Passengers throng Lagos Airport (Nation)
Hundreds of passengers thronged the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos on Monday to secure seats to travel to their various destinations.
But, it was not a pleasant experience as they had to pay between N60, 000 and N95,400 to secure a seat on the economy cabin in most of the domestic carriers flying on the Lagos/Abuja/ Port Harcourt /Benin/Asaba and other routes.
Many passengers who looked forward to booking seats were disappointed as the portal indicated there was no space on board the carriers. Read more
Smugglers: Hoodlums attack, injure Customs officers at FOU Zone “A” (Guardian)
Some Customs officers serving at the Federal Operations Unit Zone “A’’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have been attacked by hoodlums working with smugglers.
Deputy Comptroller, Usman Yahaya, made the disclosure in a statement by Mr Theophilus Duniya, Public Relations Officer of Federal Operations Unit Zone A of NCS, in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to Yahaya, at about 800 hours on Dec. 22, 2020, the officers who were carrying out their statutory duty of enforcing anti-smuggling laws acted on intelligence. Read more
FG declares public holidays for Christmas, New Year (Punch)
The federal government has declared Friday, December 25, Monday, December 28, 2020, and Friday, January 1, 2021, as public holidays to mark the Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year celebrations, respectively.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, announced this on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, on Wednesday.
It was titled, ‘FG declares December 25, 28, 2020; January 1, 2021, public holidays.’ Read more
COVID-19: Nightclubs, bars, pubs, recreational centres in Abuja closed (Sun)
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Abuja, FCT Minister Mohammad Bello has announced new measures to contain the spread.
As part of the new measures, the Minister has ordered that bars, night clubs, pubs, events and recreational venues in the FCT be shut for the next five weeks.
The decision followed an emergency COVID-19 meeting as part of efforts to contain the spread of the second wave of the pandemic in the Territory. Read more
Our database is intact, says NIMC (Nation)
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said on Wednesday that its database was not breached, nor compromised.
The spokesman of the Commission, Kayode Adegoke dismissed as false and mischievous insinuations that the database of the agency would be breached.
“I would like to bring to the attention of the members of the general public that the purported breach of the National Identity Database going round the social media is false, a hoax, and of mischievous intent,” Adegoke said in a statement. Read more
FGN bond oversubscribed by N70bn- DMO (Guardian)
The Debt Management Office (DMO) says a total of N60 billion bond it offered for the month of December had been oversubscribed by more than N70 billion.
This is contained in a statement obtained from DMO’s website on Wednesday.
“DMO offered a total of N60bn at the FGN Bond Auction of December 2020, which held on December 16. The offer was oversubscribed as total bids received were N134.056 billion, a subscription level of over 220 per cent,’’ it said. Read more
16 killed, 30 houses razed in Kwara fuel truck explosion (Thisday)
No fewer than 16 persons reportedly lost their lives on Wednesday when a fuel-laden tanker lost control and exploded in Gaika area of Jebba in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara state.
About 30 houses were also razed while other properties worth several millions of naira were gutted by the inferno.
THISDAY investigations revealed that the incident occurred at about 9am when the fuel tanker was driving along the popular Gaika road in Jebba and suddenly lost control. Read more
FEC approves N44.5bn for FCT, roads, power projects (Vanguard)
The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved about N44.5 billion for various contracts under the ministries of Works and Housing, and Power and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Briefing State House correspondents after the weekly FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Bello, said Council approved contracts for water treatment projects and roads within the territory, to the tune N31,630,221,349.
He said the approval given for road contracts was in favour of an upwards review of some roads within the territory. Read more
Grace Millane’s killer caught on video carrying her body in suitcase (NYPost)
Chilling surveillance footage has emerged of a New Zealand man rolling the body of his Tinder date, British backpacker Grace Millane, out of a motel in a suitcase after strangling her, according to a report.
The video shows 28-year-old Jesse Shane Kempson using a porter’s trolley to carry two cases into an elevator at CityLife in Auckland, the Sun reported.
He is then seen returning with it carrying luggage that he later admitted contained Millane’s naked body folded into the fetal position, according to the news outlet. Read more
Casinos, COVID or Drugs? Why China is building a Fence on Myanmar border (VOA)
Media reports say Chinese authorities are putting up a barrier along their southeastern border with Shan State, a volatile part of Myanmar, a move some analysts believe will stop coronavirus-infected people from sneaking in while deterring Chinese casino gamblers and their debt-collection gangs from sneaking to the other side.
Authorities in Southeastern China are putting up fences along the border with Myanmar’s Shan State, according to a November 26 report on The Irrawaddy news website. It says the Southeast Asian side’s military has sent a protest letter.
Construction of the 3-meter-high fence started earlier this year, Radio Free Asia reported this month. The report said about 660 kilometers of fencing are finished. Read more
Google, Facebook reportedly agree to help each other in antitrust fights (NYPost)
Prosecutors have accused Google and Facebook of forging a pact to help defend each other against antitrust complaints, a new report says.
The allegation was revealed in the unredacted version of an antitrust lawsuit brought against Google last week by the attorneys general of Texas and nine other states, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Republican AGs have accused the tech titans of making an “unlawful agreement” in which Google gave Facebook a leg up in its online ad auctions in exchange for the social network backing down from its competitive threats. Read more
Chimamanda, Queen Elizabeth, Rihanna named among top 50 women in the UK by Sunday Times (Guardian)
Multiple award-winning Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been named among Sunday Times’ Women of the Year for 2020. Adichie made the UK Times 50 women list alongside Queen Elizabeth, US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, singer and entrepreneur, Rihanna; amongst others.
