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Germany gives conditions to play Super Eagles in international friendly

Defending champions the Olympic Eagles of Nigeria got off their campaign at the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations on a dour note following a 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, on Saturday evening.

The German Football Association has given the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) conditions before it can accept any proposal for a friendly between both nations in the coming year.

One of the conditions is that the game will be played in Germany with the NFF guaranteeing the availability of all its top players in Europe as the second condition.

The conditions which were verbally communicated to the NFF secretariat will further see Germany earn a large chunk of the earning since they are ahead of Nigeria on the FIFA ranking.

The NFF who has predicted a better year for its various national teams is keen on seeing the Eagles its flagship team engage some of the best nations in the world ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers and also the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Both nations last met prior to the 1998 FIFA World Cup in a friendly which the 2002 World Cup champions won by a lone goal.

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Carlo Ancelotti hails Pep Guardiola ahead of New Year’s Day clash at Etihad

Carlo Ancelotti has described his first day on the touchline as Everton manager as perfect after a Dominic Calvert-Lewin goal got his Goodison Park reign off to a winning start against Burnley.

Carlo Ancelotti has described Pep Guardiola as a “genius” ahead of Everton’s meeting with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on New Year’s Day.

Ancelotti has had an immediate impact at Goodison Park since being drafted in to replace Marco Silva in the hot seat on December 21.

Everton recorded a 1-0 home win over Burnley on Boxing Day, before beating Newcastle 2-1 at St James’ Park two days later – moving clear of the relegation places in the process.

City, meanwhile, have had to watch Liverpool extend their commanding lead at the top of the Premier League, with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Wolves on Friday marking the latest setback in their pursuit of a third successive crown.

Questions have been asked over Guardiola’s future at the Etihad amid the Blues’ struggles this season, with his current contract set to expire in the summer of 2021.

City managed to ease some pressure on their head coach with a 2-0 home win over Sheffield United on Sunday, but they will be expected to back that result up with another victory against a resurgent Everton.

Ancelotti says that he and Guardiola have a “lot of respect” for each other, with it his belief that the Spaniard remains a “fantastic manager” due to his insatiable hunger to achieve “something special on the pitch”.

“Pep is a fantastic manager,” the Everton boss said at a press conference.

“I have a good relationship with him. Not a lot in games but we see each other sometimes at conferences. We have a lot of respect.

“At certain points, he is a genius because he is always trying to do something special on the pitch.”

Ancelotti added on the challenge City will pose to his side: “Manchester City will be a fantastic test for us to see where we are. It is a really strong team but we have confidence. The moment is good for us.

“We have to be happy to compete with the top team in England and also in Europe.”

Everton are now 10th in the Premier League table, five points adrift of the European places and 15 behind fourth-placed Chelsea, with a stronger second half of the season expected under Ancelotti.

The Italian tactician has been tipped to add to his ranks when the transfer market reopens, a possibility which he went on to acknowledge when asked to address ongoing rumours.

“The market is not open yet – it opens tomorrow! There are a lot of rumours,” Ancelotti said. “That is normal. Everywhere in the world, it is like this. In Italy, it is the same.

“After the 5th of January, we are going to have a meeting with the club and we can talk if it is possible to try to improve this squad.

“In my opinion, it is a good squad. Some players I didn’t know really well but now we are training, I have a better relationship and know them better.

“Maybe after the 5th of January, we can discuss this.”

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Nasarawa NURTW returns over N380, 000, missing money to passengers

The Hope

The National Union of Road Transport Workers, Nasarawa State chapter, has returned N389, 25 missing money to various passengers that patronised vehicles driven by its members.

Salihu Adamu, State Chairman of the union, disclosed this on Monday in Lafia at an occasion organised to handover the money to the owners.

According to Adamu, one of the passengers boarded a vehicle that was going to Lafia from Naasarawa-Eggon Local Government Area.

“When Zuberu Hussaini, the driver of the vehicle arrived in Lafia, he discovered that one of his passengers left his money in the car.

“The driver took the money back to the Chairman of the union in Nassarawa-Eggon who then reported the matter to us at the state headquarters.

“We immediately send announcements to media organisations for the owners to come forward for proof of ownership,” he said.

He said that when the owners came forward, they were asked to prove ownership through stating the denominations and when and where they boarded the vehicles from.

