Lagos begins clean-up of Victoria Island, Ikoyi on Friday (Nation)
The Lagos State Special Committee on the Clean-Up of Ikoyi and Victoria Island, recently resuscitated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will commence the full enforcement of all environmental and traffic laws in the areas on Friday.
In a statement on Wednesday signed by its chairman, Mr Tunji Bello, the committee informed it will, working in conjunction with the Victoria Island and Ikoyi Residents Association (VIIRA) and different enforcement agencies in the State, remove all illegal structures and dislodge all squatters and miscreants in Ikoyi and Victoria Island.
He explained that the committee has already conducted a reconnaissance operation of several areas in Victoria Island and Ikoyi in November to identify specific areas of infraction. Read more
Family kicks as man guarding telecommunications mast dies (Punch)
The family of a security guard, Wasiu Olaide, who died on the site of a telecommunications mast belonging to Globacom in the Alapere area of Lagos State, has demanded justice for his death.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Wasiu was one of the security guards watching over the mast located at No. 7 Ademolu Adefuye Street, Alapere.
Until Wasiu’s death, it was learnt that he was operating as a commercial motorcyclist during the day and as a guard in the employment of Proserve Security to secure the mast at night.
When PUNCH Metro visited the scene of the incident, residents, who witnessed Wasiu’s last moments, gave two accounts of the circumstances surrounding his death. Read more
Three foreign sailors rescued from pirates in Ondo (Guardian)
Three foreign sailors kidnapped by pirates in the oil-rich south of Nigeria last week have been rescued, the Nigerian Navy said Wednesday.
The three — two Russians and one Indian — were saved in an operation late Tuesday by a navy team in the southwestern coastal state of Ondo, spokesperson Suleman Dahun told AFP.
“The rescue happened yesterday around 11 pm,” he said, adding that one of the hijackers had been arrested.
Separately, security sources said several pirates had been killed and operations were underway to seize the others. Read more
Mother, three daughters perish in Yobe fire (Punch)
The Yobe State Fire Service has confirmed that a mother and her three daughters were killed in a fire incident on Tuesday night at Red Bricks Quarters, on Maiduguri Road, Damaturu.
Damaturu Fire Station Officer, Mr Usman Habu, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday said the incident occurred about 11pm.
“We were informed about the fire incident at Red Bricks quarters, Maiduguri Road, Damaturu around 11.00 p.m. Read more
‘Child stowaway’ found dead in plane’s undercarriage in Paris (BBC)
The body of child aged around 10 has been found in the undercarriage of plane that had arrived in Paris from Abidjan, sources close to the investigation have told French media.
Air France confirmed that “the lifeless body of a stowaway” was discovered at Charles de Gaulle Airport early in the morning.
The body was found in the well of the landing gear of the aircraft that flew in from Ivory Coast, it said.
An investigation is under way. Read more
Gunmen storm Malumfashi, kill lecturer (Punch)
A man identified as Umar Faruk Funtua was, on Monday, shot dead by gunmen in Malumfashi, Katsina State.
Funtua, who until his death was a lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University School of Basic and Remedial Studies, Funtua, was said to be visiting a friend in Malumfashi when he was shot by the bandits.
Sources in Malumfashi said the gunmen swooped on the town in search of a businessman with a view to kidnapping him. Read more
Fire that almost wiped out entire Australian town is finally extinguished (Metro)
A massive bushfire that almost burned an entire Australian town to the ground has finally been extinguished. Brave volunteer firefighters from Country Fire Association in Mallacoota in East Gippsland, Victoria announced the news on Tuesday afternoon following an exhausting week-long battle. A photo posted on social media shows the crew huddled on a scorched roadside in uniform after putting out the blaze that tore through the area on New Year’s Eve. One firefighter wrote the team could finally go home, saying: ‘Mallacoota fire officially out. Strike Team 0204 on HMAS Choules tonight, home tomorrow. Read more
US forces leave Kuwait after Iran attack (Nation)
Amidst the rising tension in the Middle East region, Kuwait’s defense minister said it has received a letter from the Commander in Chief of a US military camp in Kuwait “declaring imminent withdrawal of all US military forces in three days,” state news agency KUNA said on Wednesday.
