Ex-Eagles star Sofoluwe on life support at LUTH (Punch)
Former Super Eagles defender Yisa Sofoluwe is currently on life support at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, The PUNCH reports.
Sofoluwe had been diagnosed for mild cerebral atrophy at the Prince and Life Medical Hospital, Ikorodu, Lagos, but was moved to LUTH on Friday after his medical condition became worse.
Ex-international Waidi Akanni told The PUNCH that Sofoluwe was currently on oxygen and is battling to survive.
“He’s on oxygen as we speak and that’s between life and death. He has been transferred to LUTH for intensive care,”Akanni told The PUNCH. Read more
Reopening of Lekki tollgate tears judicial panel apart (DailyTrust)
The Lagos State judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses and other matters was on Saturday divided as members could not reach a unanimous on the reopening of the Lekki tollgate.
While five members of the panel sat over the application of LCC to repossess the Lekki toll plaza and listened to submissions from the LCC, Lagos state government and EndSARS protesters counsels, the other four members of the panel abstained from sitting, only to emerge from the inner chamber to read a dissenting judgement.
The four dissenting panel members were Ebun Olu- Adegboruwa, Olorunrinu Oduala, Temitope Majekodunmi and Patience Patrick Udoh, while those with the majority judgement were Justice Doris Okuwobi (Rtd), chairman of the panel; Taiwo Lakanu DIG (Rtd.), Lucas Koyejo, Segun Awosanya and Oluwatoyin Odusanya
The action of the four dissenting panel members were disputed by Mr. Rotimi Seriki (SAN), counsel of LCC and Mr. Olukayode Enitan (SAN), counsel of the Lagos state government, who prevented Mr. Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa from reading his personal dissenting judgement as they accused him of being an interested party in the matter, having sued the Lagos state government over the Lekki tollgate plaza in the past. Read more
Nigeria not disqualified from accessing COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX – WHO (Vanguard)
Contrary to reports, Nigeria has not been disqualified from accessing Covid-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility.
Clarifying the position in Abuja on Saturday at an emergency press briefing called by the National Primary Healthcare Development, Agency, NPHCDA, the World Health Organisation, WHO, country representative in Nigeria said the agency has not disqualified any country from accessing vaccines from the facility.
The WHO said, on the contrary, it was assisting Nigeria and other African countries to start accessing the Astrazeneca vaccine as from February, as soon as it received clearance for emergency use. Read more
WTO: Buhari welcomes Okonjo-Iweala’s US endorsement (Tribune)
President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the pronouncement of the Office of the United States Trade Representative, signifying withdrawal of the country’s objection to the emergence of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General of World Trade Organization (WTO).
A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) on Saturday quoted the president as saying: “We certainly welcome the decision of the new US administration to remove the last obstacle in the path of Dr Okonjo-Iweala to becoming the first female and the first person of African descent to lead the organization,” said the President.
“Nigeria and the entire African continent are happy about this new U.S position, which signifies a shift and an important turnaround in the relations between our continent and the United States under the Biden administration.” Read more
FRSC moves to enforce uniform colour for school buses (Guardian)
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it will soon commence the enforcement of a uniform colour for school buses in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Mr Gora Wobin, the FRSC, FCT Sector Commander, disclosed this on Saturday in Abuja, during a stakeholders town hall meeting with school proprietors.
The town hall meeting was organised by the Lugbe unit command, of the FRSC, headed by its commander, Mr Ameen Adewale.
Wobin said that the move became necessary for easy identification of school buses by the FRSC, adding that it will augur well for proprietors to paint their school buses in the approved colour. Read more
I’m confident terrorism’ll be forgotten soon in Nigeria – Adeboye (Punch)
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, on Friday, expressed confidence that terrorism will soon be forgotten in Nigeria.
He spoke at the virtual February 2021 Holy Ghost Service of the church with the theme, ‘God Bless You (2)’.
According to him, whatever has a beginning must have an ending, adding that every force laying siege on Nigeria would be disappointed.
The 78-year-old cleric said, “I don’t know the kind of crisis you have because if anybody had a crisis, Job had one. Physically, he had a crisis. Materially, he had a crisis. Maritally, he had a crisis, even the wife said curse God and die. And when it comes to his friends, everyone of his friends tried to put a blame on him –this problem can only come on you because you must have sinned against God because you have some secret things that God is trying to punish but all these crises ended in one day. Read more
We are making efforts to get COVID vaccine from China – FG (DailyTrust)
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, says Nigeria is making efforts to get the coronavirus vaccines from China.
Onyeama disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He said hopefully by the end of February, Nigeria will get vaccines from China, one of its strategic partners, and from other countries.
“What we are engaging with China is in the area of vaccines for COVID-19, so we are also looking to import, to acquire significant vaccines from China and other partners too. I think in the short immediate time that is an area we will need China,” he said. Read more
Atiku tackles CBN, calls for reversal of ban on cryptocurrencies (Guardian)
Former Nigeria vice president Atiku Abubakar on Saturday called for the reversal of the ban on cryptocurrencies trading in the country.
