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England on Saturday produced a sensational performance to come from 2-0 down to thrash Spain 5-2 and win the Under-17 World Cup in India. The Three Lions had never gone beyond the quarter-finals in the tournament before but emulated England’s U-20 team that won their World Cup in June. The margin of victory did not flatter Steve Cooper’s side, who were superb throughout and could consider themselves unlucky to fall behind to a double from Barcelona forward Sergio Gomez. Heads did not drop, and from the moment Morgan Gibbs White added to Rhian Brewster’s eighth goal of the tournament to equalise, England looked the most likely to go on and win. Phil Foden, an outstanding talent for Manchester City and the man of the match, stole in at the back post to put England ahead, and slotted in the fifth late on with a neat shot. Chelsea defender Marc Guehi also got on the scoresheet, prodding home the fourth from close range, as England avenged Spain’s victory in the European Championship final back in May. Liverpool striker Brewster secured the tournament’s golden boot with the goal that put the game back within reach but it was the players just behind him who really stood out.

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buahri, has reacted to the allegations made by the Senator representing Bauchi Central Sen. Isa Misau, claiming that she received two Sports Utility Vehicles from the Inspector General of Police. Mrs Buhari`s reaction is contained in a statement issued by her Director of Information, Mr Suleiman Haruna, on Thursday in Abuja. The statement quoted Mrs Buhari as saying that, “Our attention has been drawn to the news being widely circulated and attributed to a member of the Senate that two SUVs from the Inspector General of Police were personally given to the Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari. “Mrs Buhari wants to make it clear that since the assumption of office of her husband as President of Nigeria, she did not receive these mentioned vehicles. “Furthermore, the vehicles she is still using belong to the family and were the ones used during the campaign for 2015 elections including the one for her entourage’’ the statement added. Senator Misau made the allegation during the hearing of Senate committee investigating corruption allegation he made against the Inspector General of Police

The Joint Committee of the National Assembly on Aviation on Thursday expressed worry over the deplorable facilities of some airports in the country and declared the Akanu Ibiam Airport unsafe. Sen. Muhammad Adamu (APC), representing Kebbi Central, expressed displeasure during a tour of facility of the Port Harcourt International Airport. Adamu said that the Senate had between 2015 and 2017 appropriated funds for completion of the remodeling of airports across the country. In a report on the state of the Enugu Airport, Adamu said the situation was worrisome and needed urgent remedial measures to protect the airport users. Discribing the airport as unsafe for airline operations, the lawmaker urged FAAN to summon the contractors to fill the existing potholes on the runway for safety of passengers. “What we saw in Enugu airport was a very serious infrastructure decay, we saw potholes on the runway and this is very unsafe for aircraft to land. “We are surprised that international flights are operating at that airport where there is no running water and the toilets are in bad shapes,’’ he said. Adamu disclosed that some international airlines like the Emirate Airlines had wanted to begin operations in Enugu but couldn’t because after inspection of the facilities, they found there was no water or operational light on the runway. According to him, it was impossible for aircraft to land at night in Enugu airport. The senator also revealed that despite the payment of over 40 per cent of the contract sum for the new terminal that was being funded by a Chinese Bank (Exim bank), the terminal had remained in a state of decay. He said that so far, record had shown that over N9 billion had been spent on the said terminal. He added that as part of their constitutional responsibility on oversight function, the committee had embarked on the tour to ascertain the project so far executed with the appropriated funds. The lawmaker assured that the committee would not hesitate to appropriately bring any organisation found guilty of funds diversion to book. In the same vain, Mr Nkiruka Onyejeocha, (PDP), representing Isuikwato/Umunneochi (Abia State), said that delayed job performance on the ongoing International Wing of the Port Harcourt Airport was equally worrisome. She said that going by the contract schedule, the job would have been delivered in March 2016. On the local wing of the Port Harcourt Airport, she said though the airport was safe for light operations, it was below the standard of an international airport. “It is unfortunate that at this time when other nations are moving forward, Nigeria is rather destroying her national assets.

