APC Wins In 13 States, PDP In Nine As INEC Declares 22 Governors-Elect
INEC Fixes March 23 For Gov Run-Offs In Six States – Punch, Page 2
The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday fixed March 23 for supplementary polls in six states where governorship elections were declared inconclusive after the March 9 elections. This was contained in a statement issued by the National Officer and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, after a meeting of the senior management team of the electoral body to review the conduct of the 29 governorship and 991 state Houses of Assembly elections on March 9. Okoye stated, “The Returning Officers in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto states declared the governorship elections inconclusive. Consequently, the commission will conduct supplementary elections on Saturday, March 23, 2019 to conclude the process.” He added that supplementary elections would also hold in polling units in all states where state Houses of Assembly polls were declared inconclusive and winners could not be declared.
Amosun, Okorocha In Dilemma After Defeat Of Protégés – Vanguard, Page 8
Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha of Ogun and Imo states respectively have been thrown into a dilemma on how to approach the defeats suffered by their protégés in last weekend’s governorship elections. Both men, who supported candidates against the choice of their party, All Progressives Congress, APC, for the governorship election, are in contemplation whether to endorse or back judicial challenges against the outcome of the polls. Governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Both men were as at yesterday, yet to congratulate the winners of the governorship election in their states. They were also yet to endorse a judicial appeal against the declarations. Prince Dapo Abiodun of APC won Ogun State governorship election as against the desire of Senator Amosun who backed Allied Peoples Movement, APM’s, Adekunle Akinlade as his successor. Okorocha, on the other hand, backed Mr. Uche Nwosu, his son-in-law, as his successor, against the candidate of the APC, Senator Hope Uzodinma. The Imo governorship election was, however, won by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s Chief Emeka Ihedioha. Neither Amosun nor Okorocha had at press time, yet to extend gestures to the winners of the election.
We’re Compiling Reports On Nigerian Elections – US – Punch, Page 25
The United States says it is compiling reports on the 2019 general elections with a view to giving a proper response on it. The US said it was actively involved with political happenings in the country, particularly regarding the 2019 election. The US Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, said this in a telephone press conference on Tuesday. Nagy said during the build-up to the elections, the US Ambassador, Stuart Symington, and his team took many steps to ensure that things went smoothly. The US official said in the pre-election period, in the election period and currently in the post-election period, they are providing phenomenal guidance to Washington on how the US Government should and should not respond to the election-related matters. He said, “So, just rest assured that the United States of America Embassy and the Consulate in Lagos, are actively involved and are doing an absolutely superb job to monitor events and to provide guides on how Washington should react to whatever the events there are.
Lagos Denies Hiking Price For Road Worthiness Certificate – Guardian Online Page
The Directorate of the Lagos Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) has debunked claims that it had increased the price for the issuance of Road Worthiness Certificate. In a statement yesterday, Director of the VIS, Abdul-Hafeez Toriola, an engineer, described the rumour as unfounded and without any substance. He said in spite of the fact that the Lagos State government had invested substantially in establishing 10 computerized centres across the state, government was not considering increasing the price for the processing of Road Worthiness Certificate. He reiterated the commitment of the government to ensure that Lagosians process their Road Worthiness Certificate (RWC) seamlessly. He also enjoined motorists wishing to process their RWC to shun touts and visit any of the 45 VIS workstations or the 10 Lagos Computerised Vehicle Inspection Service (LACVIS) centres.
‘Onnoghen Down With High BP, Toothache’ – Nation, Page 41
Suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen is suffering from high blood pressure and toothache, his lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, told the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) yesterday. The embattled CJN is standing trial before the CCT in relation to his alleged breach of code of conduct for public officers. He was arraigned by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) over alleged infractions in his asset declaration forms. Justice Onnoghen, who attended proceedings on Monday when the tribunal ordered a day-to-day hearing in the case, was absent at the resumption of proceedings yesterday. His lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, (SAN), told the tribunal that he (Awomolo) was informed Monday night that Onnoghen has developed tooth-ache. Adegboyega tendered a medical report in support of his claim. Lead prosecution lawyer, Aliyu Umar, (SAN), also said he got a copy of the medical report, which was signed by one Dr. Francis Uche, the Medical Director of Ideal Medical Services.