“Receiving such (a) letter from Camp Arifjan was unexpected and we are communicating with U.S. Department of Defense for more details and information,” KUNA reported the minister as saying. Read more
Meghan and Harry will step back as senior royals in shock announcement (Metro)
Prince Harry and Meghan are stepping down as ‘senior members’ of the Royal Family, they have announced. The pair said they will now split their time between the UK and North America and work to become financially independent. The couple openly admitted struggling with the pressures of royal life in a candid TV interview last year. They said the move will allow them to raise their eight-month-old son Archie away from the spotlight although they will still continue to ‘fully support’ the Queen. But it emerged that the Queen and Prince Charles were allegedly unaware of the contents of the couple’s statement, and were said to be hurt by the move. Read more
Supreme Court affirms Okowa’s election as Delta governor (Punch)
The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the election of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
It also dismissed the appeal by Great Ogboru of the APC challenging the victory of Okowa and his PDP’s victory at the poll held in Delta State.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Centus Nweze held that the apex court had no reason to upturn the concurrent decisions of the lower court.
NAN quoted Nweze as saying, “The appeal had been right described at the Court of Appeal as a metaphor of forensic Golgotha. Read more
Justin Bieber reveals he has Lyme disease (BBC)
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber has revealed he has been diagnosed with Lyme disease.
“It’s been a rough couple years,” the 25-year-old wrote on Instagram, adding that he was also suffering from a chronic viral infection.
The star said he was aware of social media speculation that he had a drug problem, after he was pictured looking unwell with blotches on his skin.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by ticks. Read more
Donald Trump backtracks on threats to start war with Iran after missile attack (Metro)
Donald Trump has backtracked on threats to start a war with Iran hours after its leaders launched missiles at a US base in Iraq. The president struck a conciliatory tone during a White House press conference at 11:30am EST Wednesday, saying: ‘Iran appears to be standing down which appears to be a very good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.’ And Trump concluded his speech by offering an olive branch to Iran and plea for peace, saying: ‘We want you to have a future and a great future, one you deserve. Read more
New EU chief brands Brexit deadline ‘impossible‘ (Metro)
Boris Johnson is set for a showdown with Brussels after new EU chief Ursula von der Leyen warned Brexit had ‘consequences’ and things would ‘never be the same again’. The new president of the European Commission used a speech at the London School of Economics to give the Prime Minister a reality check on his tight Brexit time-frame, claiming it would be ‘impossible’ to negotiate a trade deal by the end of the year. The UK is due to leave the EU on January 31, triggering an 11 month transition period that will see both sides attempt to hammer out a future relationship with Europe to prevent a no-deal. Read more
Valencia 1-3 Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane’s side reach Spanish Super Cup final (BBC)
Toni Kroos’ opportunistic goal direct from a corner helped Real Madrid reach the Spanish Super Cup final with a 3-1 victory over Valencia in Saudi Arabia.
Kroos’ corner was punched in by Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech as he scrambled back towards his line after remonstrating with his defenders.
Isco’s volleyed finish doubled Real’s lead before Luka Modric made it 3-0.
Daniel Parejo scored a late consolation from the penalty spot after the referee consulted the pitchside VAR monitor. Read more
Chelsea launch bid to sign Manchester United target Gedson Fernandes in potential £55m deal (Metro)
Chelsea have made an opening 18-month loan bid for Benfica star Gedson Fernandes that will include an obligation to buy for £55m should certain clauses be met. The 18-year-old has been put up for sale by the Portuguese giants this month and is one of Benfica’s prized assets. Manchester United, Leicester and West Ham have all shown interest in the midfielder and the Hammers are believed to have made an offer along the same lines as Chelsea. However, West Ham are only willing to fork out around £33m for Fernandes, whereas Chelsea are happy to pay £55m should the midfielder feature in over 50% of league games during his 18-month loan spell, according to Sky Sports. Read more
Tennis: Nadal vows to improve after leading Spain into ATP Cup last eight (Punch)
World number one Rafael Nadal vowed to raise his game in the ATP Cup knockout stages after overcoming an error-strewn performance against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka on Wednesday.
