Cagliari escape sanctions over Lukaku abuse

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku: first Belgian to score 100 goals in English Premier League

(Reuters/NAN) Serie A club Cagliari again escaped sanctions over alleged racist behaviour by their fans.

This was after the league’s disciplinary tribunal decided on Tuesday not to take action over monkey noises aimed at Inter Milan’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku.

The tribunal said in a statement on Tuesday that “in terms of dimension and real perception”, the chants could not be considered discriminatory under the league’s disciplinary code.

“The tribunal has decided not to apply sanctions to Cagliari,” it said, referring to the incidents in the match on Sept 1.

Cagliari were, however, fined 5,000 euros ($5,530) after their fans threw plastic bottles onto the field in a 3-1 win at Parma on Sunday.

Against Inter, monkey noises could be heard from the Cagliari supporters as Lukaku stepped up to take a penalty which he converted to give his side a 2-1 win.

Lukaku said at the time that he had been a victim of racism and Cagliari called the fans’ behaviour shameful.

The tribunal said in a statement that public security officials had informed it of “chants, animal noises and jeering” towards Lukaku.

It added, however, that “these were not interpreted by the stewards nor federation delegates as discriminatory.”

The tribunal used similar arguments last season when it declined to sanction Cagliari after alleged racist insults were aimed at Moise Kean, who was playing for Juventus at the time.

In 2017, Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari, playing for Pescara at the time, walked off the pitch, also complaining of racist abuse at Cagliari’s ground.

Serie A took no action against Cagliari, saying only around 10 fans were involved.

The tribunal made no mention of the alleged racist insults which media reports said were aimed at AC Milan’s Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie during a 1-0 win at Verona on Sunday.

Verona said that their fans jeered the referee but denied racism.

Italian football has been blighted by racism over the last decade. In one incident in 2013, AC Milan walked off the pitch during a friendly against a lower division side in protest at racist chanting.

In 2014, Carlo Tavecchio was elected head of the Italian Football federation (FIGC) weeks after making a comment about a fictitious African player he named Opti Poba “eating bananas”.

The FIGC cleared him of wrongdoing but he was barred from holding any position with world soccer’s governing body FIFA for six months.

Source link

Iran’s Supreme Leader rejects talk with U.S.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Tuesday, said that Iranian officials had unanimously ruled out talks with the U.S.A at any level.

Khamenei was quoted by his official website as saying that“Through negotiations, the Americans are seeking to impose their demands on Iran and prove the effectiveness of maximum pressure campaign.’’

He said Washington’s maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian nation had failed to achieve its goals.

According to him, talks with the U.S. will only be possible within the framework of P5+1 group consisting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

Khamenei said Washington should return to the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal that it abandoned in 2018, if the U.S. wants any talk.

“Otherwise, no talks at any level will be held between Iranian and American officials, neither in New York nor in other places.’’

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday also ruled out the likelihood of any meeting between the Iranian and U.S. presidents in the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 under the pretext that the deal was not comprehensive.

Subsequently, the U.S. administration launched a “maximum pressure campaign’’ and reinstated sanctions on Iran’s economy, mainly on Iran’s oil exports. (Xinhua/NAN)

Source link

Abuja-Kaduna rail travelers safe – NRC assures

Abuja-Kaduna rail service
Abuja-Kaduna rail service

By Lucy Ogalue

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), says it has intensified efforts to ensure the safety of trains and passengers that travel via the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service(AKTS).

Mr Paschal Nnorli, Manager, AKTS, NRC, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the 1955 Railway Act that established the NRC created a command  for the protection of lives and property.

“The command is usually headed by a Commissioner of Police with six or seven area commanders. On this corridor which cuts across FCT, Niger and Kaduna, there are three police divisions in Idu, Kubwa and Rigasa.

“Aside that, any train you see on this corridor is having at least 15 armed policemen and you know this trains stop at the stations.

“There are some plain clothed policemen deployed recently by the Inspector-General of Police, including Police Mobile Force units. We also have DSS personnel attached to us for intelligence gathering.

“Again, we are in synergy with the military who sometimes use helicopters to escort our trains when they have information of security threat.

