Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has defended playing Sunday’s match against Las Palmas behind closed doors, describing it as “one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made”. Barca won 3-0 at an empty Nou Camp after a request to have the game postponed, amid widespread political unrest in Catalonia, was turned down. Fans were locked out with the news communicated 20 minutes from kick-off. Barcelona could have faced a six-point penalty had they chosen not to play. About 850 people were injured in clashes with police as Catalonia residents voted in an independence referendum which had been declared illegal by the Spanish government. Bartomeu confirmed two directors, vice-president Carles Vilarrubi and Jordi Mones, had resigned following an extraordinary general meeting on Monday. “We very seriously considered the option of postponing the game, but we could not get the Liga de Futbol Profesional to approve our request. “Having reached that point, I decided to play behind closed doors because we believed that the image of a football match being played in a completely empty Nou Camp would have been an act of responsibility and would have been a way of showing how we utterly reject the exceptional and inadmissible situation going on around Catalonia.” Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola criticised the decision to play. Guardiola, now Manchester City boss, told Catalunya Radio and RAC1: “I wouldn’t have played the Barca-Las Palmas game, not at all. “And if it did have to be played, then not behind closed doors. You do it with the public there. With all the consequences.” Catalonia, a region of 7.5 million people in north-eastern Spain, has its own language and culture and Barcelona is its capital. It also has a high degree of autonomy, but is not recognised as a separate nation under the Spanish constitution, BBC reports.
Nigeria’s Falconets on Sunday gave their compatriots a memorable Independence Anniversary celebration by crushing Tanzania 6-0 in Dar-es-Salaam in the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers. A brace each by Rasheedat Ajibade and Folashade Ijamilusi and a goal each by Imo Anam and Cynthia Aku steered the Nigerian under-20 women team to a memorable victory. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the victory gave them a 9-0 aggregate win, after having won the first leg match 3-0 two weeks earlier in Benin. First half of this second leg match had ended 4-0 in favour of the Falconets at the Azam Stadium. The win took the Falconets to a place in the second round of the African qualifying series. Ajibade had also netted a brace in the first leg at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, with the other goal by defender Lilian Tule. The two –time World Cup silver medallists will now square up against winners of the fixture between Morocco and Senegal in the second round, set for November 2017.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week arraigned the Deputy Managing Director of BGL plc, Chibundo Edozien, in a Wuse Chief Magistrates’ Court for conspiring with some staff of the company to defraud the investing public. The accused person, of Plot 417 Tigris Crescent, Maitama, Abuja, was docked on charges of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and cheating. Edozien also appeared in court on behalf of M/S BGL plc, its asset management and securities limited subsidiaries. The prosecutor, Moshood Adeyemi, told the court that Edozien conspired with the company along with one Albert Okumagba, now at large. He alleged that the accused also conspired with some other staff and cheated one Mahmoud Usman and four others. Adeyemi further alleged that the accused cheated UN Staff Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society of Anambra, Abuja Office, among others, who filed complaints against the defendant before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The prosecutor said the offences contravened the Penal Code. Edozien, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The defence counsel, Mr K.B Asunogie, made a bail application for Edozien, stressing that the matter had been on since 2015 and he had been honouring invitations all through the inquiry. He added that his client was on administrative bail and never breached it, urging the court to grant bail in the most liberal terms. The prosecutor, however, said if bail was granted, it should be with conditions that would ensure the defendant’s appearance for his trial. He also said the police detained and granted the defendant administrative bail, not the SEC. The Magistrate, Chinyere Nwecheonwu, however, granted the accused bail in N1 million with one surety in like sum. She said the surety must be a civil servant of Grade Level 12 and the office address must be verified by the prosecutor and the court registrar. She added that the surety must present original appointment letter and promotion letter before the court and adjourned the case till Nov. 6 for hearing.
