Lagos asks court to strike out suit challenging Okada, tricycle ban (Guardian)
Lagos State Government Tuesday asked a federal high court in Ikoyi to strike out the suit challenging the ban on commercial motorcycles and tricycles known as okada and Keke Marwa in some areas in the state.
The state attorney-general Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN made the appeal during a court hearing of the suit.
Onigbanjo said the restriction was carried out through an executive order in accordance to the law.
The justice commissioner said the government has filed a notice of preliminary objection and counter affidavit with written address in opposition to the originating summons of the applicant. Read more
Gridlock: 8.72km Apapa port link to Lagos-Ibadan railway project ready for take-off – Contractor (Vanguard)
The contractor handling the over $1.6 billion Lagos-Ibadan railway project has completed been fully connected to the Apapa port in Lagos awaiting inauguration by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC, disclosed in a statement that the linking of the port to the rail track was completed on Monday, January 25, 2020.
The statement reads, “On the morning of January 25, 2021, with the successful pouring of the last 25-metre monolithic track-bed superstructure of Apapa port breakbulk line, the Lagos-Ibadan railway was officially connected to the Apapa port in Lagos.
“The Apapa port spur line of Lagos-Ibadan railway starts from the Mobolaji Johnson Station, Ebute-Metta, and extends southward to Apapa port, with a total length of 8.72km. Read more
Lagos Assembly passes law prescribing 21-year jail term for cultists (Guardian)
The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a bill banning the activities of cultists and related illegal societies across the state into a law.
The new law stipulates a 21-year imprisonment for anyone found guilty of engaging in cult activities. It also stipulates a 15-year jail term for anyone convicted of abetting cultists or who allows his premises to be used by cultists as a meeting place.
Speaker of the Lagos State Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, directed the clerk of the House, Olalekan Onafeko, to transmit the law to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for assent.
The proposed legislation titled ‘A law to provide for the prohibition of unlawful societies and cultism in Lagos state and for other connected purposes’, it says a society shall be regarded as unlawful if its members carry out illegal, destructive activities contrary to public policy, safety and peace of members of the public. Read more
Strike: FG meets varsity workers (Punch)
The federal government is currently meeting with the Joint Action Committee comprising the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions.
The PUNCH gathered that the meeting is holding at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abuja.
Among those present in the meeting are the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; SSANU National President, Mohammed Ibrahim; and NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi. Read more
Court remands teacher for allegedly killing 3 policemen (Guardian)
A Magistrates’ Court in Makurdi on Tuesday ordered that a teacher, Mernyi Christopher, who allegedly murdered three policemen, be remanded in a correctional centre, pending legal advice.
The police charged Christopher, who lives in Katsina- Ala town in Benue with criminal conspiracy, armed robbery, act of terrorism and culpable homicide.
Magistrate Ajuma Igama, who did not take the plea of Christopher for want in jurisdiction, ordered the police to return the case file to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Read more
Iskilu Wakili: Notorious Fulani warlord terrorising Oyo communities (Punch)
There is no respite for farmers and residents in Ayete, a town in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State, as they live in fear of Iskilu Wakili, a notorious Fulani warlord who kill and maim with daring effrontery and crude savagery.
The farmers thought the eviction of the Seriki Fulani, Abdulkadri Saliu, from Igangan also in Ibarapaland, was the end to Fulani herdsmen oppression but Wakili only waxed stronger as he mounted no cross-zone on farms with the eviction of Saliu in a bid to send warnings to the people of the town that he cannot be evicted. Wakili has also allegedly shot farmers who trespassed the no cross-zone.
Wakili, a Fulani herdsman whose origin the villagers don’t know, is said to be more infamous than the ejected Seriki Fulani. Farmers and residents of Ibarapaland have accused him of displacing them from their farms by forcefully invading their farms with cattle. Read more
FG begins disposal of forfeited assets in 25 locations (Guardian)
The Federal government on Tuesday said it has commenced the process of disposing final forfeited assets currently situated in 25 locations across the country.
Chairman of the Inter ministerial committee on the disposal of federal government of Nigeria forfeited assets and Solicitor-General of the Federation, Dayo Apata (SAN), who disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja, stated that the committee had collated and was still updating all forfeited assets to the federal government.