“At Rigasa in Kaduna town, we have the army on ground very near to our station, so it will be extremely difficult for anyone to attack the train,” he said.

The manager debunked claims by an online media that a train was attacked along the Abuja-Kaduna route last week.

According to him, no such attack took place.

“We wish to use this medium to inform our passengers that adequate security arrangements are in place on all our trains.

“We thank the security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police and the Military, for their support toward securing our train service.

“Our passengers are appreciated for their trust and continuous patronage; we want to assure them that safety and security remains our priority,” Nnorli said. (NAN)

Source link

2019 UCL Champions Liverpool falls to Napoli

Some exhausted Liverpool players as they fall to Napoli
Some exhausted Liverpool players as they fall to Napoli

Liverpool began their Champions League title defence with a 2-0 defeat away to Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on Tuesday.

Dries Mertens scored from the penalty spot with eight minutes remaining after Andy Robertson tripped Jose Callejon inside the box.

Napoli substitute Fernando Llorente added a second in stoppage time to put the result beyond doubt.

In the other Group E game, Salzburg made an impressive start with a 6-2 victory at home to Genk. (Reuters/NAN)

Source link

Group lauds removal of VAT on cooking gas

 

Group lauds removal of VAT on cooking gas

By Solomon Asowata

The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM), says the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on cooking gas by the Federal Government will deepen market penetration, boost the country’s economy and protect the environment.

Mr Nosa Ogieva-Okunbor, President , NALPGAM, stated this during the association’s Governing Council Meeting held in Lagos on Tuesday.

He noted that the removal of VAT on the gas supply to marketers by Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) would attract more investors and reduce importation of gas into the country.

“This removal of VAT on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), popularly known as cooking gas, has crashed the price of cooking gas by about 30 per cent in the market.

“Currently, a 12.5kg bottle of gas which was N4,300 now sells for between N2,500 and N2,700 and has also deepened household usage of gas,’’ he said.

Ogieva-Okunbor said the association would take effective steps to deepen the use of LPG and increase local consumption from the current 700,000 metric tonnes to 1,000,000 metric tonnes annually.

He said that the target can increase to about five million metric tonnes by 2025 if stakehokders in the sector adhere to standards.

“If achieved, Nigeria will join the league of nations with high level of LPG consumption,” he said.

The President also stressed the need for the reduction of import duty on LPG equipment so as to encourage more investors to come in and deepen LPG consumption in the country.

He, however, expressed concern over growing indiscriminate establishment of gas plants in filling stations, which he said pose a great danger to the citizenry and the economy.

Ogieva-Okunbor said that the association is not against establishments of such plants but insisted that they must operate with the same Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) applicable to standard gas plants as laid down by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

He noted that the right procedure for petrol filling stations to dispense cooking gas was for them to retail already filled gas cylinders.

Ogieva-Okunbor added that the DPR had given a directive for the removal of gas plants in filling stations by December 2020.(NAN)

Source link

UNGA: Nigeria to seek global support to combat terrorism

Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama
Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama

By Lizzy Okoji

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has said that the Nigerian Government would use the Forum of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to seek global support fighting terrorism and increasing Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).

Onyeama made this known on Tuesday in Abuja during a Pre-UNGA briefing with newsmen stating the expectations of the Nigerian government during the high level summit from Sept. 17 to Sept. 30.

According to Onyeama, Nigeria would take advantage of its position as President of the 74th UN General Assembly to project the country and articulate priorities of the country, what t seeks to achieve and areas for global support.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari will be lead the Nigerian delegation which would include Members of his cabinet and some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure Nigeria have the best technical resources.

Onyeama listed other priority issues of the country to be discussed at the summit to include: issues of Peace and Security, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG ) which covers socio-economic, education, humanitarian issues regarding child’s right.

Other issues are: poverty eradication,  illicit financial flows, recovery of stolen assets,

“More strategically as a country, it is an opportunity to project our country as an important member of the international community.

“And having the Presidency of the General Assembly is something that also gives us that higher visibility and great influence.

“We would also want to use that to push agenda of importance to us as a country, our fight against corruption, repatriation of foreign loots, engaging with other countries.

“In our quest to successfully deliver on SDG objectives that cover our social economic challenges, terrorism, and countering violent extremism.