Gbajabiamila: APC Leadership Will Decide Next Speaker – Thisday, Page 48
The Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has hinted that the leadership of the 9the Assembly will be decided by the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). As mark of respect for Hon Temitope Olatoye, representing Lagelu/Akinleye constituency of Oyo State, who was shot dead last Saturday in his state during the governorship and state House of Assembly elections, the House of Representatives which reconvened yesterday adjourned till today. Gbajabiamila gave the hint immediately after a meeting of the APC caucus held at Room 1, House of Representatives wing of the National Assembly. He said the issue of the next leadership was not yet in the front burner among members of his party, and gave assurances that APC members will abide by any position taken by the party leadership. “We are not focused on that right now. It is very important but we have left that. The party will take a decision on which way it will go.”
FG Released N7.3tn For Recurrent, Capital Expenditure In 2018 – CBN – Punch, Page 21
Between January and December last year, the Federal Government spent about N7.36tn on the implementation of the 2018 budget. The amount was spent on three major expenditure components. They are recurrent expenditure, capital expenditure and statutory transfers. The 2018 budget, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 20 last year, had total spending of N9.1tn. The capital expenditure was to gulp 31.5 per cent of the total expenditure at N2.87tn, while recurrent non-debt spending was put at N3.51tn in 2018. There was also a provision of N2.01tn for debt servicing which was 21 per cent of the total budget while a provision of N177bn to retire maturing bond to local contractors was made by the government. The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing had the highest allocation with N715bn for both recurrent and capital expenditure, Ministry of Interior was to get N577bn while Defence was allocated N576bn. The Ministry of Education was allocated N542bn; Health, N356bn; Transportation, N267bn; and Agriculture N203bn.
IMF Moves Against Early Retirement In Developing Nations – Guardian, Page 21
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), has warned developing nations to be wary of early retirement and attendant effect on the economy. This is as IMF has projected at least two per cent rise in the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of cost of public pensions by 2050. According to the world monetary body, many emerging market economies and low income developing countries have started to face the challenges of growing aging population. Speaking at the launch of the IMF Staff Discussion Note, held recently in Tokyo, Japan, with the theme: ‘The Future of Saving: The Role of Pension System Design in an Aging World’, the First Deputy Managing Director, IMF, David Lipton, said that old age dependency ratio could put serious pressure on economic growth and fiscal imbalances. But industry regulator, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) believes Nigeria is spared of economic pressure, as the transition from defined benefit scheme (DBS) to the fully-funded contributory pension scheme (CPS), is a strong mitigating factor against pension funding crisis. This implies that the pension scheme maintains no liabilities at any given time.
Senate Begins Consideration Of N9 Trillion 2019 Budget Today – Guardian, Page 3
The Senate is to debate the general principles of the 2019 budget today. The resolution followed yesterday’s announcement by the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, at plenary. He urged interested lawmakers to notify the chamber. Procedurally, debate on budget proposals is centered on its general principles, particularly the policies and programmes it intends to facilitate. Last December, President Muhammadu Buhari presented a 2019 budget proposal of N8.83 trillion to the joint session of the National Assembly. The document was based on an oil price benchmark of $60 at an output of 2.3 mpd and exchange rate of N305 per dollar as well as real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.01. The budget was also based on an inflation rate of 9.98 per cent. The appropriation bill is made up of N4. 04 trillion recurrent expenditure and N2.03 trillion for capital projects.