While he did not give details of the locations, Apata explained that the team would embark on an on-site verification and auditing of the assets to confirm their existence and current state. Read more
Oyo recruits 5000 teachers, orders immediate resumption (Punch)
The Oyo State Government has commenced the distribution of appointment letters to the 5000 newly recruited teachers under the state Teaching Service Commission.
The Chairman, Oyo State Teaching Service Commission, Pastor Akinade Alamu, who made the disclosure on Tuesday in Ibadan said that the new teachers are to resume their duty posts immediately.
It was gathered that the distribution of letters of appointment to successful candidates started on Monday. Read more
Captain Sir Tom Moore dies aged 100 after battle with Covid and pneumonia (Metro)
Captain Sir Tom Moore, the NHS fundraiser who inspired a nation in lockdown, has died in hospital aged 100. The army veteran had been suffering from pneumonia and Covid-19. He was admitted to Bedford Hospital on January 31. In a statement, Sir Tom’s daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira said: ‘It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore. ‘We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime. We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together. Read more
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has 92% efficacy in trial (BBC)
Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine gives around 92% protection against COVID-19, late stage trial results published in The Lancet reveal.
It has also been deemed to be safe – and offer complete protection against hospitalisation and death.
The vaccine was initially met with some controversy after being rolled out before the final trial data had been released.
But scientists said its benefit has now been demonstrated. Read more
Nuclear deal hangs in balance as Iran intensifies uranium enrichment (VOA)
The 2015 Iran nuclear deal was hailed by its signatories at the time as a triumph of global diplomacy. The elation was short-lived.
Former US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement three years later and imposed crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy. Tehran responded by increasing its nuclear enrichment activities, edging closer to the levels of purity required for atomic weapons.
With a new administration in the White House, U.S. allies in Europe are hoping that the escalating crisis can be stopped in its tracks and that both sides can be tempted to return to the negotiating table. Read more
Europol warns travellers over fake Covid-19 vaccine certificates (France24)
The EU’s police agency on Monday warned travellers to watch for organised crime gangs selling fake Covid-negative certificates at airports, sometimes for as much as 300 euros each.
The warning from Europol comes after police busted several suspects selling forged certificates declaring people Covid-19 negative at airports in Britain and France, online and through mobile messaging chat groups in Spain and the Netherlands.
Many EU countries and others now require proof that passengers are not infected by the disease, which has killed more than 2.2 million people around the world.
“As long as travel restrictions remain in place due to the pandemic, it is very likely that criminals will seize the opportunity of producing and selling fake Covid-19 test certificates,” Europol said. Read more
WHO Chief: Global coronavirus cases drop for third straight week (VOA)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) noted Monday that globally, the number of new coronavirus cases fell for the third consecutive week.
At the agency’s regular news briefing conducted virtually from its headquarters in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that while many nations are still seeing infections increasing, it is nonetheless encouraging news.
Tedros said it shows the virus can be controlled, even with the new variants in circulation, and that with proven public health measures such as social distancing, the wearing of masks and good hygiene, infections can be prevented. Read more
Turkey arrests dozens of students at peaceful protest over LGBT rights (France24)
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday lashed out at Turkey’s LGBT movement, accusing it of “vandalism” following an outbreak of student protests.
Four people were arrested over the weekend for depicting Islam’s holiest site with pictures of the LGBT rainbow flag during a rally at Istanbul’s Bogazici University.
And shortly after Erdogan’s televised speech on Monday, another rally erupted at the same school with dozens of people detained and social media footage showing police dragging away students who had been protesting peacefully.
“We will carry our young people to the future, not as the LGBT youth, but as the youth that existed in our nation’s glorious past,” Erdogan said during a video linkup with members of his ruling AK Party. Read more
2 FBI agents shot dead and 3 hurt during Florida raid (BBC)
Two FBI agents have been killed and three others have been wounded during a shootout in Florida while serving an arrest warrant, according to the FBI.
The gunfire began around 06:00 local time (11:00GMT) in the town of Sunrise as agents were investigating a child abuse case, US officials say.
