City Voice Newspaper http://cityvoiceng.com - Lagos News, Nigeria News and world news Sat, 18 Jan 2020 19:48:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.16 Palace strips Harry and Meghan of royal titles, funding http://cityvoiceng.com/palace-strips-harry-and-meghan-of-royal-titles-funding/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 19:30:26 +0000 http://cityvoiceng.com/?p=68716 Buckingham Palace has announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer use their royal titles as they step back as senior royals.

The couple will also no longer receive public funds for any royal duties they undertake, and will repay £2.4m of taxpayer money for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage.

They won’t now formally represent The Queen as they go about their business as they aim to spend the majority of their time in North America.

It is still unclear if they can continue to use their ‘Sussex Royal’ brand.

A statement from Buckingham Palace reads:

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.

“As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.

“With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.

“The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home.

“Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.

“This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020.”

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Businessman Lekan Are dies at 86 http://cityvoiceng.com/businessman-lekan-are-dies-at-86/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 18:24:42 +0000 http://cityvoiceng.com/?p=68712 Businessman and philanthropist, Dr Lalekan Are passed on today at the age of 86 after a brief illness at the UCH.

He was owner and Chairman, Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre; Director, Punch Nig Ltd.
Chairman & major Shareholder, University Press plc.
He was a former director, WEMA Bank Plc anf General Manager of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority.

A Patron and Trustee of the Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association, Lalekan Are is widely known for the passion with which he championed the GCI cause and everything GCIOBA.

“We commiserate with the Are Family, particularly the Young Girl, his Old Boy sons Ayokunmi (1976 Set), Adedamola (1978 Set) and his son-in-law Denny Igun (1971 set) and the entire Are family of Oke-Are Ibadan.

“The entire GCIOBA, Are family and indeed Oyo State have lost a gaint whose passion for the development of education in Oyo State is unequalled

“May his gentle soul rest in peace. Funeral Arrangements will be announced by the family,” says Wale Babalakin (1971), President of GCIOBA.

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Nigeria’s private security firms shall not welcome any regulator other than NSCDC – Esangbedo http://cityvoiceng.com/nigerias-private-security-firms-shall-not-welcome-any-regulator-other-than-nscdc-esangbedo/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 18:11:54 +0000 http://cityvoiceng.com/?p=68707 The new President of Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) Mr. Esangbedo Wilson has stressed that the group will not support any move to remove the mandate of regulation of Private Guard Industry from Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Esangbedo made the statement on Friday during the Press Conference held at the corporate headquarters of ALPSPN in Abuja. He emphasized that ALPSPN leadership has, over time, built a mutual working relationship with NSCDC and therefore, “we shall not welcome any move to remove the regulation of the Private Guard industry from NSCDC.

“The Corps has been a great partner to us over the years, moreover NSCDC work with integrity, which is the watchword of the government of the day under President Muhammadu Buhari. Therefore, we shall not allow our association to be compromised.

“ALPSPN and NSCDC are working hard to re-organize the Private Guard Industry with far reaching reforms as contained in the Private Guard Regulation of 2018. We are currently changing the face of security practice as guards biometrics will be taken by our regulator. Our guard will be trained, certified and licensed, Esangbedo assured.

“Companies that will train the guards will be accredited by NSCDC and ALPSPN and the accredited companies will also have their trainers accredited.

“The current effort of our regulators to make the private guard industry to be as par with the advanced countries is commendable and will be supported by ALPSPN.”

Wilson assured that the new executive of ALPSPN shall visit the Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Abdulahi Gana Muhammadu on familiarization tour to pledge our support for his landmark reform of Private Guard Companies since he took over the affairs of the organization.

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Emirates ushers in 2020 with positive outlook http://cityvoiceng.com/emirates-ushers-in-2020-with-positive-outlook/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 18:01:17 +0000 http://cityvoiceng.com/?p=68702 Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, will conclude 2019 with a successful string of product, network, and customer experience highlights. The airline will usher in 2020 with a continued focus on strengthening its business across operational, commercial and customer experience metrics, and excitement for Expo2020 – the world’s greatest show – which will open its doors to global visitors from October.

Remarking on 2019’s milestones and highlights, Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “This was a year of recalibration in terms of our fleet and network plans, when it became clear that the A380 programme will cease. Emirates’ dynamic approach to capacity deployment – during the southern runway renovation at Dubai International, as well as in response to the capricious forces of politics and socio-economics throughout the year – demonstrated our agility and yielded results. We’ve also stayed focussed on delivering our “fly better” promise to customers through enhancing our product and service proposition at every touchpoint.”

