Birmingham Offer Stewart Downing Two Year Contract

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Birmingham City are in advanced talks with Stewart Downing.

The Middlesbrough winger has been told he’s surplus to requirements at the Riverside and has been forced to train with the U23s.

We understand Harry Redknapp has offered the former England international a two-year contract but Downing and Birmingham have yet to agree personal terms.

Redknapp is keen to strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes, and was frustrated earlier this week when Nigeria international Ogenyi Onazi was denied a work permit.

“We were hoping he’d get it but Nigeria dropped out the top 50 so it made it difficult,” Redknapp told the Birmingham Mail, while also confirming his interest in Ghana midfielder Afriyie Acquah.

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Real Madrid Goal Keeper Ruben Yanez Joins Getafe

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Real Madrid have reached an agreement with Getafe for the transfer of goalkeeper Ruben Yanez after seven years with the club.

Ruben Yanez has signed a four-year contract and moves to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez for an undisclosed fee.

He will spend the 2017-18 season on loan with Cadiz in the Spanish second tier.

“The club expresses its thanks for what has been an exemplary career throughout the seven seasons the player has spent as part of Real Madrid, which has seen him come through the academy and break into the first-team squad,” the LaLiga champions said in a statement.

Yanez joined the Madrid youth set-up from Girona in 2010 and progressed into the C team and the Castilla side.

He became third-choice keeper under head coach Zinedine Zidane, behind Keylor Navas and Kiko Casilla, but he failed to make an appearance last season.

 

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Paulinho Confident Of Making It At Barcelona

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New Barcelona arrival, Paulinho is certain of proving his critics wrong and fitting into Barcelona’s style.

Barcelona signed the midfielder on a four-year contract, after activating his €40 million release clause.

There are doubts over whether Paulinho will be able to slide in seamlessly into Barcelona’s plans, something the former Tottenham star has promised.

“I’m certain I can fit in at Barca and prove that all the effort they made to get me here was worth it,” he said at his official presentation at Camp Nou.

“I know Barca have their own style and DNA but I think I can play here.

“I will play where I need to and see what opportunities I have. My intention is to help the team to win trophies.”

“In my second season at Tottenham, things didn’t go as I wanted but I accepted the offer from Chinese football and there I recovered my confidence and I won titles,” he said.

“Barca are Barca and I don’t think you can say no to them. To play here is to realise a dream.”

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Former Inter Milan Striker Rodrigo Palacio Joins Bologna

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Rodrigo Palacio has opted to prolong his time in Serie A by joining Bologna following his Inter Milan exit.

After five seasons with the Nerazzurri, the striker departed the San Siro at the end of his contract in June.

The former Boca Juniors man, who scored 58 goals in all competitions for Inter, will now attempt to revive Bologna’s fortunes after a 15th-placed finish last term.

“I am very happy to be here with you and hope we have a great season,” Rodrigo Palacio told the official Bologna YouTube channel.

“I don’t know the city that well, but people have spoken highly of it. I was really impressed with the training facilities and didn’t expect them to be this nice.

“I played with Mattia Destro at Genoa about seven years ago, he was very young and you could tell he was an Italian talent. Now he’s a reference point at Bologna and I hope he can score many goals.

“There are many young players and I aim to be a helpful presence in the locker room too.”

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Tottenham Agree Deal With Ajax To Sign Davinson Sanchez For £42m

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Tottenham and Ajax have agreed a deal for defender Davinson Sanchez

Tottenham have held lengthy negotiations with the Dutch giants in recent weeks but have settled on a packaged deal for the Colombian international that could reach £42million.

They will pay £28m for Sanchez as well as a potential extra £14m in add-ons. The only disagreement between Tottenham and Ajax remains the timing of the payments, with Ajax trying on Thursday to speed up the process faster than was initially planned.

Davinson Sanchez told Ajax on Monday that he wanted to join Spurs even though the club offered him a bumper new deal to keep him in Amsterdam

Sanchez,21, had been a target for Real Madrid and Barcelona last year but he will be playing for Spurs this season, providing competition for two other former Ajax players Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld at centre-back.