The launch of a new satellite television, TSTV has been welcomed by many Nigerians who took to their social media platforms to celebrate the new provider. While celebrating the new provider, they mocked DSTV and other cable service providers saying that TSTV has brought very good competition that would put them on their toes. Many of the Nigerians who alleged exploitation by existing satellite TV providers said that TSTV has affordable rates and better offers. TSTV among other things, promises to offer pay-per-view, affordable subscription rates with daily subscription available as well as a 20gb free data all for a N5,000 decoder and maximum monthly subscription of N3,000. Long before it was launched on Oct. 1, many Nigerians had treated the news of its coming with much anticipation. Many believe the coming of TSTV will break the control of DSTV. On twitter, TSTV trended with over 26,000 mentions as at the time of this report. Some of the Nigerians who expressed their views on their Twitter handle said that the launch of TSTV which coincided with the nation’s independence day celebration, meant satellite TV independence for Nigerians. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has granted TSTV tax free operation for three years as a way of encouraging the company.
At least 58 people have been killed and 515 injured in a mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert, United States. A gunman, named as 64-year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards an open-air music festival attended by 22,000. He killed himself as police stormed the room where 10 guns were found. Aerial view from the Mandalay Bay Hotel where the shooting occurred In an address from the White House, President Donald Trump described the attack as “pure evil”. He praised the efforts of the emergency services, saying their “miraculous” speed saved lives, and announced he would be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday. BBC reports that the attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history. Paddock’s motives remain unclear. Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo described the shooting as a “lone wolf” attack. “We have no idea what his belief system was,” he said. So-called Islamic State later claimed to be behind the attack, saying that Paddock had converted to Islam some months ago. But the group provided no evidence for this and has made unsubstantiated claims in the past. The FBI says it has made no connection between the attack and any international terrorist group. A police statement said the shooting began at 22:08 local time on Sunday (05:08 GMT on Monday). Paddock came from the small town of Mesquite, some 60 miles (100 km) north-east of Las Vegas, and had resided in the hotel since 28 September. Police in Mesquite have searched his premises and recovered a number of weapons. But they say he had not crossed paths with the police in the past. Las Vegas police say the number of people injured now stands at 515. Among those killed was an off-duty police officer. Suspected gunman Stephen Paddock Earlier, police announced they were seeking a woman, Marilou Danley, in connection with the shooting. In his latest update, Sheriff Lombardo said she had now been located outside the United States and was not thought to have played any role. Marilou Danley is believed to have lived with Paddock, and Sheriff Lombardo said he used some of her identity documents to check in to the hote
Following wave of agitations for secession and restructuring of Nigeria’s governance architecture which brought mild unrest in some regions, youths have urged individuals, ethnic groups and others behind the moves to eschew violence and limit their demands within confines of law. They argued that demands could be achieved through dialogue, rather than through violence which often leads to lose of lives and property in the country. At a gathering organized by a youth based group, NaijaDay Foundation, yesterday in Lagos, with theme ‘Significant of peace and unity in Nigeria’, put in place to commemorate Nigeria’s 57th independent anniversary, the youths also urged government at all levels to keep their quota of responsibilities, so as to ensure adherence of peace and unity among citizens, especially youths. Addressing congregation at the event, the Director, Prisoners Right Advocacy Initiative (PRAI) and 2017 Mandela-Washington Fellow, Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, warned agitators to desist from uttering hate speeches while demanding for their rights in the country, just as he caution against overheating polity with various hate moves. He implored Nigerians not to share every post on social media because a lot of them were written to cause discord amongst Nigerians, stressing that every Nigerian need to be armed with correct information and shun gullibility. “We all possess innate weapons to fight intolerance and hate, let’s use it. Most of the people sponsoring and leading the clamour for war will jet out of the country if it happens and the common man who has blindly followed them would be made to suffer,” Adetola-Kazeem added. He emphasized that whenever war occur in a country, the