Lagos vaccinates over 46,000 persons (Guardian)
The Lagos State government on Monday said about 46,369 persons have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state as at Friday March 19.
The State Commissioner of Health Professor Akin Abayomi said 50.1% (23,232) of those already vaccinated were men while women constitute 49.9% (23,137).
“The top four local governments that have received vaccinations are Eti-Osa (4,770), Ikeja (4,262), Lagos Mainland – (4,191) and Alimosho (3,818),” Abayomi said.
Ibeju Lekki currently has least number of vaccinated persons, with only 852 persons receiving the jabs there. Read more
Alleged Murder: Lagos rejects plea bargain of chef (Vanguard)
The prosecution team of the Lagos State Government has rejected the plea bargain agreement proposed by Joshua Usulor, a 21-year-old chef, who allegedly killed a lawyer at the Citiheights Hotel, Opebi, Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that during Usulor’s trial for murder on Monday at an Ikeja Special Offences Court, the prosecution counsel, O.A Bajulaiye-Bishi, informed the court that the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution has rejected the agreement.
“My lord, the defendant through his counsel Mr Spurgeon Ataene had applied for a plea bargain agreement proposing a sentence of 25-years imprisonment.
“Unfortunately, the plea bargain agreement has been rejected and we will proceed with the trial,” Bajulaiye-Bishi said. Read more
Free Zone: Lagos to attract additional $5b in 4 years (ThisDay)
The Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) which already has a committed investment of $2 billion is poised to attract an additional $5 billion over the next four years.
This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer, LFZ, Mr Dinesh Rathi, at the headquarters of the company in Ibeju-Lekki during the official visit of Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his cabinet members to the zone at the weekend.
Rathi, further explained that the zone, which was established in the year 2012 was being promoted by Tolaram Group, a leading conglomerate in Nigeria – who have already attracted about $2 billion committed investment to the Zone currently.
On the ease of doing business, he stated that the LFZ was simplifying the entry & operations for foreign investors in Nigeria & by extension improving the EODB situation.
Speaking during the visit, a statement quoted Sanwo-Olu to have lauded the management of the Lagos Free Zone and its promoters – Tolaram Group, for their commitment and investment in the zone which would boost the economy of the state and the nation. Read more
LIRS gives tax evaders March 31 deadline for payment (Guardian)
The Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has warned tax evaders in the state, saying that the Service would wield the stick on defaulters who insist on shortchanging the State Government.
Mr Seyi Alade, Director, Legal Services, LIRS, gave the warning during a state-wide tax law enforcement exercise by LIRS in Lagos.
He said that LIRS was deploying an aggressive approach to ensure that all taxes are collected to help the state carry out its developmental projects for the benefit of Lagosians and the country at large.
Alade said that the Service was currently running an initiative called ‘Ibile’ to get more tax payers into the tax net. Read more
Cross River magistrates resume protest over 26 months unpaid salaries (Punch)
Magistrates in Cross River State on Monday resumed their protest in Calabar over their 26 months unpaid salaries.
The 29 magistrates gathered at the entrance of the Governor’s office carrying placards with inscriptions such as ‘Ayade stop oppressing Cross River Judiciary, pay us our salaries,’ ’29 esquires are in penury pay us our 26 months salaries,’ among others.
The magistrates had taken to the streets and Governor’s office in January to protest when they were being owed 24 months.
According to the leader of the group and a Chief Magistrate with the state judiciary, Solomon Abuo, they suspended the first protest in January to allow the government to pay them. Read more
Anambra lawyers protest insecurity after abducted member is killed (DailyTrust)
Lawyers in Anambra on Monday protested at the Government House in the capital Awka to call for insecurity to be addressed, after a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, Frank Onwuachi, was killed by unidentified gunmen.
The lawyers, under the aegis of Committee of chairman and secretaries of NBA, called on Governor Willie Obiano to immediately address worsening insecurity in the state.
Speaking during the protest, the chairman of Onitsha NBA, Onyechi Ononye, said lawyers in the state could no longer go to court due to high rate of security challenges in the state.
“Our member was kidnapped and killed the other day by unknown gunmen. Some security formations were attacked and operatives were killed while their weapons were carted away. Read more
Katsina market fire: Masari shocked, pledges assistance for traders (Sun)
Governor Aminu Bello Masari has expressed shock over the fire incident at the Katsina Central market pledging that government will provide certain level of support and assistance to traders who lost their goods.
Fire erupted at the market at about 8 am, according to eyewitness accounts, razing substantial number of stalls.
Masari who visited the market later told reporters that, “for now, we cannot ascertain the quantum of loss as a result of the for incident.
“When we visited there this morning, the fire was still burning. It is when we know the cause of the fire that we will be able to know measures to take in order to avert future occurrence. Read more
Amotekun corps arrest 100 cows in Ondo (ThisDay)
Men of the Ondo State Security Agency codenamed Amotekun Corps, have arrested 100 cows along Ilesa-Akure Road.
