President Buhari Appoints Executive Management For River Basin Authorities [See Details]

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reconstitution of the Executive Management of River Basin Development Authorities under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

The announcements were made in a statement by Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant on media, who added that it was with immediate effect.

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See details below:

THE ANAMBRA-IMO RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (AIRBDA):
Rev. Michael Nwabufo — Managing Director
Engr. (Dr.) Michael C. Nwachukwu–Executive Director, Engineering
Dr. Nweze B. Obasi — Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Dr. Benjamin Aneke — Executive Director, Planning and Design
Mrs. Ngozi C. Uche –Executive Director, Finance and Administration

BENIN-OWENA RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (BORBDA):
Engr. Saliu O. Ahmed — Managing Director
Engr. (Mrs.) Modupe V. Olalemi – Executive Director, Engineering
Agbetuyi O. Bamidele — Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Olumese E. Charles — Executive Director, Planning and Design,
Akinya Folorunsho Samson – Executive Director, Finance and Administration.

CHAD BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (CRBDA):
Engr. Abba Garba — Managing Director
Engr. Babagana Uroma — Executive Director, Engineering
Dr. Abdu K. Tashikalma — Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Modu Surum — Executive Director, Planning and Design
Falmata Maina Dalatu (Mrs.) — Executive Director, Finance and Administration

CROSS RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (CRBDA):
Engr. Bassey E. Nkposong — Managing Director
Engr. Esin Winston Mosembe — Executive Director, Engineering
Dr. U.A. Essien, Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Mr. I.I. Udoh, Executive Director, Planning and Design
Mrs. Okpata Egbe, Executive Director, Administration and Finance

HADEJIA-JAMA’ARE RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (HJRBDA):
Dr. Ado Khalid Abdullahi — Managing Director
Engr. Abubakar Mohammed I — Executive Director, Engineering
Ma’amun Da’u Aliyu– Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Mohammed Umar Kura — Executive Director, Planning and Design
Mohammed Awwal Wada — Executive Director, Finance and Administration

LOWER BENUE RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (LBRBDA):
Engr. Mahmoud O. Adra — Managing Director
Engr. Mathias U. Udoyi — Executive Director, Engineering
Engr. Samuel J. Ochai, E.D. Agricultural Services,
Engr. Emmanuel Yepwi, Executive Director, Planning and Design
Richard N. Ndidi — Executive Director, Finance and Administration.

LOWER NIGER RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (LNRBDA):
Dr. Adeniyi Saheed Aremu — Managing Director
Engr. Abdulkarim Mohammed Bello — Executive Director, Engineering
Engr. Tajuddeen A. Affinih – Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Olawale Victor, Executive Director, Planning and Design
Abu Atsumbe Abdullahi, Executive Director, Finance and Administration

NIGER DELTA RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (NDRBDA):
Engr. Tonye David-West — Managing Director,
Engr. Okwonu Benson — Executive Director, Engineering
Ikuromo E. Joshua — Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Dr, (Engr.) Austen A.T. Pabor — Executive Director, Planning and Design
Mr. Isaac Akpoede Otuorimo — Executive Director, Finance and Administration

OGUN-OSHUN RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (OORBDA):

Olufemi Olayemi Odumosu — Managing Director
Engr. Iyiola Rufus A. — Executive Director, Engineering
Dr. (Mrs.) Bolanle A. Olaniyan — Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Engr. Adesanya Mutiu Omoniyi — Executive Director, Planning and Design
Olayiwola A. Baruwa – Executive Director, Finance and Administration.

SOKOTO RIMA RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (SRRBDA):
Engr. Buhari Bature Mohammed — Managing Director
Engr. Jafar A. Sadeeq — Executive Director, Engineering
Engr. Sanusi Mai-Afu – Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Engr. Murtala Dalhatu — Executive Director, Planning and Design
Faruk Madugu Gwandu – Executive Director, Finance and Administration

UPPER BENUE RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (UBRBDA):
Engr. Abubakar Muazu — Managing Director
Engr. Mukhtar Umar Isa — Executive Director, Engineering
Dr. Abdulhameed Girei — Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Engr. Yusuf Daniel Ajemasu – Executive Director, Planning and Design
Mr. Haruna N. Musa – Executive Director, Finance and Administration

UPPER NIGER RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (UNRBDA):
Prof. Abdulkarim M. Ali — Managing Director
Engr. David Emmanuel – Executive Director, Engineering
Dr. Abdu Aminu Omar – Executive Director, Agricultural Services
Engr. John Bature Gimba — Executive Director, Planning and Design
Alhassan Bawa Ugbada—Executive Director, Finance and Administration

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United States Blocks Another $550m Of Abacha’s Loot

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Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay on Thursday said Nigeria risks losing another $550 million recovered from the Abacha family to the United States.

