The hottest and most trending news articles for this week in all categories are captured in one shot. Find articles ranging from News to Sports, to Politics, to Entertainment, to Economy, to Metro plus, and many other categories. See below the top news for the week:

NEWS

  • Buhari Seeks National Assembly Approval For Fresh External Loans

President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the National Assembly to approve for it $4,054,476,863 and €710 million. Buhari is also seeking the nation’s legislature’s approval for grant components of $125 million in the 2018-2020 external rolling borrowing plan. This is contained in a letter addressed to both chambers of the National Assembly and read on the floor at the resumption of plenary by the presiding officers on Tuesday.

Part of the letter read, “I write on the above subject and submit the attached addendum to the proposed 2018-2020 external rolling borrowing plan for the consideration and concurrent approval of the senate for the same to become effective. The projects listed in the external borrowing plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, EXIM Bank and IFAD in the total sum of $4,054,476,863 and €710 million and grant components of $125 million.”

  • Presidency: Buhari Will Respect Court Verdict On VAT

The Presidency has broken its silence on the raging controversy over the Value Added Tax (VAT). It said President Muhammadu Buhari will respect the final verdict on the matter as decided by the Supreme Court. “Eventually, we will have a legal pronouncement, which may come from the highest court in the land…. Knowing the Buhari administration, it will obey the rule of law,” Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said.

The row over who collects VAT between the Federal Government and the state governments broke out after last month’s verdict by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that Rivers State is legally in order to collect VAT in its domain. The Rivers State Government quickly enacted a VAT law and commenced the process to start the collection.

But, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) insisted on continuing with the collection. It has challenged the judgment at the Court of Appeal, which on Friday ordered the maintenance of the status quo until the determination of the appeal. Lagos State, which generates the highest amount of VAT, has enacted its own law empowering it to collect the consumption tax in its domain.

  • Lagos’ll implement VAT law despite Appeal Court’s ‘maintain status quo’ — Lawmaker

A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Setonji David, has said that the state will go ahead with the implementation of its recently assented VAT Law despite a stay of execution by the Appeal Court in Abuja last Friday. The lawmaker, who represents Badagry II Constituency in the House, stated this on Monday when he appeared as a guest on an interview. VAT is a consumption tax paid when goods are purchased and services are rendered. It is charged at a rate of 7.5 per cent.

Following Rivers State which signed its VAT bill into law last month, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, last Friday, signed the State VAT Bill into law a day after it was passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly. On the same day, Lagos asked to be joined as a respondent alongside Rivers State in the appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service challenging the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt which ruled that Rivers should commence VAT collection. Justice Haruna Tsammani of the Appeal Court had adjourned to September 16 to hear the application by Lagos and asked all parties to “maintain status quo”.

  • VAT Dispute: Rivers Govt Files Appeal At Supreme Court

The Rivers State government has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling of the Court of Appeal in the Value Added Tax (VAT) dispute between the state and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Emmanuel Ukala, alongside three other senior lawyers filed a notice of appeal at the apex court. The Attorney-General of Rivers State is the appellant while the FIRS and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) are joined as respondents.

The state government, in the 10 grounds of appeal dated September 13, informed the Supreme Court that it was dissatisfied with the decision of the appellate court delivered on Friday last week in which all parties were directed to maintain status quo. It explained that the implication of the ruling of the appellate court was that parties were restored to their positions before a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt granted the Rivers State government the right to collect VAT, instead of the FIRS on August 9.

The state government, therefore, sought relief of the Supreme Court to allow the appeal, set aside the decision of the appeal court which they complained about, and dismiss the oral application for interim injection made by the FIRS.
It also asked the apex court to order that the substantive appeal by the FIRS and all other processes, be heard and determined by a new panel of the Court of Appeal.


POLITICS

  • APC Fixes October 2 To Conduct State Congresses

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has fixed Saturday, October 2 to conduct its state congresses across the country. National Secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator James Akpanudoedehe, announced this in a statement on Monday.

