Saturday, December 4, 2021

BREAKING: UK bans flights from Nigeria over Omicron variant

December 04, 2021

 The United Kingdom has banned flights from Nigeria over the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus starting Monday, December 6.

In a statement via his verified Twitter handle, the UK Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid wrote that only residents and citizens of the UK and Ireland travelling from Nigeria would be allowed entry into the region.

He wrote, “In light of the most recent data we are taking further action to slow the incursion of the Omicron variant.

“From 4 am Monday, only UK/Irish citizens and residents travelling from Nigeria will be allowed entry and must isolate in a managed quarantine facility.”

On Wednesday, Nigeria confirmed its first cases of the Omicron variant, linked to travellers from South Africa.

Since the first three were announced, Nigeria has not reported any new cases of the variant of concern.

Meanwhile, the health secretary stated that travellers from countries on the UK’s Red List would only be required to take a test before they arrive in the country.

“And from 4 am Tuesday, anyone travelling to the UK from countries not on the Red List will be required to take a pre-departure test, regardless of their vaccination status,” Javid added.

Sound Sultan’s brother exposes scammer who hacked late singer’s Instagram account

December 04, 2021

 A scammer who hacked into the Instagram account of late singer Olanrewaju Fasasi, popularly known as Sound Sultan, has been exposed by the singer’s brother, Dare Fasasi.

Popularly known as Baba Dee, Sound Sultan’s brother took to his Instagram page to share pictures of the scammer, revealing his name as Victor Majekodunmi.

Baba Dee revealed that Majekodunmi, who deleted some pictures from the singer’s page, pretended to be Sound Sultan’s wife, Farida Fasasi.

Sharing a picture of the hacker, he wrote, “This is the face of the scammer that hacked into my brother @soundsultan Instagram account after his death. His Name is Victor Majekodunmi, a young man with great potential yet so evil and heartless.

“He deleted a lot of his memories and chose to scam people by pretending to be @faridafasasi .

“I’m happy to announce that we have taken control of the account and he is presently cooling off in police custody. Thanks to everybody that showed concern and helped nab the young hardened criminal.”

Baba Dee also appreciated the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, and other police officials.

“Thanks to my friends at the Nigerian police force, thanks to the Lagos state police commissioner, and special thanks to my special police friend on my page. God bless you all,” he said.

Popular singer, Sound Sultan, died on the 11th of July after battling Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma.

A month after his death, his wife, Farida Fasasi, raised the alarm that hackers have invaded her husband’s social media accounts, extorting funds from innocent people.

Farida had said, “Kindly disregard any communication from all Sound Sultan’s social media accounts. The accounts have been hacked by scammers sending messages to innocent people to solicit funds. Please the family has no control over the accounts.”

2023: Orji Kalu’s secret visit to Nnamdi Kanu empty positioning for political office, says Ejiofor

December 04, 2021

 Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer to the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, on Saturday, said the desperation by politicians especially of Igbo extractions to visit the IPOB leader in the custody of the Department of State Services is to boost their selfish interest in the 2023 elections.

He also described as empty positioning for political office, the recent visit to Kanu by a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.

The lawyer said Kalu breached DSS protocols, adding that he visited the IPOB leader without the knowledge of his legal team or family members.

Ejiofor in a statement titled, ‘Keeping the record straight’, demanded that the DSS should launch a probe into Kalu’s “clandestine” visit to Kanu which, he said, was laced with suspicion.

“Orji Kalu’s hypocritical pretensions was worsened by the fact that he is a politician (and a wily one at that), and he is not related to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu either by affinity or consanguinity.”

“I make bold to say that the clandestine visit to Onyendu undertaken by Orji Uzor Kalu is no more than an empty positioning for political office come 2023.

“In 2017, Orji Uzor Kalu exhibited similar inclination. He merely wanted to score a cheap political point. But his attempt failed woefully, and rightly so. Onyendu did not accord him any relevance whatsoever. This time, he initiated similar pretensions. Again, his shenanigan did not produce the desired effect,” he said.

“We hereby invite the relevant authorities of the Department of State Security to investigate this. Further, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was not informed beforehand that Orji Uzor Kalu was at the facility to see him. The information that was given to him, which he conveyed to me, was to the effect that an important personality was at the facility to see him. The identity of the so-called important personality was not disclosed to him. This is deceptive and a breach of the protocol of the DSS,” the statement added.

