Tanker explodes on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, FRSC sues for caution (Nation)
Traffic has been brought to a halt on the Magboro Bridge, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway after a petrol tanker explosion early Wednesday morning.
The tanker which was outbound Lagos, was said to have gone up in flames around 4:15am, bringing traffic to a halt.
It was however not clear if there were casualties in the inferno which officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), police and firefighters have been battling to contain.
In a caution notice syndicated by the FRSC, motorists especially those using the Lagos-Ibadan-Egbeda corridor were urged to re-plan their trips or brace up for delays. Read more
Girl shoots boyfriend to death testing local charm efficacy (Nation)
A young man has been shot dead in Calabar by his girlfriend upon his directive to the girl.
The young man, whose real name could not be gotten as at the time of this report, goes by the nickname: “Email”.
He sells Indian hemp and was with a group of his friends at the time of the incident Wednesday in a compound where he resides at Nelson Mandela Street, Calabar South, opposite the Assembly of God Church.
Younger brother to the girl, name withheld, narrated the incident to the Nation newspaper, noting that her sister, Blessing by name was a friend to deceased “email” and at about 11.am on the fateful day, the sister passed by the compound of the late boyfriend at the time he, the deceased was with his group of friends and they had taken local concoctions including native charms against guns and bullet shots. Read more
Autogas: Automobile conversion to cost owners N250, 000 in Nigeria (Vanguard)
The federal government has disclosed that automobile owners will pay up to N250, 000 for conversion targeted at enabling them run on gas.
Speaking at Channels Television Programme monitored by Vanguard, Justice Derefaka, Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the conversion would be carried out at various centres nationwide.
He said: “The conversion of your vehicle is not something that will take three weeks or seven days; it will take you around seven to eight hours because they (technicians) need to do a diagnosis of your vehicle to see if it is fit for conversion. After that, they will test for roadworthiness and then proceed.” Read more
Court declines EFCC’s plea to revoke Femi Fani-Kayode’s bail (Guardian)
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, refused to grant the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s application, seeking for revocation of the bail granted to the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.
Justice John Tsoho ruled that the medical report brought by the defence counsel, Wale Balogun, that Fani-Kayode was indisposed was sufficient reason to reject the application by the EFCC’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ex-minister was, on Nov. 10, 2016, admitted to a N50 million bail bond with a surety in the like sum. Read more
Gov Umahi sacks Pius Anyim’s kinsmen (Vanguard)
Barely two weeks after the kinsmen of former Governor Sam Egwu were sacked from the administration of Governor David Umahi, another set of appointees from former Senator Anyim Pius Anyim’s Local Government Area of Ivo were some minutes ago relieved of their appointments.
Their sack is said to be connected with the letter written by the former Senate President to Governor Umahi on Monday this week.
Meanwhile, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala has said that their removal was based on the policy of inclusive governance by the present administration in the State.
A signed statement signed disclosed that all affected officeholders are expected to handover all government property in their possession to the office of the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner. Read more
Naval officer drags student to court over alleged reckless driving (Nation)
An FCT Magistrate Court sitting in Mpape had adjourned a case of alleged reckless driving brought before it.
In the case, Commodore E. O Omeje of the Nigeria Navy Headquarters, Abuja, is seeking a N3.7 million payment to repair his car.
The accident, which was alleged to have been caused by one Mr Shidok Dennis, of No. 17, Arsenal Street, Phase 4, Suncity Estate within the Abuja metropolis was said to have happened sometimes in January 2017.
According to a First Information Report (FIR), Dennis, the driver of a Toyota Tundra, with Reg. No. ABC 151 LX, drove along the Herbert Macauley, War College, in a manner which resulted to the accident. Read more
Defection: Imo PDP denies moves by Ihedioha to join APC (Vanguard)
The Imo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Wednesday said that former governor, Emeka Ihedioha, was not planning to abandon the PDP, to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The state Publicity Secretary, of the PDP, Ogubundu Nwadike, made this known through a statement to newsmen in Owerri while reacting to the report of Ihedioha’s plans to join APC.
PDP said that Ihedioha would not do it because he’s loyal to the party and had served in the high positions using the platform. Read more
Burna Boy’s “Twice As Tall” most-streamed Nigerian album on Spotify in 2020 (Punch)
Burna Boy’s recent album, Twice As Tall, has been named as the most-streamed Nigerian album on the streaming platform, Spotify, in 2020.