Adichie and the other remarkable women were chosen for being “Inspiring, memorable and sometimes divisive” and for being the “women who stood out in an unforgettable year”
2020 has been a challenging year for so many across the globe including Chimamanda who is still mourning the passing of her beloved father. Read more
US, UN slam ongoing targeted killings of prominent Afghan civilians (VOA)
Officials in Afghanistan say gunmen Wednesday killed the head of an independent elections watchdog in Kabul, the latest casualty in a string of mostly unclaimed recent attacks against prominent civilians.
The violence has claimed the lives of dozens of people, particularly in the Afghan capital. The victims include civil society activists, journalists, politicians and government officials.
Police said Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed, executive director of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), was traveling to his office in the city when unknown assailants sprayed his vehicle with bullets. The attack also left his driver wounded. Read more
Democrats throw support behind Trump’s $2,000 stimulus check demand (NYPost)
Democrats are rallying around President Trump’s call for Congress to amend the COVID relief bill to increase direct payments to Americans from $600 to $2,000.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded to the commander-in-chief’s Tuesday night Twitter video where he outlined his demands with an eager, “Let’s do it!”
“Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent,” she wrote on the social media platform. Read more
Hong Kong pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai granted bail (BBC)
Hong Kong’s High Court has granted bail to pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai, the most high-profile person charged under a controversial new security law.
Mr Lai, 73, was remanded in custody earlier this month but will now be placed under house arrest. He was ordered to pay a $1.3m (£960,000) bond.
The founder of Apple Daily newspaper is a fierce critic of China’s authorities.
He is accused of fraud and conspiring with foreign forces, and could spend years in jail if convicted. Read more
Joel Obi: Nigeria midfielder alleges racist abuse in Italy (BBC)
Italian Serie B side Chievo have said Nigeria midfielder Joel Obi was racially abused by an opponent during a match against Pisa on Tuesday.
Pisa and the player have both denied the accusation.
Chievo said in a statement that Obi was “the object of an infamous and disgraceful phrase that has nothing to do with the most basic values of sport, ethics and respect.”
It said Pisa player Michele Marconi used the phrase “the slave revolt” towards Obi in the first half of the 2-2 draw.
“Chievo… regrets that a phrase heard by most on the pitch was not followed by any disciplinary action: neither by the referee, nor the assistant or fourth official, nor the federation delegate,” it added. Read more
Lagos National Stadium to host Eagles matches next year – Minister (Punch)
The National Stadium pitch in Surulere, Lagos could host Super Eagles and other international matches by May 2021, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has said.
The minister said this during an inspection tour of the Surulere National Stadium, Lagos which is undergoing rehabilitation.
Dare said, “It’s high time we had a familiar ground for our national teams. The Moshood Abiola National stadium Abuja and the Surulere National Stadium, Lagos will be ready to host matches next year and it will be a major plus to our teams when they have a familiar ground. Read more
Police arrest suspected impersonator of Eagles captain Musa (Punch)
The Police Command in Kano has arrested a 30-year-old man, Gambo Yakubu, for allegedly impersonating the captain of the Super Eagles, Ahmed Musa.
This was confirmed in a statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Haruna Abdullahi, and made available to The Punch on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the suspect forged a document bearing the name of Ahmed Musa which he used in defrauding innocent members of the public. Read more
Werner will rediscover scoring touch, says Lampard (Guardian)
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is confident Timo Werner will be back amongst the goals again despite enduring the joint longest goal drought of his career.
The 23-year-old — who cost Chelsea £53 million ($72 million) when they signed him from RB Leipzig in the summer — failed to score in the 3-0 win over West Ham on Monday taking his run without scoring to nine club games.
That equals the nine-match drought he experienced in club competition in September 2016, between spells at Stuttgart and RB Leipzig. Read more
Lyon’s Dembele injured in training
Lyon striker Moussa Dembele broke an arm in training and will miss at least the last match before the brief winter break, the Ligue 1 club said on Tuesday.
Lyon are second in the French top flight on goal difference and entertain Nantes on Wednesday.
The club said the 24-year-old striker broke his arm on Monday but did not say how long he would be out. However coach Rudi Garcia said at his press conference that he feared the player would need an operation. Read more
England World Cup star Kieran Trippier banned for 10 weeks for breaking betting rules (Metro)
Atletico Madrid and England defender Kieran Trippier has been banned for 10 weeks and fined £70,000 for breaching betting rules, the Football Association has announced. The 30-year-old’s worldwide ban from all football and football-related activity will run until February 28. Trippier denied the charges, first made in May, and had a personal hearing in October. However, the FA said that four of seven alleged breaches had been proven with three others dismissed. Read more
Andy Murray beats Cameron Norrie at Battle of the Brits (BBC)
Andy Murray returned to tennis in June 2019 following career-saving hip surgery the previous January
Andy Murray continued in promising form at the Battle of the Brits, beating Cameron Norrie in straight sets.
The world number 122 claimed victory against British number one Dan Evans on Sunday and two days later beat Norrie 6-4 7-6 (7-5).
Before the tournament in London, the 33-year-old had not played since withdrawing from a Cologne event in October because of a pelvic problem.
The all-British event is taking place in Roehampton. Read more