Lagos restricts movement of trucks on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, others (Punch)
The Lagos State Government has announced the restriction of truck drivers within the state, especially on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, The PUNCH reports.
This was contained in a statement on Thursday by Gboyega Akosile, the Chief Press Secretary to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
According to the statement, truck drivers would ply routes in the state only between 9pm and 6am daily.
The statement quoted the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde as saying that the move was crucial to ease the traffic gridlock especially along the Apapa axis of the state. Read more
Court jails mechanic for attempting to steal car (DailyTrust)
A Grade I Area Court in Nyanya Abuja, on Monday, sentenced an applicant, Abubakar Adamu, to six months imprisonment for attempting to steal a Toyota Highlander.
Delivering judgment, the judge, Yahaya Sheshi, gave Adamu an option to pay N10,000 fine after he pleaded guilty.
Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Stanley Nwaforaku, told the court that the complainant, Okobi Jacob, parked his Toyota Highlander at the FCDA parking lot and went into his office.
He said Adamu, used a master key with the intention to commit an offence of theft, adding that the police found the suspected master key at the scene of the crime. Read more
384 out of 802 stranded Nigerians return from Saudi Arabia (Guardian)
Nigerians in Diaspora Commission on Thursday said a total of 384 out of 802 Nigerians stranded in Saudi Arabia have arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The commission said the returnees included 300 males, 83 females and one infant.
NIDCOM said the returnees arrived Abuja via Saudi Air flight B773 at about 1:10 pm local time.
“The returnees will be quarantined at the Federal Capital Territory Hajj camp for 14 days in line with the reversed COVID-19 protocols by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.NIDCOM said on Twitter,” NIDCOM said. Read more
Police nab two suspected fraudsters over fake bank alerts (Punch)
Operatives of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command have arrested two suspected fraudsters, Emeka Akuma and Moses Asuquo, over fake bank alerts.
A statement by the command’s Public Relations officer, Odiko Macdon, on Wednesday, said Akuma was arrested with a Lexus 330 car in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on January 18, after buying the car with a fake bank alert.
The second suspect, Asuquo, was reportedly apprehended on January 17, while attempting to use a fake bank alert to defraud two people of N200,000. Read more
Worsened corruption rating under Buhari vindicates us – PDP (Tribune)
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday observed that the “abysmal” 2020 corruption index report on Nigeria by Transparency International (TI), has further confirmed that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government “is a citadel of corruption and the most corrupt administration in the history of our nation.”
Making this declaration in a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, the main opposition party asserted that the TI report, which showed the country plunging to a putrid 149th on the corruption perception index in 2020 – dropping 13 places since 2015 – under the watch the president, “is an incontrovertible confirmation that our nation is more corrupt under President Buhari and the APC, than it was in 2015 when they took office.”
Part of the statement read: “This descent into the abyss of corruption only goes to show that President Buhari’s anti-corruption stance is a mere swindle used to delude Nigerians while the vaults were laid open for APC leaders and officials of the Buhari administration to plunder. Read more
Fight breaks out at Reps PIB public hearing (Vanguard)
Room 028, the venue of the public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB has been thrown into pandemonium following a fight by some attendants.
Vanguard is yet to confirm who the individuals are but could say they are members of the oil host communities who had come to make presentations on the bill.
Also read: PIB: Traditional ruler calls for collaboration with FG
The fight broke out exactly 12:10 pm when the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on PIB, Hon. Mohammed Monguno who had been moderating the proceedings called the host Communities to make their presentation.
To this end, lawmakers and other participants are scampering for safety. Read more
Finally, Cross Rivers Assembly confirms Ikpeme as Chief Judge (Punch)
The Cross River State House of Assembly has confirmed Justice Akon Ikpeme as substantive Chief Judge of the state after rejecting her twice.
The confirmation took place on Thursday at the state House of Assembly in Calabar following a motion moved by the Leader of the House and representative of Ogoja Constituency, Peter Odey, and seconded by Whip, Okon Ephraim, representing Calabar South 1.
A letter by Governor Ben Ayade seeking her confirmation as the substantive Chief Judge of the state was read on the floor of the House by the Clerk, Bassey Ekpenyong before a motion was moved for her confirmation which was done by an overwhelming voice vote. Read more
Nigeria shielding killers of #EndSARS protesters, says Amnesty International (Guardian)
Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian Government of shielding perpetrators of the killings during the nationwide #EndSARS protest.
