom shortly after leaving office in May 2015, had refused to heed to the summons. Read more
Police extradite Maina to Nigeria (Guardian)
The Nigeria Police Force, Thursday extradited Abdulrashid Abdullahi Maina, former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), to Nigeria from Niamey, Niger Republic, where he was arrested having been declared wanted by a court of competent jurisdiction over a pending criminal trial against him.
Recall that Abdulrashid Maina was arrested on 30th November 2020 through the collaborative efforts of the operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, INTERPOL NCB, Abuja and their Nigerien counterpart.
Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, who disclosed this in Abuja, said the team from INTERPOL Nigeria, led by the Commissioner of Police INTERPOL, CP Garba Umar, having completed the necessary documentation requirements and other extradition processes, flew the wanted former Pension Boss, Maina into Nigeria aboard an NPF Jet 5N-HAR and landed at exactly 1417Hrs (Nigerian Time). Read more
Insecurity: Buhari may Appear before House Next Thursday, Says Spokesperson (Thisday)
The spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ben Kalu, has revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari is likely to appear before the House next Thursday to rub minds and proffer solutions to the insecurity challenges in the country.
The House had on Tuesday during plenary called on the president to appear before it as insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities continue to ravage the nation.
Kalu, while addressing journalists on Thursday in Abuja, clarified that the president was never summoned by the House, but was only invited so that they could rub minds and seek better ways of tackling the insecurity in the country. Read more
Court orders final forfeiture of N235.4 million linked to Invictus Obi (Guardian)
Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has ordered the final forfeiture of the sum of N235.4 million traced to the account of a convicted fraudster, Okeke Obinwanne known as Invictus Obi, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Justice Liman had, on March 23, 2020, ordered the interim forfeiture of the money domiciled in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) following an ex parte application dated December 18, 2019, by the Lagos Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In granting the interim forfeiture order, the Judge had also ordered the commission to advertise same in any national newspaper for anyone to show cause why the said money should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. Read more
Hong Kong pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai detained for fraud (BBC)
Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy supporter Jimmy Lai has been charged with fraud and detained until a court hearing in April next year.
On Thursday a court denied him bail over a charge relating to the illegal use of his company’s premises.
It comes a day after three prominent pro-democracy activists were jailed.
The cases have raised fears of a renewed crackdown on the city’s activists and media figures, spurred by a controversial new security law. Read more
Former French president Giscard D’estaing dies of COVID-19 (France24)
France is mourning the death of its former president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, as a result of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Giscard led France for seven years, from 1974 to 1981 and many now remember him as a reformer and a champion of European unity.
After several hospitalizations over the last few months, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing died on Wednesday at the age of 94 in his chateau – a two hours’ drive from Paris, according to his family.
The former head of state left the public stage years ago but the announcement of his death late Wednesday shocked and saddened the nation. Read more
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict killed 5,000 soldiers (BBC)
For more than six weeks, Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a bloody war, but few details emerged of the true scale of military casualties.
Azerbaijan made significant territorial gains but gave no casualty numbers, while Armenia said last month it had counted 2,425 dead soldiers.
Now Azerbaijan says 2,783 of its forces died in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and another 100 are missing in action.
It brings to over 5,000 the number of soldiers confirmed to have died. Read more
Pregnant April Love Geary shows off growing baby bump in nude photo (PageSix)
April Love Geary shared a nude selfie of her baby bump.
On Wednesday, the 25-year-old fiancée of singer Robin Thicke posted the pic alongside the caption, “Baby mama.”
Last month she shared another photo cradling her tummy, noting there were a couple more weeks to go until her delivery.
This will be the third child for the couple, who share Mia, 2, and Lola, 1. The “Blurred Lines” singer also has a son, Julian, 10 with ex-wife Paula Patton. Read more
Stockholm mother no longer suspected of imprisoning son (BBC)
Swedish prosecutors are dropping a case against a woman accused of imprisoning her son, saying there was no evidence he had been held against his will.
The 70-year-old woman was accused of having kept her son confined to their flat in a suburb of the capital, Stockholm, for up to three decades.
She denied false imprisonment and grievous bodily harm after the son, now aged about 40, was found injured and living in squalor. Read more
Uber, JetBlue join Amazon-backed Climate Pledge (NYPost)
Amazon said Wednesday that five companies, including Uber and JetBlue, have joined its Climate Pledge, a commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040.
Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos last year pledged to make the largest US e-commerce company net carbon neutral by 2040, as employees and consumers around the world protested for broader moves to address climate change.
Environmental activists welcomed that move but said that cutting all emissions related to Amazon, which delivers 10 billion items a year and has a massive transportation and data center footprint, was a huge challenge. Read more
David Beckham: Star appears as old man in new malaria campaign (BBC)
David Beckham is the face of a new campaign to try and get rid of malaria, a deadly disease carried by mosquitoes which affects hundreds of millions of people every year.
More than 400,000 people died from the disease in 2019 according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In the video Beckham is shown as a much older man speaking from a time in the future when the disease doesn’t exist anymore.
The advert by the charity Malaria No More UK is designed to encourage people around the world to continue their efforts to get rid of the disease forever. Read more
Premier League, EFL agree £250-million virus rescue package (Guardian)
The Premier League and the English Football League agreed a £250-million rescue package on Thursday, ending months of uncertainty for lower-league clubs struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
The EFL said clubs in Leagues One and Two — the third and fourth-tiers — would receive grants worth £50 million ($67 million).
The Premier League will provide a further financial commitment to help the EFL secure a £200-million loan facility for clubs in the second-tier Championship. Read more
Van Bronckhorst quits after one season in China (France24)
Former Barcelona and Arsenal star Giovanni van Bronckhorst quit on Thursday after one season as coach of Guangzhou R&F so he can return to his family.
The former Dutch international’s spell in China was badly disrupted by the coronavirus, with the Chinese Super League starting five months late.
“It’s been a very difficult year for me, for everyone,” the 45-year-old told Chinese media, after R&F confirmed to AFP that he had quit.
“Although working with the club, the team, the players and my staff was really nice… not seeing my family for me was — and is — the only thing (reason) I want to go back. Read more
Boxing legend, Pacquiao, becomes head of Philippine ruling party (Punch)
Philippine boxing legend, Manny Pacquiao has taken over as head of the ruling political party in the country, it was announced on Thursday.
Pacquiao, who is a senator in the Philippines, was sworn in as the national president of the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night, said Ron Munsayac, Executive Director of the PDP-Laban party.
The takeover took place more than one year before the country’s next presidential elections in 2022. Read more
18% of Olympic tickets sold in Japan to be refunded (RFI)
About 18 percent of tickets sold in Japan for next year’s coronavirus-postponed Olympics will be refunded, Tokyo 2020 organisers said Thursday, with over 3.6 million seats still reserved domestically for the Games.
A three-week refund window for domestic tickets closed November 30, and organisers said about 810,000 of the 4.45 million tickets sold in Japan would be refunded and resold at a later date.
A refund application window for Paralympics tickets bought in Japan will run from December 1-21. People who purchased tickets elsewhere in the world have been told to seek refunds from local retailers. Read more
48 NBA players test positive for COVID-19 (Punch)
The NBA announced Wednesday that 48 players have tested positive for the coronavirus, a dramatic increase over the zero positive tests reported during last season’s quarantine bubble in Florida.
The league said the positive tests are the result of 546 tests carried out between November 24-30 as the NBA gets set to begin preseason games in nine days.
The zero positive tests were from the beginning of last season’s quarantine bubble to the end of the season in mid-October. Read more