Soldiers invade Ogun community, kill 2, label victims Boko Haram terrorists (Punch)
Two men, Sale Abacha and Malummodu Ibrahim, have been shot dead by soldiers in the Adigbe area of Abeokuta, Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the soldiers, who were reportedly led by one Lt. Col. Ali, and one Barrister Bashir, invaded the community around 1am last Saturday.
During the attack, no fewer than five persons reportedly sustained bullet injuries and were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre for treatment.
Our correspondent learnt that prior to the incident, there was an argument between Bashir and a member of the community, Suleiman Yawal, on New Year’s Eve.
Bashir was said to have taunted Yawal, saying he once facilitated his release for an offence he committed five years ago.
Yawal, however, attributed his release to God and a family member. Read more
Magodo Saga: Sanwo-Olu agrees to allocate 549 plots to landowners (Vanguard)
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, on Wednesday, resolved the Magodo Phase 2 Estate land dispute among warring parties with assurance to ensure fairness, justice, transparency and equity.
Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance during a stakeholders’ meeting with Magodo residents, judgement creditors, members of Nigeria Police from office of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, and members of the state executive council.
The governor also set up a committee chaired by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, and expected to meet with the Judgment Creditors (Shangisha Landlords’ Association) on Friday, January 7.
The governor said the committee would begin work to identify available plot of lands in Shangisha and allocation will be made in a mutually agreeable location.
He stated that de-esclation of Police movement around Magodo would be done and the peace, which the area is known for, restored. Read more
Gbajabiamila mourns Adediran as Oyetola grieves over Omisore’s death (Guardian)
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday, expressed shock over the death of a former Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adetoun Adediran.
Adediran, an associate of Gbajabiamila was the first elected female Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly from 1999 to 2003 and former Women Leader of Lagos Central All Progressives Congress (APC).
Until her death, she was a board member of Michael Otedola College of Education (MOCPED), Epe.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi the Speaker said Adeniran’s death came as a shock, because they were together a few days ago during the commissioning of projects in Surulere 1 Federal Constituency, where she supported generously at the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Osun Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, yesterday, commiserated with former Deputy Governor of the state, Iyiola Omisore, over the death of his father, Oba David Omisore, who died on Tuesday. Read more
Yabatech deploys Aptus PI to enhance learning at Computer Village (Vanguard)
Yaba College of Technology has pre-sented a device named Aptus Pi to aid the training of apprentices learning mobilie phone repairs and computer hardware repairs and maintenance at the Computer Village, Ikeja.
The mobile learning aid will enable learners to access learning materials online without the need of internet and having to pay for data subscription. The device can accommodate up to 40 learners within 40km radius of its location.
The Aptus Pi was donated by the Commonwealth of Learning under the Skills in Demand Project that involved the College and Computer and Telecommunications Engineering Association of Nigeria, COMTEAN. The project is aimed at upgrading and formalising informal apprenticeships in Nigeria.
While presenting the devices, the Director, Flexible Skills Development Centre in Yabatech, Dr. Dotun Abdul, disclosed that the staff of the college have worked to produce quality courseware in line with National Occupational Standards, NOS for the training of apprentices in the two skill areas. These resources will give apprentices the required theoretical knowledge to complement their practical training in the workplace thereby making them competent. Read more
Ex-convicts, others arrested while robbing Lagos accident victims (Punch)
Men of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad have arrested six suspected robbers for allegedly dispossessing accident victims of their belongings at the Otedola Bridge inward Ojodu-Berger, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The RRS stated this on Wednesday in a post on its Instagram page.
The police unit said the suspects took the victims’ phones and other valuables while they (victims) were trying to extricate themselves from the vehicle.
The unit revealed that the six suspects were descending the slope of the Otedola Bridge towards Olowopopo Road when they witnessed the accident. Read more
I can’t release Nnamdi Kanu, says Buhari (DailyTrust)
President Muhammadu Buhari has ruled out the option of releasing Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Some Igbo leaders had visited the president at Aso Rock, where they pleaded that the IPOB leader, who is currently standing trial for treason should be freed.
