By Victor Okoye
Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr has admitted that his team lost to a better side in the semifinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a Riyad Mahrezs goal from a free-kick at the edge of the box, with seconds left to play, condemned Nigeria to a 2-1 defeat and steered Algeria to their first AFCON Final match in 29 years.
Rohr told newsmen during a post-match interview that it was a game of two halves, adding however that Algeria were the better side at the end of the day.
Until the last minute, Algeria had a better first half than us, but we came back a much better team in the second half.
Unfortunately, we conceded a goal in the last minute. I think the players wanted to go to extra-time believing that perhaps Algeria will get tired and we could win the match in extra time
It was a wonderful game. We lost it, so we are not happy. Congrats to the winners. They were the better team in the first half.
We scored an own goal. We were unlucky but we came back like we have always done all the time in this tournament.
When we found ourselves in a difficult situation, we always reacted and we did that also today coming back through a penalty and playing a better second half.
But a wonderful free-kick from a football genius made the difference.
In our last game, we won in the last minute against South Africa and today we lost. Thats football, he said.
Coach Djamel Belmadi of Algeria on his part said his side had a tough game against a tough opponent, adding that it had to take the quality of Mahrez to decide the result of the match.
We knew that it would be a tough game because of the quality of our opponents and the tough game we had against Cote dIvoire on Thursday.
My boys had an amazing first half. So, we deserved at that time to score a goal and I think we could have scored even more goals.
Then in the second half, we had a difficult moment for about 15 minutes, we were under pressure.
I think we played too deep and didnt apply enough pressure on our opponents due to fatigue on my players and the quality of course of our opponents.
Then came the penalty which I think my players showed great character and mental strength to come back and fought until the end to score the decisive goal.
We however had some situations in the second half, maybe not clear cut chances where I think we could have scored another goal with a little more accuracy.
Then the free-kick arrived and of course with the quality of players like Riyad Mahrez, its a massive chance at goal and thank God we made it count, he said.
Nigeria will now take on 2004 champions Tunisia in the third place match at the Al Salam Stadium on Wednesday, while Algeria take on Senegal in Fridays final at the Cairo International Stadium.
By Anita Eboigbe
Nigerians spent nearly 3, 124, 026, 959 billion Naira to watch box office movies at Nigerian cinemas between January and June.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the figures are according to data provided by cinemas and gathered by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN).
The year opened with Aquaman, Chief Daddy and Up North sitting on the top three of the chart with an estimated combined earnings of 168, 263, 512 million Naira.
The movies maintained their positions until the fourth week when Glass debuted at number one with Aquaman taking second place and Chief Daddy, third booting Up North to fourth place.
This led to a combined earnings of 91, 409, 100 million Naira which fell to 77, 259, 811 million Naira as January closed with Kevin Harts The Upside kicking Chief Daddy to fourth place.
NAN reports that earnings remained low for February, making it the lowest grossing month with a total of 291, 843, 044 million Naira.
Top spots were alternated between Alita, Cold Pursuit, What Men Want, Escape Room and The UpSide.
By March, viewership picked up steadily and the earnings were almost doubled from that of February leading to a total of 434, 432, 431 million Naira.
What Men Want, Alita, Hire A Woman, She Is, Us and Babymamas enjoyed a relatively good run in March but a chunk of the earnings and viewership went to Marvels flick Captain Marvel.
At the beginning of April, HellBoy, Shazam, Little and Us continued to share the top spot with Captain Marvel until the release of the much anticipated Avengers:Endgame.
NAN also reports that with Avengers: Endgame, earnings from April climbed from 186, 929, 188 million Naira in its third week to 342, 382, 389 million Naira in its final week.
The month, which is the highest grossing in 2019, closed with an estimated total earnings of 734, 151, 060 million Naira due to major boost from Disneys Endgame.
In May, there was a massive dip in earnings similar to that experienced in February. With Endgame, The Intruder and Longshot, it earned a total of 367, 498, 554 million Naira.
The fall in viewership is usual after a global holiday such as Christmas for December/January and Easter for April.
