Lagos pays over N25b to 5,819 retirees (Nation)
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday said the state, under his leadership, has paid over N25 billion into the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of 5,819 retirees.
Represented by Chairman, Lagos State Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Olubunmi Fabanwo, he spoke yesterday at the 81st Retirement Bond Certificate presentation to 471 retirees of the state public service in Lagos.
He said the retirees are workers in the mainstream, local government, State Universal Basic Board (SUBEB), Teaching Service Commision (TESCOM) and other parastatals of the state government. Read more
Lagos-Ibadan rail service in costly, unfriendly takeoff (Guardian)
The commercial activities of the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line struggled to a start on Monday. But its speed is being delayed by controversy over ‘elitist’ charges and concern about its commercial viability. There is also skepticism regarding its capacity to generate enough income to repay more than $1.5 billion in debt incurred on the project.
This week’s inaugural commercial trip only amplified the viability question. It turned out that only one of the several thousands of Nigerians that daily ply the Ibadan-Lagos route was willing and able to buy a seat (at the cost range of N3, 000 and N6, 000) for the 100-kilometer trip in the hundreds-capacity passenger train.
As Nigerians wailed over what they described as restrictive fares, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) Monday announced commercial service operations on the long-awaited Lagos-Abeokuta-Ibadan standard gauge train. But the trip, which was expected to kick-start the operation of the service, many thought, would give the masses a cheaper alternative to the dreaded Lagos-Ibadan road, recorded just one passenger on board. Read more
Herbalist, 20, arrested for Ogun hotelier’s death (Punch)
Misipode Dosu, a 20-year-old herbalist who allegedly killed an hotelier, Jimoh Bello, has been arrested by men of the Ogun State Police Command seven months after the incident.
Bello, the owner of a popular hotel in Owode-Yewa, was found dead in the boot of his Toyota Camry parked at the Omo-Ilu Owotedo area, via Idiroko town.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the arrest in a statement on Thursday. Read more
Govt halts retrenchment of 300 Arik Air staff (Punch)
The federal government on Thursday said the over 100 per cent hike in domestic airfares was inevitable, describing it as one of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also disclosed that 300 employees of Arik Air who would have been recently sacked by the carrier had not been relieved of their jobs based on the intervention of government.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Musa Nuhu, disclosed this in Abuja at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. Read more
Reps: We are still expecting Buhari to appear before us (Nation)
The House of Representatives on Thursday said it was still expecting President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before it to shed light on the security situation in the country.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila told State House Correspondents that the lawmakers expected the president to fulfil his promise to appear before the House as a man of honour and integrity.
He said Buhari, who has not honoured the promise, was yet to communicate with the House on why he has not appeared before the lawmakers. Read more
Policeman kills Keke rider, two others over N100 bribe in Rivers (Guardian)
There was uproar in Rupoku and Romokoro in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State yesterday as a trigger-happy policeman killed a tricycle operator and two others over an N100 bribe.
It was gathered that the Keke rider was on his way to pick passengers around 6:00 a.m. when a police officer at Rupoku/Romokoro checkpoint demanded N100 for clearance, but the deceased said he had no money on him as he just came out for the day’s business.
His refusal, according to an eyewitness at the scene, Mr. Fynface Micheal, got the police officer infuriated and he shot the Keke rider thrice on his forehead, leading to his instant death. Read more
SEC, shareholders fault takeover of unclaimed dividends, dormant accounts (Punch)
Shareholders and the Security and Exchange Commission kicked against the plan by the Federal Government to take over the management of unclaimed dividends and deposits in dormant bank accounts in the country.
They expressed their objection at a one-day public hearing organised by the Senate committees on Finance, National Planning, Banking, Customs, Trade and Investment on the proposed amendments to the Finance Bill 2020.
The bill is seeking amendments into 12 Acts of Parliament relating to capital gains tax, personal income tax, Customs and Excise Tariff, Companies Income tax, Value Added Tax and Stamp duties among others. Read more
Yakubu assumes office in INEC for second term (Vanguard)
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the reappointed Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Thursday assumed duty for the second term of five years in office.
