Food stuffs: Northern traders agree to resume north to south movement (Punch)
After about six days, the Leadership of Cattle and Foodstuff dealers under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, on Wednesday, agreed to resume the movement of food supplies from the northern part of the country to the southern region.
It was gathered that the agreement was reached when the leadership of the trade union met with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in Abuja.
About a week ago, northern traders had embarked on strike over the alleged killing of Fulani herdsmen in the southern part of the country. Prices of food commodities like pepper, tomatoes, beef, yam, garri, amongst others, had gone over the roof with many southerners groaning and complaining about the increase. Read more
Resident raises alarm as disbanded SARS ‘returns’ to Lagos roads (Nation)
A Lagos resident, Korede Abiodun, has raised alarm over the reappearance of disbanded Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) operatives on the road.
Abiodun on Wednesday morning alleged that he saw at least four armed policemen wearing the F-SARS uniform and operating along Lagos-Ibadan expressway between Alapere Estate and 7up.
The Nation reports that the Federal Government in October outlawed the unit following widespread complaints of human rights abuses, extortion and gross unprofessionalism that sparked mass protests across the country.
Four months after, Abiodun, who took to his Twitter page to warn about the resurgence of the rogue squad, said: “I didn’t believe SARS was really back till I saw them this morning.” Read more
13 suspected internet fraudsters arrested in Lagos, 5 convicted (Punch)
Thirteen suspected Internet fraudsters were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday on Gabriel Ajawa Close, Lekki, Lagos.
The suspects include Idris Ridwan, Shonnaike Adejumobi, Afeez Kareem, Adedire David, Muodozie Patrick, Abidemi Smart, Damilare Gabriel are Foluwako David.
Others are Adeleye Smart, Jimoh Olaitan, Olabode Thomas, Akinseye Mayowa and Macaulay Olawale.
They were arrested for their alleged involvement in cybercrime.
According to the EFCC, the suspects will be charged. Read more
Senate calls for construction of Badagary-Sokoto Expressway (Guardian)
Nigerian Senate on Wednesday called for the construction of Badagary/Sokoto Expressway to promote economic growth in the country.
Senator Sadiq Umar and seven other Senators made a case for the project during the Senate plenary session.
Senate president Ahmad Lawan mandated the Committees on Works, Finance, and National Planning & Economic Development to jointly inter-face with the Ministry of Works, Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), and other relevant authorities to determine why the Badagry-Sokoto Expressway has been abandoned for such a long time.
Lawan asked the committees to provide a permanent and sustainable solution plan and report to the Senate within 2 weeks. Read more
Sanwo-Olu threatens to name beneficiaries of Apapa rot (Punch)
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has threatened to name those benefitting from the perennial traffic gridlock and disorderliness experienced along the Apapa corridor in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Wednesday in Lagos while commending the Nigerian Ports Authority for the new E-Call Up system for trucks going to the ports.
The Apapa area of the state is notorious for chaos over the haphazard operations of container-laden trucks around the seaports.
At an event in Lagos today, the governor said, “We will name and shame them. We will bring out their names, be it a corporate organisation, be it a company, be it a Lagos State officer, be it a police officer, whoever it is, be it a union that will say that the solution that we have brought about will not work. Read more
Ebola: House mandates health ministry to increase surveillance at entry points (ThisDay)
The House of Representatives has called on the Ministry of Health to increase surveillance at points of entry to Nigeria in order to respond to any outbreak of Ebola coming from neighbouring countries, especially Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It said it is on record that in the last one year, the country has experienced two waves of infections and recorded a lot of fatalities, adding that the country’s health institutions have been stretched beyond its capacity and cannot afford to witness another outbreak of the dreaded virus.
The resolution of the House followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance on the need to create immediate public awareness and preparedness to combat any possible outbreak of Ebola moved at plenary on Wednesday by Hon. Unyime Idem. Read more
NNPC spent N443bn on subsidy without appropriation – Senate panel (DailyTrust)
The Senate Committee on Public Accounts, on Wednesday, uncovered how the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spent N443 billion on oil subsidy in 2016 without budgetary provision.
