Why I faked my own kidnap, 24-year-old teacher confesses (Punch)
A 24-year-old lady teacher, Medinat Ibrahim, who allegedly faked her own kidnap in the Olude, Oke-Fomo area, Ilorin, Kwara State last Saturday said she committed the crime to raise money to settle debt which accrued from the monthly contribution in her place of work.
Medinat, who was paraded alongside two other suspects – Amudalat Wahab (30) and Hammed Lekan (28) – by the Kwara State Police Command on Wednesday, said she decided to commit the offence as a result of frustration and stoppage of her salary by her employer following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Medinat, who said that she is from a polygamous home, revealed that she was maltreated by her stepmother who also caused friction between her and her father, adding that she decided to fake her own kidnap to get money to offset debts she incurred during COVID-19 lockdown. Read more
NIN: NIMC workers commence strike over funding, exposure to COVID-19 (Punch)
Thousands of applicants have been locked outside of the offices of the National Identity Management Commission following a strike embarked on by NIMC staff, The PUNCH has learnt.
The notice of strike was signed by the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC branch, Lucky Michael, and its Secretary, Odia Victor.
It read in part, “Consequent upon the just concluded congress of the above mentioned association that took place on January 6, 2020, the unit executive directs all members of grade level 12 and below in the head office and state offices to report to their respective duty posts tomorrow January 7, 2020 and do nothing. Read more
Lagos targets N60.31bn IGR monthly for 2021 (Tribune)
Lagos State government, on Thursday, said it is targeting a total of N723.817bn Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the 2021 fiscal year, bringing the monthly figure to N60.31bn.
The State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Sam Egube, disclosed this while giving the 2021 budget breakdown at a press briefing which took place at Alausa, Ikeja, saying the state had earmarked N15bn for the Rebuilding Lagos Project/Trust Fund, in the aftermath of #EndSARS destruction of Lagos in October 2020.
Egube disclosed that the total size stands at ₦1.164trn, saying it would be funded from a total revenue estimate of ₦971.028billion, comprising total Internally Generated Revenue of N723.817bn, with Capital Receipts standing at N71.811bn, while Federal Transfer is projected at N175.400bn. Read more
COVID-19: Lagos to build 10 oxygen tents, says Sanwo-Olu (Thisday)
The Lagos State Government has taken definite steps to address the wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with the building of 10 oxygen tents across the state for use by affected Lagosians.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who made this disclosure on Thursday while speaking with newsmen after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, also announced that the rebuilding of some parts of Lagos destroyed in the wake of the EndSARS protests has commenced in earnest.
Speaking specifically on the second wave of COVID-19, Sanwo-Olu encouraged Nigerians to take full personal responsibility because of the threat of the pandemic, adding that the Lagos State government is already building oxygen tents and plants to help reduce the number of casualties. Read more
EFCC warns against selling of NIN (Guardian)
As Nigerians struggle to acquire the National Identity Number (NIN) from offices of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) across the country, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have disclosed that some unscrupulous persons are cashing in on the excercise to induce enrollees to sell their NIN for a fee.
EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, who disclosed this in Abuja, explained that the buyers of the numbers are also trading with them to persons whose motives are anything but noble.
Clarifying that it is not legal to sell their NIN, Uwujaren warned that they stand the risk of vicarious liability for any act of criminality linked to their NIN. Read more
Gunmen invade Rivers community, kill one (Punch)
Gunmen on Wednesday invaded Tere-Ama community in the Port Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State and killed on person.
Although the reason behind the attack on the community is still unclear, a resident in the area who only identified himself as Somieri told PUNCH Metro that the gunmen attack may be connected to their regular extortion of business owners in the area.
Recall that Chief Tamunokuro Somiari, the paramount ruler of Somieri-Ama community, a neighbouring town had raised an alarm over a threat to his life after some gunmen attacked him at his house. Read more
FG directs reversal of electricity tariff adjustment (Tribune)
The Minister of Power, Mr Saleh Mamman, has directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to inform all Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to revert to tariffs that were applicable in December 2020.
Mr Aaron Artimas, Senior Special Adviser, Media and Communications to the Minister of Power, made this known in a statement in Abuja, on Thursday.
He said that the reversal to the old tariff was to promote a constructive conclusion of the dialogue with the Labour Centres (through the Joint Ad-Hoc Committee). Read more
Boko Haram attacks Geidam, destroys buildings (Thisday)
Boko Haram insurgents have invaded Geidam, one of the biggest towns in Yobe State, destroying buildings and leaving many residents fleeing.
Gaidam, about 180 kilometres from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, is the headquarters of Geidam Local Government Area of the state.
According to sources, the insurgents who were believed to have taken position around the town at about 2pm on Wednesday, started shooting at about 6pm which resulted in the residents fleeing.
The sources, who could not give the number of casualties, said many houses were set ablaze as residents ran into the bush. Read more
Elon Musk now officially the richest person in the world (Metro)
Elon Musk has just become the richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $185billion (£136billion). The Tesla and SpaceX boss shot past Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on the world’s rich list after shares in his companies rose. In the past year South African born Musk’s wealth has risen by $160billion (£118billion) as demand for Tesla’s electric cars has soared. Bezos had been the richest person on the planet since 2017 and is currently worth around $184billion (£136billion). Read more
COVID-19: Oxford vaccine rolled out to hundreds of GP sites in England (BBC)
The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine is being rolled out to hundreds of GP-run vaccination sites in England.
As part of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history, the aim is to offer jabs to most care home residents by the end of January.
By mid-February, the target is to vaccinate 13 million people in the top four priority groups.