Commenting on Emirates’ outlook for the year ahead, Sir Tim said: “In 2020, we’ll continue to leverage our partnerships to provide even more connectivity and value for our customers. And we look forward to welcoming the world to Dubai for Expo2020, where we will showcase the future of aviation at the Emirates Pavilion.”

Connecting the world to and through Dubai

In the 12 months since January 2019, the airline has carried close to 58 million passengers on its modern and efficient fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft. Emirates operated over 3,500 flights on average per week, or over 186,000 flights in 2019, travelling more than 885 million kilometres around the globe, which is the distance equivalent of more than 2,300 trips to the moon and back.* The airline served nearly 63 million meals on its flights departing Dubai*, and handled over 35 million pieces of baggage in Dubai* alone.

The airline reinforced its global network of 159 destinations in 2019, with the addition of three new passenger routes: Dubai to Phnom Penh via Bangkok, facilitating a new connection between Cambodia and Thailand; a non-stop service to Porto, the airline’s second destination in Portugal; and most recently, a new service to Mexico City via Barcelona.

In addition, Emirates uplifted frequencies and upgraded capacity to 12 points within its network.

Emirates also expanded customer choice, connectivity and convenience by growing its partnerships. The airline ended 2019 with 26 codeshare partners and 156 interline partners in 200 countries, extending its network by over 1,800 unique destinations. New partnerships forged in 2019 include with China Southern Airlines, Africa World Airlines, LATAM Airlines, SpiceJet and Interjet.

Emirates and flydubai marked two years of successful partnership, carrying more than 6 million passengers on their joint networks to and through Dubai since 2017. Emirates’ passengers benefit from seamless connectivity, accessing 94 destinations on the flydubai network, while flydubai passengers can also access 143 Emirates destinations.

Emirates expanded its A380 network with the introduction of scheduled services to Riyadh, Cairo and Muscat. The Emirates A380 also operated seasonal services during the summer to Boston and Amman, offering more customers the opportunity to experience its flagship aircraft.

Strategic fleet investments for the future

At the Dubai Airshow 2019, Emirates placed an order for 50 A350-900 XWB aircraft and confirmed a full purchase agreement for 30 Boeing 787-9 aircraft. In line with its long-standing strategy to operate modern and efficiency wide-body aircraft, the airline’s latest US$ 24.8 billion investment in its future fleet will expand its operational flexibility in terms of capacity and range, and allow it to further develop its network proposition beyond 2020.

Cutting-edge customer focused initiatives

Placing customers at the heart of its business, Emirates delivered another year of trendsetting product and service initiatives to provide an unmatched travel experience in the air and on the ground. In April 2019, the airline completed its US $150 million refurbishment of 10 Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, offering a two-class cabin with wider Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 format and a fully refreshed Economy Class cabin.

Emirates’ customers continue to be spoilt for choice with over 4,500 channels on ice – the airline’s award winning inflight entertainment system, which clinched its 15th consecutive Skytrax win in 2019 for Best Inflight Entertainment as well as its 3rd consecutive APEX Passenger Choice award for Best Entertainment.

This year, Emirates elevated the inflight entertainment experience by introducing playlist synching. Customers can now browse the extensive content on offer, create personalised playlists ahead of their flight, and sync it to their seats once on board their flight, using the Emirates App. Since its launch, more than 180,000 unique playlists have been created, and the airline is expanding this function progressively across its entire fleet.

Emirates continues to invest over US$ 27 million annually to operate inflight connectivity systems, serving the expectations of modern travellers. More than 13 million Wi-Fi connections were made on-board Emirates flights in 2019, as customers increasingly expect the ability to stay connected to family and friends when they fly.

Providing a stress-free, end-to-end customer experience, Emirates launched its first remote check-in terminal outside of the airport, to provide smooth connections for cruise passengers in Dubai. These Emirates check-in counters, located at Port Rashid, allow passengers who are disembarking from their cruise ships to check in for their onward Emirates flight and enjoy a hassle-free stopover visit in the city.

Emirates launched biometric boarding and facial recognition technology at its departure gates for customers flying from Dubai to any of its 12 destinations in the U.S., reducing the time taken for identity checks to two seconds or less. More biometric technology will be rolled out in the coming year, in coordination with partners at Dubai International airport.

