RRS nabs three Awawa members over violence in Agege (Guardian)
Operatives of the Lagos Rapid Response Squad (RRS) have arrested three Awawa members over rising crime and violence in Agege area of the state.
The suspects include Abubakar Mohammed, 26, Nofiu Odusanya, 19 and Idowu Daramola, 22.
Commander, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Yinka Egbeyemi had two weeks ago directed the squad’s Decoy Team to gather intelligence on some of the people behind the increasing crime and violence around Agege and effect their arrests.
The suspects were part of the seven dreaded members of Awawa cult and the brains behind some of the violence and crimes around Agege in recent times. Read more
Lekki residents sue for calm, write Sanwo-Olu to shelve tolling (Vanguard)
As resumption of tolling commences at the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge and the Lekki-Epe Expressway in Lagos tomorrow, residents of Lekki Phase 1, have called for calm in the area even as they have written the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to shelve any plan to resume the tolling.
The residents under the aegis of the Lekki Peninsula Phase 1 Residents Association said the tolling may add to the economic hardship being experienced across the country.
The open letter to the governor on Tuesday, signed by the Chairman of the association, Yomi Idowu reads:
OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR BABAJIDE SANWO-OLU ON THE PLANNED RESUMPTION OF TOLLING ACTIVITIES
May we, first, express our best wishes to you and your administration as we write to bring a matter of utmost urgency with the potential to quickly spiral out of control if not checked, to your attention. Read more
Caretaker lures Lagos poly students into cult, victims flee school over threats (Punch)
Two undergraduates at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, have abandoned their studies after suspected members of the Eiye Confraternity allegedly initiated them into the cult.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the initiation took place around their off-campus hostel on Oremeji Street, in the First Gate area of Ikorodu.
The students, who are in hiding, spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity.
The undergraduates, who lived together in the same hostel, said they left their room to charge their phones at a neighbour’s house close to their hostel. Read more
Clearing agent bags 30 years jail term for importing cannabis (Guardian)
A Federal High Court, Lagos, has sentenced a clearing and forwarding agent, Napoleon Osariemen, to 30 years imprisonment for unlawful importation of two kilogrammes of Cannabis sativa popularly called marijuana.
Justice Ayokunle Faji sentenced the convict after finding him guilty of the charge filed by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The judge also ordered that the company used in smuggling the banned substance be wound up and be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The third defendant in the charge, 37–year- old Olasupo Olakemi, was discharged and acquitted, on the ground that she cannot be linked with the offence made against him by NDLEA.
The judge held that the prosecution has successfully proved the two- counts charge against the convict, after listening to the arguments canvassed by the prosecutor and the defence counsel. Read more
Ramadan: Lookout for crescent, Sultan tells Muslims (Sun)
Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has enjoined Nigerian Muslim Ummah to search for the crescent of Ramadan immediately after sunset today.
A statement issued by the director of administration of NSCIA, Zubairu Usman-Ugwu on his behalf said: “If the crescent is sighted by Muslims of impeccable character on the said evening, then His Eminence would declare Saturday, 2nd April 2022 as the first day of Ramadan 1443 AH. If, however, the crescent is not sighted that day, then, Sunday, 3rd April 2022, automatically becomes the first of Ramadan, 1443 AH.”
The council also enjoined Muslims to report credible and positive sighting of the crescent of Ramadan 1443 AH to the appropriate authority, especially, members of the National Moon Sighting Committee (NMSC). Read more
Passengers shun Lagos-Ibadan trains over fear of terrorist attack (Tribune)
Passengers have begun to avoid the Lagos-Ibadan trains following the recent bombing of the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train by suspected terrorists. This is even as the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) attributed the slump in passenger turnout to poor marketing of its train services.
Speaking to Tribune Online in Lagos on Thursday, a civil servant who works in Lagos but shuttles Lagos to Ibadan via train every weekend explained that the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train bombing has forced him to go to Ibadan via road.
