Man in EFCC net for allegedly diverting N800m bank loan (Punch)
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested one Adeleke Adeyemi for alleged conspiracy, issuance of dud cheques and diversion of N800m bank loan for personal use.
It was learnt that Adeyemi and his alleged accomplice, Odusanya Memphis (now at large) had in their capacities as directors at a company took N800m loan in 2011 from a commercial bank for the purchase of petroleum products.
It was also gathered that both Adeyemi and Memphis had upon the receipt of the loan diverted the funds for personal use and failed to pay back.
Adeyemi, in a statement by the Head, Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, was said to have failed to pay back the loan after allegedly presenting dud cheques of N50m. Read more
Police, LASTMA, agberos threatening our livelihood, tricycle operators lament (Guardian)
Every day, Rabiu (surname withheld) steps into his commercial tricycle (Keke Marwa) to work, he tries to avoid street urchins (agberos) that work as levy collection touts for the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Police, and officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), a deadly trio he described as a threat to their livelihood and prays not to encounter.
“Speak with any driver around here, they will tell you the same thing, that these agberos, LASTMA and Police are our greatest problems. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid them. The three of them in particular are always devising new ways to steal from us, but these agberos are the worst, they are like cancer to us.
“Every day, I start work by 6 am and most days, it’s like I am working for this set of people. I ply the Cele-Gate-Cele route and we have two chairmen, one at both ends. We pay N800 at Cele and N700 at (Jakande Housing Estate) Gate daily, while on Sunday, we pay N500 at both ends. You cannot say you are not paying the money, else those agberos will remove your seat or even seize your key. Read more
Lagos eases restrictions on social gatherings, event centres (Punch)
The Lagos State Government has further eased restrictions on social gatherings and event centres across the state.
This was contained in a press statement titled ‘Lagos State Government eases restrictions on social and event centres’, on Friday.
The statement was signed by Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile Yusuff, and the Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola.
“The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, after due consultation and deliberations with relevant stakeholders and MDA’s including The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Lagos State Safety Commission has approved the further easing of social centres across the State with immediate effect,” it added. Read more
Security operatives nab Kogi poly student with pistol, ammunition (Tribune)
Security operatives of Kogi State Polytechnic have arrested one Shehu Tenimu Mohammed, an ND II student of the Department of Public Administration of the institution, for being in possession of a locally fabricated pistol while going inside the campus.
The Head, Public Relations and Protocol Unit of the institution, Mrs Uredo Omale, in a press statement issued, on Friday, said the student with Matriculation Number 2018/ND/PAD/170 was, in addition to the possession of the pistol, also carrying five rounds of live ammunition while making his way through the main entrance of the Polytechnic, on Friday.
She stated that the arrest of the student was made possible by the security network put in place to halt any attempt to breach the ban on end-of-examination celebration. Read more
Ekiti: Gunmen kidnap petrol dealer in Fayemi’s hometown (Guardian)
Gunmen have again abducted a petrol dealer, Mr Itakorode Adebayo, at Governor Kayode Fayemi’s hometown of Isan Ekiti in Oye Council of Ekiti State.
The kidnap of Itakorode, General Manager of Prosperous Filling Station, happened a few months after a chieftain of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Alhaji Suleiman Akinbami, was abducted by unknown gunmen at his filling station along Ado-Ijan road.
It was gathered that about eight gunmen invaded the petrol station around 7 pm on Thursday and abducted the victim.
Spokesman of the state Police Command, Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the incident, said a team of Police operatives and detectives, including the Amotekun Corps and local hunters, have been deployed and mandated to comb the bushes and forests across the state to rescue the victim. Read more
How 2 Nigerians are turning ‘Ogogoro’ into premium brand sold in Britain, Kenya, Ghana (Tribune)
Chibueze Akukwe sticks a label on a bottle of an upmarket Nigerian spirit in a factory in Lagos State. He hopes stylish branding will help sell the tipple, fermented in nearby villages using techniques dating back centuries, to upmarket customers.
A spirit called ‘Ogogoro’, referred to locally as “gin”, is extracted from palm trees before undergoing fermentation. The resulting drink is cheap, but varies in potency and quality, Reuters reported.
Akukwe and his business partner, Lola Pedro, are aiming higher with Pedro’s palm spirit, combining traditional techniques with modern distillation processes to attract wealthy drinkers at home and abroad. Pedro’s is already sold in Ghana, Kenya and Britain.
“I didn’t see much of a difference between some of the big name brand spirits that we know all across the globe, when you compare those with Ogogoro,” said Akukwe, speaking at the company’s distillery in Lagos, which produces half-litre bottles sold for $50. Read more
Resident doctors, FG agree, may suspend strike Saturday (Punch)
After an eight-hour meeting with the Federal Government on Friday, the National Association of Resident Doctors may shelve its nine-day-old strike on Saturday (today).
