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.

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Alleged N400m theft: Army court martial former GOC

Alleged N400m theft: Army court martial former GOC
Alleged N400m theft: Army court martial former GOC

By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Nigerian Army has commenced the trial of the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division, Sokoto, Maj.-Gen. Hakeem Otiki, over alleged stolen N400 million by some soldiers under his command.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, while inaugurating the General Court Martial on Tuesday in Abuja, said the trial was in line with the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation 2004.

The General Court Martial is to be presided over by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, as the president of the court.

Members of the court are Maj.-Gen. A.A Tarfa from the Headquarters Training and Doctrine Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. F.O Agugo from Department of Army Transformation and Innovation and Maj.-Gen. J.S Malu from the Headquarters Nigerian Army Engineers.

Others are Maj.-Gen. M.A. Muhammed from the Headquarters Nigerian Army Signal, Maj.-Gen. C.T Olukuju from Land Forces Stimulation Centre while Maj.-Gen. C.C Okonkwo will serve as a waiting member.

Buratai also appointed Maj. A. Muhammed from the Headquarters Directorate of Army Legal Services as the Judge Advocate of the court.

The prosecuting officers are Maj. J.A Orumo, Maj. J,A Obot, from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Maj. I.A Suleman from Guards Brigade.

According to the convening order issued by Buratai, the General Court Martial as composed is to assemble at Army Headquarters Command Mess Abuja for the purpose of trying the accuse person.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the army authorities had in July begun the interrogation of the former GOC over the missing N400 million.

Five soldiers had been confirmed to have carted away a consignment containing the money, while on an escort duty from Sokoto to Kaduna states in July. (NAN)

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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)

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Tribunal verdict: Makinde says it’s triumph of truth over falsehood 

Seyi Makinde Oyo state Governor
Seyi Makinde Oyo state Governor

By David Adeoye

Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, has described his victory at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal as the triumph of truth over falsehood.

The governor stated this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, on Monday, in Ibadan.

Makinde was reacting to the tribunal judgment that gave him victory in a petition instituted against him by Mr Adebayo Adelabu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 9 governorship election.

He said that he did not expect anything less from the Tribunal ”because truth is always constant.”

The governor expressed appreciation to the people of the state for standing by him before, during and after the election.

He called on the major opposition party in the state, the APC, to join hands with him to work for the good of the state.

He said: “We want to thank the people of Oyo state who have stood behind us before, during and after the election.

“We have remained focused on the task the people of the state committed into our hands and we are pushing on with our agenda for Oyo state.

“What I will say to the APC members is that they should let us forget politics for now; let us all work together for the good of the people of Oyo state.

” Let them key into our agenda to bring prosperity to the state; let us, together, tackle poverty and ensure that our good intentions for the people of the state are realised,” the statement read.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tribunal, sitting in Ibadan, had, on Monday, upheld the election of Makinde as the governor of Oyo state.

Adelabu and his party APC had challenged the declaration of Makinde as the winner of the election by INEC, having polled a total of 515,621 votes as against Adelabu’s 357,982 votes.

The three-man panel of the tribunal, chaired by Justice Muhammed Sirajo, unanimously dismissed the petition, saying that Adelabu failed to prove the allegations of over-voting, improper accreditation, inaccurate ballot counting and non-compliance with Electoral Act.

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Alleged N6.9bn fraud: Trial of Fayose to resume Oct. 21

Alleged N6.9bn fraud: Trial of Fayose to resume Oct. 21
Alleged N6.9bn fraud: Trial of Fayose to resume Oct. 21

By Sandra Umeh

The trial of former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, will now resume on Oct. 21 before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Ccommission (EFCC) over N6.9billion fraud and money laundering charges.

He was first arraigned on Oct. 22. 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun, alongside a company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail on Oct. 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.

The defendant was subsequently re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on July 2.

He had also pleaded not guilty to the charges and was allowed to continue on the earlier bail granted.

After his re-arraignment, Justice Aneke had granted leave for the defendant to travel aborad for medicals.

The court had however, ordered that his International passport be returned to the court, on or before Sept. 16.

Aneke had then adjourned the case until Sept. 16, 17, 18, and 19 and also to Oct. 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 for continuation of trial.

Meanwhile, the case will now come up on Oct. 21, as Judges are away for the annual judges conference, which takes place after the annual long vacation of the court.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that during the pendency of the charge before Justice Olatoregun, EFCC had opened trial on Nov. 19, 2018, and had so far called 13 witnesses out of the15 listed.

However, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon.Justice Adamu Abdu-kafarati had transferred the case from Olatoregun, to Aneke, following a petition by the EFCC.

During trial before Olatoregun. the prosecution had called witnesses, from several commercial banks, as well as a former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro.

According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution.

He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Besides, the defendant was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

He was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.

The offences contravenes the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011. (NAN)

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Khafi evicted from BBNaija, joins Gedoni

Khafi evicted from BBNaija, joins Gedoni
Khafi evicted from BBNaija, joins Gedoni

By Anita Eboigbe

Khafi Kareem has been evicted from the ongoing Big Brother Naija season four.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UK Metro police officer was evicted during the live show on Sunday.

Khafi, who was put up in a strong competition with Tacha, Mike and Seyi, got on stage in her usual, bubbly demeanor.

When the nomination reel was played for her, she told host Ebuka Obi-Uchendu that she was surprised Ike nominated her seeing as they both bonded in the house.

NAN reports that Ike, on Thursday had revealed that he planted a condom by Khafi and her love interest, Gedoni to imply that they had sex.

While both Khafi and Gedoni had denied that they had sex, they also insisted that their romantic feelings for each other were real.

In the post eviction interview, Khafi said that she bonded with Gedoni in the first week because they were both up for eviction.

She told Ebuka that she believes he loves her as much she loves him, adding that she was a forlorn lover when he was evicted.

She announced that she would be moving to Lagos from London and plans to go into acting and presenting.

During her stint in the house, Khafi was Head of House, won one million Naira and part of Team Lagos and a car.

NAN reports that Ebuka announced that there will be no eviction next week, although the veto power of chance task will still hold. (NAN)

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RTEAN dissolves Lagos branch executive

 

RTEAN logo
RTEAN logo

By Ikenna Uwadileke

The Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) on Sunday dissolved its Lagos Executive council following the expiration of the branch’s tenure.

A statement issued by Mr Osakpanwan Eriyo, Executive National President of RTEAN, also announced the inauguration of a caretaker committee to manage the affairs of the branch pending the emergence of new executive members.

“Based on the powers vested on me as the Executive National President of RTEAN, I hereby dissolve the Lagos Executive branch of RTEAN, their tenure in office having expired.

“It will be recalled that the outgoing executive of Lagos branch of RTEAN was inaugurated in 2014 and in line with the constitution of the association, the tenure of the outgoing executive  elapsed on OSept. 13, 2019.

“The association’s constitution provides that an executive member of RTEAN shall hold his office for a period of five years.

“Upon the expiration of their tenure in office, the present Lagos Executive Council of RTEAN stands dissolved in accordance with article 9(e) and (i) of the RTEAN constitution.

“Consequently, I hereby inaugurate the caretaker committee to hold office and manage same from now to the time a new executive of Lagos branch of RTEAN emerges.

“They are Alhaji Suleiman Onbanjo, Chairman Caretaker Committee, Mr Seriki Ayobanji, Deputy Chairman, Caretaker Committee and Akhigbe Augustine, Secretary of the committee.

Others are Alhaji Segun Jolaosho, Treasurer, Mr Adam Abere, Publicity Relation officer and 18 others as members.

Eriyo, however, commended the outgoing executive members for keeping with tenets of the association while in office. (NAN)

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Former Women Affairs Minister, Alhassan “Mama Taraba” returns to PDP

Aisha Alhassan, a.k.a Mama Taraba, with the membership card of UDP
Aisha Alhassan, a.k.a Mama Taraba, with the membership card of UDP

By Saidu Adamu

Former women affairs minister Aisha Alhassan popularly known as “mama Taraba” who suffered massive defeat in the 2019 Governorship election in Taraba, says she has completed arrangements to return to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Alhassan was the gubernatorial flag bearer of United Democratic Party (UDP) in the 2019 elections in which she scored only 14, 651 votes.

She joined the UDP on the eve of the polls after she failed  to secure the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket, a party she contested under in 2015 and was able to secure 275,966 votes to come second in the governorship polls.

Alhassan was subsequently made the minister of women affairs and social development by President Muhammadu Buhari, but had to resign amidst doubts over her political loyalty.

Alhassan told Journalists on Sunday after a UDP stakeholders meeting in Jalingo that majority of her supporters in the 168 wards of Taraba had encouraged her to shift base to the PDP.