The rights group said the government has “failed bring to justice those suspected to be responsible for the brutal crackdown by security forces on peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate and Alausa in Lagos in October 2020 and have brazenly attempted to cover up the violence.”
“Since the assault by security forces, which killed at least 12 people, Nigerian authorities have targeted supporters of the protests against police brutality by the disbanded SARS.”
Amnesty International’s reaction and many others have continued to trail the halted #EndSARS protest against police brutality, extortion and extra judicial killing of Nigerians. Read more
Herdsmen destroy farmlands in Ondo community (Vanguard)
Farmers in Obasooto farm settlement in ldanre area of Ondo state have lamented the invasion and destruction of their farms by herdsmen.
They said that on arrival at their farms for the day’s farming activities, they saw the vast destruction by the herders who invaded their farmlands the previous night with their cows.
According to them “all the crops on our farms were eaten up by the cows led by the herders.
Recounting their losses, the farmers lamented that millions of naira invested on the farms vanished just in one night.
They described the incident as heartlessness on the part of the herdsmen. Read more
Tunisia parliament reshuffles cabinet as protesters face off against police (Guardian)
Hundreds of anti-government protesters faced off against riot police outside the Tunisian parliament Tuesday as lawmakers inside confirmed a cabinet reshuffle amid growing unrest.
Mired in a political and economic crisis worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, the North African country has been rocked by a wave of anger at a political class seen as obsessed with power struggles and disconnected from the suffering of ordinary people.
Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi told the assembly that by naming 11 new ministers to the interior, justice, health and other key portfolios, he aimed to create a “more effective” reform team. Read more
Stars celebrate as Bridgerton sets Netflix record (BBC)
Stars of the period drama Bridgerton have thanked fans after Netflix announced that the show had become its “biggest series ever”.
The streaming giant said 82 million households around the world tuned into the show in its first 28 days online, surpassing the firm’s own projections.
The period drama hit the number one spot in 83 countries, including the US, UK, India, France and Brazil.
Bridgerton star Phoebe Dynevor described the news as “utterly insane”. Read more
Russian court rejects Navalny’s appeal; allies arrested (AlJazeera)
A Russian court has rejected opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s appeal against his arrest while authorities arrested several of his allies and issued warnings to social media companies.
Thursday’s developments came after tens of thousands swarmed the streets in more than 100 Russian cities last weekend demanding his release.
Speaking to court via video link from jail, Navalny denounced criminal proceedings against him as part of the government’s efforts to intimidate the opposition.
“You won’t succeed in scaring tens of millions of people who have been robbed by that government,” he said. Read more
AstraZeneca vaccine should not be given to people over 65, German health officials say (CNN)
Germany’s vaccine commission has recommended that the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford should not be given to people older than 65 years, the German Interior Ministry said Thursday.
The Standing Committee on Vaccination at Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the country’s main public health authority, has found there is insufficient data on the effectiveness of the vaccine for this age group, according to a statement from the ministry.
“It is not possible to make a statement for the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine in people over 65 years of age,” the statement said. Read more
Thai police arrest 89 foreigners in bar raid (BBC)
Police on the Thai island of Koh Phangan have arrested 89 foreigners during a raid on a bar that was flouting coronavirus restrictions.
Those arrested were from more than 10 countries, including the UK and the US.
Thailand is currently under an emergency decree with restrictions on mass gatherings.
The country has recorded 15,465 cases and 76 deaths, far fewer than Western nations. However, cases have been on the rise in recent weeks. Read more
China warns Taiwan independence ‘means war’ (AlJazeera)
China toughened its language towards Taiwan on Thursday, warning after recent stepped-up military activities near the island that “independence means war” and that their armed forces were taking action to respond to provocation and foreign interference.
Taiwan, claimed by China as its territory, reported multiple Chinese fighter jets and bombers entering the island’s southwestern air defence identification zone over the weekend, prompting concern in Washington.
China believes that Taiwan’s democratically-elected government is moving the island towards a declaration of formal independence, though President Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly said they are already an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name.
Asked at a monthly news briefing about the air forces’ recent activities, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said Taiwan was an inseparable part of China. Read more
More than 700 dead pelicans found in Senegal World Heritage site (CNN)
Some 750 pelicans have been found dead in a UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Senegal that provides refuge for millions of migratory birds, the country’s parks director said.
