Obi picks Obasanjo’s ex-aide, Osuntokun as replacement for Okupe (Vanguard)
The Labour Party has appointed former Political Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr. Akin Osuntokun as the new Director General of its Presidential Campaign.
This was announced by the party’s National Chairman, Julious Abure, in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said the decision was reached after wide consultations with party stakeholders across board.
Recall Mr Okupe recently announced stepped aside as the DG of the campaign organisation of the party, following a judgment of a Federal High Court that convicted him of violating the Money Laundering Act.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu who presided on the case found Okupe guilty of contravening sections 16(1)& ;(2) of the Money Laundering Act and accepting cash in excess of the threshold allowed under the Act without going through a financial institution. Read more
EFCC auctions 144 forfeited Lagos, Abuja mansions, others (Punch)
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has listed for auction 144 luxury houses and lands seized from convicted politicians, public servants, business moguls and internet fraudsters as proceeds of their corrupt practices ranging from money laundering and fraud to misappropriation of funds and fraudulent diversion, among others.
According to documents exclusively obtained by our correspondent, 58 of the houses and lands are in Lagos State; 39 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; 19 in Rivers State; seven in Kwara State; six in Anambra State; four in Oyo State; three in Edo; two in Kaduna; two in Cross River, and one each in Ebonyi, Gombe, Delta, and Osun States.
Some of the properties include a three-bedroom apartment unit with a one-room boys’ quarters located at Foreshore Estate off Onikoyi Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, and Flat 1, Heritage Court Estate, Rivers State, among others. Read more
TV presenter, Olukanni mourns death of Bolanle Raheem (Vanguard)
Nigerian TV presenter, Bolanle Olukanni has expressed her sorrow over the death of Bolanle Raheem, a Lagos lawyer who was killed by a police officer on Christmas Day.
Raheem was shot in the car in front of her family as they were driving home from church whilst attempting to make a U-turn under the Ajah Bridge.
Raheem’s husband claimed that they were trying to make a U-turn under the Ajah Bridge when the ASP allegedly shot at her vehicle and the bullet hit her.
Police Spokesperson Benjamin Hudeyin verified the incident and the arrest of the participating policemen in a tweet. Read more
Jaywon’s belongings stolen in US hotel (Nation)
Singer, Oluwajuwonlo Iledare, popularly known as Jaywon, has been robbed of his belongings at a hotel in the United States.
Jaywon, in a video shared on his Instagram page, said he stepped out of his hotel room where he left his luggage and other items only to get back and realise everything was missing.
In the video shared, two policemen were captured searching the room while the singer lamented his loss.
The ‘‘This Year’’ singer said: “This is where I left my luggage just this afternoon. Now to come back to my hotel, I can’t find my luggage, I can’t find my bag. Read more
Kwankwaso promises to fortify Nigerian security by 400% (Leadership)
The New Nigerian People Party (NNPP) presidential candidate, Engineer Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, promised to strengthen the Nigerian security architecture by 400 percent in order to tackle existing and future challenges in the country.
Kwankwaso, at a campaign held in Dutse capital Jigawa State, noted that the lingering security challenge in the country is a source of concern as people are killed and property destroyed on a daily basis.
According to him, the lackadaisical attitude shown by the authorities to increase the number of security personnel, provide modern weapons and other technical support, makes it difficult for the country to overcome the challenges.
“Considering the Nigerian population and comparing it with the number of security personnel there is no way that they (security) can handle crime and criminal activities in Nigeria. Read more
Buhari mourns longest serving Chief of Warri Kingdom, Rone (Guardian)
President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the Olu of Warri, all chiefs of the Kingdom, family and friends of the Rone family, over the passage of Chief S.S Rone.
Late Rone, Ogienoyibo, was the Obazuaye of Warri and longest serving Chief.
In a condolence message by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina on Tuesday in Abuja, the president appreciated the grace of God on the departed, which saw him serving four monarchs as a high-ranking Chief.
Buhari lauded the late chief for helping to maintain peace, amity and development in Warri and environs. Read more
NDE doles out loans to artisans in Lagos (Sun)
Lagos State office of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has commenced disbursement of loans to eligible artisans under the Special Public Works Department (SPW) in accordance with the vision statement of the directorate.
The disbursement, the NDE said, was in its bid to create employment, add value to the lives of citizens, increase their standard of living as well as ensure sustainable economic growth in the state.
The Director General, Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, who was represented by the state Coordinator, Serena Olayebi Edward, while speaking at the ceremony in Lagos, reiterated that the essence of the programme is to assist artisans with soft loans and components to help boost their businesses.
She said the loan being disbursed came as a single digit repayment to be paid within a two year. Read more
1 killed, 45 abducted by gunmen in Kaduna (Leadership)
Suspected gunmen have killed one person and abducted 45 others in Angwan Aku community in Kajuru local government area of Kaduna State.
