#LekkiMassacre: Claims soldiers killed protesters not verified – US report (Tribune)
Against the tides of various reports by local and international bodies on the shooting of protesters at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020, the United States government has said the claims could not be verified.
In a report by the US Department of State, ‘2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria,’ released on March 30, 2021, the United States said accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at the end of the year.
“On October 20, members of the security forces enforced curfew by firing shots into the air to disperse protesters who had gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos to protest abusive practices by the Nigerian Police Force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Read more
Lagos law enforcement officers to use body camera, says Sanwo-Olu (Punch)
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that law enforcement officers in the state will now make use of body camera while discharging their duties.
Sanwo-Olu announced the rollout of the plan on Tuesday at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Present at the event is the Head, Law Enforcement Training Institute, Prince Ifalade Oyekan, and officers of the state’s law enforcement outfits.
The officers will be trained by the LETI. Read more
Sanwo-Olu pledges to prioritise investment in education (Guardian)
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that no reward is enough for all that teachers are doing, considering the passion they bring to the job by inculcating in children the values they require to succeed; and also going the extra mile to teach, train and equip students to excel as global citizens.
Sanwo-Olu, who spoke at the 2021 Teachers’ Merit Award where 12 teachers got brand new cars for their outstanding contributions, said his administration would continue to prioritise investment in education by improving the capacity, competence and welfare of teachers, bridging the teacher-pupil ratio in schools, making the education sector more ICT-compliant, exposing teachers to international best practices, as well as ensuring that Lagos public schools are conducive for teaching and learning with quality and modern infrastructure.
He added that the administration was cognisant of the essential roles teachers play in building a formidable society, which is why he and his team are committed to rewarding exceptional teachers on a regular basis. Read more
Anti-cultism law: Lagos police arraign 60 suspects (Punch)
The Lagos State Police Command has arraigned 60 suspected cultists before the Chief Magistrate Court, Yaba on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
The suspects who arrested at various points and communities in the state were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Adeola Adedayo with the new Lagos State Anti-Cultism Law, 2021.
They were arraigned on 13 count charge including conspiracy, murder, cultism, unlawful possession of firearms and breach of public peace under the new Lagos State Anti Cultism Law, 2021 and Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015. Read more
Rail projects: We’ve borrowed $2.5bn from China Exim Bank – Amaechi (Vanguard)
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said the Federal Government borrowed about $2.5 billion for the construction of a railway linking Lagos and Ibadan.
Amaechi, who stated this in an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on Monday night, said: “If you look at the whole total cost, it will be $2.5 to $2.6 billion that we have borrowed from China Exim Bank.’’
He explained that the Federal Government’s decision to extend the rail line to the nation’s seaports was for the economic benefit associated with it.
“But at the end of the day, the project is costing about $2 billion. The government is coughing out more than just $200 million. We are bringing out about $700 million because we have to extend to the seaport in Apapa which was not part of the original design. Read more
Nigerian Immigration Service opens 24 hours express passport center (Guardian)
The Nigeria Immigration Service, (NIS), on Tuesday, opened a 24 hours express passport processing center in Maitama, Abuja, to cater to applicants who are in need of passports within the shortest possible time.
The express booklets can be accessed at the cost of N20, 000 within three days but for those who wish to get it within 24 hours, they would be charged N30, 000.
In a communique issued from the office of the public relations officer of the service, Sunday James, minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said the new center is aimed at ensuring that individuals procure passports almost immediately in situations of urgency.
He said that “the opening of the center is timely as it has added value to service to Nigerians.” Read more
Osinbajo presides over FEC as cabinet honours Olowoporoku, Baba (Tribune)
With President Muhammadu Buhari away in the United Kingdom for a medical checkup, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is presiding over today’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Before the commencement of the meeting taking place in the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, cabinet members observed a minute of silence in honour of two former ministers: Senator Bode Olowoporoku; and Alhaji Umaru Muhammad Baba.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who officially announced the demise of the former ministers, recalled their various services to the country.
Senator Olowoporoku, who died on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at the age of 76 years, served as Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District at the Senate and was Minister of Science and Technology in the Second Republic. Read more
Outrage in Nigeria over Buhari’s London medical trips (Guardian)
Critics of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari have launched an outcry after he flew to London for a medical visit, highlighting his frequent trips abroad for treatment and the country’s ramshackle health system.
Buhari, 78, has made several trips to London since he came to power in 2015 and was re-elected for another four-year term in 2019.
