Mission Accomplished! Ese And Jon Removed From Big Brother Naija House

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Fake housemates Ese and Jon have been removed from the Big Brother Naija house after two weeks of stay. Their exit happened during the mock eviction show on Sunday, 26 February.

Ese and Jon were introduced to the house on the night of CocoIce’s eviction to provide entertainment, cause drama and carry out secret tasks for Big Brother. They were not eligible for the N25 million grand prize as they were simply there on a mission. Show host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu revealed that their job in the house was successfully done, hence their exit.

Following last week’s cancellation of nominations, all the housemates were thrown in a state of anxiety on eviction night when Ebuka called up two of the strongest housemates: Bally and Bisola for eviction alongside the fake housemates. They, along with fake housemates, Ese and Jon, were sent to the Arena from where Ese and Jon eventually exited.

The idea of Bally and Bisola’s nominations did not come as a shock to the housemates who were optimistic that they would return to the house, as Bally will be covered by his green card while Bisola will be saved by her victory in last week’s ‘high stakes’ game. However, they will not be returning to the house just yet as Ebuka revealed that Bally and Bisola have won a holiday for two in paradise in yet another twist from Big Brother!

While on stage with Ebuka, Ese and Jon shared their moments in the house and gave their predictions on who would likely win the game. Ese said either TTT or Bisola would emerge winners while Jon placed his bet on TTT.

Shortly after the exit of Bally, Ese, Jon and Bisola, Biggie summoned the rest of the housemates to the arena to participate in a fresh nomination game. After picking from about 30 envelopes, the housemates were all unfortunate to have picked ‘nominated’ slips which ultimately put them all up for eviction come next week. As Bally and Bisola enjoy their time at Big Brother’s paradise, the other housemates wonder in silence who the next evictee(s) would be. The show has definitely taken an unexpected turn as fans would this week vote to keep their favorite housemate in the game.

This week’s eviction show was also quite exciting with performances from Nigeria’s female hip hop artiste, Emma Nyra and fast rising singer, Simi.

Keep up with the show on Big Brother Naija social media fan pages with the hashtag #BBNaija on Twitter @BBNaija, Instagram @BigBrotherNaija2017 and Facebook www.facebook.com/bigbrothernaija

Big Brother Naija reality show is aired 24/7 in 45 countries from Nigeria through East, West and Southern Africa on DStv channel 198 and GOtv channel 29.

Big Brother Naija is sponsored by PayPorte, your preferred online retail store.

For more information, please visit www.dstv.com, www.gotvafrica.com or www.africamagic.tv/bigbrothernaija and follow the conversation on all social media pages of DStv, GOtv and AfricaMagic.

See pictures from the eviction show below

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Haye: I’ll End Bellew’s Career

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David Haye has vowed to put an end to Tony Bellew’s career when they both share the ring on Saturday at The O2 Arena.

The build up to the fight has been tense and the final press conference before the fight was as heated as expected. The press conference held in Bellew’s hometown of Liverpool and Haye was welcomed by his opponents fans.

The reception however frustrated Haye and he has vowed to take it out on Bellew and destroy the WBC cruiserweight champion.

“Yeah, of course he has got under my skin,” Haye told Sky Sports News HQ. “I would not have taken the fight if he did not get under my skin.

“The fact that he chased me around and the fact that he jumped out of the ring after the BJ Flores fight and tried to attack me – that is stuff people don’t normally do to me.

“It has definitely generated the interest and got the fight here but I don’t know what he is going to do to survive the first couple of rounds.

“I am hoping and praying he does so it is a good fight for the fans, but I don’t know what he can do. Maybe tuck up really tight and hope I don’t knock him out or hope I get tired of beating him up, but all it takes is one of my shots around the side of his head and it is good night.”

Haye said: “The heavyweight division will be looking at this interest even though Tony Bellew is not a bonafide heavyweight. But I am and they want to see how I fare against the WBC cruiserweight champion of the world.

“I don’t want to be struggling here. I don’t want to have a nip-and-tuck fight where it is quite even.

“I need to go out there and do a complete and utter destruction job on Tony Bellew. I want to make sure that is it – it’s over for him and that he is never fighting again.

“I don’t want him to come back and start defending his titles. He has disrespected me too much for that. I need to finish his career in one fight and I will do it. I don’t need many punches. I need three or four punches in a combination to finish him.”

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Bellew: I’m Going To Run Through Haye Like A Train

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It was the final pre-fight press conference between Tony Bellew and David Haye and the Merseysider promised to run through his opponent like a steam train come Saturday.

The pair have traded insults in the build-up to their match and even though Haye tried to play it cool and he even blew kisses at Bellew’s fans in Liverpool, the pair soon started trading insults.

The Londoner challenged Bellew’s supporters to back their man by “emptying your bank accounts and betting it all on him” before adding: “Deep in your minds you know he’s getting drilled to the canvas pretty fast”.

After a visibly riled Haye had taken his seat, the Liverpudlian made his own fight prediction.