This comes shortly after, the album earned the singer his second Grammy Awards nomination.
The self-acclaimed African Giant secured the number one spot on as the most-streamed Nigerian album on Spotify in 2020 with over 64 million streams to its credit.
The rating is for albums that were released in 2020.
According to the streaming platform, in the second place on the chat of most-streamed Nigerian music, this year is Wizkid’s ‘Made In Lagos’, while songstress, Tiwa Savage’s Celia comes third. Read more
Ethiopia and UN ‘reach Tigray aid deal’ (BBC)
The UN and Ethiopia have agreed to allow aid into the country’s conflict-torn Tigray region, UN officials say.
UN spokesman Saviano Abreu says an assessment mission will begin later on Wednesday. There has been no word so far from the Ethiopian government.
Food and medicines are said to be running out for millions of people.
Hundreds of people have reportedly been killed in the month-long fighting between the federal army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
The Ethiopian government said the regional capital Mekelle was seized over the weekend. Read more
UN appeals for record $35bn as COVID-19 wreaks havoc (VOA)
The United Nations is appealing for a record $35 billion to provide a humanitarian lifeline to 165 million of the world’s most vulnerable, needy people in 56 countries.
U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock calls the crisis gripping the world one of the bleakest and darkest ever experienced by a huge slice of humanity.
“That is a reflection of the fact that the COVID pandemic has wreaked havoc across the whole of the most fragile and vulnerable countries on the planet,” he said. ” Those where humanitarian organizations are most involved in their day-to-day work.”
Lowcock says this disaster comes on top of escalating and protracted conflicts and increasing extreme weather events including storms, floods and drought due to climate change. Read more
Trump pardons: US justice department unveils bribery inquiry (BBC)
The US justice department is looking into claims that lobbyists have tried to use bribes to secure a presidential pardon, unsealed court papers show.
They say that in August investigators began investigating a “secret lobbying scheme” possibly involving attempts to contact White House officials.
The redacted filings do not give any names, but the justice department says no government official is being probed.
In a tweet, President Trump referred to the investigation as “fake news”. Read more
Police arrest Swedish mother suspected of locking her son up for 28 years (France24)
A woman in Sweden suspected of holding her son captive inside their apartment for decades has been arrested, police said on Tuesday, with reports claiming the man was found undernourished with infected sores on his body and almost no teeth.
Stockholm police spokesman Ola Osterling told AFP the man had been “locked up for a very long time” in the apartment in a southern Stockholm suburb but refused to comment on local reports he had been held for 28 years.
Neighbours said they had not seen the son, now 41, for years — or ever.
Tove Boman, a 24-year-old who lives in the building next door, told AFP she had only seen the mother. “I grew up here so I’ve always known who she is and recognised her. She’s a little strange,” she said. Read more
EasyJet to charge for overhead luggage lockers (BBC)
EasyJet customers who want to use overhead luggage lockers will have to buy more expensive tickets.
In a move which provoked criticism on social media, Easyjet said the changes to its luggage policy will start on 10 February.
Customers who don’t buy the more expensive tickets will be restricted to putting a small carry-on bag under their seat.
Easyjet said the changes would improve punctuality.
But some customers reacted with dismay on Twitter, with one calling it an “absolutely terrible move”. Read more
Steps from Eiffel Tower’s original staircase sells for €274,000 at auction (France24)
A 14-step chunk of the Eiffel Tower’s spiral staircase was sold for 274,475 euros ($328,427) in Paris on Tuesday, nearly 10 times the guide price, auction house Artcurial said.
The nearly-three-metre-high artefact was part of the original 1889 staircase that connected the second and third floors of the monument for nearly a century before a lift was installed in 1983.
The staircase was taken down and cut up into 24 chunks.