Weak Nigerian Corporate Performance Depresses Consumer Goods Earnings – Guardian, Page 21
The consumer goods subsector is reeling under the pangs of harsh operating environment, just as the earnings of the sectors listed equities remained subdued with negative sentiments due to policy issues. Indeed the sector is currently bogged with heavy financing and operating costs, even as manufacturers are still faced with numerous challenges that are largely responsible for the not too impressive performance in the last few years. Due to the purchasing power of the average Nigerian which is quite low, worsened daily by rising inflation, unemployment and underemployment, there seems to be a reduction in the demand for fast moving consumer products with the attendant effect on revenues and profits. Also, the industry is grappling with rising production costs mainly due to inadequate or in some places non-existent power supply. Diesel costs are spiralling and coupled with the low level of power supply, are putting a financial burden on the sector.
Bank Customers’ Cheque Usage Drops As E-Payment Rises – Punch, Page 27
Cheque usage by bank depositors is on the decline as Automated Teller Machine, Point of Sale and other electronic payment systems gain ground. According to figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the volume and value of cheques decreased to 4.7 million and N2.6tn in the first half of 2018, compared to the 5.3 million and N2.78tn in the corresponding period of 2017, reflecting a decline of 11.3 and 6.5 per cent, respectively. The decrease was attributed to consumers’ preference for the use of other modes of payment. The volume and value of electronic payments increased to 953.176 million and N62.8tn at the end of June 2018, compared with 829.422 million and N52.65tn at the end of December 2017, representing an increase of 14.92 and 19.31 per cent, respectively. The rise reflected public confidence in the electronic payments system, the CBN stated.
Stock Market Investors Withdraw N61.67bn In One Month – Punch Online Page
Foreign and domestic investors in the nation’s stock market pulled out a total of N61.67bn in January, the Nigerian Stock Exchange said on Monday. The NSE said foreign and domestic investors withdrew N39.04bn and N22.63bn respectively from the market in the month while a total of N60.42bn was injected into the market. Outflow includes sales transactions or liquidation of portfolio investments through the stock market, while inflow includes purchase transactions on the NSE (equities only), according to the data. The concerns over the general elections and rising interest rate in the United States and some other developed economies had resulted in the exit of foreign investors from the NSE in recent months. The PUNCH reported in January that foreign investors pulled out N642.65bn from the stock market last year, compared to the N435.31bn withdrawn in 2017, citing data from the NSE.
10 Companies Control 71% Of NSE Equities Market Capitalisation – Thisday, Page 23
Ten companies, led by Dangote Cement Plc, account for 71 per cent of the market capitalisation of the equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), THISDAY investigation has shown. Hence, any change in the share price of any of the 10 companies affects the level of the market capitalisation and direction of the market. The market capitalisation of the equities refers to the value of all the 168 equities listed on the NSE, which stood at N11.797 trillion as at Monday. However, an analysis of the capitalisation showed that the 10 companies account for N8.49 trillion. Dangote Cement Plc has the highest capitalisation of N3.322 trillion or 28 per cent. Nestle Nigeria Plc occupied the second position with N1.173 trillion, followed by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank Plc) with N1.098 trillion. Zenith Bank Plc accounts for N714.270 billion, just as Nigerian Breweries Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc account for N594.682 billion and N480 billion respectively. Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and FBN Holdings Plc’s capitalisation stood at N330.271 billion and N294.341 billion in that order. United Bank for Africa Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated account for N250.658 billion and N235.677 billion respectively.
NSE All-Share Index Sheds 1.02% As Market Sustains Bear Run – Thisday, Page 39
The stock market sustained its bearish run yesterday as 36 stocks, including bellwethers, recorded price losses while only eight stocks appreciated. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index dipped by 1.02 per cent to close at 31,313.36, while market capitalisation shed N120.6 billion to close at N11.7 trillion. Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said in the absence of a positive catalysts, as well as the still tense polity, investors should trade cautiously in the short term. “However, stable macroeconomic fundamentals and compelling valuation remain supportive of recovery in the mid-to-long term,” they said. The bears were dominated by bellwethers such as Dangote Cement Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, GTBank Plc and Double One Plc. However, International Breweries Plc led the losers’ table with 9.9 per cent, trailed by A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc with 8.8 per cent. Jiaz Bank Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc went down by 8.6 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.
