Fraud: EFCC grills Lagos Speaker, Obasa (Punch)
The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, is in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission responding to allegations of fraud, The PUNCH has learnt.
The spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, told our correspondent that Obasa was invited and he honoured the invitation at the Lagos zone office of the commission on Thursday.
“He was invited, not arrested. He is responding to questions,” Uwujaren said.
Obasa, who is a two-time Speaker of the House, has been facing several allegations of corruption. Read more
27-year-old kidnaps, rapes 13-year-old girl in Lagos (Vanguard)
Mohammed, 27, a bike repairer in Agbowa, Ikorodu, Lagos State has been alleged of rape of a 13-year-old girl on Monday night.
According to a mandated reporter, the survivor was kidnapped by Mohammed while on an errand for her parents and he forcefully raped her in a nearby bush path close to his shop.
The reporter said the girl was rushed to the Agbowa General Hospital but was later referred to Ikeja General Hospital for further medical attention. The survivor, for almost 24 hours, was delayed at the police station where elders and families of the perpetrator were allegedly trying to pervert justice. Read more
5 confirmed dead in Lagos gas explosion (Punch)
Five persons have been killed in the gas explosion that occurred in Baruwa community, in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The explosion, which reportedly emanated from the Best Roof Cooking Gas, occurred around 5.45am on Thursday.
The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said the agency’s emergency response unit had been deployed in the area, adding that the explosion razed houses, shops, and a primary school.
He said, “The explosion occurred and the agency activated a response plan. Initial disaster assessment is as follows: casualties still being assessed but five fatalities have been identified so far. 25 houses that are mostly bungalows, 16 lock-up shops, and one primary school have been affected. Read more
Runtown, Falz, Tiwa Savage And Other Celebrities Lead #EndSARS Protest (Guardian)
There has been a constant uproar about the brutality meted out on Nigerians by the Special Anti-robbery Squad, popularly known as SARS.
While in the past, the government introduced several reforms to the squad, the people, this time around are demanding that this police unit be abolished.
The three days protest, today being the second day, has seen so many Nigerian artistes such as Tiwa Savage, Runtown, Falz, Wulrd and DJ Spinal coming out to say “No to SARS”. Read more
FG proposes N13.08 trn appropriation for 2021 (Nation)
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday presented an appropriation of N13.08 trillion expenditure for 2021 fiscal year to the National Assembly for approval.
In the appropriation bill tagged ‘Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience’ delivered to the joint chamber of NASS, Buhari proposed about N9 trillion for recurrent expenditure and N3.85 trillion for capital projects.
Highlighting the 2021 Capital Projects, Buhari said that key capital spending allocations in the budget included the Ministry of Works and Housing getting N404 billion. Read more
Nigeria may slip into second recession in four years, says Buhari (Guardian)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the country’s economy may slip back into another recession in the third quarter of 2020.
“GDP growth is projected to be negative in the third quarter of this year. As such, our economy may lapse into the second recession in four years, with significant adverse consequences,” Buhari said while presenting the N13.1 trillion budget for 2021 with a deficit of N4.8 trillion that will be financed mainly by borrowing.
“However, we are working assiduously to ensure rapid recovery in 2021. We remain committed to implementing programmes to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years,” he added. Read more
WTO: I made it with your support, Okonjo-Iweala thanks Nigerians (Punch)
Former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has appreciated Nigerians for supporting her bid for the job of director-general of the World Trade Organisation.
Okonjo-Iweala, who made to the third and final stage of the selection process on Thursday, said she could not have made it without the prayers and support of all Nigerians.
Reacting via her verified Twitter handle, she wrote, “Happy to be in the final round of the @wto DG campaign. Thanks, WTO members for your continued support of my candidacy.
“I could not have made it without the prayers and support of all Nigerians and friends around the world. Thank you @MBuhari and all my friends. Aluta continua!” Read more
Why we can’t respond to emergency in 20 minutes – NEMA (Guardian)
The head, Gombe Operational Office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Simon Katu has said that it is difficult for the Agency to make it to the scenes of disaster in 20 minutes, attributing this to skewed coverage.
Speaking at a one-day stakeholders meeting organised for journalists in Bauchi on Thursday, Simon said that disaster management starts from immediate community members and may be referred to the emergency agency.
While delivering a paper on disaster management, preparedness and reporting, he said “in America, the response time is 5 minutes while Nigeria is targeting 20 minutes but it is not possible. Doing this, it means we are in every local government area. We don’t have the strength, we can’t be at the disaster scene in that time. Read more
Why coronavirus has been less deadly in Africa (BBC)
Many African countries have been praised for waging an effective campaign to combat the spread of coronavirus despite their reputation for having fragile state heath systems.
The continent, which has a population of more than one billion, has had about 1.5 million cases, according to data compiled by the John Hopkins University.
These figures are far lower than those in Europe, Asia or the Americas, with reported cases continuing to decline.
Africa has recorded about 37,000 deaths, compared with roughly 580,000 in the Americas, 230,000 in Europe, and 205,000 in Asia. Read more
Taylor Swift endorses Joe Biden for president (PageSix)
Taylor Swift made Joe Biden “The 1” on Wednesday when she announced her support for the Democratic presidential candidate.
The pop star — whose album “Folklore” was released in July — revealed the endorsement on Twitter, saying she spoke to V Magazine about the decision.
“So apt that it’s come out on the night of the VP debate,” Swift said of the magazine story. “Gonna be watching and supporting @KamalaHarris by yelling at the tv a lot.”