This was disclosed during a media conference on asset recovery jointly organised by PACAC and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora.

“Nigeria presently stands to lose another S550 million recovered from the Abacha family to the U.S., contrary to the earlier promise by the U.S. to return same to Nigeria,” he said.

Prof. Sagay said the amount represented a separate tranche from the $480 million earlier forfeited to the U.S. following a court judgment in August 2014. He said that the stringent conditions for repatriation being given by the countries in which some of the nation’s stolen wealth was stashed contradicted the earlier promises made. He expressed concern at the country’s challenges in the tracing, seizure, forfeiture and return of Nigeria’s assets laundered outside the country.

The challenges include stringent conditions and other uncooperative attitude of the countries in possession of the stolen funds, he said.

“Out of the Abacha loot for instance, Switzerland seized over  $505.5 million  between 2004 and 2006. The UK recovered 2.7 million dollars from Alamieyeseigha’s account in London in 2005. Alamieyeseigha’s home and other real estate as at 2005 was estimated at over 15 million dollars,” Sagay said.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, called for the unconditional return of Nigeria’s looted fund.

Dabiri-Erewa, who said asset recovery was different from asset returning, decried the uncooperative attitude of the countries where the stolen funds were being stashed.

“America has over 400 million dollars that have been officially recovered as stolen funds from Nigeria. But America is keeping the funds.  They are telling us about technicalities; they are saying we recovered doesn’t mean we can return.”

“We want every Nigerian in Diaspora, friends of Nigeria, to join this committee in demanding that every Nigeria’s stolen fund recovered in any part of the world should be returned to Nigeria,” she said.

According to her, the person who steals is just as guilty as the person who keeps stolen funds.

“The person who steals is a criminal; the person who keeps known stolen funds is also liable. You can’t give us aid of one billion dollars and keep one billion dollars of funds you have recovered from Nigeria.”

“So we will join the committee to embark on an advocacy with Nigerians outside the world to appeal to these nations to do everything possible to return what belongs to Nigeria,” she said.

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Cleverly Returns To Watford On Loan

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Tom Cleverly has returned to Watford from Everton on loan for the remainder of the season.

Watford also have the option to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis.

The former Manchester United player was with Watford when he was still a Red Devil, scoring 11 goals in 33 appearances.

Tom Cleverly joined the Toffees on free transfer before the start of last season, but has not found a starting berth under Ronald Koeman.

The arrival of Morgan Schneiderlin has also made it possipossible for the England international to leave.

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Swansea To Keep Chelsea Target, Llorente At Stadium Of Light

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Paul Clement, Swansea City’s new manager has insisted he does not want to let either Gylfi Sigurdsson or Fernando Llorente go.

The former Bayern Munich assistant manager is not keen on selling his star players, despite Chelsea and Everton interested in both players.

Clement says he cannot guarantee that the duo will stay put at the stadium of light, but thinks they’re happy at the club.

“Llorente is a very good player, experienced at the highest level and important to this team. It is just links, there has been no contact,” said Clement.

“I want to keep Gylfi here, he is similar to Llorente. We are in a situation where we want to win games and to give you a chance of doing that you need your best players.

“You need to keep your best players and they are two of the best players the team has got. You would possibly expect interest, but they are contracted, they are motivated, focused on what we need to do to move this team forward.

“I can’t say anything will or won’t happen, there is a lot of speculation and gossip, but there has been no conversation between me, the players, the club, the other clubs, it is just down to work.”

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Official: Schneiderlin Completes £24 Million Move To Everton

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Manchester United outcast, Morgan Schneiderlin has secured an exit from Old Trafford, joining Everton for £24 million.

The midfielder struggled to break into the first team under Mourinho and only player a total of 11 minutes in the Premier League, coming on as a substitute on three different occasions.

The frenchman is the second player to join Everton, after Ademola Lookman joined from Charlton Athletic. The 27-year-old signed a four-and-a-half year deal.

Mourinho said of his impending exit this week: “I’m sad and I’m happy. I’m sad because I like him and he could be an option for us in a long season. I’m happy because this is what he wants, he wants to play every game and wants to be an important player in the team.

“If this is what he wants I’m happy for a very good professional and someone that I can only say good things about.”

Schneiderlin told Everton’s official website: “Everton is a big club in the history of English football. I’ve always loved the atmosphere in the stadium.