“From our investigations, they proved beyond reasonable doubt that they were the owners and we have given them back their money,” the chairman said.

He, therefore, advised passengers to always enter vehicles from motor parks to enable them to enjoy such numerous benefits.

He said the driver had since been rewarded with an appointment in the union to encourage him and other drivers to do better.

Expressing his gratitude to the union, one of the owners, Eli Joseph, thanked the union for returning their missing money.

Joseph said that they were shocked when they heard the announcement on the radio about missing money, because they had already lost hope.

He, therefore, prayed to God to continue to protect the members of the union, especially the drivers that returned the money.

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NANS demands release of Agba Jalingo from custody

“In several cases, journalists, bloggers and activists have either been denied bail, as it is the case with journalist Agba Jalingo, or granted bail with stringent conditions that implicitly violate human rights, as it is the case with journalist and activist Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare. In all of such cases, the alleged offences are not constitutionally and internationally recognizable.”

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called for the release of Agba Jalingo, a journalist, charged with treasonable felony among other allegations, from correctional centre custody.

The National Public Relations Officer of the association, Adeyemi Azeez, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

Jalingo, a publisher of CrossRiverWatch, was arrested on August 22 over a report of alleging that Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State diverted N500 million belonging to the state.

Azeez said turning deaf hears to the plight of the renowned activist and journalist was uncalled for, and therefore urged those involved to “do the needful” to secure his release.

“On Friday, October 4, the journalist and rights activist, Agba Jalingo, filed a bail application which was rejected by a Federal High Court.

“Although the court has autonomous powers on cases before it, this development has increased the widespread belief that there were some forces behind his travail.

“In fact, the mode of his arrest was shocking as his wife confirmed that the men who took her husband away from their residence in Lagos were not wearing police uniforms.

“Also, they did not show her the warrant of arrest,” he claimed.

He said it was later discovered that the journalist was arrested by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigerian Police Force.

Azeez said Mr Jalingo was moved to Calabar and arraigned before a Federal High Court on September 25.

He said the journalist was arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on acts of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and attempt to topple the Cross River State Government.

Azeez said it was “inhuman” for the activist to be kept in correctional centre custody since September 25, as the ruling of the court was being awaited.

“The activist has been kept in custody for over 119 days even when his case is yet to be ruled upon by a competent court,” he said.

The students expressed concern that the continuous detention of the activist was undermining the nation’s hard earned democracy.

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Sales rep docked for allegedly stealing employer’s N822, 710

A 22-year-old sales representative, Chiamaka Ikpo, on Monday appeared before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing her employer’s N822, 710.

Ikpo, a resident of No. 16, Ishoga St., Safejo in Ajegunle, Lagos, was arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on stealing and obtaining money under false pretences.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Aondohemba Koti, said that the defendant collected tissue and serviettes papers worth N822, 710 from Naphtali Ujo Nigeria Ltd on the pretext of selling the goods and remitting the money to the company.

Koti told the court that the defendant committed the offences on Dec. 18, about 3.40 pm at Ojuwoye Market, Mushin in Lagos.

The prosecutor said that the defendant after selling the goods valued at N822, 710, diverted the money into her personal use.

“The defendant stole the N822, 710, the sale proceeds of the company, and efforts made to retrieve the money from the defendant proved abortive,” he said.

He said the offences violated Sections 283, 286, 287(7) and 314 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015, (revised).

Stealing from an employer attracts seven years jail term, while obtaining goods under false pretences is punishable with 15 years imprisonment.

The defendant however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs M.O. Tanimola, granted the defendant N100,000 bail with one surety in like sum.

Tanimola said that the surety must be gainfully employed with evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government and reside within the court jurisdiction.

The Magistrate adjourned the case until Jan. 20, for mention.

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Video: “2baba inspired me to make music” – Wizkid declares at #2babaLive

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It was a night of classic artistry and entertainment, witnessed by a huge audience as 2baba headlined what can easily be described as the king of all concerts in Nigeria on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at Eko Convention Centre Victoria Island, Lagos.

Tagged 2baba Live, the thousands of fans in attendance witnessed 2baba perform his hit songs and also bring out several acts to perform for the night. Shortly after introducing Wizkid, the star boy said, “Tonight is not about Starboy, I want you all to know that this man right here inspired me to make music” to which everyone heartily yelled.