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Daily Roundup: Latest Football News Content Across Europe

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Italy

Antonio Conte wants Andrea Belotti at Chelsea. But Roman Abramovich is refusing to pay the €100m (£91m) release clause for the Torino forward – much to Conte’s frustration. (Tuttosport)

Juan Cuadrado is a Roma transfer target. The Giallorossi have turned their attentions to the Juventus winger after abandoning their pursuit of Riyad Mahrez. (La Gazzetta dello Sport)

Inter Milan want a centre-back and have made Manchester City’s Eliaquim Mangala their top target for the role. (La Gazzetta dello Sport)

Arturo Vidal is still an Inter Milan transfer target, despite Bayern Munich insisting he is not for sale. The Serie A side are expected to test the German club’s resolve right up to deadline day. (La Gazzetta dello Sport)

Stefan de Vrij, who has been subject of Liverpool transfer talk, is closing in on a new contract at Lazio. The Dutch defender’s current deal runs out next June, but he is willing to accept a renewal with a €25m (£22.7m) release clause. (Corriere dello Sport)

Spain

Valencia are close to signing Arsenal defender Gabriel. The 26-year-old defender knows manager Marcelino from their time together at Villarreal. (Marca)

Barcelona are closing in on Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and hope to sign him this week for a fee of more than €100m (£91million). (Sport)

Paulinho has passed his medical at Barcelona ahead of his move from Guangzhou Evergrande. (Mundo Deportivo)

Germany

Although Ousmane Dembele is expected to join Barcelona soon, there has been no contract for nine days between the Spanish side and his current club Borussia Dortmund. (Kicker)

Oliver Burke is a Crystal Palace transfer target. The winger is likely to leave RB Leipzig before the transfer window closes, but they don’t want to make a loss after signing him for £13m last summer. (Kicker)

After being replaced as Schalke captain, Benedikt Howedes is being chased by an unnamed club in England. (Bild)

Portugal

Benfica winger Andre Carrillo is very close to joining Watford on loan. (Record)

Andre Horta is a West Bromwich Albion transfer target. Tony Pulis is interested in taking the 20-year-old Benfica midfielder on loan. (Record)

France

Kylian Mbappe will once again be on the bench for Monaco this Friday for their game against Metz. The 18-year-old wants a move to Paris-Saint-Germain. (L’Equipe)

Marseille will not continue their interest in Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony, believing a return to Swansea City is most likely for the Ivorian. (L’Equipe)

Juventus-bound Blaise Matuidi would have preferred to have stayed at PSG, according to Sylvain Armand, who played alongside him in the French capital. (Le Parisien)

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Security Beefed Up For Magu, His Officials And Family After Gun Attack On EFCC Office

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The security ring around Ibrahim Magu and key officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been strengthened after a gun attack on its Abuja office yesterday.

It is also understood that security has been beefed for the EFCC Acting Chairman’s mother, who lives in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, including his family members.

The new security measures were taken after some gunmen on Wednesday attacked the agency’s office in Abuja.

The gunmen, who stormed the facility in the early hours of yesterday shooting sporadically, were however repelled by guards.

They then dropped a death threat for a senior investigator, Ishaku Sharu, who heads the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Fraud.

Speaking on the security measures, a source who pleaded not to be named, said the last seven months had been tough for Magu because of his refusal to bow to pressure from some high-profile suspects and Politically-Exposed Persons.

The source said: “In the past few weeks, security had been beefed up for Magu and his immediate family because of threats from some forces.

“His office was also recently reorganized  in line with the new security model. It is so bad that Magu now keeps his itinerary to himself until the last minute.

“Hitherto, there was no protection for Magu’s aged mother in Maiduguri. But of recent, some suspected elements have been prowling the family house in the Borno State capital and issuing threats to the woman.

“Due to old age, the mother of the Acting chairman could not recognise these elements. To avoid any harm, security has now been provided in and around the house.

“And following the recent raid of Magu’s uncompleted building in Karshi, Abuja  by some suspected agents, the police have deployed in more men for sentry duties.”

“It has really been tough because the pressure is too much on Magu, EFCC investigators and their families.

