Sacked driver connives with gang to kidnap boss’ wife (Punch)
A driver, Tigidam Bright, has been arrested for his complicity in the kidnapping of his boss’ wife, Mrs Gift Topba, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He was apprehended alongside two suspected kidnappers – Isaac Michael, Leera Barisua – by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team.
City Round learnt that some gunmen kidnapped Gift, the wife of an Ogoni human rights activist, Gani Topba, on August 25, 2020 at the entrance of an estate where she lives and took her to their den in the Khana area of the state.
They reportedly demanded N100m ransom initially but later reduced it to N500,000, which was paid by the family before she was released. Read more
Lagos threatens to sanction international travelers evading COVID-19 test (Guardian)
The Lagos State Government has warned incoming passengers who shun the Federal Government’s guidelines against COVID-19 to desist or face the consequences.
The government said such action is to protect Lagosians against the fatal effects of the reversal of the gains made against the pandemic, which are loss of lives, livelihood, and economic hardship.
The Federal Government has warned that those not willing to respect the protocols would have their passports impounded or visas cancelled. Read more
Lagos trader hacks lover to death over N400,000, flees (Punch)
A three-year relationship between two live-in lovers on Adekunle Street, Oshodi, Lagos State, has come to a tragic end after one reportedly killed the other.
The suspect, Ifeanyi Nwagboroga, allegedly hacked the victim, Faith Ebubeeze, with a cutlass, leaving her in a pool of blood and fleeing the scene.
City Round learnt that the couple were at loggerheads recently over their plan to get married to each other after a long courtship. Read more
‘I saw 4 corpses at Lekki Tollgate when I went to pick my brother’s body’ (Vanguard)
One Mr. Nathaniel Solomon has told of how he saw about four bodies on the ground when he went to pick his brother’s remains at Lekki Tollgate in the aftermath of the shootings by soldiers on October 20.
Solomon was one of the 15 #ENDSARS protesters that, Friday, came to protest at the Lagos State Court of Arbitration and Mediation in Lekki, venue of Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS-related abuses and other matters.
He said his younger brother, Abouta Solomon, was shot dead and had since been buried in his hometown in Mubi Local Government Area of Adamawa State. Read more
How we were shot at Lekki Tollgate –#EndSARS protest victims (Punch)
Some persons with injuries on Friday stormed the Lagos Court of Arbitration in Lekki, the hearing venue of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers on the night of October 20 at the Lekki tollgate.
Some of the injured persons, who were brought to the LCA in a white bus, had plaster of Paris cast on their legs and arms and bandages wrapped on their heads and chests.
They claimed they were victims of the alleged tollgate shootings by soldiers at the tollgate.
The injured persons were brought by a banner-carrying group, New Nigeria Network, and counsel for some #EndSARS protesters before the panel, Adesina Ogunlana. Read more
Lagos APC raises alarm over plot to disrupt by-election (Nation)
Through its local chapter in Lagos, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday raised the alarm over plots to disrupt the by-elections holding Saturday in Lagos East Senatorial District and Kosofe Constituency II.
The party’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Seye Oladejo, alleged that hoodlums were being mobilised by unscrupulous elements to disrupt the exercise.
In a statement, Oladejo said miscreants were being mobilised and financially induced to cause mayhem on poll day to scare away legitimate voters. He urged security agents to be vigilant and forestall the plot. Read more
Conflicting court orders as bye-elections hold in 11 states (Thisday)
Ahead of the bye-elections in 11 states scheduled for today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the final lists of candidates for outstanding National and States’ Houses Assembly elections.
This is coming amidst conflicting orders from the courts in the Federal Capital Territory and Cross River State judiciary.
Also, INEC has insisted that voters must wear facemasks/face coverings as well as maintain the recommended social distance at all polling units. Read more
Maina to remain in prison till end of trial – Court (Nation)
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, be remanded in prison until the conclusion of his trial.
In a ruling at the end of proceedings in Maina’s trial yesterday, Justice Okon Abang said Maina, having jumped bail and got rearrested, should remain in prison custody till the end of his trial.