The gunmen reportedly struck on Sunday morning when the residents were preparing to go to church for the Christmas celebration.
According to online news platform, thecable.ng, the gunmen stormed the village on motorcycles.
“They came around 10am on Sunday when people were preparing to go to church,” a resident of the community said. Read more
Melanie C pulls out of Poland NYE gig in solidarity with ‘communities I support’ (BBC)
Melanie C has pulled out of a New Year’s Eve concert in Poland after being made aware of issues “that do not align with the communities I support”.
The Spice Girl had been due to perform in the town of Zakopane on Saturday.
She didn’t specify why she cancelled her appearance, but her decision was praised by LGBT people and allies.
Polish authorities and the TV station organising the concert have been widely criticised in recent years for their stances on LGBT rights.
The singer wrote on social media: “In light of some issues that have been brought to my attention, that do not align with the communities I support, I’m afraid I will no longer be able to perform in Poland as planned on New Year’s Eve. Read more
Irish book club gets €5k boost from Russell Crowe (RTE)
Ireland’s biggest book club has received a €5,000 donation from actor Russell Crowe for the second year in a row for its charity appeal.
RTÉ broadcaster Rick O’Shea, who runs the online club, tweeted that they had had a “minor miracle” yet again this year with over €30,000 raised this Christmas being split between homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust and the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
RTÉ broadcaster Rick O’Shea, who runs the online club, tweeted that they had had a “minor miracle” yet again this year.
“It is the season and all,” Mr O’Shea tweeted. Read more
5 space exploration missions to look out for in 2023 (Metro)
It’s been an eventful year for space exploration.
Successes include the completion of Nasa’s Artemis 1 mission (finally), the inauguration of the James Webb Space Telescope, and the completion of China’s Tiangong space station.
2023 is set to be another busy year.
Here are five of the most exciting missions to watch out for.
1. Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer
In April, the European Space Agency (Esa) is set to launch the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice), in what will be Europe’s first dedicated robotic mission to Jupiter. Juice is due to reach the planet in July 2031 after performing an incredible flight path through the Solar System. The mission will enter into orbit around Jupiter and perform numerous flybys of its large icy moons: Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Read more
1st trailer for American Horror Story star Emma Roberts’ new rom-com (DigitalSpy)
The first trailer for Emma Roberts’ new rom-com Maybe I Do has been released.
The American Horror Story actress is part of a star-studded cast, also including Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, William H Macy and Luke Bracey.
Written and directed by Michael Jacobs, this romantic comedy follows Michelle (Roberts) and Allen (Bracey), a young couple who are thinking about getting married. Allen, however, has cold feet – to the point he steals Michelle’s chance to get the bouquet at a wedding, preventing her from being the next woman in the room to walk down the aisle.
The awkward moment leads to a terrible discussion, with the couple finally agreeing to organise a dinner with their parents to see if a wedding is on the cards. But this in-laws meeting turns into a social nightmare since Michelle’s parents (Gere, Keaton) and Allen’s (Macy, Sarandon) aren’t exactly strangers. Read more
Offset honoured with key to Gwinnett County at inaugural Offset Toy Giveaway (NME)
Offset has been honoured with a key to Gwinnett County – the suburban Georgia locale where he and his bandmates in Migos were raised – during the inaugural edition of his Offset Toy Giveaway event.
As reported by Fox 5, the rapper (whose real name is Kiari Cephus) hosted the event in his hometown last Friday (December 23) in an effort to provide for children in situations of hardship.
“I just wanted to give back to my community,” Cephus reportedly told the crowd. “Thanks to all the kids for always supporting me and always listening to me and always just being there for me, you know? Y’all hold me up. You know we’ve been going through a tough time, but God is good.”
In a separate statement given to Fox 5, Cephus said of his philanthropic endeavour: “I like to see when celebrities give back to the community, and you know, do their best to make sure that the kids get where they need to go.” Read more
Miley Cyrus wants to be removed from Morrissey’s new album (MusicNews)
Miley Cyrus allegedly wants her vocals to be removed from a song on Morrissey’s upcoming album.
In a post on his website titled “Miley Cyrus Is a Punk Rocker”, the Smiths frontman claimed that Miley no longer wanted her vocals on a collaboration titled I Am Veronica, which appears on his forthcoming album Bonfire of Teenagers.
“Miley Cyrus now wants to be taken off the song I Am Veronica for which she volunteered backing vocals almost two years ago. This comes at a time when Morrissey has disassociated himself with Capitol Records (Los Angeles), who control the hidden album Bonfire of Teenagers,” reads the message, which was posted over the weekend.
