Opportunity Knocks For Arsenal In Post-Wenger Era

(Flies) Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger gestures on the touchline during the football match against Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 1, 2018. Glyn KIRK / AFP
 
Arsene Wenger’s decision to step down as Arsenal manager after 22 years in charge marks the end of an era, but also a huge opportunity for the Gunners to reestablish themselves among the elite of English and European football.
Tributes poured in from players past and present on Friday, as well as Wenger’s adversaries over the past two decades, such as Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho, for his longevity and the revolution in English football he helped inspire.
However, there is no hiding the fact the Frenchman has bowed out now due to increasing calls for him to go from frustrated fans as Arsenal slipped further behind their Premier League rivals in recent seasons.
Arsenal haven’t won the league since Wenger’s crowning achievement in leading “The Invincibles” to an unbeaten league season in 2003/04.
Last season was the first time in 20 years the club didn’t qualify for the Champions League, but they haven’t got beyond the last 16 in that competition since 2010.
Languishing in sixth, Arsenal are also on course for their worst-ever league finish under Wenger this season with any hope of Champions League qualification dependent on winning the Europa League.
The club’s Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis made a long and heartfelt homage to Wenger himself when addressing the media on Friday, but dodged the question several times when quizzed over whether Wenger had walked on his own terms before he was pushed by the board.
And Gazidis recognised a decision had to be reached before the season’s end to give Arsenal a head start of finding Wenger’s successor.
“It’s going to be a condensed summer with a World Cup in the middle and a shortened transfer window, so I think for all of us having that clarity sooner is better,” he said.
– Wide-open field –
Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and Germany coach Joachim Loew are among the front-runners with bookmakers in a wide-open field of contenders.
Gazidis confirmed Arsenal will look for an offensive-minded coach to follow in the footsteps of Wenger’s philosophy.
“It is important to me we continue the football values that Arsene has instilled in the club,” he added.
“I want to see somebody who will continue that for our fans…they want to see aggressive, exciting football that gets people interested and excited in the games we play.”
Getting the fans back onside and back at the Emirates Stadium is a number one priority.
Arsenal fans pay the highest season ticket prices in the Premier League and rising discontent with Wenger has been clearly shown in vast swathes of empty seats for home games since an abject 3-0 League Cup final defeat against Manchester City in February.
There is huge pressure on a beleaguered board, led by unpopular American majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, to make the right call.
While Wenger’s reign has meandered to a disappointing end, Arsenal’s rivals have surged ahead by recruiting some of the best managers in the world in Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Jose Mourinho (Manchester United), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool), Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham) and Antonio Conte (Chelsea).
In spite of Arsenal’s struggles on the field in recent seasons, they remain the sixth richest club in the world, according to financial consultants Deloitte’s annual Football Money League.
Wenger’s reluctance to fold to the booming inflation in football transfer fees and wages was often used as a shield by the board for not splashing out despite huge cash reserves.
That excuse has now also disappeared ahead of what promises to be a summer of transition at the Emirates.
AFP
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In Borno: Troops repels Boko Haram attack in Gamboru

Brig.-Gen. Texas Chukwu, the Director, Army Public Relations, in a statement said that one insurgent was killed while several others fled. The Nigerian Army on Saturday said its troops successfully repelled attack by Boko Haram insurgents at Gamboru-Ngala in Borno.Brig.-Gen. Texas Chukwu, the Director, Army Public Relations, in a statement said that one insurgent was killed while several others fled.Chukwu said: “”troops of 3 Battalion on operation LAFIYA DOLE had successfully repelled Boko Haram terrorists’ attack at Gamboru Ngala, Borno State.““One Boko Haram terrorist was neutralised during the encounter while other members of the group fled following a superior fire power from the troops.“”Unfortunately, one soldier lost his life during the attack”.Chukwu disclosed that the troops recovered one Rocket Propelled gun, seven tube, one Anti Aircraft gun, two AK 47 rifles and two empty magazines.The army spokesman called on the people to cooperate with troops, provide useful and timely information to security agencies.