“With the invasion of the strategic office of the EFCC in Zone 7, it is evident that we need to strengthen security for all our operatives.”

Also, a statement issued by the Head of Media and Publicity of the anti-graft commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on the attack, read:

“A major security breach was recorded at the headquarters of the EFCC in the early hours of Wednesday, August 16, 2017 as unknown gunmen attacked the office located at Wuse Zone 7, Abuja.

“The group of heavily armed bandits invaded the office at about 05.00 hours and began shooting into the premises, damaging vehicles parked in the premises in the process. However, the attack was repelled by guards on duty.

“The hoodlums escaped in a getaway vehicle but not without leaving a message; a white envelope dropped by the fleeing attackers was found to contain a death threat addressed to Ishaku Sharu, a senior investigator with the Commission.

“Sharu, who heads the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Fraud Section, is in charge of corruption investigation involving several politically exposed persons and retired military brass hats.

“The attack on the Zone 7 office, which houses the Commission’s AMCON Desk, Procurement Fraud and Foreign Exchange Malpractices Sections, is coming few weeks after another investigator, Austin Okwor, was shot and injured by unknown assailants in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.”

“The latest incident has already been reported to the police for investigation.”

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Luis Suarez Ruled Out For At Least Four Weeks With Knee Injury

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Barcelona have confirmed that striker Luis Suarez will be out of action for at least four weeks.

Luis Suarez suffered a knee injury as the Catalans fell to a 5-1 aggregate defeat to arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana on Wednesday.

News of Suarez’s injury broke via the official Uruguay Football Association page, which was subsequently confirmed by the Blaugrana.

A Barca statement read: “Tests carried out on Thursday morning confirm that the Uruguayan has a distension in the posterior articular capsule in his right knee picked up in the second half of the Clasico on Wednesday in the Santiago Bernabeu.”

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West Brom Interested In Signing Tottenham Defender Kevin Wimmer

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West Brom are interested in signing Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer.

They haven’t yet made an official bid, but the Baggies have approached Spurs to ask whether they are prepared to sell. The news comes after Manchester City saw an £18m bid for Jonny Evans rejected.

Pulis is adamant he doesn’t want to lose his captain, and is keen on strengthening his defensive options whether or not Evans stays.

Stoke City also enquired about Wimmer’s availability earlier in the window, but withdrew their interest after the £7m signing of Bruno Martins Indi from Porto.

Signed for £4.3 million from FC Koln in May 2015, Wimmer made only four Premier League starts under Mauricio Pochettino last season. His departure suggests that Spurs could be making progress in their attempts to sign Davinson Sanchez from Ajax.

Albion completed the signing of Gareth Barry from Everton this week, while Jay Rodriguez and Ahmed Hegazi joined earlier in the summer.

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Jurgen Klopp Eplains Why Andy Robertson Has Been Left Out Since Joining Liverpool

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Jurgen Klopp has revealed why Andy Robertson is yet to feature for Liverpool after his summer move from Hull.

The left-back didn’t even make the bench for the opening two matches of the season against Watford and Hoffenheim.

Klopp has allayed any fears about Robertson making a slow start at Anfield, however, saying it is a case of letting him adjust to a new style.

“He is in a good moment,” Klopp told reporters, in his pre-Crystal Palace press conference on Thursday.

“His development so far is really good. He has adapted well and is a really, really good player.

“It is how it is, though, with a specialist left full-back. You can play but you can also not be in the squad.”

“He is in a really good way and everything is fine from my side.

“He came in late and has to adapt to our style of play and all that stuff, but everything is ok.

“We will see (about Andy Robertson featuring at the weekend). We came back yesterday and had a little session, and it was an intense game in Hoffenheim so we have one or two little things with players which we have to see.

“Things will change during the season a lot, and I’ve the told the players. It’s a long season ahead.

“If you train really good and work really hard, if you improve and develop, everything is going to be good at the end.”

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West Ham Tell Robert Snodgrass He Can Leave The Club

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West Ham have told Robert Snodgrass that he is surplus to requirements and is available either for transfer or a loan.