The numbers picked up in June with John Wick, Godzilla and Aladdin leading the numbers. They were supported by Anna, Men In Black, Dark Phoenix and Bling Lagosians.
June opened with 161, 132, 714 million Naira but closed with 100, 663, 647 million Naira leading to a total earning of 576, 322, 779 million Naira.
Former South African president Jacob Zuma will be questioned at a public inquiry into state graft on Monday, a dramatic fall from grace for a politician who has cast a long shadow over the countrys politics for the past decade.
Zuma, ousted by the governing African National Congress (ANC) in February 2018, will be asked to respond to allegations that he allowed cronies to plunder state resources and influence senior government appointments during his nine years in power.
He has consistently denied wrongdoing, saying the allegations against him are politically motivated. His lawyer said in a letter to the inquiry last month that Zuma believed it was prejudiced against him.
Zuma is expected to give evidence from Monday to Friday, testimony that will be broadcast live on South African television to millions of viewers.
It is a rare example of an African leader being brought to book soon after losing power.
Zuma, 77, has also been in court on several occasions over the past year to answer corruption charges linked to a deal to buy military hardware for the armed forces in the 1990s.
He set up the corruption inquiry in his final weeks in office under pressure from rivals in the ANC, including his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, who feared scandals surrounding Zuma could tarnish the partys reputation indelibly.
Zuma had avoided establishing the inquiry since a 2016 report by the countrys anti-corruption watchdog, the public protector, instructed him to do so to investigate allegations that three Gupta brothers had been able to influence ministerial appointments and had won state contracts improperly.
The Gupta family, business friends of Zuma, denied the accusations and left South Africa around the time that Zuma was ousted.
Ramaphosa, Zumas former deputy, has made sweeping personnel changes in government and state-owned companies as part of an effort to curb corruption and revive the stagnant economy.
The inquiry, headed by South Africas deputy chief justice, Raymond Zondo, held its first hearing in August and is due to finish next year.
By Deborah Akpede
A trader, Mrs Kuditat Ajayi,52, told an Igando Customary Court that she slept with her brother-in-law because she thought he was her husband.
Ajayis husband, Akande, is seeking the dissolution of their 35-year-old marriage, accusing her of infidelity.
I was in bed in the night when my husbands younger brother came to the house my husband rented for me.
I thought it was my husband who normally come to the house at that particular time between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. to play and sleep with me.
It was after he finished making love to me that I realised that he was not my husband.
When I queried him, he claimed that my husband had traveled that was why he came to have sex with me.
I reported the case to my brothers wife, who advised me not to tell my brother so that peace can reign in the family.
The respondent said that her husband treats the children of the other wives better than hers.
The mother of four denied being fetish as claimed by husband.
Ajayiprayed the court not to grant her husbands wish for the dissolution of their marriage that she still love him.
The petitioner, Akande, approached the court to terminate his 35-year-old marriage accusing wife of infidelity.
He said that his wife was wayward and adulterous that her man friend was claiming paternity of one of their children.
When I married her, I rented an apartment for her because I have other wives and I dont want them to live together.
I started hearing from people in the area that my wife was having affair with a man, initially I ignored it until her lover came claiming ownership of one of my children.
The man eventually came to the house but I refused to open the door for him.
When I questioned my wife, she confessed that the man slept with her but it did not result in pregnancy.
The 71-year-old businessman said that his wife was fetish.
I once caught her burying something in my compound, I accosted her and tried to remove what she buried there but I could not.
I went out before I returned, she had cemented the place.
He begged the court to end the marriage that he was no longer interested that the love he once had for her had faded.
The president of the court, Mr Adeniyi Koledoye, urged the two parties to maintain peace and adjourned the case until Aug.22 for judgment
A socio-political group, Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement (AILM) has called on the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state not to blame Justice Jennifer Ijohor for their seeming poor outing at the Tribunal.
The group while reacting to demands by the APC for the removal of Ijihor from the tribunal, stressed that the party should rather focus on getting their lawyers and witnesses to present a formidable case.
