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Showing posts from February, 2019

US Offers $1m Reward to Find Bin Laden’s Son

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The United States on Thursday offered a $1 million reward for information on a son of late Al -Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, seeing him as an emerging leader of the extremist network. The location of Hamza bin Laden. sometimes dubbed the “crown prince of jihad ,” has been the subject of speculation for years with reports of him in Pakistan, Afghanistan or under house arrest in Iran. AFP

Despite Inadequacies in Kwara Polls, I Wish Those Who Emerged Best of Luck - Saraki

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Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has stated that in spite of the reported inadequacies that attended last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections in Kwara State, he is wishing the candidates who emerged from the election the best of luck. Dr. Saraki in a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu stated that while the election was generally peaceful there are inadequacies like the card readers  not used in over 70 percent of the polling units while there were multiple voting, over-voting and other discrepancies that were reported by agents of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) across the state. He added that the state chapter of his party will take a position on the right response to these inadequacies. “However, whatever the final outcome of the election, I wish the candidates that have emerged all the best in their attempts to serve our people. It is my prayers that the good people of Kwara State will always have t

Saraki Did Not Congratulate APC Candidate, Says Aide

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Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Yusuph Olaniyonu, has dissociated the Saraki camp from a Message being shared on WhatsApp which states that the PDP and Saraki have congratulated the APC and it’s candidates. In the statement released on Monday, Olaniyonu further stated that the position of the Saraki camp will be communicated to the public later today. “The public should disregard any fictitious statements being issued and shared on WhatsApp by the PDP in Kwara. Our position on the election will be communicated later today. “In the interim, the APC should stop issuing statements congratulating itself and ascribing it to our camp", Olaniyonu stated.

Ekweremadu Returns To Senate With A Landslide Victory

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was about 12:01am on Monday, declared winner of the Enugu West Senatorial seat in a landslide victory. Declaring the result at Awgu, the Returning Officer, Prof. Douglas Nwagbo, said the Senator polled a total of 86,088 votes to beat his closest rival, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who polled 15,187 votes. Reacting to his victory, Ekweremadu expressed gratitude to his constituents for reelecting him into the Senate for a fifth time, noting that it was a record of it’s own in the Eastern part of the country. He said: “I am not taking this election for granted especially by the unprecedented nature of my election. This is the first time within this part of Nigeria that someone would be elected consecutively for five times into the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It has never happened and I am not taking it for granted. I indeed feel v

Michael Jackson Estate Sues HBO for $100m Over Leaving Neverland Film

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Michael Jackson's estate is suing HBO for $100m (£77m) over the controversial documentary Leaving Neverland. They claim the film, which details the singer's alleged sexual abuse of two boys, breaches a non-disparagement clause in an old contract. A complaint filed at Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday read: "Michael Jackson is innocent. Period." In response, HBO said it would not only still air Dan Reed's documentary, but bring it forward by several days.   "Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged," the channel said. "HBO will move forward with the airing of Leaving Neverland. This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves." The broadcaster will now screen the four-hour documentary on 3 and 4 March. The film tells the stories of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim to have been sexually assaulted by Michael Jackson in the 1990s as childr

Breaking: INEC Clears Zamfara APC to participate in 2019 elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission says “in compliance with court order,” the Zamfara chapter of the All Progressives Congress will participate in the governorship, National and State Assembly elections. INEC said this in a tweet on Friday, via its verified Twitter handle, @inecnigeria. The APC primaries crisis had been lingering since October 2018 between the APC factions loyal to Governor Abdula’ziz Yari and that of G8 group, which took the party to various courts seeking redress.

Chelsea Transfer Ban: Club to Appeal Against Fifa Decision

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Chelsea have been banned from signing players in the next two transfer windows for breaching rules in relation to youth players, Fifa has announced. The ban, until the end of January 2020, does not prevent the release of players and will not apply to their women's and futsal teams. The Premier League club have said they will appeal against the decision. Chelsea have also been fined £460,000, while the Football Association (FA) has been fined £390,000. It comes following a Fifa investigation into Chelsea's signing of foreign under-18 players, including former striker Bertrand Traore. The world governing body says it found breaches in 29 cases out of 92 investigated. "We welcome the fact Fifa has accepted that there was no breach in relation to 63 of these players, but the club is extremely disappointed that Fifa has not accepted the club's submissions in relation to the remaining 29 players," said a statement from the Stamford Bridge club. "Chelsea acted in

