Gunmen intercept Lagos-bound bus in Imo, whisk away passengers (Punch)
A vehicle en route to Lagos from Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, has been intercepted in Imo State with the passengers kidnapped.
Our correspondent gathered that the incident, which happened on a road called Odo Rubber, in Obiohuru, in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of the state, created tension in the community.
The passengers were travelling on a bus marked, Akwa Ibom State Government, when the gunmen struck.
The assailants reportedly took the victims and abandoned the vehicle and luggage.
A community source said, “No one knows where they were taken to. The bus was still steaming when villagers saw it on Tuesday on a lonely road called Odo Rubber. Phones and the luggage of the passengers were intact.” Read more
LCCI tasks govt on creation of enabling tax environment (Leadership)
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry(LCCI) has urged the government at all levels to ensure creation of an enabling tax environment where the tax system is fair, equitable, and efficient to make tax payment easy.
This is even as the chamber expected GDP growth to range between 2.5 per cent and four per cent, noting that, “key economic activities to watch out for in 2022 include the electioneering campaigns, supply chain disruptions, removal of fuel subsidies, and pressures on the Naira.”
Speaking during the ‘State of the Economy’ media briefing yesterday in Lagos, the president of LCCI, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole said, the possibility of new taxes, tariffs, and levies being imposed from 2022 is now real as the president signed the 2021 Finance Bill into law.
Olawale-Cole stated that the Chamber acknowledged the revenue challenges currently facing the government and would support economically viable initiatives to resolve these challenges. Read more
LASG to preserve Sound Sultan’s legacy (Punch)
The Lagos State Government has said it will preserve the legacy of the late Nigerian rapper, Olanrewaju Fasasi (popularly called Sound Sultan) by hosting the Festac music festival.
The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Solomon Bonu said this in a statement on Wednesday.
Bonu was quoted to have said this during the third edition of the Festac music festival and the first held after the death of Sound Sultan.
He said, “The present administration saw the need to support the vision of Sound Sultan, through a company in which he has equity – Naija Ninja Production, to develop more creative minds and take interested youths off the streets.Read more
2023: Loyalists back Tinubu’s presidential aspiration with prayers (Nation)
Party loyalists from his Ikeja Federal Constituency led by House of Representatives member James Faleke trooped to the Blue Roof at the LTV8 premises where interdenominational prayers were held for the one-time Lagos State helmsman.
The prayer session came barely 72 hours after Tinubu informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to take a shot at the presidency.
They were conducted by the Ikeja chapter of the League of Imams and Alfas led by Imam Abdul Azeez Abdur Rahman and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) led by Reverend Israel Oyebanji.
Both clerics described the aspirant as a detribalised politician and not a religious bigot whose aspiration deserves all the support.
Lions Club donates water project to Lagos school (Punch)
The Lagos Eminent Lions Club, District 404B-2 Nigeria, has unveiled its water system project which was donated to Unity High School, Oshodi.
The club’s District Governor, Mr Kayode Oshinuga, on Wednesday, inaugurated the borehole, three water tanks and 16 taps within the school premises in Oshodi.
He said, “For any service project we want to undertake, we are encouraged to find out from the community what they need, and in this case, we undertook a community need assessment and the school made a request that this was what they needed.
“In our tradition, we say, ‘when there is a need, there is a lion.’ This water project is the first phase of our project in the school and it is our investment in the social welfare of students.” Read more
Akala’s Death: Governor Bello commiserates with Oyo State (VON)
The Governor of Niger State in North Central Nigeria, Abubakar Sani Bello has commiserated with the people of Oyo State over the death of former Oyo State governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.
Governor Bello in a condolence message said the deceased was a man who had a humble beginning but through determination and hard work, rose to become a police officer and retired after a meritorious service to the nation.
He further said the deceased was also a grassroot politician pointing out that he made a mark in the political history of Oyo State in particular and the country in general.
The Governor said late Alao-Akala would be greatly missed for his efforts in making Democracy virile in the country. Read more
MultiChoice appoints Babatunde as Talent Factory West Africa director (Leadership)
MultiChoice Nigeria has appointed Atinuke Ngozi Babatunde as the Academy Director, West Africa, MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF). She succeeds Femi Odugbemi, who occupied the role between 2018 and 2021.