Friday, December 3, 2021

[BREAKING] Sylvester Oromoni: Lagos orders indefinite closure of Dowen college

December 03, 2021

 The Lagos State Government on Friday ordered the indefinite closure of Dowen College, Lekki, following the investigation into the death of Sylvester Oromoni, a student of the school.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Ganiu Lawal.

The statement read, “The Lagos State Government has ordered the indefinite closure of Dowen College, Lekki, pending the outcome of an investigation into the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, a student of the school.

“Commissioner for Education Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo announced the closure after a meeting with the School Management and Staff.

“The Commissioner called for calm, saying no effort will be spared in getting to the root of the incident.”

The death of the 12-year-old student of the college, Oromoni Jnr., had sparked various reactions from celebrities and Nigerians alike.

Reports had emerged that Oromoni was bullied and beaten by fellow students. The supposed injuries from the beating led to his death, according to a Twitter user with the handle @perrisonoromoni, who claimed to be the boy’s cousin.

However, in a statement on Wednesday, the school denied all allegations stating that Oromoni was neither bullied nor beaten but only complained of hip pain after playing football.

The child’s father, who bears the same name as the student, stated that contrary to what Dowen College had said in the statement, the family friend who they sent to pick up Oromoni Jnr. from the school described a totally different situation.

The bereaved father stated that his son was bullied and beaten to stupor as he said, “The next day, we sent a family friend to help pick up our son since he was the only person in Lagos and take him to the hospital. When he got there, he panicked, pointing out that he doubts it’s a football injury as the school claimed.”

Meanwhile, Dowen College, in an email sent to parents early Friday morning, stated that students should not come to school on Friday, 3rd December and Monday, 6th December because of the incident.

Ini Edo confirms surrogacy rumours, opens up about past miscarriages

December 03, 2021

 Nollywood actress, Ini Edo, has confirmed rumours of her welcoming a daughter through a surrogate mother.

After days of keeping silent since the rumours began, the actress finally opened up in an interview with Stella Korkus, which was published on Friday.

Surrogacy is a practice where a woman (a surrogate) carries a child for another person through artificial insemination of eggs.

Confirming the news, Edo stated that the daughter was genetically hers because her eggs were used to fertilize the child.

She said, “Yes I do have a daughter and I had her through surrogacy. The eggs are mine and so genetically, she’s my blood.

“I chose this path to fulfil my dream of becoming a mother. I still have a good number of eggs frozen in case I decide to do surrogacy again or carry my baby myself.”

She also mentioned that she had the daughter almost a year ago, stating that she planned on breaking the news herself.

“I was hoping to talk about her on her first birthday in a few months but mischief makers beat me to it and spoilt the beautiful story with lies,” Edo said.

Reacting to rumours that her child’s father was a married man, identified as Kome, the actress said, “It is so sad that in Nigeria, when a ‘single’ woman is friends with a guy, it must mean to people that they are dating.

“Kome has been my friend for years and that’s what it is, period. He is a responsible family man and doesn’t deserve to be dragged into my motherhood story.”

She then revealed that she opted for a donor because of her fears saying, “I opted for a donor for me and my baby’s peace of mind.

“Another major reason I opted for a donor is because it scares me so much when I see banter and controversies between a mother and a father over a baby in public forums.”

During the interview, Edo also opened up about her past miscarriages, pointing out that her experience did not influence her decision on surrogacy.

“I had a series of miscarriages in the past but that wasn’t my reason for going this route .I still hope to carry babies In my womb in the future, God willing,” the actress said.

Glo missing as NCC qualifies MTN, Airtel, new firm for 5G auction

December 03, 2021

 Globacom and Emerging Markets Telecommunication Service Limited are set to miss out on the deployment of Fifth Generation network for at least two years as the Nigerian Communications Commission qualifies MTN Nigeria Plc, Airtel Networks Limited and one new player for its 5G auction.

The NCC announced on Thursday only three qualified bidders met its criteria for the licensing process for the 3.5 gigahertz spectrum which is required for 5G deployment.

These three companies paid at least $19.74m each in order to qualify, it was learnt.