They had asked the president to show mercy and Buhari had promised to see what he could do.
But speaking in a Channels Television interview, Buhari said he would not interfere with the judiciary.
“There is one institution that I wouldn’t interfere with, that is the judiciary, Kanu’s case is with the judiciary but what I wonder is when Kanu was safely in Europe, abusing this administration and mentioning too many things, I thought he wants to come and defend himself on the accusations. Read more
BUA Foods lists 18b ordinary shares, adds N720b to NGX market cap (DailyTrust)
The Nigerian Exchange Limited has on Wednesday, listed BUA Foods Plc on its Main Board.
The NGX said in a statement that the company listed 18 billion ordinary shares at N40 per share under the Consumer Goods sector, which added N720bn to the total market capitalisation of The Exchange.
It said the company, which was listed by introduction, would be trading with the symbol, BUAFOODS.
The statement read in part, “The listing of BUA Foods’ shares has added N720bn to the market capitalization of NGX, further boosting liquidity in the Nigerian capital market and providing opportunities for wealth creation.
“It is expected that this listing will also increase the visibility of the food manufacturing, processing, and distribution company, BUA Foods, to investors on the African continent and across the globe.” Read more
No court case stops Balogun from becoming Olubadan – Kingmakers (Punch)
Members of the Olubadan-in-Council have said the elevation of some of them to obaship position cannot preclude Senator Lekan Balogun, who is the Otun Olubadan, from ascending the throne of Olubadan of Ibadaland.
Ten of the members of the Olubadan-in-Council said this on Wednesday at a press briefing held at the Mapo Hall, Ibadan.
They said Balogun was asked to come out to address journalists so that the world could know that nothing was wrong with him contrary to claims that he was blind and deaf.
The Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola, urged Ibadan indigenes to desist from what he described as rumour mongering, which could truncate the peace of the land. Read more
FG declares bandits as terrorists (Guardian)
The Nigerian Government has finally designated bandits as terrorists after a court gave the order.
The Guardian learned that a government gazette announcing the declaration was signed on November 29, 2021, days after the court order.
“A notice is hereby given that the order of the federal high court Abuja, in suit number FHC/ABJ/C’S/1370/2021 dated 2021as per the scheduled to this notice the activities of Yan Bindiga group, Yan Ta’adda Group and other similar groups in Nigeria are declared to be terrorism and illegal in any part of Nigeria, especially in the Northwest and north-central regions of Nigeria and are proscribed, pursuant to section 1 and 2 of Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011,” the gazette reads in part.
“Consequently, the general public is hereby warned that any person or group of persons participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of the groups referred to in paragraph 1 of this notice will be violating the provision of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and liable to prosecution.”
The court, in a ruling delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on November 26, held that activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups constituted acts of terrorism in the country. Read more
Grammy Awards 2022: Omicron postpones music’s biggest night (BBC)
The 64th annual Grammy Awards Show due to be held in the US later this month has been postponed due to coronavirus, organisers have said.
Uncertainty around the Omicron variant means going ahead “simply contains too many risks”, according to a statement from the Recording Academy and CBS.
The event, which is regarded as music’s biggest night, was scheduled to take place on 31 January in Los Angeles.
It will happen on a future date to be announced soon, organisers said. Read more
Pluto should be reinstated as a planet, scientists argue (Metro)
A question about whether or not Pluto should be classed as a planet has been bounced around for 16 years.
In 2006 it was reclassified as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union.
However, not everyone was happy and continued to refer to it as a planet, including Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine.
But now a team of astronomers, scientists and researchers from various universities, institutes and observatories have added their intellectual weight to the debate. Read more
Kanye West brings his own photographer on his dates with Julia Fox (PageSix)
At least he’s been leaving the mask at home.
Kanye West has been bringing his own photographer with him on dates with Julia Fox in Miami and New York, Page Six has learned. But sources say the shutterbug is part of a potentially larger project on West’s life.