Other notable artists who contributed to the excitement of the night include Patoranking, Waje, Solidstar, 9ice, Soundsultan, Terry G, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Ycee, Reekado Banks.

Watch the moment here:

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Kano bars police from prosecuting criminal cases for the state

Nigeria Police have been stopped from engaging in the prosecution of criminal cases on behalf of the state at the magistrates’ courts.

Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice of Kano State, Barrister Ibrahim Mukhtar, who disclosed this on Sunday, noted that the responsibility would now be handled by lawyers (state counsels)

He added that since the commencement of the new directive, on the 24th day of December 2019, the criminal justice system in the state has recorded a major leap.

“We have started with 14 magistrates courts in No-man’s-land, where we have deployed three lawyers (state counsels) to prosecute cases before each of the 14 courts.

“In the same vein, we have also sent three lawyers to the three Shariah courts at Kofar Kudu to prosecute Shariah criminal cases.”

Mukhtar explained that his office relied on Section 211 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended, as well as the provisions of the newly-promulgated Administration Of Criminal Justice Law of the state to relieve the police from engaging in the prosecution of criminal cases.

He recalled that police officers were well trained and competent in crime prevention, detection and investigation while adding that under the new arrangement, they would have enough time to focus on these core areas of responsibilities.

The Attorney General also noted that the new arrangement would assist in ensuring diligent prosecution in addition to the fact that it would give room for every party to a criminal case to have an adequate representation in court.

“You find that defendants in criminal matters are always at liberty to engage the services of lawyers, even senior advocates while the state has to make do with police prosecutors whose knowledge of the law is limited,” he stated.

“We hope to see that this trend is changed. We want all parties to have what would be seen to proper representation. We feel it is better to have legal practitioners on the two sides of every criminal prosecution in the state,” he said.

He added that “this would assist in ensuring that all parties have justice in the spirit of equality before the law. We plan to gradually take over the entire criminal prosecution in the state from the police.”

Investigation indicated that the new arrangement was received with heavy hearts by members of the police in the state who could not see reason while they should be relieved of their role in the criminal justice system.

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Lagos governor restates commitment to rid state of traffic gridlock

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reassured Lagosians of his administration’s commitment to rid the State of traffic gridlock.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reassured Lagosians of his administration’s commitment to rid the State of traffic gridlock.

Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance Saturday evening while inspecting the removal of 2nd Lekki roundabout as part of Junction improvements for free flow of vehicular movements along the Lekki corridors.

The State government has embarked on the removal of some roundabouts identified as the major causes of traffic gridlock being experienced by motorists.

Four roundabouts including Ikotun, 2nd roundabout on the Lekki-Epe Expressway, Allen Avenue roundabout and Maryland will be removed to pave the for road expansion and free flow of traffic.

The government, through the Ministry of transportation says the removal of some roundabouts and street furniture such as giant bill boards will give room for road expansion and strategically ease off traffic congestion in some parts of the metropolis.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, while at the project site, encouraged the contractors handling the projects to keep up with the current pace of work so as to ensure its completion in record time.

Last week, the state’s Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Fredrick Oladeinde, who accompanied Governor Sanwo-Olu to inspect the project, described the decision to improve the junctions as a strategic repositioning of the roads to ease traffic congestion.

According to him, the government started off through discovery of 60 traffic gridlocks junctions and areas across the state.

He told journalists that: “Sufficiently, the junction improvement work that is being conducted on the four roundabouts includes the following:

“Removal of roundabouts, separate streams of traffic through Traffic Signal Lights, (TSL) synchronize all TSLs through intelligent traffic systems which will recognise the densities of traffic streams and give priorities accordingly.

“Introduce stacking lanes for both left and right turns at these junctions which will also contribute to increasing the capacities of our roads at the junctions thereby reducing travel time.”

In the same vein, Governor Sanwo-Olu visited the Lekki coastal roads to ascertain the level of work done by men of the State’s environmental Task Force, who had gone earlier to clean up the illegal structures built on the right of way.

Satisfied Sanwo-Olu said that government will immediately move in and start work in the area to avoid further encroachment and illegal occupation of the large expanse of land.

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