Celebs & Showbiz


21 Nov 2019

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Gets Deal Offer From AC Milan

Sweden star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been offered a six-month deal to come to the aid of struggling former Italian giants AC Milan, according to reports in Italy on Thursday.
The 38-year-old striker confirmed his departure from Los Angeles Galaxy last week following the club’s elimination from the Major League Soccer playoffs.

Gazzetta dello Sport and Sky Sports Italia reported that the former seven-time European champions have now made contact with the player’s agent Mino Raiola.

The US-owned club wants the former Swedish international for six months and is prepared to pay him six million euros ($6.6 million) if he remains for 18 months in total, Gazzetta claimed.

Milan finished fifth last season, missing out on a return to Champions League football by just a point to city rivals Inter.

They have had a poor start to this campaign and are 14th after 12 games before they host last year’s runners-up Napoli on Saturday in the San Siro.

Ibrahimovic played for two seasons between 2010 and 2012 with AC Milan, helping them to their last Serie A title, and scoring 42 goals in 61 league appearances.

He also won three league titles with Inter Milan, and two with Juventus, which were both revoked following the ‘Calciopoli’ match-fixing scandal.


N2.1bn Money Laundering And Fraud: Maina Appears In Wheel Chair For Trial Continuation

Chairman, defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTM), Abdulrasheed Maina, on Thursday, arrived at the Federal High Court, Abuja, for the continuation of his trial.
Although the embattled former pensions boss came into Court 6 without a wheelchair, he was supported by two men as he walked slowly into the court.

At the last adjourned date, November 7, Maina had appeared in court on a wheelchair following alleged health complications.

Maina who was in court alongside his son Faisal is charged with 12 counts bordering on money laundering, operating fictitious bank accounts and fraud.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Okon Abang had, on Nov. 7, fixed today, Nov. 21, for the continuation of the trial, following an appeal by the Deputy Comptroller General (DCG), Health and Social Welfare, Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), H.B. Kori.

Kori had appealed to the court to give him a week to respond to the court order on the true health status of Maina.

Maina, who came into the court on a wheelchair in the last adjourned date, was, on Oct. 25, arraigned alongside a firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Abang.

NAN reports that while Maina is the 1st defendant in the case, the company was the 2nd defendant.

Pope Francis Meets Thailand's Supreme Buddhist Patriarch As He Promotes Religious Harmony

Pope Francis met with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch on Thursday in a gilded Bangkok temple on the first full day of his Asia tour aimed at promoting religious harmony.

This is the pontiff’s first visit to Buddhist-majority Thailand — where just over 0.5 per cent of the population are Catholics — before he jets off to Japan on Saturday.
He is pushing a message of inter-faith peace on a four-day visit that will see him lead a mass later Thursday for tens of thousands of faithful from across Southeast Asia.

The 82-year-old head of the Catholic church also delivered impassioned remarks about the plight of vulnerable children and women who he said deserved a “dignified” future.

In a highly symbolic meeting Thursday, he sat down with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong at the Ratchabophit temple in Bangkok’s historic old quarter.

“Catholics have enjoyed freedom in religious practice, despite their being in a minority, and for many years have lived in harmony with their Buddhist brothers and sisters,” the Pope said in a speech at the meeting.

The pair sat before a brilliant gold Buddha statue inside the ornate temple, built 150 years ago by the former Thai King — the supreme patriarch barefoot and draped in orange robes as they spoke.

The Pope reciprocated the gesture, removing his shoes for part of the tete-a-tete.

In an earlier speech, the Pope said the meeting was “a sign of the importance and urgency of promoting friendship and inter-religious dialogue”.

It was the same temple visited by John Paul II on the last papal trip to Thailand in 1984.

This visit coincides with the 350th anniversary of the founding of the “Mission de Siam”, marking the first papal mission from Europe in the 17th century.

Though Christianity’s first visitors were initially met with scepticism, today Thailand’s nearly 400,000 Catholics face little discrimination.

– Message for migrants –

The head of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics met with Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha at a red-carpet welcome ceremony at the government guest house, before addressing medical staff at Bangkok’s St. Louis hospital.

He was accompanied throughout the day by his cousin Sister Ana Rosa, who has lived in Thailand for decades and is helping the pontiff as a translator.