Rangers found the pelicans on January 23 in the Djoudj bird sanctuary, a remote pocket of wetland near the border with Mauritania and a resting place for birds that cross the Sahara Desert into West Africa each year.
An unverified video published on local media showed hundreds of pelican carcasses scattered on a beach, muddy and darker than their normally eye-catching white.
“We took some samples for screening and we hope in the near future to know what caused the death of the pelicans,” Bocar Thiam, director of Senegal’s parks, said in an interview. Read more
Rafael Nadal calls for ‘wider perspective’ from players in quarantine ahead of the Australian Open (CNN)
Rafael Nadal says he feels “privileged” to be playing in this year’s Australian Open as he called on his fellow stars to have a “wider perspective” on the mandatory quarantine period ahead of the tournament.
The Spaniard, like every competitor from overseas, is having to isolate with his support team for two weeks after arriving in Australia, with practice time limited to only a few hours a day. He’s doing so in Adelaide, with a number of other high-profile stars including Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic.
However, following a number of positive Covid-19 tests on chartered flights into Melbourne, Nadal’s experience has been different from the 72 players not allowed to leave their hotel rooms for the duration of the isolation in the city which will host the first grand slam of the season. Read more
French defender Malcuit joins Fiorentina on loan from Napoli (Punch)
Napoli’s French defender Kevin Malcuit has signed for Serie A rivals Fiorentina on loan, both clubs confirmed on Thursday.
The 29-year-old joined Napoli in 2018 from French club Lille, but has been injury prone with an eight-month layoff last season with a ruptured cruciate ligament.
“SSC Napoli officially announce the transfer of Kevin Malcuit to Fiorentina. The French defender moves to the Viola club on loan,” Napoli said.
Malcuit, who has also played for Monaco and Saint Etienne, featured just twice in Serie A this season because of knee and calf injuries. Read more
Naomi Osaka: Tennis star buys into North Carolina Courage women’s team (BBC)
Three-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka has invested in professional women’s football team North Carolina Courage.
Formed four years ago, the club compete at the highest level in the US – the National Women’s Soccer League.
The 23-year-old, who has not revealed how much of the club she owns, said: “The women who have invested in me growing up made me who I am today.
“I don’t know where I would be without them,” added the Japanese player.
“Throughout my career I’ve always received so much love from my fellow female athletes so that’s why I am proud to share that I am now an owner of North Carolina Courage.” Read more
Los Angeles Lakers beaten by Philadelphia 76ers to end away streak (BBC)
The Los Angeles Lakers’ record-breaking winning streak on the road ended as the Philadelphia 76ers earned a thrilling 107-106 victory at Wells Fargo Center.
In a fixture that saw the Eastern Conference leaders face their Western Conference counterparts, Joel Embiid’s 28 points edged the 76ers to the win.
It ended the NBA champions’ run of 10 wins on the road, a franchise record.
“Some people think we haven’t played anybody,” 76ers Tobias Harris said. “We wanted to go against the champs.”
“We wanted to see where we’re at,” Harris added. Read more
Cristiano Ronaldo broke coronavirus rules: reports (Guardian)
Cristiano Ronaldo broke coronavirus travel restrictions with a trip to a mountain resort, according to media reports Thursday.
Juventus striker Ronaldo allegedly travelled to Courmayeur, 150 kilometres north-west of the Serie A club’s Turin headquarters, for his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez’ birthday.
When contacted by AFP, Juve declined to comment.
Rodriguez, who turned 27 on Wednesday, apparently posted a video of the couple on a snowmobile on Instagram.
She later removed it, but it was picked up by several Italian news sites.
The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper said Ronaldo and Rodriguez spent Tuesday night in a hotel and took a ride in the snow the next morning, before returning to Turin. Read more
Murray enters Italian event after Aus Open withdrawal (DailyTrust)
Former world number one, Andy Murray will compete in a challenger tournament in Biella next month following his Australian Open withdrawal, the Italian Tennis Federation confirmed on Wednesday.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Murray was forced to pull out of the first major of 2021 in Melbourne after he was unable to find what he called a ‘workable quarantine’ following a positive COVID-19 test on January 14.
The indoor tournament in Biella, which begins on February 15 and has 132 000 euros ($159 918) of prize money, will mark the 33-year-old’s first appearance at a challenger event since competing in Mallorca in August 2019. Read more