“I’ve always liked playing here. I can’t wait to play and to represent this great club.

“There is a manager in place here that I know, I know he can get the best out of me, I know his style and how he likes to play football. He was very good with me from the start and I enjoyed playing football under him.

“When I spoke with the manager and the people in place at Everton I understood immediately that they have a very good plan for the future of the football club.

“I just want to play football. I want to put my print on this club and do everything to get Everton where it belongs.”

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Borno Prohibits Prostitution, Sale Of Alcohol

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In an attempt to eradicate the activities of criminals among other social vices, the Borno State government has announced the ban on the sale of alcohol and prostitution in the state.

The announcement was made on Thursday by the state’s Commissioner of Justice, Alhaji Kakashehu Lawan, while briefing newsmen, on Thursday, in Maiduguri.

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Mr Lawan also warned criminals to beware, as a mobile court would be set up to try violators of the new law.

He said: “The sale of alcohol is hereby banned throughout the state with effect from Jan. 20.

“All brothels and other spots where prostitution, immoral activities, sale and consumption of illicit drugs take place are hereby banned with immediate effect.”

The commissioner, however, explained that military and paramilitary formations across the state are exempted from the ban.

“Military and paramilitary formations (Mammy Markets are exempted as provided by the liquor business (prohibition) law 2000.

“Those engaged in the activities above particularly in Galadima, Gamboru, Moduganari, Wulari, Hot Bite, Baga Road, Mairi, London Ciki, Artellery and along Giwa Barracks are hereby warned to take note,” he added.

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Lawyers Ask For The Introduction Of Parole In Nigerian Criminal Justice System

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Some Abuja lawyers have called on the Federal Government to expedite effort in the introduction of parole into the Nigerian criminal justice system to ease prison congestion in the country.

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday, there was an urgent need to integrate the parole system into the country’s criminal justice system, the lawyers say.

“Parole is the early release of a prisoner, conditioned on good behaviour and regular reporting to the authorities for a set period of time or a way of letting approved prisoners serves part of their sentence in the community once the board decides they are not an unacceptable risk to the safety of the community. Prisoners on parole are usually supervised and must comply with certain conditions in order to remain in the community.”

One of the lawyers, Mr. Samuel Joshua, said that the Federal government should hasten their steps in establishing parole boards to facilitate the implementation of the system. Joshua said, “If a parole system is introduced into Nigeria, it will reduce prison congestion and help those who are unjustly punished.”

He explained that parole boards consider a number of factors when deciding whether to grant parole.

“These parole boards will be put in place to visit the prisons from time to time, monitor the inmates and makes a decision whether an offender may be released on parole,” he said.

“The board then take into due cognisance the personal characteristics of inmates such as age, mental stability, marital status and previous criminal record, the nature or severity of the offence committed.’’

Another lawyer, Mr. Victor Olusegun, said introducing parole in the country would be a great first step in reducing prison overcrowding.

Olusegun said that congestion was the biggest problem facing prison systems in Nigeria with consequences that could at worst be life-threatening and at best prevent prisons from fulfilling its proper function.

He said, “Introducing parole systems provide an incentive for prisoners to behave well in prison and to be rewarded by early release after a programme of rehabilitation. Although it is important that decisions to release prisoners, particularly those convicted of serious crimes, are not made or seen to be made simply to free up prison space.”

“Prisoners should not be granted parole simply for “good behaviour’’ exhibited during incarceration rather the severity of the offence committed and degree of remorse for the offence should be considered.’’

Another lawyer, Miss Gbemisola Isaac, said research studies on overcrowding have indicated that in crowded situations/prisons, “there is more aggression and competition for resources”.

According to her, prison overcrowding increases negative effect among prisoners, adding that it elevates their blood pressure and leads to greater number of illness and infirmity among prisoners.

“Some African countries like South Africa have introduced parole system which helps reduce prison congestion and I know, if introduced in Nigeria, it will help decongest our already overcrowded prisons.”

“Prisons are congested as people are made to spend months and years in incarceration even without being pronounced guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“The possibility of parole gives prisoners an incentive to stay out of trouble while behind bars and also to promote a better behaved and less violent prison population,’’ she said.

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“Diezani Recovered Loot”? Need For A Framework And Citizen Engagement

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‘Diezani Recovered Loot’? Need For A Framework And Citizen Engagement, By Otive Igbuzor

In May 2015, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) was sworn in as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. One of his main focus has been to fight corruption and recover monies and property that were looted by previous office holders. It has been well documented that during his reign General Sanni Abacha stole a lot of money from the treasury, as much as £5 billion. A part of this loot has been discovered and returned to Nigeria. By March 2016, Switzerland had returned $723 million to the Nigeria government. There have been serious concerns that the recovered Abacha loot was again looted by previous governments.

