Lagos goes tough on pedestrians crossing highways (NewTelegraph)
Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) yesterday said it had begun aggressive arrest and prosecution of recalcitrant pedestrians who refuse to use the pedestrian bridges.
LAGESC said it was carrying out the total enforcement in some of the identified areas such as Ikeja Along, Ikorodu Road, Ojota, Berger, CMS, among others, while 36 people had been arrested.
Speaking during the monthly interface session with senior officers of the agency at the Command Headquarters, Bolade-Oshodi, LAGESC Corps Marshal, CP Gbemisola Akinpelu (rtd), said the decision was necessary to ensure free flow of vehicular movement in the state, which, according to her, is usually hindered as a result of pedestrians crossing major highways where bridges are erected for usage. Read more
Why I was silent on Amotekun, by Tinubu (Guardian)
The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday explained why he had remained silent over the raging controversies surrounding the launch of Operation Amotekun by South-West governors.
In a personally signed statement, Tinubu said if he truly is a political leader, as he is often described, then he doesn’t have “the luxury of hasty, ill-conceived utterances.” He said he, equally, does “not cow to the demands of those who press for me to make a premature statement on an important issue.” Instead, he chooses to talk only “when my position has been made ripe by a collection of the facts and a reasonable assessment of those facts.”
He regretted that while Amotekun “is a matter of serious concern entitled to sober thought, it has been turned into a political tug-of-war. Fierce, often unthinking rhetoric, for and against, has crossed the lips of too many Nigerians. Read more
Woman, herbalist, others convicted of dealing in human parts (Punch)
Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has convicted a local herb seller, a herbalist, a student and four others for trafficking, selling, buying and being in possession of human parts for money rituals.
The offences were committed in March 2017 in Ilorin.
The convicts were found guilty of criminal conspiracy, trafficking in and possession of 11 human skulls, 11 lower jaw bones, a bunch of hair and 29 pieces of bones taken from various burial grounds in Ilorin.
Delivering the judgment, which lasted for about three hours on Wednesday, the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Durosinlorun Kawu, described the activities of the convicts as despicable and shameful, and sentenced the first defendant, Azeez Yakubu, to 15 years’ imprisonment and N100,000 fine for each of the three counts. Read more
Police arrest inspector for alleged murder of widow (Vanguard)
The Akwa Ibom Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal, has ordered the arrest of a Police Inspector attached to the state police command, Bassey Ikpe, for alleged murder of a widow.
Mr Odiko Macdon, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Uyo, on Wednesday.
He said that the police commissioner had instructed the Deputy Commissioner, State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID) to carry out thorough investigation into the matter.
Macdon reiterated the command’s commitment to policing, with great deal of respect for human rights. Read more
Australia fires: Canberra Airport shut down amid blaze threat (BBC)
Canberra Airport has been closed due to approaching bushfires
The airport in Australia’s capital city of Canberra has been shut down due to the threat of approaching bushfires.
Flights were cancelled out of Canberra Airport, a 20 minute drive from Parliament House in the city centre.
A heatwave sweeping the nation’s south-east caused existing blazes to flare up again on Thursday, officials said.
There are reports that a fire-fighting aircraft has crashed in the Snowy Mountains, two hours south of the capital. Read more
China quarantines city of 11,000,000 after coronavirus outbreak (Metro)
Wuhan city, where the coronavirus outbreak originated, is shutting down outbound flights and trains, according to Chinese state media. The state-owned People’s Daily newspaper said in a tweet that no one would be allowed to leave the city starting at 10am local time on Thursday and that train stations and the airport will shut down, as authorities battle to contain the spread of the virus. The outbreak has killed 17 people so far, with more than 500 cases confirmed. Other forms of public transport in Wuhan will also be shutdown within hours, with buses and ferries all to be suspended too. Read more
Harvey Weinstein trial: Defence hits back after graphic prosecution claims (BBC)
The 67-year-old denies five charges, including rape and sexual assault
The trial of ex-movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has begun in earnest in New York with graphic prosecution statements on his alleged crimes.
Prosecutor Meghan Hast said he was a “seasoned” sexual predator with vulnerable actresses as his prey.
His defence team said his actions were consensual, including in one “loving” relationship.