The Emirates App has become one of the top airline apps with nearly 2 million active users, and is available in 19 languages including Arabic, allowing users to search, book and manage their flights. The airline has also recently launched a new feature on its app called Airport Maps, allowing customers to navigate seamlessly through Dubai International Airport including check-in desks, Emirates lounges, shops, restaurants or ATMs in the airport.

Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty programme for Emirates and flydubai, celebrated its 25 million member mark in 2019. The loyalty programme introduced a range of new products and services throughout the year, including Skywards Exclusives, a unique offering of carefully crafted experiences from Emirates’ expansive sponsorships portfolio. Skywards Everyday gives members the power to earn Skywards Miles anytime, every day at their favourite retail, entertainment and dining outlets across the UAE. Emirates Skywards also forged new partnerships, including with airlines such as Copa Airlines and Bangkok Airways, hotels, retailers, and banks.

Bringing people together

In 2019, Emirates continued to support sports and culture through its extensive global sponsorships, connecting with its customers worldwide and bringing people together under a shared passion. As one of the most recognisable brands in global sports, Emirates once again activated a variety of initiatives at some of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and the Rugby World Cup 2019™. At home, the airline also celebrated the 50th anniversary staging of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens.

Throughout the year, Emirates commissioned 8 bespoke aircraft liveries to highlight significant events and showcase its partnerships to a global audience. These were: the three Expo 2020 Dubai liveries that represent the Expo themes of sustainability, mobility and opportunity; the “UAE in Space” Emirates A380 that pays tribute to the UAE’s first space mission; the “ICC Cricket World Cup 2019” Emirates A380; the “Rugby World Cup” Emirates A380; the “50th Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens” Emirates A380; and the “Year of Tolerance” Emirates A380.

Marking the 48th UAE National Day and the UAE Year of Tolerance, Emirates wrapped up the year with flying colours as it broke a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ for most nationalities on an aircraft. Celebrating the diversity in the UAE, the historic one-off Emirates A380 flight carried over 540 passengers from 145 nationalities. Passengers celebrated the various ethnicities, religions and cultures on-board, which is a strong reflection of Dubai’s multicultural social fabric.

*Flight figures are for the calendar year 2019

*Catering figures cover meals loaded at Dubai International only. This does not include meals loaded at other destinations.

* Baggage figures cover Dubai International only

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AMOTEKUN: Yoruba World Congress to hold Solidarity Walk on Tuesday http://cityvoiceng.com/amotekun-yoruba-world-congress-to-hold-solidarity-walk-on-tuesday/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 10:51:36 +0000 http://cityvoiceng.com/?p=68697 The Yoruba people within and beyond the shores of Nigeria have been urged to come out in their large numbers on Tuesday, 21st January to rally in support of Operation Amotekun, a security network recently established by Governors from Western Nigeria to protect residents against the spate of insecurity ravaging the zone.

The protest l, code-named “Amotekun Solidarity Walk,” which is being organized by Yoruba World Congress (YWC); an umbrella body of all Yoruba Socio-cultural and Self Determination Groups within and beyond Nigeria will take place in all the South West States capital.

The YWC is led by Yoruba Leader, Emeritus Professor of History and Second Republic Senator, Banji Akintoye.

According to a statement made available to journalists on Saturday by YWC Director of Contacts and Mobilization, Comrade Victor Taiwo, the protest will hold simultaneously in Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Osogbo, Akure and Ado-Ekiti respectively from 9am.

“All Yoruba people are urged to come out in their millions any where they are in Oduduwa Land on Tuesday to show to the world that Amotekun has come to stay. We must show to the external forces and their internal collaborators who want to stampede our resolve to protect ourselves, safeguard our land from kidnappers, armed-robbery and put an end to consistent destruction of our farm lands that enough is enough.

“Well-meaning Yoruba people and leaders of thought would be at designated venues to address the protest. We want to assure our Governors that Yoruba people are behind them on Amotekun. We urge them not to shiver and they must never shiver. It is no retreat, no surrender. We will not surrender Amotekun”

On the meeting points, those in LAGOS are to converge at Gani Faweyinmi Freedom Park, Ojota; OYO: Opposite Agodi Cenotaph, Ibadan; OGUN: Pansheke Junction, Abeokuta; OSUN: Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo; ONDO: Alagbaka Roundabout, opposite First Bank, Akure while those in EKITI are to converge at Fajuyi Round about, Ado-Ekiti.

The list of state co-ordinators, according to the statement, would be released on Sunday after proper consultation with relevant stakeholders.