This piece was written by Otive Igbuzor. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

The President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) administration has been focused on recovering loot from former public officers. In June, 2016, the Federal Ministry of Information gave details of successfully recovered loot from the administration totaling cash amounts of N78,325,354,631.82, $185,119,584.61, £3,508,355.46 and €11,250 between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016.

Also released were recoveries under interim forfeiture, which were a combination of cash and asset, during the same period, amounting to: N126,563,481,095.43, $9,090,243,920.15, £2,484,447.55 and €303,399.17. In addition, there are the anticipated repatriations from foreign countries totalling: $321,316,726.1, £6,900,000 and €11,826.11. The ministry also announced that 239 non-cash recoveries were made during the one-year period. The non-cash recoveries comprise farmlands, plots of land, uncompleted buildings, completed buildings, vehicles and maritime vessels.

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Only last week, on Friday January 6, 2017, a Federal High Court in Lagos, with Justice Muslim Hassan presiding, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sum of $153,310,000 which a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, allegedly siphoned from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and stashed in three banks in the country.

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These developments call for action on the part of government and citizens. In its review of the utilisation of Abacha loot, the World Bank found a lot of anomalies and recommended that a mechanism should be put in place to demonstrate that returned funds are used to the benefit ordinary citizens.

Civil Society organisations have been consistent in demanding for “a framework to ensure that repatriated funds are spent on visible projects and programmes that would be appreciated by all Nigerians to serve as a disincentive to looting of public treasury.”

Diezani Forfeits $153m To Nigerian Govt

This is the time to act by citizens and government to make sure that recovered loot are not re-looted!

Otive Igbuzor is Director at African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD).

This piece was written by Otive Igbuzor. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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8,482 Beggars Arrested In Kano State

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At least 8,482 Beggars have been arrested for allegedly violating the law banning street begging along the major streets of the state capital in 2016, an official said on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

The beggars were arrested by the Kano State Hisbah Board, PM News reports.

Speaking on the development, Malam Musa Tsangaya, the officer in charge of the Anti-begging Unit of the board in Kano, summarised that 1,685 of the figure were children, while 6,803 were adults.

He said: “Our men arrested 8,482 street beggars around Bata, France road, Nassarawa Hospital and Yankaba areas for violating the law banning street begging in Kano metropolis.

“Out of the 8,482 beggars, 6,803 are adults (both male and female), while 1,685 are children who engaged in begging in places like traffic junctions and restaurants.”

Tsangaya further said that 3,263 of the arrested beggars hailed from Kano city, while 5,200 are from Bichi, Rano, Gezawa and Minjibir local government areas of the state.

He said the remaining 19 are from neighbouring Cameroon and Niger republics, among others.

Tsangaya said 34 of them had been charged to court, while 1,090 who were first-time offenders, were handed over to their relatives, and 25 were taken to their various states.

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Nigerians Decry As Kerosene Scarcity Hits Nsukka | Product Now N300 Per Litre

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Quite a number of residents of Nsukka in Enugu have decried the scarcity of kerosene in the town which has resulted to the product being sold for as high as N300 per litre.

It was learnt that due to the current scarcity, the product now sells for between N280 and N300 per litre at filling stations as against the official pump price of N150.

No Single Drop Of Kerosene In All Lagos Depots -NUPENG

Residents now rely on firewood and charcoal to cook.

Nigerians Lament As Kerosene Price Increases To N400/Litre

Speaking with NAN, Mrs Stella Ezema, a widow, said the situation was bad as she would manage to buy food items but getting kerosene to cook it for her children has became a problem.

She said: “I have not seen this kind of situation before where you will have food items in the house but what to cook them with becomes a problem.

“Because of the high cost of kerosene, the prices of firewood and charcoal have also doubled as the quantity of firewood we used to buy for N250 now sells for N500.

“As a result of this high cost of kerosene, I now avoid cooking food like beans that last long even though my children like eating beans.’’

Another complainant, Mrs Ijeoma Amadi, a trader, urged the Federal Government to quickly restore the pump price considering that it was what poor people use to cook and light their hurricane lamps at night.

“Everybody knows that with the economic recession in the country, things are hard but this astronomical increase in the price of kerosene has added to the suffering of the poor.

“Government should intervene quickly to ensure that owners of filling stations sell the product at the official pump price or seal stations that default to deter others.