The 67-year-old denies five charges, including rape and sexual assault, relating to two accusers. Read more
UK set to leave EU on January 31 after Brexit bill is passed by House of Lords (Metro)
Britain is on course to leave the European Union at the end of this month after Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill cleared its final parliamentary hurdle. The prime minister’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill is set to be given royal assent and become law after it was passed by the House of Lords. Mr Johnson’s deal still needs to be ratified by the EU Parliament. However, barring unexpected circumstances, it will enter the statute book and Britain will leave on January 31. All five amendments made by Peers were reversed by MPs on Wednesday, with majorities ranging from 86 to 103. Read more
Impeachment: Democrats reject witness swap in Trump trial (BBC)
US Democrats have ruled out a “witness swap” with Republicans in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
Lawmakers who are seeking to remove the president from office hope to hear testimony from his former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
But Democrats refused any deal to allow the son of former US Vice-President Joe Biden to be called as a witness.
The trial could end next week, but Mr Trump’s fellow Republicans control the Senate and are unlikely to oust him. Read more
Donald Trump likened to ‘evil..despotic’ wannabe king at blistering impeachment trial (Metro)
Donald Trump was likened to an evil despot and a wannabe king at the blistering opening to his impeachment trial. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff – acting as a prosecutor in the trial – used a famous 1792 letter by founding father Alexander Hamilton to attack President Trump for his alleged corruption. Reading the letter, which explained why the United States founding fathers created the system of impeachment, Schiff began: ‘When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits…despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty…’ Read more
Naomi Osaka vs Coco Gauff: Australian Open round three preview and prediction (Metro)
For the second Grand Slam in a row, Naomi Osaka and Cori “Coco” Gauff will meet in the third round. Four months on from Osaka’s routine 6-3 6-0 win at the US Open in New York, the pair will likely take to the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to do it all again. Both players are tipped for greatness and this is still just the early stages of a rivalry that has the potential to be the focal point of the women’s game over the next decade. Gauff has surged into the third round on her debut in Melbourne (TPN/Getty Images) Osaka, 22, has two Grand Slam titles to her name. Gauff, 15, became the youngest Wimbledon qualifier in the Open Era before beating her idol and compatriot Venus Williams in the first round – something she’s also done in Melbourne this week – and has reached at least round three of every Slam she’s contested. Read more
Man Utd jeered as Burnley win at Old Trafford (BBC)
Manchester United were jeered by their own supporters as Burnley registered their first ever Premier League win at Old Trafford.
Burnley took the lead just before half-time when Chris Wood spun off Harry Maguire to meet Ben Mee’s knockdown and smash into the top corner from the edge of the six-yard box.
Jay Rodriguez doubled the Clarets’ advantage when he played a one-two with Wood before firing into the top corner of David de Gea’s near post with a venomous strike from the left-hand corner of the penalty area.
It was the third season in a row Burnley had gone 2-0 up at Old Trafford, but for the first time they hung on for all three points. Read more
Deontay Wilder’s co-manager tells Anthony Joshua to forget about fight offer (Metro)
Deontay Wilder’s camp have rubbished Anthony Joshua’s suggestion that he has made a fresh offer to fight the WBC heavyweight champion that could prevent a trilogy fight with Tyson Fury. The Brit said he was hoping to ‘throw a curveball’ that would see the winner of Wilder-Fury II pull out of a rumoured third fight and instead agree to a long-awaited unification bout with him instead. Wilder has often accused Joshua of making empty claims and his co-manager, Shelly Finkel, says AJ’s latest comments are untrue and there has been no new offer. Read more
Rodgers: Ndidi to return against West Ham (Nation)
Brendan Rodgers yesterday provided an update on the fitness of Nigeria international Wilfred Ndidi ahead of the club’s clash against West Ham United today.
The Foxes are set to welcome David Moyes’ men to the King Power stadium, as part of the Premier League’s midweek fixture list.
Speaking in his pre-West Ham press conference yesterday, Rodgers was asked for a fitness update on his squad and the main talking point surrounded sidelined midfielder Ndidi whose absence has been sorely felt in the Foxes’ last two outings. Read more
Spurs win first league game of 2020 but Mourinho bemoans attacking injury crisis (BBC)
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho lamented his side’s bad luck with injuries after they edged past bottom-of-the-table Norwich to claim their first Premier League win of 2020.