A former President of the Court of Appeal, Retired Justice Ayo Salami, has rejected his appointment as chairman of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO). A source from the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) confirmed this during a telephone interview on Thursday in Abuja. The rejection was based on principle and conscience after the retired judge was appointed to head the committee by the National Judicial Council (NJC) last month. Justice Salami was said to have consulted widely with leaders on the Bench and in the Bar before resolving with his family to reject the offer. On September 27, the NJC named Justice Salami the Chairman of COTRIMCO during its 82nd meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The 15-man committee consists of the President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, and some former presidents of the association. They include Mr Wole Olanipekun, Mr Olisa Agbakoba, Mr Joseph Daudu and Mr Augustine Alegeh, as well as some state chief justices among others. Less than a week after, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, asking him to review the composition of the committee. In the letter dated October 3, SERAP had said: “While international law does not prohibit some representation of the legal profession or academics, we urge your Lordship to select candidates from these fields to the Salami committee based on their demonstrable commitment to the fight against corruption, and after extensive consultation, and a thorough scrutiny of the candidates’ past record of legal practice, to eliminate all possibilities of bias and conflict of interest.”

Chelsea will host AFC Bournemouth according to the quarter final draw for the Carabao Cup, in a match to be played at Stamford Bridge, the week commencing 18 December. Coincidentally, Chelsea will also be hosting Bournemouth in the English premier League this weekend. The London club last met Bournemouth in the League Cup in 1994/95, winning a second round tie 2-0 on aggregate. In the other draws, Championship club, Bristol City have a mountain to climb as they would face Manchester United. Arsenal will face West Ham, while Leicester City will host Manchester City. The much expected draw today, was done late following technical problems experienced for two hours in a failed attempt to broadcast on Twitter. The draw was intended to be shown live at 16:00 BST. However, after four announcements explaining the delay, it was finally shown as a pre-recorded video, the BBC reported. A statement from the EFL read: “The EFL has received an apology from Twitter UK for the delay which is believed to have occurred as a result of a faulty encoder. “The EFL has requested a full explanation into the events that led to this afternoon’s unacceptable delay.” A Twitter spokesman said: “We’re sorry for the issues that led to the delay of today’s round five draw. We would also like to apologise to the thousands of supporters who had been patiently awaiting news of who their team would be playing.”

Fugitive former militant, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has lost some of his assets to the Federal Government, temporarily, over his evasion of the court to answer fraud charges. The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos yesterday dismissed an appeal filed by him, seeking to set aside the decision of the Federal High Court, Lagos which empowered the EFCC to attach all the properties belonging to the ex-militant. Justice I. N. Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos on February 19, 2016 made an order attaching Tompolo’s properties for failure to appear to answer the charges against him. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on December 15, 2015 instituted a Criminal charge against Tompolo and nine others over allegations of fraud at Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA. However, despite substituted service of the Court Summons effected on him, Tompolo refused to appear in Court. Consequently, Justice Buba issued a warrant of arrest against him. Armed with the Warrant of Arrest, the Commission launched a manhunt for him, but could not effect his arrest. On February 19, 2016, the Commission, through its counsel, Festus Keyamo, SAN, prayed the Court for an order attaching the properties of Tompolo by seizure, pending his arrest or appearance before the Court. The court granted the Commission’s request prompting Tompolo to appeal against the decision. However, in a unanimous judgment yesterday, the Court of Appeal held that Tompolo cannot be heard complaining that his properties are attached by the Court below, when he has not come to answer to the summons against him. The court held that the option available to Tompolo is to appear before the Federal High Court to apply for the order to be discharged, instead of filing the Appeal. The Court of Appeal was of the view that his private right of property has not been breached by the said order.