Bellew said: “On Saturday night I’m gong to create something that will never, ever die and that is a legacy.

“I’m not going in with an invincible, great heavyweight. I’m going in with a man who was absolutely fantastic, in his prime an immense athlete and amazing fighter.

“He’s still the quickest punching heavyweight in the world, but the gas tank is very low and doesn’t last very long.

“I’m expecting the very best of David Haye, but I understand it won’t be there for very long, and when the gas tank runs out this big, fat Scouser is going to run through him like a steam train. I’m not going to stop.”

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Haye: Bellew Has Me Wound Up

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The grudge fight between Tony Bellew and David Haye draws closer and the Londoner says Bellew has gotten under his skin and has me wound up.

The pair had a pre-fight conference in Liverpool today, with their fight at The O2 Arena drawing ever closer.

Haye is looking to prove his worth and let all his work in training pay off and would like to put some distance between himself and Bellew until March 4.

“I am really going to destroy Tony Bellew,” Haye told Sky Sports.

“He’s got under my skin, he’s got his wish, he’s wound me up. He’s said all the things that he needed to do to get my back up. I have trained hard, I have enjoyed my training.

“I can’t wait until March 4, when I am allowed to punch him legally, because I have done it before, I didn’t mean to do it, but tensions were high and I ended up punching him in the press conference. Things happen.

“I am going to make sure there’s a big space between us in the build-up to it, but once the bell rings I am allowed to do whatever the hell I want with my fists and I am going to do as much damage as possible.

“This fight has got people really riled up. It’s got opinions split. Am I the Hayemaker of old? Can I punch as I hard as I used to? What happens if I get into the second half of the fight?

“Looking at Tony Bellew’s resume, recently, he’s the current world champion in this fight. He’s boxed regularly and had fantastic results. He’s got the better form going into this fight, so a few people are siding towards Tony Bellew, experts, people who know boxing.

“I personally see it as a really one-sided fight, but that’s me and I am sure he may see it the same way. I am calling it as I see it.”

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Hearn: Haye-Bellew Press Conference May Require A Fence

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Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested a fence might be needed to keep David Haye and Tony Bellew separated at their pre-fight conference on Monday.

Back in 2012, a metallic fence was used to separate Haye from Chisora and Haye could also be segregated from his upcoming opponent, Bellew as they hold a press conference in Liverpool.

“My original plan was to keep them eight-ten feet apart but I’d like them face to face,” Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports.

“The only way we can do that is with something separating them. A Perspex wall? If there’s any fence suppliers, favourable rates apply, and we’d be very pleased with some assistance.

“But, seriously, both fighters are on a suspended sentence from the British Boxing Board of Control so one issue, and the fight is off. We’re not willing to risk that.

“Fighters are different kinds of people. They’re not thinking ‘if I do something, the fight is off’. It’s just reaction that’s within them. So we’ve got to make sure the precautions are in place.”

A skirmish at a press conference in November led to Haye and Bellew being reprimanded by the British Boxing Board of Control ahead of next Saturday’s fight at The O2 Arena.

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Haye Expecting Cold Reception In Liverpool

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David Haye will be having a press conference today at the hometown of Tony Bellew in Liverpool and he is looking forward to it.

The pair will will face off in the ring on Saturday and Haye, who hails from London is primed for the frosty atmosphere he’ll receive in Liverpool.

“He’s come down south plenty of times, so I’m looking forward to getting some verbals, and getting some grief,” Haye exclusively told Sky Sports.

“I’m looking forward to it, I love it, I relish it. He’s come to my home turf, so it’s only fair that I go to his home turf to put myself in the firing line.

“I’m sure I’ll get stuff chucked at me, and get some verbals from his fans. But I don’t care, it will be fun. Bring it on.”

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Kante Tips Dembele For France Call Up

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If Celtic striker Moussa Dembele is called up to the France senior squad, Chelsea midfielder N’golo Kante believes it will be because he deserves it.

The young striker has impressed with Scottish side Celtic, scoring three hattricks already this season and he already has 29 goals.

His achievements in Scotland has seen him been courted by top clubs in Europe , with Chelsea linked with signing him in January and Manchester United and Madrid keeping a close eye on him.

Kante is among those to have been impressed with his form and believes he is ready to move up in class, having represented France in all youth levels from U16-U21.

He commented on reports suggesting that the Celtic forward could be named in Didier Deschamps’ next France squad, telling The Sun: “If Dembele is called up, it will be fully deserved.

“You do not score the amount of goals that he has scored this season and it goes unnoticed.

“He has been one of the most prolific strikers in Europe this season.

“He must be playing with so much confidence and that is always one of the most important things for a striker.

“The coach picks on form. I don’t think the fact he isn’t playing for what people might consider one of the elite European clubs will be held against him.

“The coach gave me a chance when I was at Leicester and Dimitri Payet a chance when he was at West Ham.

