Daily Media Summary, Thursday, April 18, 2019

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Daily Media Summary
Daily Media Summary

Foreign Investors Withdraw N94bn From Stock Market In 2 Months – Vanguard, Page 19

Foreign investors have withdrawn N94.09 billion from the Nigerian stock market in the first two months of the year as the equities market continues to tumble. The total foreign outflow represents 56.7 percent of total foreign portfolio commitment in the stock market during the two month period and outpaced foreign portfolio inflow, which stood at N71.74 billion, by 23.8 percent. Total foreign investors’ stake in the market stood at N165.8 billion within the period. Breakdown of monthly foreign inflows, according to Data on Foreign & Domestic Portfolio Participation on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, shows that foreign outflows increased by 5.20 percent month-on-month (MoM) from N37.11 billion in December 2018 to N39.04 billion in January, while it rose by 41 percent MoM in February to N55.02 billion. Shareholder Analysts at United Capital Plc explained that the current risk-off sentiment in the market may have something to do with investor uncertainty, as markets are coming to terms with the policy implications (and the resulting impact on the macro-economy) of President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.

Foreign Reserves Gained $1.85bn In One Month – CBN – Punch, Page 32

The nation’s foreign reserves rose by $1.85bn to $44.728bn as of April 12 from $42.87bn in March 12, according to latest statistics from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The value, rose from a value of $43.041bn in December 17, 2018 to $43.047bn as of January 9, 2019. Records revealed that the reserves, which suffered declines in past months, had been maintaining a steady rise of recent. While speaking on efforts to conserve the country’s foreign exchange, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele said, “We introduced a demand management approach in order to conserve our reserves. In this regard, we analysed our import bill, and encouraged manufacturers to consider local options in sourcing their raw materials, by restricting access to foreign exchange on 41 items, which we later increased to 43 items.”

Mutual Fund Segment Generates N65 Billion Profit In Q1 – Guardian Online Page

Mutual funds asset class has generated 10.44 per cent or N64.892 billion profit in the first quarter of 2019, from N621.593 billion recorded as at December 28, 2018 to N686.485 billion, a data released by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), has shown. The data showed that despite the decline of 1.24 per cent witnessed in the equities market during the period under review, the Nigerian mutual fund managers witnessed a growth. All the categories of mutual funds appreciated in Q1, except ethical funds, which declined by N12 million.A breakdown of performance in the segment showed that equities-based funds rose by N55 million, while money-based funds, which is the most active, rose by N52.363 billion.

Furthermore, bond funds gained N2.317 billion, while fixed income, real estate and mixed funds, appreciated by N8.87 billion, N1.069 billion and N341 million respectively.

Banks Partner Mojec On Prepaid Meters – Thisday, Page 38

Mojec Meter Assets Management Company, a subsidiary of Mojec International Limited, has announced a partnership with some banks to provide retail financing for the rollout of prepaid meters to its customers within the coverage area of its partner distribution companies (DISCOs) across the country. The banks included Keystone Bank, Wema Bank, Unity Bank, Zenith Bank, Polaris Bank, First Bank, Sterling Bank and First Option Microfinance Bank. A statement explained that the partnership was a major step ahead of the commencement of the much-anticipated Meter Asset Providers (MAP) scheme. It also revealed that the partnership and Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony took place in Lagos. MAP is a scheme approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) through a regulation meant for the provision, supply, installation and maintenance of end-user meters by Meter Asset Providers with a view to fast-tracking a closure of the metering gap and end estimated billing in Nigeria.

