Rivers prosecutes pastor, policeman for alleged murder (Guardian)
The Rivers State government has taken over the prosecution of Chidiebere Okoroafor, a pastor of a new generation church in Oyigbo local council of the state, who allegedly murdered three persons in his church including his Choir Mistress, Orlunma Nwagba, whom he allegedly impregnated.
Operatives of the Rivers State Police Command had on December 17, 2017, arrested Okoroafor following an alarm raised by the husband of one of his alleged victims, Chigozie Ezenwa, who was killed alongside her daughter, Cristabel Ezenwa, and her friend, Nwagba.
The police had after parading the suspect, who is the Founder of Altar of Solution Church, arraigned him in court and immediately commenced his prosecution before the intervention of the state government through the office of the Ministry of Justice.
When the matter came up for cross-examination of witnesses, yesterday, one of the Investigative Police Officers, Inspector Dan Promise, told the court that they found the dead bodies of the victims in different locations within Eberi in Afam area of Oyigbo. Read more
Toyin Lawani’s near-nude video angers fans (Punch)
Celebrity stylist and fashion designer, Toyin Lawani, aka Tiannah, posted a video of herself barely clad in anticipation of her 40th birthday which is coming soon, but some of her followers criticised her for exposing her body despite being married.
The caption that accompanied the post read, “Unapologetic me. If you wish, hit your heads on the wall. I will stress you guys so much. Should I go back to size eight? This was from my last shoot which I told you I was going to diet (sic) till I was size eight. I feel like doing the same now. I will post my current size next. Beauty with brains, who says you can’t be sexy and be a mum and a wife? You just need to be loved by who understands you and loves you for who you are.”
Few minutes after she made the post, some of her followers bashed her in the comments section. Razziechazy wrote, “Why didn’t you go naked? Do you need to go naked before you know that you’re beautiful? We have children here on Instagram, stop all this madness in the name of fashion, I beg you in the name of God, madam.”
Good_goods_12 wrote, “Our women are losing their values because of imitation and ignorance. Why can’t we imitate better things, rather than cheap awareness in the name of civilisation?” Read more
Nigerians demand justice for Baby Hanifa killed by school proprietor (DailyTrust)
Since Thursday evening, many Nigerians have taken to the social media to express shock, sadness and outrage at the gloomy news of the kidnap and murder of a five-year-old Hanifa Abubakar by her school proprietor, Abdulmalik Muhammad Tanko, in Kano.
Elsewhere in Zaria, residents have been thrown into mourning after one Kabir kidnapped an eight- year-old Asma’u – the daughter of his next door neighbour, Alhaji Shuaibu Wa’alamu – and killed her after spending over 40 days in captivity.
The Kano murder
After Hanifa was kidnapped, Tanko, the proprietor of the school she attended before her death, was among the early callers at the parent’s house to console them and even shed crocodile tears to divert suspicion from him.
She was eventually killed by the proprietor upon realising that his late pupil had recognised his face and could expose him.
Her body was later discovered in a shallow grave after nearly two months of fruitless search.
Her gruesome murder has further raised questions as to how the moral fabric of the society has lost its hue in the past years. Read more
2 feared dead in Lagos transport union members’ supremacy battle (Punch)
Two persons have been reportedly killed during a clash between two factional members of a transport union in the Idumota area of Lagos .
City Round learnt that the two factions – Eyo boys, reportedly loyal to a union leader known as Kunle Poly, and Kosoko boys – have been at loggerheads over control of a territory in the bustling commercial centre.
It was gathered that Eyo boys expected Kosoko boys collecting levies from commercial bus drivers on Idumota Bridge to make returns but the latter declined.
The growing tension reportedly erupted in a clash around 12pm on Thursday as hoodlums fired gunshots and brandished cutlasses. Read more
Buhari lauds arrest of Kano Schoolgirl’s killers (Guardian)
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, expressed condolences to the family of the five-year-old school girl, Hanifa Abubakar, whose body was discovered in a shallow grave in Kano after near two months of fruitless search.
The President also commended the police and the secret service in unraveling the mystery behind the disappearance of Hanifa, and particularly for the arrest of her teacher and his other accomplices suspected of the child’s kidnap and murder.