“I do not think that is a worry. He’s scoring a lot of goals and playing well – that’s all that matters.”

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Bellew: I Once Floored Haye In A Sparring Session In 2005

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Tony Bellew says David Haye already knows how hard he hits, recalling how he floored him during a sparring session in 2005.

The Merseysider will face his bitter rival in the ring on Saturday at The O2 Arena and has said what happened when they last shared the ring.

The Londoner said he could not remember much about sparring Bellew, but the WBC cruiserweight says Haye pulled out of a fight against Hobson after a sparring with him and David Price.

“He got a hiding off the two of us that day,” Bellew exclusively told Sky Sports. “He turned up in Liverpool, flying high, was expecting to beat me and David Price up. He hit me with one of the hardest punches I have been hit with in the first round.

“I stood on my feet and said good shot. He looked at me in pure amazement and shock. I don’t know how I stayed on my feet, but remember nodding and saying good shot.

“I was a cruiserweight at the time, he was a cruiserweight, and the spar went on. Three rounds later David Price got in and hit him with a right hand that spun him 360 degrees.

“David Price would only have had to hit with a jab to knock him over, but David being David, stood back and said are you okay mate?

“I got in the next round, gave him a good few whacks on the side of the head. He took a knee. I went to hit him when he was on one knee and I missed him and punched the floor. That’s the difference between me and David Price, I’m a savage. David is a lovely man and a nice guy.”

Bellew played down the significance of the sparring, with the two men due to exchange punches without head guards this weekend, although he is standing by his version of events.

“I’m not saying I flattened him, put him on his back. I didn’t, that would be a lie, but he took a knee,” said Bellew.

“I hit him with a right hand and he went down, took a knee, the spar finished after that. He then pulled out of his fight with Mark Hobson the next day. That’s not lies, that’s just stone cold facts.

“I said ‘can you remember pulling out against Mark Hobson the next day?’ He says to me ‘vaguely’, but you can’t remember the hiding you got the day before.”

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All The Latest Football Transfer News From Around The World

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Spain

Villarreal president Fernando Roig has accused referee, Jesus Gil Manzano, of leaving the Estadio de la Ceramica with a Real Madrid bag. Roig was furious after Madrid were given a dubious penalty after a handball by Bruno Soriano in Los Blancos‘ 3-2 win. (Cope)

Sergio Asenjo will miss the rest of the season after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. It’s the fourth time the Villarreal goalkeeper has suffered the injury in his career. (El Periódico Mediterraneo)

France

Nantes chairman Waldemar Kita says it’s out of the question that manager Sergio Conceiçao will leave for the Leicester job which is currently vacant after Claudio Ranieri’s sacking. (L’Equipe)

Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi has hailed manager Unai Emery and midfielder Javier Pastore. Al-Khelaïfi called Emery “a great coach” after masterminding PSG’s 5-1 thumping of Marseille, and added that Pastore was “an artist”. (RMC Sport)

Italy

Antonio Conte could return to Italy with Inter Milan at the end of the season as he is suffering from homesickness in London. The Suning Group, which is in charge of the Nerazzuri, has already sent representatives to discuss a deal with the Chelsea boss. (La Repubblica)

Fiorentina winger Fernando Bernadeschi is a Chelsea summer transfer target. But the Blues will face competition from Inter Milan and Juventus. (La Stampa)

Germany

Arsenal’s academy manager Andries Jonker will become the new Wolfsburg boss after the departure of Valérien Ismael on Sunday.(Bild)

Augsburg general manager Stefan Reuter is unhappy with midfielder Caiuby continuing his recovery from a knee injury in Brazil, and would prefer him to be in Germany. (Kicker)

Portugal

Wolves owner Fosun wants to buy Portuguese club Rio Ave, who are currently 10th in the Primeira Liga. (A Bola)

Southampton defender Cedric Soares says his former side Sporting Lisbon aren’t in the right place to challenge for the title – they currently sit 10 points behind league leaders Benfica. (O Jogo)

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Zidane Admits Isco And Morata Deserve More Playing Time

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Isco and Morata starred in the comeback against Villarreal and Zidane has conceded he needs to give them more game time.

Madrid came back from 2-0 to win 3-2 away. They scored all three goals in the final 26 minutes.

Isco was involved in all three goals, with Alvaro Morata scoring the winning goal with seven minutes left to play.

“There is no doubt that Isco and Morata deserve to get more minutes,” the Madrid boss told reporters.

“They did very well and changed the game for us. I’m certain that we will need to call on the whole squad.

“I gave Morata a couple of tactical bits of advice and told him he needed to be in the box to finish any chances and for him to stick on Bruno in the middle when we were defending.

“He got his goal and we are all happy. It was important for us to get the three points to remain top.”

Zidane added: “At 2-0 down we had to change something. We did so and it worked out well for us. We made an attacking change and enjoyed more possession in their half.