Although the nature of his ailment has never been made public, Buhari confessed in one of the trips that he had “never been so ill” and that he had received several blood transfusions.
In his latest visit to the British capital on Tuesday, the presidency said the retired general, who was military ruler in the 1980s, would be away for two weeks. Read more
CSO calls for arrest of CCT chair over alleged assault of security guard in Abuja (Vanguard)
A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Concerned Nigerians (CN), Wednesday, called for the arrest of Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, over the alleged assault of a private security guard at the popular Banex Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja.
The statement which was signed by Convener, CN, Comrade Deji Adeyanju, expressed shock over alleged denial by Umar of assaulting the young man allegedly captured in a viral video by eyewitnesses.
The statement reads in part, “The attention of Concerned Nigerians for the protection of Human Rights and Rule of Law Initiative has been drawn to a press statement by the Code of Conduct Tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar denying the assault he unleashed on innocent Nigerian carrying out his duty at the Banex Plaza, Wuse 2 Abuja.
“We are surprised that the CCT chairman will blatantly deny a viral video that was captured by many witnesses. The violent attack on the private security guard is distasteful and should be condemned by all and sundry. Read more
7-year-old New York boy charged with rape (NYPost)
A 7-year-old boy from upstate New York has been charged with rape, a report said Tuesday.
The child, of Brasher Falls near the Canadian border, was arrested by state police in connection with an incident that happened on Thanksgiving, according to local station WWNY.
He was charged with third-degree rape on March 23, the CBS affiliate said.
The boy was released and will be reportedly tried in Family Court.
A Queens attorney who handles youth defense cases told the station the case is “absurd.” Read more
ICC appeals court upholds acquittal of Ivorian ex-president Gbagbo (France24)
International Criminal Court appeals judges have upheld the acquittals of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo and former minister Charles Ble Goude on charges of involvement in deadly post-election violence.
Both were acquitted in 2019 of responsibility for crimes including murder, rape and persecution following disputed elections in 2010, with judges saying prosecutors failed to prove their case. The decision halted the trial before defense lawyers had even presented their evidence.
Wednesday’s appeals panel decision to reject the prosecutors’ appeal against the acquittal ends proceedings against both men. Read more
Skull of dinosaur called ‘one who causes fear’ found in Patagonia (BBC)
Scientists in southern Argentina have found the skull of a large meat-eating dinosaur named “one who causes fear” in the local Mapuche language.
The horned Llukalkan aliocranianus was around 5 metres (16 feet) long and roamed South America 85 million years ago.
Researchers found remains nearby of another carnivorous dinosaur, something they said was highly unusual.
The findings from Patagonia were published on Tuesday. Read more
Man busted for Midtown attack on Asian woman was on parole for killing his mom (NYPost)
The man busted for the hate-fueled attack on an Asian woman in Midtown was out on parole for killing his own mother back in 2002, authorities said Wednesday.
Brandon Elliot, 38, who lives in a nearby hotel that serves as a homeless shelter, was arrested early Wednesday and hit with a number of charges, including assault as a hate crime and attempted assault as a hate crime, police said.
He was caught on video mercilessly punching and kicking the 65-year-old victim in front of an apartment building at 360 West 43rd Street around 11:40 a.m. Monday, yelling “F–k you, you don’t belong here,” according to cops and police sources.
In April 2002, Elliot was charged with murder for using a kitchen knife to stab his mother, Bridget Johnson in the chest three times in their East 224th Street home in the Bronx, according to previous reports. Read more
Uganda climate change: The people under threat from a melting glacier (BBC)
Ronah Masika remembers when she could still see the snowy caps of the Rwenzori mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The view was stunning every time she travelled from her home in Kasese town to the Ugandan capital, Kampala – and it was not even that long ago.
But now she cannot even catch a glimpse of the ice because the glacier is receding.
And it is not only the view that has changed. Read more
France Fire: Young heroes climb building to save family in Nantes (BBC)
A group of young people in the French city of Nantes are being hailed for rescuing a family from a fire in an apartment building.
Dramatic footage shows them scaling the side of the building and helping the parents escape their third-floor flat on Sunday afternoon.
Mattresses were brought to the foot of the building and the couple’s six-month-old baby was thrown to safety.
