Kanu pleads innocence to fresh terrorism charge, objects to commencement of trial (Vanguard)
The detained leader of the Indegenious People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, on Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to the freshly amended 15-count treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against him.
Kanu, who was brought into the courtroom around 10:15am, said he was innocent of all the allegations FG leveled against him, even as he complained from the dock that some counts in the amended charge were similar.
Meanwhile, immediately the embattled IPOB leader finished taking his plea, the Prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, told the court that he was ready to proceed with the trial, adding that he brought two witnesses to testify against the Defendant.
However, Kanu’s lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, told the court that he had on Tuesday evening, filed a 43-paged Preliminary Objection for the charge to be quashed and struck out without the matter proceeding to trial. Read more
Lagos heads to US for Red line trains (Nation)
Lagos State Government has gone shopping for trains to run the Red Light rail under the Lagos Urban Rail System (LURS).
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is said to have led a powerful team which includes Transportation Commissioner Dr Frederic Oladeinde; LAMATA’s Managing Director Abimbola Akinajo and representatives of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the contractors handling the two projects, to the United States to buy the Diesel engines with which it intends to commence commercial activity on the corridor in December.
The Redline rolling stock would be complimenting coaches already procured by the State Government.
Former Governor Babatunde Fashola had in 2014, procured a set of diesel engine coaches for the Blue Line ahead of its operations which were stalled due to lack of funds.Read more
My fiance added to my glow, Seyi Shay opens up on engagement (Punch)
Nigerian singer, Seyi Shay, has opened up about her engagement, adding that her new man added to her glow.
The singer stated this in an interview with Beat FM on Tuesday, where she showed off her diamond ring.
When asked about the ring, the PemPe crooner said, “Some guy gave it to me and said, ‘hey, would you marry me?’”
According to her, the relationship is going on nicely, although she did not unveil the identity of her husband-to-be. Read more
3 traffic robbers arrested in Agege, Lagos (Punch)
Three robbery suspects were arrested on Tuesday night in the Agege area of Lagos State, the Lagos Rapid Response Squad has said.
The suspects had attacked a pedestrian, Yusuph Ahmed, smashed a bottle on his head and dispossessed him of N100,000, three mobile phones and a wristwatch.
The suspects; Ridwan Imran (20), Lukman Abiodun (18) and Abdulahi Isa (18) were reported to have approached their victim and demanded a raise before eventually chasing him and robbing him of his belongings.
The suspects by Lukman Abiodun in the company of four others, some of them still at large, had approached the complainant at about 9pm and the victim had explained that he had no money. Read more
Party officials shot dead as gunmen invade APC meeting in Enugu (DailyTrust)
Officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu South Local Government Area were gunned down when armed men invaded the party’s office during a meeting on Tuesday.
One of those killed was identified as Mr. Kelvin Ezeoha, the party’s State Assistant Youth leader.
The identity of the other person killed was unknown as of the time of filing this report.
Members of the party from ward III Obeagu Awkunanaw, Enugu South, were reportedly holding a meeting at the party office located in their ward when the gunmen numbering about 7 invaded the venue and shot dead two party members and kidnapped one other person.Read more
Evil forces contesting against Nigeria will be defeated, says Osinbajo (Punch)
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the “soul of the North, and of Nigeria by extension, is being contested by some of the most destructive and evil forces in contemporary history.”
He, however, said the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is firmly resolved to resist and defeat them.
The VP said this as Special Guest of Honour at the 8th Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation Memorial Lecture in Kano State, on Tuesday, as disclosed in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
Osinbajo asserted that “it is a fight we are determined to win. And we know that by the grace of God, all of these evil forces will be completely exterminated.” Read more
‘Pyramids of Lies,’ PDP reacts to Buhari’s rice unveiling in Abuja (Channels)
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to the unveiling of rice pyramids in Abuja by President Muhammadu Buhari describing it as ‘pyramids of lies.’
The opposition party in a statement signed on Tuesday by the National Publicity Secretary Debo Ologunagba said the All Progressives Congress has staged a media stunt to beguile Nigerians ahead of the 2023 elections.
“Of course, there is nothing to celebrate in the APC pyramid of lies in Abuja. It is rather shameful that APC leaders are again ridiculing President Muhammadu Buhari by making him unveil pyramids of allegedly imported foreign rice which are re-bagged as locally produced, just to create an impression of a boost in local production under his watch.
