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President Buhari, General Danjuma meet at Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday met with a former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.).

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday met with a former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.).

The meeting held behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, took place after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President.

The agenda of the meeting between the two leaders was not made public.

Danjuma did not speak with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

The Presidency has yet to release a statement on the meeting as of the time of filing this report.

The meeting was however held about two days after the National Christian Elders Forum which Danjuma and other statesmen belong to, demanded that Nigeria be re-negotiated.

The NCEF had also claimed that the #EndSARS protests in parts of the country were mismanaged by the present regime because the Army was released against unarmed protesters in the country.

The group’s position was contained in a resolution made available to journalists on Sunday after its emergency meeting held last Thursday.

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Kano IPMAN allays fear of petrol scarcity

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Kano State branch has on Wednesday allayed the fear of possible petroleum products scarcity as a result of EndSARS protest which disrupted the distribution of the product.

This was as it told the public (motorist and others) not to panic or engage in panic buying, assuring of its commitment to ensure adequate fuel supply to all the states under the zone and prevent possible scarcity of the product.

Chairman of the association, Bashir Dan-Malam gave the assurance on Wednesday shortly after inspecting the loading of product at the Kano depot after the EndSARS protest which compelled its members to suspend their activities.

According to him, “There is no need for motorists and other members of the public to engage in panic buying of the commodity as the association was committed to transporting the product to all states under Kano including Katsina, Bauchi, Yobe and Jigawa.

“We would continue to support the Federal Government to ensure uninterrupted fuel supply across the nooks and crannies of the country,” he said.

The IPMAN Chairman, however, applauded the Management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under the leadership of Mele Kyari for his commitment to ensuring accountability and transparency in oil and gas industry while commending the Managing Director of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Alhaji Lawal Musa for directing various depots in the country to resume operation after the EndSARS protest.

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Lionel Messi more likely to renew Barcelona contract with club supremo’s exit

Lionel Messi became the first player to score in 16 straight Champions League seasons with his goal against Ferencvaros on Tuesday.

Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board are officially out of Barcelona. Within the next three months, elections will be held and the Catalans will get a new upper hierarchy. Of course, after years of torture, this does feel like a start of a new era.

But there is more good news for the Azulgranas. With Bartomeu’s departure, Lionel Messi staying at the club and renewing his contract is once again a real possibility. This was reported by the journalist Javi Miguel on his personal Twitter account.

And it does make a lot of sense. Messi was primarily worried about Barcelona’s leadership or lack thereof. Now with Bartomeu gone and with a new project on the way in the coming months and years, the Argentine could indeed change his mind.

Of course, nothing is set in stone just yet. After all, he was quite adamant on leaving back in the summer but this changes things – drastically. It remains to be seen who takes the ex-president’s place but hope is once again alive in Catalonia.

Exciting times are ahead.

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Nigerian judge throws out case against 47 men for homosexuality

Prosecutors failed to attend Tuesday’s hearing at the federal high court in Lagos, having previously failed to present some of their witnesses in a case that had been adjourned on several occasions.

A court in Lagos throws out a case against men charged with public displays of affection with members of the same sex.

A judge in a Nigerian court has thrown out a case against 47 men charged with public displays of affection with members of the same sex, ending what had widely been seen as a test of the country’s laws banning homosexual relationships.

The Nigerian law banning gay marriage, punishable by up to 14 years in prison, and same-sex “amorous relationships”, prompted an international outcry when it came into force under former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

The men were arrested in a police raid on a Lagos hotel in the city’s Egbeda district in 2018. Police said the men were being initiated into a gay club, but the defendants said they were attending a birthday party.

Prosecution and defence lawyers in the case had told Reuters News Agency that nobody had yet been convicted under the law, which led to the case of the men being widely seen as a test case that could help to establish the burden of proof.

Prosecutors failed to attend Tuesday’s hearing at the federal high court in Lagos, having previously failed to present some of their witnesses in a case that had been adjourned on several occasions.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa struck out the case and said he had done so due to the “lack of diligent prosecution”.

The specific charge the men faced, relating to public displays of affection, carries a 10-year prison sentence.

Outside the court, many of the men smiled and cheered, including dancer James Brown who, smiling, said: “I am free. It means a lot of good things.”

Under Nigerian law, defendants in a case that is struck out can be re-arrested and arraigned again on the same charge, whereas that is not possible in cases that have been dismissed.

Taxi driver Onyeka Oguaghamba, a father-of-four who said he merely drove people to the party, said he was happy the case had been struck out but disappointed that it was not dismissed entirely.

“I am not happy, because I’m looking for the matter to end in a way that people will see me and believe what I have been saying from the beginning,” he said, adding that the decision meant he could be charged again.

