We can’t do anything if army rejects summons, says Lagos panel on #EndSARS (Vanguard)
Doris Okuwobi, chairperson of the Lagos State judicial panel, Saturday said there is nothing the panel can do if the Nigerian army refuses to honour summons.
The army is a respondent in several petitions before the panel set up by the Lagos state government to probe police brutality, especially the involvement of the army in the Lekki tollgate shooting of October 20, 2020.
Although a representative of the army, Ahmed Taiwo had appeared before the panel three times previously, it has refused to honour further summons of the panel despite several petitions against army officers.
At the panel hearing on Saturday, according to TheCable, Okwuobi, a retired justice, said petitions with summons have been forwarded to Tukur Burutai, ex-chief of army staff, for some officers to appear before the panel but there has been no response. Read more
Lagos COVID-19 cases near 48,000 (DailyTrust)
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lagos State have increased to 47,871, as the state recorded 408 new infections on January 28.
The State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, made the disclosure through his verified Twitter account @ProfAkinAbayomi on Saturday, while giving the state’s COVID-19 status for Jan. 28.
Abayomi said that 2,186 tests were conducted on the reported day, bringing to 293,404, the total number of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state since inception of the pandemic.
According to him, 3,387 COVID-19 patients have been successfully treated and discharged from the state’s care centres.
“Total number of COVID-19 recovery in communities is 34,092, while the number cases currently under isolation stood at 233, and active cases under home-based care are 9,856,’’ he said.
He said that three new COVID-19-related deaths were recorded on Jan. 28, increasing the number of fatalities from the virus to 301. Read more
NDLEA seizes cocaine worth over N30b at Lagos airport (Nation)
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has made huge seizures of cocaine and heroines with street values worth over N30billion at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
This comes barely a week after the new Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig Gen. Buba Marwa, vowed to dismantle drug trafficking cartels across Nigeria.
One of the seizures, 26.840 kilograms of cocaine is the biggest single seizure from an individual in the past 15 years, The Nation gathered.
According to a top official of the agency in Abuja: “On the 27th of January 2021, at about 1320hours, during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline passengers at the E- arrival hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, a female passenger by name Onyejegbu Ifesinachi Jennifer, 33 years, who arrived Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, was intercepted by NDLEA operatives. Read more
Report: Boko Haram Victims Adopt Street Begging for Survival (ThisDay)
A new research has found that street begging, drug abuse and early marriage are the most common activities victims of Boko Haram insurgency engage in due to low government support, particularly in the North-east.
The research titled “Entrenching Peace: Assessing community resilience and peace building initiatives in North-east Nigeria” was conducted by Nextier SPD (Security, Peace, and Development), and sponsored by the European Union (EU) and British Council.
At the presentation of the research findings yesterday in Abuja, Haruna Dlakwa, a professor at the University of Maiduguri, said the protracted insurgency had significantly disrupted social and economic life with many residents now living in abject poverty and displaced from their homes. Read more
Open grazing: We will arrest, try lawless herdsmen – South-West governors (Tribune)
Four out of five South-West states that are experiencing the security threat posed by activities of Fulani herdsmen will arrest and put on trial any herdsman that breaks the law which bans night and open grazing in the states.
They have also said they would leverage on the recent pact signed at a meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum with the leadership of the umbrella body of herders in the country, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), in Akure, Ondo State, on Monday, to put a stop to the menace.
However, a Fulani group, the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN), has said the outcome of the Akure meeting was not binding on its members, saying the South-West governors conceded nothing to Miyetti Allah in the agreement reached. In an exclusive interview with Saturday Tribune, the national president of GAFDAN, Alhaji Sale Bayari, cited a number of reasons why his group is taking exception to the agreement, one of which, he said, was the fact that not every Fulani herdsman is a member of MACBAN. (See full interview on pages 8 and 25). Read more
Ezekwesili, Ebuka, others mourn Emilia Asim-Ita (Punch)
Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili; and other Nigerians have mourned the co-founder of The Future Awards Africa and former partner, Red Media Africa, who died on Friday after a brief illness.
Asim-Ita, who was in her 30s, was a brand strategist and had worked with many brands, media, and non-governmental establishments.
Reacting to her sudden death, Ezekwesili tweeted, “How @emiliaasim? How dear daughter? Moment like this, the Word of our Lord brings comfort. One that speaks of your essence, Emilia is: Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. May the deepest comfort of God envelope your Mom and siblings. Broken heart.”
Media personality and television host, Ebuka Obi- Uchendu, also tweeted, “I’m so shook by this Emilia story. What in the world?”