“If indeed, there is a boost in the local production of rice as the APC wants Nigerians to believe, how come the price of rice has not come down but continues to soar from about N8,000 per bag which the PDP handed over to the APC in 2015 to about N30,000 per bag today?” Read more
Oshodi registers private school students for WASSCE in Ondo (Independent)
Dr. Abiola Oshodi, a psychiatry expert based in Canada, has paid West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) registration fees for over 60 students in different private schools in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The students, who were selected from different private schools in the local government, were registered for the 2022 senior secondary school O’ Level examination.
Meanwhile, the gesture was done through his Foundation, Abiola Oshodi Foundation, which has been implementing different empowerment
programmes in Ose and Owo local government areas of the state.
According to Dr. Oshodi, the payment of registration fees for the students in private schools was a way of reducing poverty in every household, especially the indigent ones. Read more
Residents hail AbdulRazaq over 33km Ilesha-Baruba road construction (ThisDay)
Residents and commuters plying the 33km Ilesha-Baruba-Gwanara road in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State have commended Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the ongoing construction of the road, saying the development represents a marked departure from their experience in the past.
Some of the respondents, who spoke to newsmen on the ongoing asphalt overlay of the 33km road, said the intervention of the present administration has reduced travel time, cost of transportation and improved socio economic potentials in the agrarian belt.
Alhaji Muhammad Idris, a community leader at Tumbuyan, narrated the harrowing experience navigating through the road for the past 60 years, saying the present administration has brought unforgettable dividends of democracy to the axis.
“My thoughts on this road are entirely positive. We are grateful to the government. For the past 60 years, we have not seen such a thing here. This is the first time we are seeing this. We are thankful to the government, especially our governor and our speaker who is the son of the soil, Danladi. May God help them to the next level. Read more
COVID-19: Maritime Union threatens industrial action over unvaccinated dockworkers, seafarers in Nigeria (Independent)
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), has called on terminal operators and ship owners to ensure that dockworkers and seafarers are fully vaccinated as part of preventive measures to the omicron variant of coronavirus.
The union threatened industrial action if employers remain adamant on matters of preventive health and protection of its members.
It declared that as frontline workers in port operations and also engaging foreigners at the terminals, the concessionaires must put adequate measures on ground for their safety and vaccination.
Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, President General of MWUN, who spoke with reporters in Lagos on the issue, recalled that the national officers, branch executives and district executives have been vaccinated twice since the third wave of omicron variant spread, stressing the need for the multinationals to carry the vaccination of workers at the quay aprons across all seaports in the country. Read more
Etv’s ‘Scandal!’ celebrates 4000th episodes and 17 years of storytelling (South African)
E.tv’s soapie – Scandal! recently (Tuesday night) marked its 4000th episode after airing its first episode in January 2005.
The popular soapie is the longest-running show on the channel and the most viewed soapie.
Popular most-watched soapie – Scandal! celebrated its 4000th episode on Tuesday night after being flighted for 17 years on e.tv.
Producers told Sowetan that the show’s strength lies in its consistent ability to challenge conventions, unearth talent, and tell compelling stories. Read more
Britney Spears accuses father of financial misconduct; threatens sister with legal action (Guardian)
A lawyer for Britney Spears has threatened legal action against her sister Jamie Lynn, and accused their father of financial misconduct, including the hiring of a private security firm to keep Britney and people close to her under surveillance.
A letter written by Britney’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart instructs Jamie Lynn to “cease and desist from referencing Britney derogatorily during your promotional campaign” for her new memoir. “If you fail to do so or defame her, Britney will be forced to consider and take all appropriate legal action.”
The letter states that Jamie Lynn’s memoir contains “misleading or outrageous claims”, and that Britney believed Jamie Lynn had “exploited her for monetary gain”. Britney made the latter allegation previously in a recent Instagram post, saying: “She wants to sell a book at my expense.”
Jamie Lynn responded to that earlier statement, claiming: “My book is not about her. I can’t help that I was born a Spears too, and that some of my experiences involve my sister.” Read more
Grammys 2022 rescheduled to Las Vegas in April (FarOut)
The 64th annual Grammys award show has been pushed back until April and relocated to Las Vegas after the current omicron variant enforced a rescheduling of the event.