The suspect has also been killed. Asked how many bullets were fired, a police official replied: “Too many to count”. Read more
Britain’s Katie Boulter stuns Coco Gauff to set up Naomi Osaka clash (Metro)
Katie Boulter fought back from a set and a break down to beat Coco Gauff – a player ranked more than 300 places higher than her. Boulter, the British No. 13, was in big trouble when broken for a third time by Gauff, allowing the American teenager to serve for the match at 5-4 in the second set. But she dug deep, broke straight back and pulled off an unlikely 3-6 7-5 6-2 win over the 16-year-old in an hour and 46 minutes at the Gippsland Trophy. This was only Boulter’s second WTA Tour-level match since February, having beaten Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya in round one, and a further sign that she is ready to make up for lost time after a back injury suffered on Fed Cup duty in 2019 halted her progress. Read more
Ighalo arrives in Saudi Arabia, undergoes Al-Shabab medical (Punch)
Former Manchester United striker, Odion Ighalo, has arrived in Saudi Arabia to seal his move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Shabab.
In a series of pictures uploaded on his social media handles, Ighalo thanked God for the safe landing.
The PUNCH gathered Ighalo, who was on loan at Manchester United for a year, is having a medical ahead of a permanent deal with the Saudi Arabian club.
The 31-year-old is undergoing a medical after he agreed to personal terms on a two-and-a-half-year deal with Al-Shabab. The Saudi transfer window does not close until February 7, Sky reports. Read more
ATP Cup: Rafael Nadal pulls out of opener with back problem as Novak Djokovic wins (BBC)
Rafael Nadal pulled out of Spain’s opening ATP Cup tie with a lower back problem less than a week before he bids for a record 21st men’s Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
The world number two, 34, was scheduled to face Australia’s Alex de Minaur at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.
Nadal said he hoped to play for 2020 runners-up Spain against Greece on Thursday.
Novak Djokovic earlier gave defending champions Serbia a winning start. Read more
French football sinks deeper into crisis as TV rights tender flops (France24)
French football’s latest attempt to replace a collapsed TV rights deal flopped on Monday when bids on a new tender fell short of the expected price, pushing alread-strained clubs deeper into crisis.
The news dealt a fresh blow to cash-strapped football clubs who are facing severe financial hardship from empty stadiums during the coronavirus pandemic. It heightened fears of a widening gap between the likes of Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain, who are flush with cash, and smaller clubs.
The French league said it received offers from American-owned Amazon, Discovery and DAZN to show matches from the top two divisions, but said all of the bids fell below the minimum required.
“Given that the reserve price has not been met, the consultations (bids) have been declared unsuccessful,” the league said in a statement on Monday, without disclosing financial details. “The LFP gives itself 48 hours to define the next steps to take in the commercialization of its rights,” the statement added. Read more
Tokyo Olympics chief says games will go on despite coronavirus (VOA)
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori delivers a speech at a beginning of a meeting on the preparation for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics at the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) headquarters in Tokyo, Feb. 2, 2021. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool via Reuters)
The head of the Tokyo Olympics expressed confidence Tuesday the event will go forward this year despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said discussions should be about how and not whether the Olympics will happen.
“We will hold the Olympics, regardless of how the coronavirus [situation] looks,” Mori said.
The Summer Games were originally scheduled to begin in July 2020, but organizers postponed the event for one year. The new start date is July 23. Read more
Hafthor Bjornsson fancies Tyson Fury clash after knocking Eddie Hall out twice (Metro)
Hafthor Bjornsson plans to knock out Eddie Hall not once, but twice, and then wants the biggest names in boxing to start calling him out. Bjornsson and Hall are set to step into the ring in September in a boxing match between two former winners of World’s Strongest Man. Both will have spent over a year training for their boxing debut but the Icelandic giant is not ruling out his pugilistic journey continuing after his meeting with the Beast. Read more
Marseille coach Villas-Boas offers to quit in standoff with club’s management (France24)
Olympique de Marseille coach André Villas-Boas said on Tuesday that he had offered his resignation, citing a disagreement over the French club’s sporting policy.
“I submitted my resignation saying that I did not agree with the sporting policy. I don’t want anything from OM. I don’t want money,” Villas-Boas told a news conference.
His resignation comes days after a league game against Stade Rennais was postponed when Marseille fans stormed the team’s training ground hours before kick-off in protest at club officials.Villas-Boas said he had not heard back from the board yet. Read more