In her new role, she is expected to drive the development of Nigeria’s creative industry through the MTF, an initiative conceived to source and up-skill young West Africans in film and television production as well as expand the capacity of already practising professionals.
A statement by MultiChoice Nigeria described Atinuke Babatunde as a seasoned professional with over 20 years’ experience spanning entertainment, branding, research, media management, marketing, and strategy.
“Atinuke Babatunde will deploy her wealth of knowledge gained from over 20 years in the media and marketing industry to lead the MultiChoice Talent Factory by ensuring that highly talented creatives are given world-class training at the academy. Read more
PDP publicity secretary collapses outside court premises in Ebonyi (Vanguard)
THE arraignment of the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Ebonyi State, Mr. Chika Nwoba became a complex matter Wednesday, following the collapse of the Party’s Spokesperson outside the premises of the Court in Abakaliki.
He was brought into the court premises by officers and men of the Ebonyi State Police Command at about 2:45pm but the period of the Court sitting was shifted due to the health condition of Mr. Nwoba.
Following the development, he was rushed out of the Court premises by the Police and later brought back to the court, in order to allow the court session to commence the second time.
When Vanguard arrived the premises of the Court, the PDP Publicity Secretary was looking pale, tired, dizzy and weak inside a police patrol van, waiting to be arraigned. Read more
Twitter reacts as operations resume in Nigeria after 222 days’ suspension (Punch)
Nigerians can now access their Twitter accounts without using Virtual Private Network (VPN) – 222 days after the Federal Government suspended the operations of the social media giant.
Though the Nigerian government announced that Twitter operations will be restored at 12.00 am on Thursday, January 13, it did not.
Twitter remained inaccessible in Lagos as of 12:30 am when our correspondent visited the microblogging website.
However, at 4.05 am, the social media platform was accessible.
Announcing its official return, Twitter assured the Nigerian government of its commitment of driving civic participation. Read more
Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly are engaged (LadBible)
Machine Gun Kelly has proposed to Megan Fox.
The pop-rock singer got down on one knee at the foot of a tree that is special to the couple.
After asking those four famous words, they apparently sealed their union with something pretty rogue.
Writing on Instagram, the Transformers star said: “In July of 2020 we sat under this banyan tree.
“We asked for magic. We were oblivious to the pain we would face together in such a short, frenetic period of time. Read more
Aaron Moloisi launches digital radio station to mark 20 years in the industry (TheSouthAfrican)
Aaron Moloisi is launching Legend Radio in celebration of 20 years in the entertainment industry. In a statement, the 42-year-old mentioned that Legend Radio is an urban radio station that engages in “everyday conversations”.
“We are not a categorised content genre. We engage in a wider array of subject matters in all aspects. We celebrate life together in talk and in song.”
Moloisi further highlights that 90% of the talent on Legend Radio has never worked on a broadcast platform. “I carefully and strategically headhunted all of them across the world to bring authenticity and sincerity onto the station.”
“Our dynamic lineup includes candidates from China, New York, Zambia, Mozambique, Canada, Nigeria and South Africa.”
The Legend Radio lineup will be introduced at a later stage. Read more
Boris Johnson: Senior Tories urge PM to quit after party apology (BBC)
Published42 minutes ago
Boris Johnson is facing calls from senior Tories to stand down as prime minister after he admitted attending a drinks party during lockdown.
The PM apologised for the way he handled the event in the Downing Street garden in 2020 and said he understood the public’s “rage” over it.
Cabinet members including deputy PM Dominic Raab rallied round Mr Johnson.
But Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross and MPs William Wragg, Caroline Nokes and Roger Gale called on him to go. Read more
David Arquette howls with laughter as Courteney Cox discusses disastrous Scream 3 mini-fringe (Independent)
Drew Barrymore and David Arquette were left in hysterics as Courteney Cox discussed her disastrous mini-fringe haircut from Scream 3.