According to the civil servant who identified himself as Mr Anifowoshe Aliu, “This weekend, I won’t be going to Ibadan by train. My wife and kids have been begging me to come by road due to what is happening to train services in recent times.
“If terrorists can plant bombs on rail tracks without the train driver knowing before running over such bomb, then travelling by train is no longer safe in this country. Read more
Train Attack: I hid under a seat, saw them taking away many passengers ― Survivor (Vanguard)
A survivor, Malam Muhammadu, said the terrorists came with buses and evacuated a number of passengers during the Monday night train attack.
He said in an interview monitored on radio Tuesday night, that he was in coach SP 17 when the train was hit and derailed.
He said “The terrorists, many of them, rushed into our coach and killed a passenger. I hid under the seat and saw them taking away many passengers.”
“An argument ensued amongst the terrorists after killing the passenger and they couldn’t pay attention to us. We were about 10 that remained in coach when they left. Read more
Kidnappers invade Abuja palace, abduct monarch (DailyTrust)
The traditional ruler of Bukpe community in Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), His Royal Highness (HRH) Alhaji Hassan Shamidozhi, has been abducted.
The monarch’s brother, who is the Chief Imam of the Community’s Central Mosque, Malam Jibrin D. Gimba confirmed this to Daily Trust.
He said the incident happened around 9:32 pm on Wednesday.
He said the monarch, who was seated in front of his palace taking fresh air, was whisked away at gunpoint.
“I just walked into my house after his palace when he said he wanted to take some shower after which he will come out and rest in front of his palace to take some fresh air,” the brother said.
“Some few minutes later, I started hearing gunshots… I watched through my window and discovered that the kidnappers had whisked him away.”
Gimba, who said the abductors of the monarch had not made any contact with the family, said the attack was the third in the community. Read more
Abia pastor allegedly strangles two women, demands N1.5m ransom (Punch)
Apastor with The Apostolic Church, Umuahia, Salem Chigozirim, has been arraigned before a High Court sitting at Umuahia, Abia State, for allegedly strangling a 45-year-old housewife, Virginia Ndife, and a lady, Chioma Nwoke.
He was arraigned on three counts bordering on murder and demanding a ransom.
Chigozirim was said to have strangled Virginia on September 21, 2021.
The deceased’s husband, Mr Christian Ndife, said his wife on the day of the incident went to their new house on 67, Agulu Street, Umuahia, to do some work with the suspect, who was also a plumber. Read more
Keith Urban shares new single “Nightfalls” (MusicNews)
Keith Urban has released his euphoric new song, ‘Nightfalls’.
The 54-year-old singer is back with his first single since his mega-hit with Pink, ‘One Too Many’, from the 2020 album ‘The Speed of Now Part 1’.
Keith co-wrote the new track with the man behind hits for the likes of Adele and Foo Fighters, Greg Kurstin, and Madonna collaborator Mozella.
Speaking of the track, he said: “Writing ‘Nightfalls’ with Greg Kurstin and Mozella was pure joy. Two summers have gone by with no way to tour and the desire to have that feeling again inspired every part of this song and recording. In a world so full of real struggles and fractures, I wanna try and bring something to help us exhale and be in the moment – if only for 3 mins and 41 seconds.”
The uplifting tune has been released ahead of Keith’s UK leg of his ‘Speed Of Now Tour’, which kicks off on April 28 at Birmingham’s O2 Academy.
The jaunt also sees Keith perform in North America and his native Australia.
Meanwhile, the country-pop star recently recalled the “panicked” phone call he received asking him to replace Adele after she postponed her Las Vegas residency.
Nicole Kidman’s husband stepped up after the ‘I Drink Wine’ singer was forced to cancel her shows at Caesars Palace in Sin City at the last minute after COVID hit her crew and they were “absolutely destroyed” by delivery delays. Read more
Bruce Willis’s daughter Scout thanks fans for ‘tenderness’ following father’s aphasia diagnosis (Independent)
Bruce Willis’s daughter Scout has thanked fans for responding with “tenderness” to the announcement that her father is “stepping away” from acting.