BDC Rates – BusinessDay, Page 1
Stock Market Report – March 12
ALL SHARE INDEX 31,313.36
EQUITY CAP N11,677,236,637,982.03
BOND CAP N10,375,574,493,870.70
ETF CAP N6,096,874,537.64
CIBN, Ecobank Partner On Financial Inclusion, Capacity Building Punch, Page 27
The President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Dr. Uche Olowu has commended Ecobank’s strategies at attracting the unbanked and under-banked in the country through its various digital offerings. He affirmed that Ecobank’s recent activities across various markets clusters are a major boost to the regulators financial inclusion policy. Olowu who was speaking during a CIBN stakeholder’s engagement with Ecobank’s management in Lagos recently, alluded to the various digital payment solutions that the bank currently parades such as RapidTransfer, Ecobank QR payment option, the EcobankPay, Xpress Account amongst others. He noted that apart from stress-free transactions process enjoyed with the digital products, they are fast boosting business and economic activities across the markets. The CIBN President said: “We commend the bank on its promotion of digital banking and payments through its various platforms which have won it many awards. “This is certainly the way to go. And, we also appreciate your support to the Institute’s activities and programmes.” Furthermore, Olowu said the institute was collaborating with banks, that includes Ecobank to promote capacity building, ethics and professionalism in the sector.
FCMB Introduces Initiative To Drive SMEs Growth –Punch, Page 47
First City Monument Bank Plc says it has introduced a value-added initiative called SheVentures for women-owned Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. In a statement, it said the initiative would provide enhanced support to existing and upcoming women-owned SMEs through access to finance, training and mentoring, to boost their business in a sustainable manner. The statement read in part, “This initiative is the FCMB Women in Business Unit and was launched at an impressive ceremony on March 7, 2019, in Lagos as part of the bank’s activities to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day under the theme, ‘Balancing for better.’ At the ceremony, some women SME operators received loans ranging from N500,000 to N5,000,000.”
ECOWAS Bank To Raise 25b Francs In Q1 – Nation Online Page
The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) plans to raise 25 billion francs (FCFA 25 billion) this quarter as the regional financier continues to explore domestic and international funding opportunities. Speaking after the 61st meeting of the board of directors recently, President, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), Mr. Bashir Ifo said the bank has a continuous process through which it raises funds from financial markets within the region, Europe and Asia to finance its projects. He said the bank plans to raise 25 billion francs within the UEMOA capital market this quarter. He noted that the bank has also been authorised to issue a Eurobond in the international capital market, adding that EBID also raises funds on a bilateral basis from Asia especially from EXIM Bank India while discussions are ongoing with China Development Bank.
UPMFB Disburses N1.1bn Loans To Customers – Thisday, Page 31
The Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank Enugu (UPMFB) disbursed a total of N1.1billion as loans to its customers Economy in 2018. The credit facilities where to micro small and medium scale enterprises, as well as to farmers and low income workers within its operational area that included 10 of the 17 local government areas in Enugu State, most of them in the rural areas, in 2018. Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank Enugu gave the Credit facilities to boost or sustain businesses and agricultural activities, or to start fresh businesses and enhance the quality of life of its salary loans beneficiaries and their families.
Wema Bank, Songversation With Aramide Partner – Nation, Page 37
Gender balance in society will take centre stage as Wema Bank collaborates with Afro-soul queen, Aramide to host Songversation with Aramide. As part of global efforts to promote women’s rights, equality and justice, the event will capture the ‘Balance for Better’ theme of the 2019 International Women’s Day. Although in its second year, Wema Bank is poised to use the platform to promote a positive narrative for Nigerian women and re-emphasise their significance in establishing a better society. This is a continuation of the bank’s effort to provide avenues for the progress of women in society. Last year, the bank celebrated women in Nigeria’s tech space through Tech Chicks – a platform that highlights the achievement of young women in the technology industry.
