I will consult Ooni before speaking on Naomi Silekunola’s divorce claim – Palace spokesman (Punch)
Spokesperson for Ooni of Ife, Moses Olafare, has said the Palace will consult Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi before speaking on the divorce claim by Naomi Silekunola, who announced on Thursday that her marriage to monarch has ended.
Olafare spoke in a phone interview with The PUNCH on Thursday.
He said he saw the report on social media like every other Nigerian and pleaded for more time to speak with Oba Ogunwusi before making comment on the development.
“I also woke up this morning to see the story reported on social media but I have to find out from the Kabiesi, what is happening. I will find out and get back to you,” Olafare told our correspondent.
The PUNCH that Silekunola posted a statement posted on her verified Instagram handle and Facebook page on Thursday announcing an end to the three-year marriage. Read more
Lagos warns hospitals against employing non-certified foreign health workers (Guardian)
The Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) has disclosed that it is set to begin the implementation of the policy that will ensure that Foreign-Based Transient Medical Doctors (FBTMDs) are verified and approved by the Medical Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) before they can practice medical profession in the state to safeguard the health of the citizens. The agency warned hospitals in the state to desist from engaging foreigners whose certificates and licenses have not been verified by MDCN and HEFAMAA.
The Chairman, HEFAMAA Governing Board, Dr. Yemisi Solanke-Koya, who stated this at a town hall meeting and a sensitisation campaign held yesterday in Ikeja division on the roles and responsibilities of the agency, emphasized that such approval must be submitted and duly registered with HEFAMAA prior to commencing the practice of medicine in the state to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of Lagosians and hold the facilities engaging the FTDMBs accountable.
She stated that the agency is aware that some facilities engage the FBTMDs who come into the state to provide medical care to patients and perform medical procedures without verified certificates and licenses from professional bodies adding that they later return to their respective countries.
The Chairman reiterated the commitment of the agency in ensuring that all facilities operate within the confine of the law. Read more
Motorcyclist docked for causing death of pedestrian (Nation)
A motorcyclist, Segiru Nasiru, was on Thursday docked in an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly causing the death of a 49-year-old man.
The police charged Nasiru, 18, who address was not given with reckless driving and causing death.
Nasiru, however, denied committing the offence.
The Prosecution Counsel, Sgt. Olasunkanmi Adejumola, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Dec. 18 at Capitol Road, Oke-Koto, Agege, Lagos State. Read more
Lagos pays N597m to deceased LG, SUBEB staffers’ families (NewTelegraph)
The Lagos State Government Thursday said that it has so far paid N597.4 million as insurance benefits to the families of the deceased staff of the Local Government and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) for the year 2021.
Speaking at the presentation of the N233.4 million to families of 103 deceased staff of the Local Government and the Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, the state’s Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Dr Wale Ahmed, urged the recipients of the insurance benefits to judiciously utilise the money on projects so dear to the heart of the deceased staff.
The Commission explained that the presentation was the second tranche of the payment, having paid the sum of N364, 982,210.39 earlier in the year. He said Lagos is the only state that pays insurance benefit to the beneficiaries.
He said the money should be strictly expended to pursue the education of the children of the deceased, saying that on no account should the children suffer to further their academic pursuits. Read more
Sanwo-Olu moves to reduce out-of-school children, boost academic excellence (Guardian)
Ahead of the new school term in January 2022, the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) through the EKOEXCEL programme has stepped up its public awareness campaign aimed at driving enrolment, reducing the number of out-of-school children inline with the state government’s ‘Leave No Child Behind Policy’ and boost academic excellence from a foundational level in Lagos public schools.
The campaign also aimed at engaging parents and communities on the need and importance of education and connecting citizens to the government’s economic growth agenda through the transformation of the education sector. The programme and its goals are being showcased on billboards, street lamp banners, radio jingles, TV interviews, and commercials as well as social media engagements with reputable influencers.
This latest public awareness campaign follows the recent enrollment exercises across 10 local government and local council development areas that involved local community leaders and influencers, including Nollywood celebrities.
Commenting on the awareness campaign, LASUBEB’s Executive Chairman, Wahab Alawiye-King said it was in fulfillment of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s promise of quality education to all Lagos pupils as spelled out in his THEMES agenda.
He said: “Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is very passionate about basic education and his dream is to reduce the number of out-of-school children to the minimum while deploying the latest technology for instruction in schools. We cannot afford to fail in the task he has entrusted into our care, hence our effort to make Lagosians know more about EKOEXCEL and its benefits.” Read more
Tunde Lemo’s Titan Trust acquires majority stake in Union Bank (Punch)
Titan Trust Bank Limited has acquired a majority shareholding interest in Union Bank.
