Offa bank robbery: How Kyari offered me N10m, visa to implicate Saraki —Principal suspect (Vanguard)
One of the principal suspects in the trial of the Offa bank robbery incident at a Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, Mr Ayoade Akinrinbosun, yesterday, told the court how the former Commander, IRT squad, Abba Kyari, offered him N10 million to implicate former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in the armed robbery case.
He further told the court that Kyari promised to give him a visa to any country of his choice if he supports the move to implicate Saraki, but that he declined the offer.
Five suspects, Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham and two others were charged to court by the police for criminal conspiracy to rob the banks, murder of nine policemen and other citizens, and illegal possession of firearms.
During the incident, about 10 persons were feared killed while other residents of Offa sustained injuries. Read more
Fuel scarcity bites harder, marketers blame NNPCL (Punch)
As the petrol scarcity across the country continues to linger, oil marketers have accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited of politicising the supply process and making vain promises.
The oil marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria claimed they had yet to get fuel, despite the assurances from the Managing Director of the NNPCL Retail, Hubb Stocksman, in December that they would receive direct product supply at the government-regulated price of N148/litre from this month.
Akinrinade added that marketers as of last Friday bought products from the depots at between N235-N240 per litre, saying there was no way they would sell products below N270/litre even within the Lagos metropolis.
We have yet to see any product supply. Well, the man (Stockman) has been in Nigeria for some time now and is probably beating us to our game. He’s playing politics and we don’t see the situation abating soonest,” the Chairman of Satellite Depot, IPMAN, Akin Akinrinade, told The PUNCH.
The IPMAN official said this as fuel queues worsened on Wednesday. Read more
Edo Train Kidnap: Two Traditional Rulers Arrested (Tribune)
Edo State Government on Wednesday announced that two traditional rulers had been arrested in connection with the Saturday, January 7, kidnap of 20 training passengers who were waiting to board a train from Igueben train station to Warri in Delta State.
Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Mr Chris Osa Nehikhare, who announced the arrest of the two traditional rulers did not mention their names.
It would be recalled that upon his return to Benin City, the state capital, on Sunday, Governor Godwin Obaseki blamed the Federal Government for not providing adequate security at the train station despite the Abuja- Kaduna train incident during which scores of passengers were kidnapped and spent months in captivity before they were set free by their captors.
Governor Obaseki also blamed the traditional rulers in the locality for not being vigilante enough. Read more
Army probes soldier, policeman’s fight over one-way (Punch)
A yet-to-be-identified soldier on Wednesday engaged in a brawl with a policeman on Carter Bridge, Apongbon, in the Lagos Island Local Government Area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that a driver was conveying the soldier to a destination in the state when he drove against traffic and was stopped by policemen attached to the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, aka Task Force, for violating the traffic law of the state.
The soldier reportedly stepped out of the vehicle and challenged the officials for stopping the vehicle.
In the process, the soldier and the policemen engaged in a shouting match which degenerated into a scuffle between the soldier and a yet-to-be-identified cop. Read more
Anyaoku Marks 90th Birthday, Regrets Nigeria’s Decline, Hopeful 2023 Polls Will Bring Change (ThisDay)
Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, yesterday, expressed disappointment in Nigeria’s deterioration, and regretted the alarming number of poor people in the country. Anyaoku made the comments yesterday in Lagos during his 90th birthday celebration.
However, the diplomat said he was optimistic that the forthcoming general election will produce leaders that would help reset the country. He also thanked God that he was born in Nigeria, saying, “Very few countries are as blessed as Nigeria.”
Anyaoku said the worsening state of insecurity in Nigeria, which he noted had made travelling by road dangerous, should be a source of concern to everyone in the country. He also stated that the country’s green passport was being despised at many international airports.
The octogenarian said, “An undeniable truth at the moment is that our country has declined, insecurity has made traveling by road dangerous.
