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Wenger Names Kanu As His Best January Signing

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Former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has named Nwankwo Kanu as his best signing in the middle of the season during his 22-year spell with the Gunners.

Kanu moved to North London from Inter Milan for a reported £4.15m fee in 1999 and immediately established himself in the team.

He came off the bench to make a significant impact in first few outings for the Gunners with goals against Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa as a substitute.

He also bagged a 15-minute hat-trick against Chelsea in October 1999, which helped Arsenal turn around a two-goal deficit to claim a 3-2 win.

In his first few outings for the Gunners, the ex-Nigeria forward scored 17 goals in 50 matches, and he helped them to a runners-up finish in the Uefa Cup.

When quizzed about the best move he made in January, Wenger picked Kanu – who he described as a huge player – ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whom he signed from Borussia Dortmund for a then club-record fee in January 2018.

“What a difficult question. Over 20 years, maybe Kanu. In the middle of the season. That had a big impact and he was a huge player,” he told beIN Sport.

Kanu was a popular figure at Arsenal during his five-and-a-half years at the club, winning several individual and team laurels before joining West Bromwich Albion in 2004.

He was part of the Invincible team that won the 2003-04 Premier League title without losing a game and also won two FA Cups.

Wenger is currently working as FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development after leaving Arsenal in 2018.

He disclosed that he is not in favour of the January transfer window, and he thinks it should be scrapped.

“No, I am not. Because I think it is like a race in a marathon where you change the shoes halfway,” he added.

“It is not right, when once you have started the season, you have to finish the season with the same players.

“Or you keep it open the whole season like it was when I arrived in England. They have chosen a rule that is not right.”

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Court Revokes Marina’s Son’s Bail, Orders His Arrest

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday revoked the bail granted Faisal Maina, the son of Abdulrasheed Maina, and ordered his arrest for jumping bail in his trial on money laundering charges.

Justice Okon Abang also ordered that his trial on money laundering charges would proceed in absentia pending when the security agencies would be able to arrest and produce him in court.

The judge also summoned his surety, a member of the House of Representatives, Sani Umar Dangaladima, representing the Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, to appear in court to show cause why he should not forfeit the N60m bail bond which he signed for Faisal.

The order for Faisal’s arrest came barely six days after the same court, on November 18, issued a similar order against his father, Abdulrasheed Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, who is facing separate N2.1bn money laundering charges before the court.

On Monday, Justice Okon Abang, sent Maina’s surety, Senator Ali Ndume, to jail for his inability to produce the fleeing defendant in court.

Earlier on Tuesday, following the judge’s November 18 ruling, Maina’s trial held in his absence with three prosecution witnesses testifying behind him and his legal team.

At the resumed hearing of Faisal’s trial on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecution counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, said both the defendant and his surety had not attended court since June 24, 2020.

The Punch

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FG, S’South Govs, Leaders Set to Meet in Rivers Tuesday

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A delegation from the Federal Government is expected to meet with Governors and leaders of the South-South geo-political zone in Government House, Port Harcourt today (Tuesday).

The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, is expected to lead the presidential delegation.

A Government House source in Port Harcourt, who confirmed the meeting to our correspondent, said Gambari is on his way to Port Harcourt.

The rescheduled meeting is coming on the heels of the botched stakeholders’ forum, which angered the Southern Governor, during which the South-South Governors’ Forum, demanded an apology from the presidency.

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Makinde Presents N266.6bn 2021 Budget to Assembly

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The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday presented a budget of N266.6bn as the 2021 budget to the state Assembly.

While presenting the budget tagged, ‘Budget of continued consolidation’ Makinde announced that 53.2 per cent of the total budget was being proposed for capital expenditure.

He said, “The 2021 budget is N12bn above the 2020 budget and this is to further drive a consolidation effort that we started this year.

“We were able to achieve 50.2 per cent of the 2020 budget implementation and you will agree with me that it was due to causes beyond our control like the COVID-19 pandemic and other crisis that bedevilled the nation and the world at large.”

Makinde further explained that the recurrent expenditure is N136, 262,990 while the capital expenditure is N130. 381bn.

According to him, 21 per cent of the budget, amounting to N56.348 bn, is allocated to education while infrastructure is to gulp N46bn, representing 17.2per cent of the budget.

For health, a total of N13.2bn, representing 4.9per cent of the budget was set aside for the establishment of primary health centers across 351 wards in the state.

Makinde lauded the state lawmakers for their cooperation.

“So, it is pertinent that we appreciate the members of the state House of Assembly for their support.”

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