The Scottish international only signed for Slaven Bilic’s side in January, but the winger has now been informed that the club won’t stand in his way if he can find a move away from the London Stadium.

Snodgrass, 29, only joined West Ham from Hull in the January transfer window earlier this year, costing the Hammers a fee of over £10m and putting pen to paper on a contract until 2020.

But he has struggled to make an impact in the capital and West Ham are now keen to offload him.

Snodgrass has been linked with Leeds this summer, where he plied his trade from 2008 until 2012, when he left for Norwich City.

Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle have also been mooted as an option for the Scottish star and a switch to St. James’ Park would mean continued Premier League football for Snodgrass.
 

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Fulham Complete Signing Of Braga Striker Rui Fonte

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Fulham have confirmed the signing of S.C. Braga captain Rui Fonte for an undisclosed fee, penning a three-year deal with the option to extend it by a further 12 months.

Fonte joined Braga permanently last summer following a successful loan spell, and he ended the season with 11 goals from 24 league starts, making him comfortably the club’s top scorer as they finished fifth in the Primeira Liga.

Fulham signed French forward Aboubakar Kamara for £5m last month and Jokanovic wanted another striker as he bids for promotion to the Premier League.

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Football Headlines: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors This Evening

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LIVERPOOL ECHO

  • Southampton have effectively ended Liverpool’s hopes of signing Virgil van Dijk with a strong statement of intent – saying that the Dutchman is going nowhere.
  • Liverpool have turned their attention to Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri.

MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS

  • Manchester United are interested in signing Arsenal’s Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain.
  • West Ham are not interested in signing Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala.

LONDON EVENING STANDARD

  • Tottenham will eject any Chelsea fans found in the ‘home sections’ for this Sunday’s Premier League match at Wembley.
  • RB Leipzig forward Oliver Burke has attracted ‘concrete interest’ from Crystal Palace, according to reports in Germany.
  • Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote plans to sack Arsene Wenger if his long-promised takeover of Arsenal is ever successful.

NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE

  • Newcastle are trying to sign Chelsea youngster Kenedy after welcoming Joselu to the club in a £5m deal.

SUNDERLAND ECHO

  • French side Lyon are reported to be keeping tabs on Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong.

BIRMINGHAM MAIL

  • Birmingham City boss Harry Redknapp has confirmed that a deal is in place for Ryan Shotton to join Middlesbrough – but has reiterated that the move won’t go through until he has defensive reinforcements in place.
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers are one of a number of clubs to have taken an interest Le Havre forward Nathael Julan.

THE SENTINEL

  • Stoke City face a double brake on their interest in Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer.

THE DAILY ECHO

  • Southampton are leading the movement to have the Premier League transfer window close before the start of the season.

HULL DAILY MAIL

  • Leonid Slutsky has hinted that move for Leicester City’s Ahmed Musa is possible this summer.

THE ARGUS

  • Anthony Knockaert says it was an “easy decision” to stay even longer with Brighton & Hove Albion.

THE STAR

  • George Hirst will be allowed to leave Hillsborough on loan to further his football education after he has signed an Owls contract extension.
  • Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has reiterated his desire to make further signing after losing Richard Stearman to injury in Tuesday’s defeat at Cardiff.

EVENING TIMES

  • Stuart Armstrong is expected to sign a new deal with Celtic before Friday.

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Tecno Mobile Staged A Football Clinic, Set To Sponsor Nigerian Kids To UK

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As an extension of its corporate social responsibly, leading smartphone brand today stage a Football clinic tagged Squad to identify and consequently empower Nigerian kids who possess exceptional football playing skills to hone their skills.

Over 400 young lads trooped to the Federal College of Education Artificial turf, Akoka, Lagos where TECNO Mobile staged a football clinic for the participants. After a series of spectacular displays of skills and evaluations from different coaches, it was discovered that many of the participating kids are energetic and therefore possess the required talents to be successful footballers.

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The brand will be sponsoring about 15 kids from 6 African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Mali, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana and Cote d’lvoire to the UK on August 23th, 2017 on an all expense paid trip to hone their skills. TECNO Mobile has expressed delight at the success of the Football club and hope that their effort is helping people achieve their humankind potentials.