The panel has, therefore, summoned the leadership of the oil firm to brief it on the expenditure.
The committee’s chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, issued the summon on Wednesday when the panel considered a 2016 report by the Auditor-General for the Federation.
“During the examination of subsidy records provided by Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), it was observed that total subsidy paid during the year 2016 was N443,940,559,974.80,” the audit report said. Read more
Alleged N570m Fraud: Court halts trial of Oyo-Ita indefinitely (ThisDay)
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Wednesday adjourned indefinitely the corruption trial of former Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, and others over abuse of court process by the prosecution.
Oyo-Ita and eight others are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged fraud and money laundering, among others, to the tune of N570 million.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
However, the trial judge on Wednesday decided to suspend their trial indefinitely over what he described as a contemptuous act by the EFCC. Read more
Fans can’t get enough of Dolly Parton’s ‘perfect vaccine outfit’ (PageSix)
Leave it to Dolly Parton to always dress for the occasion.
The country music legend — who famously donated $1 million to help fund Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine — finally “[got] a dose of her own medicine” on Tuesday, clad in a sparkly blue long-sleeved top with perfectly placed upper-arm cutouts that negated the need for her to roll up her sleeves.
“Dolly with the perfect vaccine outfit!” one Twitter user exclaimed, while another wrote, “Leave it to Our Lady Dolly to finally find some purpose for those cold-shoulder sweaters.”
“Dolly Parton getting the vaccine she helped fund AND wearing a top that she doesn’t have to adjust so they can give her the shot is absolutely iconic,” a third chimed in. Read more
Meghan ‘saddened’ by bullying complaint report (BBC)
The Duchess of Sussex is “saddened” by a report she faced a bullying complaint during her time at Kensington Palace, her spokesman has said.
The Times newspaper says Meghan allegedly drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third member of staff.
Meghan’s spokesman said it was the “latest attack on her character”.
It comes before Meghan and Prince Harry’s TV interview with Oprah Winfrey is due to be aired in the UK on Monday. Read more
13 dead after SUV carrying 25 passengers crashes into truck (USAToday)
Authorities were still searching for answers Wednesday after at least 13 people in a packed SUV were killed as the vehicle collided with a semitruck near the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday.
A 1997 Ford Expedition, with seats removed, had 25 people inside when the big rig slammed into the side of it at the intersection of State Route 115 and Norrish Road near Holtville, California, said Omar Watson, Highway Patrol Division chief.
Federal authorities also said late Tuesday they were investigating any possible links to human smuggling. The crash occurred about 10 miles north of the border, and a Mexican government official said at least 10 of the victims were Mexican nationals.
“It would be premature for me to speculate or discuss what caused this collision. What we have to keep in mind is that 13 people died in this crash,” Watson said. “It’s a very sad situation.” Read more
Volvo plans to make only electric vehicles by 2030 (NYPost)
Volvo says it will make only electric vehicles by 2030. But if you want one, you’ll have to buy it online.
The Swedish automaker said Tuesday that it is phasing out the production of all cars with internal combustion engines — including hybrids.
“There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine,” said Henrik Green, Volvo’s chief technology officer.
Volvo’s announcement follows General Motors’ pledge earlier this year to make only battery-powered vehicles by 2035. Read more
ICC prosecutor opens war crimes probe in Palestinian territories (AlJazeera)
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said on Wednesday she launched a formal inquiry into alleged crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, a move strongly opposed by Israel.
Fatou Bensouda said in a statement the inquiry will be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favour”.
“Today, I confirm the initiation by the office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court of an investigation respecting the situation in Palestine,” Bensouda said.
“The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA) welcomed the prosecutor’s investigation. Read more
“Exceptional” 15th-Century Ming Dynasty bowl unearthed at US yard sale (BBC)
As far as antiques hunting goes, this might just be as good as it gets.
A small bowl bought for just $35 (£25) at a market sale in the US state of Connecticut has turned out to be a rare 15th-Century Chinese artefact.
The white porcelain bowl was spotted by an unidentified antiques enthusiast near New Haven last year, and they quickly sought an expert evaluation.