The famed ‘music Oscars’ was originally set to take place at the end of January at the Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles, but organisers have explained that amid rising cases the delay was necessary.
The event will now take place on April 3rd at the iconic MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas with the switch of cities owing to sporting events taking place in Los Angeles on the rearranged date.
The awards show will be hoping that they can recoup some of the viewers they lost last year after only 8.8 million tuned in last year representing a drop of 53%. Read more
Evangeline Lilly calls Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania the “best one yet” (DigitalFix)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s tiniest hero, Ant-Man, is gearing up for his big return – in what star Evangeline Lilly dubbed as “the best” movie in the series yet – Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania. Lilly, who plays Hope van Dyne in the upcoming action movie, revealed to us in an interview how the film was the “hardest” as well as the most impressive entry in the series she has worked on so far.
While promoting the new thriller movie South of Heaven, Lilly told The Digital Fix how Ant-Man and the Wasp’s production was challenging due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but ultimately worth all the blood sweat and tears. “We finished filming at the end of November, and I think, hands down, it was the hardest one we’ve made. It was the most difficult. It was the only one we’ve made during the Covid lockdowns,” the star explained. “That just adds such an incredible complication to making a movie. It adds a lot of stress. It makes things very impersonal because you can’t see faces.”
“Film sets are already impersonal enough, there is so much that goes on and so much that has to get done in a short amount of time, and the intensity level is really, really high. So it was a very trying experience doing the film with Covid measures,” Lilly continued. “But I actually think…what we did, the stuff we shot, the material we managed to get, I think it might be the best one yet.”
Unfortunately, Lilly couldn’t reveal anything else about the plot of the upcoming Marvel movie. Similarly, she couldn’t provide a comment on whether we will get to see her character meet Bill Murray’s recently announced mystery villain in the film. However, we know that the upcoming science fiction movie will see Lilly’s Hope join up with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to explore The Quantum realm once again – the mysterious microscopic dimension.
Macron proposes European security pact to put to Russia (DW)
President Emmanuel Macron has outlined priorities for France’s presidency of the EU. Speaking to European lawmakers, he said the bloc must construct a new security framework amid tensions with Ukraine and Russia.
Europe needs a new collective security pact to deal with NATO and Russia, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday.
“Europe today is confronted with escalating tension on our borders,” Macron warned in a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
“As Europeans, we need to collectively make our own demands and put ourselves in a position to enforce them,” he added. Read more
Congo police detain suspects linked to Italian ambassador’s killing (News 24)
Police in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have detained members of a group allegedly linked to the killing of Italy’s ambassador last year as well as more recent kidnappings of NGO workers, a provincial police chief said on Tuesday.
Last February, Ambassador Luca Attanasio, his bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci and their driver Mustapha Milambo were killed during a botched kidnapping on a road in eastern Congo, as they were heading to visit a UN humanitarian project at a school.
Police Commissioner Aba Van Ang on Tuesday presented groups of recent detainees at a meeting with North Kivu province’s military governor Constant Ndima. Some of those detained were involved in Attanasio’s killing, he said.
“Among these groups is the (group) that kidnapped the Italian ambassador and killed him,” he said in comments shared by his communications team. Read more
Israel demolishes house, expels family in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah (TheNewArab)
Israeli forces demolished a family’s home after expelling its members on Wednesday, in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, local sources confirmed.
The house was home to 12 members of the Salhiyah family, including eight minors. According to local Palestinian sources, Israeli forces arrested 26 individuals, including the family members and Palestinian, Israeli and international activists who were on site.
Local Palestinian journalists told The New Arab that Israeli forces had arrived at 3 AM and had begun to forcibly push family members out of the house before demolishing it. The same sources accused Israeli forces of banning all media outlets from approaching the property. Hundreds of security forces were reportedly deployed to cordon the area off.
In a joint statement with the Jerusalem municipality, the Israeli police said that 25 people, including five family members, were arrested “on suspicion of violating a court order, violent fortification and disturbing public order”. Read more
Guinea Bissau: 10 things to know about Nigeria’s next opponents at AFCON (Punch)
Factfile for Guinea Bissau, who play Nigeria in Group D of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon today.