Spurs have struggled for goals since losing Harry Kane to injury but ended a run of three league games without scoring when Dele Alli struck just before half-time.
The home side then lost Harry Winks to injury 10 minutes after the break and Norwich equalised with 20 minutes to go when Teemu Pukki fired a second-half penalty past Hugo Lloris, who was making his return after three months out with a dislocated shoulder. Read more
De Bruyne sets assist record in Man City’s win over Sheffield United (Vanguard)
Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne produced yet another piece of magic on Tuesday evening, setting up the only goal of the game against Sheffield United.
City were denied on numerous occasions by Dean Henderson, with the Englishman also saving Gabriel Jesus’ penalty. It appeared as though Pep Guardiola’s men were heading for another frustrating evening, but De Bruyne provided the necessary quality to find Sergio Aguero, who had the simple task of tapping home with 17 minutes remaining.
City were struggling to find a way past a resolute Sheffield United defence in the second half, but the Belgium international helped his side break the deadlock with another world-class pass. De Bruyne received the ball on the right-wing and looked up before playing a perfect, pinpoint pass between the goalkeeper and defender, allowing Aguero to simply tap the ball in. Read more
Leicester thrash West Ham but lose Vardy to injury (BBC)
Leicester returned to winning ways against West Ham at King Power Stadium but lost the league’s top scorer Jamie Vardy to injury in the first half.
Harvey Barnes scored the opener, poking in from a yard out, before turning provider for Ricardo Pereira on the stroke of half-time.
West Ham captain Mark Noble made it 2-1 from the spot before Leicester’s Ayoze Perez did the same.
And Perez drilled in a fourth for Leicester with minutes to go.
There had been a lengthy stoppage time at the end of the first half as Vardy received treatment for what looked like a hamstring injury. Read more
Zion Williamson: Number one draft pick set to make long-awaited NBA debut (BBC)
Zion Williamson is set to make the most eagerly-awaited NBA debut since LeBron James on Wednesday night.
The 19-year-old New Orleans Pelicans forward will face the San Antonio Spurs after missing the first 44 games of the season with a knee injury.
Fans, fellow professionals and the NBA itself have been longing to see the impact the number one pick in last year’s draft will have on the league. Read more
Real Madrid’s Odriozola completes Bayern Munich loan move (Vanguard)
Bayern Munich have confirmed the signing of Real Madrid full-back Alvaro Odriozola on loan until the end of the 2019/20 season.
The 24-year-old missed training on Tuesday ahead of Los Blancos’ Copa del Rey clash with Unionistas de Salamanca on Wednesday and has been out of favour so far this season.
Odriozola will offer more depth in defence to Bayern boss Hans-Dieter Flick, who has utilised Joshua Kimmich in midfield at times this term with Benjamin Pavard filling in at right. The switch should also mean Pavard can move into his more favoured central role. Read more
Ronaldo keeps scoring run going as Juventus beat Roma (BBC)
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 13th goal in his past 10 matches as Juventus beat Roma 3-1 to reach the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia.
The Portugal striker opened the scoring in the first half when he fired home from Gonzalo Higuain’s cross.
Rodrigo Bentancur and Leonardo Bonucci quickly added two more to make it 3-0 to Juventus before the break.
Roma got one back when Cengiz Under’s shot hit the bar and bounced in off goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. Read more
Sofoluwe warns Eagles over Cape Verde threat (Nation)
Former Nigeria international Yisa Sofoluwe has warned the Super Eagles to be wary of Cape Verde when hostilities begin in the second round phase of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Super Eagles were drawn in a seemingly easy second round Group C that houses Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia during the 2022 World Cup qualifying draw held in Cairo on Tuesday but Sofoluwe who earned 40 international caps during his heyday with the national team has called for caution.
He disclosed that there were no small teams again in football and that with only the group leaders making it to the final round of the qualifiers, Cape Verde who played at the quarter final stage in their debut appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in 2013 as well as President George Weah’s Liberia could pose great threats to the Super Eagles ambition of qualifying. Read more