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Showing posts from June, 2018

Nine Dead, 54 Vehicles Burnt In Lagos Tanker Fire

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Tragedy struck on Thursday at the Otedola Bridge, Lagos end of the Lagos -Ibadan Expressway, after a petrol - laden tanker crashed and exploded. No fewer than 54 cars and commercial vehicles driving behind the tanker on the road were said to have been gutted by fire, during which nine people were reportedly killed. Emergency management workers were said to have been mobilised to the scene to rescue commuters trapped in the accident. Reports say some motorists, who made a U- turn and attempted to flee the scene of the incident , crashed into other vehicles. Lives were reportedly lost in the secondary accident that resulted from the confusion caused by the fallen tanker. An eyewitness, Nkechi Obiageli, said the accident occurred around 5 pm. She said, “I was in a commercial bus heading towards the Mowe area of Ogun State. The bus was beside the tanker. “There was traffic and when it cleared a little, the bus driver manoeuvred his way to the front. We were about a few vehicles awa

Plateau Killings: “Working Towards Peace Is Everybody’s Responsibility” Says Saraki

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The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has stated that working towards peace in Plateau State and Nigeria as a whole, must remain the primary responsibility of all Nigerians. Saraki, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said this, during a condolence visit to Plateau State, over this weekend’s killings. The Senate President was joined by the Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah and Senator Ubali Shittu. Saraki, who had earlier in the day, met with President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside Speaker Yakubu Dogara, was received by the Plateau State Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong, at the Plateau State Government House. “Let me convey my deepest sympathy for the unfortunate and sad incident that occurred in Plateau State this weekend that claimed many innocent lives. This is not only a loss to Plateau State, but to the entire nation. “Although the National Assembly is currently not in session, whe

DSS Releases Senator Abaribe

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The Department of State Services has released the lawmaker representing Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe. Abaribe’ s media aide, Mr. Uchenna Awom, made the announcement in a statement issued on Tuesday night. Operatives of the DSS had, on Friday, arrested and detained the senator, while his Abuja home was raided same day. The statement read , “About 6.32 pm on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe walked into freedom after five days in the DSS gulag. “Abaribe, who was granted administrative bail, was released to his lawyers led by Chukwuma -Machukwu Ume, SAN. “The collective calls and demand for his release have shown the great spirit of Nigerians for justice .” Punch

Judge Refuses To Order Senator Abaribe’s Release

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The Federal High Court on Tuesday rejected the request to order the release of the Senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Eyinnaya Abaribe, who was arrested by the Department of State Service on Friday and has since been held in custody. Justice Binta Nyako turned down the request after declaring that Abaribe’s arrest and detention had nothing to do with his suretyship for the missing leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. Justice Nyako had, in April last year, granted bail to Kanu, with Abaribe and two others standing surety for him. Kanu, alongside others, was being prosecuted before Justice Nyako on charges bordering on treasonable felony, before he became missing after soldiers in an operation to quell pro-Biafra protests in the South-East, invaded his home in Abia State in September 2017. Since October 17, 2017 when the trial was supposed to resume, Abaribe and the two other sureties had been grappling with the burden to produce Kanu in court. The

Security Operatives Assault Ezekwesili At Aso Rock Gate

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A detachment of armed security operatives attached to the presidential villa in Abuja assaulted Oby Ezekwezili, former minister of education, who embarked on a solo march to the state house, on Tuesday. The protest which kicked off at the federal secretariat was disrupted at the villa gate. The security operatives stationed at the gate manhandled her while struggling to collect her placard. The ex-minister put up a resistance, forcing the plain cloth operatives to shove her. Journalists covering the protest were not spared as their phones and cameras were seized. Earlier, Ezekwesili told reporters that the “lukewarm attitude” of President Muhammadu Buhari to the carnage in some parts of the country influenced her action. She accused the president of “watching with consternation, the criminal massacre of Nigerians especially in the first half of this year without any evidence of fierce sense of urgency on the part of his government to end the abnormality”. Among the demands she

Plateau Killings: IGP Removes Police Commissioner

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About 48 hours after the killing of over 100 people in Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Jos South Local Government Areas, the Inspector - General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has ordered the sacking of the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Undie Adie, with immediate effect. He was replaced by Yobe state - born Bala Ciroma, who was until his new position the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department. A terse statement issued on Tuesday by the Spokesperson of Plateau State Police Command, Matthias Tyopev, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, neither gave reasons for the removal nor explained his new posting. The new CP, according to him, graduated from University of Maiduguri in 1988 and joined the Nigerian Police Force as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police on March 3, 1990, and has served in various capacities. Ciroma who was one- time the Head of Operations at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja , “has also served in virtually