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There are a lot of expectations from several quarters concerning this project and how big/impactful it can become. Unsurprisingly, a couple of people already believe it could help the country to identify its next generation of football stars at their early days and have the opportunity of shaping their future at their prime.

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Nigerian Govt Grants Tertiary Institutions Approval To Conduct Post-UTME

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The federal government has granted tertiary institutions in the country the green-light to conduct Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME).

The Nation quoted the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, as saying this in Abuja on Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

The minister was quoted to have said that universities, polytechnics and other institutions are free to organise post-UTME screening as a pre-condition to gaining admission into public institutions.

In June last year, Adamu had announced the ban of post-UTME at a combined policy meeting on admissions.

But while announcing a reversal of the ban, he urged the institutions and its authorities to make the fees for the post-UTME screening affordable in order not to impose huge financial burdens on parents..

The minister added that the government was now wiser regarding the conduct of the examination.

He said: “We are going to allow universities to have some choice. Universities can now decide to organise post-UTME, if they want.

“We have asked them not to impose huge financial burden on the parents. The burden should not be more than what they can bear.”

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“Hate Speech Will Be Considered An Act Of Terrorism” – Osinbajo Declares

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The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo had declared that the Federal Government has drawn the line on hate speech, warning that not only will it be rejected, but it will henceforth be considered an act of terrorism.

The acting president made this known on Thursday while speaking at an ongoing security summit organised by the National Economic Council (NEC) holding at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended defines terrorism as an act deliberately done with malice which may seriously harm a country or is intended or can be reasonably regarded as having been done to seriously intimidate a population.

He further added that “silence in such situations can only be seen as an endorsement.

His words: “The federal government has today drawn the line on hate speech. Hate speech is a specie of terrorism.”

“The Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended defines terrorism as an act which deliberately done with malice which may seriously harm a country or is intended or can be reasonably be regarded as having been done to seriously intimidate a population.

“Silence in such situations can only be seen as an endorsement. Hate speech and the promotion of the same through history from Nazi. Germany and the extermination of Jews to the Rwandan genocide succeeded in achieving their barbarous ends by the silence of influential voices.

“The silence of leaders at this time in our country will be a grave disservice to our country, its peace and its future.”

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Jenas: Newcastle Must Spend To Keep Benitez

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Former Newcastle United player, Jermaine Jones has told the club to spend more in the transfer window or risk losing Benitez.

Newcastle won the championship last season and lost their first match back in the Premier League 2-0 to Tottenham.

Jermaine Jenas has warned the Toffees that they could lose Rafael Benitez if they don’t spend.

“I am 100 per cent with Rafa [on needing new players],” BT Sport pundit Jenas told Goal. “It is difficult for me because when I was playing for Newcastle United, they were third in the league and playing Champions League football and consistently were finishing the in top four.

“Yeah they won the Championship and finished last season on a high but it almost makes me sick that the players and manager put their heart and soul into the league and then they are not backed to improve.

“The market is crazy and they can’t afford to go too big on signings but as far as I am concerned with the team that they have got now will be in a relegation battle at the end of the season. Is that good enough for a club at the size of Newcastle? No, as far as I am concerned.

“So I am 100% behind Rafa Benitez. He has done his job, got them back into the Premier League at the first time of asking. You have banked god knows how many millions for being in the Premier League, or you will bank it over the next few years, now invest it and back me as a manager.

“I am with him all the way. It makes no sense to not go for it and protect your status. Not only that, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at what they have got and say it is not enough. I suppose Newcastle fans and even Rafa are probably only asking for signings to give them a better chance.

“Right now, they are amongst the bottom three teams. He wants a chance to survive and that’s all he’s asking for. If they don’t get it, they could lose their most important person and that’s Rafa Benitez.”

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Wanted Criminal “Ghana” Shot Dead In Benue State

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The Benue State Police Command has said that a notorious and wanted criminal, popularly known as Ghana – believed to be a member of the gang of the dreaded Terwase Akwaza group – has been shot dead by its operatives.