“The green passport is disdained in many international airports. Our economy is such that most of our young people and increasingly a great number of our professionals are going abroad for greener pastures. Nigeria now has one of the greatest concentrations of people living below the poverty line. Read more
“Odu’a Investment shuts Premier Hotel, lays off workers (Guardian)
The Odu’a Investment Company Limited (OICL), owners of Premier Hotel, Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday, announced temporary shut down of the business outfit.
The company said it had entered into a joint venture agreement with a seasoned international hotel development and management firm with requisite expertise to remodel the hotel.
In a statement by the company’s Head, Branding and Communications, Victor Aiyetoro, the firm said the decision was in pursuit of excellence and commitment to reposition it.
“We hereby notify our stakeholders and the general public that in pursuit of excellence and commitment to reposition the Premier Hotel, the company has entered into a joint venture agreement with a seasoned international hotel development and management company with the requisite expertise, technical and financial capacity for redeveloping and revamping the hotel. Read more
Emefiele appeals court summons, challenges judge (Punch)
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has filed his appeal against the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja, which compelled him to appear in a $53 million judgment debt suit.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the FHC had in his ruling last year summoned the CBN governor over his alleged refusal to obey the order of the court for the payment of the judgment debt in favour of a legal practitioner, Joe Agi (SAN).
Although the court had ordered Emefiele to appear before the court on January 18 (Wednesday), proceedings could not go on as scheduled when the matter was called, prompting the court to subsequently adjourned the case till March 20.
The judgment summons, now a subject of the appeal, was in respect of suit NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/1193/2017, between Joe Agi (SAN), against Linas International Ltd, the Minister of Finance and CBN. Read more
Patient dies after car runs over him in JUTH premises (Vanguard)
A middle-aged man, identified as Mallam Zubairu, has died after a vehicle ran over him on the premises of Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, Plateau State.
Zubairu, a resident of Lamingo, Jos East Local Government Area of the state, had visited JUTH for a health-related issue where he met his untimely death.
A family member, identified simply as Abok, who spoke to NAN, after the incident, said the deceased visited the hospital for a routine check-up for an ailment.
Abok added that the late Zubairu was on his way out of the hospital when he was run over by a vehicle. Read more
New Zealand PM Ardern to step down next month (BBC)
Jacinda Ardern has announced she will quit as New Zealand prime minister next month, saying she no longer has “enough in the tank” to lead.
Ms Ardern choked up as she detailed how six “challenging” years in the job had taken a toll.
She will step down as Labour Party leader no later than 7 February. There will be a vote in the coming days to determine her replacement.
New Zealand will hold a general election on 14 October.
Ms Ardern, 42, said she had taken time to consider her future over the summer break. Read more
Screaming Trees bassist Van Conner dies aged 55 after ‘extended illness’ (Metro)
Screaming Trees bassist Van Conner has died at the age of 55.
Conner’s brother Gary Lee confirmed the news in a Facebook post on Wednesday, paying tribute to the late Californian musician.
The message read: ‘Van Conner bassist and song writer of Screaming Trees died last night of an extended illness at 55.
‘It was pneumonia that got him in the end. He was one of the closest friends I ever had and I loved him immensely. I will miss him forever and ever and ever.’ Read more
Kardashians are confused, concerned about Kanye West’s new marriage (PageSix)
The Kardashian family is confused — and concerned — over Kanye West’s sudden “marriage” to Yeezy architect Bianca Censori, a source tells Page Six.
One of the issues the family is worried about, our source says, is how West’s alleged new bride would figure into his kids’ lives.
“The family isn’t taking this as a marriage yet,” a source tells us. “They don’t know what it is.”
After going missing following a string of recent anti-Semitic outbursts, it was reported last week that West, 45, wed his employee Censori, 27, in an intimate Beverly Hills, Calif., ceremony.
The source tells us the Kardashians are now waiting to see if the disgraced rapper actually files marriage papers. Read more
Renner home from hospital after snow plow accident (Variety)
Actor Jeremy Renner says he has been discharged from the hospital after receiving treatment for critical wounds sustained in a snow plow accident.