Press Statement: Put An End To Killings In Plateau State -NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress is deeply saddened by the renewed violence in Barkin-Ladi and Riyom Local Governments of Plateau State and their environs leading to the killing of over 86 persons ( as per police report) by suspected killer-herdsmen at the weekend. We are disturbed by the range of targets, the duration of these attacks and the scope of casualties and destruction. Even in a full scale war with another country,the statistics are numbing. Therefore, for the umpteenth time we condemn these killings in their entireity. They are senseless and barbaric and threaten to shatter once and for all the bonds of brotherhood and peaceful co-existence. Accordingly, our security, though stretched, must be seen to do more to restore the confidence of the civil populace. If the emerging allegations are true that the attacks went on unchecked for hours, then something needs to be done about the reaction time of our internal security operations in the state. Bey

Insecurity: More Will Die Unless We Take the Right Measures, Ekweremadu Warns

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…Commiserates with Plateau State The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has raised the alarm over the escalating killings and insecurity in Nigeria, warning that more lives would be clost unless the nation’s security architecture was reorganised. Reacting to the recent killings in Plateau State, which had left scores dead, Ekweremadu decried the reluctance of the nation’s leaders to tinker with the nation’s security structure, despite glaring lapses. The Senator, who spoke after decorating his newly promoted security aides, Mr. Uchenna Igwebuike and Edward Utuh, with their new ranks of Superintendent of Police (SP) and Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), respectively, however, commended the Nigeria Police for the recent promotion exercise, noting that such would motivate the personnel to give their best. On the recent killings in Jos, Ekweremadu said: “It is really unfortunate because our country is a nation where the leaders have refused to learn

Court Grants N40m Bail To Kanu’s Co-defendants

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...bars them from granting interviews, attending rallies The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, granted bail to four pro-Biafra agitators- Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi- who hitherto faced treasonable felony charge alongside the ‘missing’ leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu. Trial Justice Binta Nyako granted the defendants bail to the tune of N10million each with two sureties in like sum. Justice Nyako directed that the money should be deposited in cash to the Chief Registrar of the Court, even as she ordered the defendants to surrender all their travelling documents and not travel without leave of the court. Aside asking all the surties to swear an affidavit of means, the court barred all the defendants from attending any form of rally, press conference or granting interviews. Justice Nyako who had earlier denied the defendants bail, said she reviewed her previous ruling, the nature of the

Plateau Killings: We Need Quick Response To Tackle Security Crisis - Saraki

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President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to direct his security chiefs to immediately produce quick response measures aimed at tackling the spate of killings in the country. Saraki, while responding to the killings in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area in which scores of people were murdered in attacks by unknown assailants on some villages, said it is important for Nigerians to start having the assurances that the government is decisively responding to the current threat to lives and properties in parts of the country. Speaking in a statement signed by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said: "I am very sad to hear the news of the incident in Plateau State. This is very depressing and giving the impression that the country is not safe. The problem of Boko Haram in the North-east is well known to everybody but this killing by unknown band of assailants in Benue, Taraba, Plateau and Kaduna States is now giving another d

Armed Men Attack Plateau Mourners; Witness Says 120 Killed

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A cleric has reported the killing of 120 people who were returning from a funeral service. The police confirmed the attack but said only 11 persons died. The pastor in charge of Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN) Regional Church Council (RCC) Rop in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area said the mourners were killed by suspected armed herdsmen. Pam Chollom stated this in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday. He said the attack on Saturday lasted for several hours. “Fulani people attacked our members who attended the burial of the father to one of our clergy Baba Jakawa, at Gidin Akwati, Gashis district. Late Jakawa was aged over 80 years, a committed member of COCIN, so his burial attracted many sympathisers.” “The armed Fulanis ambushed the sympathisers on their way back from the burial, attacked and killed 34 persons from Nekan village, 39 others from Kufang, and 47 people from Ruku village. “As we speak with you, many others are still missing in the bushes,” he said. The c

Oshiomhole Sworn In As APC Chairman

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The newly- elected National Chairman and Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole and Mai Mala Buni respectively have taken their oath of office. The Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami administered the oaths of office and that of allegiance on both officers. Punch