Investors Gain N84bn As Stock Market Rises Further – Punch, Page 27

Investors in the country’s stock market gained N84bn on Wednesday’s trading session as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange increased to N11.257tn from N11.173tn recorded on Tuesday. The All Share Index increased by 0.76 per cent to close at 29,970.86 basis points, compared with the 29,746.24 bps recorded on Tuesday. Price appreciation in Nestlé Nigeria Plc continued while bargain hunting persisted in Dangote Cement Plc and Access Bank Plc. Activity level weakened as volume and value traded declined by 32.8 per cent and 30.7 per cent to 216 million units and N3.2bn, respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were Access Bank (39.2 million units), United Bank for Africa Plc (24.2 million units) Lasaco Assurance Plc (20.8 million units), Zenith Bank Plc (16.3 million) and First City Monument Bank Plc (10.9 million) while the top traded stocks by value were Nestlé (N1.5bn), Zenith Bank (N342.5m) Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N311.6m), Access Bank (N259m) and UBA (N156.9m).

BDC Rates – BusinessDay,  Page 1

USD              360

GBP              477

EUR              406

Stock Market Report – April 17

ALL SHARE INDEX           29,970.86

DEALS                            4,025.00

VOLUME                          216,012,863.00

VALUE                             N3,227,709,025.25

EQUITY CAP                    N11,257,282,793,093.64

BOND CAP                       N10,744,485,929,213.40

ETF CAP                          N5,621,606,917.78

Buhari Asks Ministers To Submit Handover Notes – Thisday, Page 1

An indication that President Muhammadu Buhari may dissolve the Federal Executive Council (FEC) earlier than the May 29 terminal date of his first term in office emerged yesterday when he asked ministers and agency heads to turn in their handover notes by Wednesday. THISDAY had reported exclusively on Monday that the president was weighing his options on the status of the ministers and that he might ask them to go shortly even as he might not reappoint most of them. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, Wednesday said the president asked his appointees to come up with a comprehensive status reports on policies, programmes and projects of their respective ministries, departments and agencies. According to him, the government officials have Wednesday, April 24, 2019 as the deadline for submission of their reports to the Presidential Audit Committee in the Office of the Vice President.

Buhari Challenges Atiku To Present His Credentials – Nation, Page 1

President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to allegations in the petition by Atiku Abubakar and his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), before the Presidential Election Tribunal. Buhari, in a response filed on Tuesday by a team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), debunked Atiku’s and PDP’s claim  that he was not qualified to run for President.

The President said he was far more qualified than Atiku and challenged him to produce his academic credentials before the tribunal. He argued that Atiku was not qualified to run for the office. Buhari said he did not, “at any time, provide any false information in Form CF00] submitted to the lst respondent, either in 2014 or 2018. “The affidavit of compliance to the 2019 Form CF001 was correct in every material particular. “In filling Form CF001 in 2014 and 2019, respondent was not oblivious of the constitutional qualifications stipulated in Section 131 of the Constitution and interpreted in Section 318 of the same Constitution.”

Senate Begins Move To Override Buhari On Budget Timeline Bill – Guardian, Page 1

Senate yesterday began the process of overriding President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the budget timeline bill. It arrived at the decision after adopting the report of a technical committee it set up to study bills rejected by the president. The bill seeks to amend the 1999 Constitution by making it mandatory for the president and state governors to lay budget estimates before parliament, three months to the end of a financial year. It will also compel the parliament to pass the budget before the commencement of the next financial year. Tagged “SB.733, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No. 28) Bill”, the proposed legislation, which scaled first reading on Tuesday, passed second reading during yesterday’s plenary. The bill was sponsored by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu). Buhari had in 2018 declined assent to the constitution amendment bill on the grounds that Section 2 (b) and 3 (b) of the proposal appeared “not to take full cognisance of the provisions of Section 58 (4) of the 1999 Constitution”. While rejecting the president’s submission, the David Umaru-led technical committee posited that the bill was not in conflict with the 1999 Constitution. The purpose of the bill, the committee explained, was to ensure that Nigeria reverts to the January to December budget cycle.