Cox and Arquette appeared on Monday’s episode (10 January) of The Drew Barrymore Show to discuss the release of Scream, the fifth film in the franchise.
Discussing her time in the franchise, the conversation turned to Scream 3, in which the Friends star sported an extremely short fringe hairstyle which has long been mocked on the internet.
“Each Scream I would try to come up with a different look for her that was just over-the-top gross or ugly or too much,” Cox said, with her co-star Neve Campbell interjecting: “The bangs?”
“Oh that was the worst, I forgot about that,” Cox said, while Arquette and Barrymore, who appeared in the opening scene of the original 1996 Scream film, cackled with laughter.
“There was nothing worse,” she continued: “That was a big lesson in life because that will forever be on film.”
Cox then explained that the fringe was a clip-in piece but that the team had only had one set and cut them on set. Read more
Caleb Landry Jones to star in Luc Besson’s comeback movie DogMan (Variety)
Caleb Landry Jones, who won best actor at last year’s Cannes for “Nitram,” is set to play the lead in Luc Besson’s “DogMan.”
Besson (“Lucy,” “Taken”) penned “DogMan” and will direct it, on top of producing via his banner LBP. EuropaCorp, the company founded by Besson and now owned by New York-based Vine Alternative, is co-producing the movie.
“DogMan” is expected to enter production in May and will be shot mainly in France and the U.S. The film tells the sprawling story of a child, bruised by life, who grows to find his salvation through the love of his dogs.
Producers are Virginie Besson-Silla, who produced Besson’s last five films including “Lucy” as well as Guy Ritchie’s “Revolver,” and Steve Rabineau, who joined LBP in 2019 after a successful career as a top agent at WME for over three decades.
Before his laureled performance in Justin Kurzel’s “Nitram,” Landry Jones starred in Sean Baker’s Oscar-nominated “The Florida Project” and a pair of Oscar-winning films including Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” The Texas native, who is also a musician, has released two albums: “The Mother Stone” and “Gadzooks Vol. 1.”
“DogMan” will mark a comeback for Besson after a three-year hiatus following “Anna,” an action thriller released in 2019 with Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Luke Evans and Cillian Murphy. Read more
Sarah Michelle Gellar Jokes She’s ‘Unimpressed’ with 2022 and Is ‘Brinpostedging 1983 Back’ (People)
Sarah Michelle Gellar is bringing back the ’80s.
In a boomerang to Instagram on Wednesday, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum, 44, sported a 1980s-inspired look — which included smokey purple eyeshadow and bright pink blush — and wrote that she was thus far “unimpressed” with the new year.
As I’ve been fairly unimpressed by 2022 so far, I’m thinking of just bringing 1983 back,” the actress captioned the boomerang, in which she simply shook her head in disapproval.
Gellar completed her throwback look with soft bangs, dangling pink and yellow lightning bolt earrings and a black tank top. Read more
Jason Momoa, 42, and wife Lisa Bonet, 54 are
In a joint statement shared Wednesday to Momoa’s Instagram account, the 42-year-old Game Of Thrones star and the 54-year-old Cosby Show actress announced that they are separating.
‘We have all felt the squeeze and changes of these transformational times… A revolution is unfolding and our family is no exception… feeling and growing from the seismic shifts occurring,’ their statement read. ‘And so we share our Family news that we are parting ways in marriage.’
One image featured a lovely peach-colored sunset in which a crescent moon could already be seen glowing in the sky.
Another photo showed poles erected outside that appeared to be decorated with rectangular strips of white fabric covered in small black text. Read more
Air Peace leads naira rain on Eagles, promises N10m per goal, N50m for trophy (Guardian)
The Super Eagles are just one game into their campaign for a fourth African Cup of Nations trophy, but signs of the good things that will happen to the players and their officials have started showing.
Nigeria defeated Egypt 1-0 in their opening match on Tuesday and for that feat, the team got N10 million from the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema. The airline boss says his gesture is not one-off.
Onyema, who addressed the team during half-time of the encounter with Egypt, promised to reward them with N10 million for every goal they score, adding that they will get a further N50 million if they win the trophy.