Activist JJ. Omojuwa wrote, “It’s hard to refer people because people will embarrass you. But it was easy to refer Emilia because she was a trusted executioner. She got stuff done. As easy as these sounds, I know it’s calculus for many. Most times, it’s stories. For Emilia, it’s results! Time well spent! Red heart.” Read more
Grandpa arrested for defiling two-year-old (Nation)
Police in Edo have arrested a 63-year-old grandfather, Sunday Igbinokhuaihe, for defiling a two-year-old girl.
The rape took place at Urhonigbe in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo state, with the suspect being a neighbour to the parents of the victim.
It was gathered yesterday in Benin that Igbinokhuaihe lured the little girl into his room with a loaf of bread, while using his finger to break her hymen, at a time the victim’s mother was preparing dinner in the kitchen for members of her family. Read more
Police, Amotekun chase rampaging Ibadan hoodlums, recover gun (Punch)
The Oyo State Police Command said the efforts of its men in collaboration with Amotekun corps doused the tension created by the invasion of scores of hoodlums who unleashed terror on residents of Aderogba and other communities off Bere area of Ibadan.
The hoodlums, who had invaded the Aderogba community late on Thursday night looted shops, set a building on fire, and also burnt a shop. The insecurity forced some shop owners and residents to flee the area.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi while reacting to the attack said in a statement that efforts of security agents doused the tension in the area.
He said the hoodlums were pursued and a locally made gun was recovered from one of them. Read more
Oscars Confirms Eligibility of ‘The Milkmaid’ (ThisDay)
Finally, Nigeria will be able to compete in the international Academy Awards popularly known as the Oscars. The Executive Committee for the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars has confirmed the eligibility of Nigeria’s official submission, ‘The Milkmaid’, among other contenders for the 93rd Academy Awards.
The Academy officially released a list of eligible films from 93 countries in the IFF category on Thursday.
The Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) had submitted “The Milkmaid” to the Academy in December 2020. The film is the second attempt by the body to participate in the Oscars. The country’s first submission in 2019 ‘Lionheart’ was disqualified on the basis of language defect. The ‘Milkmaid’ has now officially become the first Nigerian film to go to the Oscars. Another shortlist is expected to be released in March, ahead of the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony on April 25, 2021. Read more
Senate Republicans say Trump should be held accountable for riot — but not by them (CNN)
To Senate Minority Whip John Thune, former President Donald Trump’s actions ahead of the deadly Capitol riot are totally indefensible.
“No — not at all,” the No. 2 Republican said when asked if he can defend what Trump did. “The way he handled the post-election, both in terms of his public statements and things that he tried to do to change the outcome, no.”
But like other Republicans, Thune has no clear answer to this key question: What should they. Read more
Germany imposes travel restrictions over COVID variants (DW)
Visitors from countries deemed high risk due to mutations of the coronavirus — such as the UK, Brazil, Portugal and South Africa — will now face entry restrictions to Germany.
Germany has announced entry restrictions for travelers from the UK, Ireland, Brazil, Portugal and South Africa, as concerns of more contagious coronavirus variants are rising.
In a new regulation released on Friday, the German government said that in addition to current testing and quarantine restrictions, “a temporary limitation shall be imposed on carriage of travelers from countries designated as regions with variants.” Read more
Kanye West facing lawsuits from allegedly stiffed Sunday Service cast and crew (PageSix)
Jesus walks, but not to the bank, apparently.
Kanye West is currently facing two class-action lawsuits alleging mistreatment of performers and staff of his extravagant Sunday Service shows pay, according to reports.
Filed last summer in Los Angeles, the lawsuits are reportedly divided between performers and crew; Frank Kim is repping more 500 performers, while attorneys Harris & Ruble are concentrating on the approximately 300 crew members. Read more
Facebook plans to reduce political content in the News Feed (CNN)
Facebook’s business continues to fire on all cylinders even as the company faces growing scrutiny from regulators over its acquisitions and from critics for the role its platform may have played in spreading lies about the US presidential election.
The company said Wednesday that it posted a profit of $11.2 billion in the final three months of last year, an increase of more than 50% from the year prior. Facebook (FB)’s revenue rose 33% to roughly $28 billion during the quarter, showing the durability of its core advertising business despite the pandemic.
On a conference call with analysts, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook is considering steps it can take to reduce the amount of political content in the News Feed. “One of the top pieces of feedback that we’re hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services,” Zuckerberg said. Read more
Jennifer Garner tears down Brentwood home for newly renovated abode (NYPost)
Jennifer Garner is rebuilding her newly purchased Brentwood home.
Jennifer Garner is rebuilding her newly purchased Brentwood home.Credit: Backgrid / Getty
Jennifer Garner is tearing down her Brentwood home and starting over nearly three years following her divorce from Ben Affleck.