FG Seeks Fresh $247.3m External Loan – Punch, Page 30

The Federal Government will take another fresh external loan of $247.3m for the development of infrastructure, despite the country’s rising debt profile. The Federal Executive Council made the approval at its sitting in Abuja on Wednesday. It came just days after the International Monetary Fund raised eyebrows over Nigeria’s current N24.38tn debt, advising the country to take borrowing slowly. Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting rose, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, gave a breakdown of the fresh loan. She stated that $150m would come from the African Development Bank, to be spent specifically on rural electrification projects; $50m from Africa Grow Together Fund for other electrification projects; and $20m from French Development Agency, which would be loaned to the  Lagos State Government. Lagos plans to use the $20m to build new roads and rehabilitate existing ones. Another $27.3m IADE facility was approved as part of the ‘North Core Dorsal Regional Transmission Project.’

Asset Declaration: Justice Onnoghen Learns Fate Today – Punch Online Page

The Code of Conduct Tribunal will on Thursday (today), deliver judgment on the charges of false declaration of assets filed against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen. The CCT will also rule on two applications filed by the CJN who tendered his resignation two weeks ago. One of the applications is challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the case. The other application is asking the CCT chairman to disqualify himself from further presiding over the case for his alleged bias. On Monday, the three-member panel, led by Danladi Umar, fixed the date for judgment after the prosecution led by Aliyu Umar (SAN), and the defence, led by Okon Efut, adopted their final addresses. The Federal Government had preferred six charges against Onnoghen in June for failing to declare some of his assets. The government asked the CCT to convict and impose maximum punishment on the suspended CJN, contending that it successfully established that Justice Onnoghen acted in breach of the code of conduct for public officers in the country.

$2.1bn Malabu Scam: EFCC Says It’s Working With Interpol To Arrest Adoke, Etete – Punch, Page 3

The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja on Wednesday, ordered the arrest of the immediate-past Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete, and four others. The six are named in the charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in relation to the $2.1bn Malabu Oil scam. Others affected by the court’s arrest warrant issued on Wednesday are: Raph Wezels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno, Burrato Sebastino and Aliyu Abubakar. Justice Danladi Senchi issued the arrest warrant against the suspects following an ex parte application by the EFCC. Moving the application on Wednesday, the commission through its lawyer, Mr Aliyu Yusuf, informed the judge that it needed the arrest warrant to enable it to apprehend the suspects and bring them before the court for arraignment on the charges instituted against them since 2016. Yusuf noted that apart from the charges pending in court, there were other two sets pending against them before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

FG Declares Friday, Monday, Easter Holidays – Punch, Page 9

The Federal Government has declared Friday, April 19 and Monday, April 22, public holidays to mark the 2019 Easter celebration. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah, announced the holiday on behalf of the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), on Wednesday in Abuja. Dambazau enjoined all Christians to emulate Jesus Christ’s exemplary attributes of tolerance, sacrificial love, peaceful co-existence, among others. He urged Nigerians home and abroad to use the occasion to pray for the peace, unity and progress of the country, irrespective of diversity in religious beliefs. Dambazau wished Nigerians a happy and peaceful Easter celebration. He further called on them to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in its determination to take the country to the next level.

EcobankPay Promotes African Culture Through Theater; Partners TerraKulture –

EcobankPay, the lifestyle digital payment and collections service of Ecobank Nigeria has entered into a partnership with TerraKulture, Nigeria’s foremost stage play and cultural show promoters with Bolanle-Austen Peters as lead. Through this partnership, Ecobank intends to support the promotion of African arts and culture starting from April 2019. For each festive season,  there will be a theatrical production – April coinciding with the Easter celebrations; October season to correspond with the nation’s independence anniversary and December season end of year festivities. Commenting on the partnership, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan said it is one of the several initiatives by the pan African Bank to boost culture, history and the entertainment industry in Nigeria. He noted that the partnership would create jobs, further re-ignite and engender interest in watching stage plays and derive learning points from history and rich culture that will be showcased through the shows. Also commenting, CEO, TerraKulture, Bolanle-Austen Peters said we are passionate about creating partnerships and advancing the Nigerian and African narrative ourselves. There is no stronger brand than Ecobank to project that Pan African image that we all so clearly want to identify with. This is a step in the right direction and we hope through this Ecobank will  add more jobs and also improve the quality of life of Nigerians”.

