How we foiled attempts to bomb Lagos, by Fashola (Nation)
Minister for Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola on Thursday narrated how attempt by terrorists to bomb Lagos State in 2013 was foiled.
Fashola who was governor of the state at the time said they intercepted 17 suitcases loaded with explosives which were smuggled in to wreak havoc.
He disclosed this while delivering a lecture titled “Insecurity: Taking actions against organised crime” at the fourth annual public lecture of the United Action for Change (UAC) held in Lagos.
Noting that security was not the job of law enforcement agencies alone, Fashola said the suitcases were discovered with the help of citizen information. Read more
More trouble for commuters in Lagos as government turns screw on Uber drivers (Guardian)
For commuters in Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos, these are trying times. Weeks ago, the Lagos State Government announced a restriction on the operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in six local governments – Apapa, Eti Osa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Surulere.
Motorcycles and tricycles – popularly called okada and keke respectively – not only provide quick getaways from the maddening gridlock the city is cursed with every day, but they are also the only reliable means of transportation for hundreds of thousands of residents to move to and from workplaces and navigate the inner streets of the overpopulated state.
The restriction, which came into effect on February 1, was not the sort of New Year gift residents looked forward to. Already, okada riders have clashed twice this week with the police in the Lagos suburbs of Ijora and Iyana Ipaja. Read more
Lagos grants ‘secret approval’ for estate on flood-prone Magodo green belt (Punch)
Indications emerged on Wednesday that the Lagos State Government might have backtracked on its earlier decision not to permit the development of an estate on a flood-prone green belt between the Magodo Phase 1 and Phase 2 housing schemes.
The green belt, which is located in a vast gorge that separates Magodo GRA phases 1 and 2, is located in the Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area of the state.
Initial plans to build an estate on the green belt that is often flooded during the rainy season were put on hold after a public outcry against the project.
The state Ministry of Environment and the New Towns Development Authority visited the site, arrested some of the workers and described the estate, which the promoters named The Plush, as illegal.
PUNCH Metro, however, gathered on Wednesday, that the government might have bowed to pressure from some members of the state House Assembly and secretly approved the controversial project. Read more
Lagos govt prosecutes 95 persons for crossing expressways (Vanguard)
The Corps Marshal, Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), Mrs Gbemisola Akinpelu, said on Thursday that 95 persons had been prosecuted in 2020 for crossing expressways.
Akinpelu, a retired Commissioner of Police, gave the figure in a statement signed by the Corps Head Public Affairs, Mr Kehinde Adebayo.
Adebayo quoted her as speaking while briefing her officers at the headquarters.
Akinpelu said that the number of arrests increased due to the officers stepping up the Operation Zero Tolerance to indiscriminate crossing of highways.
She said that the operation in Lagos had been extended to many parts of the state. Read more
Repatriated cash looted by successors, not Abacha – Al-Mustapha (Nation)
Former Chief Security Officer(CSO) to late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, has stated all the loots repatriated in the name of Abacha loot were stolen and hidden abroad by successors of Abacha.
Al-Mustapha, who stated this on the Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service monitored in Kaduna, on Thursday, queried the source of the story that millions of dollars were stashed in foreign banks by his late boss.
He described the reports as tissue of lies.
Major Al-Mustapha argued when late Abacha assumed leadership, there were not more than $200 billion in Nigeria’s foreign reserve. Read more
Witness no-show causes new delay in Lagos homosexuality case (Guardian)
The trial of 47 Nigerian men charged with homosexuality, punishable by 14 years in jail in the West African country, stalled again on Wednesday as their accusers failed to produce a witness.
The men, who were arrested in a Lagos hotel during a police raid in August 2018, have pleaded not guilty in the case before the High Federal Court.
They were accused of “committing homosexual acts” in a “gay initiation party” and “permitting male persons to have carnal knowledge of themselves against the order of nature”. Read more
Court sentences man to death by hanging for killing Uber driver (Guardian)
An FCT High Court in Abuja on Thursday sentenced one Obinna Echanu to death by hanging for killing an Uber driver, identified as Edwin Ali.