This was contained in a notice published on the website of NGX and Securities Exchange Commission on Thursday.
The notice was titled, ‘Proposed Divestment of Majority Shareholding Interest in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc’.
Part of the notice read, “The Board of Directors of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (“Union Bank”) today announced that it has received a notification from Union Global Partners Ltd. (“UGPL”, the holder of majority shareholding in Union Bank) of the execution of a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement between UGPL, certain other existing shareholders of Union Bank (as Sellers) and Titan Trust Bank Limited (as Purchaser) for the sale of an aggregate 89.39 per cent of the
the issued share capital of Union Bank held by the Sellers, to the Purchaser (“the Transaction”). Read more
Yuletide: Oyo collaborates with FRSC to address traffic challenges (VON)
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has said his administration would continue to cooperate with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to address traffic challenges that impact the state and its environs.
The governor, who described the cooperation as a good development and a step in the right direction, made the disclosure at the State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, on Wednesday, when he received the top echelon of the FRSC, led by its Corps Marshall, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, who paid him a courtesy visit.
Makinde, who addressed journalists in company of the Corps Marshal and other officers of the FRSC, said it is important for states to collaborate with the Federal Government and federal agencies in order to resolve issues that affect their local environments.
He stated: “Road safety actually started in Oyo State, so we can take ownership. But today, they are a federal agency and we are talking about issues and challenges that impact our local environment. It is one of the hallmarks of that type of cooperation for the federal government, federal agency and state government coming together to resolve such issues.” Read more
Zazoo singer Portable acquires new car, appreciates Olamide, Poco Lee (Punch)
Fast rising Nigerian street sensation, Habeeb Okikiola, popularly known as Portable, has acquired a new car.
He took to his Instagram page on Thursday to announce his new ‘whip’ as he appreciated his senior colleagues, Olamide and Poco Lee.
The street sensation is currently making waves with his ‘Zazoo Zeh’ hit in which he featured award-winning singer, Olamide, and Poco Lee.
Announcing his new car, Portable wrote, “Awon fans ti boo cardi o. Big love and appreciation to my benefactors @olamide @poco_lee, @kogbagidi for showing me to the world. New whip for the road. Coming to shut down all shows. Zaaazo.” Read more
Fayemi Inaugurates Road First Awarded in 1978 (ThisDay)
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday inaugurated the newly constructed Ado-Iyin dual carriage road project which was initially awarded by the military administration in 1978, but was abandoned shortly after.
The road, which was initially designed to be a single-lane road, to be extended from Iyin to Igede-Aramoko and Osun State boundary, according to Fayemi, was abandoned by successive administration for over four decades.
The governor in his address said the completion of the road despite its numerous natural challenges brought to the fulfillment an age-long yearning of benefitting communities as well as provided the shortest link between the state capital and Iyin Ekiti.
The glamorous event was attended by the state Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; Chief of Staff, Biodun Omoleye; the Head of Service, Mrs. Peju Babafemi; traditional rulers led by the state Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers, the Onisan of Isan Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Adejuwon; the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe; members of new Ado-Iyin road communities and other dignitaries. Read more
Keanu Reeves’ ‘John Wick 4’ pushed back to 2023 (UPI)
Lionsgate has announced it is pushing back the release date of John Wick: Chapter 4, starring Keanu Reeves, to March 24, 2023.
The hitman action-thriller had been scheduled to open in theaters on May 27, 2022.
Donnie Yen, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, Bill Skarsgård, Rina Sawayama, Shamier Anderson and Ian McShane co-star alongside Reeves in the movie, which was directed by Chad Stahelski.
Be seeing you. 3.24.23. pic.twitter.com/7r9KKjEhSC— John Wick (@JohnWickMovie) December 22, 2021 Read more
David Dastmalchian comic ‘Count Crowley’ sets 2022 return (thr)
Jerri Bartman, the comic book character created by actor David Dastmalchian, is returning to stores in the spring — and with a new title.
Count Crowley: Amateur Midnight Monster Hunter arrives March 23, 2022 from Dark Horse Comics. The 1980s-set series centers on Jerri Bartman, a once-rising TV journalist who moves back to her hometown in the Midwest after washing out of her career due to struggle with alcohol. After taking over as the host of a midnight monster show, learns that monsters are real. Now she must take a crash course in monster hunting to protect those she loves from a vampire who is coming to town.
“When the pandemic stopped the world, I spent countless hours in my home late at night thinking about what I want to do with my life, what kind of stories I need to tell and how I want to wrestle with the big questions that haunt me. With no promise of more Crowleys, I still wrote Jerri’s story and took her further into her quest to defeat the ‘bad’ monsters while defending the ‘good’ ones, says Dastmalchian. “Writing about her internal struggles, her family stresses, her battle to find her true, authentic and actualized self all helped me navigate the strain of the lockdown and my depression throughout the pandemic.”