On Wednesday (30 March), the Willis family announced that the Die Hard star had been “experiencing some health issues” that were “impacting his cognitive abilities”.
They explained that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, a form of brain damage that impairs language expression and comprehension. It leaves sufferers unable to communicate effectively and is often the result of a stroke.
“As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him,” they wrote.
“This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him.
“As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up,’ and together we plan to do just that.”
The statement is signed by Bruce’s wife Emma, his ex-partner Demi Moore and all of his children. Read more
Strictly Come Dancing announces professional line-up for 2022 series (DigitalSpy)
Strictly Come Dancing has announced its professional line-up for the 2022 series.
Returning to the series are Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Giovanni Pernice, Johannes Radebe, and Nancy Xu.
Nikita Kuzmin, Jowita Przystal and Kai Widdrington who all joined the show last year will also be returning to the line-up.
The line-up also has the new addition of South African dance champion Cameron Lombard.
The 21-year-old joined the show last year as part of the pro dance troupe but wasn’t paired with a celebrity.
The celebrity line-up will be announced later on in the year. Read more
RAI cinema exec Paola Malanga to head Rome Film Festival following political shake-up (Variety)
The Rome Film Festival is under new management following a political shake-up that has led to the appointment of RAI Cinema executive Paola Malanga as the fest’s artistic director and Gian Luca Farinelli, who heads the Bologna film archives, as president.
Malanga, who was appointed late on Tuesday, replaces Antonio Monda, the New York based journalist and film academic who during his seven-year stint at the helm of the event secured a steady stream of high-caliber guests such as Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton and Angelina Jolie, to mention a few names on the Rome red carpet at last year’s edition.
Farinelli –– who has been appointed president of the Cinema Per Roma foundation that oversees the Rome fest –– takes the reins from Laura Delli Colli, a prominent film journo and critic who remains on the foundation’s board.
The new Rome fest regime was prompted by the election last October of new Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri.
The Eternal City extravaganza, which is the brainchild of former Rome mayor Walter Veltroni, has been undergoing management shake-ups due to Italy’s political spoils system ever since its launch in 2006 with Nicole Kidman on the red carpet and ambitions to rival Venice. Read more
I went from porn star to pastor — it’s never too late to change path in life (NYPost)
From porn set to the pulpit.
A former adult entertainer is now working as a preacher after quitting his kinky career making X-rated movies.
Joshua Broome, who filmed more than 1,000 raunchy movies under the pseudonym Rocco Reed, quit the straight and gay-for-pay porn industries back in 2012, claiming they caused him a “tremendous amount of emotional trauma.”
“I literally lost track of who I was,” Broome told The Post on Tuesday. “Everything was lies and fiction … I wanted to take my own life and didn’t have the guts to do so.”
Broome, now 39, fell into the porn industry after moving to Hollywood in his early 20s in hopes of becoming an actor.
While working as a waiter, Broome had a chance meeting with a group of women who insisted that a porn scene would help bolster his chances of becoming a movie star. He took their referral and was cast in an adult movie just days later. Read more
Dubai resident to Marvel star: It’s ‘Moon Knight’ actress May Calamawy’s time to shine (National)
When May Calamawy first auditioned for Moon Knight, she wasn’t familiar with this latest Marvel story to make the leap from page to screen.
“I didn’t know anything,” she chuckles, speaking to The National via Zoom from an apartment in New York so close to the subway, a rattling noise occurs every time a train goes past. “So I just started to buy a few comics. On the iPad, there is a Marvel app where you can read [them] all. I was just getting to know the world.”
She’s hardly alone. Created by writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin, and first appearing in the mid-1970s, Moon Knight is one of Marvel’s lesser-known characters, far removed from the widespread popularity, say, of Spider-Man or Captain America.