He added that the party’s leadership scheduled Wednesday to commence the sale of forms for the exercise. On July 31, the ruling party held its ward congresses in various states in the country. However, the exercise did not take place in Bayelsa and Imo States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Another important exercise in the build-up to the APC’s national elective convention is the local government area congress.

The party’s leadership had appointed Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, alongside others to take over the affairs of the party following the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC). The NWC, led by former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, was dissolved after a protracted leadership crisis.

  • Governor Makinde Distances Himself From Fake Presidential Advert

Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, has said the advertisement in circulation linking his boss to 2023 presidential ambition is fake. Adisa who disclaimed the advertisement in a statement in Ibadan on Monday, described it as one of the antics of fake news promoters. He added that the advert which had the picture of Governor Makinde and the Nigerian flag, as well as the picture of his CPS, should be disregarded.

“It is the usual practice of naysayers and detractors to seek to mix sour grapes in the basket of fruits, at a time when well-meaning citizens are celebrating the victory of the state’s football club that has just been promoted to Nigerian Premier Football League.

“Let it be stated clearly, however, that Governor Makinde has no hand in any such campaign for the presidency. Adisa said the media office of the governor had not and would not race ahead of time to promote an ambition that the governor had not declared.

  • Jonathan Yet To Join APC, Nabena Insists

Contrary to widespread speculations in certain quarters, former President Goodluck Jonathan has not joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, told newsmen on Wednesday that the ex-leader had not dumped the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Nabena, who hails from the same Bayelsa State with Jonathan, insisted that there was no iota of truth in the speculations. He said: “As at the moment, there is nothing like that. If the former President decides to join the APC, it can’t be a hidden event. We will naturally celebrate it.

Jonathan, who lost his reelection bid to President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2015 poll, was at the helm of affairs of the country on the platform of the PDP between May 2010 and May 2015.

ECONOMY

  • Citizens Are Getting Poorer Because Nigeria Is Borrowing For Wrong Reasons – Peter Obi

A former vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi says Nigerians are getting poorer because the government is borrowing for the wrong reasons. Mr Obi, who was a guest on a television’s interview, argued that while it is not a crime to borrow money, the funds must be used solely for productions that enhance the lives of the citizens and enrich the economy.

According to the former Anambra State governor, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) cannot be growing while the people are getting poorer. He believes the growth Nigeria needs is one which “pulls people out of poverty by making the people have disposable income and be able to feed themselves”. Mr Obi further added that the nation needs the kind of growth that will educate the children and provide primary health care for all communities.

In a bid to chart a way forward, the astute businessman said that the biggest engine for economic growth is the micro, small, and medium enterprises. “That engine today is not being supported in Nigeria. Nigeria has a total of 40 million SMEs but there is not properly articulated fiscal and monetary policy to support the critical sector.

  • FG expends N364 billion on petrol transportation

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has spent about N364 billion transporting Premium Motor Spirit (popularly known as petrol) from abroad, adding at least N21 to the pump price of every litre of the product consumed by Nigerians. Between March 2020 and March 2021, Nigeria has gulped roughly 17.265 billion litres of petrol. In the absence of functional refineries, the quantity shipped swallowed N364 billion despite a crude swap deal that creates double freight expenses.

While the corporation’s Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari had disclosed that it cost nothing less than N21 to land every litre of fuel in the country in terms of freight, most stakeholders are unsettled by the fee, alleging that corruption at the downstream sector, challenges at the nation’s port and other systemic inefficiencies were responsible for the high charge. With lingering infrastructure problems, especially the inability of the state oil company to operate its pipeline network, stakeholders are worried that Nigerians might continue to suffer government’s inability to fix the supply chain anomaly in the downstream industry, even if the Dangote Refinery, Port-Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna facilities come on stream.

