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Georgian Cup Tournament: FirstBank Sponsors 102nd Edition, Reinforces Support

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the title sponsor of one of polo’s most prestigious trophy, the Georgian Cup is grabbing all the headlines and attention as the 102nd edition of the competition gets underway in Kaduna.  The competition, scheduled to hold 23rd – 30th October 2021 at the Kaduna Polo Club, will feature High Goal teams drawn from across the country who are already on the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running sponsorship in sports and Kaduna El-Amin as the defending Champion.

Expectedly, this year’s edition of the famous Georgian Cup is generating lots of excitement within Kaduna and beyond as combatants storm Kaduna is quest for honour and fame on the turf. Led by the son of former Military Head of State, Mohammed Babangida, the team overpowered the then defending champions, Abuja Rubicon by 9-7 to emerge winner. The victory was the 15th for El-Amin in the competition. Sporting Nigeria’s best player, Bello Buba (19 times winner of Georgian Cup), Argentine imports; Raul and Martin Sowedo, as well as hard hitting Mohammed Babangida (15 times winner), the victory was a soothing balm sort of for their defeat in 2018 and 2019 to Abuja Rubicon.

FirstBank has since maintained the sponsorship of the prestigious cup since 1919 and has remained a key support to the Kaduna Polo Club. This year marks the 102nd year of sponsoring the Georgian Cup Tournament and the sponsorship is reportedly the longest standing sports sponsorship association in the world, a reflection of a long-lasting association that aligns with heritage, values, performance and quality, all worthy of celebration. This year’s also coincides with the unveiling the Remodeled Murtala Square.

Speaking on the Bank’s contribution to sports development in Nigeria, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications of FirstBank, Ms. Folake Ani-Mumuney said “we are always delighted to continue our sponsorship of various sporting events. In line with our nation-building goal, sports have a huge role to play with regards to nation-building which is evident in different elevating qualities such as discipline, determination, teamwork a passion for fitness in the psyche of a nation as well as economic development. And this is in line with our nation-building goal which also involves deliberate long-term support. FirstBank sponsored events include the Georgian Cup of Kaduna Polo Club, for over 100 years; the Dala Tennis Hard Court in Kano Club for over 30 years; the FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship in Ikoyi Club which will be in its 60th year this November and the Obasanjo Pro-Amateur tournament of Abeokuta Club now in its 5th year. The Bank’s influence in the development of sport in Nigeria is under its First@Sport initiative”.

The Georgian Cup, donated by FirstBank in 1918 is the oldest and most respected Polo trophy in West Africa. The Kaduna Polo Club was founded in 1918 by the British Army and is one of the most prestigious clubs in Nigeria.

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Court Sentences Dismissed Sergeant to Death by Hanging for Killing Driver over N100

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A High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has sentenced a dismissed police sergeant, James Imhalu, to death by hanging for the murder of a commercial driver in 2015 over his refusal to pay a bribe of N100.

Justice Elsie Thompson, while delivering her judgment, said evidence before the court showed that the sacked sergeant intentionally fired a shot at the commercial driver, Legbara David, at Whimpey Junction, Port Harcourt.

Justice Thompson described Imhalu as a serial trigger-happy policeman who should not be allowed to remain in the society.

The prosecution counsel, Kingsley Briggs, said the judgement would serve as succour to the deceased’s family.

“Although the will of justice grinds slowly, surely justice will come.

“For the family of those that lost their breadwinner, it is quite unfortunate. But I believe this judgement will serve as succour to the family,” he stated.

On his part, a representative of the Legal Aid Council in Rivers State, who defended the sergeant, Mr Awaji, said his team would study the judgement to know the next line of action.

He said, “Today’s judgement I will say is justice for the people of Rivers State.

“Despite the fact that I represented the defendant, my analysis of the case when I came into the matter, I would say, I saw it coming.

“Having listened to the judgement, currently, there is no plan to go on appeal. But by the time we look at the judgement in-depth, perhaps we will find grounds for appeal. But as it is, there is no plan to go on appeal.”