Yet there’s no question, Moon Knight is ripe for inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A former CIA operative, also known as Marc Spector, he gains powers of strength and agility from an encounter with the Egyptian moon god, Khonsu.
The links to Egyptian culture don’t stop there, with Mohamed Diab brought in to steer the show to the screen. For Calamawy, the chance to work with the Egyptian director behind such acclaimed, politically-driven films as Cairo 678 (2010) and Clash (2016) was a huge draw.
“Seeing the type of work Mohamed does … I was curious what he was going to bring from his experience to this project,” she says. “I knew that authenticity is a very important thing for him.”
While American star Oscar Isaac was cast as Spector/Moon Knight, Diab wanted to bring in someone of Egyptian descent to play Layla El-Faouly, a mysterious figure from Spector’s past. Diab was immediately impressed when he met Calamawy, best known to international audiences for her role in the TV comedy-drama Ramy.
“I think she’s going to be a huge star,” he says. “The moment she did the first audition with Oscar, the moment she read, she blew our minds … as she started the show, everyone wanted to write her more [scenes] and make her role bigger.”
Likewise, Calamawy felt that she and Diab were simpatico. “We had a really good relationship. We spoke on the phone, and I feel like we clicked instantly,” she says. Moreover, the more she dug into the world of Moon Knight, she realised just how unique an opportunity it was. Read more
Deborah Cox to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (TorontoStar)
Toronto-raised singer, Deborah Cox, is feeling a sense of déjà vu with all the attention she is getting.
According to the report, the singer whose powerhouse vocals on 1990s hits “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” and “Who Do U Love” made her part of R&B music royalty, is pushing through a press day to celebrate her upcoming induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Something about it has triggered a flashback, she pauses mid-stride to tell a group of makeup artists and handlers around her.
“This reminds me of the first album,” she says of a media blitz that made her a star.
“Child, it was like back-to-back-to-back.”
Cox will need to reacquaint herself with the flurry of activity that defined her rise to fame.
After a few years of laying low, she’s launching a comeback of sorts with a new album and other plans on the horizon.
Cox will set it all in motion at the Juno Awards, broadcast live on CBC from Toronto’s Budweiser Stage on May 15, where on top of being inducted she’ll deliver a live performance of the R&B hits and dance floor classics that built her name.
“I never in my wildest dreams would’ve thought that I would be in this place,” she says of the recognition. Read more
Amanda Holden still hopes her daughter goes to university while chasing showbiz career (Mirror)
Amanda Holden is supporting her eldest child’s desire to focus on books as well as looks, after the teenage beauty was signed to the same modelling agency that made Kate Moss a star.
Lexi Holden, who is the spitting image of the TV presenter, is predicted to earn as much as £1million in her first 12 months as a model, but Amanda’s mini-me is keen to complete her studies first.
The Britain’s Got Talent judge’s daughter was approached by fashion bosses last year, but mum Amanda has revealed they waited until the teenager turned 16 in January before signing anything.
“She’s a very quiet girl but she knows her own mind. She’s very bright and wants to continue her studies,” she proudly told The Sun.
“She’s got her eyes set on university and she has so many ambitions. We want them all to come true for her as any parent would. Read more
It’s good to be home, WBO Cruiserweight champion Okolie speaks on visit to Nigeria (Guardian)
Nigeria-born British WBO cruiserweight titleholder, Lawrence Okolie, has described his visit to his fatherland for the first time as a thing of joy.
Okolie, a native of Igbuzor, Delta State, started his boxing career in 2016, and within a short period, has won four major titles, the Commonwealth Boxing Championship, British Championship belt, European Championship and the WBO Cruiserweight title.
Okolie, who represented Great Britain at Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil, won the WBO cruiserweight title in 2021, and is looking forward to defending the belt in June this year.
Speaking with journalists in Lagos, yesterday, at an event tagged, ‘Lawrence Okolie Homecoming,’ the boxer said he was excited to meet with his native people, just as he hinted that he was preparing hard to successfully defend his title in June. Read more
Akanni lauds FG over Abuja stadium (Punch)
Nigeria may not have qualified for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, but the preparations that went into the build-up ahead of the Abuja game has been commended.