  • Buhari Seeks Senate’s Approval For $4bn, Euro 710m To Fund Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday sought National Assembly’s approval of a fresh loan of $4.1bn and Euro 710million to finance critical projects in the 2021 budget. He also requested the legislature’s nod for a grant of $125million to fund the budget which is being awaited by the National Assembly.
The sums are contained in Buhari’s letter read by Senate President Ahmad Lawan to members of the upper legislative chamber at plenary. The members resumed yesterday after a two-month annual vacation.

According to the President, the request is an addendum to the proposed 2018 – 2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Rolling Plan earlier approved by the National Assembly. He explained that the projects are listed in the addendum to the 2018 – 2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Rolling Plan. They are to be financed through loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, China Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Credit Suisse Group, among others.

HEALTH

  • Court Orders Resident Doctors To Suspend Industrial Action

The National Industrial Court has ordered resident doctors to suspend their strike action and go back to work immediately, pending the determination of the substantive suit. All parties have also been asked to return to the negotiating table. Justice Bashar Alkali made the order on Friday while ruling on an application by the Federal Government. The court held that there is no amount of money that will compensate for the loss of lives in the circumstances.

Counsel to the Federal Government, Mr Tochukwu Maduka, had moved his motion for interlocutory injunction and prayed the court for an order restraining the defendant from continuing with the industrial action pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit. He argued that the resident doctors are persons who provide essential services and cannot embark on strike as continuing to do so will wreak hardship on citizens.

Counsel to the resident doctors, Femi Aborishade, vehemently opposed the application for interlocutory injunction and urged the court to discountenance their application. He argued that the life of a medical doctor is not less useful than the life of an average human being.

  • Cholera: NCDC reports 46 New Deaths In One Week

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 46 new deaths linked to suspected cholera cases were recorded in the country in the past week. The NCDC said this via its officially verified website on Tuesday morning, stating that the situation report was published based on data sent in by the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. It stated that eight states accounted for the new cholera fatalities.

The public health agency, in its epidemiological report for Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, said a total of 2,323 people had so far died as a result of suspected cholera infections in 25 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), since the beginning of 2021.

Cholera is a waterborne disease with a high risk of transmission where there are poor sanitation and disruption of clean water supply. The wrong disposal of refuse and practices, such as open defecation, endanger the safety of water used for drinking and for personal use, thereby leading to the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera, and without proper WASH, Nigeria remained at risk of cholera cases and deaths.

  • Don’t Leave The Country – Medical College Begs Doctors

President, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Dr. Musa Muhammed Borodo has begged doctors leaving the country to show more understanding about the state of the nation, noting that things will soon improve. Borodo also urged the Federal Government to declare brain drain a national emergency, stressing that it is now imperative to improve the working environment of medical doctors.

The College President made the plea during a press briefing on Tuesday. According to Borodo, this year’s graduation ceremony brings to almost 7,000 the number of Fellows by examination that the college has graduated since its inception. He, however, said, “It is sad to note that the intended impact of this effort in our national healthcare delivery system is rapidly being lost to other, often more developed climes, due the escalating monstrous phenomenon of brain drain we are experiencing in our dear country.

Commenting on the third wave of COVID-19, Borodo said the pandemic was still disrupting the socio-economic life of the world to varying degrees from one region to another. He urged the Federal Government to further step up public awareness campaigns on the issue.

  • EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa Slumps In Abuja

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, on Thursday slumped at a programme at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Bawa was speaking on the importance of digital identification in commemoration of the National Identity Day when he suddenly became emotional, attributing his demeanour to the death of a staff of the commission. He, however, did not give details of the identity of the staff.

Shortly after he said he couldn’t continue his speech and then walked off the stage, sat in his chair and slumped. The EFCC boss was then immediately rushed out of the hall, accompanied by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Panatami. Shortly after, Mr Pantami returned to the hall and said he was now in a stable condition. The event continued thereafter.