Easter Promo: EcobankPay Offers Special Discount To Shoppers

Ecobank Nigeria Limited has announced special discount for shoppers using the EcobankPay option to pay for their goods and services during the Easter holidays and will run to the end of April 2019. EcobankPay is a digital QR code/ Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) that enables payments using the mobile phone, without the need for a debit/credit card. “When you sign up, your EcobankPay QR is emailed to you, which you can print and post/stick it anywhere your customers can see it to easily scan and pay. When paid, you receive notifications and transactions can be viewed in merchant app or online and most especially  your account is credited immediately . Your customers can now pay you from anywhere in Nigeria and around the world, anytime.  Your customers can use the Ecobank Mobile App or other bank’s mobile app to pay with MCash, MVisa and Masterpass.”  Announcing the Easter promotion in Lagos, Carol Oyedeji, Executive Director, Commercial Banking said shoppers are to get special discounts in shops in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin, Warri, Aba and other cities across the country where the EcobankPay QR code is on display. Explaining the accessibility of the EcobankPay QR code, she  noted that it accepts all three payment platforms available, be it MasterPass, MVisa and MCash.

Wema Bank Targets N1 Trillion Capital Base – Guardian, Page 21

Buoyed by its 2018 financials and performance in which it prescribed the payment of 3kobo dividend per share for the first time in 15 years, the management of Wema Bank Plc has said it is targeting a trillion naira asset base over the next few years, while expanding its tentacles in other retail segments. Areas of interest to the bank include downstream oil and gas, where many a banks got their fingers burnt in the past, specific agriculture value chain, and the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) space, where it plans to churn out tailor-made products to meet customer needs. Revealing more of the plans in Lagos, Tuesday, the bank’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ademola Adebise, told journalists specifically that by 2020, the management hopes to double key indices including assets, deposits, profits and more.

GT Bank Posts N50 Billion Profit After Tax In Three Months – Thisday, Page 39

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc has recorded a profit before tax (PBT) of N56.984 billion for the first quarter (Q1) March 31, 2019, showing an increase of 8.3 per cent, compared with the N52.624 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. Profit after tax (PAT) rose 10.37 per cent N44.67 billion in 2018 to N49.302 billion in 2019. Customers’ deposits also rose by 6.0 per cent to N2.41 trillion in March 2019 from N2.274trillion in December 2018, whilst the bank’s loan book grew by 1.6 per cent from N1.262trillion as at December 2018 toN1.282trillion in March 2019. The bank’s balance sheet remained strong as it closed the quarter with total assets of N3.556 trillion and shareholders’ funds of N627.2 billion. In terms of assets quality, non-performing loan (NPL) ratio and Cost of Risk closed 7.03 per cent and 0.05 per cent in March 2019 from 7.30 per cent and 0.34 per cent in December 2018 respectively.

BoI N500 Million Loan Excites Tractor Owners – Thisday, Page 33

The Tractor Owners Association of Nigeria (TOOAN) has expressed satisfaction over the N500 million loan provided by the Bank of Industry (BoI) for the purchase of 50 tractors by its members. The initiative is expected to empower 20, 000 Nigerians. The loan guaranteed by the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) was the initiative of the TOOAN. Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony in Kajola Local Government, Oyo State, the president of the association, Yakubu Elesa, said that the project would enhance food sufficiency and growth of the nation’s economy. The TOOAN president commended the cooperation, loyalty and commitment of the members which assisted the association in breaking all strongholds of accessing the loan. He appreciated past and present efforts of federal and some state governments, especially Oyo, Ogun and Katsina States, which extended loan facilities to his members.

