Lagos woman arraigned over palm oil theft (Punch)
A 37-year-old woman, Blessing Njoku, has been arraigned before an Ebute Metta Magistrate’s Court, Lagos State, for allegedly obtaining palm oil valued at N505,000 from a trader, Okafor Chinazor, under false pretences.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Njoku, sometime in November 2021, bought the oil from Okafor and promised to pay for the good before the end of the month.
She, however, allegedly reneged on the agreement and resorted to violence when Okafor demanded his money.
She was arraigned on Thursday on three counts bordering on obtaining under false pretences, stealing, and conduct likely to cause breach of public peace.
The charges read in part, “That you, Blessing Njoku, sometime in November, around 8pm, at Oyingbo, Ebute Metta, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did obtain red oil valued at N505,000 from one Okafor Chinazor, with the pretence that you want to sell and pay him back, which you knew to be false, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 314 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.” Read more
Suicide: Unknown man found dangling from mango tree in Festac (Vanguard)
An unidentified middle-aged man was, in the early hours of Wednesday, found hanging from a tree in an apparent suicide, on 1st Avenue, Festac, Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos, opposite a popular hotel, where commercial sex workers hang out.
The remains of the victim, who had become bloated with liquid substance dripping from it, was still hanging from a rope tied to a mango tree on Thursday morning till about 10am, when it was later evacuated by the authorities.
When Vanguard visited the scene of the suspected suicide, people were in groups chatting and wondering what could have pushed the man to hang himself.
A POS operator in the area said the body had been hanging there since Wednesday morning.
“The local government officials and the police didn’t consider the well being of residents in the area. That is why they abandoned the corpse for two days. Read more
School driver earns life imprisonment for defiling pupil (Guardian)
Justice Abiola Soladoye of a Lagos Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court, yesterday, sentenced a school driver, Abiodun Matthew to life imprisonment for defiling a pupil of University of Lagos Women Society Nursery and Primary School, Akoka, Yaba.
The state government had charged Matthew; a 39-year-old school driver for sexual assault on a four-year-old pupil of the school.
The prosecutor, Olusola Soneye, Olufunke Adegoke and Abimbola Abolade had told the court that the convict committed the offence in March 23, 2019, by penetrating her vagina with his finger.
Delivering judgment, the Judge said the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
The judge held that, the evidence of the prosecution witness proved the case against the convict beyond reasonable doubt, adding that the defendant’s defence of alibi does not fly. Read more
Embrace transparency, accountability, Sanwo-Olu advises residents (Punch)
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged individuals in the state to embrace the key virtues of transparency and accountability in their respective positions.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Tayo Ayinde, made this call on Thursday during the birthday lecture of a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council, Dr Oluyomi Finnih.
He said, “In accordance with the topic of this lecture, ‘Nothing to hide,’ which I find as very apt as it reveals the true personality of Dr Oluyomi Finnih, we should all be able to beat our chests openly at every point in time, especially during and after serving in leadership positions.
“Transparency and accountability are the key virtues that we should all embrace whether as public officers, private sector players and leaders or as teeming followers. Read more
‘Votes don’t count’ is a big lie, Falz tells youths (Vanguard)
Musician and actor, Falz (Folarin Falana) has called on youths to be involved in their future by actively participating in the electoral process, saying “Votes don’t count is the big lie politicians sell to those whose votes cannot be bought, so that only those whose votes can be bought will come to the polling units.”
The accomplished entertainer has been in the vanguard of ensuring mass involvement of Nigerian youths, which form 60 percent of the voting populace, in the electoral process.
This is just as Anap Foundation kick-started its enlightenment campaign themed “GoNigeria”, a campaign to sensitise youths to participate actively in the electoral process for the election of visionary leaders in 2023.
The campaign, now in full gear with the initial advocates of Anap Foundation, has intensified efforts at encouraging young Nigerians to register and collect their PVC to vote in next year’s general elections. Read more
Lagos to enforce ban on microphone, amplifiers in motor parks (Guardian)
To mitigate noise pollution, the Lagos State government has mandated its monitoring committee to enforce the ban on use of all forms of microphones and amplifiers in motor parks across the state, warning that defaulters will be prosecuted.