I Will Approach the Supreme Court on APC Rivers Candidates Issue- Senator Abe

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Sen. Magnus Abe, Rivers South East District, said he will approach the Supreme Court for a final resolution of  the party’s legal problems in presenting governorship and  state Assembly candidates for the elections. Abe spoke while reacting to the striking out of his application by the Appeal court in Port Harcourt. He said that he would do what he could to get judgment from the Supreme Court before the governorship and State Assembly elections on March 9. “We have approached the Court of Appeal to help resolve  the logjam  arising out of the current situation in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers. As you will recollect, there is a voided indirect primaries that was conducted here in the state,  which has been declared void up to Supreme Court. ” There was a direct primary that was conducted by the state chapter of the party which the party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refused to accept because of the party’s insistence on sticking by the i

Police Slam US Actor Jussie Smollett, Say he Staged Racist Attack to Boost Career

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An American TV actor was criminally charged Thursday for allegedly masterminding an elaborate “publicity stunt” that sought to exploit the “pain and anger of racism” with a staged assault on the streets of Chicago. It was the latest twist in a week-long saga that has seen 36-year-old Jussie Smollett, the gay, African-American actor who stars on Fox music industry drama “Empire,” go from victim to suspect after he reported an assault late last month. An incredulous Chicago police chief accused Smollett of first sending himself a fake threatening letter and then staging an attack to tap into Americans’ anxieties over political and racial divisions, because he was allegedly “dissatisfied with his salary.” In a sign of the national attention the case has drawn, President Donald Trump weighed in Thursday, taking issue with the fact Smollett claimed his assailants invoked the president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan along with homophobic and racist slurs during the purported attack.

He’s No Longer in Charge - DSS Dissociates Self From Lawal Daura

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The Department of State Security (DSS) has dissociated itself from Lawal Daura, its former director-general. Daura was fired by the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in August 2018 for his alleged involvement in a siege on the national assembly. There are reports that he still wields influence and controls a section of the secret police But in a statement on Tuesday, Peter Afunaya, DSS spokesman, debunked this, warning the public not to engage with the former DG. “The Service debunks this false belief. It warns that any person or group that further engages him or his representatives/associates does so at their own peril,” the statement read. “The Service will not tolerate acts of impersonation designed to undermine it and will decisively deal with person(s), no matter how highly placed, that may engage in such behavior. The public should, therefore, note this and avoid circumstances under which unsuspecting persons may be deceived.” The statement added that the service will contin

Buhari Convenes Expanded Security Meeting

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President Muhammadu Buhari is currently holding an expanded security meeting in his office at the State House, Abuja. Apart from the known members of the National Security Council, the governors of Borno, Kaduna and Adamawa States are also attending the meeting. Although the agenda of the meeting was not made available to the media, the attendance of the governors implies discussions may be about the resurgence of insecurity in those states. Attacks by the extremist group, Boko Haram, have recently increased in Borno. Last week, the group attacked the convoy of Gov. Kashim Shettima, killing a soldier and four others. The insurgents have also been attacking villages around Madagali and Michika local governments in Adamawa State. Separately, the conflict between locals and Fulani communities in Kaduna State reignited last week with attacks and reprisals leading to the death of 66 persons, including women and children. The meeting which started by at the presidential villa at about 11:

2019 General Elections: SSS Summons Top INEC Officials

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The State Security Service (SSS) has summoned the senior official who substantively heads the Independent National Electoral Commission’s operations and logistics, Okechukwu Ibeanu. Premium Times reports that this is an indication the secret service may have moved to investigate the circumstances that led to the postponement of Nigeria’s elections earlier scheduled to hold last Saturday.   The online newspaper reports that, Mr Ibeanu, a professor of political science, was asked to report at the SSS office by 2:00 p.m. Apart from Mr Ibeanu, others asked to appear before the SSS include Chidi Nwafor, the Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Ken Ukeagu; Osaze Uzzi, the Director of Voter Education and Publicity and Bimbo Oladunjoye, the Assistant Director of ICT. Although Mr Ibeanu heads the commission’s operations and logistics department, reports say a separate team appointed by the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, handled the logistics for the election. Three mo

Snatch Ballot Box at the Expense of Your Life, Buhari Warns During APC Caucus Meeting

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President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the military and law enforcement agencies to deal “ruthlessly” with anyone caught trying to disrupt the rescheduled February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections. The President, who is seeking reelection on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, said he was not afraid of a free and fair election because he had received overwhelming support from the majority of Nigerians. Speaking on Monday at the opening of the APC National Caucus Meeting in Abuja, Buhari said he wanted Nigerians to be respected everywhere after the election, warning that anyone caught for ballot box snatching or leading thugs would do so at a risk to his life. He said, “I do not expect anybody to make any disturbance. I have briefed the law enforcement agencies and the military to identify hot spots, flashpoints and they should be prepared to move. “They, too, would have made their own arrangement as much as possible and as resources provide as much as the c