“We knew that we were coming up against a good side, who have being doing fantastically well at home. We had to be patient and our substitutions ended up changing the game. “

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Nigeria Arrests Two Chinese Men For Importing Sub-Standard Tyres Worth N5bn

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The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) during the weekend, recorded its major bust of over two million sub-standard tyres valued at N5 billion, which were stored in a warehouse near Navy Town, Satellite, Lagos State.

This is just as the organization arrested two Chinese nationals, Taolung Shen and Xu Jing Yau, who were said to have been the owners of the substandard tyres.

The SON Director-General and Chief Executive, Osita Aboloma, while speaking to pressmen, during a tour at the warehouse, described the tyres as dead-on-arrival, adding that allowing the sale of such consignments will amount to putting at risk the lives of millions of Nigerians.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the suspects were paraded following their arrest, while the warehouse where they had been cloning different sizes of tyres under different brand names, was sealed.

The suspects, the statement added, churned out the substandard tyres into the Nigerian market under brand names such as Powertrac, Aptany, Harmony, Duraturn, Bearway, City Tour, Winda, Glory, Chachland, City Grand, Grandsonte and Sunny.

According to SON, the suspects brought the substandard tyres into Nigeria by stuffing them into one another.

“Sometimes as many as five tyres were stuffed into one and the tyres would have bent and ruptured in several places, thereby looking weak and slack.

“But the Chinese adorned the tyres with new labels and shinny linings to create the impression of being new and healthy,” SON said.

Some of the tyres found in the warehouse had post-dated manufacturing dates.

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Deportivo La Coruna Sack Manager Gaizka Garitano

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La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna have sacked coach Gaizka Garitano following the weekend’s 4-0 loss to Leganes.

The loss, a fourth in a row for the side, leaves Depor precariously placed above the drop zone with just two points separating them and Sporting Gijon, who occupy the final spot.

“The administration of the Real Club Deportivo has taken the decision to terminate the contract of Gaizka Garitano as coach of the team,” a statement read. 

“The club wants to thank sincerely the Basque coach and his team for their dedication, effort and professionalism they have shown.”

“Deportivo B coach Cristobal Parralo will manage Monday’s training session.”

Garitano, 41, succeeded Victor at the helm last summer but managed only four wins in 23 league games and did not mastermind an away victory this season.

The former Real Sociedad player made a name for himself as a coach when he led Eibar to back-to-back promotions and into the top flight for the first time in their history in three seasons at the club between 2012 and 2015.

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Thomas Meunier Explains Why He Rejected EPL Offers For PSG Move

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PSG right-back Thomas Meunier turned down a move to the Premier League in favour of the Ligue 1 club during the summer window, the Belgian has confirmed. 

“I could choose between six or seven clubs, most of the English Premier League,” he told French outlet Telefoot. “There was interest from West Ham, Middlesbrough and Tottenham. From Italy, there was interest from Napoli, where I almost signed a contract.

“PSG were the last club to jump into the dance. Here I am statistically more likely to play in the Champions League than in Naples. That’s why I opted for PSG.”

Thomas Meunier has made 26 appearances for the Ligue 1 champions across all competitions, including five in Europe’s elite competition.

He played the entire 90 minutes in the 4-0 demolition of Barcelona earlier this month

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Tottenham To Revive Interest In PSG Midfielder Adrien Rabiot

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Spurs could revive their interest in PSG star Adrien Rabiot after the midfielder suggested he is up for a summer move, according to the Daily Mirror. 

“I am under contract until 2019 and I do not think that I am in a rush,” he told French radio station Europe 1. “If there are offers from big clubs, that obviously demands that they are considered.

“Clubs like Real Madrid, they are great clubs but, truly, the most important thing is the present and I am concentrating on what I am doing right now, that is the best thing to do.”

While Tottenham are not quite on the same level as Real Madrid at the moment, he would surely be making a mistake if he did not consider joining Mauricio Pochettino’s men should an offer come in.

Tottenham have made a tremendous amount of progress in recent years and look to be in with a fantastic chance of securing a spot in next season’s Champions League. 

Meanwhile, although Rabiot is developing into an excellent player – he has been extremely impressive with PSG this term – a move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs could be a gamble as he may not enjoy the kind of first-team football he would perhaps get elsewhere.

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Jose Mourinho Hopes Fans Can Convince Zlatan Ibrahimovic To Remain At Manchester United

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho says he is convinced Zlatan Ibrahimovic will stay at the club, and joked that fans should “go to the door of his house” to convince him.

“I never beg for a player to sign a contract,” Mourinho said. “I never beg for a player to play for me.

“One day, Zlatan Ibrahimovic decided to [leave me and Inter Milan to join) Barcelona, I was very sad, but I did nothing to try to stop him to go, so I don’t beg for players.

“But, if needed, maybe United fans can go to the door of his house, and stay there all night, if needed. We all want, and believe, that he is going to stay another season.”

Mourinho also praised Southampton for helping to provide a “beautiful final”.

United held off a spirited fightback from the Saints to triumph 3-2 at Wembley as Mourinho claimed his first major silverware at the club.