Troops repels Boko Haram attack in Gamboru, Borno

Nigerian soldiers are fighting Boko Haram militants in north-east Nigeria. PHOTO: AFP
The Nigerian Army on Saturday said its troops successfully repelled attack by Boko Haram insurgents at Gamboru-Ngala in Borno.Brig.-Gen. Texas Chukwu, the Director, Army Public Relations, in a statement said that one insurgent was killed while several others fled.
Chukwu said: “”troops of 3 Battalion on operation LAFIYA DOLE had successfully repelled Boko Haram terrorists’ attack at Gamboru Ngala, Borno State.
““One Boko Haram terrorist was neutralised during the encounter while other members of the group fled following a superior fire power from the troops.
“”Unfortunately, one soldier lost his life during the attack”.
Chukwu disclosed that the troops recovered one Rocket Propelled gun, seven tube, one Anti Aircraft gun, two AK 47 rifles and two empty magazines.
The army spokesman called on the people to cooperate with troops, provide useful and timely information to security agencies.

Farah Faces Tough Examination In London Marathon

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British track legend Mo Farah had few peers in distance championship running but he may find a few better than him on the road in Sunday’s London Marathon.
The 35-year-old — who achieved the Olympic double of 5000/10000 metres champion twice — couldn’t hope for a better send-off in his second tilt at his home marathon than for Queen Elizabeth II due to press the start button from a specially erected podium at Windsor Castle.
However, with the likes of Kenya’s Olympic champion and two-time London Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge, Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele and Kenyan defending champion Daniel Wanjiru in the field Farah will have his work cut out to make an impression.
The warm temperatures expected won’t ruffle Farah — although those ‘fun runners’ who are planning to dress up as a knight and Paddington Bear have been advised to have a rethink over the sagacity of donning those outfits — but he is realistic about his chances.
“Acceptable for me would be knowing I mixed in with the guys, I fought for it, and that I ran a personal best,” Farah told the BBC this week.
“That would be a great start for me.”
With Kipchoge expected to have a go at breaking the world record — presently 2hr 02min 57sec set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto in the 2014 Berlin Marathon — Farah is loathe to fall into the trap of trying to keep pace.
“It’s a loaded race, so I need to make sure I don’t make any mistakes, to save as much energy as I can,” said Farah.
“It’s all new for me. I’m listening to Gary (Lough his coach and husband of women’s marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe) and soaking up the miles. I shouldn’t get excited too much.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if someone broke the record, because you look at the field. There are so many guys!”
The women’s race sees another Kenyan Mary Keitany favoured to repeat her victory from last year but also to complete a collection of world records.
Keitany broke British heroine Paula Radcliffe’s women-only record last year when she timed two hours, 17 minutes and one second, and also drew alongside the Briton with three wins in the race.
But the quickest that Radcliffe ever ran a marathon was when she posted a time of 2hrs 15 mins 25 secs in winning in London in 2003.
However, for much of that marathon Radcliffe was running alongside men, so the time was classified as a “mixed race” women’s world record by the International Association of Athletics Federations, who also recognise a women’s only record.
“It would mean so much to me because I’ve had Paula’s record in mind since I started my career,” said Keitany on Wednesday.
“She was an inspiration and that world record is still ahead of me as a lifetime goal. As long as I’m running I want to get it,” added the 36-year-old.
AFP
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NPFL: Leaders Lobi Host Pillars; MFM, Rivers Clash In Lagos