In a statement, the commission said, “The qualified bidders that have met the criteria for participation in the licensing process of 3.5Ghz spectrum, including payment of the stipulated Intention to Bid Deposit as outlined in the Information Memorandum, are MTN Nigeria Plc, Mafab Communications Limited, and Airtel Networks Limited.”

According to the document released by the Federal Government, “Applicants must transfer an IBD corresponding to a lot into the designated account in cleared funds not later than 17.00 hours West African Time on November 24, 2021.

“A bank guarantee, or similar instruments, will not be acceptable. This deposit will bind the applicant to take up a licence, should it be a successful bidder, at the reserve price or any higher bid value submitted during the process.”

The commission pegged the IBD at 10 per cent of the reserve price for the spectrum ($197.40m).

NCC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter said Glo and 9mobile did not submit any application to partake in the process.

The commission said, “At the close of the bid submission date of November 29, 2021, three companies, namely MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications Limited and Airtel Networks Limited had successfully submitted their bids in line with the requirements of the IM.”

According to the NCC, only the three companies would participate in the main auction as well as in the mandatory mock auction process set to hold in December 2021.

In the IM, the commission had earlier disclosed that it was only offering two lots of 100 MHz TDD Spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band ranging from 3500 – 3600 MHz and 3700 – 3800 MHz for auction.

 This implies only two of the three companies would emerge with capability to offer 5G services after the auction.

During a 5G stakeholder meeting in Lagos, the NCC disclosed that it would make three more lots available for auction in 24 months after most of the telecommunication companies questioned the commission for making only two lots available.

Pastor, others arrested for kidnapping Imo Catholic priest, collecting N5m

December 03, 2021

 The operatives of the Imo State Police Command have arrested 35-year-old Pastor Izuchukwu Anoloba and others for kidnaping a Catholic priest, Fidelis Ekemgba.

Parading the suspects, the state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Hussaini, said the men held the priest for over seven days until they got N5m ransom.

The CP explained that the pastor was arrested in Lagos following intelligence gathering by men of the anti-kidnapping unit of the command.

He disclosed that the priest, 45, in charge of St Peters Catholic parish in Umunohu Amakaohia, in the Ihitte/ Uboma Local Government Area, was waylaid and whisked away by his abductors.

Speaking to Journalists, Anoloba, said he got N1.5m from the ransom paid for the priest.

He said, “I am a pastor with the Apostolic Church of Christ in Lagos. I got N1.5m from the kidnap of the priest. I regret my action because I am now a disgrace to the body of Christ and my family.”


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

BREAKING: US records first case of Omicron variant

December 01, 2021

 The United States has recorded its first case of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus on Wednesday.



The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified confirmed the case in California, according to President Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Dr Fauci stated that the patient travelled from South Africa to San Francisco, California.

He added that the patient, though experiencing only “mild symptoms”, was fully vaccinated.

He said, “The individual was a traveller who returned from South Africa on November 22 and tested positive on November 29. The individual is self-quarantining and all close contacts have been contacted and all close contacts, thus far, have tested negative.

“The individual was fully vaccinated and experienced mild symptoms, which are improving at this point. So this is the first confirmed case of Covid-19 caused by the Omicron variant detected in the United States.”

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

EndSARS: Mr Macaroni, Falz reject Sanwo-Olu’s invite for peace walk

November 30, 2021

 Some EndSARS campaigners including Folarin Falana aka Falz and Debo Adebayo aka Mr Marcaroni have rejected the invite by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to a peace walk for “the healing of Lagos” in December.

The governor in a speech on Tuesday on the Lekki shootings of October 20, 2020, said, “In December, I will be leading A WALK FOR PEACE to herald the healing of our land. Let me use this occasion to extend an open invitation to our youths, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society groups, students and the media as well as other stakeholders to join me.”

Specifically, the governor invited Falana, Adebayo, Dele Farotimi, Temitope Majekodunmi, Segun Awosanya (Segalink), Adedotun (Just Detoun), Seun Kuti; Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu; and Commander of Rapid Response Squad CSP Yinka Egbeyemi and others to join him in the “historic march for our dear Lagos.”

Sanwo-Olu also said his government will release its White Paper on the report submitted by the EndSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry on November 15, 2021.