It was learnt that the meeting, which started at past 3pm and ended around 11pm on Friday, received an update on the level of implementation of the Memorandum of Action earlier signed by both parties.
A source said the resident doctors agreed in principle to suspend the ongoing strike after the NARD officials expressed satisfaction with the level of implementation of their demands.
The NARD officials promised to meet with their members on Saturday noon to take a decision on the strike. Read more
Bank worker, another suspect arrested as police foil bank robbery attempt in Delta (Tribune)
The Police in Delta State arrested 32-year-old Joshua Oghenenovo and 29-year-old Kingsley Gbeneku for an alleged robbery attempt on a new generation bank in Ughelli.
Acting Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Delta State Command, DSP Bright Dafe, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Asaba, the state capital. the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported.
He disclosed that the arrest was a major breakthrough by the command, under the watch of the Commissioner of Police, Ari Mohammed, which foiled the attempt to rob the bank. Read more
Bandits kill four MOPOL, Army officers in Kebbi (Guardian)
Bandits in Danko Wasagu Council of Kebbi State have killed four officers of the Police Mobile Force (MOPOL)) and Nigeria Army.
Confirming the incident yesterday in Birnin Kebbi, the state Police Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nafiu Abubakar, said the bandits attacked three villages in council, killing the Police officers and military officers.
He added that during the attack, six bodies of the bandits were recovered, while the investigation was ongoing to ensure peace restored to the affected communities.
He listed the affected villages as Manino, Kanuwa, and Sabongida, all in Danko Wasagu Council, adding that efforts have been intensified to ensure normalcy returned to the area.
In a related development, Bena, Ayu, and Malekachi villages in the council were said to have been attacked yesterday morning. Read more
South African artists struggle with Covid theatre closures (BBC)
South Africa’s once-thriving cultural scene is under threat because coronavirus restrictions have made it difficult to stage public events but some artists have found new ways to show off their creativity, as Mohammed Allie reports from Cape Town.
News of the closure of Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre last month was greeted like the demise of an old friend.
“Another icon has fallen to Covid 19,” John Kani, one of the country’s most famous actors, tweeted.
In just a decade of existence the theatre, named after world-renowned playwright Athol Fugard, had become a much-loved venue that put on work by local writers as well as internationally known plays and musicals. Read more
Chad’s Deby poised for sixth term in disputed election (Guardian)
Voters in Chad go to the polls on Sunday for presidential elections that seem destined to hand the country’s 30-year leader Idriss Deby Itno a sixth term after his most prominent rivals were sidelined.
Deby is a frontrunner in a poll whose initial field of challengers shrank from 16 to six after candidates were barred or quit, while demonstrations have been banned or dispersed.
“Chad’s security forces have ruthlessly cracked down on protesters and the political opposition… harming Chadians’ right to freely choose their elected representatives,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.
Deby has also openly courted support from the moderate opposition, a tactic that should help cement a first-round victory, analysts say. Read more
Derek Chauvin trial: Police restraint killed George Floyd, expert says (BBC)
George Floyd died because of how police restrained him, a medical expert at the trial of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis has said.
Forensic pathologist Dr Lindsey Thomas said “the activities of the law enforcement officers resulted in Mr Floyd’s death” from lack of oxygen.
Mr Chauvin, 45, was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest last May.
The ex-officer is on trial for murder and has denied the charges against him. Read more
US loosens restrictions on Taiwan contacts in defiance of China (AlJazeera)
The State Department has announced that it will make it easier for US officials to meet Taiwanese representatives, defying pressure from China at a time of high tensions, and as the US Congress considers sweeping legislation to counter Beijing’s influence.
The United States still considers Beijing to be China’s legitimate government, consistent with its switch of recognition in 1979, but will do away with some of the convoluted rules that restricted dealings with Taiwan, including in-person meetings.
The updated guidance “underscores Taiwan is a vibrant democracy and an important security and economic partner that is also a force for good in the international community,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. Read more
The Queen and Prince Philip: An enduring royal romance (BBC)
In a marriage which lasted more than seven decades, Prince Philip was the Queen’s support in public at significant national moments – and in private the person who knew her best.
As one private secretary once put it: “Prince Philip is the only man in the world who treats the Queen simply as another human being. He’s the only man who can.”
It was a marriage based on love. They chose one another.
