FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK

Written by on February 6, 2021

The hottest and most trending news articles for this week in all categories captured in one shot. Find articles ranging from News to Sports, to Politics, to Entertainment, to Economy, to Metro plus, and many other categories. See below the top news for the week:

 

 

NEWS

  • FG Extends NIN-SIM Linkage Deadline By Eight Weeks

The Federal Government has extended the linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) by eight weeks. News of the extension was contained in a statement signed by spokespersons of the Nigerian Communications Commission and the ​Nigeria Identity Management Commission. According to the statement, which was dated February 1, the extension was approved by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.

Dr. Pantami stated that the extension is to give Nigerians and legal residents more time to integrate their NIN with the SIM,” the statement said. The new deadline for the exercise is now April 6.

  • Cattle Movement From North To South Should Be Banned, Says Ganduje

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State is seeking to have a law enacted which would place a ban on the movement of herdsmen and cattle from the north towards the southern regions of Nigeria. This he believes will help curb the recurring clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

Speaking to journalists after a special lunch with President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State, Governor Ganduje argued that the law will also address the issue of cattle rustling in the northern part of the country. On the appointment of the Service Chiefs, Governor Ganduje said he wants the military hierarchy to work with state governors to ensure safety across the country.

  • Sunday Igboho takes anti-killer herdsmen battle to Ogun

Yoruba activist Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, on Monday, visited Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on his mission to end herdsmen’s assault on farmers. Igboho, who was received with a loud ovation, insisted that all killer herdsmen must leave Yorubaland. It had been reported how military men escorted herdsmen to flog residents in a community in Ogun State.

In a viral video where Igboho was addressing supporters in Abeokuta, he said: All expressways in the Southwest, especially Lagos, Ondo, have been taken over by killer herdsmen who are kidnapping and killing innocent people. That’s the reason why I’m here. “It is time for the youth to stand up, and fight for our rights. That’s why I’m at the forefront of the struggle.

  • Gov. Seyi Makinde advocates states police

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has advocated state police as a solution to insecurity in Nigeria. Makinde spoke on Sunday night in Igboora when he met with stakeholders, including local government chairmen, in Oke-Ogun and political officeholders.

The governor said his administration has approved the setting up of the Peace and Security Committee at the local government levels. He also disclosed that the government had directed the immediate take-off of an identity management programme to enable it to know who is who in the communities. He also urged political office holders to always call the attention of the government to the happenings within their localities, saying that he decided to sleep over in Ibarapa to feel the pulse of the people.

  • Makinde: we’ve turned heat on criminals

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has said his administration has turned the heat on kidnappers and other criminals in Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun. He added that the government would flush them out of the state. Makinde, speaking in Ibarapa where he engaged the people in town hall meetings, said his administration would get the criminals to account for their heinous acts. He said Oyo State could not afford to lose more people to insecurity, noting, however, that any action that must be taken must be guided by the realisation that a wrong solution must not be proffered in order to avoid unintended consequences.

The governor, who equally commiserated with Mrs. Idowu Babarinde, who lost a child to indiscriminate shooting by kidnappers in their attempt to kidnap a filling station owner at Idere, said he was pained by the losses, adding that he felt the pains of the people of Ibarapa land. He said the government would compensate victims of insecurity in Ibarapa land.

Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Oyo State Command, yesterday deployed 150 personnel of the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) in the crisis-ridden areas to ensure peace. It urged the people to support security agencies to secure lives and property.

  • Insecurity: Allow Nigerians Carry Licenced Guns, Ishaku Tells FG

Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku has asked the Federal government to allow Nigerians carry licenced guns to defend themselves amid the myriads of security challenges facing the country. Ishaku stated this on Tuesday when 15 local government chairmen of the state paid him a condolence visit after the burial of one of them who was kidnapped and subsequently killed by gunmen.

He lamented the worsening state of insecurity, adding that the situation has gone to its lowest ebb and demands reawakening. “The security in this country has gone to the lowest ebb and we have to all wake up. We as leaders have given our advises severally as to the change to the security architecture, you cannot keep doing one thing over and over and expect a different result,” he said.