She said that the stakeholders meeting, which lasted till midnight on Saturday, drew participation from all those who contested for various political offices under the platform of the UDP, executive members of the party from the ward to state levels and other respected elders.

Alhassan added that more than 80 per cent of respondents in an opinion poll conducted by a committee headed Alhaji Abdulmumini Vaki, a former PDP chairman in the state, which covered the 16 LGAs, suggested that she should move to PDP.

The former minister said, based on the outcome of the opinion poll, she had no option than to go  by the decision of majority members of the UDP.

According to the former minister,  “I cannot go against the decision of the popular opinions of my supporters”,  adding that she was glad that the committee did not suggest the APC as an option.

A communiqué issued at the end of the stakeholders meeting, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jalingo on Saturday night, recommended that two committees be set up immediately to fast track the defection process.

According the communiqué which was signed by the state UDP Chairman, Alhaji Hassan Chul, the first committee is to visit the national leadership of the UDP in Abuja to express the appreciation of supporters of the former minister for providing her the platform to run for the 2019 governorship election.

The communique added that the second committee is to arrange a meeting with PDP leadership in Taraba to work out modalities for the former minister’s official return to the PDP.

NAN reports that Alhassan contested and won the election for the senatorial seat of Taraba North in 2011 under the PDP before defecting to APC in 2015. (NAN)

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We didn’t attack S/Arabia, U.S’. claim false – Iran

Saudi oil facilities on Fire as Iran denies U.S.' claim it was behind the attack
Saudi oil facilities on Fire as Iran denies U.S.’ claim it was behind the attack

Iran on Sunday denied accusations by U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, that it was responsible for a drone attack on major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Pompeo’s insinuations were absurd and inexplicable, and, therefore, of no effect, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, told the ISNA news agency.

The attack on Saturday, which caused fires at two facilities operated by Saudi state oil giant, Aramco in the eastern province of Buqyaq, was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, has been locked in a devastating power struggle between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed government since late 2014.

However, Pompeo disputed the Houthis’ claim of responsibility.

“Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia, while Iranian President Hassan Rowhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, pretend to engage in diplomacy,’’ Pompeo said in a tweet.

“There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.’’

Mousavi on Sunday claimed that the attack was a response by Yemeni rebels to war crimes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition.

“Because the U.S. policy of maximum pressure on Iran has failed, the Americans have now switched to maximum lies,’’ he added.

Even in times of extreme hostility, politicians’ statements should have “minimum credibility’’, he said, concluding that the accusation showed the U.S. and Iran were pursuing “very different goals”. (dpa/NAN)

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Unilag supervisor commits suicide by ingesting sniper

Sniper chemical
Sniper chemical

By Chinyere Nwachukwu

The University of Lagos has announced the death of one of its workers,  Mr Sunday Meshioye, aged 36.

In a statement issued on Friday night in Lagos, the university said the late Meshioye took his life, by ingesting a pesticide suspected to be sniper.

It noted that until his death, Meshioye was a transport supervisor attached to the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences,

“It is indeed with a heavy heart that the management of the university announces the news of the untimely death of Sunday Meshioye.

“He was received as an emergency case at the Medical Centre of the university on Tuesday Sept. 10, where it was discovered and reported that he had ingested the pesticide, ‘Sniper’.

“He was administered first aid treatment before being conveyed in an ambulance to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital,  Idi-Araba,” the university  said.

It said the deceased before his untimely death, had been scheduled for a session with the Counselling Unit of the university.

The university said this was after several reported cases of attempted suicide.

On Tuesday, the deceased appeared before a panel of enquiry set up in accordance with the extant rules of the university to investigate the cause of fire that gutted a bus in his custody, the university said.

“His painful decision to end his life came even before the panel had concluded its investigations, as it had only sat once.

“The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, on behalf of the entire university community, commiserates with the family of the deceased and prays that God grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss, ” the institution said.

The vice-chancellor had in a bid to check the rampant cases of suicide among the youth, especially students, decentralised the counselling unit of the institution.

Ogundipe had told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Lagos that taking the unit to other sections of the university aside the Students’ Affairs Department would facilitate access to counselling.

He said the unit was taken to the Faculty of Education, College of Medicine and other key sections of the university so that students who might be undergoing some form of stress could easily reach out for help by talking to someone.

“Suicide is never the best way out to life’s challenges, seek help, talk to someone about whatever it may be,” Ogundipe counselled.

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