By Adeboye Amosu:
League leaders, Lobi Stars will face a stern test in their quest to win a first Nigeria Professional Football League title when they host third placed Kano Pillars on Sunday at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Solomon Ogbeide’s men sit at the top of the standings with 30 points, five more than Kano Pillars and a win will no doubt boost their title credentials.
Pillars’ will bank on their talisman, Junior Lokosa, who is the leading scorer in the NPFL with 15 goals to lead their hunt for goals in the game.
The hosts will also look up to Samad Kadiri and Austine Ogunye, who have scored 11 goals in between them to get the much needed three points in the game.
Second placed Rivers United also face a tricky road trip
to Lagos where they will confront MFM at the Agege Stadium.
The visitors have won once in eight away fixtures this season and have lost on their last two visits to the ground.
They desperately need to avoid defeat to keep up pace with Lobi Stars in the game scheduled to hold on Monday.
Champions Plateau United will return to league action following their ouster from the CAF Confederation Cup and will confront struggling Heartland at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.
Heartland who occupy last position in the table will be boosted by the fact that the Jos Club are yet to earn a point on the road in the NPFL this season.
The Ifeanyiubah International Stadium will host the oriental derby clash FC Ifeanyiubah and Enugu Rangers, while Niger Tornadoes and Yobe Desert Stars will also clash in an all northern affair in Minna.
Akwa United will welcome Sunshine Stars to the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.
The Promise Keepers who occupy sixth position but still have three outstanding games to be played are yet to drop point at home this season.
Seven-time champions Enyimba will be the guests of Wikki Tourists at the New Jos Stadium.
Enyimba who are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions and have drawn their last two away games in the NPFL.
In Lafia, Abia Warriors who are unbeaten in their last seven league games will seek to extend that run when they clash with their hosts Nasarawa United.
Kwara United also have the chance to extend their unbeaten run under coach Abubakar Bala to five games when they host Go Round FC at the Kwara Sports Complex in Ilorin.
MATCHDAY 18 FIXTURES
Sunday, April 22
Nasarawa Utd vs Abia Warriors
Katsina Utd vs El-Kanemi Warriors
Heartland vs Plateau United
Lobi Stars vs Kano Pillars
Akwa Utd vs Sunshine Stars
Wikki Tourists vs Enyimba
FC Ifeanyiubah vs Rangers
Kwara Utd vs Go Round
Niger Tornadoes vs Yobe Desert Stars
Monday , April 23
MFM FC vs Rivers United
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Sadiq: I Turned Down Serie B Clubs To Join Breda

By Johnny Edward:
Nigerian striker, Umar Sadiq, has revealed why he turned down several teams from the Italian Serie B to join Dutch Eredivisie side NAC Breda in January, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Sadiq, 21, a loanee at Breda from Serie A side AS Roma, has scored five goals in 11 Eredivise games since he joined the West-Brabant club.
“I could have stayed in Italy and be loaned to clubs from the Serie B. I did not want to, there were several options on the table from different countries, but when my agent said I could go to NAC Breda, my decision was made. The league looked like a nice new challenge,” Sadiq told elfvoetbal.nl in an interview.
“It was good decision to take the step to play in another country last winter.
“I was given a guided tour (of facilities) at NAC Breda, they wanted to show me everything, very nice, but I immediately said ‘No, they do not have to, I want to play here. I do not care about the facilities.”
The former Torino player also remains confident that NAC Breda will avoid relegation at the end of the season with two games left to play.
NAC Breda are 15th in the 18 team Eredivisie league with 30 points from 32 games, three points above the relegation play-off spot.
Roda JC Kerkrade and Sparta Rotterdam occupy the two relegation play-off spot in 16th and 17th poisition. They are tied on the same points with Roda JC Kerkrade, but with a superior goal difference.
“Preferably, as soon as possible, I pray NAC belongs in the Eredivisie at the end of the season,” Sadiq told elfvoetbal.nl in an interview.
Sadiq has scored five goals in 11Dutch Eredivise games since he joined the West-Brabant club.
NAC Breda will host SC Heerenveen in their next game.
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Be Your Brother’s Keeper, Al-Makura Tells Nasarawa Residents

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Nasarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura has called on the people of the state to be their brothers’ keepers and always ensure that they offer help to people who are in total emotional instability.
The governor made the plea in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Musa Elayo, on Friday in Lafia.
According to the statement, he spoke when he received in audience a former governor of the state, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who was on a condolence visit to the Government House in the state capital.
Governor Al-Makura reiterated the commitment of his administration to ensuring the safety of lives and properties of the citizens of the state.
He noted that security has been reinforced with mid-air surveillance on the flashpoints, as well as border communities where pockets of attacks were recorded in recent times.
The Governor further commiserated with the Nigerian Police authority over the death of three officers recently in the Southern part of the state.
He stressed that he would continue to visit the displaced persons’ camps, in order to ensure their well-being before their eventual return to their various villages and towns.
“I would also like to sound a note of warning to any group of people, spreading speculations, allegations and outright alarm with regards to this situation to desist from such acts,” Al-Makura cautioned.
He thanked Senator Adamu for coming to sympathise with him and the entire people of the state over the unfortunate incidents which took place in the Southern zone of the state recently.
Earlier, the former governor said he came to solidarise with Governor Al-Makura over the unfortunate incident that took place at Agwatashi which involved some displaced persons.
He, however, said he would continue to identify with the governor in his quest to ensure a stable and progressive Nasarawa for the present and future generations.
Adamu led a delegation of some eminent personalities to sympathise with Al-Makura over the recurring security challenges being witnessed in some parts of the southern part of the state.
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Europa League trophy stolen and recovered in Mexico