He said, “As an administration, are determined that the next steps that will be taken in this process of coming to terms with the events of October 2020, must bring closure to a painful episode in the history of our state, with the release of the White Paper later today.”

A youth protester, who was also invited by the governor for a walk, Awosanya, lauded Sanwo-Olu for his “leadership”.

@segalink tweeted, “@jidesanwoolu has shown leadership with this matured response and we hope the WhitePaper will mirror his sentiment. We all want closure, Justice and healing for our society. The experience of 20th October 2020 must never be repeated.”

But reacting, the younger Falana, who tweeted via @falzthebahdguy, described the peace walk as a “joke”, insisting that justice must be served for all victims of police brutality.

Also, Adebayo, who tweeted via @mrmacaronii, said he was not ready for any walk, adding that the last “walk” he had, he was stripped naked and dehumanised.

Viraltrendnews had earlier reported that the funnyman was arrested by the police in February 2021 for protesting against the reopening of the Lekki toll gate, a focal gathering of young campaigners protesting against police brutality and extrajudicial killings in October 2020.

Shoprite to offer Black Friday discounts to customers

November 30, 2021

 Shoprite has announced a line-up of deals for its customers as part of its annual Black Friday sales.

The retailer said in a statement on Tuesday that the deals would be accessible at all its stores nationwide during the last weekend in November.

 According to Shoprite, customers will win it’s Black Friday vouchers and hampers.

The Chairman of Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, Shoprite, Tayo Amusan said, “The Black Friday sales will be a great opportunity for customers to get their hands on quality products at great prices. COVID-19 has proven difficult for many over the past twenty four months, and Shoprite’s Black Friday weekend will be a welcome breath of fresh air for many.”


Why I won Ballon d’Or 2021 ahead of Lewandowski -Lionel Messi

November 30, 2021

 Lionel Messi admitted winning the Copa America with Argentina might have been the determining factor in him claiming the men’s Ballon d’Or prize for the seventh time after a turbulent year, as Spain’s Alexia Putellas took the women’s award.

Now 34, Messi pipped much-fancied rivals like Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema to take the award in a glittering ceremony on Monday in Paris, the city he now calls home after leaving boyhood club Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in August.

Messi explained that Lewandowski deserved to win the award last year.

Despite his tearful goodbye from Barcelona and his relatively underwhelming start to life in France, the jury of journalists from around the world rewarded him in particular for captaining Argentina to their first major international title since 1993. 

“Two years ago I thought I was coming into my final years but here I am again back here,” said Messi, who won the last edition of the Ballon d’Or in 2019 before last year’s awards were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Messi also won in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and in 2015. 

“People were starting to ask me when I was going to retire but now I am here in Paris and I am very happy,” he said at the Chatelet Theatre in central Paris, where he was joined by his wife Antonella Roccuzzo and their three children.

“I don’t know how many more years I have left but I hope there will be many because I am really enjoying myself this year.

“What I achieved with Argentina was a dream come true. I think I won this trophy thanks to what we did at the Copa America, so I dedicate it to my teammates.”

Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the final in Rio de Janeiro as Messi won a major title with his country for the first time. He also scored 38 goals in 48 games in his final season with Barcelona and won the Copa del Rey.

Poland striker Lewandowski would have been a shoe-in in 2020, when he scored 45 goals in 37 games for Bayern, only for the awards to be cancelled.

Lewandowski instead was given a consolation prize for the year’s best goal-scorer and received glowing praise from Messi.

“I wanted to say to Robert that it was an honour to go up against him. He deserved to win it last year,” Messi said.

Midfielder Jorginho, who won the Champions League with Chelsea and Euro 2020 with Italy, came third, followed by Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and another Chelsea player, N’Golo Kante.

Five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo came sixth. He was absent from the ceremony.

Between them, Messi and Ronaldo have won 12 of the last 13 editions of the Ballon d’Or with the exception coming in 2018 when Luka Modric claimed the prize.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Full draw: Ronaldo’s Portugal, Italy in same World Cup play-off group

November 26, 2021

 European champions Italy and Portugal could meet for a place at the 2022 World Cup after being drawn in the same play-off path on Friday.

The Azzurri and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal both finished second in their qualifying groups, behind Switzerland and Serbia respectively.