Yakubu had at the expiration of his first tenure on Nov.9 handed over the affairs of the commission to INEC National Commissioner, Ahmed Mu’azu, while awaiting Senate confirmation.
Yakubu, during a brief ceremony at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, said that the early passage of the Electoral Act amendment bill remained his topmost priority. Read more
Lawmaker seeks action against porous borders (Nation)
Lawmaker representing Badagry Federal Constituency of Lagos State in the House of Assembly, Babatunde Hunpe, has urged the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to liaise with security agencies to expand their coverage of the porous borders.
A statement by Hunpe’s media aide, Sunday Oke, said the lawmaker moved the motion on the need to address the country’s porous borders. He urged the Federal Government to raise a ad hoc committee to organise a security summit that would involve military and para-military agencies, as well as indigenes of border communities.
According to him, the committee would find solution to socio-economic and multiple checking point challenges. Read more
Ghana’s main opposition party NDC rejects ‘flawed’ election results (Nation)
Ghana’s main opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), said yesterday it will not accept the results of the general elections announced by the Electoral Commission (EC).
The commission gave victory to incumbent President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Minority Leader in Parliament Haruna Iddrisu said the NDC has “overwhelming” evidence that proved that the party’s candidate, John Dramani Mahama, won the poll.
The NDC said it was heading to court to challenge the election results over alleged overwhelming evidence of election corruption, which it said made it impossible to accept the result. Read more
France to impose 8 pm night-time curfew over COVID-19 (BBC)
France will delay the reopening of cultural venues and introduce a night-time curfew as it struggles to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said the infection rates were not falling as fast as the government had hoped after a lockdown was imposed in late October.
A stay-at-home order will be lifted as planned on 15 December, when the daily 20:00-06:00 curfew will begin.
The measure will not be waived on New Year’s Eve, to prevent big gatherings. Read more
Shell faces claims employees organised oil spills so they could profit from clean-up (Metro)
Oil pipelines were deliberately damaged in order to profit from clean-up operations by employees of Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian operation, according to Dutch investigative outfit Zembla. After an 18-month investigation, it accused employees from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) of hiring local youths to damage pipelines and then employing them to clean up the mess they had already made. The investigation alleged that both Shell and Dutch government officials in Nigeria had been aware of the claims since 2018, but failed to act. A spokesperson for SPDC said they ‘are not aware of any staff or contractor(s) having been involved in acts causing oil spills in the Niger Delta.’ Read more
Morocco latest country to normalise ties with Israel in US-brokered deal (BBC)
Morocco has become the latest Arab League country to agree to normalise relations with Israel in a deal brokered with US help.
As part of the deal, the US has agreed to recognise Morocco’s claim over the disputed Western Sahara region.
It is the subject of a dispute between Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, which has been seeking to establish an independent state.
Morocco is the fourth state to make such a deal with Israel since August. Read more
Investors mob Airbnb listing giving it $100bn value (BBC)
Airbnb have surged on their first day of public trade, giving the firm a valuation of more than $100bn.
The massive listing – the biggest of the year in the US – raised $3.5bn (£2.6bn) for the firm.
The firm said it would use the money to help it survive the pandemic, which has devastated travel.
The flotation comes as investor appetite for tech firms has sent US markets soaring. Read more
Ariana Grande shares emotional trailer for Netflix concert film “Excuse Me, I Love You” (Metro)
Ariana Grande has given fans a glimpse of her upcoming concert film with Netflix, titled Excuse Me, I Love You. The singer, 27, shared the trailer for the film, which was shot during her Sweetener World Tour in 2019. The trailer promises stunning shots of Ariana’s live show as well as exclusive backstage content, including Ariana revealing she has to film something for Mariah Carey. As well as the joyful moments, the tour documentary is also set to capture some of the more difficult moments in Ariana’s life too. Read more
TV Host Ellen DeGeneres tests positive for COVID-19 (BBC)
US chat show host Ellen DeGeneres has announced that she tested positive for COVID-19. “Fortunately, I’m feeling fine right now,” she posted online.