President Buhari said the family and the whole nation, which followed up on Hanifa’s travail since her disappearance last December, were hoping for the girl to have been rescued alive and well, adding however that the very thorough and painstaking detective operation by the law enforcement bodies, leading to the discovery of the corpse and the arrest of the suspects, who have already made confessions, was commendable.
He commended the authorities, adding that the achievement should instill more public confidence in them. Read more
Detained mother of triplets seeks help over hospital bill (Vanguard)
A woman, who recently gave birth to triplets, Abdullateef Amina, 25, has pleaded with Osun State government to assist her in off-setting her hospital bill and upkeep of the children.
Aminat, it was gathered, gave birth to the three male children last week at Cottage Hospital, a public facility in Ede recently, but could not return home due to her inability to offset the hospital bill.
According to sources in the hospital, the nursing mother was delivered of the triplets January 11, 2022 while her husband was remanded in correctional custody sometimes last year.
Speaking with newsmen in Ede, yesterday, Aminat sought government and philanthropists’ help towards securing her husband’s release and offsetting the hospital bill. Read more
Fresh crisis hits AEDC as interim management suspends GMs, top officials (DailyTrust)
The new interim management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has suspended General Managers (GMs) while asking some other officials to “work from home”.
Multiple sources within and outside the company confirmed the development to Daily Trust on Friday, noting that rather than a general memo, the GMs received the suspension letters personally.
AEDC has nine Regions and 39 Area Offices across four states that include Kogi Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger where it distributes generated electricity to power consumers.
The sources said there are at least 17 General Managers and Regional Managers as well as some expatriates of the previous core investors that may have been affected in the new move. Read more
Fears, jitters over rise in kidnapping, banditry in South-West (Sun)
An unease calm is currently sweeping across parts of the South West over fresh cases of attacks by suspected herdsmen in the area. Eight villages in the Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State recently fell victims. There was also the violent exchange between herdsmen and some Ohori farmers at Idofa village, which left five persons dead, and property worth millions of naira destroyed.
In Ondo State, some herdsmen attacked farmers in some communities located in two local government areas of the state and Akoko division leading to death of five people. The attack prompted some women in Auga-Akoko and some other neighbouring towns and villages to protest half-naked against the killings and rape and other dangerous attacks being perpetrated by herdsmen against the indigenes. They then appealed to operatives of Amotekun corps and local hunters to come to their aid, as they can no longer sleep with their eyes closed or go to farm.
In recent times, there had been reported cases of kidnapping in the Ogun State axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The three flashpoints on the road are: Ogunmakin, Onigaari and Ishara. Some cases of kidnapping resulted in payment of ransom running into millions of naira while some led to the death of the victims.
Three victims were kidnapped on the highway on Sunday, January, 16, by gunmen. The Amotekun Commander in Ogun State, Mr. Dave Akinremi, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, told Saturday Sun that the agency’s security outfits in Ogun and Oyo States have been collaborating to improve the security on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in conjunction with other security agencies. Read more
Kogi: Labour mobilises members for strike over non-implementation of minimum wage (Guardian)
Organized Labour in Kogi State said it has adequately mobilised its members for an indefinite strike over the non-implementation of minimum wage in the state.
The Kogi State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Onuh Edoka, said this while speaking at the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting of NLC in Lokoja yesterday.
According to him, all affiliates of the NLC in the state have given their commitments to fully mobilise their members for the strike.
He said by the mandate of NLC affiliates, Kogi State Government would by Tuesday, January 25, 2022, serve a 14-day ultimatum to resolve all contentious issues or face an indefinite strike action by the labour unions.
He noted that despite the cooperation and understanding of Kogi workers with the government, the government has continued to handle the welfare of workers lackadaisically. Read more
Thich Nhat Hanh, poetic peace activist, master of mindfulness, dies at 95 (VOA)
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk, poet and peace activist who in the 1960s came to prominence as an opponent of the Vietnam War, died Saturday at 95 surrounded by his followers in the temple where his spiritual journey began.
“The International Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism announces that our beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh passed away peacefully at Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam, at 00:00hrs on 22nd January, 2022, at the age of 95,” said his official Twitter account.
In a majestic body of works and public appearances spanning decades, Thich Nhat Hanh spoke in gentle yet powerful tones of the need to “walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”
He suffered a stroke in 2014 that left him unable to speak and returned to Vietnam to live out his final days in the central city of Hue, the ancient capital and his place of birth, after spending much of his adult life in exile. Read more
Brian Laundrie took responsibility for Gabby Petito’s death in notebook: FBI (Metro)
Brian Laundrie took responsibility for killing Gabby Petito in a notebook found near his body, the FBI shared Friday as the agency plans to close the investigation into her homicide.