The Presidency says the claim that the Buhari administration invited the wanted Abdulrasheed Maina back into the country is a `freshly minted falsehood’, and should be discarded by well meaning citizens. Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a two-paragraph statement issued on Wednesday night in Abuja, dismissed the claim as ridiculous. The statement read: “The claim that the Buhari administration invited the wanted Abdulrasheed Maina back into country is a freshly minted falsehood. Nobody should believe that. “The family that made that claim simply wanted to be ridiculous. Please ignore them.’’ In a report by Daily Trust, two brothers of the fugitive Maina threatened to expose the cabal at the presidency who they alleged are responsible for the ordeal Maina is going through over his return to the civil service. Addressing the media Wednesday in Kaduna, spokesman of the Maina family, Malam Aliyu Maina, who was flanked by Salihu Maina and Ladan Abdullahi, said the family was worried that the image of the entire family has been tarnished following the sealing of properties belonging to the Maina by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and promised to take legal action on it. They said that Abdulrasheed left Nigeria following threats to his life. They claimed he was invited by some unidentified officials of the Buhari administration to come and serve. “You must have noticed the recent attempt by some cabal to ridicule and tarnish the image of the Maina family in the media. Where our brother, Abdulrasheed Maina has been blackmailed as a fraudster. “The cabals have gone to the extent of marking our house in red paints with an inscription of E.F.C.C under investigation. The EFCC is wrong in their action because Abdulrasheed inherited so many properties from his late father in Kaduna and Abuja, some of them were built before he was born so how could he have acquired them fraudulently. “The entire family of Abdullahi Maina is categorically stating that our son is not in any way a fraudster, rather he is a messiah who brought reforms into Nigerian Pension Scheme, whose effort saw the disappearance of pensioners roaming the streets of Abuja and other state capital in Nigeria. “It is on record that Abdulrasheed Maina’s reform put to a stop the fraudulent withdrawals of huge sums from both the Nigerian Pension Board, the Nigerian Police Pension Board etc. Perhaps it is this noble efforts that made him enviable to the present administration when they came into power to convince him to comeback and assist in its “Change” agenda.” According to the family, the recent actions may have been targeted at not Maina but high above, “we are aware that all this act of calumny is not targeted against Abdulrasheed Maina alone but against the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria and the office of the Attorney General. We have contacted our lawyers Messr Mamma Nasir & Co and instructed them to act appropriately. “We equally know that Abdulrasheed Maina is in possession of many facts that is against the cabal and interesting to the Nigerian populace, which he will disclose very soon,” the family noted. The presidential aide, had also on Tuesday, issued a disclaimer on a group-photograph of President Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki and a member of the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa, being circulated in the social media in which Doguwa, was mistaken to be Abdulrasheed Maina. Shehu said: “There is a photograph all over the Social Media of President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Hon. Ado Garba Doguwa Alhassan being mistaken to be the embattled ex-chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina. “Doguwa is the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, representing Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency of Kano State. “Doguwa represented the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the special Jummat prayers to mark the nation’s 57th year anniversary at the Presidential Villa weeks ago. “The Speaker could not attend the event because he is a Christian. Please be guided!’’ Maina was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as Chairman of the task force in 2010 to check the corruption in the country’s pension system. In 2012, the Nigeria Police accused him of misappropriating N100 billion pension funds in connivance with others. The Civil Service Commission reportedly dismissed him for “absconding from duty’’. Maina was arraigned in absentia by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which declared him wanted in 2015. Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesman of the anti-graft agency in a statement recently, said Maina remained on the commission’s wanted list.

Mali’s bid to reach a second straight Under-17 World Cup final ended in Mumbai when beaten 3-1 by Spain, who will meet England in Saturday’s final. The European side led 2-0 at half-time thanks to a penalty and a slide-rule finish from captain Abel Ruiz. Mali rallied, but Cheick Doucoure’s fine strike was not given even though replays showed it had crossed the line. Moments later, Ferran Torres headed Spain further ahead before Lassana N’Diaye grabbed a late consolation. The goal was his fifth of the tournament for the African champions. Runners-up in 2015 to eventual champions Nigeria, Mali will now play Brazil in a third-place play-off in Kolkata on Saturday, BBC reports.