“It will be unfair if government should fold its hands and watch kerosene marketers continue to exploit poor Nigerians,’’ she said.

A civil servant, Mr Andrew Ezeugwu, said the government should find out what was responsible for the scarcity of kerosene.

“It was during the Christmas period that the price jumped up. Before the Yuletide, the price was between N200 and N220.

“I spend about N5,000 now to buy kerosene in a week as my family members are used to hot water bath both morning and night.

“Government should swing into action and fish out those responsible for this scarcity before the poor people will start to die of hunger,’’ he said.

Lending voice on the development, a manager in one of the stations in Nsukka town, who spoke to NAN anonymously, said that selling a litre for N300 was not to exploit their customers.

He explained that it was because of the high cost of the product both in government and private depots.

He said: “The price of what we sell to customers is determined by what we buy from the depots.

“Government should ensure kerosene marketers buy at normal price from depots so that they can sell at the official pump price.’’

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Nigeria Raises Army Battalion For Gambia, Ready To ‘Forcefully’ Remove Yahya Jammeh

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Following threats by the ‘defeated’ Gambian President Yahya Jammeh not to step down after the expiration of his tenure, the Nigerian Army has raised an Army battalion that would be deployed in the troubled Gambia to forcefully wield the big stick.

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President Jammeh: The recalcitrant ruler also vowed not to hand over to the winner as expected on January 19.

President Jammeh Goes Tough On ECOWAS, Vows To Defend Gambian Sovereignty

Anytime after January 19, the Army battalion, known as the ECOMOG NIBATT 1 – from the Army’s 19th Battalion based in Okitipupa, Ondo State – would be deployed in The Gambia should President Jammeh stand by his threat not to step down.

Premium Times quoted top military officers as saying that personnel were also drawn from other formations and units across the country due to shortage of men at 19 Battalion which has a significant chunk of its troops deployed for internal security task force, Operation Delta Safe.

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It also gathered that the Army Headquarters has instructed the nominated officers and men, put at over 800, to immediately report at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji, for a crashed course on counter terrorism and counter insurgency.

A source in the Army said: “This is an emergency operation, but we are ready.”

“The Nigerian Army is a strong, professional fighting force battle ready at anytime. We are so well structured that we can deploy at the touch of a button.

“We did it in Liberian, Sierra Leone and elsewhere. And Jammeh should know that we are not a joking force. Once we get the all clear from ECOWAS, the AU and the UN to move in, we can pick him up.”

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Buhari, ECOWAS Presidents In Crucial Meeting To Decide Jammeh’s Fate

Buhari, ECOWAS Presidents In Crucial Meeting To Decide Jammeh’s Fate

President Jammeh, who lost the December 1, 2016 Gambia presidential election to opposition candidate, Adama Barrow, had initially accepted defeat and congratulated Mr. Barrow.

But later he changed his mind and decided to challenge the outcome of the election.

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The recalcitrant ruler also vowed not to hand over to the winner as expected on January 19.

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Mayweather Offered McGregor £12 Million To Make Fight Happen

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UFC fighter Conor McGregor has been offered £12 million by Floyd Mayweather to make their boxing fight happen.

The two fighters have been back and forth on trying to secure a super-fight, however, a deal is yet to be agreed on.

Mayweather, who is undefeated in the ring and has not fought since September 2015 is trying to force the Irishman into a fight.

“Conor McGregor keeps telling everybody he wants the fight,” Mayweather told ESPN’s First Take. “Let’s make it happen.

“We tried to make the McGregor fight. My number was a guaranteed $100m (£83m). We offered him $15m (£12m).

“We’re the A-side and I don’t know how much he has made but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t made $2m (£1.65m) in an MMA bout.

“We can talk about splitting the PPV (pay-per-view) but we are the A-side.

“How can a guy talk about $20m (£16.5m) or $30m (£24.7m) if he’s not made eight or nine? Is the fight going to happen? We’re working on it.”

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Khan Will Wait For Brook To Retain Belt Before Fighting

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Amir Khan believes the British showdown between him and Kell Brook should wait until after the mandatory defence of his IBF welterweight belt against Errol Spence Jr.

Eddie Hearn has been planning Brook’s year and even though it features a bout against Manny Pacquiao, he insists the fight against Khan is more important.

The WBA and IBF titles have been previously held by Khan at super-lightweight and the Brit believes the fight with Brook will be more bigger if he retains his belt against Spence Jr.

“The fight between me and him will be worth even more if there is a world title on the line,” Khan told Talksport.

“Kell knows the biggest fight and biggest pay day he will ever get is against me. I am on a different level where I can face other fighters and get the same amount of money.