The rapper now known as “Ye” and the “Uncut Gems” star saw “Slave Play” together on Tuesday night, and multiple sources told us that West also brought along his very own photographer to the Broadway show.
West and Fox also hung out with playwright Jeremy O. Harris and the cast.
Multiple sources also told Page Six that West had a photographer with him when he recently met Fox at Carbone in Miami. Pics surfaced of the pair at the intimate dinner on TMZ — though we hear West and Fox dined in a private room. Read more
Ghislaine Maxwell: Lawyers call for retrial over juror comments (BBC)
Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell say she deserves a new trial after a juror told media that he used his own experience of being sexually abused to persuade other jurors who doubted witnesses.
Prosecutors also asked the judge to open an inquiry into the statements.
Maxwell was found guilty last week of grooming underage girls to be abused by Jeffrey Epstein.
The juror said he told fellow jurors that, like some of Epstein’s victims, he had been abused as a child. Read more
Pierce Brosnan rocks long locks in new action adventure film The King’s Daughter (Metro)
It’s official, Pierce Brosnan can pull off any look – including 17th-Century French royal fashion.
The former James Bond star is set to appear in the action-adventure film The King’s Daughter, released later this year, where he plays the titular King Louis XIV.
New stills released from the movie show Pierce, 68, looking regal in an ocean-blue jacket with a 17th-century white frilled shirt, along with a pendant hanging from his neck.
As a veteran actor, the Irishman’s appearance has changed throughout the years depending on his role, but the flowing locks of King Louis will make even the most dedicated fans do a double-take. Read more
Dad gunned down at Chuck E. Cheese carrying daughter’s birthday cake (NYPost)
A Texas dad was gunned down as he carried his daughter’s birthday cake outside a Chuck E. Cheese, reports said.
Calogero Duenes, 24, had just arrived at the restaurant for his 6-year-old daughter’s birthday Friday night when the driver of a car in the parking lot fatally shot him, according to police.
The car had driven down a parking lot aisle in the wrong direction and Duenes got into a verbal exchange with the driver before the shots rang out.
Duenes’ two daughters, 3-year-old Marrlow and 6-year-old birthday girl Serina, were already inside the restaurant with their mother at the time of the deadly encounter. Read more
Gal Gadot speaks out on controversial Cleopatra film (Metro)
Gal Gadot has opened up about her upcoming Cleopatra film, after the announcement received mixed reactions.
The Wonder Woman actress is set to star as the queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, and has said it’s the story ‘the world needs to hear’.
She told InStyle: ‘I can’t reveal a lot, but I can tell you that we’re going to celebrate the Cleopatra story. We’re going to show not just how sexy and appealing she was, but how strategic and smart, and how much impact she had and still has on the world we’re living in today.’
‘I’ve watched all the Cleopatra movies throughout history,’ she added, ‘but I feel like we’re telling the story the world needs to hear now.’ Read more
Covid forces postponement of Liverpool-Arsenal League Cup semi (Guardian)
Liverpool’s League Cup semi-final first-leg match against Arsenal on Thursday has been postponed due to a “severe outbreak” of coronavirus cases at the Anfield club.
Liverpool asked on Tuesday for the match to be rearranged and since then there have been more positive tests, forcing the closure of their training ground.
Manager Jurgen Klopp and three players — Alisson Becker, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino — were already isolating before the latest wave of infections, which includes a positive test for assistant boss Pep Lijnders.
The English Football League said it had accepted Liverpool’s request for a postponement.
“The first leg of the Carabao (League) Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool scheduled for Thursday 6 January 2022 has been postponed following a formal request by Liverpool due to a severe outbreak of Covid infections amongst their management and playing staff,” the EFL said in a statement.
Liverpool said the rise in cases had left them short of numbers. Read more
Umar: Eagles won’t disappoint Nigerians (Punch)
Almeria striker Sadiq Umar is relishing the prospect of making his debut at the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon and believes the Super Eagles have all it takes to reach the final despite missing key players, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The Eagles will be without their top scorer during the qualifiers with five goals, Victor Osimhen, and defender Leon Balogun, who recently returned to training after a long injury layoff.