Ex-international Waidi Akanni, while lamenting Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, said the Federal Government deserved a pat on the back for the excellent preparation of the match venue… the Moshood Abiola Stadium.
Akanni, the CEO of Match International, noted that the efforts put into the build-up was unprecedented in the country’s history.
“Truth be told, I have never seen a situation in which we prepared for a game the way we did against Ghana. What we had could pass as exceptional preparation not seen in recent times. The Federal Government, through the sports ministry, put everything into our preparation to ensure we had a world-class venue. The sports minister Sunday Dare and the Permanent Secretary Ismail Abubakar were on everybody’s neck to ensure that virtually everything needed was in place. Read more
Eguavoen ‘steps down’ from Eagles job after World Cup qualifier defeat (Guardian)
Augustine Eguavoen has stepped down as the head coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, days after the team failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup holding in Qatar.
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi in a statement said the two-year contract offered to Eguavoen has been withdrawn.
“Following the failure of the Super Eagles of Nigeria to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the erstwhile Technical Adviser, Augustine Eguavoen has stepped down from that position with immediate effect,” Sanusi said.
“The NFF has in the meantime withdrawn the two-and-half year’s contract offered the coaches and terminated the appointment of the entire technical crew of the team with immediate effect.”
Sanusi said a “new crew will be announced after a proper review to lead the new charge of reinvigorating the Super Eagles to face future challenges appropriately.
“We thank the coaches and team officials for their service to the nation and wish them success in their future endeavours.” Read more
Ukrainian refugee Andriy Kravchuk to train with Manchester City for rest of the season (Metro)
Manchester City have welcomed Ukrainian refugee Andrii Kravchuk to the club to train with their development squad for the rest of the season.
Kravchuck had been playing for Torpedo Moscow but terminated his contract when Russia invaded his home country.
The 23-year-old is a former teammate of City star Oleksandr Zinchenko from their time in Shakhtar Donetsk’s academy and will be thrilled to link-up with him again after Zinchenko helped to bring him to Manchester.
He began training with the Elite Development Squad on Thursday and is set to remain for the rest of the campaign.
‘I haven’t seen Oleks for a while but he has always been helpful for me – even going back to when we were together at Shakhtar,’ Kravchuk said. ‘I’m really happy to be here with him.’ Read more
Qatar World Cup 2022: Criticism ‘ill-informed’, says tournament chief Hassan Al-Thawadi (BBC)
The secretary general of the 2022 Qatar World Cup says criticism by players and managers has been “ill-informed” and the nation “should not be apologetic” about hosting the tournament.
Qatar has been heavily criticised over the country’s human rights record.
There are strict anti-LGBTIQ+ laws in Qatar, while there are also concerns over the treatment of migrant workers.
“Some people have made statements that in my opinion were ill-informed,” Hassan Al-Thawadi told BBC Sport.
Speaking to BBC sports editor Dan Roan, Al-Thawadi added: “We should not be apologetic over our ambitions to host this tournament because we are football loving region. Read more
Mason Greenwood still suspended by Manchester United despite ‘reappearing on club website’ (Metro)
Mason Greenwood remains unavailable for selection by Manchester United despite suggestions he had been re-added to the club’s website and could make a shock return to the squad.
The 20-year-old was suspended by United at the end of January after being arrested on suspicion of rape, assault and threats to kill, with the England international later released on bail by Greater Manchester Police.
Greenwood’s sponsorship deal with Nike was cancelled and United dropped all merchandise associated with the forward from their online store.
Mason Greenwood still suspended by Manchester United despite ‘reappearing on club website’
Greenwood has not played for United since January 22 (Picture: Getty)
He was also removed from video games FIFA 22 and Football Manager 2022, while he no longer appears on United’s app either. Read more