  • Third Mainland Bridge: Lagos Govt To Close Oworonshoki Lane On Saturday

The Lagos State government has announced plans to close the Oworonshoki bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge totally to vehicular movement by midnight on Saturday, February 6. It noted that the closure would remain in force until 7pm on Sunday, February 7, for the removal of the last expansion joint on the Oworonshoki bound lane.

The government made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday by the Ministry of Transportation. It explained that the closure was important to enable the contractors to move their equipment to the Oworonshoki bound lane within the given period without any interruption by vehicular movement on the bridge.

  • Mohammed Adamu To Continue As IGP For Three Months – Minister

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, will continue his duty as the nation’s police chief despite the completion of his tenure. This is the position of the Federal Government after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the extension of the tenure of the police boss by three months.

The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, announced this on Thursday while briefing reporters at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. He explained that the decision to extend the tenure of the police chief was to give the Federal Government ample time to select the appropriate person to succeed him.

 

 

 

 

POLITICS

  • APC dismisses alleged plan to field Jonathan in 2023

The All Progressives Congress has denied speculations that it was wooing former President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2023 Presidential Election on its platform. There were media reporters last week that a group of Northern Governors were working towards making Jonatan contest the elections to serve a single term of four years after which power will return to the north.

Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, who is also the Interim National Chairman of the APC, denied the report in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation monitored in Kaduna on Wednesday. He said, “Those peddling such information are afraid. But for now, there is nothing in the APC that has anything to do with the aspiration for 2023.

  • 2022: I’m interested in Ekiti govrnorship – Oni

Former Ekiti State Governor, Chief Segun Oni, on Monday expressed interest in becoming the governor of the state in 2022. Oni said he would work with notable leaders of the party including former Governor Ayodele Fayose, Senator Biodun Olujimi, and others to reposition the Peoples Democratic Party and make it formidable to achieve the task of wrestling power from the ruling All Progressives Congress.

He spoke in Ado Ekiti on Monday while opening his campaign office christened “PDP Family Edifice”, preparatory to the forthcoming election in the state.
He appealed to Ekiti PDP leaders to come together to midwife the process of reconciliation in the party. He expressed confidence that the PDP would defeat the APC in the 2022 election.

  • Caretaker leadership in APC abnormal – Akande

Former Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief Bisi Akande, on Wednesday described the national caretaker committee headed by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni as an abnormality. He urged the committee to avoid the temptation to elongate its temporary tenure to avoid contempt and disgrace.

The former Osun State governor also described the on-going party membership registration as an aberration, saying that it contradicts the rule of periodic census. Akande spoke on the challenges facing the ruling party, the elder statesman said whatever structure that may be imposed on the party at the end of the programme, the greatest test for the APC would be the election of President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.

  • You are last Anambra APGA gov, PDP tells Obiano

The People’s Democratic Party has asked the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano to prepare to hand over to its candidate in 2022. The PDP state Publicity Secretary, Nnamdi Nwangwu said this in Awka, the Anambra State capital, on Wednesday.

Obiano, who was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance will serve out his second tenure in office on March 17, 2022. APGA has been in power in the state since 2006. Nwangwu in the statement said, “APGA has failed woefully in all ramifications and as such, should be preparing to hand over to PDP which is ready to give Anambra State a quality, responsible and responsive government.”

  • Ortom bans appointees from campaigning ahead of 2023 elections

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has placed a ban on all forms of campaigns by his appointees, either for themselves or for others ahead of the 2023 elections. The Governor who announced the ban while interacting with journalists on Wednesday at Government House Makurdi, said it was too early for any of his appointees to engage in campaigns or political consultations, as the 2023 polls are still two and a half years away.

He stated that the present administration has the mandate to deliver good governance to the people and does not need distractions. Ortom said any of his appointees who fails to obey the directive will have to resign and concentrate on campaigning for 2023, stressing that it would amount to conflict of interests to remain in government and be campaigning for political positions.

  • Oyetola orders council chairmen, others to vacate office

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, on Friday, ordered that all chairmen and political office holders at the local government councils across the state should vacate their respective offices. He directed that they should hand over the administration of their concerned councils to the most senior local government personnel.