MTN Launches New Smart Phone – Thisday, Page 31
MTN Nigeria has joined the league of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) of mobile phones, to introduce its own smart phone. Although it is a feature phone, but it comes with the features of an android smartphone, hence it is tagged smart feature phone. With the MTN smart feature phone, users can browse the internet, send both text and voice messages in any language, do WhatsApp calls with other android smartphones, take selfies, connect to App Store, Facebook, Google Map, among other smartphone features, and it comes with free 500MB monthly data for the first six months.
Court Orders FBN To Pay 2015 Retirees’ Entitlement – News Agency of Nigeria
The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Tuesday ordered First Bank of Nigeria Plc to pay its 2015 retirees their entitlements. Justice Sanusi Kado, delivering judgment on behalf of Justices Benedict Kanyip and Rakiya Haastrup. Justice Kado in the judgment declared that the dispute between the parties was a Trade Dispute and the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP), had the jurisdiction to have listened to the matter. The judge further declared that the respondents had authorisation to sue in representative capacity. He also affirmed the IAP’s award of 100 per cent payment of entitlement, he, however, limited it to only four of the retirees who were able to prove their unpaid entitlements. The judge further affirmed the payment of 30 per cent annual basic salary as repatriation allowance as granted by IAP. In addition, the respondents were granted payment of three months salary in lieu of notice. The court also affirmed the decision of the IAP for relief of waiver of up-front payment to the retirees.
Lagos Impounds 22 ‘Gokada’, ‘Maxokada’ Motorcycles, 93 Others …To Prosecute 10 Riders – Punch, Page 4-5
The Lagos State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences, on Tuesday, impounded 115 motorcycles, including 22 branded commercial motorcycles called ‘Gokada’ and ‘Maxokada’, for violating the state road traffic laws. The Chairman of the task force, Olayinka Egbeyemi, stated that the motorcyclists were operating on restricted routes and driving against traffic around Ikeja, Ojota and Maryland. Egbeyemi, who said the activities of the branded commercial motorcycle operators were illegal and without valid documentation by the state government, ordered the owners and operators of ‘Gokada’ and ‘Maxokada’ to comply with the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, 2012. He added that in accordance with the law, no commercial motorcycle operator was allowed to operate on 475 restricted routes, including highways and bridges across the state. He said, “The government enjoined members of the public to henceforth desist from patronising commercial motorcyclists on all restricted routes as the passengers are also liable to prosecution.
Mechanic’s Wife Loses Pregnancy After Alleged Assault By Landlady, Sons – Punch, Page 4-5
The family of Sodiq Tijani, an automobile mechanic, is in a bad mood presently after his wife, Kehinde, lost her four-month-old pregnancy to an alleged assault by their landlady, Toyin Sulaimon aka Iya Sade, and her sons, Azeez and Baba Oja, in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State. PUNCH Metro gathered that the house, which is located on No 33 Udem Street, Brown bus stop, Iju-Ishaga, was bequeathed to Toyin and her siblings and the room Sadiq rented belonged to one of her siblings, identified simply as Bankole. While Toyin had been collecting rent from Sodiq on behalf of her brother, a disagreement between her and the tenant was said to have started when he refused to follow her instruction to lie to Bankole that he had yet to pay his rent though she had allegedly collected six months’ rent from him. Annoyed by his refusal, Toyin was said to have ordered him to park out of the apartment after his rent must have elapsed, but while the tenant was making arrangements to leave the house, the landlady and her sons allegedly assaulted Sodiq and his pregnant wife, which led to the loss of the pregnancy.