“First of all, the man that just left table [Southampton manager Claude Puel] has a reason to be really sad and disappointed,” said Mourinho.

“His team did fantastic work, deserved extra-time, and to lose in the 87th minute gives very little time to try to react.

“It’s a bit unfair for them. They gave us a beautiful final, a beautiful match.

“I’m obviously very happy with the victory, with the fact that I did it four times, the same as Mr Clough, and with a chance to win for a fifth time.

“The game was broken at 2-2. We were lucky to be 2-0 (up). Then 2-1 changed completely the direction of the game. Obviously the 2-2: a phenomenal goal.

“Technically it’s such a difficult shot. Then the game is broken.”

Mourinho appeared subdued after the final whistle and largely avoided celebrating with his players.

“It’s one of these finals that I don’t like,” he said. “I like the finals like before, Chelsea-Manchester United, Chelsea-Arsenal, Chelsea-Liverpool, Chelsea-Tottenham.

“These are the finals I like, because you are not the favourite; you don’t have more responsibility on your shoulder. This game is tricky, it’s a tricky final.”

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Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors Today

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  • Sergio Aguero wants to join Real Madrid at the end of the season.
  • Chelsea have told Tianjin Quanjian they will consider selling Diego Costa for a world-record £127m fee this summer.
  • Chelsea are set to muscle in on AC Milan’s £21m move for Villarreal’s Argentine defender Mateo Musacchio.
  • Paris Saint-Germain tried to offload Angel Di Maria to the Chinese Super League before his Champions League masterclass against Barcelona.
  • Spurs could revive their interest in PSG star Adrien Rabiot after the midfielder suggested he is up for a summer move.
  • Chelsea rejected a world record offer for Diego Costa which caused the striker’s January dispute with club bosses.
  • Arsenal are ‘set to woo wonderkid Jadon Sancho’ away from Manchester City and back to London.
  • Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce happy with Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend’s post-game bust-up.
  • Jose Mourinho has urged Manchester United fans to camp outside Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s house to make him stay one more year at Old Trafford.
  • Stoke, Everton and Leicester are keeping tabs on Hamburg’s Walace Souza Silva.
  • Roberto Mancini and Guus Hiddink are the front-runners to take over from Claudio Ranieri at Leicester – with interim manager Craig Shakespeare’s chances dependent on the team’s performance against Liverpool.
  • Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot has revealed he would consider offers from big clubs.
  • Burnley are eyeing Mainz defender Giulio Donati as manager Sean Dyche seeks to be more flexible in the transfer market should they stay in the Premier League.
  • Hector Bellerin wants to join Manchester City if he is to leave Arsenal.
  • Martin O’Neill has ruled out a return to Leicester.
  • Cesc Fabregas has pledged his future to Premier League leaders Chelsea.
  • Leicester City were in such a rush to sack Claudio Ranieri that they had no real successor lined up for the Premier League-winning manager, placing Craig Shakespeare in a strong position for an extended tilt at the role.
  • Leicester City are hopeful of persuading Guus Hiddink to take over from Claudio Ranieri until the end of the season, although the Dutchman is understood to be reluctant to take on the role at such short notice.
  • Leicester City have targeted Guus Hiddink as their new manager with talks already understood to have taken place.
  • Celtic target Henry Onyekuru has confirmed he will leave KAS Eupen in the summer – but is refusing to say whether a move to Parkhead will be resurrected.
  • Barry Ferguson insists he has not quit Clyde in the hope of landing the caretaker job at Rangers

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Bird Flu Kills 42,000 Birds During Attacks On Plateau Farms

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Avian influenza killed 42,000 birds in 12 farms in Plateau, between January and February 2017, according to the local chapter of the Poultry Association of Nigeria.

Its Chairman, Mr John Dasar, said on Monday in Jos, that more birds were being depopulated in some farms to prevent further spread of the bird flu.

Dasar attributed the fast spread of the disease to the non-payment of compensation to farmers affected by the disease in 2015 and 2016.

“Such farmers, out of desperation and frustration, decided to sell their affected birds in the open markets.

“More than 130 poultry farmers were affected by the 0disease in 2015 and 2016; the birds were destroyed by the federal government, but compensations were not paid,” he said.

Dasar said that farmers in Plateau were going through “a very tough time” following the resurgence of the bird flu “especially in the last one week”.

The chairman regretted that most farmers do not report the outbreak of the disease in their farms.

“They prefer to sell their birds to marketers than wait for government compensation that will never come.

“Whenever we get wind of an outbreak, we alert government officials to take immediate action; that is the only option we have,” Dasar said.

The PAN boss revealed that the outbreak of the disease had affected the supply of eggs and other poultry products in the markets.

“The supply has gone down and that is affecting the prices because demand is now higher than supply,” he said.

The chairman, however, appealed to affected poultry farmers to be patient as modalities for compensations were being worked out.