Italy will host North Macedonia in the play-off first round in March, with Turkey visiting Portugal, before the winners face off for a spot at next year’s finals in Qatar.

The draw means that one of the last two European Championship winners will not be at the next World Cup. Portugal won the Euro 2016 title.

The winners of Portugal’s match with Turkey will host the final-round game in Path C.

“It’s a very difficult draw for us,” said Italy coach Roberto Mancini. “North Macedonia is a very good team, and if we win we have to play away.”

Italy – who beat England on penalties in the Euro 2020 final earlier this year — are hoping to banish the memories of their play-off heartache from four years ago when they lost to Sweden and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Portugal have featured at every major championship since missing out on the 1998 World Cup.

They only narrowly missed out on automatic qualification when Aleksandar Mitrovic’s late goal snatched a 2-1 win for Serbia in the two teams’ last group match.

Elsewhere in the playoffs, British rivals Wales and Scotland could play each other in the final of Path A.

Scotland will welcome Ukraine to Glasgow in their semi-final game. Wales take on Austria in Cardiff, with the winners to have home advantage in the final.

The Welsh are hoping to play in the global showpiece for the first time in 64 years, while Scotland have not qualified since 1998.

“We’ve given ourselves a great opportunity,” said Wales manager Robert Page.

“It was in 1958 that we last qualified for the World Cup finals and through the play-offs again, so the incentive is there for us.

“We worked ever so hard to get that runners-up position in the group and earn that home draw, and we’ve had the luck of the draw that if we win that semi-final we will also be home for the final, so there’s everything to play for.”

Russia face Poland in the Path B semi-finals, with the winners to host Sweden or the Czech Republic.

The Russians, who reached the 2018 quarter-finals as the host nation, have only ever lost one World Cup qualifier at home — against Germany in 2009.

Draw for the European 2022 World Cup qualifying play-off round made on Friday:

Path A

Semi-finals

Scotland v Ukraine

Wales v Austria

Final

Wales/Austria v Scotland/Ukraine

Path B

Semi-finals

Russia v Poland

Sweden v Czech Republic

Final

Russia/Poland v Sweden/Czech Republic

Path C

Semi-finals

Italy v North Macedonia

Portugal v Turkey

Final

Portugal/Turkey v Italy/North Macedonia

Note: Matches to be played in March

Next Super Model Africa: A Promise Kept As Winners Emerge

November 26, 2021

 

Anticipated Next Super Model Africa event held on Sunday November 7, 2021 at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, came to an impressive end with the crowing of Chikodi Blessing (MissB ) as winner of the Reality Tv Show.

The organizers of the much publicized show made good their promise when the winners and runners-up were presented with their prize winnings in Lagos.

The Next Super Model Africa, the brainchild of a former beauty queen lived up to its billing with the impressive turnout of industry watchers and scout from formidable agencies.

According to the Ruth Vader: the former beauty queen and convener of the show during the post-event interview session, expressed how happy she is for the successful maiden edition, “I m so happy and feel so amazing for the season one of the NSMA being the first edition, it was quite tasking but it was fun working with my team and I look forward to doing much better in the next edition”.

We have fulfilled all promises made and we promise to do our best in pushing the winners and giving them a platform to help them get to the limelight as this will help us achieve our aim of correcting the continuous ills made in the modeling industry in Nigeria,”

Partnering on The Next Super Model Africa Reality Show with the Ruth is Dr Stanley Acho The Chairman Stretch-Out Group and Chief Errand Officer at the Sameday Delivery, who explained the reasons for his involvement, as extending a helping hand to the upcoming models and to those who want to consider modeling as a career. According to him, he believes actors and actresses are stylishly assuming the role of models in commercials in Nigeria, seen as a ‘dangerous’ trend that must be nipped in the bud.

The winner Chikodi Blessing (MissB ), first runner-up Oboko Melody, and second runner-up Onoh Felix were and all excited for the amazing opportunity they got with the show, NSMA. The trio alluded to the transparency and sincerity they saw and enjoyed while participating on the NSMA reality show.

The star prize of a brand new car and cash prize were given to the winner while other winners got their accrued prizes too. The winner is also entitled to $5000 modeling contract which the organizers have promised to deliver.


Writer: Adeniyi Opebiyi