The Special Adviser on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Moses Fayinka disclosed this during a briefing organised by the State’s Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA).
He said the decision would help to curb the menace of noise pollution in motor parks/garages.
Fayinka lamented indiscriminate use of megaphones and speakers to attract passengers at Motor parks, adding that defaulting motor parks would be shut down. Read more
Chief Zebrudaya, Ovuleria mourn death of Natty (Vanguard)
Veteran actor and comedian, Chika Okpala popularly known as Chief Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbo alias 4:30, of “New Masquerade’ fame and his screen wife, Lizzy Evoeme a.k.a Ovuleria have joined other Nigerians to express grief following the death of one of their own, Romanus Amuta who was best known for his role as ‘Natty’ in the now rested sitcom.
Amuta died on Wednesday, after battling a protracted ailment for many years. He was 79 years old.
His first son, Chukwuma Amuta, who confirmed his demise described the film star as a caring father who did his best to raise his children.
“Yes! My father died this morning in Lagos after a protracted illness,” he said. Chief Okpala also confirmed the sad news to Vanguard yesterday.
According to him, Amuta tried his best in the past 25 years, as they were producing programmes every week to entertain the fans of New Masquerade. Read more
Rep remanded over N185m 419 case, bail application fails (Punch)
A member of the House of Representatives, Gabriel Zock, was on Thursday arraigned before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja on criminal charges of advanced fees fraud otherwise known as 419.
Zock, who is representing Kachia Kagarko Federal Constituency of Kaduna State, was put on trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on a two-count charge of allegedly defrauding his victim to the tune of N185 million.
He was said to have swindled one Adeyemi Kamar of the amount under alleged false pretences that he would assist the victim to influence the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to secure Right of Occupancy for his property at Guzape area of Abuja.
However, when the charges were read to him, the lawmaker pleaded not guilty. Read more
NUJ condemns destruction of entrance arc at Journalists Estate (Guardian)
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the reported invasion and threat to life against residents of Journalists Estate, Arepo Ogun State.
In a statement yesterday by the National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman, titled ‘Stop this impunity, NUJ said: it condemned in strong terms the recent invasion, criminal destruction to property and threat to life of journalists by residents of Beachland Estate allegedly led by a traditional ruler.
“It was reported that on Tuesday, February 8, the said monarch led some of his chiefs to invade Arepo Estate (Journalists Estate) to destroy the entrance arc located at the point of entry to the estate, using hoodlums armed with dangerous weapons.
“This ugly development must be curtailed forthwith and decisively. A situation where traditional authorities take laws into their hands with reckless abandon like in this case is unacceptable, more so, when the reason given for the destruction of the estate’s entrance arc was allegedly because journalists in the estate did not pay homage to the palace (give bribe) before the construction. Read more
Star of Netflix’s Cheer admits child sex crimes (BBC)
Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris, one of the stars of the Netflix documentary series Cheer, has pleaded guilty in a federal sex abuse case against him.
Harris, 22, admitted to receiving child pornography and travelling to another state with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
He has been held in pre-trial detention since his arrest in Chicago in 2020.
The guilty plea came as part of a deal to avoid prosecution for five other federal charges against him.
The Emmy-award winning series Cheer follows the lives of the Navarro College cheerleading squad in Texas.
Harris’ fame saw him win an invitation to the Academy Awards as a guest of TV host Ellen DeGeneres, where he interviewed celebrities on the red carpet. Read more
US tells all Americans to leave Ukraine now (RT)
The US government advised Americans in Ukraine to leave the country immediately and by any means available on Thursday. The previous US travel alert issued in January cited the same concerns of “increased threats of Russian military action and Covid-19” while calling on US citizens to avoid going to Ukraine, but did not go as far as to urge them to flee the country as soon as possible.
“Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19; those in Ukraine should depart now via commercial or private means,” the US State Department said in its new travel alert.
Those Americans who opt to remain in Ukraine should stay vigilant “due to crime, civil unrest, and potential combat operations should Russia take military action,” the advisory continued, before warning that the US government would “not be able to evacuate U.S. citizens” if a military conflict breaks out.