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LASTMA Denies Involvement in Burning of Bus, Warns Against Attack on Personnel

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The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has denied reports making the rounds that its personnel were involved in the burning of a bus at the Obanikoro bus stop, Ikorodu Road. The Authority, while asking residents to desist from attacking LASTMA officials, stated that the report was the handiwork of an uninformed blogger.

Buttressing the facts of the matter in a statement signed by the Asst. Director, Public Affairs, Filade Olumide, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), the Authority hinted that “LASTMA Management after due diligence on the video, sympathise with the vehicle owner, but categorically deny complicity of any of its officers in the incidence portrayed on the video” while regretting that “…one of the LASTMA patrol officers offering helping hand with the burning vehicle was severely injured by uncalled-for mob action which seems to be occurring nowadays at the slightest alarm.”

The statement also condemned the shallow portrayal of the allegation as the picture evidence did not depict the allegation against its officials.

“The video report lacked pictorial evidence of LASTMA officers’ complicity; those interviewed were neither eye witnesses nor people directly involved in the incident, rather, they were people living within the inside street, close to the scene of the incidence on Ikorodu Road. Their evidences were hear-says’ and limited to after the arrival of security agencies officials to maintain law and order, after attacks on one of the LASTMA officials and also the Fire Fighters that were there to render assistance in putting out the fire in the vehicle,” the statement read.

It added that:

“LASTMA officials do not operate within side street and over time, the State Government has announced zero tolerance to attack on its officials while performing their duties as enshrined in the laws or as directed.

“We wish to reiterate that LASTMA personnel must not be attacked/assaulted while performing their duties or rendering service to the public.

“The LASTMA management also use this opportunity to advise reporters/bloggers to endeavour to conduct proper investigation and present facts rather than sentiments in their reportage for a peaceful and orderly society.”

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Ondo Amotekun Arrests Suspected Masterminds of Owo Church Massacre

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The Ondo State Security Network Agency, codenamed “Amotekun Corps” has confirmed that some suspects have been arrested in connection with the terrorist attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo.

The suspected terrorists invaded the church on June 5, killing no fewer than 40 people and injuring many other worshippers.

The state Commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, on Thursday said some suspects had been arrested in connection with the killing.

He stated this while parading some 71 men who were arrested for various criminal activities across the state.

He, however, did not give the actual figure of the suspected terrorists arrested, but expressed assurance that all the attackers of the worship centre would be apprehended.

The Amotekun boss said, “As regards the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for that operation and we made some arrests, and we have also recovered some vital things which we are working on.

“A number of people have been arrested concerning the Owo issue as well as a number of equipment. On that day, we pursued them to the point that we recovered the vehicle and we are still pursuing them. We have told you that until we get to the root, I can assure you that the perpetrators and their sponsors will be brought to book.”

On the 71 suspected criminals paraded at the headquarters of the command in Akure, the state capital, Adeleye explained that the suspects were arrested within the last one month for various offenses ranging from armed robbery, cattle rustling, kidnapping, raping, fraud and human trafficking.

“The 71 suspects were picked while committing offences and others were tracked to their hideouts in the forests. We have been able to get a cartel that specialises in stealing and dismantling motorbikes which we all know as okada. Also, we were able to recover over 50 bikes during the operation from these criminals.

“We also got reports from some herdsmen that their cattle were stolen. We went after them and brought the cows back to the Fulani herdsmen that owned the cow. We have a group of small boys who are under 18-year old that turned themselves into a cartel of criminals in a particular local government in Ondo State and armed themselves. They actually belong to a cult group called ‘Agbado’. We were able to arrest 12 out of the 17 members.

“We have about three to four suspected kidnappers and we intend to take most of these suspects, especially the ones we have concluded their investigations to the DPP and for their onward prosecution in court.”

He assured the people of the state that the corps would not rest on its oars until it rids the state of criminal elements, saying, “there is no hiding place for them. They turned the heat on us and we have also turned the heat on them.”

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