Popular name: Djurtus (wild dogs)
Rankings: 24 Africa, 106 world
Captain: Jonas Mendes
Coach: Baciro Cande
Qualifying results: Eswatini 3-0 3-1, Congo Brazzaville 3-0 0-3, Senegal 0-1 0-2
Scorers: 2 – Jorginho, Piqueti, 1 – Marcelo Djalo, Joao Mario, Frederic Mendy, Pele, Alfa Semedo.Read more
AFCON 2021: Awaziem speaks after returning to training (Soccernet)
Super Eagles defender Chidozie Awaziem has hailed his teammates for their unity and supportive nature in camp. He believes that it would work in their favour as they look to win a fourth Africa Cup of Nations crown in Cameroon.
Awaziem has not been part of the team since the beginning of the AFCON because he was ill and battling an ankle injury.
Nevertheless, his absence was not felt as Kenneth Omeruo formed a strong partnership with vice-captain Williams Troost-Ekong at the heart of the defence.
The duo was outstanding against Egypt, blocking out their attack, and they could have secured a second clean sheet against Sudan, but for Ola Aina’s mistake, that caused a penalty.
Liverpool: Peter Robinson, former Anfield chief executive, dies aged 86 (BBC)
Liverpool have paid tribute to the “pivotal” role played by their former chief executive Peter Robinson, who has died at the age of 86.
Robinson joined the Reds in 1965 and was chief executive from 1992 to 2000.
In his 35 years at the club Liverpool won 29 major trophies, including 12 league titles and four European Cups.
“Always preferring to avoid the spotlight, he was nevertheless one of the most respected and admired people in the sport,” a club statement read.In his 35 years at the club Liverpool won 29 major trophies, including 12 league titles and four European Cups.
“Always preferring to avoid the spotlight, he was nevertheless one of the most respected and admired people in the sport,” a club statement read. Read more
Marchisio Urges Pogba to return to Juventus: ‘You know the way’ (FootballItalia)
Former Juventus teammates Claudio Marchisio and Paul Pogba exchanged cheeky messages on social media, making fans dream of a reunion with the Manchester United midfielder. ‘You know the way…’
The pair played together in Turin from 2012 to 2016 and remain good friends, so Pogba recorded a video message for ‘Principe’ wishing him a happy birthday today.
“I miss you so much, my friend, Ciao Principe, ciao!” was Pogba’s message.
Marchisio responded in a way that got the Juve fans talking, especially as the France international will be a free agent when his contract with Manchester United expires on June 30.
Naomi Osaka left shocked by Andy Murray claim as Australian Open star responds (Metro)
Naomi Osaka admits she was left shocked to discover Andy Murray had been tweeting his praise for her during her latest Australian Open match.
The defending champion recorded a convincing 6-0, 6-4 win over Madison Brengle to reach the third round on Wednesday which saw her take the first set in just 20 minutes.
Murray, who plays tomorrow in his second round match, was keeping a close eye on the Japanese star and took to Twitter to share his thoughts.
The 34-year-old tweeted: ‘Anyone hit the ball cleaner from the baseline than Naomi Osaka?’ Read more
Gary Russell: If I could make 2 fights, I’d want Gervonta Davis & Lomachenko (BoxingScene)
Gary Russell Jr. stated more than once during a virtual press conference Tuesday that he is fully focused on fighting Mark Magsayo on January 22.
The Philippines’ Magsayo (23-0, 16 KOs) isn’t as skillful as Russell, the longest-reigning champion in men’s boxing. The mandatory challenger for Russell’s WBC featherweight title can punch, though, which will make him dangerous for the heavily favored Russell in a 12-round, 126-pound championship match Showtime will televise from Borgata Casino, Hotel & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Nevertheless, Russell has grander aspirations than making yet another mandated defense of the title he has owned since March 2015.
“If I could make two fights that I would want to happen,” Russell said, “I’d want Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and I would want Lomachenko.”
McLaren have talked with VW Group, says Zak Brown (ESPN)
McLaren have talked with the Volkswagen Group, whose Audi and Porsche brands have been linked to future Formula One entry, but nothing has been agreed, according to team boss Zak Brown.
German newspaper F.A.Z. has reported that Volkswagen’s supervisory board will decide at the end of February whether both Audi and luxury brand Porsche would enter the sport.
Sources told Reuters at the end of last year that a possible partnership between Audi and McLaren was on the table, but undecided.
“I am hearing they (Volkswagen) are going to do something with Red Bull on the Porsche front,” Brown told reporters at the McLaren factory. Read more