Addressing journalists in Uyo on Sunday, Acting Secretary of AILM, Barr. Solomon Abasiekong, said the APC demand indirectly reflects their resort to blackmail having performed poorly at the tribunal.
Let everyone note that the attempt by APC to blackmail members of the tribunal particularly Justice Ijohor, is the last resort for the party. By now the APC knows it has no case; however leaders of the party are looking for what to hold on to.
We advise them to desist from their current deceitful attempt to whip unnecessary sentiments against the election petitions tribunal by blaming Justice Jennifer Ijohor for its woes at the election tribunal, he said.
Abasiekong alleged that the leadership of APC in the State was making frantic attempts to accuse members of the tribunal of compromise, with the intent to have some of them replaced.
The group claimed it has received reliable intelligence that stalwarts of the APC are working frantically towards relocating the tribunal to Abuja.
We are aware of the antics of the APC, part of it is to accuse the tribunal of working for the PDP and using that to campaign for the relocation of the tribunal from the State.
Every reasonable person who has followed proceedings of the tribunal will quickly corroborate that there has not been any crises or security challenge to warrant any person or group to call for the relocation of the tribunal.
The group called on the President of the Court of Appeal to ignore the purported attempt by Akwa Ibom APC to have the tribunal relocated from Uyo.
Jacob Zuma has told the Zondo commission today that he is thevictim of a character assassination by foreign intelligence agencies and that his link to the Gupta brothers is not corrupt.
The former president of South Africa has told a public inquiry panel in Johannesburg that his relationship with a group Indian businessmen was not corrupt.
Jacob Zuma, 77, argued in front of the Zondo commission, an inquiry set up to investigate a string of corruption allegations against him during his nine years as president, that he was the victim of a character assassination by foreign intelligence agencies and spies
Zuma has been accused of allegedly aiding Indian businessmen,in winning contracts for their companies with government departments in South Africa, including energy and transport during his time as president.
It is claimed that the Gupta brothers, who have previously employed numerous members of Zumas family in their different businesses, had a great influence over Zuma when he was head of state.
The commission has spent the last ten months investigating claims of state capture, a form of corruption where businesses and politicians conspire to influence a countrys decision making.
Zuma ordered the Zondo commission to begin an inquiry shortly before hisafter public outcry and political pressure about his alleged dealings with the Guptas became too great.
Witnesses in the inquiry have given a number of testimonies implicating Zumas connection with the Guptas, including a claim that he was in charge of a Gupta owned news outlet designed to spread political propaganda.
Siyabonga Dlamini, a Political Scientist at Kwazulu Natal University, told RFI that public support for Zuma will grow, the longer the inquiry goes on.
The man is still very much popular and I think his support will grow the longer that this case continues.
A number of people are feeling that the man has been victimized and vilified so they then sympathize with him.
As the case continues, the number of people even people from other political parties grows because they have this feeling that the man has been vilified and therefore needs their support.
Zuma is currently accused of 16 counts of graft, an offence in which a politician uses their privelleged position for corrupt personal gain, in a separate legal battle.
He has also been involved in past legal battles, including a rape case in 2005 where he was charged, but later acquitted.
By Martins Odeh
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday described the48 Compact Discs evidence tendered by the People Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atitku Abubakar as lacking in probative value.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four of the video clips played at the Presidential Election Tribunal court hall includes Count down of Osun Decides, a production of Channels Television with Seun Akinboloye as host.
In the above production dated Feb.8, Mr Mike Igini, Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom had talked about the readiness of the electoral body to transmit the Feb.23 general election electronically.
The second video was a clip of the postponement of the general election by INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmud.
NAN further reports that the third video was a clip of AFEX Nigeria training of INEC Ad-hoc staff on electronic result transmission.
Similarly, the briefing by the Nigerian Army authority on the status of President Muhammadu Buharis alleged certificate saga completed the four materials shown in court.
Chief Chris Uche, SAN, Counsel for the petitioners had led Mr Segun Showunmi, Spokesman for the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation to tender the materials before the five-man panel of justices.
During his cross-examination by Mr Yunus Usman, SAN, Counsel for INEC, Showunmi agreed that the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom was not a spokesman for the commission.