Obinna was charged alongside one Everly Nnerun for allegedly conspiring to kill Ali on December 26th, 2016 along the Abuja airport road.
Obinna and Nnerun were charged with armed robbery, illegal possession, conspiracy, of firearms and culpable homicide. Read more
OAU hands over lecturer to police for sexually harassing student (Punch)
Management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, on Wednesday announced the suspension of one Monday Omo-Etan, a lecturer for assaulting a 19-year-old student.
The institution also said Omo-Etan had been handed over to the police for further investigation.
A statement by the OAU Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju, read, “Less than three weeks after the Management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, expressed its zero tolerance against sexual harassment by investigating and suspending a lecturer of the Department of International Relations, Mr Olabisi Olaleye, the university has suspended a worker of the OAU Centre for Distance Learning for sexually molesting a 19-year-old female student. Read more
NECO releases 2019 NOV/DEC results (Guardian)
The National Examination Council has released the results of the 2019 November/December Senior School Certificate Examinations.
Abubakar Gana, Acting Registrar of the council, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
The National Examination Council (NECO) has released the results of the 2019 November/December Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE).
Abubakar Gana, Acting Registrar of the council, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday. Read more
Coronavirus: Our lives in danger, say Nigerians in Wuhan (Punch)
The Nigerians trapped in Wuhan, China, where Coronavirus originated from have raised the alarm that their lives are in danger.
This comes as Coronavirus cases in China rose to 24,324.
The Nigerian Students Association in Wuhan on Wednesday asked the Federal Government to urgently evacuate the 60 Nigerians in the city.
The House of Representatives had already resolved that Nigerians in Wuhan would not be evacuated.
According to the lawmakers who voted against the motion raised by spokesman for the House, Benjamin Okezie, China has better facilities to handle the virus than Nigeria. Read more
Record-breaking US astronaut returns to Earth (Guardian)
NASA’s Christina Koch returned to Earth safely Thursday having shattered the spaceflight record for female astronauts after almost a year aboard the International Space Station.
Koch touched down at 0912 GMT on the Kazakh steppe after 328 days in space along with Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency.
Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, said the crew had returned safely.
“All is well on board, the crew are feeling well,” Rogozin wrote on Twitter.
Koch, a 41-year-old Michigan-born engineer, beat the previous record for a single spaceflight by a woman — 289 days, held by NASA veteran Peggy Whitson — on December 28, 2019. Read more
Messi tipped to leave Barcelona, may join Guardiola at Manchester City (Punch)
Manchester City are monitoring Lionel Messi’s public fall-out with Barcelona should he exercise a clause in his contract and leave Camp Nou this summer.
Messi’s long-term future at his boyhood club was thrown into doubt earlier this week when the Barça captain publicly called out sporting director Eric Abidal.
Abidal criticised the Barça players’ work rate under former head coach Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked and replaced by Quique Setien last month.
Messi played alongside Abidal between 2007 and 2013 but took exception to his comments, accusing him of “dirtying” the players and asking him to “give names”. Read more
Omotayo fights back at Spanish Open (Nation)
Ping-ponger Olajide Omotayo aims to restore his pride as he begins campaign today as one of the seeded players at the ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Grenada.
Being his second major international tournament aside the World Team Olympic Tournament held in Portugal, Omotayo is seeded eight among the 32 players listed for the qualifier with a possible second round showdown against Egypt’s Khalid Assar.
The 24-year-old failed to make it beyond the preliminary stage of the German Open and in Spain, he is considered one of the top stars in pole position to make it to the podium but the former Nigerian national junior champion will have to race his game against the rest of the world. Read more
Dembele to undergo surgery next week after hamstring tear (Guardian)
Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele will undergo surgery on his right hamstring in Finland on Tuesday, the club has confirmed.
Barca said an “approximate recovery time” would be given once the operation was complete.