DSS Arrested Abaribe For Supporting IPOB, Alleged Gun Running – Lawyer

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Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe’s lawyer, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), yesterday, gave insight into why the lawmaker was arrested on Friday by men of the Department of State Security (DSS). Ume disclosed that Abaribe, representing Abia South, was arrested and detained by the DSS operatives because of allegations that he was supporting, aiding and sponsoring a proscribed body, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. According to the lawyer, the security operatives raided and searched every nook and cranny of Abaribe’s house in company of the senator, who was brought from the headquarters of the DSS for a period of six hours, from 5- 11pm, before he was taken back, adding that the security outfit had denied the senator access to his lawyer, family members and his doctor. He disclosed that the arrest was contained in a search warrant, dated June 2, 2018, which directed DSS operatives who searched Abaribe’s house to “focus and search for arms and ammunition and any other incriminating documen

Ekweremadu Hails Super Eagles on Victory Over Iceland

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria on their victory over Iceland in their second group game at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia. Ekweremadu said the Eagles manifested the true Nigerian spirit, noting, however, that they should not relent, but bring out the best in them in order to book a place in the round of 16. Speaking through his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, Ekwerwmadu said: "I congratulate the Super Eagles on this resounding victory. I am happy that they overcame their demoralising loss to Croatia and a disappointing first half today to give Nigerians and Africans something to cheer. “However, we are obviously not in the round of 16 yet. The Super Eagles should rather see this superlative win as a motivation to fly over a wounded and demystified Argentine team. The Super Eagles can do it.  They understand the Argentine team, having confronted them in previous World Cup events and also beating th

Senator Ekweremadu Blames National Assembly Committees For Slashing Budget For Enugu Airport

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has blamed the National Assembly Committees for the slashing of budgetary allocation for the completion of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, in the 2018 Appropriation Act from N2 billion to N500 million. Ekweremadu, however, described as unfortunate the attempts by some persons to play politics with the development by insinuating that he or the South East lawmakers slashed the budget proposal for the project, especially when budgetary cut affected other geopolitical zones. Ekweremadu in a statement on Thursday assured that the South East federal lawmakers and the National Assembly remained committed to the early completion of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. He expressed disappointment over the cut in the budgetary allocation to the project in the 2018 Appropriation Act from N2 billion to N500 million. He said his investigation showed that the cuts took place at the committees level and hopefully

Amnesty: 'We Are Being Shortchanged ' - Ex - Militants Cry out 

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Scores of ex- militants in the Niger Delta region purportedly offered amnesty in 2011 by the federal government of Nigeria stormed the premises of the National Assembly today in protest  over alleged non payment of survival allowances to them. The protesters who described themselves as shortchanged members of Berebeghan Group of the Presidential Amnesty Programme under the leadership of Joseph Evah, accused Evah of diverting monthly  allowances meant for them into his private pocket. The ex-militants in a statement jointly signed on their behalf  by Arerebo Napoleon, Evah Joshua and Erekake Clerk, said instead of being rehabilitated after surrendering their ammunitions against oil pipeline vandalism in 2011, they have been wallowing in abject poverty due to diversion of their survival allowances and denial of any vocational /formal educational training. They consequently called on relevant authorities to stop payment of their N65,000 monthly stipend through Joseph Evah and reque

Breaking: Casualties As Suicide Bombers Hit Crowded Borno Military Market

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The Borno state Police Command has confirmed the twin suicide attacks by suspected female terrorists onboard a tricycle (Keke Napep) on Wednesday in an attempt to infiltrate defunct 333 Artillery Mammy Military Market in Maiduguri, the state capital. This attack which took place at about 8:20pm is coming at a time when most of beer/alcohol dealers and commercial sex workers chased out of the city as a result of Committee for Demolition of Illegal Structures and Criminal Spots continued their onslaught leading to massive influx of the victims to 333 Artillery Mammy Military Market for business. Sources said, the suicide bombers sneaked into a waiting queue of customers at the entrance gate for proper checking by military personnel, before detonating their Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, leading to several number of casualties. Although, the source could not mention specifically the number of casualties, investigation revealed that some civilians were affected in the blasts. But

House Of Representatives Responds To Buhari's Comments On The 2018 Budget

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Members of the House of Representatives have defended the decision of the National Assembly to raise its budget from the initial N125 billion to N139.5 billion in 2018. In their explanation, the lawmakers merely claimed the budget figure was small compared to past years. They failed to provide specific needs that necessitated the multibillion naira raise. This is coming less than 24 hours after National Assembly leadership spoke on the concerns raised by President Muhammadu Buhari on the manipulation of the 2018 budget estimates sent to the lawmakers. Mr Buhari on Wednesday signed the N9.1 trillion 2018 appropriation bill into law in his office at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja. In a statement by the house spokesperson, Abdulrazak Namdas, the lawmakers said the budget of the National Assembly ”is still far below the N150 billion in the years before 2015”. “Before 2015, the budget of the National Assembly was N150 billion for several years. It was cut down to N120 billion in 2015 and furt