The Europa League trophy was stolen after being displayed at a publicity event in Mexico, only to be recovered a few hours later, authorities in the state of Guanajuato said on Saturday.
Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho kisses the trophy after the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO
The trophy had been on display at the football stadium in the city of Leon on Friday night, only to be taken from a car after the event.
“We recovered the Cup after receiving information that it had been stolen from the car transporting it,” said a post on the Twitter account of the Guanajuato public prosecutor, alongside a picture of the trophy in a case.
No other information was given about who took the trophy, where it was found or whether any perpetrators had been identified.
The event had been organised by one of European football governing body UEFA’s sponsors.
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Security challenges loom over Buhari’s re-election bid

President Muhammadu Buhari
Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to end Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency in northeast Nigeria played a large part in his 2015 presidential election victory.
With elections approaching next year and Buhari,75, having declared his intention to seek a second, four-year term, the extent to which he has done that is coming under increasing scrutiny.
But as Africa’s most populous nation gears up for months of hard campaigning before the vote in February 2019, the former military ruler is not just facing questions about Boko Haram.
In recent months there has been a resurgence of clashes between farmers and nomadic herders and a heavily politicised reaction — which could have an impact on polling.
Ryan Cummings, Africa analyst at the Signal Risk consultancy in South Africa, noted the violence “now accounts for more civilian casualties than the Boko Haram insurgency and may continue to do so in the foreseeable future”.
Elsewhere, criminal violence and kidnappings for ransom in some northern states have increased, while tensions persist from pro-Biafran separatists in the southeast.
Boko Haram weakened
In the 12 months before the last election, Boko Haram fighters ran riot across northeast Nigeria, capturing swathes of territory with the military seemingly unable to respond.
Buhari, who headed a military government in the 1980s, was seen as a better bet to end the violence, which has killed at least 20,000 since 2009.
He has achieved that to an extent but persistent attacks have undermined his repeated assertion that the militants have been virtually defeated.
“It is fair to say that President Buhari has failed in delivering on his promise to defeat Boko Haram within his first term,” said Cummings.
The group recently gave a clear indication of the threat it still poses by abducting 112 schoolgirls from Dapchi in Yobe state in almost a carbon copy of the Chibok kidnapping in 2014.
Buhari secured massive support across the mainly Muslim north in 2015. That looks unlikely to change significantly in 2019.
In the north’s biggest city and most populous state, Kano — a key election prize because of its size — people said Buhari had their vote for weakening Boko Haram.
But they warned he needed to take action against security threats elsewhere.
“That is where he is going to face his toughest challenge,” said Abdulhadi Ahmad, a garment trader.
Herder-farmer violence
Violence in the decades-old dispute between herders and nomadic farmers in the central states of Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Plateau and Kogi has flared again in the past two years.
Buhari has been criticised for failing to stop the violence, which according to some estimates has killed more than 2,000 since the start of this year.
It will be a key issue in central states, where the Muslim north meets the mainly Christian south, that typically swing between parties.
In Benue, the head of the state’s tribal leaders, Chief Edward Ujege, said Buhari “does not deserve a single vote… because he has failed to give us security”.
The conflict, which is driven by land and resources, has been seen largely through the prism of Nigeria’s ethnic and religious identity politics.
The president of the ethnic Tiv Youths Organisation, Timothy Hembaor, indicated patronage will play a part: people in Benue will back Benue’s APC governor, even if he moves party, he said.
Buhari “shouldn’t even come here to campaign”, he added.
No political will
Amaechi Nwokolo, from the Roman Institute of International Studies in Abuja, said Buhari, whose candidacy still needs to be endorsed by his party, had already “most likely lost the vote in Benue”, an APC state.”He may not win in many of the states that have gone up in flames and many people are going to use that against him around the country,” added the security analyst.
Ndi Kato, a campaigner for indigenous people in the central states, said the attacks put a way of life under threat and the government’s lack of action had caused outrage.
“We feel we cannot have four more years of this,” she said, adding there was “zero political will” to end the violence, which has made tens of thousands people homeless. “All things being equal the Middle Belt won’t be voting for this government. However, we don’t know who they will be voting for — and that is another problem.