Access Bank Doles Out More Millions In Savings Promo – Nation, Page 38

Access Bank Plc yesterday rewarded four more winners with a prize of N1 million each under the March edition of Diamond Xtra Season 11 promo. Following the success of previous editions of Diamond Xtra savings promo, the bank had expanded the scope of the Season 11 promo, where 4,750 customers will win about N400 million in the reward scheme. At the presentation yesterday in Lagos, Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu, said the continuation of the promo, which was started by the former Diamond Bank, was a fulfilment of the bank’s promise to keep all those things that customers have enjoyed with the former Diamond Bank. He noted that with the merger between Diamond Bank and Access Bank, the savings promo would get bigger as Access Bank intends to make the product a flagship savings product in the market within the country and beyond.

Court Dismisses Suit Challenging 9mobile Sale – Punch Online Page

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday dismissed a suit challenging the sale of telecommunications firm, 9mobile, by Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services. Justice C.J. Aneke dismissed the suit, after holding that the plaintiff, Spectrum Wireless Communications Limited, lacked the locus standi to maintain the action against Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services. The judge upheld the preliminary objection by EMTS, which denied any direct shareholding relationship between it and SWCL, to give the plaintiff the right to challenge 9mobile’s sale. SWCL had sued EMTS and 16 others, including United Capital Trustees Limited, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission, challenging 9mobile’s sale. The plaintiff had claimed that it acquired indirect holding of 30 per cent of the shares of EMTS after a private placement and was allotted 4,041,096 Class A shares of PTHNV, which owns 99 per cent of the shares in MyaCynth.

26-Year-Old Girl Rescued From Seven Years Cocaine Addiction – Guardian, Page 12

The Senior Pastor of House of Freedom, Dr. Tony Rapu, and his team visited Ipodo, a notorious street in Ikeja, Lagos State recently and rescued 26-year-old Lizzy, who has taken to begging, hard drugs and prostitution as means of survival. The girl, who attended two prestigious schools in Lagos, Caleb Nursery and Primary School as well as Vivian Fowler Secondary School, Billingsway, Oregun, and has been suffering from drug addiction for seven years, shared a bit of her story in a now viral video. Lizzy said her ex-boyfriend introduced her to smoking of weed. He, thereafter, told her he had been mixing her wraps up with cocaine. “I couldn’t visit any rehabilitation centre because I thought it wouldn’t help. I started with weed smoking, then one day, my boyfriend told me he had been adding cocaine and I was surprised. I asked him why he would do such without my consent, but it wasn’t long before I got addicted to it. It became so critical that I had to take to begging during the day and prostitution at night.”

Court Sentences Pastor To Five Years’ Imprisonment For Fraud – Punch, Page 4-5

A pastor with a Pentecostal church, Fisayo Nehemiah, has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, after he was convicted of fraud. Nehemiah was sentenced by the Chief Magistrate R. Davies-led court on Friday. Our correspondent learnt that the convict obtained iron rods valued at N1,400,385 from a company, Mukaz Nigeria Limited, under false pretences. He was also said to have issued a Diamond Bank dud cheque to the General Manager of the company, Alhaji Babalola Wasiu, as means of payment for the goods. Nehemiah was arraigned on four counts of inducing the company to deliver the iron rods, obtaining the item under false pretences, conversion of the iron rods to his property, and presentation of a Diamond Bank dud cheque to the company as means of payment. The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the four counts preferred against him.

Command Arraigns Three For Impersonating King Sunny Ade – Punch, Page 4

The police on Wednesday arraigned three persons in an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court  for allegedly using the name of Afro-Juju icon, Sunday Adegeyi, aka King Sunny Ade, to swindle members of the public to the tune of N3.1m. The police charged the defendants – Lawrence Oyedokun, 27; Rebecca Oyebode, 23; and Oyewumi Abiodun, 27 – with  four counts of conspiracy, impersonation, stealing and obtaining money under false pretences. The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Oyedokun and Oyebode lived in Osun State, while Abiodun resided in Oyo State. The last defendant, however, denied the allegations. The police prosecutor, ASP Clifford Ogu, told the court that the defendants committed the offence in March at Ikeja, Lagos. Ogu said the defendants created fake Instagram accounts of King Sunny Ade to defraud people. “The defendants opened an Instagram page with Sunny Ade’s name, advertising that KSA wanted to assist interested people to travel on music tours to Europe, America and Asia.”