At the hospital, he praised the valuable service “the Church offers to the Thai people, especially to those most in need”.

Earlier, he made a plea for the women and children “who are wounded, violated and exposed to every form of exploitation, enslavement, violence and abuse”, calling for a “dignified future” for the youth.

Trafficking for sexual exploitation is rampant across Southeast Asia, and most victims are young girls, according to the United Nations.

He did not miss the opportunity to address the issue of migration, calling for the “safe, orderly, and dignified” movement of people in a region rife with human trafficking.

The risks of illegal journeys abroad were laid bare last month when 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a refrigerated truck in Britain.

“It was heartbreaking; let us all pray for them,” the Pope said in a video message about the tragedy to a Vietnamese youth group.

His message came as a Vietnamese Catholic priest was banned from travelling to Japan to attend his mass, after the government cited him as a “national security” threat.

Priest Nguyen Dinh Thuc said he was targeted because he helped troubled fishermen after a 2016 fish kill caused by a toxic dump, accusing authorities of infringing on his right to travel and worship.

Later Thursday, the Pope will lead a huge mass for tens of thousands of people, including ethnic Karen Christians from northern Thailand and Vietnamese Catholic refugees living in Bangkok.

He will also meet Thailand’s King, before kicking off another full day Friday that will see him greet Catholic leaders and host a second mass.

On Saturday, he flies to Japan, where he will visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two cities devastated when the US dropped atomic bombs at the end of World War II in 1945.

The pope, who years ago had hoped to be a missionary in Japan, has made strong calls for a ban on nuclear weapons.

Since his election six years ago, Francis has made two trips to Asia, visiting the Philippines and Sri Lanka in 2014, followed by Myanmar and Bangladesh in 2017.


Anthony Joshua Reveals What Ruiz Loss Made Him Become

Briton Anthony Joshua said his first career defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. was due to a lack of experience and he had become a “smarter” fighter ahead of December’s rematch.
Mexican-American Ruiz produced one of boxing’s biggest upsets when he dethroned the previously undefeated world heavyweight champion with a seventh-round stoppage at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.

“It wasn’t burnout. The issues I faced in the last camp, it’s just down to lack of experience,” he told BBC.

“Even though it was at a high level, we were still finding experience.

“Andy Ruiz is good but I don’t think he should beat me twice. I used to hear guys say you have to take a loss and I would think ‘why’?

“Now I can understand it and know what it takes. I have more understanding now and my ears are open to new information so that’s making me smarter as a fighter,” Joshua said.

The WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight title rematch – dubbed the ‘Clash on the Dunes’, will take place in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 7 after former Olympic Champion Joshua triggered a rematch clause.

“The blessing is I have a second chance and here we are,” the 30-year-old said.


No IPPIS, No Salary: FG And ASUU Butt Heads

The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities will  clash again on Monday over the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information  System.
Branches of ASUU in federal universities across the country, in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Wednesday, vowed to shun the  registration for IPPIS, which would start on Monday and end on December 7, 2019.

The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, in an advertorial in The PUNCH on Wednesday, had directed all staff of federal universities and colleges of education “to present themselves for enrolment for the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information  System.”

It said the staff should among, others, bring their letters of appointment, letters of promotion, birth certificates and copies of their bank statement. The office of the AGF said its officers would be in the institutions to conduct the exercise.

But ASUU members in institutions such as the University  of Ibadan, the University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt;  the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and the University of Calabar, Calabar, told The PUNCH that their members would not register  for  the IPPIS.

Gunmen Attack Oyo Commissioner, Kill Driver, Injure Journalist

Gunmen on Tuesday attacked Oyo State Commissioner for Lands, Abdulraheem Abiodun, killing his driver.
According to Channels Television, Abiodun’s orderly, who was injured during the attack is currently hospitalised.

Details later.

Armed Robbers Record Gang-Rape Of Victim, Blackmail Her

Anambra state Police Command has arrested four suspected armed robbers and rapists in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo local government area of the state.
The command’s spokesman, Haruna Muhammed, in a statement made available to Daily Trust in Awka on Wednesday said the suspected armed robbers raped their victims after disposing them of their belongings.