Breaking: OAU Sacks Professor Over Sex-For-Mark Scandal

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The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile -Ife, has announced the sacking of Prof. Richard Akindele for allegedly demanding sex from a student, Monica Osagie, to upgrade her mark. The OAU Vice -Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, announced the sacking at a press conference in Ile -Ife on Wednesday. He said the Governing Council of the institution sacked the lecturer, “having found him guilty of all the charges against him.” Punch

Buhari Accuses National Assembly Of Distorting 2018 Budget

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President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2018 N9.12 trillion Appropriation Bill into law in the absence of the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. The budget was assented to by the President at exactly 12;05 noon at the mini conference room of the Presidential villa, Abuja. Buhari while signing the budget said he was compelled to sign the budget not to keep the economy continuously on standstill. He berated the National Assembly for cutting the budget estimates, especially in key sectors which he said would have impacted more on the economy. He also indicated the interest to forward supplementary budget to the National Assembly to make up the figures that were cut by the lawkers. The following is the complete text of the President's statement at the budget signing. SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE SIGNING INTO LAW, THE 2018 APPROPRIATION BILL, PRESID

Saraki Leads Senate Delegation on Visit To Russian Parliament

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President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, will on Tuesday (tomorrow) lead a Senate delegation on a three day parliamentary visit to Russia, aimed at deepening legislative best practices and further strengthening the relationship between both countries. During the visit, the President of the Senate is expected to address the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation (Senate of Russia) and hold meetings with its Chairperson of the Federation Council, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko, Chairman of the State Duma, Mr. Vyacheslav Volodin and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr. Mikhail Bogdanov, to exchange views on issues of Nigerian-Russian cooperation. Senators will also hold side meetings with corresponding committees of the Federation Council of Russia. Senators on the delegation include Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, Chairman Senate Committee on Fo

Boko Haram Female Bombers Kill 32, Injure 84 In Damboa

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No fewer than 32 persons were killed,  while 84 others were  injured when six suicide bombers detonated Improvised Explosive Devices(IEDs), in Damboa local government area in Borno state on Saturday. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that some locals alleged that the deaths arose from a  misfiring by the Nigerian Army’s artillery but the army denied the claim. Malam Buba Shettima, a witness said that two separate bomb blasts  occurred in Shuwari and Abbachari, at about 8:30 p.m. “The whole of Damboa was shaken  by the unfortunate incident. We all scampered for safety as the  blasts were  coming from different directions. There were  bodies everywhere. “We suspected that the many deaths recorded were a result of the  military artillery,”he said. Mohammed Hassan, another local from the area who corroborated the claim, said: “At about 8:30 pm of on Saturday night,  an attack suspected to be from an artillery killed 31 innocent people  in Damboa Shehuri and Abachari. The attacks

We’ll Beat Iceland, Argentina To Qualify — Rohr

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Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has put aside Nigeria’s shock 2-0 defeat in the hands of Croatia as he insists that Nigeria still has the chance of going through from Group D. Nigeria occupy the last spot at the bottom of the Group but the German coach who blamed the defeat on defensive naivety from set pieces by Croatia said that Nigeria can roar back to reckoning by beating Iceland and seeing off Argentina in their last group game to go through. ‘’Everything is possible in football. “It’s important to make at least four points if you want to qualify,” Rohr added. “We are only a point behind for the moment, nothing is lost and all is in our hands. “Let’s be positive, we have the youngest team at the World Cup, let them learn and try to do better. “We saw Iceland have a good game against Argentina, a very strong team, but we can also do better than what we did today (Saturday).. “We have to win against Iceland but all is possible still. If we win the next game all is possible for q

TCN Explains Blackout Across Nigeria

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has explained the reason why many parts of the country are experiencing blackouts including that of Saturday. The agency, which has the sole responsibility of transmitting generated power, said in a Sunday morning statement that there were shortages in gas supply which led to a significant reduction in power generation and distribution. It, however, said there was no total blackout. The shortages affected over half a dozen power generating facilities across the country. Ndidi Mbah, a spokesperson for TCN, said a gas pipeline rupture was reported by the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) on June 15. Shell Nigeria gas wells also developed a fault on June 16, causing a drop of 1,087 megawatts in national grid generation. The situation has compelled distribution companies to embark on a “massive load-shedding nationwide’ in order to “maintain stability of the grid,” Ms Mbah said. Power stations that have been shut down to various faults include the