Confirming this, the spokesperson of the Command, Moses Yamu claimed that the Operation Zenda Special Crack Squad of the Command, following a tip-off, had stormed a hide-out of the gang along the border of Taraba State and on sighting the police officers a gun battle ensued.

Daily Sun quoted him as saying that Ghana was shot dead during the operation.

“The bandits immediately opened fire on sighting the Police team and in the ensuing gun duel, one Danladi Awudu aka Jerry who was hosting the meeting was hit by a bullet while others escaped with bullet wounds as there were traces of blood stains all over the place, however, he was confirmed dead on reaching the hospital,” Yamu said.

Yamu who disclosed that the team recovered an assault rifle No. 2051679 with one hundred and fifteen (115) rounds of live ammunition, ten (10) live cartridges, assorted charms, two (2) army camouflage shorts and other items, maintained that search for the fleeing members and the Gang leader was still ongoing.

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Nigeria Police Highest Bribe-Takers | Govt Officials Received N400bn Bribes In A Year – NBS

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A total of N400bn was received in bribes by public officials within a period of one year, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a report on Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

According to the report, police officers, judges and prosecutors are the highest recipients of bribes among government officials in Nigeria.

Police officers were however adjudged the highest takers of bribes.

The NBS brought the revelations to light on Wednesday in its National Corruption Report titled, “Corruption in Nigeria – Bribery: Public Experience and Response.”

It added that a survey carried out in collaboration with the UN office on drugs and crime showed that 32.3 per cent of Nigerian adults who had contact with public officials between June 2015 and May 2016 had to pay bribes to the government workers.

The report read in part: “Taking into account the fact that nine out of every 10 bribes paid to public officials in Nigeria are paid in cash and the size of the payments made, it is estimated that the total amount of bribes paid to public officials in Nigeria in the 12 months was around N400bn, the equivalent of $4.6bn in purchasing power parity.”

“This sum is equivalent to 39 per cent of the combined federal and state education budgets in 2016. This means that every time a Nigerian pays a cash bribe, he or she spends an average of 28.2 per cent of the average monthly salary of N18,900.

“Since bribe payers in Nigeria pay an average of 5.8 bribes over the course of one year, 92 per cent of which are paid in cash, they spend an average of N28,200 annually on cash bribes – equivalent to 12.5 per cent of the annual average salary.”

85.3 per cent of bribery cases in Nigeria, the report said, were initiated either directly or indirectly by public officials.

“With such a large portion of public officials initiating bribes, which are paid upfront, it seems that many public officials show little hesitation in asking for a kickback to carry out their duty and that bribery is an established part of the administrative procedure in Nigeria,” it said.

While money is the most important form of bribe payment in Nigeria, the report stated that other forms such as the provision of food and drink, the handing over of valuables or the exchange of another service or favour also existed.

The report further stated that law enforcement agents such as the police and judiciary workers such as judges and magistrates were the highest takers of bribe in Nigeria.

Police officers were however adjudged the highest takers of bribes.

The report added: “Police officers are the type of public officials to whom bribes are most commonly paid in Nigeria. Of all adult Nigerians who had direct contact with police officers in the 12 months prior to the survey, almost half paid the officers at least one bribe, and in many cases, more than one since police officers are also among the three types of public officials to whom bribes are paid most frequently in Nigeria.

“At the same time, the average bribe paid to police officers is somewhat below the average bribe size.

“Although fewer people come into contact with judiciary officials than with police officers over the course of the year, when they do, the risk of bribery is considerable: at 33 per cent, the prevalence of bribery in relation to prosecutors is the second highest, closely followed by judges and magistrates.”

Other public officials with a high risk of bribery, according to the report, are car registration/driving licence officers (28.5 per cent); tax and customs officers (27.3 per cent); road traffic management officials (25.5 per cent); public utilities officers (22.4 per cent); and land registry officers (20.9 per cent).

“This shows that corruption takes place across a number of different sectors of the public administration and that certain public officials have a disproportionate impact on the daily lives of Nigerians,” it added.

Although there is still a controversy over this report, it has highlighted the problem corruption poses to development and the need for the government to do more to tackle it.