But one surgery visited by the health secretary to promote the initiative said its delivery had been delayed. Read more
Norway probes deaths of two nursing home residents who got Pfizer’s COVID vaccine (NYPost)
Norway has launched an investigation into the deaths of two nursing home residents after they received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency said Tuesday that the deaths occurred “a few days” after they were administered the shot.
“Now the weakest and most vulnerable, who have serious diseases, are vaccinated,” Steinar Madsen, who is the agency’s medical director, said in a statement. Read more
Facial recognition identifies people wearing masks (BBC)
Japanese company NEC, which develops facial-recognition systems, has launched one that can identify people even when they are wearing masks.
It hones in on parts of the face that are not covered up, such as the eyes, to verify their identity.
Verification takes less than one second, with an accuracy rate of more than 99.9%, NEC says. Read more
Plastic garbage clogging Serbian dam threatens hydroelectric plant (CBC)
Almost as far as the eye can see, trash spreads out over Serbia’s Potpecko Lake, lapping against the dam that crosses it.
Built up over many years against a backdrop of rolling rural hills, the ocean of plastic now threatens to clog up the dam’s hydroelectric plant, a local activist says, and Serbian authorities have ordered an immediate clean-up.
Activist Sinisa Lakovic estimates the pile of waste covers some 20,000 cubic metres, most of it from landfills upstream along the Lim river. Read more
Stella Tennant killed herself after being ‘unwell for some time,’ family says (PageSix)
Former supermodel Stella Tennant killed herself because she “felt unable to go on,” according to her relatives.
The Scottish-born model’s family revealed details about her Dec. 22 death — just days after her 50th birthday — after being “humbled by the outpouring of messages of sympathy,” they told the Telegraph.
“Stella had been unwell for some time. So it is a matter of our deepest sorrow and despair that she felt unable to go on, despite the love of those closest to her,” her family told the UK paper in a statement. Read more
Trump pledges an orderly transition to a Biden presidency (CNN)
Statement issued minutes after Congress certifies Biden win
Hours earlier, Trump supporters had broken into the Capitol
Congress Certifies Joe Biden’s Electoral College Victory
President Donald Trump, minutes after Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College Victory and hours after Trump supporters broke into the Capitol, pledged “an orderly transition.”
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement posted on Twitter by his aide Dan Scavino early Thursday morning.
Trump’s statement came as staff resigned and as congressional allies abandoned him in the aftermath of a mob of his supporters laying siege to the Capitol on Wednesday.
Trump had repeated his pledge that he would never concede at a rally earlier Wednesday. Read more
Playing for Manchester United not easy – Pogba (Punch)
Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba, has said it is not easy playing for the club following a 2-0 loss suffered in a Carabao Cup semifinal game against Manchester City on Wednesday.
United were beaten at Old Trafford with John Stones opening scoring in the 50th minute before Fernadinho wrapped it up for the visitors in the 83rd minute.
City now proceed to the final to face Tottenham who are seeking to win their first trophy in over a decade. Read more
Karim Benzema to face trial for alleged involvement in attempted blackmail case (BBC)
Karim Benzema will face trial for his alleged involvement in an attempted blackmail case linked to a sex tape featuring a former France team-mate.
Real Madrid forward Benzema is accused of paying individuals to extort money from Mathieu Valbuena by threatening to make the video public in 2015.
The 33-year-old French striker argues that a police officer used dishonest methods to draw him into the affair.
He has not played for his country since it came to light. Read more
World No. 29 Dayana Yastremska provisionally suspended after positive drugs test (Metro)
Dayana Yastremska has denied she has used performance enhancing drugs after testing positive for an anabolic steroid. Yastremska, the world No. 29 from Ukraine, is one of the highest ranked young players in women’s tennis but has been provisionally suspended after mesterolone metabolite was found in a urine sample on November 24, 2020. The 20-year-old, who ended 2020 on a four match losing streak, said she is ‘astonished and under shock’ at the result and ‘resolutely determined’ to clear her name. Read more
Olympic athletes should get priority access to coronavirus vaccines, IOC’s Dick Pound says (CBC)
In order to safeguard the Tokyo Olympics, athletes must be given priority access to the coronavirus vaccine, says prominent International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.
The longtime IOC official, who is Canadian, expressed confidence in the ability of the Olympics to proceed in July — when the delayed Summer Games are scheduled to begin — so long as athletes can jump to the front of the COVID-19 vaccine line.
“It’s a decision for each country to make,” Pound told Sky News on Wednesday. “And there will be people saying they are jumping the queue, but I think that is the most realistic way of it going ahead. Read more
Aston Villa confirm ‘significant’ coronavirus outbreak at the club (BBC)
Aston Villa have experienced a “significant” coronavirus outbreak at the club on the eve of their FA Cup third-round tie with Liverpool.
The Premier League side said a large number of first-team players and staff are in isolation after returning positive tests on Monday.
The club’s training ground was closed on Thursday after a second round of testing produced more positive results.
Dean Smith’s side are scheduled to face Liverpool at 19:45 GMT on Friday night. Read more
Arsenal to receive £120m covid loan from Bank of England (Metro)
Arsenal have borrowed £120 million from the government via a scheme set up to support significant businesses facing cash flow problems created by the coronavirus pandemic. The Premier League giants are taking a short-term loan through this facility to partially assist in managing the impacts of the revenue losses attributable to the continuing global crisis. Arsenal have one the highest wage bills in European football and at the height of the pandemic last year, the club became embroiled in a dispute with its playing staff who were asked to take a 12.5% pay cut, while they also, controversially, announced 55 redundancies. Read more