Shehu Abdulahi also pulled out of the tournament due to injury, while Odion Ighalo could miss out following a club and country row.
Umar is one of the nine forwards listed by interim coach Austin Eguavoen for the continental showpiece and he says the three-time AFCON winners won’t disappoint their countrymen in Cameroon. Read more
Novak Djokovic denied entry to Australia, has visa cancelled (CNBC)
Novak Djokovic’s chance to play for a 10th Australian Open title was thrown into limbo Thursday when the country denied him entry and canceled his visa because he failed to meet the requirements for an exemption to Covid-19 vaccination rules.
The top-ranked Djokovic announced on social media Tuesday that he had “exemption permission” and landed in Australia late Wednesday after receiving a medical exemption from the Victoria state government that was expected to shield him from the strict vaccination regulations in place for this year’s first major tennis tournament.
But border authorities did not accept the exemption. The Australian Border Force issued a statement saying Djokovic failed to meet entry requirements.
“The rule is very clear,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a news conference Thursday. “You need to have a medical exemption. He didn’t have a valid medical exemption. We make the call at the border, and that’s where it’s enforced.” Read more
Coutinho keen on Premier League return as five clubs eye midfielder (Vanguard)
Philippe Coutinho looks set for a return to the Premier League even as five clubs are reportedly keen on adding the midfielder to their squad in the January transfer window.
Currently with Barcelona, the Brazilian spent five years at Liverpool and notched up 41 goals in 152 appearances for the Anfield side.
Now 29, with a stint at Bayern Munich also in the bag, Coutinho is likely hoping to return to the league where he caught the attention of the world as he enters the home stretch of his playing career.
Aston Villa are the leading contender for Coutinho’s signature which will be a reunion with Steven Gerrard who currently manages the side. Both were teammates at Liverpool. Read more
Chelsea beat Spurs in first leg of Carabao Cup semi-final (BBC)
Chelsea deservedly beat Tottenham in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, but had so many chances they should have already sealed their place at Wembley.
Kai Havertz gave Chelsea an early lead when he ran onto Marcos Alonso’s through ball and fired home with Davinson Sanchez unable to keep the shot out on the line.
The Blues’ second was a comedy own goal as Japhet Tanganga headed the ball into team-mate Ben Davies’ shoulder and it flew into the net.
Romelu Lukaku, back in the team after a one-game exile for comments he made in an interview, had several chances and headed wide from close range.
Spurs, who changed to a back four after a torrid first half, had to wait until the 50th minute for a shot, with Harry Kane’s free-kick saved by Kepa. Read more
Returning Kyrie Irving comes up big as Nets rally past Pacers (NYPost)
Kyrie Irving finally got the long-awaited season debut he wanted.
And the Nets got the lift they needed.
Irving shook off some early rust and the Nets shook off a huge deficit, storming back for a 129-121 come-from-behind victory before a stunned crowd of 14,176 at Bainbridge Fieldhouse.
It snapped a season-worst three-game losing skid, and was a winning first step in reintegrating Irving into the fold. The Nets pulled to within 1 ½ games of idle Chicago in the Eastern Conference. Read more
Hakim Ziyech reveals how Chelsea squad reacted to Romelu Lukaku after shock interview (Metro)
Hakim Ziyech has praised Romelu Lukaku’s performance in the Carabao Cup semi-final against Tottenham and says Chelsea’s players rallied around the under-fire striker.
The Belgian was axed from the west Londoners’ squad for the weekend’s Premier League clash with Liverpool after giving an interview to Sky Italia in which he said he was not happy with his situation at Chelsea.
Lukaku also criticised manager Thomas Tuchel for playing a ‘different formation’ and said he wanted to return to old club Inter Milan while he is still in the prime of his career.
Tuchel said the situation became ‘too noisy’ so left Lukaku out of the matchday squad for Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool, before the 28-year-old met with the club and then issued an official apology to supporters via an interview with Chelsea TV. Read more