Justice Abang recalled that Maina’s bail was revoked on November 18 because he jumped bail, prompting the court to issue a bench warrant for his arrest and ordered that the trial should continue in his absence. Read more
FG has awarded 671 road contracts covering 13,000km nationwide, says Works Minister (Thisday)
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), yesterday said that federal government had awarded 671 road contracts covering about 13,000 kilometres across the country.
He added that the government was also embarking on massive infrastructure upgrade nationwide.
Mr Fashola who spoke in Ilorin yesterday during the 10th Convocation of an Islamic faith university, Al- Hikmah University, Ilorin, Kwara State, said that “here is a current investment in infrastructure expansion. Nigeria has to build a new base of infrastructure to deal with our growing population.” Read more
Trump orders withdrawal of US troops from Somalia (BBC)
US President Donald Trump has ordered the withdrawal of nearly all US troops from Somalia by 15 January, the Pentagon has said.
The US has about 700 troops in the country helping local forces battle al-Shabab and Islamic State militants.
US officials said some of the troops would move to neighbouring countries, allowing for cross-border operations.
In recent months President Trump has issued similar orders to reduce US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more
Ivory Coast issues passport to exiled former president Laurent Gbagbo (France24)
Ivory Coast has issued passports to former president Laurent Gbagbo, allowing him to return from exile in Belgium before the end of the year following his acquittal on war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court, his lawyer said on Friday.
Gbagbo welcomed the move as a conciliatory gesture from President Alassane Ouattara, whose bitter standoff with opponents over his election for a third term has called into question the West African nation’s hard-won stability.
Gbagbo has not said what he plans to do on his return, but his presence in Ivory Coast could energise opposition factions after their failure to derail October’s vote through a boycott. Read more
Leg-lengthening: The people having surgery to be a bit taller (BBC)
Each year hundreds of people around the world are opting for long, often painful surgery to extend their legs in a bid to make themselves a few inches taller. But the complex procedure isn’t without risk and health experts say some are being left with long-term problems.
Sam Becker was the tallest kid at his middle school, but by the end of high school his peers had left him behind. “When I went to college, I noticed that I was shorter than a lot of the guys and even the girls,” he says. “It does affect your life. Honestly, women generally don’t date guys that are shorter than them. The hardest thing was sometimes feeling like I won’t be able to find a wife.”
Sam, now 30, from New York, hoped that he might still grow, though in his heart he knew he had reached his full adult height. Read more
China turns on nuclear-powered ‘artificial sun’, ten times hotter than the real thing (RT)
Beijing has successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, China’s People’s Daily reported on Friday. It’s designed to be a clean energy source, similar to the real Sun.
Made to replicate the natural reactions that occur in the sun using hydrogen and deuterium gases as fuels, the HL-2M Tokamak reactor is China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device.
It is located in southwestern Sichuan province and was completed late last year. The reactor is often called an “artificial sun” due to the enormous heat and power it produces. Read more
Joe Biden: Covid vaccination in US will not be mandatory (BBC)
President-elect Joe Biden says Americans won’t be forced to take a coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available in the US.
It comes as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the first time urged “universal mask use” indoors, unless when Americans are at their own home.
The CDC said the US had “entered a phase of high-level transmission” of the virus.
On Friday the US recorded over 2,500 deaths and nearly 225,000 new cases.
It has confirmed 14.3 million cases and more than 278,000 deaths. Read more
Meryl Streep says she loves playing divas like her character in “The Prom” (Metro)
The Prom star Meryl Streep has revealed she loves to play ‘diva’ characters because it is so far removed from her nature. The iconic actress plays Dee Dee Allen, a fading theatre star who travels to a small town to help a lesbian student who has been banned from attending prom with her girlfriend in order to boost her public image with some easy PR. After proving there isn’t a single role she can’t nail in her illustrious career, the Hollywood legend explained why divas like Dee Dee are her favorite. The 71-year-old joked: ‘It was such a stretch playing someone so vain and so overreactive, a big fat narcissist. I don’t know where I pulled it from. Read more
World’s biggest iceberg captured by RAF cameras (BBC)
An RAF aircraft has obtained images of the world’s biggest iceberg as it drifts through the South Atlantic.