nation would metamorphosed negatively and may not regain its potentials several years after the crisis might have ended. “The rich will become poor, children became orphans, wives transformed to widows, landlords of palatial homes became refugees who will queue for food. Lawyers, doctors, judges, businessmen, may not be left out. And millions could be sent to their early grave. “Rather than fighting ourselves we must fight that peace may reign. It is impossible for all of us to agree on the same thing but it is possible for us to be tolerant of one another’s views,” For Publisher, Checkout Magazine, and a United Kingdom (UK) based journalist, Lekan Fatodu, pocket of violence within the country, which was due to agitations from the regions for secessions, restructuring and others, indicated that it was time to make peace a national mantra. He said: “It’s high time we made peace a national mantra in Nigeria given the current agitations for secession, devolution of power, resource control, restructuring and other concepts that are clearly threatening the unity, stability and peace of the nation.” Fatodu opined that after making peace the new mantra, the Federal, state and local governments must embark on strategy that would gradually inculcate in every citizen the need to embrace good behaviours and harmonious relationship. “And the government must adopt the all important strategy of gradually changing opinions, quietly eroding primordial thinking and slowly instilling new ideas that are based on socio-economic and political justice, trust, hope and gains for all Nigerians regardless of tribes, tongues, backgrounds and political affiliations. “Citizens, through the viable and brilliant platform like NaijaDay, also need to rededicate themselves to the cause of one and better Nigeria and should continually galvanise thoughts and influences that will help in delivering the Nigeria of our dreams,” he added. To achieve peaceful co-existence in Nigeria, the Director, Center for human rectitude, Yusuf Aweda, appealed that clerics in the country should use religious teachings to ensure protection of humanity, regardless of tribes, religion and ethnicity. Aweda added that religious leaders should also use alters in protecting lineage and encourage members to marry one another with morality to worship the supreme creator of all. “Protection of lineage leads to good home, good homes beget adorable communities, good communities make good states. good states make good Nation,” he said. The director however warned that religion should not be used as a mechanism to promote corruption, steal public funds or frustrate government efforts in eradicating corruption, saying, a nation that has its common wealth not protected could turn a barren nation and may never grow productively to influence the society with great values.
Celtic ended their run of 16 European group games without a win as goals by Leigh Griffiths, Patrick Roberts and Scott Sinclair saw off Anderlecht. The win moves Celtic level with Bayern Munich in Group B, and establishes a crucial advantage over Anderlecht. Griffiths’ opener was created by a fine passing move involving Olivier Ntcham and Kieran Tierney. Kara Mbodji inadvertently deflected Roberts’ shot in after the break then Sinclair crashed in a late third. The only setback for Celtic was the departure of captain Scott Brown during the second half, the midfielder limping off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. He could now be a doubt for Scotland’s World Cup qualifying double header against Slovakia and Slovenia, but for Celtic this was their first away shut-out in the Champions League group stage. Celtic began nervously, and for the opening 25 minutes they couldn’t hold on to the ball, their passing letting them down hugely. From Ntcham to Roberts, they coughed up possession constantly and invited Anderlecht on to them. The saving grace was that the Belgian side, beleaguered in their domestic league, were nowhere near good enough to take advantage. Celtic settled when the goal came – and it was a beauty, a study in accurate and clinical football, the polar opposite of what had gone before. It began with Ntcham, who delivered a gorgeously weighted pass to Tierney, scampering down the left flank. The timing of the pass and the run were exquisite, as was Tierney’s driven cross to Griffiths, who had cleverly peeled away from Olivier Deschacht in the box. Three touches and one goal. Ruthless. Celtic were up and running. They had a few scares before the break, Sofiane Hanni and Lukasz Teodorczyk both going close for Anderlecht, and just after the restart Hanni again gave Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon an anxious moment. In the main, though, this was comfortable and it became a joy for the visiting support when Celtic doubled their lead. The skies above Brussels caved in on the hosts six minutes after the break. Celtic’s second was a calamity for Anderlecht, a series of self-inflicted wounds that added up to a goal. Leander Dendoncker played a seriously unwise pass across his penalty area to Deschacht who was extraordinarily lax in dealing with it while under pressure from Roberts.