Oyetola, through the Secretary to the State Government, Wole Oyebamiji, disclosed in a statement that the directive was hinged on the expiration of the tenure of all political officeholders in all the local councils, area development councils and administrative offices in Osun on Friday, February 5, 2021.

 

 

 

 

HEALTH

  • FG Targetting At Least 70% Of Nigerians For COVID-19 Vaccination – Boss Mustapha

No fewer than 70 per cent of the Nigerian population will be vaccinated when the Federal Government takes delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines. This is a target the government has set for itself and has assured Nigerians that it will do all it can to ensure the goal is achieved. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, gave the assurance on Monday on behalf of the government at an event in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Mustapha, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 noted that the countries across the world were already embracing vaccination and Nigeria cannot be left out. He, therefore, urged Nigerians to wave off conspiracies, stressing that the COVID-19 vaccines that the Federal Government was expecting would be properly screened by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) before administration.

  • COVID-19 vaccine can’t kill – PTF

Chairman of Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha has debunked insinuations that the vaccine for the virus was developed to kill Africans.
Mustapha spoke on Tuesday at the inauguration of the State House Clinic Special Care Centre (COVID-19 Isolation Centre), Abuja.

Dismissing the conspiracy theories concerning the vaccines, Mustapha said: ‘‘I don’t believe anyone will spend billions of dollars in manufacturing vaccines to kill us in Africa.’’ The SGF spoke on the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines to be procured for Nigeria. He added that the Federal Government would keep encouraging Nigerians to get vaccinated when the time comes, because ‘‘the vaccines are safe, effective and for our benefit”.

  • COVID-19: Oxygen demand in Lagos spikes to 400 cylinders daily – Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that the demand for oxygen by coronavirus patients has increased to 400 cylinders per day. Sanwo-Olu made this known on Sunday in a statement in which he updated residents on the management of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state. He reiterated that oxygen was free in all Lagos State-owned COVID-19 treatment centres.

Sanwo-Olu said that the Lagos State Government was making efforts to transform the state-owned isolation centre in Gbagada into a fee-paying facility that people could elect to be treated at. He said that the decision was due to the growing clamour by patients and families who were willing to pay for COVID-19 treatment, but would like to do so at a cost that was lower than what was currently obtainable at private facilities.

  • Zulum Sacks Borno Health Commissioner

The Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum has sacked the Commissioner of Health, Dr Salihu Kwayabura. Zulum also directed his Chief of Staff, Isa Hussani Marte, a Professor of Pharmacology, to oversee the state’s ministry of health pending the appointment of a substantive commissioner.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Relations and Strategy, Isa Gusau. No reason was given for the governor’s sudden action.

  • Ondo doctors begin strike over half salary

Doctors in the employ of the Ondo State Government have begun an indefinite strike over payment of 50 per cent salary for November 2020. Organised labour in the state last week agreed to collect half salary as well as adopt the model in use by Local Government/SUBEB for future salary payment. This was after Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said borrowing to augment payment of salary was no longer sustainable.

But the doctors, under the auspices of Ondo Government Doctors Forum (OGDF), said they were not carried along by organised labour in reaching the deal. They said they were not members of organised labour, but professional bodies. Spokesman for the OGDF, Dr. Omolayo Olubosede, said after an emergency meeting of the forum that the doctors cannot survive on 50 per cent salary. She said they had written to Governor Akeredolu to inform him of their plight, but did not get any response. She appealed to the residents to show understanding during the strike.

  • State House Clinic To Get COVID-19 Testing Laboratory – PTF

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, has said that a COVID-19 testing laboratory will soon be established at the State House Clinic. Mustapha said this on Tuesday in Abuja during the commissioning of State House Clinic Special Care Centre (COVID-19 Isolation Centre).

According to the SGF, the Buhari administration is using the challenges posed by the pandemic as an opportunity to change Nigeria’s health infrastructure. In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary thanked the SGF and the Chief of Staff for the support towards upgrading the standard of the clinic.