Don’t Give Up on Super Eagles, Ekweremadu Urges Nigerians

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has urged Nigerians not to give up on the Super Eagles. Reacting to the team’s 0-2 loss to Croatia in their opening match at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia, Ekweremadu expressed optimism that the team would get better as the tournament progressed. Speaking through a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media), Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu said: “No doubt, the team made costly mistakes and Nigeria is in a tight corner after the loss to Croatia. However, I am sure that the players and coaching crew have picked some lessons. The technical crew might have to rethink the team’s formation. Maybe, also, we stand to gain more from the players in their natural wings. “I am an optimist. It is not over yet for the Super Eagles in Russia, especially given their traditional resilient spirit. I have no doubt also that they understand that they bear the expectations and hopes of over 180 million people on their shoulders.

Russia 2018: Help Nigerians Heal Wounds of Division, Ekweremadu Charges Super Eagles

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...Says nothing is beyond the Eagles in Russia Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, says a brilliant outing by the Super Eagles at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia would help to heal the wounds of the divisions in the country, charging the team to go for goals. Ekweremadu who stated this in a goodwill message to the Super Eagles as they prepare to open their account in Russia, expressed absolute faith in the Gernot Rohr-tutored team. He said: “Nigeria is more divided today than at any other time in her history. But, for us, football is the tonic that heals old wounds. We need a truly super and brilliant outing by the Super Eagles at the mundial to help reunite a divided nation. “They have the experience, skill, and the indomitable Nigerian spirit to do the nation and Africa proud. They also have the prayers and goodwill of the over 180 million Nigerian population behind them”, he said.  The Senator, therefore, urged the team to go for goals and the zenith,

World Cup 2018: Nigeria Fans Banned From Taking Chickens To Game

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Nigeria fans have been banned from taking 'lucky' live chickens into the ground for their team's opening Group D game with Croatia on Saturday. Supporters of the Super Eagles believe the tradition of taking chickens to games brings the team luck. However, the Russian government have banned the practice when Nigeria, competing at their sixth World Cup, play in Kaliningrad (20:00 BST). "Fans from Nigeria asked if it's possible to go to the stadium with a chicken. We told them that it is not possible," Andrei Ermak, minister of culture in Kaliningrad, told Russia's Interfax news agency. Ermak added that the ministry will advise Super Eagles fans on areas they will be allowed to carry chickens when supporting their team. After Saturday, Nigeria face Iceland in Volgograd on 22 June (16:00) before finishing the group stage against Argentina in Saint Petersburg on 26 June (19:00). At the 2010 World Cup, Nigeria fans were banned from taking chickens painted in

Evans' Lawyer Withdraws From Kidnap Case

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The lawyer representing Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (popularly known as Evans) has withdrawn his representation from all criminal charges against his client. Olukoya Ogungbeje said his decision to withdraw as counsel to Evans were “for personal reasons.” “For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that we have fought a good fight this far despite repeated and sustained threats to my life and my defence lawyers,” Mr Ogungbeje said in a statement made available to newsmen. “I dare say we have no regrets whatsoever having conducted the criminal charges involving our client this far.” Mr Onwuamadike is an alleged billionaire kidnapper who led gangs that abducted several Nigerians for years. He reportedly made a fortune from ransom payments received to set his captives free. He was arrested in Lagos in 2017. Premium Times

Senate Orders Immediate Deportation Of SAMSUNG MD

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...Declares him illegal immigrant For allegedly coming into the country without proper documentation, the Senate has  ordered the Nigeria Immigration Service ( NIS), to deport Mr Young Ho Jo, the Managing Director of SAMSUNG back to South Korea. The Upper legislative chamber's directive for deportation of SAMSUNG MD was announced yesterday by its Chairman on Ad- hoc Committee probing the $16.35 billion Egina Oil Field Project, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West)   during an interactive session with major and sub contractors of the project. According to Senator Adeola, resolution for deportation of the SAMSUNG MD was adopted by the Senate last week Thursday in line with recommendation to that effect by the ad- hoc committee in its interim report. The Senator who made the announcement to the hearing of the embattled South Korean and other operators  of the Egina oil field project, revealed that illegality of Mr Young Ho Jo residency in Nigeria came to the fore during scr