“I have always said to Kell and Eddie Hearn that the fight is going to be worth more money if there is a title on the line. It will be a bigger fight not only in Britain but around the world. I want him to keep hold of that IBF title because I want to take it off him.

“He has that defence to make against Errol Spence, and we are going to let him make that defence, keep hold of the title, and then the fight can happen between me and him.

“I think it is a great fight for me. I respect Kell. I think he is a great fighter and it is about time now we both get it on. I have left it to my team. I have told my team that this is the fight I want and if it makes sense financially, let’s make it happen.”

The Bolton fighter would prefer to face Brook at the end of the year and expects to take a warm-up fight in the spring following hand surgery.

“I’m in the States now and had a meeting with Al Haymon last week,” said Khan. “He said to me with the hand operation, we want to get a good feel fight, to get back into it again.

“It has been almost a year since I last fought so I want to get back in there to get that ring rust away. I want to fight again March or April time. I should find out within the next month.”

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FIFA Rankings: Nigeria Begins 2017 At 50th Position

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria are ranked 50th in the world, according to the January 2017 FIFA Rankings released on Thursday morning.

As seen on the website of the world football governing body on Thursday, Nigeria broke into the first 50 by displacing Burkina Faso who went down by three spots.

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The Super Eagles climbed a place upward to become the seventh best African football playing nation behind Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Congo DR.

The Super Eagles gathered 619 points as against 616 it had in December 2016.

The top 34 positions remain unchanged with Argentina, Brazil and Germany still holding first, second and third place respectively.

With only 12 Grade A matches played since the final rankings in 2016, there are few big changes in the January edition of the ranking.

But in spite of the overall stability of the January table, two new teams have broken into the Top 50, Saudi Arabia (48, up 6) and Nigeria (50, up 1),

They moved up at the expense of Albania (51, down 2) and Burkina Faso (53, down 3).

With the biggest move by both points and rankings, Suriname (128, up 22) are January’s best performer.

In spite of their recent improvement, the CONCACAF team are still some distance from their best ever position (84), recorded back in 2008.

However, Gernot Rohr’s men are likely to slide in February’s ranking following their non-participation in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations billed for Gabon.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the next World Rankings will be published on February 9, 2017

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Marseille’s £20 Million Bid For Payet Rejected

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Marseille made a £20 million bid for Dimitri Payet and despite the midfielder going on strike, West Ham have rejected the bid.

Slaven Bilic confirmed Thursday that the frenchman asked to leave the club and his former club has made an offer.

The Hammers told Payet they will sell him in the summer, but he is insisting on leaving this month. The talented midfielder will not be in the matchday squad for Saturday’s clash against Crystal Palace.

Madrid and Barcelona were reportedly eyeing the midfielder after the Euro 2016, but no official offer has been made for the player West Ham values at £60 million.

Since moving to England, Payet has scored 18 goals and produced 25 assists in only 66 outings with West Ham and Bilic did not attempt to hide his disappointment at developments on Thursday.

“We have said we don’t want to sell our best players but Dimitri Payet does not want to play for us,” the manager told reporters. “We are not going to sell him.

“I spoke to the chairman and this is not a money issue. We gave him a long contract because we want him to stay.

“He is refusing to play for us. I have a team to manage. He’s probably been tapped up. Until he changes his attitude and shows the commitment the club have shown him he is out of the team.

“We had a conversation a couple of days ago but this began 10 days or so ago when the window opens.

“I feel angry. We gave him everything. I feel let down, angry, disappointed. I understand the players now are being tapped up. The team gave him everything.”

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Buhari Drops Ooni’s Brother From New Ambassadorial List (Full List)

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President Muhammadu Buhari has resubmitted a list of non-career ambassadorial nominees to the Senate on Thursday – two months after the legislature rejected his first list.

Buhari Sends Names Of 46 Nominees To Senate For Confirmation As Ambassadors

It was gathered that Adegboyega Ogunwusi, an elder brother of the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, was dropped from the list, which was read by the Senate President Bukola Saraki, during Senate plenary.