“This is definitely the wrong time to introduce policies that will restrict the inflow of capital into Nigeria, and I urge that the policy to prohibit the dealing and transaction of cryptocurrencies be revisited,” Atiku tweeted on Saturday.
“It is possible to regulate the sub-sector and prevent any abuse that may be damaging to national security. That may be a better option, than an outright shutdown.” Read more
Cow named after Posh Spice breaks world sales record (CNN)
A pedigree heifer named after Posh Spice has been sold at a British auction for over $360,000 (£262,000,) breaking the world record for the prized Limousin breed.
The fourteen-month-old Wilodge Poshspice also became the UK and Europe’s most expensive bovine animal with the sale on January 29, according to the British Limousin Cattle Society.
The offspring of the prize-winning Milbrook Gingerspice, Poshspice was described by her delighted breeders — Christine Williams and Paul Tippets at Lodge Hill Farm in the English county of Shropshire — as having the ‘”x-factor.”
“Because of the uncertain times we are in we weren’t sure if we would be able to hold the sale,” Williams told CNN. “But at the sale it just all took off.” Read more
Christopher Plummer: Hollywood pays tribute to ‘one of the greats’ (BBC)
Hollywood stars have paid tribute to Christopher Plummer, the Canadian actor who has died aged 91.
Dame Julie Andrews, who starred alongside Plummer in The Sound of Music, said he was a “consummate actor” and a “cherished friend”.
The Oscar winner was also praised as “an extraordinary man” and “completely free, kind and funny”.
Plummer was best known as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, but his career flourished later in life.
He was nominated for numerous awards. He won an Oscar in 2012 for the film Beginners, and was also nominated in 2010 and 2018. Read more
Tunis police block off city centre as thousands protest (VOA)
Police locked down a large area of central Tunis on Saturday, blocking roads as thousands of protesters, backed by the country’s powerful labour union, gathered in Tunisia’s biggest demonstration for years.
The rally was held to mark the anniversary of the 2013 killing of a prominent activist and to protest against police abuses that demonstrators say have imperiled the freedoms won in the 2011 revolution that triggered the “Arab spring.”
Riot police deployed cordons around the city center, stopping both cars and many people from entering the streets around Avenue Habib Bourguiba as thousands of people gathered, a Reuters witness said. Read more
Myanmar blocks Twitter and Instagram (CNN)
Myanmar further expanded its internet crackdown, ordering a block of Twitter and Instagram days after the country’s military seized power in a coup.
The move comes barely a day after a similar block of Facebook.
On Friday, the Myanmar Ministry of Transport and Communications ordered mobile networks and internet service providers in the country to block Twitter and Instagram, according to Norwegian company Telenor, which offers mobile services in the country.
“While the directive has legal basis in Myanmar’s telecommunications law, Telenor Myanmar has challenged the necessity and proportionality of the directive … and highlighted the directive’s contradiction with international human rights law,” the company said in a statement. Read more
Zimbabwe extends begging bowl for COVID vaccines funding amid surge in COVID-19 cases (VOA)
Zimbabwe’s government is asking for help from the country’s corporate sector, citizens and other well-wishers to fund the import of COVID-19 vaccines. The southern African nation is falling behind in the battle with the coronavirus, despite imposing a 12-hour curfew last month as part of a lockdown to deal with the pandemic, which has infected about 35,000 people in Zimbabwe and caused 1,300 deaths, most of them this year alone.
Itai Rusike, executive director of the nonprofit Community Working Group on Health in Zimbabwe said in an interview he was shocked by the extension of the “usual begging bowl” when President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has been lately “bragging of a surplus budget.” He said citizens and companies in Zimbabwe are feeling the impact of the slowed economy, so they cannot donate for COVID-19 vaccine imports.
“So, let us use the budget surplus money to purchase the vaccines. We also have the 2% tax on mobile money transactions,” said Rusike. “We also have the health levy. Read more
“The Equalizer” gets a new look (again) with Queen Latifah answering the call (CNN)
The Equalizer’s” evolution continues, from that stately old British gent in the 1980s to a couple of Denzel Washington movies to Queen Latifah in a new CBS series. But the character isn’t all that’s changed, as the show adopts more of a team concept than the original’s loner, even if the basic template — a pretty fun one — still involves a shadowy savior of those in need.
CBS was happy enough with the concept, ordered as a series without the usual pilot process, to give it a coveted introduction after the Super Bowl, which should ensure a fair amount of sampling. The premiere does a nice job of laying out all the ingredients, hoping at least some of that audience will come back for seconds.