 

 

 

 

ECONOMY

  • Anger as CBN bans buying, selling of bitcoin, cryptocurrency

Hundreds of Nigerians on Friday angrily protested the ban by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), earlier in the day, on buying and selling of bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the country. The protesters took to the social media to slam the federal government for what they considered to be a retrogressive action.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had directed all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) and Other Financial Institutions (OFls) to close the accounts used for cryptocurrency operations . It ordered all financial institutions “to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating crypto currency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.”

According to the CBN, “dealing in crypto currencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited”.

  • WTO: Biden asked to endorse Okonjo-Iweala as Korean candidate withdraws

South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee withdrew her bid to lead the World Trade Organisation, leaving former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the only remaining candidate for the job, Bloomberg reports Friday. Yoo was said made the decision after discussions with the United States and other major nations, and took various issues into account “comprehensively” including the need to revitalize the multilateral organization, according to a statement from Korea’s trade ministry on Friday.

The withdrawal comes after dozens of former US government officials urged President Joe Biden to endorse Okonjo-Iweala after the Trump administration blocked her selection. The 66-year-old former minister said she remained positive of becoming the first African and first female director-general in the 25-year history of the WTO despite ‘hiccups’. Okonjo-Iweala serves on Twitter’s board of directors, as chair of the GAVI vaccine alliance as well as a special envoy for the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 fight.

  • US Finally Backs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala To Lead WTO

The United States on Friday said it was now backing Nigeria’s candidate for the top job at the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The US, under the administration of Donald Trump, had favoured South Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee. But Ms Myung-hee, earlier on Friday, announced that she was abandoning her bid to lead the international trade body.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is pleased to express its strong support for the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the WTO. “Dr. Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister. Reacting to the news on Friday, the former Nigerian Finance Minister said was grateful to Nigerians for their “unflinching support.”

  • Osun govt approves reconstruction of 22 roads

Osun State Government has approved the reconstruction of 22 roads across the three senatorial districts. This is part of its efforts to improve accessibility to communities and open up economic activities across the state.

In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, after the Executive Council meeting on Monday, the government said it was committed to laying a strong foundation of infrastructural development towards bringing economic growth and prosperity to the state.

  • FG Raises Concern Over Possible Scarcity Of Petrol

The Nigerian Government is worried about the possibility of a scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, in the country. Mr Timipre Sylva, who is the Minister of State for Petroleum, raised the concern on Monday at a late-night meeting between the government and leaders of the organised labour. The meeting was a continuation of the series of dialogues between both parties in a bid to persuade the labour unions not to go on strike over the increase in the price of petrol and electricity tariff.

At the resumed sitting, the Technical Committee on PMS presented its report while the Committee on Electricity Tariff said its work was ongoing. Mr Sylva and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Nigige, who was also at the meeting briefed reporters on the government’s decision on the report presented. Mr Sylva warned that another three weeks to study the report could have an effect on the availability of petroleum products in the market.

 

 

 

 

 

EDUCATION

  • FEC Approves Establishment Of 20 New Private Universities

The Federal Executive Council has approved a memo from the Ministry of Education for the establishment of 20 new private universities across the country. The 20 new private universities are to be given provisional licenses to run for three years while the ministry monitors and evaluates their growth. This brings the total number of private universities in the country to 99.

  • Varsity Staff Say No Going Back On Planned Industrial Action

Members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities have insisted that there is no going back on the February 5 date which they said they would commence the nationwide industrial action. Their decision is despite the conciliation meeting convened by the Minister of Labour and Employment in Abuja on Tuesday to stop the non-teaching staff of the universities from embarking on the strike.

Although the minister told journalists after the meeting that most issues raised by the unions have been addressed, leaders of the unions insist that most of their critical demands are yet to be attended to. The striking non-teaching staff are demanding that their members be taken off the government’s Integrated Personnel Payroll Information (IPPIS). They are also calling for a review of the sharing formula for the universities earned allowances between the teaching and non-teaching staff. The strike is expected to commence on Friday, February 5.