The new batch comes on the heels of Dastmalchian’s breakout year thanks to the role of Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad and his work in Dune as Piter De Vries. He launched the series in 2019 under the title Count Crowley: Reluctant Midnight Monster Hunter. The writer is teaming once again with artist Lukas Ketner, colorist Lauren Affe and letterer Frank Cvetkovic. Read more
Meghan and Harry reveal first picture of baby Lilibet in Christmas card (Metro)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed their first picture of baby Lilibet in a touching family Christmas card.
The Sussexes can be seen beaming with pride as Meghan holds up her baby daughter, while Harry has his arm around Archie.
Lilibet was born in June, but this is the first time any photo of her has been shared with the public.
The card reads: ‘This year, 2021, we welcomed our daughter, Lilibet, to the world. Archie made us a “Mama” and a “Papa”, and Lili made us a family.’ Read more
Kurt and Brenda Warner reveal true love in ‘American Underdog’; was locker-room kiss real? (USAToday)
Kurt Warner’s remarkable story comes to the screen Friday with “American Underdog,” a fitting title for the NFL’s Hall of Fame quarterback.
Parts of the one-in-a-million saga are NFL lore. Warner stocked supermarket shelves before signing as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams in 1998. Against overwhelming odds, he started as practice-squad quarterback but led the Rams to victory in the 2000 Super Bowl, where he was named Most Valuable Player.
But there’s much more to Warner’s story beyond football heroics. “American Underdog” (in theaters) is a faith-filled love story depicting Kurt (Zachary Levi), his wife Brenda (Anna Paquin) and their remarkable family. Telling the complete story was vital for the couple, married for 24 years, who served as executive producers on the film, directed by Andrew and Jon Irwin.
“Every scene in this movie is as real as you get, and that was important to us,” says Warner, 50, now a NFL Network football analyst. “Now there’s always going to be some Hollywood in how we tell that story, some creative license.” Read more
I don’t discriminate; I am for all who do music – Empress Gifty (JoyOnline)
Award winning Gospel musician, Gifty Ardoye, popularly known as ‘Empress Gifty’ has said that she does not discriminate when it comes to which musicians she associates with.
The Gospel artiste said this in response to backlash against her that has resulted from her performance at the BHIM concert held on Tuesday. According to her, she is not in the position to judge anyone.
“I am for all, I don’t do discrimination, I don’t do judgmental. I love everybody who does music and that is what I know…” Stonebwoy is someone that I have known from scratch. He didn’t even have any song out there and I know what God has done for him and sometimes when you believe in people’s beginning, I think it’s better. I believe in him. I believe in his ministry, what he is doing is a ministry and I love him so much. So when I was called, I was so happy.”
She explained further that her presence at the concert was an opportunity to minister to the patrons. Read more
Nas reveals ‘Hip Hop Is Dead’ was mainly aimed at New York rappers (HipHopDx)
The last major rap release of 2006, Nas ‘Hip Hop Is Dead’ sought to make a powerful statement. “Everybody sound the same, commercialize the game/Reminiscing when it wasn’t all business,” he rapped on the will.i.am-assisted title track.
The album cover even depicted the Queensbridge MC tossing a black rose into a grave as he mourned the purported death of the art form he helped to shape and elevate.
Arriving in an era increasingly dominated by Southern rappers such as Lil Wayne, T.I. and Jeezy (who had yet to drop the “Young” from his name) — with Crunk and Snap hits flooding the airwaves — many took it as a slight against Hip Hop’s “third coast.”
In fact, Ludacris, Outkast’s Big Boi and Jeezy were among the many Southerners who took exception to the title, with the latter telling the Philadelphia radio station 100.3 The Beat, “I don’t think Hip Hop is dead at all. It’s just a new day and time, it’s a new story, it’s a new movement. I’ma respect his craft; he ain’t gon’ respect mine?” Read more
US, Japan draw up joint military plan for possible Taiwan emergency: report (TheHill)
The U.S. and Japanese militaries have made a draft plan for a joint operation should an emergency with Taiwan arise, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported Thursday.
The report cited unidentified Japanese government sources.
The U.S. and Japanese militaries have made a draft plan for a joint operation should an emergency with Taiwan arise, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported Thursday.
The report cited unidentified Japanese government sources. Read more
Underrate Guinea-Bissau, Sudan at Your Peril – Okpara Warns Eagles (Leadership)
Ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, former Nigerian defender, Godwin Okpara has warned the Super Eagles not to underrate Guinea-Bissau and Sudan.