Oguaghamba and others previously told Reuters that they had been stigmatised as a result of the raid and a televised news conference held by police in which they were identified the day after their arrest.

Chris Agiriga, another of the men, said the striking out of the case would not help him to be reconciled with his family who had rejected him over the matter.

“Since the past two years, this has caused a lot of damage in my life,” he said.

Emmanuel Sadi, a programme officer with rights group the Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERS), said the outcome of the case raised questions about the law used to charge the men.

“You can’t even build a case around it,” he said. “I hope they (the government) realise how redundant it is as a law, and they are open to removing or repealing it,” he said.

Homosexuality is outlawed in many socially conservative African societies where some religious groups brand it a corrupting Western import.

Gay sex is a crime in countries across the continent, with punishments ranging from imprisonment to death.

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Bright Osayi-Samuel axed from QPR squad after rejecting new contract

Bright Osayi-Samuel has been omitted from Queens Park Rangers squad for Tuesday (tonight) Sky Bet Championship clash against Barnsley after turning down a new contract.

Bright Osayi-Samuel has been omitted from Queens Park Rangers squad for Tuesday (tonight) Sky Bet Championship clash against Barnsley after turning down a new contract.

Osayi-Samuel is into the final eight months of his contract at the London club.

The talented winger is free to sign a pre-contract deal from January 1 with a foreign club.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that QPR have made a new attempt to keep hold of Osayi-Samuel by offering him a new and improved long-term deal.

The 21-year-old however turned down the offer and could be set to leave QPR in January or next summer.

Manager Mark Warburton has responded by dropping the first-team mainstay from the matchday squad for the trip to Oakwell tonight.

The wide man has featured in all QPR’s league games this season.

QPR knocked back enquiries for Osayi-Samuel in the January window and, in February, triggered an option to extend his contract by 12 months until the summer of 2021.

He held extensive talks with multiple clubs this summer but remained at Loftus Road after a move to Brugge collapse.

Osayi-Samuel scored six goals and provided nine assists from 40 matches in all competitions last season.

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Liverpool skipper amazed by Mo Salah record

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is amazed by Mohamed Salah's record with the club.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is amazed by Mohamed Salah’s record with the club.

Salah’s goal during the 2-2 draw with Everton at Goodison Park earlier this month saw him reach the milestone of a century of strikes in just 159 appearances.

Only Roger Hunt and Jack Parkinson achieved the feat in quicker time than Salah; however, Henderson believes his influence on the Reds extends far beyond his goal tally.

“Mo’s numbers are jaw-dropping,” the captain wrote in his column for tonight’s official matchday programme. “He’s achieved his century in just 159 appearances – that is computer game stuff!

“I read that Mo got to this milestone in the third-quickest time in LFC history. The other two Liverpool players who got to a century quicker are Roger Hunt and Jack Parkinson – and we are going back quite a long time. It just emphasises the enormity of his contribution.

“I shouldn’t be surprised, but it yet again underlines just how blessed we all are to be working with him, or be a supporter of this club at the time he is here with us.

“Not for one minute do I think Mo is taken for granted; he 100 per cent isn’t by anyone associated with our club at least. But I do think the level of his achievement maybe deserves a little more recognition in the game.”

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Britain reopens visa application centers in Nigeria

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The United Kingdom High Commission has announced that its center’s across the country has reopened.

Newsmen had reported that the commission had shut down its centers across Nigeria following the ongoing nationwide protest in the country.

It also closed its TLS contact visa application centres in the country.

However, in a statement released via its official Twitter account on Monday, the Commission announced that its visa application centers in Victoria Island, Abuja and Lagos have reopened.

It also noted that the commission will be closed on the 29th of October due to the public holiday in the country.

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Heavy security presence at Anambra SEMA warehouse over ‘planned attack’

The Police Command in Plateau has arrested 16 suspects over kidnapping, armed robbery, culpable homicide and unlawful possession of firearms.

There is a heavy detachment of security operatives at the Agu Awka area of Awka, the capital of Anambra State.

A visit to the area showed that heavily armed men of the mobile police unit and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps were mobilized to keep watch in the area.

Their presence, however, is not unconnected with a planned attack on the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) warehouse, where it is believed that food materials meant to be distributed as COVID-19 palliatives are stored.

Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano had on Sunday revealed that security information available to him showed that hoodlums plan to attack the state on Monday.

He said, “We are ready for them. Anyone caught engaging in nefarious activity would have himself to blame. We are warning you now.

“I hereby call on Anambra youths to come out and defend their state from elements from neighbouring states who are coming to destroy all that we have toiled for,” he charged.