Swift told the publication she believes under Biden’s potential leadership, the US “has a chance to start the healing process it so desperately needs.” Read more
US election: Second Trump-Biden debate to be virtual amid Covid concerns (BBC)
The second debate between US President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden will be held virtually, the Commission on Presidential Debates has announced.
The move to a virtual format comes after Mr Trump was diagnosed last week with coronavirus.
His doctor says he has had no symptoms for more than 24 hours.
The second debate between the rival candidates is scheduled for next Thursday. Read more
Trump says virtual debate with Biden ‘not acceptable’ (NYPost)
President Donald Trump on Thursday said he won’t “waste my time” participating in a virtual debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, responding to an announcement by the Commission on Presidential Debates that the candidates would be in remote locations for the contest next week.
“No, I’m not going to waste my time in a virtual debate,” Trump said on Fox Business.
“That’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do … and then they cut you off whenever they want,” he continued. Read more
Indonesia: Thousands protest against ‘omnibus law’ on jobs
Published4 hours ago (BBC)
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Indonesia since Tuesday
Workers in Indonesia are protesting for the third straight day after a new job creation law was passed this week.
Thousands have taken part in strikes and demonstrations in several cities, with hundreds detained by the police.
Protesters are worried that the so-called “omnibus law” will hurt both workers and the environment.
But the government says the changes are needed to help its economy which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more
Olympic gymnast reportedly rumored to have had twins with Putin vanishes (NYPost)
An Olympic gold-medal-winning rhythmic gymnast long rumored to have had twins with Russian President Vladimir Putin has disappeared from public view, according to a report.
Alina Kabaeva, 37, who reportedly gave birth to boys in April 2019 at a Moscow clinic, has not been seen since she was two months’ pregnant, The Sun reported.
Putin, who has two adult children with his ex-wife Lyudmila Shkrebneva, has insisted he had no relationship with Kabaeva, a former deputy in his United Russia Party.
“Putin is an intensely private man. He has been hiding his two adult daughters under fake IDs for years,” a Moscow source told the news outlet. Read more
Spain seeks abortion law change (BBC)
The Spanish government has said it wants to change the law to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to seek an abortion without parental permission.
Equality Minister Irene Montero said women should have the right to “decide about their bodies”.
In 2015, the ruling Popular Party (PP) changed Spain’s abortion laws and mandated parental consent for those aged between 16 and 18.
Abortion is legal in Spain in the first 14 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. Read more
Friendly: Four Super Eagles players didn’t contract COVID-19 – NFF (Punch)
The Nigeria Football Federation has debunked reports that four Super Eagles players have tested positive for coronavirus.
The federation made this known in a series of tweets on Thursday.
It said the COVID-19 test results for players in Austria for friendlies with Algeria and Tunisia on Friday and Tuesday respectively are awaited.
Also, the spokesperson for the NFF, Ademola Olajire, denied the report in a telephone interview with our correspondent. Read more
Match-fixing investigation rocks French Open (NYPoat)
French prosecutors on Tuesday said they had opened an investigation into alleged match-fixing in a women’s doubles match at the French Open.
The prosecutors’ office said the investigation into “fraud in an organized group” and “active and passive corruption,” was related to a doubles match between Romanian pair Andreea Mitu and Patricia Mari and Russian Yana Sizikova and American Madison Brengle.
The Romanians won the match before being knocked out in the third round. Read more
Family of Nigerian Chineme Martins seek Fifpro help with negligence claim (BBC)
The family of Chineme Martins have enlisted the support of global football players’ union Fifpro as they pursue a claim of negligence following the Nigerian footballer’s death in March.
The Nasarawa United player, 23, died of suspected cardiac arrest during a league game in Lafia, whereupon a series of on-and-off-field failures prevented him from receiving the appropriate treatment.
Not only was there no working defibrillator in a stadium lacking the correct medical equipment, but the only ambulance present also failed to start. Read more
Ighalo’s chances won’t be reduced by Cavani’s arrival at Man United, says Akanni (Guardian)
Former international, Waidi Akanni, has expressed optimism that former Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, will have equal opportunities as much as Uruguay’s international, Edinson Cavani, who, on Monday, was added into the Manchester United’s squad from PSG as a free agent.
Ighalo is currently on loan from his Chinese club, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, and has not been involved in the Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s English Premier League plan, except in the Europa and Carabao Cup. However, experts believe that the acquisition of Cavani may have put paid to Ighalo’s ambition of playing again for the club till his loan expires. Read more
Mali target Traore makes Spain debut in friendly (BBC)
Wolves winger Adama Traore made his debut for Spain in the second half of the friendly with Portugal.
The Mali target almost created a goal but Olmo’s strike from the cutback was saved by Patricio.
Portugal twice hit the crossbar but could not find a breakthrough in a goalless friendly against Spain.
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo rattled the bar in the second half, with Renato Sanches’ fierce strike also smashing the underside of the woodwork. Read more
Ozil left out of Arsenal’s Europa League squad (Nation)
Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has been left out of the English Premier League (EPL) club’s squad for the 2020/2021 Europa League campaign.
This has given rise to media speculation that he might have played his last game for the London-based side.
The 31-year-old Ozil, who is under contract with Arsenal until June 2021 and earns a reported 350,000 pounds (451,465 dollars) per week, has not played for the team this season. Read more
Tokyo Olympics: Lord Coe supports athletes right to take a knee (BBC)
World Athletics president Lord Coe believes athletes should have the right to make gestures of political protest during the Olympic Games.
Current Olympic rules forbid any kind of “demonstration” or “political, religious or racial propaganda”.
Against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement there have been calls for the rules to be changed.
“I have been very clear; if an athlete wishes to take a knee on a podium, then I am supportive of that,” said Coe. Read more