Police Arrest Fake Army Major In Delta – Guardian, Page 12

The Divisional Police Officer and team attached to the Divisional Headquarters, Ekpan in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State, Ibok Asamanyi, has arrested a fake army major. The suspect, who was identified as Blessing Emelor from Isoko area, was arrested on April 6, along Warri axis. According to Delta State police spokesman, Chuks Orisewezie, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), luck ran against him on the fateful day, as he gave an order to an unsuspecting junior Air-Force personnel to shoot, which almost led to loss of life of a passer-by and the incident was reported to the appropriate authority, which eventually led to the arrest of the purported major. “It was revealed that the suspect has been involved in the act for the past three years to endear him to unsuspecting members of the public and to enjoy ‘Espirit –de-corps’ from members of the armed forces and the police.

Passengers Escape Unhurt As Bus Catches Fire On Oshodi-Apapa Expressway – Guardian, Page 12

An 18-seater commercial bus burst into flames yesterday evening between Toyota and Five Star bus stop on Oshodi-Apapa expressway. Though no life was loss, the incident compounded the traffic gridlock along the route. An eyewitness told The Guardian that the bus was carrying some passengers and generating sets when the engine caught fire. It was gathered that the driver and passengers alighted from the bus and ran for their dear lives. When The Guardian visited the scene, another eyewitness told our reporter that the bus had been burning for more than 50 minutes, while a fire service station few meters away from the scene could not respond to stop the fire from igniting other vehicles. Many road users wondered why the fire fighters did not respond on time.

Two Policemen Charged With NSCDC Officer’s Death – Punch, Page 4

The police have arraigned two traffic wardens, Idoko Sunday and Katdel Dabit, before a Nyanya Magistrates’ Court, for complicity in the death of a Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps officer, Ogah Jumbo. The two policemen were remanded in the Kuje Prisons pending the next adjournment of the case. The police stated that their arraignment was sequel to the outcome of an investigation into the case of alleged discreditable conduct and unlawful exercise of authority reported against them on March 20, 2019, adding that they were earlier subjected to an orderly room trial and dismissed. Jumbo had died during a violent confrontation with the traffic wardens, who allegedly beat him with batons and also dragged him on the ground to their station on March 19, 2019. He passed away shortly after the incident. The Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, said, “Investigations positively indicted them for assault and excessive use of force on the deceased after his arrest.

Asthmatic NYSC Member Dies After Parade – Punch, Page 4-5

Tragedy struck at the orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps in Bauchi State when a Batch A corps member, Magdaline Yohana, died while participating in a parade. The late Yohana, who died at the age of 28, was said to be asthmatic. Our correspondent gathered that although the incident happened on Monday, April 1, 2019, the management of the NYSC in the state had not yet made any official statement on it. A source said the corps member, who hailed from Harshuwa, Kwaturu district, in the Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State, was also an orphan and the second graduate in her hometown. She was said to have sponsored herself through school. PUNCH Metro learnt that the deceased allegedly complained to an NYSC official at the Wailo orientation camp in the Ganjuwa Local Government Area, of being asthmatic, adding that she would not be able to participate in the regular parade. However, her claim was allegedly dismissed by the official. “The official told her that corps members were fond of giving flimsy excuses in order to avoid parade,” another corps member alleged.