Usman also made the witness to confirm that the chairman of the electoral body only expressed the hope of the commission to transmit results of the general election electronically, but that it was actually done.
Usman was of the view that the video clips front-loaded by the witness had nothing to do with the Feb.23 general election.
Showunmi, attested to Usmans question by saying that the four clips were events that preceded the election.
The other clip was on the presidents certificate controversy as the army confirmed that the Buhari had West African Examination Certificate with credits in English Language, History, Geography and a pass in English Literature.
Meanwhile, Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, Counsel for Buhari had tendered a video clip dated Feb.6 where chairman of the commission hinged the possible transmission of the election electronically to the signing of a new Electoral Act.
NAN reports that drama however ensued as the petitioners legal team refused to allow their system to be used to play the CD.
In the circumstance, Izinyon filed an oral application for adjournment to allow his team bring their system and screen to continue with the cross examination of the witness.
Justice Mohammed Garba, went ahead to adjourn the proceedings until July 16 for continuation.
Earlier, the petitioners presented three of their witnesses, totaling about 40 of them out of the 400 that were listed to testify so far.
On their parts, Babagana Kukawa, Hon.Abana Pogu, Suleman Mohammed, Local Government Area Collation Agents for PDP had alleged over voting, vote buying, and violence disruption of the election in their various states.
When they were crossed examined, the witnesses were unable to back up their allegations with documentary evidence.
The counsel to INEC had reminded them that their signature on Forms EC8C (Results transmitted to the local government areas) were approval of the exeercise at polling units and wards level across their states. (NAN)
By Ikenna Uwadileke
The African Development Bank (AfDB), put the financial outlay to finance Africas development needs at between 600 to 700 billion US dollars annually.
Of this amount, about 130-170 billion US dollars, was needed annually to address infrastructural deficit.
In order to get the needed funds to address the numerous development challenges in Africa, the AfDB launched the African Investment Forum (AIF).
The AIF is a platform to mobilise private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and the private sector to facilitate infrastructure projects with the capacity to transform the continent.
The inaugural edition of the AIF was held in South Africa, while the second edition was also scheduled to hold in Johannesburg, South Africa, from Nov. 11 to NOV.13.
Ahead of the November meeting, AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has appealed to investors to attend the banks 2019 AIF.
He spoke at Africa 50 General Shareholders meeting, held recently in Kigali, Rwanda.
Adesina said that Africa was ready for massive investments and offered an attractive investment destination.
He said that AIF, will bring together members with vested interest in Africas growth and development
If you are an investor, do not miss Africa Investment Forum 2019, Africa is ready for massive investments and the environment is getting more attractive for investors.
One such investment is the construction of the bridge that will connect the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo, a 550 million dollar transaction being led by Africa 50 in partnership with AfDB,he said.
Adesinaemphasised that the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) had opened possibilities for an integrated single market for Africa.
He, however, pointed out that the continent needed to be connected through roads, rail, ports, airports, ICT backbones and energy corridors in order to enjoy the full benefits of the agreement.
Africa 50 is an innovative fund for developing and financing infrastructure in Africa, funded by AfDB, African governments, private and institutional investors.
Africa 50 is on track to launch a private sector third party fund to leverage one billion dollar from private sector institutional investors.
I encourage countries that have not yet joined Africa50 to do so.
Join us as we move towards a future of great promise for Africa. Join us as we lay the foundation for a more prosperous Africa,Adesina said.
Nigeria Country Department of AfDB, in collaboration with Africa Finance Corporation, recently organised a road show in Abuja, to sensitise stakeholders on gains of the AIF.
Ekiti governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who spoke at the event, emphasised the role of private capital to deliver the infrastructure required to grow Nigerias economy.
While expressing hope that Nigeria and other African countries would record significant investments that will boost the economy, Fayemi said that private investments are critical in providing jobs for millions of young Nigerians.
According to him, with the support of AfDB, African Finance Corporation and the quality of investors that attended the inaugural edition, the second edition would be successful.