The arrest was in compliance with the Ondo State government directives that the streets and forests be rid of unregistered herdsmen.
It was gathered that the cows were apprehended with nine herders for allegedly violating grazing rules on the highway.
The state Commander of Amotekun, Mr Adetunji Adeleye who confirmed the arrest, said the cows were intercepted and arrested at the boundary of Osun and Ondo States. Read more
Kaduna abduction: Parents give El-Rufai 48 hours to rescue 39 students (Punch)
Parents of the abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Mando in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, have handed down a 48 hours ultimatum for the State and Federal Governments to rescue their children.
This was just as the parents, in tears, appealed to the United Nations, Nigerian Bar Association, Academic Staff Union of Universities and well meaning Nigerians as well as world leaders to prevail on the state and federal governments to ensure the speedy rescue of their children from the bandits.
On Thursday night, March 11, 2020, bandits in large numbers invaded the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Mando in Igabi LGA of the state and kidnapped over 30 students of the institute.
A viral video was released on Saturday where the students were seen crying and appealing to the government to pay the N500 million demanded by the bandits as ransom for their release. Read more
Aretha Franklin’s family protest about National Geographic’s Genius biopic (BBC)
Aretha Franklin’s family have denounced a new dramatisation of the singer’s life, saying they were not consulted and “do not support” the show.
Genius: Aretha stars British Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo, and is being shown on National Geographic in the US.
The channel said it had permission to make the “tribute to Aretha’s genius”.
But the family say they were cut out of the production process and asked fans to boycott it, saying: “This is about common, decent respect for our family.” Read more
Liam Neeson ‘scared’ to take on widower role in new film after wife’s death (Metro)
Liam Neeson was ‘scared’ to take on new role after death of wife Play Video Loaded: 0%Progress: 0% PlayMute Current Time 0:00 / Duration Time 1:48 Fullscreen Made In Italy director and writer James D’Arcy has explained that actor Liam Neeson was ‘scared’ to take on his role as a widower in the movie after the tragic death of his wife Natasha Richardson. Richardson, who married the Taken actor in 1994, died in 2009 from an epidural haematoma after hitting her head in a skiing accident. They had two children together – Micheal, who stars in Made In Italy with his father, and Daniel. Read more
Donations Pour In for Families of Atlanta Shooting Victims (VOA)
Shortly after his mother was killed in the Atlanta-area shootings, Randy Park launched a GoFundMe page asking for $20,000 to pay for funeral expenses. By Sunday, the donations were approaching $3 million.
With many people seeking a way to support the families of the dead, Park’s page and others have offered an outlet for tens of thousands of donors, and the accounts have surpassed their goals only days after they were opened.
“I’ve never had a good understanding how much money was worth, but every cent of it will be used only in pure necessity,” wrote Park, son of Hyun Jung Grant, 51, who was one of the eight people killed in the attacks on massage businesses.
Rani Ban contributed to Park just to show kindness. Read more
Priest, two dominatrices slapped with vandalism charges after altar threesome (NYPost)
A former Louisiana priest and two dominatrices were slapped with vandalism charges for having sex atop a church altar in September of last year, a report said.
Travis Clark, 37, and the two women were initially charged by police with obscenity following the alleged tryst last September inside Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Pearl River, NOLA.com reported.
But the St. Tammany Parish District Attorney’s Office on Friday announced lesser charges for the unholy trinity, who were busted after a passerby saw them through a church window and reported them to police, according to court records obtained by the news publication.
The two dominatrices — Mindy Dixon, 41, and 28-year-old Melissa Cheng — were wearing corsets and high heels during the threesome, which was being recorded, according to the court documents. Read more
Massive fire sweeps through Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh (AlJazeera)
A massive fire has swept through a Rohingya refugee camp in southern Bangladesh, gutting hundreds of tents and a number of health centres and other facilities, according to officials and witnesses.
The blaze at Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar district erupted in the late afternoon on Monday and spread quickly through at least four blocks, according to Mohammad Shamsud Douza, additional commissioner of the government’s Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC).
No casualties were immediately reported, but deaths and injuries were feared. Read more
Church bells mark one year since first Czech Covid death (France24)
Church bells rang out across the Czech Republic Monday to mark one year since the first Covid-19 fatality in the country with the highest per capita death rate in the world.
People were also asked to observe a minute’s silence to remember the dead, and members of a local movement drew 20,000 crosses onto the pavement of Prague’s historic Old Town Square.
“Thousands of crosses for thousands of victims. Many of them did not have to die,” said Benjamin Roll, head of the Million Moments for Democracy, which organised the event and is a fierce government critic. Read more
World’s 1st oral COVID-19 vaccine could soon begin human trials (RT)
A coronavirus vaccine that can be swallowed like a pill and administered at home could begin clinical trials in the near future after its developers reported promising preliminary data.