“Is also something we would want to maintain at the highest levels of global priorities because  it is our major challenges.

“Mr President has just come back from a summit of ECOWAS Heads of States on Peace and Security in the West Africa Sub-region so this is still a challenge that we are facing.

“And it is important to use that opportunity to keep the global community engaged and supportive of what we are doing, our fight.

“And also taking the opportunity to a greater United Nations for support in that fight against terrorism but also in the global conflicts taking  place in Africa,” Onyeama said.

Onyeama said tha Nigeria has been very present in Peace Keeping interventions  across the continent under the framework of the African Union.

He added that with such large troops from Nigeria it was important to have financial and other support from the UN peace keeping  division.

The Minister said that President Buhari would also be having bilateral meetings with some Heads of States and engaging with different personalities  like Bill Gates to discuss attracting FDI.

Onyeama explained that the Foreign revenue streams of the Country expected hence,  the  need to diversify  to attract more Foreign Direct Investment into our country.

He said that Nigeria would also be soliciting support of the UN to recharge the Lake Chad which has shrunk by 90 per cent and has affected the source of livelihood of people living across the region.

Onyeama added that  Nigeria  will use the opportunity to canvass support for a number of Nigerians and the country itself vying for certain international position,  engage with countries to try to get their support so that the nation can deliver on the positions.

“For instance, Nigeria is keen to be elected into a category of the International Maritime Organisation.

“We didn’t make it the last time round, so we are persisting this time and with the challenges that we have, maritime challenges, we feel that it is important that we be on the governing bodies for regulating maritime issues.

“We are also vying for a position on the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, we are vying for a seat under part two on the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council.

“We have a candidate that we are pushing to be on the Committee Against Torture, we also have a candidate that we are pushing for election to the United Nations Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

“So, we will be taking advantage of our presence there during the General Assembly to also lobby for these positions,” Onyeama said. (NAN)

Source link

Buhari dissolves Obono-Obla’s SPIP – News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

 

Mr Okoi Obono-Obla
Mr Okoi Obono-Obla

President Muhammadu Buhari has formally dissolved the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) as currently constituted with Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla as Chairman.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been directed to immediately take over all outstanding investigations and other activities of the SPIP.

The President also said he is awaiting the final Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) report on Obono-Obla.

The panel was established in August 2017 by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while acting as president, to investigate specifically mandated cases of corruption, abuse of office and similar offences by public officers.

President Buhari thanked all members of the dissolved panel for their services, said the President’s media adviser, Femi Adesina.

Buhari in August suspended Okoi Obono-Obla, from office.

The suspension letter, signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who also directed him to answer questions from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission.

According to Mustapha, Obono-Obla was to hand over to Dayo Apata, the Solicitor-General of the Federation, who was holding forte in the Justice Ministry at the time.

Among other things, he is being investigated over allegations of certificate forgery and other corruption-related charges. He was also accused of acting outside the mandate setting up the panel.

Source:

Source link

Kenya to host inaugural Africa Food Show in 2020

Kenya to host inaugural Africa Food Show in 2020
Kenya to host inaugural Africa Food Show in 2020

Kenya will in 2020 host the inaugural Africa Food Show that will bring together policymakers, industry executives, farmers and consumers to learn about emerging trends in trade on agricultural commodities, organisers said on Tuesday.

David Wang, the Chairman of MIE Groups, the event organiser, said this in Nairobi.

The premier event, which will take place in Nairobi from June 24 to 26 in 2020, will help showcase food products, processing and packaging technologies to investors as well as consumers.

“Africa Food Show will provide a platform for the next generation of entrepreneurs to gain a better understanding of the market for agricultural commodities in the continent,’’ Wang said.

Wang said that Kenya’s strategic position as a logistics hub informed the decision to host the inaugural continental food summit that is expected to unlock opportunities for local farmers, processors and distributors.

“Kenya has modern infrastructure, policy support, growing foreign direct investments that are an incentive for hosting African Food Show and highlight untapped opportunities to global agricultural commodity traders.’’

The inaugural Africa Food Show, which will be held concurrently with China Trade Week, is expected to position Kenya as an attractive investment destination for agro-processing.