Dembele has suffered a number of injury problems since joining Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017. Read more
Troubled Mikel may quit Trabzonspor (Nation)
Erstwhile Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi could be forced to quit Turkish side Trabzonspor following alleged racism slur during his side 2-1 win over Fenerbahce at the weekend, reports AOIFootball.com.
A close source to the player stated that the player condemned the incident but revealed his family may now be at risk after his girlfriend received treats and abuse on her social media page.
Mikel, who remains very passionate and dedicated to the Turkish club, could now be forced to consider his options in the summer especially with the situation with his family as he has always expressed his desires to stay closer to his twin daughters. Read more
Premier League clubs vote for longer summer transfer window (Guardian)
Premier League clubs voted on Thursday to push the closing date of the summer transfer window back to bring it into line with the rest of Europe.
At Thursday’s shareholders’ meeting, the clubs decided to revert to the traditional date at the end of August or early September after two seasons when the window closed on the eve of the campaign.
This year’s summer window will close at 1600 GMT on Tuesday, September 1 as August 31 is a public holiday. Read more
NBBF appoint Brown as new D’Tigers’ coach (Punch)
The Nigerian Basketball Federation have named Mike Brown as the new D’Tigers coach ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Sports Extra reports.
Brown, who is the Golden State Warriors assistant coach, will be assisted by Alex Nwora who guided the team to qualification for the Olympics.
A top source revealed to The Punch that Brown’s appointment will help the NBBF immensely in terms of player recruitment in the MAN.
Miami Heats’ Bam Adebayo and Indiana Pavers Victor Oladipo have both been courted by the NBBF. Read more
Ibrahimovic return adds spice to Milan derby (Guardian)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to AC Milan will add spice to the city derby against Inter Milan on Sunday with the Swede looking to thwart Antonio Conte’s side from keeping pace with Serie A leaders Juventus.
Ibrahimovic played his first Milan derby as an Inter player 13 years ago, while his last was for rivals AC Milan in May 2012, when he scored a double in a 4-2 defeat.
Ibrahimovic was the top scorer that season with 28 goals but Milan lost the Serie A title to Conte’s Juventus, the first in the Turin giants’ current run of eight Serie A titles. Read more
Born-again Iwobi hungry for Everton glory (Nation)
Super Eagles striker Alex Iwobi said he has become a “new man” and “more hunger” than at any stage of his career since his arrival at Everton.
The 23-year-old joined Everton from Arsenal in the closing hours of last summer’s transfer window and has featured 17 times in the Premier League this term.
His return from a six-week injury layoff last Saturday coincided with Everton’s dramatic 3-2 success against Watford – a victory which Iwobi reckons can turn his team’s fortunes for the campaign. Read more
My mum cried when I joined Manchester United – Ighalo (Punch)
Former Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo has narrated how his mother cried when she heard that he has joined Manchester United.
He gave the narration in an interview with MUTV.
He explained that he also had sleepless nights because of the transfer.
According to him, being the first Nigerian to play for Manchester United makes him emotional.
While giving an insight into how his transfer to Manchester United was concluded, he said, “Yeah, it was very dramatic. My agent called me the day before and said, ‘Man United.’ A few other clubs had shown interest, I said, ‘please, just pick United, if it’s going to be possible.’ Read more
Enyimba edge past MFM FC in Lagos, move out of drop zone (Vanguard)
Abdulrahman Bashir’s 73rd-minute goal was enough to earn Enyimba a 1-0 win over MFM FC at the Agege Stadium, Lagos in a rescheduled fixture on Wednesday.
The opening moments of the match was a drab one as both sides couldn’t make any meaningful attempt.
The game would soon grow to full potential when MFM’s Akanni Elijah delivered with a through pass from their build-up to Adeniji Adewole but was flagged offside.
Enyimba responded with their set of attacks soon after they won a free-kick around MFM goal area. Victor Mbaoma forced goalkeeper Abayomi Folarin to a smart save from the resultant set-piece. Read more