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Costa: I Am Leaving Chelsea And Returning To Atletico

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Diego Costa has once again stated his desire to leave Chelsea and return to his former club, Atletico Madrid.

The Spain international has been training alone in Brazil, after Conte told him he would not feature in his plans.

Costa has taken legal action against Chelsea , already asking for a transfer away from the club, which will be put on hold due to the ban on Atletico.

The striker insists he will stay out of first team football at Chelsea, as he desires only to return to the La Liga.

“I must return to Atletico Madrid,” the striker’s statement begins. “We are at an impasse because Chelsea do not want to release me.

“But I believe that this situation will be resolved soon for my return to Spain.”

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Niger Delta University, UNN, UniAbuja Join ASUU Strike

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The Niger Delta University (NDU) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has joined the ongoing nationwide strike declared by the union.

The Chairman of the chapter, Dr Stanley Oguon, said on Thursday that the move followed a resolution reached after the local union emergency congress.

ASUU Embarks On Indefinite Strike “Nationwide” (See Details)

ASUU had on Monday directed all its state chapters to go on an indefinite nationwide industrial action.

Oguon said in Yenagoa that although the university was preparing for its end of semester examinations, the lecturers believe in the genuineness of the ASUU struggle.

Similarly, the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) of the union has joined the ongoing nationwide strike embarked upon by the union on Monday.

Ifeanyichukwu Abada, chairman of ASUU-UNN, made this disclosure at a news briefing on Wednesday in Nsukka, shortly after the union’s congress attended by members from Enugu and Nsukka campuses.

Abada said the congress noted with concern and disappointment the non-payment of academic allowances and the non-release of operational licence.

He said: “Having exhausted all avenues to get the government to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement and the 2013 MoU, ASUU resolved to embark on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike.

“Members are advised to adhere strictly to the directive of ASUU, on the ongoing strike, as defaulting members will be brought to book.

“Parents should know that we are fighting for them, as well as it is in the interest of students and we regret any inconvenience this strike may cause students and their parents.”‎

Also, the University of Abuja on Wednesday officially joined the nationwide strike.

Ben Ugheoke, UniAbuja ASUU chairman, told newsmen that the academic staff took the decision to join the strike after a meeting with its members on Wednesday.

“We have domesticated the total indefinite strike. The strike is on now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has pleaded with the union  to suspend its ongoing strike in the universities in the interest of the nation.

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Africa’s Richest Billionaire Dangote Vows To Sack Arsene Wenger Once He Buys Arsenal

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Nigerian billionaire and Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has vowed to sack Arsene Wenger if his long-promised takeover of Arsenal is ever successful.

The billionaire, who is valued at £10billion by Forbes earlier this year, has publicly expressed his desire to take over at the Emirates for several years and saw an initial bid to join Arsenal’s hierarchy collapse in 2010.

Arsene Wenger wins October BPL award

Arsene Wenger wins October BPL award

In an interview with Bloomberg, Dangote said he’d consider making an offer once the construction of his $11 billion oil refinery in Lagos is completed.

“The first thing I would change is the coach. He has done a good job, but someone else should also try his luck,” he said.

Arsenal’s biggest shareholder is American billionaire Stan Kroenke, who controls almost 67 percent of the company.

Earlier this year, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who already holds a 30 percent stake, sought to buy out Kroenke in an offer that valued Arsenal at as much as 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion).

However, Dangote, doubts he’d have trouble persuading Kroenke and Usmanov to sell.

“If they get the right offer, I’m sure they would walk away,” he said. “Someone will give them an offer that will make them seriously consider walking away. And when we finish the refinery, I think we will be in a position to do that.”

“It’s a great team, well-run. It could be run better, so I will be there,” he said. “I will wait. Even if things change I will take it.”

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10 Boko Haram Fighters Killed In Maiduguri Ambush

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No less than 10 Boko Haram fighters were on Wednesday killed by soldiers of the Nigeria military during an ambush at a village near Maiduguri, Borno State, an official has said.

A statement issued in Maiduguri by Col. Timothy Atigha, the deputy director Army Public Relations at the 8 Task Force Division, said the operation was carried out in Maza village of Mafa Local Government Area.