Lucy Njenga, Director of Policy Research and Regulation in the Ministry of Agriculture, said the event would boost the government’s food and nutritional security agenda.

“We are open to hosting an event that will provide an opportunity for farmers and investors to exchange knowledge on technologies and innovations that are key to promote food security and incomes through value addition,’’ said Njenga.

She said that Kenya would leverage the Africa Food Show to attract additional investors in value chains such as storage, processing and distribution in order to lift the fortunes of smallholder farmers.

Fadi Kaddoura, Vice President in charge of Sales and Marketing at MIE Groups, said the event would feature exhibitions alongside the business-to-business meetings.

The meeting is expected to raise the visibility of the continent’s major agricultural commodities.

The commodities will including cereals, fresh produce, spices and nuts. (Xinhua/NAN)

Source link

Xenophobia: S/Africa finally allows Air Peace to evacuate 2nd batch of Nigerians

Air Peace flights
Air Peace flights

By Fortune Abang

South African authorities have granted landing permit to Air Peace Flight B777 to enable it to evacuate some 320 Nigerians escaping from xenophobia in that country, a Nigerian consular officer has confirmed.

Nigeria’s Consul- General in Johannesburg, Mr Godwin Adama, made the confirmation in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday.

Adama spoke against the background of a complaint by the Managing Director of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema.

Onyema had said  that the refusal of South Africa to grant the permit made it impossible for the flight to leave Lagos at 1 a.m. for Johannesburg to convey the second batch of returnees.

But Adama said the permit had been granted the airline and that the flight would be late in the night of Tuesday.

Adama said, “They want Nigerians to arrive during the week, they are taking-off from here midnight.

“I do not know the exact time but they will be leaving (South Africa) midnight.

“I do not know why they were denied the landing permit. I think it is an airline operational issue. They did not get it yesterday but they told me that it came late yesterday (Monday).

“It was weekend and they were going to get it this morning; the airline did not tell me it was deliberate, but they explained to me that they have gotten it.

“Our manifest arrived last night towards the close of work and they were to take-off 1a.m. Nigerian time yesterday (Monday) but they did not because it was late.

“I have gotten it now so they will be able to make me know the time of their arrival here so that we can know when to take-off.”

Adama said buses provided to convey Nigerians wanting to return home were still at the mission premises and everyone was there.

“We are still really working on the number (320) to see how we can fill up the airline capacity with anyone that is readily available.

“We have more than enough, we are even trying to ensure that the aircraft is filled up that is why we are readily taking people who are on ground now.

“We have more than enough to fill the aircraft, the delay has also helped us because as we call names to board we see some people cleared at the last minute.

“The truth is they are people who have not been cleared, those who are ready to go are all here and we are trying to queue them up.

“We may not even be able to take all of them who are hopeful,” he added.

Adama said that the next batch of evacuation would be based on the Federal Government’s directives.

Source link

ICPC seals NECAS headquarters, warehouse

ICPC Headquarters
ICPC Headquarters

By Muhammad Adam

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offence Commission (ICPC) has sealed up the national headquarters of North East Commodity Association (NECAS) in Yola over allegations of fraudulent activities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the office was sealed on Monday night, while the National President of the association, Alhaji Sadiq Daware, is at large.

According to a competent source in ICPC office in Adamawa, the commission also sealed a warehouse holding 100  tractors believed to belong to NECAS.

“The commission in one of its operation arrested one Mr. Stephen Maduwa , the Adamawa State Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria .

“After the arrest of .Maduwa, three warehouses that are linked to him were searched at Bachure and Bekaji in Yola.

“After the search, the warehouses were found to be containing 164,000 bags of maize, 412, 401 bags of sorghum,  698 bags of rice and  508 bags of fertilizer,” the source said

The source said the commodities were estimated to be worth N2.10 billion.

The ICPC Commissioner in the state, Mr Idris Bakori, however, refused to comment on the .matter, insisting that the issue was still under investigation.

The Federal Government assisted NECAS to acquire 600 tractors and farm inputs for distribution to farmers in the Northeast region.

However, communities and farmers complained of the diversion of the items and called for the government’s intervention.

Source link