Officials Stop Gang From Smuggling Indian Hemp Into Prison – Nation, Page 4

Officials of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), Ikoyi, Lagos, have foiled another attempt by a two-man gang to smuggle Indian hemp into Ikoyi Prison. The incident occurred a week ago, barely one month after officials of the prison foiled an attempt by a housewife, Adeyemi Oyinkansola, whose husband is on remand at the Ikoyi Prison, to smuggle about 930 grams of a substance suspected to be Indian hemp concealed in four big tomato tins, into the facility. The suspects, Babatunde Mustapha and Abdullahi Ismail, were caught while attempting to smuggle Indian hemp into the prisons during visiting hours last week. It was gathered that the suspects, on arrival, requested to see an inmate, who unknown to them, had been moved from the facility to another one in Lagos. When told that the inmate had been moved, the suspects reportedly became confused, as they were not aware of the transfer.

Man Arraigned For ‘Collecting N738, 000 Under False Pretence’ – Nation, Page 4

A 34-year-old man, Cletus Ngbonyebi, yesterday appeared at a Badagry Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for allegedly obtaining N738, 000 under false pretence. He is facing a two-count charge of obtaining money under false pretence and stealing. Prosecuting Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Akpan Ikem said the accused committed the offences last November 22 at about 10am at Seme Border area of Badagry. He alleged that the accused collected N738, 000 from the complainant, Shadrack Unachukwu, on the pretext of taking his two brothers-in-law to Morocco. “The accused stole N738, 000, which belonged to the complainant and failed to fulfil his part of the agreement reached with the complainants,” the prosecutor said. The accused, however, denied the charges. Magistrate Patrick Adekomaya admitted the accused to N500, 000 bail with two sureties in the like sum. The case continues on May 21.

Man Jailed For Stealing – Nation, Page 5

An Oredo Magistrates’ Court in Edo State has sentenced Mr. David Oteme, 23, to six months imprisonment for stealing. David was arraigned alongside Shamsu Aliu and Farouk Sani on five-count charge of stealing goods worth thousands of naira. He pleaded guilty to count one bordering on conspiracy and stealing, but pleaded not guilty to other charges. Shamsu and Farouk pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge preferred against them. David was alleged to have broken into a provision store belonging to Odion Ukachukwu where he carted away drinks worth N62, 500 and also stole N557,000 burglary proof of Emotan Primary School.

High-Flying Eaglets Land In U-17 World Cup – Punch, Page 45

Striker Olakunle Olusegun was the hero as five-time world champions Golden Eaglets on Wednesday became the first African side to qualify for the Brazil 2019 U-17 World Cup after a 1-0 defeat of 10-man Angola at the 2019 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The win means the Eaglets return to the U-17 World Cup after missing the last edition in India two years ago. The Eaglets beat hosts Tanzania 5-4 in their opening match on Sunday. Olusegun left Geovani Raimundo, in goal for Angola, stranded when he converted from the spot in the 21st minute for the only goal of the exciting encounter to send the Eaglets, two-time winners of the competition, to the semi-finals, as well as secure a ticket to the U-17 World Cup. All the four semi-finalists at the U-17 AFCON automatically qualify for the U-17 World Cup. The Eaglets were in full control right from the kick-off but found it difficult grabbing the curtain raiser despite creating several chances.

Cruel’ Champions League Exit Will Not Change Guardiola’s Support Of VAR – AFP Sports

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted VAR does produce “fair football” despite a cruel Champions League quarter-final exit on away goals to Tottenham after a pulsating tie ended 4-4 on aggregate. City were 4-3 victors in Wednesday’s second leg, but for the third straight season failed to reach the last four under Guardiola as two big VAR reviews went in Spurs’ favour. Firstly, Fernando Llorente’s decisive goal 17 minutes from time stood despite the ball appearing to clip the Spaniard’s hand on its way into the net. Then deep into stoppage time, Raheem Sterling had the strike that would have sealed his hat-trick and seen City through ruled out after Sergio Aguero was shown to be offside in the build-up. “I support VAR. It’s just to see the goal from Llorente is handball. From one angle looks like handball, from the angle the referee saw it doesn’t,” said Guardiola. “I’m fine for the fair football, for the fair decisions. If it’s offside, it’s offside. In the future, even the present, it will be fair.”