EDUCATION

  • Attacks on schools may increase out-of-school children –SSANU

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities has said that the perennial attacks on schools and abduction of school children may worsen illiteracy in the country as many parents might withdraw their wards from school. The union also said the abductions could add to the 13.5 million out-of-school children in the country and further threaten the education system which it described as the bedrock of national development.

SSANU in a communique issued at the end of its 40th National Executive Council meeting held from September 8-10, 2021 at the Nasarawa State University, therefore, called on the Federal Government to urgently address the slide by strengthening the security agencies. The university workers described the invasion of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, as a national embarrassment and disgrace, “indicating a total collapse of the security architecture of the country.”

The union stated, “This dangerous dimension has forced several states to shut down schools in violence-prone areas. This will no doubt, add to the over 13.5million out-of-school children in Nigeria today. “From all indications, this is a great threat to the educational system, bearing in mind that the economic growth of any nation directly depends on the level of her educational standard and stability.

  • Gunmen Stop Students From Taking WASSCE In Imo

Gunmen on Monday stopped students from taking English Language paper in the ongoing WASSCE being written by senior secondary school students at the Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume in the Njaba Local Government Area of Imo state. Sources disclosed that the students were preparing to begin the examinations when the attackers came and chased them away.

As the gunmen started shooting, students and teachers, including their supervisors, fled. An indigene of the community told newsmen that the gunmen also set ablaze some motorcycles belonging to some of the staff and students of the school. Although there were no report of casualties, a viral video of the incident showed the students and staff shouting and running for their lives.

  • Pidgin English Should Be Packaged – 2Baba Urges Linguistics Professors

Afro pop artist, 2Baba has called for the rebranding of pidgin English. The Hypertek Digital boss challenged the Professors of Linguistics to come up with ways to effectively package pidgin for all and sundry. According to the “African Queen” classic hit-maker, pidgin English is the only language that is commonly used and easily understood by all the classes of people in the society.

On that note, the ace music maker prompted the professors of language to come up with approaches to make pidgin English even more dynamic so, it’s able to display novelty and be better appreciated by all. 2Baba wrote: “Make we package this pidgin English tin o. where all the linguistics profs at. Na the only one wey all of us sabi be that o.”

WORLD

  • Okonjo-Iweala, Biden Listed Among Time’s 100 Most Influential People

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been named in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for 2021. Okonjo-Iweala made the list – released on Wednesday – alongside US President Joe Biden, Angelique Kidjo, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan. The list recognises “people whose ideas, example, talent, or discoveries transform the world we live in”. She was named in the leaders category alongside US Vice President, Kamala Harris; Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Others who also made Time’s list include Naomi Osaka, Britney Spears, Donald Trump, and Elon Musk.

“As we face a constant barrage of vaccine misinformation, bureaucratic slowdowns across both government and industry, and the rise of variants that underscore the urgency of the situation, Okonjo-Iweala has shown us that to end the pandemic, we must work together to equip every nation with equitable vaccine access,” Prince Harry and Meghan wrote about Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance. Our conversations with her have been as informative as they are energizing. This is partly because, despite the challenges, she knows how to get things done—even between those who don’t always agree—and does so with grace and a smile that warms the coldest of rooms.”

  • EU To Donate 200 Million More Vaccine Doses To Low-Income Countries

The European Union is to donate another 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to low-income countries, more than doubling its present pledge, the bloc’s chief said on Wednesday. The extra doses announced by European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen come on top of 250 million shots the EU has already promised to give to other countries, particularly ones in Africa. Von der Leyen told the Strasbourg assembly the donation is “an investment in solidarity, and it is an investment also in global health”.

She recognised the disparity that has emerged between economically advanced countries such as the United States and those in Europe, which have pushed ahead in vaccinating the majority of their populations against the coronavirus, and poorer nations that are struggling to get hold of supplies.