According to him, on the 20/11/2019 at about 03:30am, Police operatives attached to the Command Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in conjunction with the Operations Kpochakpu arrested the suspects at Ozubulu.

He gave the suspects names as Collins Okpala (aged 25), Nwachukwu Chimanya (aged 20), Kenechukwu Anyasi (aged 23) and Pascal Ogbuagu (aged 22). He added that the suspects had on the 14/2/2019 abducted a girl of about 21 years old (name withheld), robbed her of her belongings and equally gang-raped her severally.

According to him, the suspects made a pornographic video clip of the rape incident and used the video to blackmail the victim to the tune of N1,000,000. The PPRO also stated that the suspects had confessed to the crime while the said video clip has also been recovered from their phones and registered as exhibit. “They will soon be charged to court for prosecution as soon as investigation is concluded,” he added.

He reiterated that the command under the watch of CP John B. Abang, would continue to provide safe and secure environment for all the citizenry before, during and after the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Reps Call For Abolishment Of ‘Acceptance Fee’ Into Tertiary Institutions

The House of Representatives on Wednesday called for the abolishment of ‘acceptance fees’ paid by students offered admission into various institutions in Nigeria.
A motion moved by Emeka Chinedu, PDP-Imo (Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte Federal Constituency), Wednesday got the lawmakers debating about how to reverse this trend.

Leading the debate, Mr Chinedu said one of the factors contributing to poor access to tertiary education is the “predatory admission policies being enforced by tertiary institutions, particularly the requirement for payment of non-refundable acceptance fees as a condition precedent for admission”.

He added that “it should bother the lawmakers that his state’s Imo State University charges N70,000 as acceptance fee.”

“Other institutions like the University of Ibadan charge 35,000; University of Lagos, 20,000; Ahmadu Bello University, 30,000; Lagos State University, N20,000; University of Uyo, 25,000,” he said.

He, therefore, moved that the fee be abolished. He was unanimously backed by his colleagues.

The House also mandated the House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services “to investigate the admission policies and practices of tertiary institutions in the country as they relate to the charge of acceptance fees in order to remove all obstacles to accessing tertiary education in the country.”

Meanwhile, Idowu Olayinka, vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, has said his institution will comply with the directive.

He said the amount accruing to the University of Ibadan, for instance, in a year is not enough to fund the university in a month. “Therefore, the school has to look for alternative means to source for funds”.

“Someone has to take up the bill,” he said. “We have to make up our mind on what we really want. You can’t even run a creche without funds. In a year, we spend at least N200 million on our clinic contactors. Add this to electricity bill and diesel, then you’re talking of over N800 million.

“What the university is getting for overhead is less than N100 million. So where do you think the remaining N700 million will come from? Unless you want to close down the whole university,” he added.

#Babcock University Expels Students Over Viral Sex Tape

Babcock University says it has expelled a young man and a lady having sex in a video that has since gone viral.
The school, however, maintained that the act did not take place on its premises.

Babcock University, in a statement by its Director of Communication and Marketing, Joshua Suleiman, said that the video was recorded in April 2019 when the young man, who had earlier been expelled in February, was undergoing rehabilitation at a health facility.

The varsity revealed that the lady in the video was a 300-Level student of accounting at the time the video was recorded but had been expelled since the video leaked in April.

“The boy in the video was expelled from Babcock University in February this year after investigation and the due process proved that he was into certain grievous misconducts, the acts for which the university has zero-tolerance.

“His girlfriend in the same video, until the video broke out, was third-year student of accounting of this university. After due process, she was expelled from the university for violation of our rules and regulations.

“The place where the immoral act took place, according to her written statement, was at St Bridget Hospital, Abeokuta, Ogun State, where the boy has been undergoing rehabilitation for different destructive addictions. According to the girl, the incident took place in April this year during school vacation when she visited the boy at the hospital. The act did not take place at Babcock University.”

DAILY POST reports that the video, which surfaced on the social media recently, has gone viral, generating series of reactions.

INEC Presents Certificate Of Return To Yahaya Bello Today

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to present the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, with his Certificate of Return today, having won last Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
INEC in a statement yesterday, in Lokoja, said the presentation of the Certificate of Return to the winner of the November 16 governorship election will take place at 11am at the Mahmood Yakubu Collation Centre, INEC Office, Lokoja.
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