30 Killed, 80 Others Injured In Northern Nigeria Triple Suicide Attack

Mr. Antigha said on Wednesday night that the 10 Boko Haram fighters were killed as troops pushed forward “ongoing efforts to deny terrorists freedom of action in it’s Area of Responsibility.”

He also said that the troops launched  two separate attacks against  the insurgents at Maza, Danari and Mowo villages of Marte and Monguno Local Government Areas.

He said: “In continuation of ongoing efforts to deny terrorists freedom of action in its area of responsibility, troops of the 8 Task Force Division have neutralised 10 terrorists in Maza village of Marte Local Government Area of the state.

“The terrorists fell into an ambush laid by troops at about 9: 00 p.m.  on Tuesday  as they attempted to sneak back into their swampy hideouts in the Lake Chad Basin.

“Items recovered from the terrorists include 10 bicycles, 11 carts containing food items and 2 cows. In a related development, troops also recovered 50 cows abandoned by fleeing terrorists, during clearance operations conducted in Danari and Mowo villages in Monguno Local Government Area.

“It should be noted that as the noose continues to tighten on Boko Haram terrorists, couple with the wet season, they have resorted to the use of bicycles and charts as means of transportation.”

The Maza ambush happened at about 9 p.m., about two hours after three suicide bombers attacked a village market in Konduga Local Government where they caused the death of about 20 persons while over 80 others were critically injured.

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#ResumeOrResign: Charly Boy Suspends Anti-Buhari Protest Indefinitely, Calls Out Tuface

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The self-acclaimed Area Father and entertainer, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy on Wednesday suspended their protest indefinitely.

While the protest is aimed to campaign for the return or resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari, the suspension is coming barely a day after members of the group escaped lynching in the hands of pro-Buhari protesters at Wuse market, Abuja.

Speaking on the suspension at the Unity Fountain in Abuja yesterday, Charly Boy said the next line of action would be made known in the days ahead.

He said even though members of the group had received death threats, they were not deterred.

“We are not deterred by the intimidation and harassment by the sponsored thugs and we cannot be cowed by a few group of people. What government want to do is to ensure that we have a clash with the hired crowd and we will not allow that to happen,” he added.

The protesters had started a campaign on Monday last week, demanding that the president – who is on a medical vacation in the UK and has spent over 100 days in a year outside the country – resumes or resigns.

Before leaving the country on May 7, Buhari had earlier spent 49 days, still in the UK with the presidency refusing to make public the nature of his ailment.

Last night, the outspoken 66-year-old singer also had something to say to his colleague, Tuface Idibia, for not speaking out or joining the clamour for better governance.

2face had earlier organised the #IStandWithNigeriaprotest in February but pulled out in the last minute due to police reports that hoodlums were planning to hijack the protest. The protest however, still held in major cities across the country.

However, in the video, posted on Instagram, Charly Boy said, “My guy 2face, I am not happy with you. Since I couldn’t reach you directly, I decided to reach you through this medium. Do you remember when you called on Nigerian youths to come out and protest? We obeyed because we thought you had a good intention to stand up to the injustices against the youths and masses of this country. But, as you retreated into a hole since then, I am very pained. If a beckon of hope like you can be lily-livered when people need you more, what is your problem?

“2face are you happy with the way Nigeria is headed? Are you saying you have not head about the resume or resign protest, why are you not involved?”

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Pique: I Feel Inferior To Madrid

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Barcelona defender Gérard Pique says he feels inferior to Real Madrid for the the first time in his nine years at Camp Nou.

Barcelona were soundly thrashed by Real Madrid over two legs in the Spanish super cup, losing 5-1 on aggregate.

In quotes published on Football Espana following Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat in the second leg, Pique expressed his frustration with his club’s current situation.

“We’re not having our best time as a team or a club,” Pique said. “We should be as close to each other as possible and paddle forward.

“We must live with this defeat and accept that Madrid are better than us. The season’s very long and there’s room for improvement.

“Still, in the nine years I’ve been here, it’s the first time I feel inferior to Madrid.”

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