He expressed optimism that the Federal Government would adequately compensate affected farmers “at the end of the day”.

“We met with the Minister of Agriculture a month ago and he promised that something will be done in no distant time. He assured me that the compensations will soon be paid,” he said.

Dasar said that he personally met with PAN national officials three times last week, and was given the assurance that the monies would be paid.

“Two weeks ago, PAN officials also met with Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and he ordered that the payments be processed; so, it is just a matter of time,” he said.

The chairman appealed to farmers to adopt serious bio-security measures to prevent the flu, and also report any outbreak in their farms promptly.

“When farmers report promptly, we shall be able to avert further spread of the disease in the state,” he said.

(NAN)

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Nigeria Relaxes Visa Rules For Foreigners

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Nigeria has relaxed the visa processes for foreigners who wish to visit the country for business and tourism, by removing some of the bureaucratic bottlenecks.

Also beneficiaries of the review are Nigerians.

Henceforth, passport re-issuance has been decentralised and Nigerians no longer need to travel to Abuja to get this done.

This disclosure was made in a statement on Saturday in Lagos by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

According to him, the measures were part of the action plan for the ease of doing business as well as efforts to boost tourism within the overall context of the administration’s economic diversification agenda.

“The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has reviewed the requirements for Nigerian visas to make them more customer friendly, and details of this review are available on the NIS official website:www.immigration.gov.ng.

“Types of visas currently reviewed include Visa on Arrival (VoA) processes, Business Visas, Tourist Visas and Transit Visas,” the minister said.

Mohammed explained that Business Visas are available for foreign travellers who wish to travel to Nigeria for meetings, conferences, seminars, contract negotiation, marketing, sales, purchase and distribution of Nigerian goods, trade fairs, job interviews, training of Nigerians, emergency/relief work, crew members, staff of NGOs, staff of INGOs, researchers and music concerts.

He said tourist visas are also available to foreign travellers who wish to visit Nigeria as tourists or to visit family and friends while the VoA is a class of short visit visa issued at the port of entry and is available to frequently-travelled high net-worth investors and intending visitors who may not be able to obtain visas at Nigerian missions/embassies in their countries of residence due to the absence of a Nigerian mission in those countries or the exigencies of urgent business travel.

The minister said other actions that have been taken by the NIS for the ease of doing business and facilitation of travel for

Nigerians and foreigners alike include the harmonisation of multiplicity of airport arrival and departure form/cards into a single form for all agencies of government to save foreign visitors from the current frustrating practice of filling three different forms or more and the decentralisation of immigration services to the state commands.

“Re-issuance of passports for change of names due to marital reasons or lost cases have been decentralised to all state commands and foreign missions to save passport holders from additional costs and the inconvenience of travelling to the service headquarters in Abuja, while an additional 28 offices have been opened for the issuance of residence permits in Nigeria, bringing the issuance of Combined Expatriate Residence Permit And Aliens Cards (CERPAC) closer to the doorstep of employers of expatriates at all 36 states and FCT,” he said.

Mohammed explained that the measures introduced by the NIS fit perfectly into the 60-day national action plan for ease of doing business in Nigeria that was approved recently by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), as well as the administration’s efforts to boost international tourism.

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DSS Arrests Ex-Governor Suswam Over ‘Arms Discovery’ After Raiding His Home

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested a former governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, for alleged illegal possession of firearms, after a raid on his Abuja residence – at number 44 Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama-Abuja.

The DSS said on Sunday that a raid conducted in a property allegedly belonging to the erstwhile governor ended with the recovery of guns and magazines.

According to a statement by the DSS spokesman, Tony Opuiyo, the operation was informed by intelligence that some incriminating items were stashed in the boots of cars parked at the property.

The DSS said during the search at about 10 p.m. on Friday on the property in the presence of two private security officers employed by the company, the following items were recovered:

  • A glock pistol with two magazines and a total of 29 rounds of ammunition;
  • A mini-uzi with two magazines containing 10 rounds and four rounds respectively;
  • Forty-two extra rounds of ammunition contained in a pack and one Ak-47.

The search also revealed:

  • Twenty-one Certificates of Occupancy and one Offer of Statutory Right of Occupancy;
  • Twenty-three luxury designer watches; and
  • Forty-five keys to various exotic cars.

The statement read: “The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to inform the public that on the 24th of February 2017, between 2100 hours and 0242 hours, the service executed a search warrant at the property of Dunes Investment and Global Properties Ltd located at No 44 Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama, Abuja.

“The operation was informed by intelligence that some incriminating items were stashed in the boots of cars parked at the property, particularly a Mercedes Benz S550 (BWR 135AH) and Masarati 4.7 (BWR 207 AJ), which were subsequently confiscated.

“Following this discovery, the service launched further investigations, which revealed that the cars and the recovered items belong to the former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam who has already been invited by the service and is currently helping in the investigations.

“It is in the light of this latest development that the service wishes to sound a note of warning to persons and groups that it will no longer tolerate any acts of lawlessness by those who ought to be law abiding and responsible citizens.