Von der Leyen hailed the Europe Union’s vaccination roll-out, which has seen more than 70 percent of its adult population fully inoculated. She said Europe had done more than any other region to get vaccine doses to other countries, noting that half of the 1.4 billion vaccines produced on its territory had been exported abroad.

  • EU Announces Defence Summit, More Aid After Afghan Collapse

Europe will seek to boost its own military capacity after the collapse of the US-backed government in Afghanistan, EU Chief Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday, announcing a defence summit. “It is time for Europe to step up to the next level,” von der Leyen told the European Parliament, in her annual State of the European Union address. France’s President Emmanuel Macron will convene the “summit on European defence” during France’s six-month presidency of the bloc, starting at the New Year, she said.

Paris has been leading the push for the 27-nation union to develop more autonomous military capacities alongside the Western alliance, which is traditionally led by the US. And the rapid collapse of Afghanistan’s government at the end of the 20-year-old US-led mission in Afghanistan has intensified debate in Brussels’ about the EU’s role. But most EU nations are also members of the NATO alliance and some, particularly eastern states more exposed to threats Russia, do not want to undermine ties with the United States.

  • UNESCO Pledges Support For Africa To Tackle Environmental Challenges

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has promised to provide financial support through its biosphere reserve fund, to address issues of environmental challenges on the African continent.
Director-General of the organisation, Audrey Azoulay, made the pledge on Monday at the 33rd session of the International Co-ordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC) in Abuja.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event. Just like Azoulay, Mustapha also expressed worries over the attendant effect of the environmental challenges on human activities and the socio-economic development of the country. He, however, revealed that the Federal Government had embarked on a series of interventions targeted at protecting the ecosystem.

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Tems appears on Billboard 100 again in Drake’s ‘Fountain’

Fast-rising singer Tems has found her way to the Billboard Hot 100 top 40 placement for the second time with Drake’s ‘Fountains.’ The song, it was gathered, made its debut at No. 26 on the international chart platform. On Wednesday, Tems released her second EP in 2021, IF ORANGE WAS A PLACE. The new EP is a follow-up to For Broken Ears, her 2020 EP.

Tems first appeared on the Billboard chart with her feature on Wizkid’s ‘Essence’. Over the past few months, ‘Essence,’ Tems’ collaboration with Wizkid, has risen as high as No. 44 on the same chart, while the Justin Bieber remix has peaked at No. 13. The song currently sits at No. 19.

  • White House Offers Nicki Minaj Phone Call After Viral Vaccine Claims

The White House has offered to arrange a phone call between Nicki Minaj and one of its doctors, multiple US outlets reported after the rapper sparked widespread derision over claims a cousin’s friend had become impotent after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Minaj on Wednesday claimed she had been invited to the White House in the wake of her viral tweets about an unnamed acquaintance in her native Trinidad and Tobago — an invitation she said she accepted. But a White House official told multiple US outlets that Minaj had only been offered an educational phone call. “As we have with others, we offered a call with Nicki Minaj and one of our doctors to answer questions she has about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine,” the official said.

The Grammy-nominated rapper sparked a media storm Monday when she said she had skipped New York’s star-studded Met Gala this week due to its requirement that attendees be vaccinated, saying she would only get the jab once she had “done enough research”. She said a friend of a cousin in Trinidad had experienced swollen testicles after getting the vaccine — claims that sparked a formal rebuttal from the Caribbean nation’s health minister. British and US health officials have also condemned the claims. Experts say there is no evidence that vaccines affect fertility or male genitalia.

  • D’banj best among faithful married artistes- Seun Kuti

Afrobeat singer and saxophonist, Seun Kuti has declared the Kokomaster D’banj, as the president of faithful married artists in the country. Seun Kuti, via an Instagram live video with fans, listed Nigerian musicians who practice chastity. According to the youngest son of the legendary Fela, 2face, himself, Femi Kuti, Vector, Praise, Lekan King Kong, and especially D’banj are the faithful men in the industry, adding that it’s quite unfortunate for the young ladies as they’ve all been taken. Bigbird further emphasized that D’banj tops the list as the best of them all and whoever finds a man like him which he noted is quite impossible, would have found herself a great partner.