The 19-time Grand Slam winner made 36 unforced errors before beating Nishioka 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
Unbeaten Spain — who won the revamped Davis Cup in Madrid in November — finished top of Group B with world number 10 Roberto Bautista Agut downing Go Soeda 6-2, 6-4 to secure the tie. Read more
Sir Alex Ferguson ‘humiliated’ by Man Utd’s display against Man City (Metro)
Sir Alex Ferguson snubbed Manchester City officials at half-time during Manchester United’s defeat against their bitter rivals at Old Trafford on Tuesday because he was ‘humiliated’ by the Red Devils’ performance. Pep Guardiola’s men had a three-goal lead at half-time after a scintillating 45 minutes in which they effectively put one foot in the Carabao Cup final. Marcus Rashford scored in the second half to keep alive United’s slim hopes of reaching the final but the damage was already done in a first half that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described as the worst his side had played so far this term. Read more
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United could ‘do something’ in transfer window if deal is right (Metro)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he has the backing of Manchester United’s hierarchy to do business in January and is open to bringing in a few experienced heads this month. The Red Devils were totally outclassed in the first half of their Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg defeat to rivals Manchester City, conceding three times, though did pull back a goal – and restore some hope – thanks to Marcus Rashford. Solskjaer bemoaned his young side’s naivety against City after Tuesday night’s match and admitted he could be moved to bring in some more seasoned campaigners. Read more
UFC star Jorge Masvidal predicts Conor McGregor will knock out Donald Cerrone (Metro)
Jorge Masvidal believes Donald Cerrone has to grapple Conor McGregor if he wants to beat the Irishman at UFC 246. UFC veteran Cerrone welcomes McGregor back into the octagon on 18 January in Las Vegas after another lengthy absence for the promotion’s biggest star. Masvidal, one of 2019’s stand-out fighters, has one eye on a showdown with McGregor himself and predicted his rival would make quick work of Cerrone. ‘It can go many ways,’ Masvidal told ESPN. Read more
NPFL clubs court Abd’Allah after Enyimba exit (Nation)
No fewer than five Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs have contacted the erstwhile head coach of Enyimba, Usman Abd’Allah.
Abd’Allah and Enyimba parted ways on Monday after the People’s Elephant were thrashed 4-0 by Plateau United in Jos. But source close to the Kano State-born coach informed NationSport that a horde of NPFL clubs have indicated interest with a view to employing him.
Though the identity of the NPFL clubs are being kept under wraps, Abd’Allah has not opened up communication channels with any of them insisting that he would like to take a few days of rest to clear his head following his departure from Enyimba. Read more
Sports ministry denies presidential consent for Bash Ali’s ‘Guinness Record Fight’ (Guardian)
Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has refuted issuing any presidential endorsement to former World Cruiserweight Champion, Bash Ali, for his planned Guinness Record Fight.
In a letter sent to Ali through the sports ministry’s legal department and also made available to The Guardian, advised the boxer to desist from peddling false claims about a non-existent approval from the office of the Minister to embark on a world fight.
It added that no such approval was given by the President, contrary to claims by Bash Ali that the endorsement was conveyed to him by office of the minister, and that the boxer should keep to the facts only. Read more
Lazio fined €20,000 for Balotelli racist abuse (Punch)
Lazio were fined 20,000 euros on Wednesday for the racist abuse some of their fans aimed at Mario Balotelli during their 2-1 Serie A win at Brescia at the weekend.
In its decision, the disciplinary committee of the Italian football federation referred to “racially discriminatory” chants in the 21st and 29th minutes, and “insulting chants” on three occasions, all aimed at Balotelli.
The disciplinary committee also requested further investigation saying it wanted, among other things, proof of Lazio’s “effective collaboration in identifying the individuals involved.” Read more
News about Rohr’s contract, concocted stories – Ibitoye (Guardian)
The Media Officer of the Super Eagles, Toyin Ibitoye on Wednesday dismissed news making the rounds about Coach, Gernot Rohr’s contract situation as concocted stories.
Ibitoye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that speculation being spread by uninformed individuals were fake news.
NAN reports that Rohr was alleged to have been given stringent conditions for his contract renewal, which includes living in Nigeria and paying taxes and also monitoring the local leagues. Read more