Government of Nigeria has declared Monday, 2nd October, 2017 Public Holiday to commemorate the country’s 57th Independence Anniversary. The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement signed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Abubakar Magaji on Wednesday. He congratulated Nigerians on the anniversary and urged them to sustain the collective efforts towards maintaining and strengthening the unity of Nigeria. Dambazau emphasized Government’s commitment to promoting national unity, economic growth and political development on democratic principles. He noted that in the past 57 years, Nigeria has made a lot of progress and positive impact not only on its citizens but also on human development globally. The Minister enjoined all Nigerians to remain steadfast in the love and care of the country, noting that strong sense of ownership of one’s country is vital for sustainable development of the nation.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has called on the International Community to prevail on the Federal Government to produce its leader, Nnamdi Kanu whom it declared missing. The group also declared his parents, HRM Eze Israel Kanu and Ugoeze Sally Nmeme Kanu, missing. In a statement by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB said Kanu who holds British citizenship has been missing after the alleged military invasion of his Afarakwu home in Umuahia, Abia State. The group demanded urgent attention of the United Nations mission in Nigeria and the UK government “as the creator of Nigeria, her colonial master and nation with the most influence over the affairs Nigeria to prevail upon the present regime of President Muhammadu Buhari and his henchman, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to produce our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu or tell the world what has become of him. “Ever since this brutal assault that left 28 dead inside his compound including two of his cousins, [Kanu and his parents] have not been seen. “The video footage of the assault and the extent of destruction wreaked on his family home is in the public domain. “Video clips and photographs of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s bedroom riddled with bullet holes from the guns of the Nigerian soldiers that stormed the palace is evident till today. “The assailing soldiers also stole a lot of valuable materials from the palace of which we have corroborative evidence and incontrovertible proof that places the stolen items in the possession of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the newly appointed Abia State Commissioner of Police and other Nigerian security personnel. “Due to the sensitive nature of this information, it will be made available to UN, British investigators and other reputable international investigators.”
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Roy S. Moore, a firebrand former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, overcame efforts by top Republicans to rescue his rival, Senator Luther Strange, defeating him on Tuesday in a special primary runoff, according to The Associated Press. The outcome in the closely watched Senate race dealt a humbling blow to President Trump and other party leaders days after the president pleaded with voters in the state to back Mr. Strange. Propelled by the stalwart support of his fellow evangelical Christians, Mr. Moore survived a multimillion-dollar advertising onslaught financed by allies of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. His victory demonstrated in stark terms the limits of Mr. Trump’s clout. In a race that began as something of a political afterthought and ended up showcasing the right’s enduring divisions, the victory by Mr. Moore, one of the most tenacious figures in Alabama politics, will likely embolden other anti-establishment conservatives to challenge incumbent Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. And more immediately, the party will be forced to wrestle with how to prop up an often-inflammatory candidate given to provocative remarks on same-sex marriage and race — all to protect a seat in a deep-red state. Mr. Moore’s incendiary rhetoric will also oblige others in the party to answer for his comments, perhaps for years to come, at a time when many Republicans would just as soon move on from the debate over gay rights. On Dec. 12, Mr. Moore will face Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor and the Democratic nominee, in a race that will test the party loyalties of center-right voters who may be uneasy about their nominee. It may also reveal just how reliably Republican the state has become in the quarter-century since a Democrat last won a Senate election here. Mr. Jones said in a statement that Alabama needed a serious senator who would rise above partisanship and work with everyone in Congress. He criticized the debate among Republicans leading up to Tuesday’s election as lacking substance. “I will never embarrass the people of Alabama,” Mr. Jones said. “I am running so the people of Alabama can be proud of their next senator.” But Mr. Moore, 70, has proved himself to be a political survivor. He has been effectively removed from the State Supreme Court twice — the first time in 2003, over his refusal