Buhari Appoints New Executive Secretary For NPHCDA

See full list of the new nominees as read by Mr. Saraki below:

Uzoma Eminike, Abia;

Aminu Lawal (Adamawa);

Godwin Umoh (Akwa Ibom);

Christopher Okeke (Anambra);

Yusuf Maitama (Bauchi);

Baba Maigudu (Bauchi);

Stanley Douye (Bayelsa);

Stephen Uba (Benue);

Baba Ahmed Gida (Borno);

Utobong Asuquo (Cross River);

Frank Ofegina (Delta);

Joda Udoh (Ebonyi);

Yagwe Ede (Edo);

Eniola Ajayi (Ekiti);

Chris Eze (Enugu);

Sulieman Hassan (Gombe);

Sylvanus Usofo (Imo);

Aminu Dalhatu (Jigawa);

Ahmed Bamilli (Kaduna);

Deborah Yahaya (Kaduna);

D. Abdulkadir (Kano);

Haruna Arungungu (Kano);

Musa Udo (Katsina),

Mohammed Rimi (Katsina);

Tijani Bande (Kebbi);

Y. Aliu (Kogi);

Nurudeen Mohammed (Kwara),

Mohammed Isa (Kwara);

Adesola Omotade (Lagos);

Modupe Remi (Lagos);

Musa Mohammed (Nasarawa);

Ahmed Ibeto; Niger;

Susan Aderonke Folarin (Ogun);

Jacob Daudu (Ondo);

Afolayon Adeyemi (Osun);

A. Olaniyi (Oyo);

James Dmika (Plateau);

Haruna Abdullahi (Plateau);

Orji Ngofa (Rivers);

Sahibi Isa Dada (Sokoto);

Kabir Umar (Sokoto);

Jika Ado (Taraba);

Goni Zana (Yobe);

Garba T. (Zamfara);

Bala Mohammad (Zamfara); and

Ibrahim Dada (FCT).

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Manchester City Charged By FA Over Anti-doping Rules

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The Football Association have charged English Premier League side  Manchester City in relation to the rules on Anti-Doping.

A short statement from the FA has revealed that the Premier League side have been charged after failing to ensure that their ‘Club Whereabouts’ information was accurate.

“Manchester City have been charged in relation to The FA’s Rules on Anti-Doping. It is alleged the club failed to ensure that their ‘Club Whereabouts’ information was accurate, contrary to Regulation 14(d),” 

According to a number of reports, the charge relates to administration errors and the club are likely to be hit with a fine, rather than a more serious punishment.

Man City have been given until January 19 to respond to the charge.

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Chelsea Want Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson As John Terry’s successor

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Chelsea Football Club have reportedly identified Middlesbrough Capptain Ben Gibson as John Terry’s successor at the club.

The 23-year-old has been an ever-present for Aitor Karanka‘s side this season

Terry is set to end his playing days with Chelsea when his contract comes to an end in the summer, and the Londoners are already on the lookout for a long-term replacement for the club legend who has recently been linked with a move to Bournemouth.

It has even been reported that Chelsea have already had one bid rejected byMiddlesbrough, who are demanding upwards of £30m for a player that has been with the club since the age of 12.

Gibson has previously had loan spells in the lower leagues with Plymouth Argyle, York City and Tranmere Rovers and has also featured for the England under-21s side

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Luis Suarez Urges Barcelona To Ignore Common Sense And Give Lionel Messi A New Contract

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Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has urged the club “to not use common sense” in their efforts to agree a new deal with  Lionel Messi.

Messi is currently locked in negotiations with Barcelona about an extension to his current contract, which is due to expire in 2018, with wages thought to be the bone of contention between both parties

Barca chief executive Oscar Grau yesterday insisted that the club needs to have a “cool head and common sense” in the negotiations and not commit to salaries beyond its expected budget.

READ THIS: Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau Talks About The Difficulties Of Offering Lionel Messi A New Contract

Responding to the comments, however, Suarez pleaded with Grau to put aside his stance and do whatever it takes to tie down the hitman for the long term.

“Messi is the best player in the world,” he told Marca. “What has to be done is that the club needs to renew his contract and to not use common sense.”

 Luis Suarez penned fresh terms last month keeping him at the side until 2022.

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Dimitri Payet Goes On ‘Strike’ At West Ham

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West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has been speaking about the future of Dimitri Payet at his press conference and this is what he’s had to say…

“We have said hundreds of times we don’t want to sell our best players. He’s definitely our best player,” Bilic added. “That’s why we gave him a long contract, and then a new contract four months later.

“I phoned him with that and he refused to play for us. I have a team to manage. He’s probably been tapped up by some clubs or whatever. That is usual at this time of year.

“But until he changes his attitude he is out of the team and he’s not going to train with us. But we are not going to sell him, not whatsoever.”

Despite the apparent stand-off, Bilic said there is still a way back for Payet.

“I expect him to come back and show commitment and determination to the team, like the team has shown to him,” he said.

“I have spoke to the club, the chairman and the vice-chairman. It’s not a money issue. We want to keep him. That’s it.”