Robbers Shoot Shop Attendant, Steal Cash – Punch, Page 5
A four-man armed men reportedly robbed a provisions shop at Abule in the Elepe area of Ikorodu, Lagos State, around 9.48pm on Sunday. The 15-year-old shop attendant, Nduka Nwagbala, from Ebonyi State, was said to have been shot in the hand. His brother, who is the owner of the shop, was said to have travelled to Ebonyi State, while his other brother, who lives not too far away, was said to have taken the victim to the hospital for treatment. The four-man gang was said to have fired shots in the air to scare passersby as they carried out their operation in the shop. An eyewitness, who identified himself simply as Ndubuisi, said the incident was like a drama as he had gone to the shop to buy some items but he and the shop attendant were ordered to lie face down by the robbers. He added that the robbers collected the cash, which he had wanted to use for shopping. According to him, some residents, who got wind of the robbery, called the police, who did not respond to the distress calls on time. Ndubuisi stated, “I went to the shop, which belongs to one of my brothers, to pick up some items. Less than two minutes after I got there, some young men walked in.
Gunmen Kidnap Expatriate, Kill Driver – Guardian Online Page
A foreign national was reported kidnapped early Tuesday morning at a construction site at Dangi Roundabout, Zaria Road in Kano. A reliable source told The Guardian the kidnappers instantly short dead a Nigeria driver at the spot before the expatriate was whisked to an unknown destination. The expatriate is believed to be one of the engineers of Triacta construction company handling the multi-billion underpass state government project on Dangi roundabout adjacent Zoo road in Kano metropolis. Kano State police spokesman Haruna Abdullahi confirmed the development.
EFCC Arraigns Woman For N21.9m Investment Fraud – Punch, Page 5
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Tuesday, arraigned a woman, Jallaba Mala Bukar, before a Maiduguri High Court over a N21.9m investment fraud. Bukar was arraigned on three counts bordering on criminal breach of trust before Justice Abdullahi Sanya of the Borno State High Court sitting in Maiduguri. The EFCC charged the suspect after investigations conducted into three separate petitions against her revealed that sometime in 2017 on different occasions, she allegedly fraudulently influenced one Mohammad Nur Alhaji, Hafsat Muhammad and Ba’ana Modu, who entrusted their money to her for investment in a company called Swith golden. The victims alleged in their petitions that the money was given to Bukar for investment purposes, but it was instead converted to her personal use and all efforts to recover the money proved abortive. Bukar, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecuting counsel, Haruna Abdulkadir, prayed the court for a trial date.
‘I Didn’t Kill My Wife With A Pestle, Dump Her Body In A Stream’ – Guardian, Page 12
A 49-year-old electrician, Ismaila Salau, yesterday in an Igbosere High Court denied killing his wife, Silifat Yakubu, with a pestle. Salau was arraigned in 2015 on a count charge of murder preferred against him by the Lagos State government. At the resumed hearing, the witness, who was led in evidence by his counsel, Mr. A.A. Babalola, said that on October 3, 2014, he was held up in traffic after running errands for a friend. The witness told the court that on the fateful day, he left home at about 6:00a.m. and returned back the following day at 4:00a.m. because his friend sent him on an errand. “I was held up in traffic until the early hours of the following morning. My car also fell into a ditch due to flood,” he told the court. He said that he called his wife who was visiting her parents during the Salah festivities. Salau said that when he got home, he did not see his wife and her phone was switched off. The witness said he called his older daughter who told him that the deceased left her mother’s house since 8:00p.m. Salau narrated how he went for a village meeting the following day and heard about a pregnant woman who drowned in the stream.