He reportedly tweeted, “Outside my brain fog in recovery, I was very excited to watch episode 201 with my family at home”, while responding to a Twitter post Monday about his Paramount+ TV series Mayor of Kingstown.
The actor had been run over by his own 7-ton Pistenbully snow groomer in Nevada while trying to use it to free a relative’s vehicle on a private road near Lake Tahoe on New Year’s Day, according to authorities.
The accident left him in critical condition with major chest trauma and other injuries, according to a Renner representative.
Authorities are still investigating but have said there were no signs that Renner was impaired and no indication of any foul play.
The 52-year-old two-time Oscar nominee plays Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has a recurring role in the Mission Impossible franchise. Read more
Fans rage as Madonna’s Celebration World Tour ticket prices soar (Metro)
Madonna fans trying to buy presale tickets for The Celebration World Tour have been left dumbfounded by their price.
Following a bombshell announcement on January 17 that the pop icon would be touring her greatest hits from her 40-year career, fans rushed to their computers as tickets went on sale at 9am today.
The only UK date Madonna has announced is on October 14 at London’s O2 Academy, and the only fans so far that have had a bite of the apple are her fan club members and O2 Priority customers.
Today’s batch is now sold out, but presale super-fans are also in with a shot tomorrow at 9am with LiveNation. Read more
Zelensky says fatal crash was consequence of war (BBC)
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said there are “no accidents at war time” after 14 people died in a helicopter crash in the capital, Kyiv.
Ukraine has not claimed Russian involvement, but Mr Zelensky told the World Economic Forum in Davos the tragedy was a consequence of the war.
Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky died, alongside several colleagues.
Mr Zelensky also used his video address to urge allies to quickly send more weapons before new Russian offensives.
“The time the free world uses to think is used by the terrorist state to kill,” he explained. The remark was interpreted as a request for Germany to hurry along a delivery of its much-coveted Leopard tanks. Read more
Salma Hayek, 56, is ‘aging backwards’ in glam new photo (PageSix)
Fifty-six has never looked so good.
Fans are convinced Salma Hayek is “aging backwards” after the actress shared a stunning photo to her Instagram Wednesday looking half her age.
“Good morning!! buenos días!! bonjour!! ,” the “Frida” star captioned a photo of herself in a robe after getting her hair and makeup done.
Hayek wore her dark brown tresses up in a sleek ponytail and opted for bright red lipstick to match her old Hollywood glam.
“You look 25 mi chula,” one follower commented, while another added, “Omg why you still look the same 15years ago?” Read more
Navy wins maiden paintball competition, polo tournament (Guardian)
The Nigerian Navy (NN) has won the maiden Paintball competition organised by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Abuja in collaboration with Forest Hunters. Held at the weekend, it was part of activities that commemorated this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day (AFRD).
The competition was held at Three Bridges Park, Idu, Abuja.
The AFRD is an event celebrated yearly on January 15 to remember Nigeria’s fallen heroes, who died in active service and to honour military veterans.
Special guest of honour at the competition, Chief of Defence Staff, General LEO Irabor, disclosed that the Paintball competition is novel in the Armed Forces, adding, however, that DHQ considered it worthwhile because of what it represents to the Force and youths of Nigeria.
“It is envisaged that events like this will deepen military-civilian interaction in our country.” Read more
NPFL: Teenage sensation Gidado tips Abia Warriors to beat Bayelsa United (Nation)
Following his superb performance for Abia Warriors on MatchDay 1 2-0 away win against Rangers International , Abubakar Mohammed Gidado has enthused that Abia Warriors are capable of securing their second successive win in the on-going Nigeria Premier Football League(NPFL).
The teenager who made his breakthrough on the domestic scene with Jigawa Golden Stars , said the NPFL title would be keenly contested for judging by his side’s performance away to Rangers last weekend.