The US first issued a ‘do not travel’ red alert advisory for travel to Ukraine last month. At the time, however, the US encouraged only some diplomatic staff and their families to depart the country. The move still did not go down well with Kiev, with the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry calling the de-facto evacuation “premature.” Read more
The largest and ‘most accurate’ virtual representation of the universe has been created (Metro)
Researchers have created the ‘largest and most accurate computer simulation to date’ of our section of the universe.
The simulations that recreate the evolution of the cosmos from the Big Bang to the present, were created using a supercomputer at Durham University.
‘It is immensely exciting to see the familiar structures that we know exist around us emerge from a computer calculation,’ said Professor Carlos Frenk, Ogden Professor of fundamental physics at the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University.
‘The fact that we have been able to reproduce these familiar structures provides impressive support for the standard Cold Dark Matter model and tells us that we are on the right track to understand the evolution of the entire universe,’ he said. Read more
4 civilians killed as French forces strike jihadists linked to Burkina Faso attack (France24)
Four civilians were caught in cross fire after French troops supported with an attack helicopter killed 10 Islamist militants in Burkina Faso, the French military said in a statement on Thursday.
France has thousands of troops operating across the Sahel region as part of a mission to combat violence by Islamist militant groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.
But it is considering withdrawing troops from Mali, where relations between Paris and the junta in Bamako have deteriorated.
The death of four civilians in Burkina comes at a bad time with anti-French sentiment especially strong in Mali and it beginning to spillover into Burkina after a coup in January. Read more
Misfire at Oregon bear results in death of 2 US brothers (BBC)
An Oregon man took his own life after accidentally shooting his brother while loading a gun to fire at a bear on their property, police have said.
The man called 911 to report the tragedy, but turned the gun on himself before police arrived.
The incident took place on Tuesday morning in the community of Sunny Valley in rural Josephine County, just north of the border with California.
Neither of the men involved has been identified.
Some 25,000 black bears live in Oregon and homeowners are typically urged to avoid confrontations with them.
According to the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, the 911 caller said he had been loading his weapon with the intent of shooting at the bear. Read more
Mystery behind XL table at Macron-Putin talks explained (RT)
“Two sources” in French President Emmanuel Macron’s “entourage” cited by Reuters claim that the reason behind the extra-long table that was used during the French leader’s recent meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin was the former’s refusal to take a Russian Covid-19 test.
The sources told the agency on Thursday that Macron was required to be socially distanced from Putin after he refused a Russian Covid-19 PCR test in Moscow ahead of their Monday meeting.
An extremely long Kremlin table, which seated Macron on one end and Putin on the other, became one of the most talked about moments of the meeting, with many observers questioning why the two leaders were seated so far apart.
While some commentators suggested the seating arrangement was a political statement, it is now being claimed that the table was a consequence of Macron’s reluctance to be tested by Russian doctors. Read more
DNA and college student help solve 1964 rape and murder of 9-year-old girl (NYPost)
Police have solved a 58-year-old rape and murder of a young girl that rocked a Pennsylvania coal mining town with the help of DNA and a 20-year-old college student and genealogy expert.
Last month, state police dug up the killer’s dead body and found his DNA matched with DNA left on the coat of 9-year-old Marise Ann Chiverella who was abducted on March 18, 1964 while she was walking to school in Hazleton.
Her body was found later that afternoon in a waste coal pit, after she had been raped and strangled to death, cops said.
The killer was finally identified as James Paul Forte — a bartender with a history of violent sexual assault — who died of natural causes in 1980 when he was 38.
Forte, who was 22 when he killed Marise, had no known connections to the girl or her family. Read more
Traore sets tone as Barca look to sustain La Liga momentum (Guardian)
Barcelona’s Spanish forward Adama Traore arrives for the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on February 6, 2022. Josep LAGO / AFP
Adama Traore will look to cement his status as the new darling of Barcelona this weekend after an impressive start to his Nou Camp career.
Last weekend, he delighted fans in the 4-2 win over Atletico Madrid.
One particular moment stood out when he nipped past Mario Hermoso, tumbled to the ground and a roar surged around the ground.
Some stood to applaud, others yelled and pumped their firsts, convinced a free-kick earned a few metres into Atletico Madrid’s half, with only two minutes gone, would set the tone for what was to come.