In a statement, the FBI in Denver said their ‘investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito.’
Laundrie’s body was found in a Florida nature reserve near his parent’s home alongside a backpack and notebook.
‘A review of the notebook revealed written statements by Mr Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms Petito’s death,’ the agency shared. Read more
Ireland to drop almost all COVID restrictions (AlJazeera)
Ireland is to scrap almost all its COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday after coming through the storm of the Omicron variant that led to a major surge in infections, Prime Minister Micheal Martin has said.
Ireland had the second-highest incidence rate of COVID-19 in Europe just last week but also one of the continent’s highest uptake of booster vaccines, which has helped keep the number of seriously ill people well below the previous peak.
“We have weathered the Omicron storm,” Martin said in Friday’s televised address, in which he said booster vaccines had “utterly transformed” the situation in the country.
“I have stood here and spoken to you on some very dark days. But today is a good day,” he said. Read more
Little progress apparent in Ukraine standoff, but talks to continue (VOA)
The United States and Russia appeared to make little progress in the increasingly high-stakes standoff over Ukraine, each side leaving the latest round of high-level talks Friday promising only to keep talking.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met for about an hour and a half in Geneva, with both officials refusing to budge on core demands.
Blinken, in particular, described the impasse in stark terms.
“If any of Russia’s military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that’s a renewed invasion. It will be met with a swift, severe and a united response from the United States and our partners and allies,” Blinken told reporters after the meeting. Read more
Hundreds injured & killed in Saudi strikes (RT)
Scores of people have been killed and potentially hundreds have been injured by airstrikes in Yemen, the latest escalation in the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s war against Houthi rebels in the shattered country.
Targets struck on Friday reportedly included a prison and an airport in the northern city of Sa’ada, various government facilities and a telecommunications building in Hodeidah. Many of the victims were rushed to Al-Gumhourriyeh Hospital in Sa’ada, which received 138 wounded and 70 dead, according to the aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
Al-Gumhourriyeh is so overwhelmed that it can’t accept any more patients, and at least two other hospitals in the city have received large numbers of casualties, MSF said. There are still many bodies at the scene of the most devastating strike, at the prison in Sa’ada.
“It is impossible to know how many people have been killed,” said Ahmed Mahat, MSF’s head of mission in Yemen. “It seems to have been a horrific act of violence.” Read more
Adele fans devastated at last-minute Vegas residency cancellation after spending money on travel (Metro)
Adele fans have taken to Twitter to share their devastation for those who have spent money to travel to Las Vegas to see her residency after it was cancelled the night before it was due to begin.
The singer, 33, took to Twitter on Thursday to inform fans that her Vegas residency would be postponed after delays due to Covid meant it ‘wasn’t ready’.
While fans sympathised with the fact that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to have an impact with services being delayed and crew coming down with the virus, many were disappointed the announcement came so late.
They took to Twitter to share their thoughts, writing: ‘Not everyone will be able to attend again, plus will lose travel/hotel costs. Could you not just sing something by yourself, show a dvd & talk to people about your life/career? That would be preferable to cancellations. Also, all shows etc are tentative currently throughout world.’ Read more
US suspends flights by China carriers after Beijing COVID move (AlJazeera)
The government in the United States has said it will suspend 44 China-bound flights from the US by four Chinese carriers in response to the Chinese government’s decision to suspend some US airlines’ flights over concerns about COVID-19.
The suspensions will begin on January 30 with Xiamen Airlines’ scheduled Los Angeles-to-Xiamen flight and continue until March 29, the Department of Transportation said.
The decision will cut some flights by Xiamen, Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.
Chinese authorities have suspended 20 United Airlines, 10 American Airlines and 14 Delta Air Lines flights since December 31, after some passengers tested positive for COVID-19. As recently as Tuesday, the Department of Transportation said the Chinese government had announced new US flight cancellations. Read more
John McEnroe questions Naomi Osaka’s decision to open up on her mental health struggles (Metro)
John McEnroe has questioned Naomi Osaka’s decision to speak so candidly about her mental health struggles following Friday’s surprise defeat at the Australian Open.