Breaking: Activist Deji Adeyanju Granted Bail

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The Kano State High Court on Monday granted bail to Deji Adeyanju, after spending 67 days in detention. Mr Adeyanju was freed on bail when his matter came up in Monday morning, with a condition that he must provide sureties and N500,000, according to his lawyers. Mr Adeyanju was arrested on December 13 over allegations he was involved in a murder in Kano in 2005. The police did not formally arraign Mr Adeyanju for the alleged murder. It would be recalled that Mr Adeyanju was charged for murder in 2005 at the Kano State High Court, but was discharged and acquitted in 2009 after a lengthy trial. The previous acquittal and police’s failure to arraign Mr Adeyanju for several weeks after arresting him fueled speculation that his detention was politically motivated. The police denied the allegations. Mr Adeyanju spent over two months of his detention fighting for a bail at federal and state courts, because the police did not bring charges against which to defend himself. Theophilus Agada,

IPMAN Directs Members to Reduce Fuel Pump Price over Election Postponement

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has directed its members nationwide to reduce petroleum pump price from N145 per litre to N140. This was announced in a statement signed by the National President of the association, Elder Chinedu Okworonkwo in Kano on Sunday. The statement was issued through the Chairman, IPMAN Kano state chapter, Alhaji Bashir Dan-Malam. Okworonkwo said the marketers were expected to comply with the directive from Feb. 20 to Feb. 25. He said the decision followed the Saturday’s last-minute postponement of presidential and National Assembly elections by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). According to him, Nigerians travelled to different places across the country to cast their votes, but to their dismay, the election was shifted to Feb. 23. “IPMAN was prompted to slash N5 from the N145 per litre official Petroleum pump price in a bid to motivate Nigerians to return to vote again on Feb. 23. “We urge all our members a

Customs Officer Shoots Civilian ‘Friend’ Dead While Trying to Extort European Returnees

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A Customs officer has killed a civilian, Godwin Onoja, while allegedly trying to extort N5,000 bribe from travellers coming from Europe on the Sagamu end of the Lagos-Ore-Benin Expressway. It was gathered that the victim was shot during an altercation between the officers of the Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service, Ikeja, Lagos, and some travellers, who boarded an Iyare Motors’ passenger bus travelling to Benin City from Lagos on Sunday. One of the passengers, Mr Oliver Joseph, who lives in France, said he and the other passengers in the bus arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on Saturday evening. According to him, whenever he and his co-travellers get into  Nigeria, they usually contract Iyare Motors to convey them to Benin from the Lagos airport. He added that they booked the vehicle when they got to Nigeria, adding that the driver came to the airport on Sunday  morning as arranged to convey them to Benin. Joseph stated that when

2019 Election: Nobody Will Unseat Me, Buhari Vows

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President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that nobody will unseat him. He said contrary to opinions in some quarters, he had the strength to lead the country for four more years. Buhari stated this in an interview aired on Friday on the verified Instagram page of CNN Africa while responding to doubts about his ability to run the country for a second term. The interviewer had asked the President, “This is a vibrant democracy. You came in, unseating the incumbent. Are you worried the same could happen to you?” To this, Buhari responded, “No. Nobody would unseat me.” He added, “I am ready to take this country forward for the next four years.” When asked his plans for containing the terror in the North-East, the President insisted that Boko Haram was no longer “technically” having a grip on any local government area in the region. He said, “We have 774 local governments in this country. They (Boko Haram) used to hold 17. They are not technically holding any local government now. “But they ar

CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Trial Till March 11

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Suspended chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen Amid amusing displays by the Chairman of the Code of Tribunal, Danladi Umar, the tribunal on Friday, adjourned the trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, on charges of non-declaration of assets, till March 11. The tribunal chairman had earlier insisted on adjourning the matter till February 21 in defiance to an agreement between the prosecuting team led by Ibrahim Musa and the defence team led by Chris Uche (SAN). Defying the pleas by both the prosecution and the defence to shift ground to either March 18 or 11 which they had agreed on, the tribunal chairman kept shaking his head and contorting his lips in disagreement and in a manner that continually threw everyone in the court into intermittent laughter. With his face squeezed in an amusing manner, Umar turned sideways to confer with the two other members of‎ the tribunal seated on his left and right sides. After a relentless plea by the