Sexagenarian Remanded For Armed Robbery In Lagos – Punch, Page 4
A 61-year-old man, Rotimi Ariremako, has been remanded in prison custody for allegedly belonging to an armed robbery gang that reportedly stole a bus filled with goods valued at N15m. Ariremako, whose residential address was not given, was arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on two counts bordering on armed robbery. The police prosecutor, Michael Unah, told the court that the defendant committed the offences with others still at large on November 9, 2018. According to the prosecutor, the defendant and his gang attacked the driver of a J5 bus with number plate EPE 476 UX, which was en route Jos from Lagos. Unah said, “On getting to Ile-Ife, Osun State, the robbers attacked the driver and made away with the bus as well as the goods contained in it to an unknown destination. “They also took the driver’s phone, which was used in tracking down the suspect.”
NPFL: We Are Prepared For Lobi, Says MFM’s Zikiye – Thisday, Page 54
Mountains of Fire and Miracles Ministries FC left-back, Jonathan Zikiye has said that his team is ready and fully prepared to give Lobi Stars a good fight for the three points ahead of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Match-day 3 rescheduled fixture. The Makurdi-based team will host MFM in a rearranged Nigerian topflight fixture today at the Aper Aku Stadium. Both teams have met five times in the NPFL. MFM and the hosts won two games each and shared the spoils in their last meeting with a goalless draw. Zikiye disclosed in an interview minutes after his team’s work out session on Tuesday at the Aper Aku Stadium that the Olukoya Boys are ready to battle Lobi for the maximum points. “We came to Makurdi fully prepared though we know the capability of what Lobi Stars can do on the pitch, they just came from the continent I think they will come all out because they struggled in their last home match. I think they will want to see how they can bounce back with this game.
Players Arrive As GT Bank Lagos Polo Gallops Off Today – Guardian, Page 46
Some of the best Nigerian players and their foreign counterparts have arrived in Lagos for the prestigious GTB International Polo Championship, which gallops off at the Lagos Polo Club, Ribadu Road, Ikoyi today. The GTB Lagos International Polo Championship is a 10-day event, which offers prizes in various categories to the successful participants. It will be flagged off by the Silver Cup, which traditionally is the first event on the card, with three matches featuring teams from Lagos, Kano and Ibadan. Also to happen today is the Low Cup, which would close the day’s activities. In this year’s competition, 33 teams have been listed to compete in four cups, with 12 battling in the Silver Cup, which is the lowest grade in the tournament. Five teams will contest for the top prize in the medium-goal Low Cup, while the prestigious Majekodunmi Cup, which will round off the polo extravaganza, will feature two teams, STL of Lagos and Abuja-based Almat.
D’Tigers To Know FIBA World Cup Foes On March 16 – Guardian Online Page
Nigeria’s national men’s basketball team, D’Tigers will know their opponents at the FIBA World Cup when the draw holds in Shenzhen, China on March 16, 2019.The team will be making their third appearance after a 12 -year absence since 2006. All eyes will be on the Alex Nwora tutored side ahead of the Mundial holding between August 31 and September 15 in China after becoming the first country to qualify in the world for the World Cup on the back of a nine-match unbeaten streak. Speaking ahead of the draws, Nwora said, “Nothing good comes easy and I am waiting to see the teams that will be drawn against us. The 32 teams, which have qualified for the World Cup, have the potential to win the championship, so no country can be underrated.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Champions League Knockout King Again – www.skysports.com/Football/News/
Juventus forward scored a hat-trick to eliminate Atletico Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick against Atletico Madrid shows why he is the Champions League knockout king. Ronaldo scored all three goals in Juventus’ 3-0 win in Turin as they became only fourth team in Champions League history to progress after losing 2-0 in the first leg. It was a sweet moment for the 34-year-old as he once again put one over on his old rivals from the Spanish capital as well as helping Juventus into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Ronaldo made another piece of history. Ronaldo moved level with Lionel Messi on eight Champions League hat-tricks After scoring with two headers, he converted a late penalty to complete his hat-trick – the eighth of his Champions League career. That moves him level with Lionel Messi.