The post was accompanied by a photo of Miley and Morrissey in a recording studio. Read more
Putin critic found dead in ‘‘fall from window’’ in India after slamming ‘terror’ in Ukraine (Express)
Russian MP Pavel Antov, 65, has been found dead after falling from a hotel window just days after his friend died of a “heart attack” during their trip to India. Mr Antov was Russia’s highest-earning elected official and part of the main pro-Putin party United Russia.
However, the sausage mogul, who founded one of Russia’s largest sausage makers, had criticised the invasion of Ukraine and died while on a trip to celebrate his upcoming 66th birthday.
On social media Mr Antov described the war and air strikes on Kyiv as Russian “terror” on Ukrainian civilians.
He noted that a Russian missile strike left a girl being pulled from the rubble which killed her dad and also saw her mother trapped. Read more
Flying Eagles train in Spain or Morocco, camp reopens January 7 (Sun)
The Flying Eagles will finalise their preparations for the U20 AFCON in Spain or Morocco and the training camp will reopen on January 7, according to coach Ladan Bosso.
“The camp will resume January 7 and the training tour will either be in Spain or Morocco,” Bosso said in a radio interview.
The 2023 U20 AFCON will be played in Egypt between February 19 and March 11 with the top four teams qualifying to the U20 World Cup in Indonesia in May.
The Flying Eagles are drawn in Group A along with hosts Egypt, Senegal and Mozambique. Read more
Oscar Alvarez Jr. inks promotional pact, to return in January (BoxingScene)
World Cup Boxing Series (WCBS) has signed Mexican prospect, undefeated super featherweight Oscar Alvarez Jr. (7-0, 7 KOs), to an exclusive promotional contract.
WCBS was launched in 2020 by CEO Terry Hollan and promoter/matchmaker Guy Taylor.
The 19-year-old Alvarez, physically speaking, is a boxing freak for a super featherweight, standing 6′ 3″with a 78″ reach, which he has used to his advantage during his 15-month pro career, stopping each of his seven opponents.
“When do you ever see a 6 ‘3″ super featherweight,” Taylor asked. “It’s freakish to see somebody like that in front of you, and then you top it off with one-punch, knockout power, in addition to his accurate, precise combination punching, and surgical body-attack on the inside. That’s a handful for anyone to fight at any level. Read more
Norwich City sack Dean Smith after he banned family from games amid Carrow Road fan fury (Mirror)
Norwich City have sacked Dean Smith.
The former Aston Villa manager, who oversaw the side’s relegation from the Premier League last season, has been dismissed following the Canaries’ 2-1 loss to Luton Town in the Championship on Boxing Day. That result meant Norwich have won just three of their last 13 league games – losing three of their last four – despite still sitting fifth in the Championship table.
But Smith has struggled to impress the Carrow Road masses during his 13 months at the helm, and a number of disappointing recent displays had seen a large section of supporters become increasingly vocal with their displeasure. And that has led to majority shareholder Delia Smith and husband Michael Wynn-Jones to make the decision to axe Smith and his assistant, Craig Shakespeare, in a bid to save the side’s ailing promotion hopes. Read more
Agnelli says leaving Juventus ”not easy”, defends club (RFI)
Outgoing Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, who quit amid claims of false accounting at Italy’s biggest football club, told shareholders Tuesday that leaving was difficult but the club “comes before everything”.
Agnelli, whose 12-year reign brought a host of trophies for the Turin giants, said allegations against the club were “not justified”, but said he was leaving to avoid complicating the situation further.
The decision to resign along with the rest of the board in November “was not an easy decision for me”, he said, saying he “always loved this club” and had worked “as hard as I can” for its success.
“However, it was a decision that I made with complete conviction and in complete serenity,” he said. Read more
Carlos Sainz wants to unleash ‘‘consistent Carlos of 2021’’ again (PlanetF1)
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz is eager to re-capture his 2021 consistency in order to produce a stronger title challenge in 2023.
The Spaniard finished every race in 2021, his first year with Ferrari, with that consistency helping him to beat Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship and secure fifth place overall.
However, Sainz wasn’t able to replicate that form into 2022, instead retiring from five Grands Prix during the season – including three first-lap retirements at Imola, Suzuka, and the Circuit of the Americas.
As a result, Sainz is hopeful of a much more straightforward year in 2023, his third season dressed in red. Read more
Novak Djokovic: Serb lands in Australia after ban overturned (BBC)
Novak Djokovic has been welcomed back into Australia almost a year after he was deported over his Covid vaccine status.
Officials confirmed the 21-time Grand Slam champion, 35, had landed in the country for January’s Australian Open.
Serb Djokovic, a nine-time Australian Open winner, had an automatic three-year visa ban overturned in November.
“I think that he is going to be again the player to beat,” said Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley. Read more