Lokosa: I Can Help Solve Super Eagles’ Striker Problem

Kano Pillars forward, Junior Lokosa, has hit the ground running in the Nigeria Professional Football League this season, scoring 15 goals in 16 games. In this interview with Completesportsnigeria.com’s (CSN) ADEBOYE AMOSU, the 24-year old speaks about his humble beginning and his desire to play for the Super Eagles at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia…
CSN: Junior, there have been conflicting reports about your nationality, some say you are a Togolese. To some, you are a Beninoise, can you clear the air on this?
That’s a bit funny and interesting. Well, like you said, this is a big chance for me to clear the air on my nationality and set the record straight.
Junior Lokosa is a Nigerian, a Lagos boy from Badagry. I guess that settles the conflicting reports, like you said.
You have no doubt made a name for yourself in the Nigeria Professional Football League this season, what has the journey been like?
It has been tough like most African kids who started playing football on the streets. Unlike some kids who never enjoyed the support of their parents, mine was different.
Myself and my young brother who currently plays for a club in Egypt – I can’t remember the name now, enjoyed the support of our parents and that gave us the confidence to push hard, determined to make it in the game.
I grew up in Ajegunle Lagos and you know what it means to live in that kind of vicinity. We see football as something that can give us a better life as it has happened to some people in the past.
What has the journey been like for you, from playing for First Bank in the Nigeria National League then to becoming the number one striker for Kano Pillars?
I must confess it has been tough but the grace of God has kept me going. You know what it takes in this part of the world to become a footballer, lots of hardwork and luck.
But I have always believed in myself: that I could cut it at the highest level of the game. I joined Kano Pillars from First Bank during the second half of last season.
It was like moving to Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich for me.
The fans are passionate about the game and it is a beautiful place to play football.
How were you able to settle down in the team especially with experienced strikers like Gambo Mohammed and Adamu Hassan ahead of you in the pecking order back then?
Last season was like a learning process for me. I must thank the older guys for helping me settle down in the team. Kano was quite different from Lagos in a lot of ways.
The weather can be very cold and at times extremely hot. But as I be Ajegunle Boy man must double up (long laughter).
I don’t see myself as a finished article yet and it is always important to stay humble and learn from the older and more experienced guys even though you are playing ahead of them.
You have hit the ground running in the NPFL this season with 15 goals in 16 games. Was it your target at the beginning of the campaign or has it happened by providence?
As a striker , you live to score goals. Scoring goals gives you confidence. Scoring in consecutive games early in the season gave me the confidence to push for more.
Do you see yourself breaking Mfon Udoh’s 23-goal mark all -time scoring record in one season in the NPFL?
It will be nice to do that, but that is not the most important thing on my mind at the moment. I want to be a Nigeria Professional Football League champion with Kano Pillars and I believe that is more important than chasing after an individual honour.
You must have been receiving a lot of calls from agents trying to lure you to foreign clubs?
Sure, they have been bombarding my phone with calls, saying a lot of nice things to me. I’m happy at Pillars and I don’t want to rush things.
When the right time comes, I will move abroad, but for now my soul and heart is with Pillars.
Sometimes, I wonder where all these agents are when I was nobody. I have seen players do well in the league, rushed out of the country and later regretted their action. I don’t want to make the same mistake.
Do you think you are good enough to play for the Super Eagles at the moment?
Bros you are funny o. One of the reasons why I’m playing football is because I want to wear that green and white of Naija(long laughter).
If I get the call to come and play for the team, I will gladly honour it. It will be a dream come true for me. Another AJ boy playing for the Super Eagles will be something else for people to read.
There have been several calls for you to be included in the Super Eagles ahead of the World Cup…
(Cuts in) I can’t determine if I’m good enough to play for the Super Eagles or not. If the fans believe in my ability and see me as a good prospect, that’s fine.
But the biggest decision lies with the coaches. Irrespective of what you are doing at your club or what the fans are saying, they will not be the one to determine your fate.
Do you see yourself solving the Super Eagles’ striker problem at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia if given the opportunity?
I have confidence in my ability and I believe I can do a good job for the team. There are other established strikers in the team at the moment but I believe I can help make the team stronger.
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Alarming: More Lagos wives beat husbands – Commissioner for Justice