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Amotekun: We cannot be colonised in our own Country, says Agbekoya leader http://cityvoiceng.com/amotekun-we-cannot-be-colonised-in-our-own-country-says-agbekoya-leader/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 10:44:59 +0000 http://cityvoiceng.com/?p=68700 The Agbekoya Reformed Society has unanimously signified its support of the recently inaugurated Western Nigeria Security Network, ‘Amotekun Operations, which is being run through the office of Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, (DAWN) Commission.

In a press release from emergency meeting of leaders of Agbekoya Reformed Society held on 17th January 2020 at Ikeja, Lagos.

“The Amotekun initiative is a clarion call to protect lives and properties of residents of the southwest and we cannot fold our arms and watch law abiding, promising Yoruba lives been cut down,” the statement, signed by
Aare (Dr) Kunle Oshodi,
President of the Agbekoya Reformed Society (ARS), said.

“Amotekun initiative came up as a necessity after due consultations far and near with interest to protect lives and property of all Yorubas within the entity called Nigeria

“OPERATION AMOTEKUN is A Self Help Response To The Failure Of The Federal Government of Nigeria To Comprehensively Safeguard The Lives Of South West Residents & Visitors From Violent Crimes in Recent Times

…. It is a joint outfit organized by the constitutional recognized six Chief Security Officers and elected Constituted Authorities in the region, this is in furtherance of their constitutional responsibility to protect lives and property of the citizens and residents on a joint collaborative scale. Operation Amotekun was just inaugurated here on the 9th of January 2020 and many similar Security outfits such as Hisbah police, Shari’ah Police, Civilian JTF, Borno State Women Security outfit and others has been established in the North several years back and they are still in operation till date, nobody has ever question the legality of these numerous security outfits, it is our region and we will defend our people.

… Due to the inter state nature of the contemporary security threats, such as highway armed robberies, kidnap for ransom, rape, wanton destruction of farm lands, cattle rustling, ritual killings, illegal mining, unapproved logging, canabis farming among others crimes, that the region is facing in an unprecedented manner, and also in the consideration that each state will hold their ends of the regional security chain for wholesome goal of regional peace

…. The Outfit was contrived and established as an indigenous highway, border and forest guard services that is complimentary and supplementary to the litany of Federal security outfits, it will provide the missing link services in Nigeria’s security architecture, in the manner other indigenous security outfits have and are doing in their respective regions in Nigeria. We appreciate the courage of the six governors of the Southwest for the giant stride which took by creating Western Nigeria Security Network Amotekun in the region, despite of pressure from so many quarters and their political deferences . Our advice is that they should not be distracted or demoralised by any illegal / unofficial proclamation from anybody, if anyone feels that operation Amotekun is disturbing him he should go to court of law for redress

“However, we warn the Federal Government of Nigeria to avoid of the pit fall of 50years ago, Amotekun has come to stay.”

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Troops for hire: Saudi Arabia pays U.S. $500m for its soldiers guarding the Arab nation http://cityvoiceng.com/troops-for-hire-saudi-arabia-pays-us-500m-for-its-soldiers-guardian-the-arab-nation/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 10:02:56 +0000 http://cityvoiceng.com/?p=68692 The United States has received $500 million from Saudi Arabia to help cover the cost of American troops stationed in the kingdom, the CNN has reported quoting a U.S. official.

The payment was reportedly made in December, and last week President Trump said in a Fox News interview that the kingdom had “already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”

However, the Pentagon could not confirm to the network whether or not the payments had taken place.

“Consistent with the President’s guidance to increase partner burden-sharing, the Department of Defense has engaged Saudi Arabia on sharing the cost of these deployments, which support regional security and dissuade hostility and aggression,” Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich said.

Rebarich said that Saudi Arabia had “made the first contribution,” but that “discussions are ongoing to formalize a mechanism for future contributions that offset the cost of these deployments.”

The deployment of additional U.S. troops started in September after attacks on Saudi oil facilities. Both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia believe that Iran was behind aggression.

The funds will reportedly cover the U.S.’s overall cost of deploying troops, including fighter jets and Patriot missile defense batteries meant to protect Saudi oil fields from further attacks from Iran.

“While we will not comment on specific bilateral defense agreements, more broadly the United States encourages burden-sharing among partners in support of shared security interests, to include defense of the Arabian Gulf,” a State Department official told CNN.