Ninety One Million Nigerians Now Living in Extreme Poverty

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Over 91 million Nigerians are now living in extreme poverty, according to the report of World Poverty Clock, a Vienna, Austria-based data lab. The report said at least three million Nigerians have slipped into extreme poverty between November 2018 and February 2019.  According to the report, 91.16 million Nigerians were living below a dollar a day as of February 13, 2019. Nigerian Recall that in June 2018, the Brookings Institution projected that Nigeria had overtaken India as the poverty capital of the world, with 86.9 million extremely poor people. This was further confirmed by British Prime Minister, Theresa May, who said Nigeria had become home to the largest number of very poor people in the world, putting the figures at 87 million. “Much of Nigeria is thriving, with many individuals enjoying the fruits of a resurgent economy, yet 87 million Nigerians live below $1 and 90 cents a day, making it home to more very poor people than any other nation in the world,” Prime Minister

Breaking: Onnoghen Arrives CCT For Trial

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Suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has arrived the Code of Conduct Tribunal where charges of false assets declaration are pending against him. He arrived in a convoy of five vehicles around 9:40am on Friday. But he has yet to step out of his vehicle with tinted glass and shielded number plate as of the time of filing this report. The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar had on Wednesday ordered his arrest following his consistent absence from court to answer to the charges preferred against him. The order of arrest was, however, not effected as he was said to have reached an agreement with the security agencies to voluntarily submit himself for Friday’s proceedings. The three-man tribunal will begin sitting at 10am. Punch

Ekweremadu to INEC, Security Agencies: You’ll Take the Blame and Praise

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has reminded the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the security agencies that they would bear both the blame and praise in the conduct of the 2019 general elections, admonishing them to exhibit the highest sense of patriotism and professionalism. Ekweremadu gave the admonition while speaking with journalists at the Enugu West Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mega Rally, which held at Agwu, Enugu State. He said: “I believe that the INEC will be able to conduct a free and fair elections if they follow the rules. They have said that several times. But they also have to understand that, as the President would say, the world is also watching us. At the end of the day, it is the INEC that will be on trial. It is their chairman that will be on trial. If anything goes wrong, he will be held responsible. If it goes well, he will take all the credit. “We have come a long way as a country. We have tried to freshen up

The Old Men Vying to Lead Africa's Youngest Population

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President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria's main opposition party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar are the frontrunners in the country's elections on February 16. On first look, not much separates the two front-runners contesting Nigeria's presidential election. Both are men in their 70s with previous experience of high-level politics. Both are from the same ethnic group. And both are Muslims from the north of the country. Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress party, known as the APC, and Atiku Abubakar, of the People's Democratic Party, or PDP, will face the Nigerian electorate on February 16 when Africa's largest democracy votes. Although they share demographic similarities, ideologically, the two men are opposed. Buhari, who took power in a military coup in 1983 and was ousted in another coup before waiting almost three decades to be eventually elected president, relies more on the government and public sector and is

Breaking: CCT Orders Police, DSS to Arrest Onnoghen

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal has ordered both the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of Police to arrest of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen. Delivering a ruling of the three-man tribunal, the Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar, ordered the security agencies to produce Onnoghen at the tribunal on Friday. He dismissed the objection raised to the application for the issuance of the arrest warrant and ordered that “I want to see the defendant in the dock on Friday”. ‎The CCT had made the order following an application by the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN), who said the consistent absence of the CJN from the CCT was a violation of provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. Umar, who anchored his application for Onnoghen’s arrest on section 6(1) of the Practice Direction of the CCT, also opposed the call on the three-man tribunal by the lead defence counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), to hear all pending

LMC Orders Special Standing Ovation Tribute for Ogunjobi

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Further to the honour of 60 seconds silence before kickoff and wearing of black armband by players on Wednesday’s Matchday 9 fixtures of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), matches will be briefly paused within 65 minutes to mark the 65th year of late former secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi and to give him a special tribute. Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko announced the decision which he said expresses the high esteem the league and indeed the football family has for the late former player and Administrator. “We want to demonstrate in a special way the contributions of the late Ogunjobi to the league as a player and an administrator. So, our Referees have been directed that in addition to observing a minute silence before kickoff, action at all NPFL Match Day 9 fixtures will be paused within the 65th minute so players and fans can give him a standing ovation as a mark of respect and as special honor