Adeniji raised the alarm over the increasing cases of housewives who now batter their husbands on Friday, April 20, 2018. No fewer than 138 women living in Lagos State have been charged to court for beating their husbands, the Lagos State Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, has revealed.The state’s commissioner made the revelation while reeling out the achievements of the Lagos State ministry of Justice in the last one year.Adeniji raised the alarm over the increasing cases of housewives who now batter their husbands on Friday, April 20, 2018.The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also disclosed that no fewer than 138 of such cases were reported to the agency in charge of domestic violence.ALSO READ: “Murder Is The Case: ‘We warned our brother to leave his violent wife’ – Friend of man stabbed to death by wife”He said: “Ministry has noted an increase in report of domestic abuse against men. To date, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has received a total number of 138 cases in this regard.”Maryam Sanda kills hubby in Abuja for cheatingOn Sunday, November 19, 2017, Bello was reportedly stabbed several times to death by his wife after she reportedly found a text message on his phone purportedly sent to him by another woman.ALSO READ: “Domestic Violence: Police obtains CCTV footage of ex-PDP Chairman’s son’s last moments”The incident happened at their residence at Pension Estate, Pakali Close, Wuse 2, Abuja. The couple, according to family sources, got married in 2015 and had an eight-month-old daughter.

Love Lost: My husband beats me, steals from me, infects me with STD –...

Sherifat, a 32-year-old hairdresser said her husband is so promiscuous that he comes home with his concubines and have sex with them in their matrimonial bedroom. Sherifat Ojelabi made a startling accusation against her husband when she told a Lagos customary court how he beats her, steals from her and infects her with STD.Sherifat, a 32-year-old hairdresser said her husband, Bolaji Ojelabi, is so promiscuous that he comes home with his concubines and have sex with them in their matrimonial bedroom.She further narrated how their matrimonial bedroom is most times littered with condoms used by her husband whenever he has sex with his girlfriends in their Igando home. Sherifat laments on her husband’s adulterous lifestyleNarrating her ordeal, Sherifat said: “Bolaji brings home girls of different sizes, shapes and colours and made love to them on our matrimonial bed. “I used to see used condoms hang on every corner of our bedroom. “One of the girls he brought home got pregnant and gave birth to a baby. “Whenever he made love to me, I suffered infection with serious itching on my private parts that I have to use drugs before relief.” He steals from meOn the allegation of stealing, Sherifat said her husband stole a large sum of money from her aside stealing her ATM card to withdraw cash without her consent. “My husband borrowed N170, 000 from me and took another N150, 000, my contribution money in our room without telling me.”He also took my ATM card to withdraw N300, 000 from my account without my consent. “When the issue resulted into a fight, his mother singlehandedly paid N350, 000 out of the money,” the hairdresser said.ALSO READ: Court rejects wife’s prayer for marriage dissolution, reconciles coupleSherifat further described her husband as an irresponsible husband and father, saying her mother-in-law had been playing his role in the house. The hairdresser and wife therefore begged the court to terminate their marriage, claiming that the love she once had for her husband had faded.I still love her, I will change for the best – Bolaji pleadsIn his response, Sherifat’s husband of three years, Bolaji, affirmed owning his wife money but said that the money was not up to N620, 000. “Yes, I took her money in the room and also took her ATM without her consent to withdraw only N120, 000 when I was in need of money and she refused to give me. “But all the money together is not up to N620, 000 as she claimed but my mother had paid N350, 000,” he said. Bolaji, a 36-year-old public servant denied littering their bedroom with condoms, but agreed having a girlfriend who got pregnant for him.Affirming that he beats his wife but never strip her naked, Bolaji denied being a cult member.“I am not a cult member, I left the school willingly because some cult members wanted to force me into their groups,” he said. Bolaji urged the court not to grant his wife’s request for the dissolution of marriage, adding that he would change for better as he was still in love with her.