I found this interesting from Saudi Arabia to help cover the cost of American troops stationed in the kingdom, the CNN has reported quoting a U.S. official.

The payment was reportedly made in December, and last week President Trump said in a Fox News interview that the kingdom had “already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”

However, the Pentagon could not confirm to the network whether or not the payments had taken place.

“Consistent with the President’s guidance to increase partner burden-sharing, the Department of Defense has engaged Saudi Arabia on sharing the cost of these deployments, which support regional security and dissuade hostility and aggression,” Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich said.

Rebarich said that Saudi Arabia had “made the first contribution,” but that “discussions are ongoing to formalize a mechanism for future contributions that offset the cost of these deployments.”

The deployment of additional U.S. troops started in September after attacks on Saudi oil facilities. Both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia believe that Iran was behind aggression.

The funds will reportedly cover the U.S.’s overall cost of deploying troops, including fighter jets and Patriot missile defense batteries meant to protect Saudi oil fields from further attacks from Iran.

“While we will not comment on specific bilateral defense agreements, more broadly the United States encourages burden-sharing among partners in support of shared security interests, to include defense of the Arabian Gulf,” a State Department official told CNN.

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A passion for food wins contest on innovative thinking http://cityvoiceng.com/a-passion-for-food-wins-contest-on-innovative-thinking/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 09:55:22 +0000 http://cityvoiceng.com/?p=68688 Winning an award was never part of Sylvie Ogoudedji’s expectations when she joined the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) as a fellow in 2019.

It was during her induction that she learned of ECA’s Innovation Challenge for the first time. What got her “really excited” was a new understanding – after a Google search – that “innovation does not necessarily mean invention” and that “it could simply be a new way of approaching existing matters.”

“I knew right then that there was something I could offer,” she said.

The Innovation Challenge is part of ECA’s Innovation Accelerator Programme that aims to recognize staff contributions to the success of ECA’s programmatic achievements as well as foster a culture of innovation within the think-tank.

32-year-old Sylvie Ogoudedji saw the Challenge as an opportunity for her to “talk about something that really matters to me: food.” She noted (with a smiley) in her email response to this reporter’s questions – that, “after seeing my picture, you would realize that I love eating.”

But her love for food is not selfish. She yearns for an Africa where everyone has access to healthy food. She is concerned about the roughly 300 million people suffering from hunger in both rural and urban areas in Africa.

“These are the kind of statistics that make me feel that we are still far from the end of the journey towards a prosperous Africa,” she lamented.”

Her project proposal to the Innovative Challenge is titled “Building Africa’s New Farmers.”

She makes the case for why “agriculture should not be for unskilled labour and rural areas should not be the place from which Africans run away.”

Among her recommendations was a stimulus package for urban agriculture whereby farmers are equipped with land, modern agricultural skills, access to credit, modern climate-resilient houses with rooftop gardens, and other services that can attract young people to agriculture.

The output, she noted, is to “provide poor people with decent work, the happiness of being owners of the houses they live in, the opportunity to eat the food they produce, sell the surplus, and live in a safe place where they have access to needed services.”

The Benin born ECA fellow who holds a PhD in Applied Agricultural Economics and Policy argues that government should create a ministry in charge of this specific program, and that good land policies and good governance are the cornerstones of her initiative.

The contest awarded two grand (first position) prizes in the categories of substantive innovation and operational innovation – won by Sylvie Ogoudedji and Bineswaree Bolaky respectively.

Bineswaree, an Economic Affairs Officer at ECA’s Southern Africa Office, focused her project on ways to “Enhance how ECA as an institution delivers its support to member states on AfCTTA.”

A total of 18 submissions were received for the Innovation Challenge. The second and third winners in the substantive category are Rachael Nsubunga of ECA’s Office for East Africa and Maame Paterson of ECA’s Office for West Africa respectively.

In the operational category, Ermias Wondie and Kelemwork Kejela (ECA HQ) won the second and third prizes, respectively.

The Grand Prize winners will receive direct mentoring from a member of ECA’s senior leadership team, who will contribute to developing and bringing the winners’ ideas to fruition.

Winning the grand prize is a “dream come true” for Sylvie who is also “very happy to see how ECA, in addition to all the incredible work it does for our continent, opens a wide door to new ideas for a prosperous Africa.”

Ms. Ogoudedji credits her success to her “very supportive colleagues and director” of ECA’s Office for Central Africa who gave her the necessary assistance to emerge victorious.

