I was pressurised to manipulate Abia guber election – INEC Returning Officer (DailyTrust)
Prof. Nnenna Oti, Returning Officer for the Abia State governorship election, has confessed that she was offered bribe to manipulate the election.
Exactly a week ago, Alex Otti of Labour Party was declared winner of the governorship poll.
According to the results announced at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) head office in Abia, Otti polled 175,467 votes to defeat Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was his closest challenger. Ahiwe scored 88,529 votes. Read more
DSS confirms plots to introduce interim government in Nigeria (Guardian)
The Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday said it has confirmed plots by some political actors to introduce an interim government in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari will finish his second tenure on May 29 when president-elect Bola Tinubu is expected to be sworn in as next Nigeria president.
Buhari at separate times insisted that he does not plan to stay in office beyond the constitutional eight years – since May 29, 2015 when he took over from former President Goodluck Jonathan. Read more
Lagos governorship poll too violent to be called election – GRV’s running mate, Oyefusi (Vanguard)
The deputy governorship candidate of the Labour Party, LP in Lagos state, Islamiyat Oyefusi, has described the March 18th governorship poll in the state as too violent to be regarded as an election.
She said, “For us at the Labour party, this election was the worst we ever experienced in our (Nigeria’s) democracy. It was filled with intimidation, thuggery, and attacks.
“It was too violent for an election. Voters were really scared to come out. The ones that did were beaten. So it was one [the election] that takes us like 50 years back in our democracy.” Read more
FG to conduct food safety survey in Lagos (Punch)
The Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology has said it will carry out a survey of food facilities in five local government areas of Lagos State.
The LGAs where the survey will be conducted include Surulere, Agege, Apapa, Ikorodu and Ikeja.
This was disclosed by the council’s Registrar, Mrs Veronica Eze, during a sensitisation forum held in Lagos on Wednesday to solicit the support of the stakeholders. Read more
Nigeria loses 82,000 pregnant women annually to complications –UNICEF (Sun)
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), latest report has revealed that about 82,000 pregnant women die annually from pregnancy related complications or childbirth in the country. The new death rate arising from pregnancy-related complications doubled the figure released by the Federal Ministry of Health,(FMOH), just in March 2022.
The FMOH had said that at least 40,000 women in the country lose their lives to pregnancy-related issues annually.
The UNICEF Chief of Health in Nigeria, Dr Eduardo Celades, made the disclosure at the end of a three Day Media Dialogue on COVID-19 and Routine Immunization, in Lagos it organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Culture.
He equates this to the nation losing approximately 225 women daily to maternal mortality, necessitating urgent action from the Federal Government and all stakeholders to end the threat in the nation. Read more
Buhari swears in Arase as PSC Chairman (DailyTrust)
President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, as Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), as well as five members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The brief swearing-in ceremonies were held Wednesday before the start of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the President at Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Former IGP Arase took over as Chairman of the PSC, following the resignation of another former Inspector-General of Police, Musiliu Smith. Read more
EFCC arraigns Ibadan club owner for ‘‘defrauding Americans’’ (Channels)
The Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, arraigned the owner of De Rock Club in Ibadan, Adepoju Sunday, alias SSG before Justice Uche Agomoh of the Federal High Court sitting in Oyo State.
The anti-graft agency disclosed this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Wilson Uwajeren.
Uwajeren said the defendant was arrested on August 31, 2022, alongside 21 other suspected internet fraudsters, in an intelligence-driven operation carried out by the operatives of its Ibadan Zonal Command. Read more
National carrier, airline operators know fate April 25 (Guardian)
Embattled new national carrier, Nigeria Air, and concerned parties are to know their fate on April 25 when the court resumes hearing.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, where the case was transferred to from Lagos, is to determine the propriety of the new jurisdiction.
The new date, however, may have sealed the fate of the airline and its take-off within the lifespan of the current administration that ends in May. Read more
Keith Reid, Procol Harum lyricist and ‘‘Whiter Shade of Pale’’ co-writer, dies at 76 (Variety)
Keith Reid, lyricist for the British group Procol Harum and co-writer of the iconic 1960s hit “Whiter Shade of Pale,” died on March 23 after a battle with cancer, according to a post on the band’s website. He was 76.
Reid’s acclaim with Procol Harum — from its eponymously-titled 1967 debut album until 2003’s “The Well’s on Fire” — came from his unusual turns of phrase and influences from classical literature on songs such as “A Salty Dog,” “Conquistador,” and most famously “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” an unusually lengthy and unlikely hit that has gone on to become one of the most commercially successful songs in history. Read more
Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks to co-host 2023 ACM Awards (MusicNews)
Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks have signed on to co-host the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards.
On Wednesday, producers announced that the country music legends will serve as joint presenters at the ceremony staged at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas on 11 May.
“I am thrilled to return to host the ACM Awards, this time with my friend Garth. While I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with him throughout the years, I can’t believe we’ve never had the chance to work together. In addition to getting to see all this great new talent in country music, I am excited to have the chance to premiere the lead single from my upcoming rock album on the show!” said Parton, with Brooks adding: “Anyone with Dolly Parton makes a fantastic couple.” Read more
Ed Sheeran recalls Jay-Z turned down ‘‘Shape of You’’ verse (MusicNews)
Ed Sheeran has revealed Jay-Z once turned down a guest verse on Shape of You.
While speaking to Rolling Stone for his March cover story, the Shape of You singer remembered he originally asked the rapper to collaborate with him on his 2017 hit.
“We were in touch,” Ed told the outlet. “I sent him the song, and he said, ‘I don’t think the song needs a rap verse.’ He was probably right.” Read more
Israel’s Netanyahu rejects Biden’s call to ‘walk away’ from judicial overhaul (Guardian)
Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed Joe Biden’s call to “walk away” from a proposed judicial overhaul that has led to massive protests across Israel, with the Israeli prime minister responding that he does not make decisions based on pressure from abroad.