It Was Madness, Says Son As Spurs Survive City Thriller – AFP Sports

Tottenham star Son Heung-min admitted his side’s stunning Champions League quarter-final success against Manchester City was the craziest match he has ever experienced. In one of the most dramatic matches in Champions League history, Son scored twice in the space of three minutes early in the first half to give Tottenham a 2-1 lead in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium. City hit back to take a 4-2 lead that would have sent them through to the semi-finals. But Fernando Llorente bundled in Tottenham’s decisive late third goal — awarded after a VAR review. That was enough for Tottenham, whose 4-3 defeat secured an away goals triumph after they won the first leg 1-0. Tottenham still needed another VAR assist before they could celebrate a first Champions League semi-final berth as Raheem Sterling’s goal in the final seconds was ruled out for offside against Sergio Aguero. In total there were five goals in the first 21 minutes — the fastest five goals scored in Champions League history. It was all too much for South Korea forward Son, whose side will face Dutch club Ajax in the last four.

N45m Prize Money For Okpekpe Race – Punch, Page 47

The sum of N45m will be on offer as the total prize money at the 2019 Okpekpe International 10km Road Race in Okpekpe, Edo State, on May 25. Pamodzi Sports Marketing, organisers of the race, announced the unchanged prize money on the event’s websitewww.okpekperoadrace.com. In the outlay, a total of $112,000 is on offer as prize money to the top eight finishers in the men and women’s elite race, with the winner in each gender category going home with $20,000 while $13,000 and $9,000 respectively will go to the second and third place finishers. The prizes for fourth to eighth positions in each gender category are $6,500, $3,000, $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000 respectively. The organisers also announced unchanged prize money for Nigerian runners at the race. The winners in the men and women races will go home with N1,000,000 while the second to the fifth positions will get N600,000, N400,000, N250,000 and N150,000 respectively. Spokesman for the race, Dare Esan, said payment of prize money and bonuses was dependent upon athletes clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.

Klopp Can’t Wait For Liverpool’s ‘Proper Football’ Showdown With Barcelona – AFP Sports

Jurgen Klopp admitted he cannot wait to lead Liverpool into a Champions League semi-final against Barcelona after watching his side crush Porto 4-1 in Portugal on Wednesday to complete a 6-1 aggregate victory in their last-eight tie. On a wet night at the Estadio do Dragao, Liverpool weathered an early storm against Porto before scoring from their first attempt just before the half-hour, Sadio Mane prodding home for a goal given after a lengthy VAR review. Already in control of this tie after a 2-0 win at Anfield in the first leg, Liverpool had effectively killed off Porto there and then, but Mohamed Salah, substitute Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk added further goals after the break. Eder Militao scored a consolation for the hosts 21 minutes from time, but this was another miserable night for them after they lost 5-0 to the same opponents on this ground a year ago. Liverpool now march on to a clash with Lionel Messi’s Barca, the first meeting of the clubs since a last-16 encounter in 2006/07 that the Reds won on away goals.

Joshua’s Opponent Fails Drugs Test, Fight In Doubt – Punch, Page 47

Heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller has tested positive for the banned substance GW1516 ahead of his scheduled challenge of unified world titleholder Anthony Joshua, three sources with knowledge of the results told ESPN on Tuesday. The fight is scheduled to take place on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York and to serve as the American debut for England’s Joshua, but it is now in jeopardy because of Miller’s positive test. The test results, which came to light on Tuesday, were from a random Voluntary Anti-Doping Association-conducted urine test Miller submitted to on March 20. Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs), 30, had accused Joshua of using PEDs during their media tour to announce the fight in February. “We are in the process of obtaining further information about VADA’s finding and will have more to say soon on this developing situation,” Dmitriy Salita, Miller’s co-promoter with Greg Cohen, told ESPN after he was informed of the positive test result. “In the meantime, Jarrell continues to train for his June 1 fight against Anthony Joshua.”

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