  • Oyo recruits 5000 teachers, orders immediate resumption

The Oyo State Government has commenced the distribution of appointment letters to the 5000 newly recruited teachers under the state Teaching Service Commission. The Chairman, Oyo State Teaching Service Commission, Pastor Akinade Alamu, who made the disclosure on Tuesday in Ibadan said that the new teachers are to resume their duty posts immediately.

Alamu said that their appointment was a sequel to a long period of scrutiny and verification during which errors that might have crept in during and after the examination and oral test for the exercise had been corrected. According to him, the state government approved the release of 5,000 appointment letters for distribution of which a total of 4,400 letters had been released by TESCOM while the remaining letters were withheld due to errors on the part of the applicants.

  • Second wave: Schools will be shut if… —PTF

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has said it won’t hesitate to shut down schools in the country should there be a spike in COVID-19 cases recorded in Nigeria. PTF National Incident Manager, Mukhtar Muhammed, stated this in a video posted on Twitter by the PTF on Monday.

Muhammed said, “The issue of school reopening is something that the PTF has discussed very extensively. The ministry of education decided to open the schools. Based on our own understanding, it was the states that actually wanted to have the schools reopened. Now, the PTF is watching this very closely, we are monitoring what is going on and if we find out that cases continue to rise in the country and we start to have incidences in schools, certainly, we will have the schools closed.

 

 

 

 

WORLD

  • Military Seizes Power In Myanmar, Detains Elected Leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar’s military seized power in a bloodless coup on Monday, detaining democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi as it imposed a one-year state of emergency. The intervention ended a decade of civilian rule in Myanmar, with the military justifying its power grab by alleging fraud in the November elections that Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won in a landslide. The coup sparked global condemnation, with the United States leading calls for democracy to be immediately restored.

Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were detained in the capital Naypyidaw before dawn, party spokesman Myo Nyunt told AFP, just hours before parliament was meant to reconvene for the first time since the elections. The military sealed off roads around the capital with armed troops, trucks and armoured personnel carriers. Military helicopters flew across the city.
The military then declared, via its own television channel, a one-year state of emergency and announced that former general Myint Swe would be acting president for the next year. It alleged “huge irregularities” in the November polls that the election commission had failed to address.

  • Ousted Myanmar Party Demands Release Of Aung San Suu Kyi

The party of Myanmar’s toppled leader Aung San Suu Kyi demanded her immediate release Tuesday, after a military coup that triggered international condemnation and sanctions threats from the new US president.
Suu Kyi and President Win Myint remained under house arrest, a lawmaker requesting anonymity for fear of the military told AFP, although it was not immediately clear where they were being held.

Despite the intimidation, a statement was posted on the NLD’s verified Facebook page calling for the release of Suu Kyi and all detained party members. It also demanded the military “recognise the confirmed result of the 2020 general election”. The military justified its seizure of power by alleging widespread fraud in elections held three months ago that the NLD won in a landslide. The military said it would hold power under a state of emergency for 12 months, claiming it would then hold fresh elections.

  • Biden Demands Myanmar Military ‘Relinquish Power’

US President Joe Biden called on Myanmar’s generals to “relinquish power” Thursday and demanded they free civilian leaders detained in this week’s coup, as his administration said it was considering sanctions. Washington has led international condemnation of Monday’s putsch, which saw democratic leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi detained and ignited fears that the military will drag 54 million people back to the decades of junta rule that turned Myanmar into one of Asia’s most impoverished and repressive nations.

“There can be no doubt: in a democracy, force should never seek to overrule the will of the people or attempt to erase the outcome of a credible election,” Biden said from Washington, in his first major foreign policy speech as president. The Burmese military should relinquish power they have seized, release the advocates and activists and officials they have detained, lift the restrictions in telecommunications, and refrain from violence.” The US warnings came after Myanmar’s generals ordered internet providers to restrict access to Facebook Thursday, as people flocked to social media to voice opposition and share plans for disobedience.