Netanyahu on Monday delayed the proposal after large numbers of people spilled into the streets. The White House initially suggested Netanyahu should seek a compromise but the US president went further in taking questions from reporters on Tuesday. “I hope he walks away from it,” Biden said.
“Like many strong supporters of Israel I’m very concerned … They cannot continue down this road, and I’ve sort of made that clear,” Biden told reporters during a visit to North Carolina. Read more
Vice President Harris confronts painful past, envisions future during visit to Africa (PBS)
Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday stepped through the black doors of a colonial-era seaside fort and down into the dungeons, touring a site where millions of enslaved Africans were held captive before they were loaded onto ships bound for the Americas.
With her visit to Cape Coast Castle, Harris was insisting on remembering the painful past even as she stood earlier Tuesday before a monument commemorating Ghana’s independence, envisioning a grand future between the U.S. and Africa propelled by innovation on the continent.
“The horror of what happened here must always be remembered,” she said from the fort as the sun set over the water. “It cannot be denied. It must be taught. History must be learned.” Read more
Pope Francis in hospital with respiratory infection (BBC)
Pope Francis has a respiratory infection and will need to spend a few days in hospital in Rome, the Vatican says.
The 86-year-old had breathing difficulties in recent days but does not have Covid, a statement said.
It said he would need “a few days of appropriate hospital medical therapy”.
“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages received and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” the statement added. Read more
Migrant deaths at Mexican detention centre investigated as suspected homicide (Guardian)
The deaths of at least 39 migrants in a fire at a Mexican detention centre are being investigated as suspected homicides, a prosecutor has said, accusing those in charge of doing nothing to evacuate the victims.
Authorities faced mounting scrutiny of their handling of the disaster after video surveillance footage appeared to show guards leaving as flames engulfed a cell with migrants locked inside.
An investigation was opened “for the crime of homicide and damage to property,” though other possible crimes will also be considered, Sara Irene Herrerias, a prosecutor specialising in human rights, said. Read more
Only technical committee can sack Salisu Yusuf, says NFF (Guardian)
As Nigerians continue to lament the failure of the National U-23 team in the race to Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says it will soon introduce a new method of appointing coaches for the various teams.
Some angry Nigerian football fans, on Tuesday, took to social media to slam the NFF after the Olympics Eagles, led by coach Salisu Yusuf, was beaten 2-0 by Guinea in Morocco.
Salisu had earlier failed to qualify for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) with the Super Eagles B after losing the ticket to Ghana. Read more
Adepoju rues U-23 team ouster, faults selection (Punch)
Former Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju, has expressed displeasure after the country’s U-23 side failed to qualify for the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations and 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Salisu Yusuf’s side came short of making it to this year’s U-23 AFCON after losing 2-0 to Guinea in the second leg of their final qualifying fixture in Rabat, Morocco on Tuesday, after playing a goalless draw in the first leg in Abuja last week.
The African U-23 AFCON is the 2024 Olympic Games’ qualifying tournament and the defeat means the team will also not compete at the 2024 Olympic men’s football tournament in Paris, France. Read more
Arsenal stun Bayern to book European semi-final spot (BBC)
Arsenal put in a stunning display at Emirates Stadium to come from behind in their Women’s Champions League quarter-final tie with Bayern Munich.
Needing to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit to make the semi-finals for the first time in a decade, Arsenal were intense from the off and blew Bayern away in a scintillating first-half performance.
Frida Maanum scored one of the goals of the season when she struck the ball beautifully into the top corner after being teed up by a flick from Leah Williamson to open proceedings.
Bayern were shaken by Arsenal’s relentless pressing and with a record crowd for a women’s European match in England in attendance, they struggled to deal with an onslaught of pressure. Read more
FIFA removes Indonesia as 2023 Under-20 World Cup host (NBC)
Indonesia was stripped of hosting rights for the Under-20 World Cup on Wednesday only eight weeks before the start of the tournament amid political turmoil regarding Israel’s participation.
FIFA said Indonesia was removed from staging the 24-team tournament scheduled to start on May 20 “due to the current circumstances” without specifying details.
The decision followed a meeting in Doha, Qatar between Indonesian soccer federation president Erick Thohir and Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, soccer’s world governing body. Read more
Olympic star Laura Muir flies back to UK after major fall-out with long-term coach (Mirror)
Laura Muir could be in search of a new coach 15 months out from the Olympics after a major falling out with long-term mentor Andy Young.
The British track star has packed her bags and flown home early, with training partner Jemma Reekie, from an altitude camp in South Africa, leaving Young behind.
UK Athletics confirmed the pair are back in the UK and being supported by their World Class Programme staff “to ensure they receive the support they require as they review their training and competition programmes for the season ahead”. Muir is a multiple global medallist over 1500 metres and one of Britain’s biggest podium hopes both at this summer’s World Championships in Budapest and next year’s Paris Olympics. Read more
Bulls fall to LeBron and the Lakers for 2nd straight loss (CBS)
LeBron James scored 25 points in his return to the starting lineup, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Chicago Bulls 121-110 on Wednesday night.
James also had seven rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes in his second game back after he was sidelined for a month because of a torn tendon in his right foot. The four-time MVP scored 19 points in Sunday’s 118-108 loss to Chicago in just his second appearance as a reserve in his 20-year NBA career.
Fighting for playoff positioning in the Western Conference, Los Angeles (38-38) kicked off a five-game trip with its fourth win in five games overall. Anthony Davis had 38 points and 10 rebounds in his hometown, and D’Angelo Russell scored 17 points. Read more