“The service has also observed with total dismay the inciting utterances of some political actors whose activities heat up the polity.”

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Lack Of Playing Time Really Frustrated Fabregas

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Cesc Fabregas has not been getting regular playing time under Antonio Conte and he has admitted he was upset about it at the beginning, but he is now settled at the club.

The Spanish midfielder made his 300th Premier League appearance in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Swansea, scoring a goal and assisting another.

The match was his sixth league start of the season amd he has made 11 appearances ifrom the bench.

The 29-year-old said he initially struggled with his lack of game time under Antonio Conte.

“In the beginning, when I didn’t play, I told people to not even speak to me because I was really upset,” Fabregas told UK newspapers.

“But now that changes with time, age, maturity and experience, which all help you to understand that the most important thing is always the team.

“Don’t get me wrong: I want to play. But sometimes you have to fight for it.”

“For sure, it’s Chelsea I’m thinking about,” Fabregas said.

“Until the day Chelsea tell me they don’t want me, I can leave, and it happens to everyone, then you have to move on.

“When my brain says you can’t do it anymore then I will move, probably away from Europe. But for now, it’s all about Chelsea and performing here.”

Conte’s side are flying high in the Premier League, holding a 10-point lead at the top.

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Naira Appreciates To ₦450 Per Dollar From ₦525 As CBN Pumps Another $221m

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The naira made a significant recovery against the United States dollar as it traded at N450/$ on Friday, February 24, compared to the N525/$ it traded penultimate Friday.

It is understood that the local currency strengthened remarkably by N75 in just five days.

Naira Extends Gains Against Dollar On Parallel Market, Trades At ₦480/$ From ₦525/$

The development is coming on the back of efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sustain its defense of the naira.

The Apex Bank on Thursday sold $221,371,218.04 to banks in its second special wholesale intervention forwards since the new foreign exchange (FX) policy actions were announced a week ago.

CBN Succumbs To Pressure, Announces New Foreign Exchange Policy

A breakdown of the amount sold by the CBN showed that it auctioned $162,850,000 to 10 banks in a transaction with 30 days tenor, while six banks participated in a separate auction with 60 days tenor in which $58,521,217.04 was sold.

Following the improved FX liquidity, some market analysts were cautiously optimistic yesterday that the naira could climb to N400-N425 to a dollar in the coming days.

Should this happen, the CBN would meet its objective of closing the gap between the interbank and parallel market rates.

The Naira Is Dead: Lets Redenominate The Currency Before Its Too Late

Speaking on the development, the acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said the CBN’s intermediation in the FX market through the wholesale interventions was aimed at easing the pressure on Nigerians who need to meet obligations that fall under visible and invisible transactions.

Okorafor further expressed optimism that the wholesale intervention of the CBN would substantially ease pressure on the FX market.

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The 89th Academy Awards: Here’s The Complete List Of 2017 Oscar Winners

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The biggest night of Hollywood, the 89th Annual Academy Awards was held on Sunday, February 26, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The ceremony was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel who took quite a few jabs at the US President Donald Trump.

Front-runner “La La Land” ended the evening taking home six awards out of its 14 total nominations including best actress and best director while ‘Moonlight’ won three golden statuettes.

The ceremony ended with much drama – ‘La La Land’ was initially declared as the Best Picture, but it was soon announced that there was an error and the Best Picture Award was, in fact, won by ‘Moonlight’.

While confusion prevailed for a while, the makers of ‘La La Land’ graciously left the stage and made way for makers of ‘Moonlight’. Damien Chazelle won the Best Director Award for ‘La La Land’.

Here’s the complete list of the winners:

Best Picture – ‘Moonlight’ by Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

Best Actress in a Leading Role – Emma Stone for ‘La La Land’

Best Actor in a Leading Role – Casey Affleck for ‘Manchester By The Sea’

Best Director
– Damien Chazelle for ‘La La Land’

Best Adapted Screenplay – Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for ‘Moonlight’

Best Original Screenplay – Kenneth Lonergan for ‘Manchester By The Sea’

Best Original Song – ‘City Of Stars’ from ‘La La Land’ by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Best Original Score – Justin Hurwitz for ‘La La Land’

Best Cinematography – Linus Sandgren for ‘La La Land’

Best Live Action Short – ‘Sing’ by Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy

Best Documentary Short – ‘The White Helmets’ by Orlando Von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Best Film Editing – John Gilbert for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Best Visual Effects – Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R Jones and Dan Lemmon for ‘The Jungle Book’

Best Production Design – David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco for ‘La La Land’

Best Animated Feature – ‘Zootopia’ by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Best Animated Short
– ‘Piper’ by Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Best Foreign Language Film – ‘The Salesman’ by Asghar Farhadi

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Viola Davis for ‘Fences’

Best Sound Mixing
– Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Best Sound Editing
– Sylvian Bellemare for ‘Arrival’

Best Documentary Feature – Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow for ‘O J: Made In America’

Best Costume Design – Colleen Atwood for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) – Mahershala Ali for ‘Moonlight’

Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson for ‘Suicide Squad

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Marcelo: The Title Is In Our Hands

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Marcelo sees Real Madrid lifting the trophy at the end of the season, with Barcelona mounting pressure on them.

