Police arrest four suspected robbers in Lagos (Punch)
Four suspected armed robbers said to have been terrorising some parts of Lagos State have been arrested by the police.
It was gathered that the suspects, Suleiman Babajide, Mustapha Michael, Daniel Gideon and Olalekan Adesina, were arrested on Tuesday around 12am by policemen from the Alakuko Police Station and some members of the community.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said in a statement on Wednesday that the suspects had been terrorising residents of Amje bus stop, Ajegunle, Moshalasi and Dalemo communities.
Adejobi noted that one locally-made pistol with four life cartridges was recovered from the suspects. Read more
LASUBEB begins tracking 20,993 absentee pupils (Nation)
THE Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) has begun tracking about 20,993 pupils in its 1016 primary schools who have not returned to the classroom since schools resumed last month under a new initiative called Project Zero.
The board is depending on head teachers, Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) Education officers, School Based Management Committees (SBMC) and Civil Society Organisations to help identify these pupils.
Speaking at the the launch of Project Zero at the LASUBEB headquarters in Maryland last Thursday, the board chairman, Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King said the initiative was part of government’s efforts to keep vulnerable children in school. Read more
SARS bullet killed my three-day-old daughter, man laments (Punch)
A 50-year old man, Norde Sylvester, on Wednesday said a bullet from the gun of personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad killed his three-day-old daughter in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Sylvester, a civil servant with the Universal Basic Education, spoke at the hearing of the Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Police Brutality in Port Harcourt.
He said the incident occurred on October 15, 2015, at his residence in Rumuohalu, near Port Harcourt.
“On that day, I was with my family in our house at no. 9 Hon Close, off Omodudoro, few metres away from the SARS office on Nelson Mandela Road. Read more
Train kills 47 cows in Osun (Nation)
Forty-seven cows were reportedly killed after a train derailed in Osogbo on Wednesday.
The Nation gathered that the train was heading for Kwara State when the accident occurred at about 3:09pm near Power Line, Osogbo.
Read Also: Passengers stranded as Kaduna/Abuja train breaks down in bush
An eyewitness identified simply as Oredola said the train was heading for Kwara State, but when it got to Power Line, Osogbo, the last coach of the train carrying stones detached, derailed from the track and killed the cows.
One of the owners of the cows identified as Rabiu Ismail expressed sadness over the unfortunate incident. Read more
How Maina, others stole N14bn from pension account, witness tells court (Vanguard)
The trial of former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, on money laundering charges continued in his absence on Wednesday, as a witness, Mrs. Rouquayya Ibrahim, narrated how he stole over N14billion from the federal pension account.
Testifying before the Federal High Court in Abuja as the ninth prosecution witness, PW-9, Mrs. Ibrahim, said investigations revealed that Maina pilfered pension funds, in connivance with the former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye. Read more
Nigerian publishers seek review of copyright law, donate buses to UBEC (Thisday)
The Nigerian Publishers Association has called on the federal government to commence the crackdown on pirates and vendors of pirated books being sold in the streets across the country.
The publishers also urged the government to strengthen the copyright law in order to eradicate the menace of piracy in the country.
President of the association, Gbadega Adedapo, who made the call yesterday in Abuja while presenting three brand new Coaster buses to Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), said Nigerian authors are worried that most of the books being sold in the country were not from their original owners. Read more
FG targets 250,000bpd of petroleum product from modular refineries (Vanguard)
The Federal Government is projecting an average of 250,000 barrels per day petroleum product refining capacity through the establishment of modular refineries.
A modular refinery is a simplified refinery requiring significantly less capital investment than traditional full-scale refinery facilities. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who made this known at the inauguration of the 5,000 barrels-per-day Waltersmith Modular Refinery and the groundbreaking for a 45,000-bpd plant in Imo State, expressed its support to modular refiners in a bid to meet government’s target of becoming a net importer of petroleum products. Read more
FG releases plan for early exit from recession (Sun)
President Muhammadu Buhari would soon receive a report of a presidential committee to advise on the reopening of the nation’s borders, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said yesterday.
Nigeria, the largest economy and the most prosperous of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), last year August closed its land borders on account of the proliferation of illegal importation of drugs, small arms and agricultural products into Nigeria from neighbouring West African countries. Read more
Lecturer Kylie Moore-Gilbert released by Iran ‘in prisoner swap’ (BBC)
A British-Australian academic serving a 10-year sentence in Iran for espionage has been freed, with Tehran saying it was a swap for three jailed Iranians.
In a statement, Kylie Moore-Gilbert thanked those who had worked for her release and said that leaving Iran was “bittersweet”.
Dr Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer at Melbourne University, had been detained in Iran since September 2018.
She was tried in secret and strongly denied all the charges against her. Read more
Grim mass grave discovered with 20 skeletons that may have been stacked inside a box (Metro)
A disturbing mass grave of 20 skeletons has been unearthed in the Netherlands. The bodies were found in Vianen by city workers excavating a moat. The majority of the remains belonged to young men aged between 15 and 30. It’s believed there could be more in the area and experts estimate those inside lived between the late Middle Ages and the 18th century. At first, workers only found nine skeletons last Friday. But when they returned to the site on Monday, they found eleven more. Alderman Christa Hendriksen, one of the archaeologists, said she was ‘surprised’ by the discovery and even more that the bodies had been stacked, according to Teller Report. Read more
Obama attacks Hispanic voters who picked Trump (BBC)
Barack Obama has taken a swipe at Hispanic voters who chose Donald Trump, accusing them of ignoring the US president’s “racist” comments.