If they’re in the market for another procedural with a likable lead and an inordinately good cast for this sort of by-the-numbers endeavor, they just might. Robert McCall has become Latifah’s Robyn McCall, a former CIA agent quietly raising her teenage daughter (Laya DeLeon Hayes) with help from her live-in aunt (Lorraine Toussaint). Read more
China’s space probe sends back first image of Mars, landing scheduled this year (France24)
China’s Tianwen-1 probe has sent back its first image of Mars, the national space agency said, as the mission prepares to touch down on the Red Planet later this year.
The spacecraft, launched in July around the same time as a rival US mission, is expected to enter Mars orbit around February 10.
The black-and-white photo released late Friday by the China National Space Administration showed geological features including the Schiaparelli crater and the Valles Marineris, a vast stretch of canyons on the Martian surface.
The photo was taken about 2.2 million kilometres (1.4 million miles) from Mars, according to CNSA, which said the spacecraft was now 1.1 million kilometres from the planet. Read more
Nigeria-Arsenal youngster, Okonkwo warms up (ThisDay)
With first choice goalkeeper, Bernd Leno out of Arsenal next three matches as a result of a straight red card issued to him in Arsenal 2-1 loss to Wolves midweek, and second choice Mathew Ryan battling with hip problems, Arsenal youngster, Arthur Okonkwo may have a part to play in Gunners visit to Villa Park this afternoon.
Okonkwo has been involved in Arsenal’s first team training session at London Colney before their trip to Birmingham, where they face Aston Villa in the Premier League today.
Manager Mikel Arteta ran the rule over the England youth international of Nigerian descent with a view to his inclusion in the matchday squad.
The Spanish tactician is currently facing a goalkeeper crisis as first choice glovesman Leno is not eligible to be fielded after he was shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside his area in the 72nd minute against Wolves. Read more
Watkins hits Villa winner as Arsenal lose again (BBC)
Emiliano Martinez has kept 11 clean sheets in 21 Premier League games since joining Aston Villa from Arsenal for £17m in September
Goalkeeper Mat Ryan conceded 74 seconds into his debut for Arsenal as Aston Villa completed their first top-flight double over the Gunners for 28 years.
Former Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez started the move which led to Bertrand Traore pouncing on a mistake by Cedric Soares before Ollie Watkins scored with a shot that deflected off Rob Holding.
Boyhood Gunners fan Ryan, signed on loan from Brighton in January and starting in place of suspended first-choice keeper Bernd Leno, produced a fine save to deny Traore a goal on his return to the Villa side.
Martinez frustrated his former club further when the Argentine produced an excellent save to keep out Granit Xhaka’s free-kick.
Villa move up to eighth in the Premier League while Arsenal’s second successive defeat leaves them 10th. Read more
Foxes add another Nigerian, Chibueze to King Power Stadium (ThisDay)
Leicester City have submitted their updated squad list for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season to the English Premier League following the conclusion of the winter transfer market.
The official website of the Premier League has confirmed that former Chelsea goalkeeper Kelechi Chibueze has been added to Leicester City’s roster.
Chibueze put pen to paper on his first professional contract with Leicester City after impressing his teammates and coaching staff alike while on trial with the King Power Stadium outfit.
The Foxes monitored his situation for more than a year before signing him to a deal. Read more
Porto defender Astonsuffers spinal cord injury (CNN)
Porto defender Nanu was left with a concussion and a spinal cord injury, according to the club, after a sickening collision with an opposition goalkeeper on Thursday.
The incident occurred in the 85th minute of the Portuguese top-flight match against Belenenses as Porto searched for a late winner with the scores tied at 0-0.
Nanu, who has been capped by Guinea-Bissau, was chasing a cross into the box before being accidentally wiped out by onrushing goalkeeper Stanislav Kritsyuk.
The defender fell to the ground with players instantly calling for medical assistance. Read more
Cremer breaks Vendée Globe women’s record by seven days (France24)
French skipper Clarisse Cremer smashed the women’s record for the Vendee Globe by seven days when she completed the solo round-the-world race in 87 days after arriving at Les Sables d’Olonnes in France on Wednesday.
With thousands gathered to witness history, 31-year-old Cremer finished with a time of 87 days 2 hours and 24 minutes to break Ellen MacArthur’s previous best mark of 94 days and 4 hours set in the 2000-01 edition of the race.
“I’m so happy to be here. It’s a big relief, we were stressed until the end,” she said on the race website. “I’m happy to have succeeded and to be back with my team. This welcome is incredible, I feel like I am dreaming.
“There were times when I wished I had pushed harder on the machine, but the goal was to finish.” Read more
Australian Open warm-ups: Serena Williams ‘feeling good’ despite shoulder problem (BBC)
Serena Williams says she is “super confident” a right shoulder problem will be fine for the Australian Open.
The American was due to play world number one Ashleigh Barty in the Yarra Valley Classic semi-finals but withdrew on Friday because of the injury.
Williams will be bidding for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title when the tournament begins on Monday.
“I feel pretty good. I’ve gotten a lot of treatment already on my shoulder,” the 39-year-old said. Read more