He reminded the players that they are representing over 200 million Nigerians and urged them to give their best to win the trophy. Read more
Gradel gives Ivory Coast opening win (BBC)
Ivory Coast captain Max Gradel scored a spectacular winner as the Elephants narrowly beat Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in their Africa Cup of Nations opener.
Ex-Bournemouth and Leeds forward Gradel lashed the two-time champions ahead from 20 yards with the outside of his right foot just five minutes in.
Equatorial Guinea had chances to level but Iban Salvador sliced their best one horribly wide from seven yards.
Badra Ali Sangare later saved from Emilio Nsue as Ivory Coast held out.
Patrice Beaumelle’s side go top of Group E after defending champions Algeria drew with Sierra Leone on Tuesday. Read more
US prosecutors charge man for supplying drugs to Okagbare, others (Guardian)
US prosecutors, yesterday, charged a Texas man with providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, including Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare, according to wire reports.
Eric Lira, 41, of El Paso, is the first person to be charged under a new U.S. anti-doping law governing international sports competitions.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said Lira distributed the drugs, including human growth hormone, “for the purpose of corrupting” the 2020 Games. Lira also is accused of conspiring to violate drug misbranding and adulteration laws. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.
The criminal complaint does not name Okagbare but includes details suggesting she was among Lira’s clients. A text message was sent to Okagbare seeking comment. Read more
Emma Raducanu reacts to crushing defeat in Australian Open warm-up (Metro)
Emma Raducanu was comprehensively defeated in her first match of 2022 at the Sydney Tennis Classic.
The 19-year-old lost in straight sets 6-0 6-1 to Kazakh player Elena Rybakina in her warm-up tournament before the start of the Australian Open next week.
Raducanu struggled to handle Rybakina’s power from the baseline and was very weak on her second serve, winning only 13 percent of points. Rybakina is ranked 13th in the WTA standings, five spots higher than Raducanu, but looked the far more confident and consistent player here.
Rybakina took the first nine games to pull out an unassailable lead, before Raducanu finally put a one on the scoreboard to save some face. Reacting afterwards the US Open champion remained optimistic. Read more
Chelsea make light work of Spurs to reach EFL Cup final (BBC)
Chelsea eased into the Carabao Cup final as they closed out a comfortable semi-final win over Tottenham.
Spurs never seriously threatened to overturn Chelsea’s two-goal first-leg advantage and Antonio Rudiger’s bundled finish from Mason Mount’s corner after 18 minutes effectively confirmed a Wembley date with either Arsenal or Liverpool.
It was a night of frustration for Spurs and their former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte as they saw two penalties, awarded by referee Andre Marriner for fouls on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Lucas Moura, correctly overturned by VAR.
Harry Kane also saw a goal ruled out for offside in an improved second-half performance from Spurs but Chelsea always looked in control – and once they had extended their aggregate lead early on, they were able to control affairs without hitting their best form. Read more
Novak Djokovic could face three-year prison sentence after admitting to breaking Covid isolation rules (Metro)
Novak Djokovic could be sent to prison for three years after admitting he broke Covid-19 isolation rules while infected.
The world No.1 is currently awaiting a final decision from Australia’s Immigration Minister as to whether his visa will be cancelled again and he be banned from playing at next week’s Australian Open.
Djokovic, who is aiming to compete under a medical exemption and is not vaccinated, is facing fresh scrutiny after coming clean about knowingly flouting isolation measures while infected.
According to Serbian law that rule break is punishable by up to three years behind bars. Read more
Bowen double puts West Ham fourth and keeps Norwich bottom (BBC)
West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen is “knocking on the door” for an England call-up, according to Hammers boss David Moyes.
Bowen scored both goals against bottom club Norwich City to lift his side above Arsenal into fourth in the Premier League table.
The former Hull City player, who signed in a £20m-plus deal in January 2020, has eight goals in all competitions this season, including three in his last two appearances, and has a further eight assists in 2021-22.
Asked after his side’s fourth straight league and cup win whether Bowen was ready for an England call, Moyes told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s Gareth [Southgate] who makes the decisions and Gareth has picked really well over the last few years.
“I think he is knocking on the door because he’s beginning to score and is getting assists. Read more