  • Don’t compare Wizkid with Fela around me, Woli Arole warns

Actor-cum-comedian Bayegun Oluwatoyin, popularly known as Woli Arole has sternly warned those who engage in the act of comparing singers. Arole revealed he traveled to London to study “Filmmaking” and a particular question his lecturer asked left him utterly astounded.

He admitted his trip to London and encounter with a certain lecturer brought about the realization of how vast the personality of the late icon was as he’s being studied in foreign universities. The comedian utterly bemused forewarned everyone around him never to compare Wizkid to legendary Fela. He wrote: “Fela is being studied in Universities abroad.”

  • I Am Nobody’s Ex, Says Mercy Aigbe

Nollywood actress Mercy Aigbe has told her 9.7 million followers on Instagram that she’s no one’s ex. In a recent post shared on Instagram, the actress wrote: ‘Still nobody’s ex.” The post is coming days after Aigbe’s estranged husband Lanre Gentry took a new wife. The Lagos socialite tied the knot traditionally with his new heartthrob, Oluwabusola at a very colourful event.

Aigbe, who was formerly known as Mercy Aigbe-Gentry before calling it quit, is yet to end her marriage to Gentry. In June 2021, Aigbe had gone on Instagram to appeal to her estranged husband to sign their divorce papers. The movie star and her estranged husband have been at loggerheads since they split in 2017.

SPORTS

  • NFF dedicates Nigeria’s Cape Verde win to Air Peace

President of Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick, has dedicated the Super Eagles’ Cape Verde victory in the ongoing Qatar World Cup qualifiers to Air Peace, the team’s official carrier. The NFF helmsman made the statement at an event tagged, ‘Dinner with the Best of Corporate Nigeria,’ held on Wednesday in Lagos.

Pinnick emphasised that the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema’s remarkable speech of patriotism inspired the Eagles and boosted their morale for the amazing outing in Cape Verde. Expressing gratitude to the airline and its founder for throwing its weight behind the national team, Pinnick dedicated the win in Cape Verde to Air Peace.

  • Eagles retain 34th position in latest FIFA ranking

Nigeria remained unmoved in the latest FIFA rankings for the month of September as they retained their 34th position. The latest ranking was released on Thursday. In Africa, the Super Eagles maintained their fifth position, while Tunisia are 25th in the world and second on the continent behind Senegal, who are Africa’s number one team and are 20th in the world.

The three-time African champions played two matches in the month under review as they began their World Cup qualifiers campaign with a 2-0 win over Liberia at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, before another victory against Cape Verde four days later.

The two victories in September were, however, not enough to move Nigeria up in the ranking. African champions Algeria are third on the continent and 30th in the global ranking, while Morocco are ranked 33rd in the world and sit fourth in Africa.

  • Aruna Emerges World No 15, Sets New African Record

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna has set a new African record as the first player from the continent to be ranked in top 15 in the ITTF Ranking. In the latest ranking released by the world table tennis ruling body, Aruna who was runner’s up in the men’s singles of the Cameroon 2021 ITTF African Championships moved four steps up the ranking ladder to occupy the 15th position.

He becomes the first African to attain such a feat in the world ranking and also erased Omar Assar’s record of world number 16 set by the Egyptian on January 2018. Aruna’s unbeaten run came to an end in the final of the tournament in Cameroon when he lost 4-1 to Assar and for his performance, the former World Table Tennis Player of the Year gained ranking points to join the elite club in the world.

For winning the men’s singles title in Cameroon, Assar gained eight steps up in the ranking to be rated 28th in the latest ranking. Assar’s compatriot – Ahmed Saleh garnered ranking points to move to 47th in the world, Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw moved 10 steps up to 59th position, while Olajide Omotayo rose to 87th in the world.