‘Don’t send Nigerian refugees back to Boko Haram violence’, UN urges Cameroon

PHOTO:AFP
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has urged the Cameroonian authority not to send Nigerian refugees back to the Boko Haram violence they fled from.
Despite warnings, Nigerian refugees and asylum-seekers who fled Boko Haram violence continue to be returned from Cameroon, UNHCR said, underscoring the need to accord international protection to those in need.
“We appeal once again to the authorities in Cameroon to refrain from further forced returns and to ensure protection to those fleeing insecurity and persecution in Nigeria.
“This is in accordance with Cameroon’s national and international obligations,” UNHCR said.Since the beginning of 2018, 385 Nigerians refugees and asylum-seekers had been forcibly returned from Cameroon, the majority of them in March, including 160 on April 10 and a further 118 a week later.
In total, the UN agency has registered some 87,600 Nigerian refugees in the country.UNHCR said: “The forced returns are in violation of the principle of no forced returns or non-refoulement.
“They are also a significant setback to progress previously achieved by Cameroon in granting asylum to Nigerian civilians fleeing Boko Haram violence”.UNHCR also noted that it recognised legitimate national security concerns of States affected by the Boko Haram crisis, and stressed that it is important that refugee protection and national security are not seen as being incompatible.
“Properly functioning screening, registration and asylum systems help safeguard host country security,” it said.UNHCR reiterated its support to the Government of Cameroon to ensure that all those seeking international protection have access to efficient screening and registration procedures, as well as appropriate reception arrangements.

Big Brother Naija: Tobi to ‘clear’ Nina after the show, Miracle wins arena games...

Alex calls Cee-C an angry bird, Tobi says he can’t wait to clear Nina after the show, Miracle wins the Friday arena games, again. [Day 81 recap] Have you been following the new season of Big Brother Naija? Here are some important things you probably missed on day 82.Check out a recap of day 82, including social media reactions:Tobi says he can’t wait to clear Nina after the show    Nina and Miracle discuss future plans    Payporte Games The housemates assembled in the garden and the arena, which had been totally redecorated and fitted with larger-than-life equipment, including plush thrones, monkey bars and pools.Biggie had also flipped the script as he called them to proceed by alphabetical order to the six rather intimidating challenges he had planned.           Twitter reactions          There are currently five contestants battling for the 45 million naira grand prize. With 82 days gone, the housemates have two more days to spend in the Big Brother Naija house.Video credit: @Thatgidigirl.

Ozubulu Killing: Security Tension Forces Court To Relocate

File photo: Crowd gathered in front of the St. Philips Catholic Church in Ozubulu after several persons were killed on August 6, 2017, in Anambra State.
 
The Ozubulu murder case has taken a new dimension as the matter has been administratively transferred from Nnewi High Court to Awka High Court on Friday, following heightened tension over security and the increasing number of the crowd during court sittings.
Since the trial of the four suspects at Court 3, Nnewi, it is a usual sight of a large crowd from Ozubulu besieging the court premises in solidarity to any of the persons standing trial with attendant arguments and protests as part of their activities.
READ ALSO: Several Killed As Gunmen Attack Church In Anambra
As the dust of the transfer has yet to settle, the fifth prosecuting witness and former President-General of Ozubulu Development Union in South Africa, Nkwado Onyeka, gave his testimony in the case.
He gave his evidence with a chilling tale of the genesis of the killing, starting with his wife who was murdered few hours after dropping him off at Tabo Mbeki Airport in South Africa, for a flight to New York.
Onyeka said the killing did not stop as two other young men, Nonso Ikedinobi and Izuamaka Dunu, were murdered in South Africa alongside six other prominent Ozubulu people resident in South Africa.
The witness revealed further that two Ozubulu sons currently serving prison terms in South Africa were responsible for the killings, in collaboration with one of the men standing trial by name Nonso Akpunonu.
He told the court that the suspects had sworn that the killings would not stop until the sum of $1million was released to them.
The prosecuting counsel, JayJay Ezeuko, and the defence counsel, Festus Keyamo, cross-examined the witness after which the presiding judge, Justice Festus Aniukwu, adjourns the matter till May 4, 11 and 25 for continued hearing.
Several persons were killed by gunmen on August 6, 2017, while worshipping at St. Philips Catholic Church in Ozubulu located in Ekusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The state governor, Willie Obiano, as well as the Federal and other state governments had condemned the attack with some describing it as a sacrilege.
Governor Obiano had also vowed to ensure that the culprits were brought to justice and called for calm when he visited the scene of the attack to commiserate with the victims.
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