Her daytime programme – the Ellen DeGeneres Show – will pause production until January, according to a statement from her producers.
The show returned in September amid allegations of misconduct by senior staff. Three top producers were fired.
DeGeneres, 62, herself apologised on air, pledging “necessary changes”. Read more
Lewis Hamilton to race at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday (BBC)
Lewis Hamilton will take part in this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after testing negative for Covid-19.
The seven-time world champion missed the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain last weekend after contracting coronavirus.
Hamilton, 35, arrived in Abu Dhabi on Thursday after completing 10 days of quarantine in Bahrain.
Fellow Briton, George Russell, 22, who starred on his Mercedes debut at the Sakhir Grand Prix as Hamilton’s stand-in, will now return to Williams.
Formula 1’s governing body the FIA confirmed that Hamilton had returned a “number of negative Covid-19 tests” before travelling for the final race of the season. Read more
Tyson Fury explains why he won’t attend Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev heavyweight fight (Metro)
Tyson Fury has confirmed he will not be ringside for Anthony Joshua’s eagerly anticipated heavyweight clash against Kubrat Pulev on Saturday. Victory for Joshua, who will be defending his four heavyweight world title belts, would keep him on course for a unification clash against the Gypsy King next year. Speculation had been mounting that Fury would be in attendance, along with 1,000 fans, at Wembley Arena adding to the spectacle but the WBC champion has emphatically denied those rumours. Read more
Arsenal top group with 100% record after 4-2 win over Dundalk (BBC)
Arsenal finished their Europa League Group B campaign with a 100% record as they overcame Dundalk in muddy conditions at the Aviva Stadium.
Eddie Nketiah gave the Gunners the lead when he clipped his shot past Gary Rogers after an error by Andrew Boyle.
Mohamed Elneny doubled the advantage with a superb strike before Jordan Flores made it 2-1 with an angled shot.
Joe Willock and Folarin Balogun scored late on for the Gunners before Sean Hoare grabbed a second for Dundalk. Read more
Appeal court upholds Brazil striker Robinho’s rape conviction (Punch)
Veteran Brazil international striker Robinho on Thursday had a nine-year sentence for the rape of a young woman upheld by a court in Italy.
Judges of the Milan Court of Appeal confirmed the sentence for both Robinho and one of his friends for group sexual violence dating back to January 2013.
Robinho was playing for AC Milan at the time of the attack and was tried in absentia in November 2017.
The pair were among a group of six men accused of taking part in the gang rape of a 22-year-old Albanian woman in a Milan nightclub. Read more
French footballer Griezmann ends Huawei contract over claims of Uighur surveillance (France24)
World Cup-winning footballer Antoine Griezmann said Thursday he was ending his sponsorship contract with Huawei over reports the Chinese telecoms giant was involved in the surveillance of Uighur Muslims.
Frenchman Griezmann said on Instagram: “Following strong suspicions that Huawei has contributed to the development of a ‘Uighurs alert’ through the use of facial recognition software, I am immediately ending my partnership with the company.”
US-based surveillance research firm IPVM said in a report Tuesday that Huawei had been involved in testing facial recognition software in China that could send alerts to police when it recognised Uighur minorities’ faces.
China has come under intense international criticism over its policies in the resource-rich Xinjiang territory, where rights groups say as many as one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities have been held in internment camps. Read more
FIFA president Gianni Infantino rejects ‘baseless’ private jet claims (BBC)
Calls for Fifa’s president to face a criminal investigation over his use of a private jet are “spurious”, football’s world governing body says.
Swiss special prosecutor Stefan Keller says there were “clear signs of criminally reprehensible behaviour” relating to Gianni Infantino’s flight from Suriname to Geneva in 2017.
Keller says he has asked Swiss authorities to investigate the matter.
Fifa said Keller’s claims were “baseless”.
Keller was appointed in June to look into complaints involving Infantino and others.
Fifa’s own ethics committee has already looked into the allegations and cleared Infantino of violating its rules. Read more