A N44million white Mercedes Benz G-Wagon (2017 edition) belonging to the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, reportedly got burnt in Lagos on Tuesday. Fayose’s spokesman, Lere Olayinka, who confirmed the incident, revealed that the SUV caught fire while on motion to the airport but the governor was not in the vehicle. He added that no casualty was recorded and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Olayinka said the governor expressed his gratitude to the people who helped control the situation and grateful to God that no casualty was recorded.According to a review by the autos team of U.S. News & World Report, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class ranks 7 out of 7 Luxury Large SUVs. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class ($122,400) is the most expensive SUV in its class. At the current exchange rate of $1 to N359, the SUV will cost N43, 941, 600 (Forty three million, nine hundred and forty one thousand and six hundred naira only). The report reads: The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is more of a status symbol than an everyday SUV. It costs more than every competitor, and it isn’t particularly practical to drive anywhere but off road. However, if you want something that’ll grab attention and impress, it doesn’t get more distinctive than the G-Class, also known as the G550. While the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a part of the luxury large SUV class, it’s really in a category all its own. The G-Class is not a good SUV for most people. With its jarring ride and ponderous handling, the G-Class is not suitable for daily driving or lengthy trips. However, it’s at home on treacherous trails and in harsh weather. The G550’s twin-turbocharged V8 engine delivers smooth power, and plenty of it. The AMG G63’s twin-turbo V8 engine will rocket you past other cars on the highway. However, that power will cost you at the pump, as the G-Class earns abysmal fuel economy estimates for the class with either engine. The G-Class’ interior is expectedly upscale and fairly spacious, and the seats provide great visibility, but that’s where its practicality ends. If you want an SUV that looks different than anything else on the road and lets everyone know you’ve arrived, few other SUVs will accomplish that better than the G-Class.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday again fixed Oct.31 for former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear before it as a defendant witness in the N400 million criminal suit filed against Olisa Metuh.

Metuh, a former National Publicity of PDP is seeking the appearance of the ex-president to open his defence in the N400 million fraud suit brought against him by the EFCC.

Justice Okon Abang made the bench ruling when the ex-president was not in court today to honour the subpoena of the trial court to testify.

“It is clear that His Excellency, the former President Goodluck Jonathan is not in court in compliance with the Oct.3 order of the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

“We have however, seen from the record that his absence could not have been his fault as the bailiff is unable to serve him with enrolment order to that effect.

“In the light of that, the matter is adjourned until Oct.31 to enable this service to be made. However, if serving personally fails again, he would be served by substituted means.

“After due diligence, the court would ensure that the law takes it course if the former president refuses to honour the subpoena,’’ he held.

Ruling on retired Col.Sambo Dasuki’s absence also, Abang held that the court was aware that Dasuki was in custody of the Federal Government.

He therefore, gave an order compelling the Director- General of the Department of State Service (DSS) to ensure Dasuki’s appearance in the court on the next adjourned date.

The judge held that the law frowned at subpoenaed persons who turned down the order to appear in court to testify in a matter for which such subpoena was issued.

Abang said a deliberate violation of subpoena carried jail term of not less than two months and a fine of N10, 000.

“Let me state here that this subpoena in question was not the contemplation of the court, rather the first defendant (Olisa Metuh) had applied for it. It was only issued by the court,’’ he said.

In a related development, Abang had struck out the application by the former National Security Adviser to be discharged as a defence witness in the trial.

The judge held that the application lacked merit and incompetent, adding that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain or review the pronouncement of the Appeal Court.

“From the argument of the applicant (Dasuki), it seems he is dissatisfied with the judgment of the Appeal Court, if this is so, he knows where to go, what to do, certainly not to come before this court.

“This is legal impossibility. This court has no such jurisdiction. I agreed with the prosecution counsel who said it will amount to judicial anarchy if the application was granted.

“I have no jurisdiction to entertain the application on its merit. There is no life in the application. It is incompetent and accordingly struck out’, Abang held.

Abang had in his bench ruling on Oct.24 held that both the former President Jonathan and the former NSA should appear before the court on Oct.25 as defendant witnesses to Metuh.

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Oct.3 granted an application filed by Metuh, to compel the duo to testify in the N400 million fraud charge brought against the applicant

 

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