The defending champion was beaten 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-5) by Amanda Anisimova having squandered two match points.
Osaka has twice taken lengthy breaks from the sport in recent times having admitted she has found it hard to contend with the pressure and adulation that has accompanied her grand slam successes. Read more
We’ll fight Tunisia as if it’s a final – Eguavoen (Guardian)
Coach Augustine Eguavoen has assured Nigerians that the Super Eagles will throw everything into tomorrow’s Round of 16 matches against Tunisia as if it is a final game.
Nigeria topped Group D with the maximum nine points, while Tunisia came in as one of the best losers, after finishing last in Group F with just three points.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday at the team’s hotel in Garoua, Eguavoen said that they will approach tomorrow’s game at Stade Roumde Adjia with ‘everything’, knowing fully well that there is no room to make amend.
“This is the knockout stage, and you have to deploy every tactic to win. If you fail, you go home. We are not ready to go home now, so we have to win,” Eguavoen stated. Read more
AFCON: Low turnout, high interest and COVID checks (AlJazeera)
Tamula Ernest, a father-of-three, gave up his job as a bricklayer to follow the Cameroon national football team, “the indomitable lions”, at the the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
He is ecstatic not only by the fact that Cameroon finally managed to host the tournament, which was in doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also that the home side managed to reach the knockouts.
“I am overjoyed that this tournament is finally here,” Ernest told Al Jazeera, sitting on his motorcycle which is painted in Cameroonian flag colours, outside the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo.
“I follow the lions whenever they go for training and matches at the Olembe Stadium. Read more
Ukraine issues advice to its Olympic athletes about Russian rivals – media (RT)
Officials from the Ukrainian Sports Ministry have reportedly advised their athletes at next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing to avoid speaking Russian during interviews.
According to Russia’s Match TV, it has also been suggested that Ukrainian athletes should refuse to appear in photographs featuring Russian sports stars throughout the Games.
This comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries, as well as prior instances during the Tokyo Olympics last summer which prompted the intervention of high-level officials of the Ukrainian government.
One such flashpoint came last August when Ukraine Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar called for a meeting with high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh, who is also a junior army sergeant, after she was seen embracing Russian high jump champion Maria Lasitskene. Read more
Manchester United decline chance to rival Man City in race to sign River Plate forward Julian Alvarez (Metro)
Manchester United have passed up the chance to rival Manchester City in the race to sign River Plate forward Julian Alvarez, according to reports.
The 21-year-old has quickly established himself as a key figure for River Plate, scoring 20 goals in 35 Argentine Primera Division appearances last year which helped the club win the title.
The Argentina international has attracted interest from several clubs across Europe including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich.
According to The Athletic, Manchester City are confident of completing a deal for Alvarez before the end of the January transfer window as talks are well under way. Read more
South Africa cricket coach Boucher charged over racism allegation (AlJazeera)
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has charged the men’s national team coach Mark Boucher with gross misconduct after he was accused of racism by former teammate Paul Adams.
The charges stem from the findings made last month by the Social Justice and Nation (SJN) Building Ombudsman, who is looking into past alleged discrimination within the sport’s national governing organisation.
“While Mr Boucher is being charged with gross misconduct, which could lead to his dismissal, CSA emphasises it is important that the independent inquiry first needs to test all allegations before any question of sanction can arise,” CSA said in a statement on Thursday.
CSA added that a senior counsel, Advocate Terry Motau, had been appointed to chair a disciplinary hearing into allegations of misconduct against the coach. Read more
Djokovic ‘will be hit mentally’ by Australia deportation saga, says coach (RT)
Novak Djokovic’s longtime coach Marian Vajda says that the Serbian superstar’s deportation from Australia after a protracted staredown with the government’s immigration officials was “unjust”, but insists that the world number one will bounce back from the saga.
Djokovic has yet to comment at length following the stand-off which saw his visa twice revoked and him being detained in a hotel designed to temporarily house asylum seekers and refugees in a vaccination scandal which rocked the sports world.
And speaking to Slovakian outlet Sport.SK, Vajda admits that the episode has left Djokovic reeling.
“I still don’t understand why they did it to him,” he said. “It was an unhealthy and unjust decision, based on the assumption that Djokovic could do or influence something that has not yet happened. Read more