Although it wasn’t the first time their paths had crossed, the photographs from their meeting at Dartmouth Naval College in 1939 reveal the beginning of their life together. Read more
Tobey Maguire’s Spanish voice actor appears to reveal Hollywood star will be in Spider-Man 3: “No Way Home” (Metro)
Speculation that Tobey Maguire might be making an appearance in Spider-Man 3 has ramped up again thanks to a comment by the Spanish voice actor who played him in earlier films. Spider-Man: No Way Home is heading our way in December 2021 and the rumor mill has been in overdrive about past actors reprising their roles as Peter Parker in some way. Lead star Tom Holland’s cryptic comments, casting announcements, and on-set photos have led fans to believe that the film will tackle a live-action version of the Multiverse. This means the upcoming flick would feature a host of characters from previous Spider-Man films, both dead and alive! Read more
China fines Alibaba record $2.75b for anti-monopoly violations (AlJazeera)
Chinese regulators have fined Alibaba Group Holding Ltd 18 billion yuan ($2.75bn) for violating anti-monopoly rules and abusing its dominant market position, marking the highest ever antitrust fine to be imposed in the country.
The penalty, equivalent to approximately 4 percent of Alibaba’s revenues in 2019, came amid an unprecedented regulatory crackdown on the home-grown technology conglomerates in the last few months that have weighed on company shares.
Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma’s business empire has been particularly put under intense scrutiny after his stinging criticism of China’s regulatory system in late October. Read more
Access Bank Lagos City Marathon holds (Punch)
The 2021 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will begin on Saturday (today) at the traditional starting point, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos under strict COVID-19 guidelines, organisers have said.
The organisers assured that the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon remained a highly sought after race by elite runners across the world.
In just its sixth edition, the Lagos race has won prestigious labels like World Athletics Bronze, Silver and Elite Race.
Also, the World Athletics and AIMS requirement for label races like gold and silver labelled runners from the pool of 300 runners recognised by WA will be present ditto timing by Mylaps, use of transponders chips, mats at the start, 10km, 21km, 35km and the finish point, spy cameras along the route and other technical requirements for an elite label race will be present. Read more
Leon Balogun: A new home in Ibrox (ThisDay)
His 19 league appearances and three assists, which in no small measure helped Glasgow Rangers to win the Scottish Premier League for the first time in over a decade, has culminated in the eggheads of the Ibrox side extending the contract of Leon Balogun for one year
After an impressive performance that helped Glasgow Rangers win the Scottish League for the 55th time and for the first time in over a decade, Super Eagles of Nigeria defender, Leon Balogun, has had his contract extended at Scottish Champions having fulfilled a part of his contract that required him to play a specific number of games.
The 32-year-old centre-half signed a one year contract with the Steven Gerrard tutored side in July 2020 having parted ways with Wigan Athletic. Read more
Bribery allegations against me a setup – Sodje (Punch)
Former Super Eagles defender Sam Sodje says allegations of bribery and money laundering against him in 2013 were false, Saturday PUNCH reports.
Sodje said this during an interview session on PUNCH Online programme, Kick & Follow, on Friday.
The 41-year-old was alleged to have helped laundered cash worth £80,000 from an international fraud syndicate, which targeted companies in Colombia, India, Italy and Abu Dhabi.
“There was a video that came out in 2013 claiming I demanded for money to fix matches. There were two individuals in that video, one was saying I looked like a criminal but he was the one who went to jail for 18 months, I didn’t,” Sodje said. Read more
Traore goal gives Wolves win at Fulham (BBC)
Adama Traore struck a stoppage-time winner for Wolves as Fulham’s hopes of remaining in the Premier League suffered another significant blow.
Traore settled the game with a fierce angled drive with little time left.
Earlier, Wolves had been denied a goal when the video assistant referee ruled that Daniel Podence’s arm was fractionally offside before he crossed for Willian Jose to head in.
Fulham stay 18th, a place and three points behind Newcastle. Read more
Real Madrid, Barcelona set for another El Clásico (Guardian)
La Liga’s El Clásico today promises to be a significant game in the title race. Messi’s Barca go into the clash just a point off the top spot, and two points ahead of a Real Madrid that just beat Liverpool in the Champions League.
Today’s match is no doubt the highlight of the weekend’s global football calendar and fans will miss none of the action as the game will be televised live and in HD on the StarTimes’ Sport Premium channel at 8.00 p.m., as Africa’s leading digital-TV operator broadcasts La Liga matches throughout the continent as well as Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup and the coming UEFA Euro 2020.
Today’s home side, Real Madrid has a slight advantage in the statistics, having won 74 of the 181 previous matches, while Barcelona won 72, with 35 endings in a draw.
Due to COVID regulations, the match will be played in the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium, which normally hosts games of the Real Madrid reserve side that campaigns in the Segunda División B, which is the third tier of Spanish football. Read more
Masters 2021: Justin Rose leads at Augusta National (BBC)
England’s Justin Rose leads the Masters heading into the weekend but saw his first-round advantage cut to one shot at Augusta National on Friday.
Rose led by four strokes at seven under par after the opening round but has players queuing up behind him after carding a level-par 72 on day two.
Americans Will Zalatoris (68) and Brian Harman (69) are at six under par.Jordan Spieth and Australia’s Marc Leishman are another shot back, with 10 players now within three of the lead. Read more