Twenty pieces were sold to private collections, three were given to French museums and the last was put on display on the first floor of the Paris landmark dubbed the Iron Lady. Read more
Hugh Grant says Bridget Jones co-star Renee Zellweger is ‘one of the few’ actresses he hasn’t fallen out with (Metro)
Hugh Grant has shared the love for his former Bridget Jones co-star Renee Zellweger, claiming she’s ‘one of the few actresses’ he hasn’t fallen out with. Consider us intrigued. The first instalment, which starred Renee as clumsy journalist Bridget, and Hugh as her former boss and all-round slimeball Daniel Cleaver, was released almost 20 years ago, but they’ve stayed in touch to this day. ‘I love Renee. She’s one of the few actresses I haven’t fallen out with,’ he said. ‘And we got on very well together and, we still exchange long emails. Hers, in particular, are at least 70 pages each. Interesting stuff, but quite hard to decipher.’ Read more
Racism: Premier League players should keep taking the knee – Kane (Vanguard)
England captain Harry Kane says Premier League players should carry on taking the knee in support of the fight against racial injustice, using their profile to raise awareness of the issue.
Clubs began making the symbolic gesture before kick-off when football resumed after the coronavirus hiatus last season, and it has continued into the current campaign.
“I think we are a huge platform to share our voices across the world, to be honest,” Kane told the BBC.
“Obviously we have done a lot with Black Lives Matter and taking the knee before games.
“I hear people talking about taking the knee and whether we should still be doing it, and for me, I think we should.” Read more
Mick Schumacher to join Haas for 2021 season (BBC)
Mick Schumacher is leading the Formula 2 series going into the final round
Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael, will race for the Haas team next season.
The US-based team said the 21-year-old had signed a “multi-year contract”. He will partner Russian Nikita Mazepin
German Schumacher said the move was “a dream come true, a dream I have been chasing since I was three years old”.
Ferrari, with whom he has a long-term contract, said the “eventual aim” was for him to drive for them in F1 “one day”.
Schumacher will be at Haas for at least the next two seasons. Read more
Milan coach Pioli, assistant Murelli recover from COVID-19 (Punch)
AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli has been given the all-clear from Covid-19 and will be on the bench for Thursday’s Europa League game against Celtic, the Italian league leaders confirmed.
Pioli, 55, and his assistant Giacomo Murelli, both tested positive mid-November and had been in isolation.
“Pioli and his assistant Murelli both returned negative results after tests conducted yesterday,” the club said.
“(They) will take training today and will, tomorrow evening, coach the team as usual for AC Milan’s Europa League fixture against Celtic.” Read more
Zidane says won’t resign after shocking loss to Shakhtar Donetsk (Vanguard)
Zinedine Zidane rubbished suggestions he could walk away from Real Madrid and said the Spanish giants did not deserve to lose after going down 2-0 to Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, their second defeat by the Ukrainians in this season’s Champions League leaving their hopes of reaching the last 16 in the balance.
Substitutes Dentinho and Manor Solomon both scored second-half goals in Kiev as Shakhtar stunned the 13-time European champions again, having already won 3-2 in Madrid in October.
Shakhtar had lost their last two Group B matches against Borussia Moenchengladbach by an aggregate score of 10-0, but this victory allowed them to move above Real into second place in the group with one game remaining.
Gladbach top the section by a point, while Shakhtar now have the upper hand on Real thanks to their superior head-to-head record. Read more
Khabib Nurmagomedov names price to consider Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier rematches (Metro)
Khabib Nurmagomedov says he has ‘no sporting interest’ in fighting Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier again, having already beaten them both, but admits that a huge financial offer would give him a ‘problem’ to consider. The Eagle still holds the UFC lightweight title, despite announcing his retirement from MMA after beating Justin Gaethje in October. UFC president Dana White is pushing for the Dagestani to fight again and is confident that he will, but Khabib is yet to change his mind about stepping into the Octagon again. White and Nurmagomedov are due to meet in Abu Dhabi in the near future and the Russian champion is expecting to be offered a substantial amount of cash to go back on his decision to retire. Read more
Sakhir Grand Prix: British driver George Russell to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in Bahrain (BBC)
Williams driver George Russell will replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.
Hamilton has been forced to withdraw from the race in Bahrain after testing positive for Covid-19.
Williams reserve Jack Aitken will replace Russell.
“I might be wearing a different race suit this weekend, but I’m a Williams driver and I’ll be cheering my team on every step of the way,” said 22-year-old Russell.
“I see this as a great chance to learn from the best outfit on the grid right now and to come back as an improved driver, with even more energy and experience to help push Williams further up the grid. A big thank you also to Mercedes for putting their faith in me. Read more