Real Madrid had to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Villarreal to win 3-2 and stay in the running for the title.

Bale scored in the 64th minute, before Ronaldo restored parity from the spot with 10 minutes to play and Marcelo assisted the winner in the 83rd minute, courtesy of Morata.

“Barcelona did what they needed to do by going to a very difficult place and winning,” the Brazil full-back said.

“But it’s in our hands and if we win all of games, we’ll be champions.”

“We didn’t give up on the game and everyone worked and battled hard as a team and ultimately we managed to get the win. It’s important to highlight the commitment from all of my team-mates,” Marcelo added.

“Their goals came off second balls and that’s something we need to work on and we’ll take a look at the video coverage to improve on that. We’ve picked up the three points, but we need to use this game to ensure that we don’t concede more goals, because we’re not always going to be able to produce comebacks.”

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Evra: We Disrespected Marseille With Disappointing Loss To PSG

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Patrice Evra has said he and his teammates disrespected Marseille, after suffering a crushing defeat to PSG.

Marseille lost 5-1 at home to PSG, with Emery’s men dominating proceedings throughout the match at the Stade Velodrome.

PSG went into the break 2-0 up, after Marquinhos and Cavani scored after 16 minutes.

Moura, Draxler and Matuidi scored in the second half, before Fanni scored a consolation for Marseille.

Evra refused to apologise for the crushing defeat, but is looking to repay the fans with a better performance.

“We passed by, we forgot to play our football,” Evra told L’Equipe.

“We’re sorry. But I do not like to apologise, I prefer to work so that it does not happen again.

“PSG were far superior. I’m sorry for the fans because they set the mood, and we did not follow them. We did not respect the Olympique de Marseille.”

Evra added: “I’m disappointed but games like that, setbacks, I took in my career… I lost 6-1 against [Manchester] City with United, 4-1 against Liverpool. This is not what will make me no longer believe in the project. What is certain is that we did not do the job.

“You have to take your head down and say that there is a job to do. The score hurts but the players are a bit like me, we will not listen to the media.”

As for Marseille team-mate Dimitri Payet, he said: “It will be necessary to quickly digest this pill to get a result on Wednesday [against Monaco in the Coupe de France last 16].

“We have to show another face. We have talked a lot, we will remain united. This is the best thing to do.”

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Dieziani To Face Trial In The UK Over Money Laundering Charges In June

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The former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, will face trial along with four others in London for alleged corrupt practices.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commision, EFCC, has also disclosed a list of assets linked to Diezani. The trial has been fixed for June the EFCC is to provide evidence, including court order of final forfeiture of $153million allegedly traced to the ex-minister.

According to a source in the anti-graft agency, the agency is set  for the trial.

The source said: “The UK investigators have gone far on the allegations against Diezani. From the records made available, the ex-minister and four others will face trial as from June.”

“We have taken more evidence to the UK, including all court records relating to the final forfeiture of $153million. We have a huge pile of documents.”

Meanwhile, the EFCC has also denied that it was negotiating a deal with Diezani.

“The EFCC is set for the trial of the ex-minister at home and abroad. It is curious to be talking of a curious negotiation with someone who has a prima facie case to answer.”

“The ex-minister has forfeited $153m; we have had far-reaching investigation on her involvement in the $115m poll bribery scandal; we have seized some of her choice properties and she has consistently maintained that she is ready for trial. So, what is the basis for negotiation when we have a good case?” The source said.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) had arrested Mrs. Alison-Madueke on October 2, 2015  alongside four others, including her siblings Messrs Abiye Agama and Somye Agama, for alleged bribery and corruption and money laundering. The two are directors of Hadley Petroleum Solutions Limited, a company allegedly used for money laundering. Other directors are Ugonna Madueke and Abu Fari.

The list of assets linked with Mrs Dieziani Alison-Madueke released by the EFCC is as follows:

  • A block of six units service apartments on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi
  • Six units terrace flats in Yaba, Lagos Mainland
  • Twin four-bedroom duplexes in Lekki Phase I
  • Two duplexes on Banana Island
  • A duplex in Asokoro District, Abuja
  • A mini-estate in Mabushi, Abuja
  • A set of 12 terrace duplexes at Omaremi Street  in Port Harcourt
  • Large expanse of land at Oniru, Victoria Island in Lagos
  • A multi-billion Naira estate in Yenagoa
  • Two apartments in Dubai marked as J5 Emirates Hills (30million Dirham) and  E146 Emirates Hills valued at 44million Dirham
  • A hotel in Port Harcourt under investigation
  • $37.5m mansion on Banana Island in Lagos.

 

 

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