  • Myanmar Anti-Coup Protests Grow As Army Broadens Internet Crackdown

Myanmar saw its largest anti-coup protests yet on Saturday with young demonstrators spilling on to the streets to denounce the country’s new military regime, despite a nationwide internet blackout aimed at stifling a growing chorus of popular dissent. Around 3,000 demonstrators gathered on a road near Yangon University, most holding up the three-finger salute that has come to symbolise resistance to the army takeover. “Down with the military dictatorship!” the crowd yelled, many donning red headbands — the colour associated with ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party.

A large riot police contingent blocked nearby roads, with two water cannon trucks parked at the scene. Protesters left the area without confrontation but are expected to gather again in another part of the commercial capital later on Saturday. “We are here to fight for our next generation, to free them from a military dictatorship,” one woman at the rally told AFP. “We have to end it now.” The demonstration came as Myanmar was plunged into its second nationwide internet blackout this week, similar in magnitude to an earlier shutdown that coincided with the arrest of Suu Kyi and other senior leaders on Monday.

  • Russian Court Jails Navalny As Over 1,400 Protesters Detained

More than 1,400 protesters were detained by Russian authorities during rallies supporting Alexei Navalny, a civil monitoring group said Wednesday after the Kremlin’s most prominent critic was jailed for nearly three years amid international condemnation. The court’s decision Tuesday to turn a 2014 suspended sentence into real jail time will see the 44-year-old anti-corruption campaigner — who accuses Moscow of poisoning him last year — serve a lengthy prison term.

Britain, France, Germany, the United States and the European Union denounced the ruling and called for his immediate release, as Moscow accused the West of interfering in its affairs. Navalny’s supporters had earlier called for more demonstrations against the decision after thousands joined nationwide protests against his arrest over the last two weekends.

The case is presenting one of the most serious challenges to the Kremlin in years, with some in the West calling for new sanctions against Russia. Judge Natalya Repnikova ordered a suspended three-and-a-half-year sentence Navalny received on fraud charges in 2014 to be changed to time in a penal colony, an AFP journalist at the courthouse said.

 

 

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Boseman Leads US Screen Actors Guild Noms As ‘Ma Rainey’, ‘Minari’ Soar

The late Chadwick Boseman earned double Screen Actors Guild awards nominations Thursday, boosting hopes of posthumous Oscars glory for the trailblazing “Black Panther” star. Hollywood’s acting union nominated Boseman for his lead role as an ambitious young horn player in 1920s blues drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” and his supporting role as a Vietnam War soldier in Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods.” Both films also scored nominations for best cast — the top prize at the SAG ceremony, which like much of the Tinseltown awards calendar has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Only two actors have ever posthumously won Oscars — Peter Finch for 1976’s “Network,” and Heath Ledger for 2008’s “The Dark Knight.” Boseman died at age 43 in August last year from colon cancer, a diagnosis he never publicly discussed. Boseman’s co-star Viola Davis also earned a lead actress nod for “Ma Rainey,” putting it in a tie atop the SAG film acting nominations with Korean-American drama “Minari.”

  • Eddie Murphy’s Coming 2 America gets March release date

In March 5, Eddie Murphy’s Coming 2 America is slated to be released by Prime Video, newsmen have gathered. The film was initially scheduled to be theatrically released by Paramount Pictures on August 7, 2020, but was pushed back to December 18, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

After the release of the film’s trailer, the new preview brings the action first to New York and then the fictional country of Zamunda, where Murphy’s character of King Akeem faces a potential military coup led by general Izzie played by Wesley Snipes. In order to stop the takeover, King Akeem and his confidante Semmi venture back to America to find the king’s long-lost male heir.

  • Singer Yinka Davies loses first child

Veteran singer and former judge of reality show Nigerian Idol, Yinka Davies has lost her son, Jeremiah. Jeremiah who was 27- year- old died last Friday, January 29 after a long battle with Autoimmune blood tissue disorder, it was gathered. He had been in and out of the hospital in the last 10 months before he died.

The grieving mum shared the sad news of his demise on Instagram. She wrote: “For those who held you in their hearts, those you waved at on your strolls, for those who cried the tears they couldn’t hold back, Cos you are no more here. “For those who washed you when you were weak, those who were scared to see you ill, For those who thought you madly stubborn cos you, Wouldn’t take another pill.”