The ex-US president argued some overlooked Mr Trump’s rhetoric because they supported his anti-abortion stance.
Mr Obama also criticised undocumented migrants being held in “cages”, a practice that began in his presidency.
Exit polls show Mr Trump won a larger percentage of Hispanics than in 2016.
The Republican president garnered about 32% of the demographic in 2020, up from 28% four years ago. Read more
Germany extends ‘partial’ COVID-19 lockdown, leaving small exception for Christmas (RT)
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s 16 states have agreed to prolong the country’s Covid-19 restrictions for at least another four weeks, but made special exemptions for close family and friends on Christmas.
The holidays will be an “important” but “difficult” time for the Germans, Merkel said, announcing the government’s decision as she called on the nation to make “one more” push in the battle against the virus. She called the previous measures, dubbed a “light” lockdown, a “partial success,” but said they were simply not enough.
“The exponential growth of infection numbers has been broken, the steep curve has become a flattened curve,” the chancellor told journalists. “But infection numbers remain at a level that is far too high. The situation doesn’t allow us to lift the measures agreed for November.” Read more
Michael Flynn: Trump pardons ex-national security adviser (BBC)
US President Donald Trump has pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
The president said the widely expected act of clemency was his “Great Honor”.
Mr Flynn was among former aides to President Trump convicted during a justice department investigation into alleged Russian election interference.
He admitted in 2017 to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia’s envoy, then tried to withdraw his plea.
The White House said on Wednesday that the pardon would finally end “the relentless, partisan pursuit of an innocent man”. Read more
Taylor Swift confirms boyfriend Joe Alwyn wrote songs for Folklore under pseudonym (Metro)
Taylor Swift has revealed who her mystery collaborator on her Folklore album is, and it’s none other than her boyfriend Joe Alwyn.
Fans of the singer, 30, had had their suspicions about the writer who is credited as ‘William Bowery’ on her new album Folklore, on the track Betty as well as Exile with Bon Iver. Taylor finally confirmed William Bowery is actually Joe, explaining on her Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions Disney+ special: ‘There’s been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity ’cause it’s not a real person.’
Fans had pretty much worked out that the pseudonym was Joe, given that he is the great-grandson of the composer William Alwyn and that he and Taylor made their first public appearance at the Bowery Hotel in 2016 for a Kings of Leon concert. Read more
Mads Mikkelson replaces Johnny Depp in “Fantastic Beasts” (BBC)
Mads Mikkelson is to replace Johnny Depp as rogue wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts series, Warner Bros have announced.
Depp left the franchise earlier this month after losing a libel case over a 2018 newspaper article which called him a “wife beater”.
Mikkelson, a Danish actor, has previously starred in films including Rogue One and Doctor Strange.
The third instalment of the series is due to be released in summer 2020. Read more
Tributes pour in for Diego Maradona dies as 3 days of mourning begin in Argentina (BBC)
Today’s football superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo “could not even dream” of being admired as much as Diego Maradona was, says his former Argentina team-mate Ossie Ardiles.
Three days of national mourning have begun in Argentina after Maradona died on Wednesday at the age of 60.
His body will lie in state at the Casa Rosada, the seat of the Argentina government, during that time.
“To be Diego Maradona was incredibly beautiful,” Ardiles told the BBC. Read more
Inter Milan ace Arturo Vidal sent off for squaring up to referee Anthony Taylor in Real Madrid clash (Metro)
Inter Milan midfielder Arturo Vidal was shown a red card for squaring up to Premier League referee Anthony Taylor in his side’s Champions League clash against Real Madrid. The Chilean was shown two quick-fire yellow cards after challenging Taylor’s refusal to give a penalty for a challenge on Vidal moments earlier in the box from Raphael Varane. Taylor dismissed calls for a spot kick and gave Vidal a yellow for his fiery complaints. Read more
Atalanta shock Liverpool at Anfield (BBC)
Atalanta scored twice in four minutes to deliver a surprise victory over Liverpool and blow qualification from Champions League Group D wide open.
A much-changed Reds side lacked fluidity and failed to have a shot on target at Anfield on Wednesday.
Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens struck for the Serie A side midway through the second half.
Mohamed Salah, returning to the side, had fired over with the Reds’ best chance in the first half. Read more
Donny van de Beek reacts to new deeper midfield role for Manchester United (BBC)
Donny van de Beek was happy with his night’s work after being handed a new deeper midfield role in the Manchester United engine room for Tuesday’s Champions League win over Istanbul Basaksehir. The Dutchman has made a slow start to life at Old Trafford since his £35million move from Ajax over the summer, having struggled to break into a midfield already packed full of quality. Read more
Marcus Rashford to be given special BBC award (BBC)
England and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has been honoured for his work to raise awareness of child food poverty in the UK.
He will be given a special award at the BBC Sports Personality show next month.
Rashford, 23, has also been named on the annual Football Black List, which recognises black figures in the game.
The BBC will show a documentary on the striker who successfully campaigned for the government to extend free school meals during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more
Brazilian football legend Pele mourns death of Argentinian great Diego Maradona (RT)
Brazilian football icon Pele has offered condolences after the death of Argentinian superstar Diego Maradona, whose sudden passing has shocked the entire world.
The world-renowned footballing legend died on Wednesday at home in Tigre after suffering a heart attack.
Pele and Maradona are widely regarded as two of the greatest footballers in history. They were named joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award in 2000. Read more