“We thank God for winning our the first league game of the season against Enugu Rangers,” the 18-year-old Gidado who is on the books of Kingsgrant Sports Limited, said.“ It was not an easy match as such, it was great to win away from home.”
Today, Abia Warriors will be at home against Bayelsa United at the Umuahia Township Stadium and the skilful attacking midfielder said victory over Rangers will bolster their confidence.
“I have confidence in my team mates and I believe we are going to win our next game at home against Bayelsa United,” he said.“ Now, I believe you can win anywhere if you have a good team because the officiating is good based on the performances of the referee on the first round of matches.
“ As such, we are going to put out our best against Bayelsa United; I believe in our players and the coaches and this season, we are ready to fight for points with any club, “ he added. Read more
2023: Sports ministry earmarks N116.3m for vehicle maintenance, fuel (Leadership)
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has proposed to spend the sum of N116.3m on maintenance and fueling of vehicles, plants and generators in 2023.
This was contained in the 2023 appropriation act signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The breakdown of the expenditure revealed that the Sports Ministry would be funding the maintenance of their motor vehicles and transport equipment with the whopping N25,693,619 and N55, 982, 564 on fuel and lubricants.
The documents sourced from the Budget Office of the Federation also revealed that the maintenance of office furnitures, building, residential quarters and IT equipment will cost N24.25m.
While maintenance of plants and generators as well as other maintenance services will gulp N10.4m, motor fuel will cost N22, 041, 044; plants and generators fuel will take N30, 358, 570. Read more
Inter Miami sign Venezuela striker Martinez (Guardian)
Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami have signed Venezuelan international striker Josef Martinez from Atlanta United, the club said on Wednesday.
Martinez, 29, scored 111 goals in 158 games during six years with Atlanta in all competitions and was the league’s top scorer in 2018 when he scored 31 goals in the club’s title-winning campaign.
The striker, who has 13 goals in 60 appearances for his country, will effectively replace Argentine Gonzalo Higuain in the Miami attack after the former Real Madrid forward retired at the end of last season.
“Josef is a champion and adding him to our group is exciting for us as we head into the 2023 season. He’s been one of the best players in the league since he first arrived and we believe he’ll make a difference here at Inter Miami,” said Inter’s sporting director Chris Henderson.
“We’re adding a proven goalscorer with a track record of success in MLS. We’re thrilled to have a player like Josef in our attack,” he added. Read more
NPFL: Gusau applauds referees on credible officiating (Nation)
Ibrahim Shehu Gusau 2
President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau has commended the group of officiating officials who took charge of the Match Day 1 of the Nigeria Premier Football League, saying they should sustain through the season and thenceforth, the credibility that was apparent in their output on the first day.
The Match Day 1 of the NPFL witnessed four away wins and four draws with only two home teams earning the maximum points. Champions Rivers United fought hard to defeat Lobi Stars 2-1 in Port Harcourt, while Remo Stars turned back El-Kanemi Warriors 2-0 in Ikenne.
“I am happy with the results in which so many teams won on away ground, as well as the reports we received from most of the centres concerning the performance of the referees
“I want to commend the NFF Referees Committee for putting their right foot forward from the beginning and also charge the referees themselves to sustain credible output going forward. We are determined to ensure that so many things about the League change for the better and we will not relent in our efforts,” Gusau said at the weekend.
The NFF boss underscored the commitment of the present NFF administration to rebranding the domestic game and giving it life to spur the real growth and sustainability of a football economy that will delight all stakeholders and other indirect income earners. Read more
Olise stunner gives Palace a point to deny Man Utd (BBC)
Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise scored a stunning last-minute free-kick to deny Manchester United a victory that would have taken them second in the Premier League.
United were on course for their 10th successive win after Bruno Fernandes scored just before half-time when he finished well following Christian Eriksen’s pull-back.
But Olise struck in dramatic style with a brilliant curling free-kick to ensure a point apiece.
The draw does take United above Newcastle into third but keeps them behind rivals Manchester City, who play at home to Tottenham on Thursday. Read more