  • Sound Of Music Star, Christopher Plummer, Dies At 91

Veteran Canadian actor Christopher Plummer, whose decades-long career featured a star turn in “The Sound of Music” and an Oscar win late in life, has died, his manager said Friday. He was 91. Plummer died at his home in Connecticut with his wife Elaine Taylor at his side, his longtime friend and manager Lou Pitt said.

Plummer starred as the aristocratic widower Captain Georg von Trapp opposite Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music,” the beloved cinematic tale of a musical family and their mischievous governess in Austria on the eve of World War II. Despite its enormous worldwide success, Plummer publicly despised the film, calling his role “gooey” in The Hollywood Reporter in 2011. But he later softened, telling the same publication in 2015 that the production was “the last bastion of peace and innocence in a very cynical time.”

 

 

 

 

 

SPORTS

  • Ighalo completes Al-Shabab move

Former Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo has completed a permanent move to Saudi Arabian Pro League club Al-Shabab. The 31-year-old left Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua after agreeing a two-and-a-half-year deal with the six-time Saudi champions. Ighalo had already taken to social media to bid his parent club goodbye, after Shenhua gave him permission to speak with the Saudi Arabian side.

Al-Shabab are currently top of the Saudi Professional League, just past the halfway stage of the season. They are looking to win their first league title since 2011/12, with Ighalo a welcome capture. He will link up with Argentina international Ever Banega, who joined from Sevilla at the end of last season, as well as former Real Betis and Wolves midfielder Alfred N’Diaye.

  • Coronavirus, Rights Concerns Cloud Beijing Olympics As One-Year Countdown Starts

The countdown to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics hit the one-year mark Thursday with preparations overshadowed by the coronavirus and concerns over alleged human rights abuses, including a mass incarceration in Xinjiang.

The Winter Olympics are scheduled to begin on February 4, 2022, just six months after the Tokyo Summer Games, which were pushed back one year because of the pandemic. With the global health crisis showing no signs of abating, Tokyo’s fate remains uncertain despite Japan’s insistence that it will go ahead.

  • Villas-Boas ‘Suspended’ By Marseille After Offering To Resign In Transfer Row

Andre Villas-Boas was “suspended” by Marseille on Tuesday after earlier offering to resign as coach at a press conference in which he revealed the Ligue 1 club signed midfielder Olivier Ntcham from Celtic against his wishes on transfer deadline day. The suspension is a likely first step towards Marseille definitively parting company with the 43-year-old from Portugal, who became coach at the Velodrome in 2019.

Yet Villas-Boas earlier said he wanted “nothing from OM, no money. I just want to leave. He said his decision came after Ntcham, a 24-year-old former France Under-21 international, joined on loan from Celtic until the end of the season just before the winter transfer window closed. Villas-Boas said he had not been in favour of the deal and knew nothing about it.

  • ‘I’d Rather Die In Battle’ – Anthony Joshua Speaks Ahead Of Fury Matchup

Two-time unified world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua has stepped up the fighting talk and warned Tyson Fury he relishes going to war in the ring as the pair move closer to a heavyweight mega-fight. With politics threatening the bout from taking place, many boxing fans are still hopeful to see the two champions face off for the undisputed crown.

I’d rather die in battle, so I can go to the heavens where the warriors lie than go to battle and try to hide and survive,” Joshua said in an interview on his YouTube channel on his mindset ahead of the fight. No matter what the tactics are, no matter how much you study, no matter how much you think you can beat me, I’m just there to win. That’s the fighter’s mentality.

 

 

 

 

METRO PLUS

  • Suspected IPOB members torch Ebonyi Police station

Suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) on Thursday attacked the Onicha Divisional Police Headquarters in Isu community. The hoodlums, it was gathered, struck around 3:25 pm and set ablaze one of the buildings in the station and four patrol vans. Police spokesperson, Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident.

Idaha said one Police officer sustained machete cut injuries from the attack. Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police Ebonyi State *CP Aliyu Garba has assured the general public, particularly the residents of the State of his continued commitment to the protection of lives and properties, urges all to remain law-abiding as normalcy has totally return to the Area”.

 

 

 



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