The trailblazing drug, called Oravax, is being developed by Israeli-American Oramed Pharmaceuticals and India-based Premas Biotech. The two companies have teamed up to create Oravax Medical Inc., which hopes to combine Oramed’s oral delivery technology with Premas’ vaccine expertise to create a new method of inoculation against Covid-19.
A pilot study conducted on animals found that the oral vaccine helped produce antibodies that create immunity against the virus, the company claims. The promising results were achieved by administering a single Oravax capsule, potentially setting the drug apart from some of the other vaccines which require two doses. Read more
Chris Paul reaches 10,000 assists as the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Lakers (BBC)
Chris Paul became the sixth man in NBA history to reach 10,000 assists as his Phoenix Suns team beat a Los Angeles Lakers side without LeBron James.
Paul, 35, scored 11 points, with 10 rebounds and 13 assists as the Suns beat the Lakers 111-94.
James injured his ankle in a defeat by the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball could be out for the season after he broke his wrist against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. Read more
Olympic surfing hopeful killed by lightning strike during training session (RT)
El Salvador surfing star Katherine Diaz, who was getting ready to make her Olympic debut in Tokyo this summer, tragically passed away after being struck by lightning during a training session.
The 22-year-old was training for an upcoming qualifying event in El Tunco when she was hit by lightning after entering the water.
Emergency services tried to revive her on the beach, but their attempts were in vain.
According to Spanish newspaper AS, the sudden change of weather caught the surfer by surprise and didn’t seem to be dangerous at first, as “the sky was clear and the unforeseen storm that did not seem to carry much electrical intensity either.” Read more
France allows foreign players to travel for international break (DailyTrust)
Authorities in France have directed that international players representing countries outside the European Union will not be quarantined on return to the country over fears of COVID-19.
This means Super Eagles of Nigeria players plying their trade in France would be available to travel to the Lagos camp of the national team in preparation of the upcoming AFCON matches.
They include Moses Simon of Nantes FC and Bordeaux’s Samuel Kalu who cited COVID-19 concerns for possibly not turning up to represent Nigeria. Le Man’s striker, Tereman Meffi, is also on standby and could earn is first Super Eagles cap if called up.
The new directive stated that players plying their trade in the country’s premier and second tier leagues, French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 respectively can join their national teams for upcoming international matches. While such players would not need a seven-day quarantine on return, the Sports ministry advised players to adhere strictly with a strict sanitary and medical protocol. Read more
Marc Marquez out of Qatar MotoGP after surgery (France24)
Six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will miss the season opener Qatar Grand Prix, organisers said Monday, as he continues to recover from surgery.
Marquez fractured his right arm on July 19 when he fell in the first Grand Prix of last season, an injury that required three bouts of surgery, the last in December.
He returned to training at the beginning of February and expressed positivity about his recovery but had not set a date for his return. Read more
Mets may have half-billion-dollar dilemma on their hands (NYPost)
Mets president Sandy Alderson watched from seats near the visitors’ dugout Sunday as potentially a half-billion dollars in contract extensions unloaded against the Nationals.
First, Michael Conforto homered onto the grassy knoll behind the center-field fence at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Later, Francisco Lindor blasted his third homer in less than a week, a two-run shot inside the right-field foul pole, also against Max Scherzer.
Both players are discussing long-term extensions with the Mets, but with Opening Day approaching, they are on the clock. Lindor was firm last week in saying he won’t negotiate into the regular season and is prepared to become a free agent if a deal isn’t reached by the season opener. Conforto sounded less resolute Sunday when asked about potentially negotiating into the regular season. Read more
Liverpool legend Xabi Alonso accepts offer to become Borussia Monchengladbach manager (Metro)
Former Liverpool and Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso will take over the reins as Borussia Monchengladbach boss this summer. It’s been confirmed that Marco Rose will depart Gladbach to become Borussia Dortmund manager at the end of the season and the Bundesliga outfit have been locked in talks with Alonso for him to replace the German. Alonso, 39, hung up his boots in the summer of 2017 after an illustrious playing career spanning nearly two decades in which he represented Real Sociedad, Eibar, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. While completing his UEFA Elite coaching course, Alonso returned to Madrid to lead their Under-14 side before taking charge of Segunda Division B team Real Sociedad B in 2019. Read more
Can the Olympic Games succeed without overseas fans? (AlJazeera)
Organisers of postponed Tokyo Games ban foreign spectators in a bid to reduce coronavirus risks.
The Olympic and Paralympics Games thrive on one thing: International sport fans. But after a year of delay, they will not be in Tokyo when the Games finally begin.
Only Japanese fans will be allowed into the stadiums. Organisers say it is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the public’s safety.The decision is a big blow to the athletes, as well as the businesses and sponsors who have spent billions of dollars to be part of the world’s biggest sporting event. Read more