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U-20 World Cup Kicks Off as Nigeria Targets Three Points against Qatar

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Two-time runners up in the U-20 football competition, Nigeria, will go all out for the three points against Qatar at the 15,300 -capacity Tychy Stadium, in their opening match of Group D of the 2019 U-20 World Cup finals on Friday as the tournament kicks off.

The captain of the side, Ikouwem Utin, has confirmed that nothing short of a win will be good enough.

“It is a big match for us, as every other match in this competition. We know the importance of picking up the three points in our first match, which is why we are determined to go all out,” he said from the team’s Vienna House Hotel in Katowice on Thursday.

“Taking the first three points will help us plan our approach better for the remaining matches in the group phase, and also boost our confidence.”

The team will leave their hotel in Katowice for the short drive to Tychy on Friday.

The game kicks off at 5pm Nigerian time. The second match of Group D, between Ukraine and USA, begins at 7.30pm Nigerian time.

Coach Paul Aigbogun and his assistants left out half of the squad members from the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger Republic in February, where the team earned the ticket to Poland, and infused a number of exciting talents in the midfield and attack.

While the choice for the number one shirt is between Detan Ogundare and Olawale Oremade (who was custodian in Niger), Valentine Ozornwafor and Igoh Ogbu are likely to keep their spots in central defence. Captain Utin would be at left back while Jamil Muhammad could be at right back.

In the midfield, there’s England-based duo Nnamdi Ofoborh and Ayotomiwa Dele-Bashiru, Perugia’s Kingsley Michael and home-based duo Effiom Maxwell and Aniekeme Okon.

Dele-Bashiru, who plays for English champions Manchester City, has been tipped by FIFA as one of the players expected to shine in Poland.

In attack, the Flying Eagles has England-based Chinonso Emeka, Jerome Adams (Norway), Tijani Muhammed (Czech Republic), Henry Offia (Sweden) and Success Makanjuola, who plays in the domestic league, vying for places.

“We have a tough history to match; silver medals twice, bronze once, and a number of quarter-final appearances. That’s why we must start very well, by taking the points against Qatar and then march on with confidence and self-assurance,” Flying Eagles coach Paul Aigbogun said.

“We are flying the flag of nearly 200 million Nigerians, as well as that of the African continent. We have put a lot of work into building a squad that will make Nigeria and Africa proud.”

 

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Insecurity: FG Resuscitates Special Terrorism Prosecution Courts

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Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, has said that special terrorism prosecution courts will soon be resuscitated in Nigeria.

In a statement on Thursday, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the AGF, Umar Gwandu, said the decision is part of efforts to address insecurity.

“The federal government is committed to ending insecurity in the country. The courts are to bring to book all those found guilty in connection with terrorism, so as to serve as a deterrent to others,” the statement read.

“In addition to the prosecution of 400 suspected Boko Haram financiers, the measures taken by the government will counter the twin trouble of insurgency and insecurity in the country.”

On April 30, 2013, Ibrahim Auta, the former chief judge of the federal high court, made a practice direction that amended the order 48 rule 4 of the federal high court (civil procedure) rule 2009, which took effect on June 3, 2013.

The practice direction was intended to fast-track criminal trials relating to offences of terrorism, kidnapping, trafficking in persons, rape, corruption, and money laundering cases, and ensure that delays in criminal trials are largely eliminated.

Under this practice, the court shall ensure that criminal cases are fully ready for trial before hearing dates are agreed, in order to minimise undue adjournments and delays.

Parties involved in the trials are also expected to focus only on important matters relating to their cases.

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$65m Fraud: ICPC Declares Buhari’s Son-in-Law Wanted

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared Gimba Yau Kumo, son-in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari, wanted over an alleged $65 million fraud.

In a notice published on Thursday, Azuka Ogugua, spokesperson of the anti-graft commission, said Kumo is declared wanted alongside Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola over alleged misappropriation and dispersion of national housing funds.

Kumo, a former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, married Fatima, the president’s daughter, in 2016 at Daura, Katsina state.

“The persons whose pictures appear above, Mr. Tarry Rufus, Mr. Gimba Yau Kumo and Mr. Bola Ogunsola, are hereby declared WANTED by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in connection with issues bordering on misappropriation of National Housing Funds and diversion of the sum of Sixty Five Million dollars ($65,000,000),” the ICPC said.

“Anyone who has useful information on their whereabouts should report to ICPC Headquarters Abuja, any of the ICPC State Offices or the nearest police station.”

In April, the senate committee on public accounts summoned Kumo to explain the alleged irregular award of N3 billion contract when he was still at the bank.

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Igbo Aren’t Violent People, Ignore ‘Rumour’ of Attack on Lagos – Ohanaeze Tells Sanwo-Olu

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Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has asked Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to ignore threats of attacks on the state.

On Monday, Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos commissioner of police, said the command is probing threats of attacks by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Oodua Republic agitators.

The groups have, however, denied the allegations.

Speaking at a meeting with Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos government house on Thursday, George Obiozor, Ohanaeze president-general, said the “rumour” is intended to distract the governor from delivering good governance to the people.

Obiozor said Igbo people are not known for acts of violence.

“Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, in the company of Igbo elders and leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you (Sanwo-Olu) a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live,” Gboyega Akosile, chief press secretary to the governor, quoted Obiozor as saying.

“[On] the constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumour, gossip and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yorubaland contemplate or instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yorubaland, we wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumour or statement is emanating from is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.

“We think that this rumour is intended to distract the Lagos State Government from its efforts to provide good governance for all and cause disaffection between Ndigbo who live in Lagos and their host community, which is the second home of several Ndigbo.

“The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the south-west was a source of relief.

“The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders and their contributions to the development of Lagos State are evident and exemplary.”

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