Arsenal Take Decision Against Contract Rebels – Punch, Page 45
Arsenal club chiefs have reportedly confirmed that players who have two years remaining on their contracts and refuse to sign a new deal will be sold by the Gunners. The north London giants have suffered a raft of recent transfer sagas when it comes to out-of-contract stars, with Alexis Sanchez leaving in a swap deal in January 2018 after running his contract down while Aaron Ramsey is heading to Juventus this summer. Mesut Ozil also used the same strategy when it came to his new contract, with Arsenal giving into his mammoth wage demands to make him the highest paid player at the club by some distance. At a fans’ forum before Sunday’s impressive win over Manchester United, managing director Vinai Venkatesham and director of football Raul Sanllehi addressed the supporters in a 90-minute meeting, alongside surprise guest, club director Josh Kroenke.
Chukwueze Is Best Talent From Nigeria Since Mikel’ – Thisday, Page 54
Former junior international, Samuel Chukwueze, has been described as the best football prospect to come out of Nigeria since John Mikel Obi burst into the scene in 2005. The former junior international who has been the subject of transfer interests from both Atletico Madrid and Leicester City grabbed his third LaLiga goal of the season for Villarreal to secure maximum points for the Yellow Submarine in their 2-1 win at Levante last Sunday. The 19-year-old was introduced as a 63rd-minute substitute and impressively curled a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez after receiving a pass from Santi Cazorla. Super Star Academy President, Prince Victor Apugo who doubles as mentor for Chukwueze after discovering the player in Umuahia and helping in nurturing the prodigy during his time as General Manager of Diamond Academy reckons the best is yet to come from the teenage sensation.
Ramon Calderon claims that “dressing room leaders” at Real Madrid rejected Jose Mourinho’s return to the Bernabeu in favour of Zinedine Zidane. The France World Cup winner has returned to the club to replace the sacked Santiago Solari – just nine months after leaving, having led the Spanish giants to three successive Champions League titles. However, former Real president Calderon had previously stated that Mourinho was the club’s top target after he parted ways with Manchester United back in December. But Calderon now claims that key dressing room leaders rejected that proposal. Mourinho, who left Real back in 2013, also appeared to be a popular choice among fans, who were chanting his name after the 4-1 Champions League drubbing by Ajax. But speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, Calderon said, “The dressing room leaders pushed to reject the possibility of Jose Mourinho.
Ex-Madrid Chief Reveals Why Mourinho Was Rejected – Punch, Page 46
Europa League Specialist Emery Seeks Rennes Revenge For Arsenal – Punch, Page 46
Unai Emery is not used to losing in the Europa League, but the Arsenal manager must summon a response from his team if they are to overturn a shock 3-1 defeat in the first leg of their last 16 tie with Rennes and remain in the hunt for a trophy in his first season with the Gunners. Emery won three consecutive Europa League titles with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016 and winning the competition once more would guarantee Arsenal a much-needed return to the Champions League next season after a two-year absence. A 2-0 win over Manchester United at the Emirates on Sunday was perfect preparation for the Gunners, who moved into the Premier League top four and sent a warning to Rennes over the stark contrast between their form at home and on the road ahead of Thursday’s clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Solskjaer Appointment Imminent As United Dangle £8m Deal – Punch, Page 45
Manchester United plan to announce Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their permanent manager before the club next plays in the Premier League, according to a report on Tuesday. The Norwegian has rejuvenated the club since being parachuted in as interim manager in December, with Arsenal becoming the first side to beat United under Solskjaer in the Premier League on Sunday. That result ended a run of 14 wins from 16 games under Solskjaer, a run of form that has lifted the club into the FA Cup quarter-finals, the Champions League quarter-finals and firmly back in the running for a top-four finish. Although Gary Neville has warned Solskjaer he still has plenty to do before United can consider this season a success, the Daily Mirror claim Solskjaer is now the only option to take permanent charge at Old Trafford after convincing the United hierarchy he is the right man for the job.