The A400m transporter flew low over the 4,200-sq-km block, known as A68a, to observe its increasingly ragged state.
The pictures reveal multiple cracks and fissures, innumerable icy chunks that have fallen off, and what appear to be tunnels extending under the waterline.
The Antarctic berg is currently bearing down on the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia. Read more
I’d play anywhere for my team – Moses (Punch)
Spartak Moscow player, Victor Moses, says he is ready to play in any position for the team as the team comes first and not his desires.
The Chelsea loanee while speaking on his versatility on the pitch said he was capable of playing in multiple positions and added that he could also play as a central defender.
The former Super Eagles forward started out as a winger but has been used as a right wing-back at Chelsea under Antonio Conte.
He was also deployed in that position during his loan spell at Inter Milan and his current club Spartak Moscow. Read more
Billy Joe Saunders beats Martin Murray to retain WBO super-middleweight crown (BBC)
Billy Joe Saunders beat fellow Briton Martin Murray by unanimous decision to successfully retain his WBO super-middleweight crown at Wembley Arena.
It was the 30th win of his undefeated professional career for Saunders, who entered the world title bout rated a heavy 1-25 favourite by bookmakers.
Saunders took the fight 120-109 120-109 118-110 on the judges’ cards.
The 31-year-old is now eyeing the winner of Callum Smith’s bout with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on 19 December.
“I’ve been out over a year and it’s like boxing in the cemetery,” said Saunders. Read more
Ronald Koeman responds to Neymar’s Lionel Messi revelation (Metro)
Ronald Koeman believes Barcelona must do their upmost to make Neymar’s desire to play with Lionel Messi again next season come true and bring him back to Camp Nou. The Brazilian superstar left the Catalan giants in acrimonious circumstances back in the summer of 2017 and has spent the past three-and-a-half years with Paris Saint-Germain. Neymar was linked with a return to the Catalan giants 18 months ago, but Barcelona were unable to raise the funds to finance a deal, much to the annoyance of Messi who felt the club did not do enough to try and complete a transfer. Read more
Dest: It is my time at Barcelona (Nation)
Amid the turmoil at Barcelona, United States defender Sergiño Dest has found his patch to flourish.
The former Ajax player arrived in the aftermath of Barcelona’s devastating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in August. After the club practically gave away several older players to jettison their heavy salaries, Dest landed at Camp Nou with the season underway.
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman immediately put him to work filling in for injured fullbacks on both sides of the team’s defense.
The 20-year-old Dest held up on the steep learning curve, earned his spot in the starting lineup, and last week scored his first goal for Barcelona to open a 4-0 win at Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League. Read more
Guardiola confident Aguero will get back to best after injury (BBC)
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he is confident Sergio Aguero will be back to his best once he has fully recovered from his knee injury.
The Argentina forward has been ruled out of Saturday’s Premier League match with Fulham at the Etihad Stadium.
It means Aguero will have played in only four of City’s last 29 games since he suffered the injury against Burnley on 22 June.
“When he is fit, he’ll be the same player,” said the City boss.
Concerns have been raised about the 32-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of the season. Read more
Australian big-wave rider Felicity Palmateer promotes naked surfing in new short film (RT)
Australian professional surfer and artist Felicity Palmateer has released a new short film showcasing her riding the waves while completely naked.
The 28-year-old chose world’s top surfing locations, including Fiji, Hawaii, Australia and Wales to shoot the movie over a three-year period.
According to Palmateer, the four-minute project titled ‘Skin Deep’ combines her passions for art and surfing, and helps to explain her interpretation of freedom.
“By embracing my femininity it helped immensely with my self-esteem and self-acceptance,” Palmateer said. Read more
Diego Maradona: Napoli rename stadium after late club legend (BBC)
Napoli have renamed their stadium after late club legend Diego Maradona.
Former Argentina attacking midfielder and manager Maradona, who died aged 60 in November, led the Italian side to two Serie A titles, in 1987 and 1990.
The Stadio San Paolo will now be known as the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, after the Napoli city council approved the resolution.
Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis proposed renaming the stadium in an open letter after Maradona’s death.
The mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris, also backed the idea. Read more