For Traore, it was the opening note of an hour-long recital, the winger terrorising and harrying the Atletico defence, Hermoso in particular, until finally he began to fade. Read more
World Cup qualifiers: D’Tigress lose to China, play France today (Punch)
D’Tigress suffered an opening day defeat to China 90-76 at the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup, which dunked off Thursday, The PUNCH reports.
The team, who had a poor build-up to the tournament, lost the first three quarters 29-14, 25-22 and 25-16 but bounced back to win the final quarter 11-24.
Amy Okonkwo recorded 15 points, Adaora Elonu and Pallas Akpanah scored 12 points each, while Promise Amukamara bagged 10 points in the defeat.
The African champions will aim to bounce back from the defeat when they take on France, who defeated Mali 77-66 in the other group fixture in their next qualification game scheduled for Friday (today). Read more
Mikel Arteta speaks out on Arsenal’s indiscipline after win at Wolves (Metro)
Mikel Arteta joked he had ‘run out of ideas’ when it came to fixing Arsenal’s disciplinary issues after his side earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over Wolves, despite Gabriel Martinelli’s bizarre sending off.
Gabriel Magalhaes struck from close range to break the deadlock midway through the first half and the Gunners held on to secure three points at Molineux, their third away victory on the bounce in the Premier League.
But the Gunners had to withstand a barrage of late attacks with just 10 men on the field after Martinelli was shown a red card for a pair of bookable offences in the same passage of play with 20 minutes remaining. Read more
Achusiogu plans Adenekan Memorial National Junior Tennis Tournament (Guardian)
Nigeria’S United Kingdom-based tennis umpire, Emeka Achusiogu, is facilitating a national junior tournament in honour of his late friend, Larry Adenekan, who passed away in January, last year.
The national tournament is an open event for U-18 players, who are only required to register to attend the competition and get set to play against others in their age category when the games commence.
Achusiogu said the competition, billed to hold inside the tennis section of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, is slated for other regions of the country later in the year. He added that the first edition in Abuja is a national competition.
Describing the late Adenekan as a very polite umpire, who respected all players irrespective of their categories and status, Achusiogu said, “I set up this foundation in honour of my late friend and the foundation is what we are using to host this tournament. The plan is to hold it yearly and as this is the first edition, we want to do it in accordance with best practices across the world. Read more
Jota scores twice and Salah returns in Liverpool win over Leicester (BBC)
Diogo Jota scored twice as Liverpool cut their deficit to Premier League leaders Manchester City to nine points with a dominant performance against Leicester at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had a host of chances and reliable Portuguese forward Jota netted in each half, pouncing on Kasper Schmeichel’s parry from Virgil van Dijk’s header for the first, before stroking a second late on.
The Reds still have a game in hand on champions City and another commanding display suggests the title race may not yet be a foregone conclusion.
Foxes goalkeeper Schmeichel was in inspired form and made crucial saves to twice deny Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz on his full debut. Read more
Bundesliga mulls new play-offs format amid Bayern dominance (Punch)
As Bayern Munich continue their march towards a tenth successive Bundesliga title this weekend, the German top-flight has been gripped by a debate about whether to introduce end-of-season play-offs to make the league more exciting.
Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern are currently nine points clear at the top of the table, a lead they are expected to defend when they travel to minnows Bochum on Saturday.
With the league now facing another year without a serious title race and a decade of dominance from the Bavarian giants, questions are being asked about the possibility of a new format.
“There are no taboos for me. If play-offs will help us, then we’ll talk about play-offs,” new German Football League CEO Donata Hopfen told Bild newspaper in an interview last Sunday. Read more
Winter Olympics: Kamila Valieva failed drug test confirmed (AlJazeera)
The International Testing Agency has confirmed teenage Russian figure skater, Kamila Valieva, failed a drugs test in December.
The 15-year-old was part of the team which claimed figure skating gold on Monday but the medals were not awarded because of a “legal issue”.
The Russian Anti Doping Agency lifted her suspension, enabling her to continue at the Beijing Games.
But the International Olympic Committee has now appealed against that decision.
The ITA said Valieva – who was the first female skater to land a quadruple jump in competition – had a sample collected on Christmas Day at the Russian Figure Skating Championships in St Petersburg. Read more