Police stations, government offices, private establishments and many others have been vandalised and looted in past days, while police officers and civilians alike have also been killed.

Meanwhile, normalcy appears to be gradually returning to the state as markets around the state opened for business on Monday, while banks have also commenced operation of their Automated Teller Machines (ATM)

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Kaduna government orders arrest of looters of virus palliative

Some youths with looted bags of grains from the Commodities Marketers warehouse, Kakuri Industrial layout, Kaduna. Olu Ajayi.

The Kaduna State Government says it will trace, arrest and prosecute those who looted COVID-19 items in Kaduna on Saturday.

The state’s acting governor, Hadiza Balarabe, said in a state-wide broadcast on Sunday.

She said that security agencies had already arrested some of those involved.

“There can be no other word but theft for describing the looting of food items donated by CACOVID,” she added.

“We have met community leaders and made it clear that what happened yesterday will not be tolerated. There can be no excuses for the crimes we have witnessed.

“The state is obliged to find and prosecute those involved in the criminal actions that unfolded yesterday.

“For the sake of every law-abiding and hardworking citizen, we cannot indulge those who think they are exempted from the obligation to respect the law and the right of others to their lives and property.

“Those who instigated these actions and who sadly persist in incitement should also expect to hear from the law,” the acting governor stressed.

Ms Balarabe warned that “much of the looted property is a threat to public health, including the expired and dangerous drugs that were taken from NAFDAC and the 8000 tons of chemically treated soybeans stolen from a private feeds processing company.”

She thanked security agencies for averting the spiral of violence and arresting some of the persons involved in the looting.

“I call on all the people of Kaduna State to uphold law and order, and to cooperate with the security agencies as they enforce the curfew.

“We call on citizens to remain vigilant as security reports indicate that persons desperate for bloodshed and anarchy continue to seek avenues to shatter the state, using rumours, fake news and incitement.

“We call on traditional rulers, community and religious leaders to assist security agencies to fish out the criminals involved in the regrettable spate of looting.

“We acknowledge the citizens who have been active in verifying information and combating fake news.”

The acting governor explained that the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state was to prevent criminal elements from undermining the law and placing lives and property of the people in danger.

“We commend the vast majority of the people of Kaduna State for being law-abiding and for not allowing criminal actions in their communities.

“We regret the inconvenience that this statewide curfew might have caused for such persons. The curfew is a difficult but necessary step for containing the violence and preventing it from infecting peaceful communities.”

She assured that the curfew will be reviewed based on the security situation in the state.

On the looted CACOVID palliative, the acting governor explained that the items were not hoarded by the government or any of its officials.

“Rather, the government was ready to commence distribution in all the local government areas, after taking pains to arrange a fair and efficient system.”

According to her, arrangements for distributing the items at ward level had been concluded, when the looters stole the items.

“The items looted do not belong to the persons that stole them. They were meant to support the most vulnerable in our midst.

“Mob action cannot replace the methodical steps taken to identify these persons and arrange for them to safely receive the items,” she added.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits to Paul Pogba error

Paul Pogba has hinted he expects to stay with Manchester United and play in the Champions League next season.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has surprisingly hinted that he mismanaged Paul Pogba, particularly at the start of this season.

The French midfielder was a shadow of himself when the league began but was handed minutes nonetheless and so he continued to struggle.

In fairness, United were performing poorly overall so Pogba wasn’t the only one who looked out of sorts.

However, Solskjaer would soon exclude him from the starting XI and use him as an impact substitute, which he did remarkably well.

Pogba’s lack of form was put down to a lack of a pre-season but perhaps fans have been a little dismissive that he also had to recover from Covid-19.

According to the club’s official website, Solskjaer said: “You see, when you have got good players, it is a nice challenge and a nice decision to make when you have got players on the bench that can come on to impact the game.

“I think Paul, in all three games this week, has come on and made a very positive impact.

“Of course he has been out for a while with the coronavirus this summer. He is getting better and better, and more and more in shape.

“Maybe I was unfair on him by starting him that early in the first few games. He is coming along and he has done great when he has come on.”

Perhaps Solskjaer was eager to kick off the season strongly and so played Pogba anyways but in hindsight, it was clearly the wrong decision.

However, now fans will be hoping the former Juventus man will kick on and start more frequently in order to bring some consistency and form to Manchester United.

Back to back wins vs Newcastle and PSG hinted at a more optimistic future but a disappointing draw vs Chelsea brought everyone back down to earth.

The season is long and there’s still plenty of time to make an impact on the table but supporters are concerned their problems with inconsistencies have carried into this season.

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