 

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Pretty Mike Released From Police Custody

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Lagos socialite, Pretty Mike who was earlier arrested by the police has been released from custody.

The 30-year-old nightclub owner, whose real name is Mike Eze-Nwalie Nwogu was arrested on orders of the Lagos State Government for “dehumanizing young girls by turning them into human puppies with chains round their necks”. The socialite had been photographed at different social events, accompanied by masked young women with dog chains around their neck and a leash he held as he led them around.

Pretty Mike

The pictures went viral on the internet and caused outrage from many quarters with people calling on government to act fast to put a rein on such type of bizarre anti-social behavior.

He was released by the police after signing an undertaking to desist from the act.

Pretty Mike

According to reports, he tried to justify his action by claiming it was merely for entertainment and a woman empowerment strategy which was misunderstood by many.

The undertaking read in part:

“I, Mike Eze Nwalie, A.K.A Pretty Mike of 21A Magodo GRA, Luma Street, do hereby undertake to stop whatever act of putting girls on a leash or any other degrading treatment to ladies and guys.  I am aware that such act offends the law of the State of Lagos and if I repeat it again, there will be legal act towards me. I undertake to issue a letter of apology to the public effective from tomorrow on all my social media platforms.”

The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem speaking on the matter, said the State Government frowns at all acts that are anti-social and will not hesitate to act when such is displayed.

Kazeem restated the government’s determination to prosecute any individual or group of persons who violate any law of the State under any guise.

“The Lagos State Government is committed to the protection of the rights of all citizens including children, women and all the vulnerable persons in the State,” He said.

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Arsenal: Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny And Francis Coquelin Sign New Arsenal Contracts

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Arsenal’s french trio of Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin have all signed new long-term contracts with Arsenal.

Giroud, 30, has now scored in his last four outings, while midfielder Coquelin and centre-back Koscielny have been consistent performers.

Arsene Wenger said: “We are very pleased that three important members of our team have committed to us for the long term.

“Olivier has big experience in the game now and has become a more complete player since joining us.

“Laurent is, of course, a key part of our squad and I believe one of the best defenders in the world. So, overall, this is great news for us. Francis has made tremendous strides over the past few years.”

While the deals for the French trio  are a major boost for the club, the  Gunners are still trying to negotiate new contracts with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Convinced James Rodriguez To Remain At Real Madrid

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Cristiano Ronaldo persuaded his Real Madrid team-mate James Rodriguez to spurn interest from Chelsea and fight for first-team football at the Bernabeu, reports Confidencial Colombia.

James sparked intense speculation over his future last month after revealing that he had offers to leave the Spanish capital.

According to Confidencial Colombia, Chelsea prepared a tempting proposal for the playmaker and were willing to fork out a sizeable transfer fee to lure him to Stamford Bridge.

James considered moving to Chelsea but opted against doing so in the end after Ronaldo advised him to stay in Madrid.

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West Ham To Resist Any Chelsea Offer For Michail Antonio

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West Ham are reportedly determined to hang on to  on-form star Michail Antonio amid rumours Antonio Conte is a massive fan of the winger, according to the London Evening Standard.

Chelsea have so far resisted the temptation to delve into the winter transfer window- instead The Blues have brought back Nathan Ake  to the club from his Bournemouth loan.

Antonio’s PL season

19 – Games
8 – Goals
17 – Chances creates
13 – Games at RM
4 – CF
1 – RB

Conte could still make an approach for West Ham ace Michail Antonio, though, who has starred in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Hammers by scoring eight times in the Premier League.

However, West Ham are unwilling to entertain any offers for their key performer no matter how much London rivals Chelsea eventually offer.

Antonio’s versatility has caught Conte’s eye with the 26-year-old playing at right-back, centre-forward and on the right side of midfield so far this campaign.

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West Brom Plan To Swap Saido Berahino For Christian Benteke

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West Brom are reportedly lining up a £30m swap deal to get Christian Benteke out of Crystal Palace.

West Brom are hoping to negotiate a deal which would see want-away striker Saido Berahino go to Crystal Palace along with a big cheque.

Christian Benteke is surplus to requirements at Palace because new boss Sam Allardyce is desperately trying to raise transfer funds for a relegation fight according to reports

They are set to trigger a cut-price £14m cash auction for their rebel striker with Stoke City at the head of the queue.

Meanwhile, West Brom midfielder Craig Gardner has joined former club Birmingham on loan until the end of the season.

Gardner played for the Blues in 2010/11 and helped them to win the League Cup.

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