Garner, 48, purchased the property in 2019 for $7,882,800. This marks the first home for the star since selling the marital house she shared with Affleck for about $32 million.
Up until her divorce, Garner and Affleck, 48, had lived there for nearly a decade.
Meanwhile, the “13 Going on 30” star has taken a wrecking ball to the once four-bedroom, three-bathroom abode spanning 3,245 square feet and instead is building a whole new home from scratch. The original home was built in 1930. Read more
Myanmar army backtracks amid coup fears (DW)
Tensions soared in the fledgling democracy after the army suggested it would “take power” if its concerns about vote fraud in last year’s election weren’t addressed.
Myanmar’s military pledged Saturday to protect the constitution and act according to law, after comments this week from its commander-in-chief sparked fears of an impending coup.
The country’s powerful army has repeatedly made allegations of widespread vote fraud in the November elections, which saw Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) win by a landslide.
But political tensions escalated this week when a military spokesman refused to rule out the possibility of a coup, and warned the armed forces could “take action” if concerns about election irregularities weren’t addressed. Read more
Why I decided against joining Ajax, Ajayi (Nation)
West Bromwich Albion defender Semi Ajayi has explained his quest for first-team football made him reject an opportunity to join Ajax.
The 27-year-old centre-back started his career at Charlton Athletic academy and was promoted to the senior team in 2012.
During his time at the Valley, the Super Eagles star also spent time on loan with Dartford before moving to Arsenal permanently in 2013.
The defender spent two years with the Gunners but did not get a chance to feature for the senior team and had to leave the Emirates Stadium. Read more
Rohr owed 5 months salary, Alloy Agu yet to receive pay in 22 months (Vanguard)
The Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick said his administration is working to settle the debts they owe Super Eagles players and coaches despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Pinnick did not shy away from the financial challenges facing the NFF and the struggles they encounter in discharging their financial obligations to Nigeria’s football teams.
Although salaries and allowances of national coaches have been slashed, coach Gernot Rohr is being owed five months salary, with goalkeeper coach Alloy Agu awaiting 22-months unpaid wages while the Super Eagles are yet to receive their bonuses and allowances for 19 months.
Pinnick faulted COVID-19 for its negative impact on businesses, including the NFF premium sponsors Aiteo Group, however, he disclosed his administration’s commitment to paying off the debts as soon as possible. Read more
We’ll pay Rohr’s five-month salary arrears soon – Pinnick (Punch)
The Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick says the football body will pay Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr’s outstanding five months salaries soon.
Rohr, who penned a new two-year contract extension until 2022 in May last year, was only paid twice since he renewed his deal with the NFF.
Saturday PUNCH also learnt that Eagles goalkeeper trainer Alloy Agu is also owed 22 months wages.
The Eagles players also are still expecting to be paid their 19-month unpaid bonuses and allowances by the NFF. Read more
Australian Open: ‘The atmosphere is going to be loud’ says Sofia Kenin (CNN)
Preparation for this year’s Australian Open has been unlike anything these professional tennis players have previously experienced.
Some have been through a “hard quarantine” and unable to leave their hotel rooms at all for 14 days, while others have been allowed out to practice for limited hours during the day.
However, there is one element of the upcoming tournament, set to begin on February 8, that will at least give the players some sense of normalcy.
For the first time at a grand slam since last year’s Australian Open, players will be met by the noise of a significant number of fans in the stands. Read more
Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley dominates in win over Cavaliers (NYPost)
Immanuel Quickley dropped face down on the court and made a swimming motion with his arms and legs after nailing his third of five 3-pointers Friday night.
The electrifying rookie point guard helped the Knicks make their way back upstream after three straight losses to end their recent road trip, scoring 25 points in 23 minutes off the bench, including 14 in the fourth quarter, in a 102-81 win over Cleveland at the Garden.
Afterward, coach Tom Thibodeau still wouldn’t commit to cries for the 21-year-old Quickley to take over the starting point guard job from Elfrid Payton, but the 25th overall pick out of Kentucky continues to earn significant minutes to close out games. Read more
Bundesliga: Silas Wamangituka helps Stuttgart finally find home comfort (DW)
It wasn’t pretty, but Stuttgart finally got their first home win of the Bundesliga season. The 2-0 win over struggling Mainz was important but perhaps didn’t always showcase the best of Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side.
Stuttgart 2-0 Mainz, Mercedes Benz Arena
(Kalajdzic 55′, Wamangituka 72′)
Stuttgart have done a lot of things right since promotion. An array of exciting young talent spearheaded by Silas Wamangituka has led them to midtable safety (they now sit 15 points clear of Mainz) and won plenty of admirers.But until Friday night, they hadn’t won a home game in the Bundesliga since May 2019. Read more