Having bagged the material and intellectual rewards from the contest, Sylvie continues to flaunt her love for food, stating “as human beings, nothing unites us more than our universal need for food.”

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Roman Abramovich ‘gives go-ahead’ for $150 million move for Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Jadon Sancho http://cityvoiceng.com/roman-abramovich-gives-go-ahead-for-150-million-move-for-borussia-dortmund-wonderkid-jadon-sancho/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 09:52:03 +0000 http://cityvoiceng.com/?p=68690 In a move which will be seen as a statement of intent as to Roman Abramovich’s plans for Chelsea, the Russian billionaire has reportedly given the green light to bringing English teen sensation Jadon Sancho to Stamford Bridge.

The 19-year-old Sancho moved to the Bundesliga from Manchester City in 2017 after his path to Pep Guardiola’s first team was blocked by a series of high-profile additions to the playing staff at the Etihad Stadium.

But Sancho’s time in Germany has been a revelation as he has quickly developed into that of one of the top young properties in world football.

The Londoner – who was a Chelsea fan as a boy – immediately rewarded the German side’s faith in him and has registered 26 goals and a further 36 assists in 79 appearances with the club to date.

His impressive form has also seen him drafted into Gareth Southgate’s England squad where he has claimed two goals in 11 appearances for the senior side.

His form has, of course, led to a host of Europe’s top clubs hovering but reports suggest that Abramovich’s Chelsea remain in pole position to secure Sancho’s signature in a club record £120 million ($156 million) deal.

Abramovich and Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia are said to both be “very keen” on securing what would be a “statement signing,” according to UK reporter Duncan Castles. The big-money move could be seen as Abramovich signalling his intent to remain in charge at Chelsea amid persistent rumors in recent seasons that he was considering selling the club.

Sancho’s arrival could help fill the void left by Eden Hazard’s move to Real Madrid last summer, though several of the Chelsea youngsters such as Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi have performed admirably in Frank Lamaprd’s debut season in the dugout.

However, it is unlikely that any deal can be secured in January as Dortmund will aim to keep their team intact as they attempt to keep up the pressure on top side RB Leipzig, who are seven points clear of Dortmund, who are in fourth place.

Should Chelsea complete the signing, it will be the first addition to the team following the cessation of the transfer ban last month which was levied against the club for improper dealings in the transfer market.

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Alleged Detention: single mother drags DSS, Lebanese businessman to court, demands N350m http://cityvoiceng.com/alleged-detention-single-mother-drags-dss-lebanese-businessman-to-court-demands-n350m/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 09:34:47 +0000 http://cityvoiceng.com/?p=68684 By Peterson Ibi

A Benin-based single mother, Odegua Okojie, has dragged the Department of State Service (DSS) and a Lebanese businessman before Justice M. G. Umar of the Federal High Court, Benin for illegally detaining her for nine days.

The applicant in the suit, No. FHC/B/cs/120/2019, claimed that during her detention, she was denied access to her lawyer and family members and her telephone seized from her.

Joined in the suit are both the Director-General of the DSS the Director of the Edo State Command of the agency and Charles Makhoul, a Lebanese businessman.

Odegua alleged that she was first taken into DSS facility in Benin before she was whisked to Abuja without her knowing the offence she has committed.

She further alleged that on the night she was taken into custody, her two-year-old daughter cried and wandered about all night, before she was recovered from the road side by her school teacher who came to pick her to school.

She said while at the DSS facility in Abuja, under video recording, she was forced to accept the sum of N6 million as compensation for the atrocities meted on her by the Lebanese businessman, whom she had lived with as a minor up to her adult age.

She said that the illegal detention from July 9 to 16, 2019, was not only an infringement on her fundamental human rights, but also unlawful and unconstitutional.

She subsequently demanded for “N300 million as compensation/damages over the violation of her fundamental rights by the 1st to 3rd respondents.”

The applicant is also asking the court to award her “N50 million as exemplary damages for the unlawful and unwarranted infraction on her rights.”

When the case was mentioned on Thursday, Counsel to the 3rd respondents filed two applications for extension of time to enable him file a counter affidavit to the one file by the applicant.

The applications were granted by Justice Umar after counsel to the applicant, Mr. T. A. Akakhomen, and Counsel to the 1st and 2nd respondents, Mrs. O. A. Odigwe did not object to the applications.

Akahomen and Odigwe also had their respective applications on the matter granted them by the judge.

The matter was subsequently adjourned to February 12, for hearing.

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