The Three-time AFCON champions have been pitted alongside Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan in group D of the bi-annual tournament.
Nigeria will face the Pharaohs of Egypt in the first match on January 11th when both teams open their campaign.
However, in an interview with Brila FM, Okpara noted that he’s optimistic the team has what it takes to qualify from the group. Read more
Ivory Coast recall Zaha for Africa Cup of Nations (DailyMail)
Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha was recalled Thursday to the Ivory Coast squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations.
The 29-year-old refused to join the team at their last gathering in November but coach Patrice Beaumelle has included him in the squad for the tournament which gets underway on January 9 in Cameroon.
The experienced line-up also includes Ajax centre-forward Sebastien Halle, and six members of the team that lifted the trophy for the second time in 2015, notably defenders Serge Aurier and Eric Bailly as well as striker Max Gradel.
The Ivory Coast open their campaign against Equatorial Guinea on January 12 followed by further group games against Sierra Leone and Algeria. Read more
Rafa Benitez slams Premier League ‘unfair’ as Everton have postponement request rejected (Express)
Everton’s current injury and coronavirus crisis has played massively into the hands of Burnley after the Premier League turned down a postpone request from the Toffees for Sunday’s fixture – leading to manager Rafael Benitez calling the incident ‘unfair’.
The Toffees have suffered from injuries throughout the season, with star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin having played just three matches all season amongst others being injured for long periods of time.
The Blues started the season well, ending September in fifth place under newly-appointed manager Benitez – yet with just one win in eleven Premier League games, the Goodison Park side have slipped to 14th in the table.
European football seems almost beyond reality at this stage, with the club closer to relegation than they are to the Europa League spots. Read more
Super Rugby Pacific unveils revised schedule for the inaugural tournament (TheSouthAfrican)
Moana Pasifika and the Blues will meet at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on Friday 18 February 2022 in a match that will kick off a revised Super Rugby Pacific draw.
The competition will also get underway on Australian soil the same night, when the NSW Waratahs host the Fijian Drua, followed by the Queensland Reds clash with the Melbourne Rebels and Western Force taking on the Brumbies on Saturday 19 February.
The new schedule retains the same competition format announced in November with a full round-robin and single points table but will see the six New Zealand-based teams and six Australian-based teams play their opening eight matches on different sides of the Tasman due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
All 12 franchises will converge on Melbourne in Round 10 (previously Round 2) for a Super Round that will feature a unique celebration of the ANZAC spirit. The trans-Tasman fixtures will resume in Round 11 (29 April-1 May). Read more
Jake Paul makes Tommy Fury decision and eyes Tyson Fury in five-fight bucket list (MEN)
Jake Paul has shared an updated boxing bucket list following his knockout win over Tyron Woodley and has omitted Tommy Fury.
Paul was due to face-off against Fury last weekend but the Manchester fighter pulled out due to a broken rib, though he remains keen on rescheduling the fight for next year.
However, Paul has so far refused to make it clear whether a reschedule is on the cards and, in his latest list, is instead targeting Tyson Fury.
Build-up to the proposed bout with Tommy Fury saw Paul launch a verbal onslaught on the Fury family – which has continued as he dubbed the WBC heavyweight champion as ‘Tyson Furry’. Read more
Alexander Zverev: Novak Djokovic told me he feels he is still at his highest point (TennisWorld)
World No. 3 Alexander Zverev feels his game has improved a lot over the last few years and mentioned he sees it when he plays 20-time Grand Slam champion. Zverev, 24, enjoyed a huge 2021 season as he played six finals and captured as many titles.
Zverev won his first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, won his second ATP Finals title and captured two Masters Titles this year. The gap between Zverev and Djokovic has never been narrower as the German beat the Serb at the Tokyo Olympics and ATP Finals this year.
When asked about it, Zverev said, per Tennis Up To Date: “I can only ever speak of myself, but I think that I have improved my game a lot in the last few years. I don’t only see that when I play against Novak, I also see that when I play against others.”
“I also talked about this with Novak. Novak feels like he is still at the highest point of his career. He also told me that he is serving better now than he ever served before. He sees his tennis game as good as he used to see it. Read more
2 Premier League Boxing Day games called off amid Covid-19 outbreaks (Metro)
Liverpool v Leeds and Wolves v Watford have both been postponed on Boxing Day amid Covid-19 outbreaks at two clubs.
The Premier League confirmed on Thursday the two matches had been called off with Leeds and Watford both making requests for their 12.30 kickoffs to be rescheduled.
With cases soaring across the UK amid the new omicron variant of the virus, it’s wrecking havoc with the football fixture list.
Watford’s most recent game against Crystal Palace last Saturday was also postponed with the Hornets having an insufficient number of players to field a team. Read more