She was taken to hospital in a critical condition but is said to be recovering. Read more
Wealthy Americans dodge $175b in taxes each year (VOA)
The Biden administration is planning to fund most of a massive investment in US infrastructure and jobs by raising tax rates on the wealthy and on businesses. But a new study shows that wealthy individuals are already holding back about $175 billion in taxes every year through complex tax evasion schemes. Further, experts warn that higher rates could lead to even less compliance with tax laws.
It has never been a secret that every year the United States faces a “tax gap” — the difference between taxes owed and taxes paid. But when researchers from the Internal Revenue Service teamed up with three academic economists to measure the amount of income that wealthy Americans conceal from the IRS each year, their estimates far exceeded previous calculations.
Their paper, published this month by the National Bureau for Economic Research, used comprehensive data from IRS records to demonstrate that individuals in the top 1% of U.S. income earners under-report their income by an average of 20% every year. Read more
What Francis Ngannou’s UFC triumph means for Cameroonians (Aljazeera)
Yaounde, Cameroon – Christel Youbi would not miss it for anything. Like many others in Cameroon, she was determined to stay up all night and watch her countryman Francis Ngannou take on American champion Stipe Miocic in Las Vegas for the UFC heavyweight title.
The mixed martial arts (MMA) bout on Saturday was a rematch of a lopsided Miocic decision victory three years ago. But this time, things were different.
Ngannou, whose knockout power is seemingly unmatched (he had won the previous four fights in a combined two minutes and 42 seconds), dominated the first round.
And 52 seconds into the second, Miocic was flattened on the canvas – and Ngannou was on top of the world. Read more
Crucial Sierra Leone-Benin Africa Cup clash postponed over Covid-19 row (France24)
The decisive African Cup of Nations qualifier between Sierra Leone and Benin, which failed to take place on Tuesday after five players from Benin were declared COVID-19 positive, has been postponed to June, officials said on Wednesday.
The match in Freetown was to settle a place at the 24-team Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon next January with Benin needing a draw but their hosts having to win.
Benin accused Sierra Leone of gamesmanship when told, some 90 minutes before kick off, that five of their players had failed COVID-19 tests and could not play.
“A shame for African football what is currently happening, we hope the Confederation of African football will take action,” the Benin Football Federation said on Twitter soon after. Read more
Chelsea hammer Wolfsburg to reach Women’s Champions League semis (BBC)
Pernille Harder scored her second goal of the tie against her former club from the penalty spot
Chelsea reached the Women’s Champions League semi-finals as they handsomely beat two-time winners Wolfsburg 5-1 on aggregate in their quarter-final.
Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr were on target again, with Fran Kirby also scoring in a 3-0 second leg win a week after they had edged the first leg 2-1.
They will face either Bayern Munich or Rosengard from Sweden in the last four.
Harder netted a first-half penalty and Kerr fired home a second shortly after, before Kirby slotted a late third.
Two goals in the space of four first-half minutes in Hungary put Emma Hayes’ side out of sight as they booked a place in the semi-finals for a third time. Read more
Dramatic minor-league mascot robbery has a happy ending (NYPost)
This would have been no way for minor-league baseball to return.
Police were asking “Where’s Looie?” after a minor league baseball team in Tennessee reported its team mascot was stolen from its ballpark.
Thankfully, the mascot appears to be recovered with the team thanking authorities on Twitter.
The Chattanooga Lookouts told authorities that the costume of its mascot Looie was stolen from an office at AT&T Field on Tuesday, according to a Facebook post from Chattanooga police. The Lookouts said “hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise and equipment were also stolen.” Read more
Arsenal Women: Joe Montemurro to depart as head coach at end of season (BBC)
Arsenal head coach Joe Montemurro is to leave the Women’s Super League club at the end of the season.
The 51-year-old is to take “a professional break” in order to spend more time with his family.
“This has been the hardest professional decision of my life,” he said. “I absolutely love this job and club.”
After taking over at Arsenal in 2017, Australian Montemurro helped lead the Gunners to their first WSL title in seven years in 2019. Read more
Inaugural Basketball Africa League to tip off May 16 in Kigali, Rwanda (Guardian)
The inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) will tip off on May 16 at the Kigali Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, with 12 teams from across Africa competing in the new professional league, the organisers have announced.
According to a statement sent to The Guardian, the BAL, a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), builds on the foundation of club competitions FIBA regional office Africa has organized on the continent and marks the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America.
The first BAL Finals will be held on May 30.According to the organisers, the BAL will implement robust health and safety protocols for the 12 teams and personnel traveling to Rwanda, based on guidance from the World Health Organization and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, with advice from public health officials and medical experts. Read more