Three Persons Shot Dead as Police, IPOB Clash in Imo

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Three persons were reportedly shot dead on Monday when policemen and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra clashed in Owerri, the Imo State capital. A police source was quoted by Punch newspaper as saying that the IPOB members stormed the Okigwe Road and started destroying billboards of candidates of political parties. A police detachment was deployed to rescue the situation, but the IPOB members allegedly attacked the operatives. The source said, “The IPOB members stormed the street and started destroying billboards of candidates of political parties. Policemen quickly rushed to the scene, but on sighting the policemen, the IPOB members attacked them. “In the ensuing battle, three members of the IPOB lost their lives, while two were rushed to the hospital. Four policemen were also shot and taken to the hospital.” Southern City News gathered that one AK-47 riffle belonging to one of the policemen was allegedly snatched by members of the separatist group. Another pol

Court Stops FG From Freezing Onnoghen’s Accounts

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Former CJN, Walter Onnoghen A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has stopped the federal government from freezing the accounts of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen. The order came as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday reiterated its call on the federal government to withdraw the charges of non-declaration of assets filed against Onnoghen as the embattled CJN is due to appear before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) today. Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal in Abuja yesterday failed to hear the three appeals filed by the embattled CJN. The presiding judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, ruled that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) cannot freeze bank accounts of Justice Onnoghen without first obtaining a court order authorising the freezing. The judge gave the order while ruling on an ex parte application filed by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEAP) against the President of the Federal Republic of

14 Die, Eight Injured at APC Rally in Rivers

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Fourteen persons on Tuesday lost their lives at the end of the presidential campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress at the Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The persons died in a stampede around the gate of the stadium as the crowd attempted to leave the venue of the campaign. Eight other persons were critically injured as they were marched on as people rushed to go home after listening to President Muhammadu Buhari, who was the last speaker at the APC event. Those who were seen lying lifelessly on the ground include three middle-aged women and a man. The incident happened around 4pm after the President and his entourage had left the stadium. A private vehicle owner, who tried to rush one of the victims, a middle aged woman, to a medical facility to save her life, returned her corpse and dumped it on the road after noticing that she had died. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident, adding that four persons

Why We Endorsed Atiku - Clark

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Leader of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, on Saturday said the regional leaders adopted the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, because he agreed to restructure the country. The Ijaw leader said the nation could not survive without restructuring and fiscal federalism. Briefing newsmen in Abuja, the former National Commissioner said the South-South would only vote for the candidate that would restructure the country to ensure equity and justice. He said restructuring had nothing to do with the disintegration of the country, “but the creation of a new Nigeria where every citizen is equal; a Nigeria where all the federating states or regions are able to develop at their own pace under the practice of fiscal federalism.”  He added , “We have now seen that our salvation is in restructuring. If we do not restructure this country, this country will not survive. “Our message-if you want to restructure Nigeria, you are our man and if you do not

Egypt's Ismaily Reinistated to Champions League After Successful Appeal

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Egyptian club Ismaily SC have been reinstated to this year's African Champions League after a successful appeal against their expulsion. Last month, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) disqualified Ismaily after crowd trouble brought an early end to the Egyptian club's home game with Tunisia's Club Africain. The match was called off in stoppage time after parts of the crowd threw water bottles and stones at an assistant referee and Africain players. Club Africain were leading 2-1 and both teams and officials had to be protected as they left the pitch. On Sunday, Ismaily's lawyer Nasser Azam confirmed that the club's appeal had been accepted by African football's ruling body. "Today we - the Ismaily delegation - were in a hearing and Caf accepted the club's appeal so we are now back in the African Champions League." Caf confirmed their decision to reinstate Ismaily, saying the appeal was successful because there was no pitch invasion an

Grammy 2019: Cardi B, Childish Gambino Make History

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American music artists Cardi B and Danny Glover aka Childish Gambino snagged historical wins at the 61st Grammy awards on Sunday night. The event was hosted by 15-time Grammy Award winner, Alicia Keys who had a blast hosting the highly acclaimed award show. Cardi B became the first solo woman ever to win the Best Rap Album Award while Childish Gambino was the first rapper to snag Record of the Year at the Grammys. Also speaking of history making, Quincy Jones’ win for Best Music Film was his 28th Grammy, giving him the record for the most of these awards collected by any living artist. Lady Gaga earned three Grammy Awards, winning best pop solo performance for “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?),” best song written for visual media for ” Shallow “. She also won best pop duo/group performance for the same A Star Is Born song (shared with Bradley Cooper). Earlier on Sunday, Ariana Grande claimed a Grammy win in the pop vocal category and Greta Van Fleet nabbed a win in the best