The experts came back with good news, revealing that the bowl is thought to be worth between $300,000 and $500,000. Read more
Qantas launches ‘Mystery Flights’ as Australia extends international travel ban (CNN)
With Australians still unable to travel abroad due to pandemic restrictions, flag carrier Qantas is launching a series of “Mystery Flights” to encourage domestic travel.
Travelers who book one of the three journeys on offer will put their fates into the hands of the airline.
The one-day trips, which go on sale March 4, fly out of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, departing on March 27, April 18 and May 1, respectively. Each Boeing 737 flight will be limited to 120 passengers and travel to a destination within approximately two hours.
Guests enjoy breakfast in the Qantas lounge at 7 a.m. — returning in the early evening. Read more
Odion Ighalo considering Nigeria return (BBC)
Former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo says he will take his time to decide whether to return to the Nigeria national side as coach Gernot Rohr wants him to come out of international retirement.
The 31-year-old quit international football after finishing as top scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
But his early form during a recent loan spell in England and at new club Al-Shabab of Saudi Arabia, where he has three goals and an assist in five appearances, has led to calls by Rohr for him to return to the fold.
Asked if he might make an international comeback, Ighalo told BBC Sport Africa: “I have been approached by the coach, but I haven’t decided yet whether this is a path I want to follow again.
“We’ve been talking about it for a while and hopefully soon I will make that decision.” Read more
D’Tigress battle USA in Tokyo Olympics opener, D’Tigers face Australia (DailyTrust)
D’Tigress will play their opening match of the Tokyo Olympics against world number one, the USA, on Tuesday 27.
This is according to the official fixture released by the Federation of International Basketball Associations, FIBA.
The reigning African champions who missed out of the Rio 2016 games will be presented another chance to prove a point against the team they narrowly lost to at the 2020 Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade.
D’Tigress will then battle world number five- France on Friday, August 30 before their last game against host-Japan (10th) on Monday, August 2 in the final Group B match. Read more
Fans from abroad unlikely for postponed Tokyo Olympics (USAToday)
The new president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee stopped short of saying there would be no foreign fans at this year’s games, but she certainly hinted at it Wednesday after online talks with IOC President Thomas Bach and others.
The Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported Wednesday that the decision had already been made to exclude foreign fans. It cited only unnamed sources “involved in the discussions.”
“If the situation is tough and it would make the (Japanese) consumers concerned, that is a situation we need to avoid from happening,” organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto said. Read more
Parliamentary inquiry to consider link between sport & brain injury (BBC)
Five members of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team have been diagnosed with dementia
A parliamentary inquiry into the link between sport and long-term brain injury is being launched on Wednesday.
MPs will consider the links between head trauma and dementia, and how risks can be mitigated.
Last year, Sir Bobby Charlton became the fifth member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad to be diagnosed with dementia.
A number of ex-rugby union internationals are also suing for brain damage. Read more
Rangers’ Balogun doubtful against Livingston (Nation)
Steven Gerrard may have to turn to Nathan Patterson once again after the Ibrox boss admitted make-shift right-back Leon Balogun is struggling ahead of their visit to Livingston.
The Ibrox men head to West Lothian knowing they are close to securing their first title in a decade but with captain James Tavernier also out with injury, the manager has a decision to make on his right flank.
Tavernier was ruled out for up to three weeks after he limped off during the Light Blues’ first leg Europa League clash with Royal Antwerp. Read more
Barcelona take the field after off-field turmoil (AlJazeera)
Barcelona will take the field in a crucial second-leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final just two days after former cub President Josep Maria Bartomeu was arrested in an investigation into alleged irregularities during his administration.
The match, with Barcelona trailing Sevilla 2-0, is the first to be played since Bartomeu was “provisionally released under charges of unfair administration and corruption of business” after his arrest that came during a raid on the La Liga club’s offices on Monday.
Bartomeu and ex-Director Jaume Masferrer exercised their right not to testify on Tuesday when answering charges of unfair administration and corruption of business.
Barca’s head of legal services, Roman Gomez Ponti, and former director, Jaume Masferrer, were also arrested. Read more