to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse; the second time last year, when he urged the state’s probate judges to defy federal orders regarding same-sex marriage. And in recent days, both the president and Vice President Mike Pence had campaigned for Mr. Strange. Mr. Trump, an enormously popular figure in Alabama, visited the state on Friday, casting aside the tradition of presidents treading carefully in contested primaries, as well as the warnings from his own advisers that he was putting his persuasive powers on the line for a candidate trailing in the polls. Instead of delivering a tightly crafted testimonial, the president rambled for nearly an hour and a half about a range of topics, while openly questioning whether he was making a mistake coming into the state for Mr. Strange, who oriented his entire campaign around Mr. Trump’s endorsement and stood looking on with a red “Make America Great Again” hat atop his head. Mr. Strange conceded defeat on Tuesday night before a subdued audience at a hotel outside of Birmingham, acknowledging in a moment of striking candor that he did not fully grasp the forces at play in his loss. “We’re dealing with a political environment that I’ve never had any experience with,” Mr. Strange said. “The political seas, the political winds in this country right now are very hard to navigate. They’re very hard to understand.” He thanked Mr. Trump effusively, praising the president as a “loyal friend” and attempting to absolve him of any blame for the result. “If this causes him any trouble,” Mr. Strange said, “it’s not his fault.” For his part, Mr. Trump congratulated Mr. Moore in a tweet. “Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!” he wrote. Mr. Strange’s defeat was the first time an incumbent senator with active White House support has lost since 2010, when Arlen Specter, the longtime senator of Pennsylvania, was beaten in a Democratic primary after switching parties. But his loss was not just a blow to Mr. Trump. Mr. Moore relentlessly linked the senator to Mr. McConnell, who has made a priority of protecting his caucus from intraparty challenges, but he is an increasingly polarizing figure among grass-roots Republicans. Despite the money and staff he directed to the race, Mr. McConnell became as much a liability as he was an asset, leaving Republicans nervously wondering what that may portend in other primaries next year. Mr. McConnell and his allies were jolted with another reminder of their limited control on Tuesday, when Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, a popular incumbent, announced that he would not run for re-election. As the first senator to opt out of seeking another term in 2018, Mr. Corker opened the way for another rowdy Southern primary in which the national party’s influence may be sorely tested. Mr. Strange’s demise was in some respects as much a local phenomenon as a national one, stemming from his appointment this year by then-Gov. Robert Bentley to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Strange, the state’s attorney general at the time, was overseeing an investigation into Mr. Bentley’s personal relationship with a close aide, suggesting to many in a scandal-weary state that there may have been a corrupt bargain. The newly appointed senator denied any wrongdoing, but never fully confronted the issue in a way that would eliminate the lingering cloud over the appointment. And by Monday, an adviser to Mr. McConnell, anticipating defeat, started to privately make the case that it was Mr. Bentley’s scandal and the circumstances around the appointment that was most to blame for Mr. Strange’s lackluster support. When the Alabama race started, it was with less fanfare, merely a side effect of Mr. Trump’s selection of Mr. Sessions as attorney general. Republicans typically win federal races in Alabama without difficulty, so there was little immediate concern about the fate of Mr. Sessions’s seat, and less still after the appointment of such a conventional politician as Mr. Strange. Mr. Strange’s status as a proxy for the Republican establishment and a test of the president’s sway came about almost by accident — a consequence of factors having little to do with Mr. Strange himself. Seeking to ward off insurgents like Mr. Moore and Representative Mo Brooks, who finished third in last month’s primary, Mr. McConnell forcefully backed Mr. Strange’s bid to have his appointment affirmed by voters. The Senate Republican leader treated Mr. Strange as the political equal of his elected colleagues and ordered strategists in Washington not to work against him. Mr. McConnell and a host of other senators lobbied an initially reluctant Mr. Trump to get involved on Mr. Strange’s behalf over the objections of some advisers. The confusing crosscurrents of the party were on vivid display when the president campaigned for Mr. Strange on Friday. As staff members from the party’s campaign arm allied with Mr. McConnell looked on, Mr. Strange told the conservative audience that they should elect him so he could “stand up to” Mr. McConnell. And then the president took the stage and assured attendees he would back Mr. Moore were Mr. Strange to lose, comments that were soon made into an online ad by an anti-establishment conservative group.