  • Tuchel Wants Chelsea To Recreate ‘Addictive’ Champions League Win

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said on Monday the high of winning the Champions League is addictive as he urged his players to keep the hunger required to defend their title. The Blues begin their Champions League campaign at home to Zenit Saint Petersburg on Tuesday after making a bright start to the Premier League season.

Tuchel made a huge impact after only arriving at the club in January to transform Chelsea from a side struggling in mid-table in the Premier League into Champions League winners. The German had reached the final the year before with Paris Saint-Germain but said he underestimated the difference going one step further would have on his squad.

METRO PLUS

  • Court Awards N20b Damages Against DSS For ‘Illegal’ Raid Of Igboho’s House

Justice Ladiran Akintola of Oyo State High Court has directed the Department of State Security (DSS) to pay N20 billion to Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho) for unlawfully invading his Soka, Ibadan residence on July 1.

Akintola awarded the sum as exemplary and aggravated damages against the secret police in the suit filed by Igboho in which he is seeking N500 billion damages for the invasion. The Court also declared the invasion illegal and tongue-lashed the DSS for acting based on what he described as “arbitrary aggression and prejudices” from his agitation for Yoruba Nation.

  • 240 Inmates Escape As Gunmen Attack Kogi Prison

At least 240 inmates have escaped the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) in Kabba, Kogi State, following an attack by yet to be identified gunmen. The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) spokesman, Mr Francis Enobore confirmed the incident in a communique on Monday, stating that the attack took place at about midnight on Sunday. According to him, the attackers in their numbers arrived at the custodial centre heavily armed and immediately engaged the guards in a fierce gun battle. Mr Enobore further disclosed that the Comptroller–General, Haliru Nababa has ordered a recapture procedure to be activated immediately and detailed investigation carried out even as he leads a team to assess the situation.

The Comptroller-General also appealed to the general public to furnish security operatives with useful intelligence that will assist in recapturing the escapees. The latest jailbreak comes a few months after gunmen attacked the Nigerian Correctional Service and the police headquarters in Imo State, freeing 1,844 inmates, after which the hoodlums set the facilities ablaze.

  • 108 Inmates Recaptured After Prison Outbreak

At least 108 out of 240 inmates who escaped from a prison in central Nigeria have been recaptured, a prison official said Tuesday. Heavily armed gunmen stormed the Security Custodial Centre in Kabba, in Kogi State, late on Sunday, freeing scores of inmates. It was unclear who the gunmen were but criminal gangs have terrorised central and northwest Nigeria for years.

“We have a total of 108 inmates rearrested,” Nigeria’s correctional service spokesman Francis Enobore told AFP by phone. At about 2245 GMT on Sunday, the spokesman had said earlier in a statement, numerous attackers “engaged the armed guards in a fierce gun battle.” A soldier and a police officer lost their lives in the attack, Enobore later added. Large prison outbreaks are not uncommon in Nigeria. On April 5, gunmen raided Owerri police headquarters, in Nigeria’s southern Imo state, freeing more than 1,800 inmates.

  • Police Commissioner Visits Family Of Teenager Killed By Trigger-happy Cop

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on Monday paid a condolence visit to the family of a teenager, Monsurat Ojuade, fatally shot by a police officer. During the visit, Mr Odumosu named the trigger-happy officer but insisted the deceased was hit by a stray bullet, a claim Ms Ojuade’s family had rejected.

The deceased’s family lawyer, Samuel Mbaebie, maintained that the 18-year-old “was shot at close range execution-style by the killer police personnel.” The teenager was killed in her compound after the police raided their area in Mogaji, Surulere.

In a statement by the command’s spokesman, Adekunle Ajisebutu, titled “Lagos CP pays condolence visit to the bereaved family of girl killed by a stray bullet,” the commissioner said the culprit, Samuel Phillips, a sergeant, had been arrested and was currently undergoing orderly room trial.