I am confident that if we put our best foot forward, we will receive significant funding commitment for investments across Nigeria and Africa, the governor said.
Mr Ebrima Faal, Senior Bank Director, Nigeria Country Office, of AfDB, highlighted Nigerias prominence during the 2018 forum.
He pointed out that Nigeria was very visible and urged industry players and policy makers to maximise opportunities that the 2019 forum would provide.
Faal urged them to connect, engage and close high-impact deals.
He further recounted that last years edition of AIF held in South Africa recorded attendance of 2000 participants, representing 87 countries, including eight heads of governments.
Deals worth 46.9 billion dollars were discussed with 49 deals valued at 38.7 billion dollars secured.
These figures are not just impressive for an attempt at something that has never been done on the continent, but phenomenal.
The AfDB and its partners are excited to present you with the only platform that allows you to instantly pitch and close monumental deals on the spot.
We encourage you to engage early and wholesomely to be part of re-writing Africas economic history, Faal said.
According to Africa Finance Corporation Senior Director, Mr Taiwo Adeniji, building on the success recorded in 2018, it is expected that Nigeria will be a major participant at the 2019 forum.
The Africa Finance Corporation is keen to support Nigerian businesses across sectors to ensure effective project implementation to boost economic development.
We are now seeing positive momentum in building transparent and durable institutions to anchor the political economy, promote and support development of the private sector.
This is in order to increase the pace, depth and spread of economic growth in Africa, Adeniji said.
On his part, a former Minister of Information and Communications, Mr Frank Nweke, identified early preparations as crucial in positioning Nigeria to meet international business and social impact investors eager to invest in Africa.
Early preparation is also key, not only to prepare for the deals but being able to present them to a wide range of global investors.
These investors are coming from different classes.
We are talking about pension funds, sovereign wealth funds globally and in the continent, asset managers, commercial investment bankers so it is a wide array of investors that we are looking at.
So we need to showcase very high transactions; we need to prepare projects and this is essential, Nweke said.
Similarly, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, former Minister of Finance, urged the Federal Government to support the preparation.
Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) must sit down to discuss what we expect.
This preparation has to be done every time we are going to a forum.
So when they go, they come into contact with investors and they will be interested in what is being presented.
The potential investor wants to see where you are coming from, from the beginning to the end they want to see their way through, she said.
Mr Odiogo Ezekiel, the Head, Private Sector Investment Operations, AIF/AfDB, stressed that getting the projects bankable is also critical.
With the awareness raised through the road show, stakeholders say Nigeria will record more investment opportunities after the 2019 AIF. (NANFeatures)
By Julius Toba-Jegede
The President of the Senate Dr. Ahmad Lawan on Monday condemned the continuous killings of Nigerians in South Africa, warning that further attacks on Nigerians would no longer be condoned.
Lawan expressed concern that about 118 Nigerians had so far lost their lives in different attacks over the years, out of which 13 were by the South African Police.
A statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mohammed Isa said Lawan made this known when he hosted the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Moroe.
Moroe and his delegation paid the visit to brief the Senate leadership on his governments investigations to unravel the causes of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and steps being taken to stop such.
The meeting, according to Lawan became pertinent considering the incessant attacks on Nigerians residing across cities in South Africa.
He said We in the parliament must speak and prevent any further killings. These killings must stop.
This is the era of social media where corpse of a victim may spark violence that may go beyond the control of government.
The South African government must as a matter of urgency do whatever it takes to protect the lives and property of Nigerians living there, just as Nigerian government remain committed to the safety of South Africans residing here and their investments.
I believe we have faced enough, we will no longer take it anymore. We want to write the names of Nigerians killed, and the South African parliament must act fast to put a stop to this menace.
Over the years, 118 Nigerians have been killed, while 13 out of these were killed by South African Police.
He also recalled the enormous contributions of Nigeria to South Africa during the apartheid rule.
We must establish events leading into these killings, including the recent one of Mrs.Elizabeth Chukwu, who was killed in her hotel room, he said.
While commending the High Commissioner for the updates, Lawan noted that, the update on the cause of late Mrs. Chukwus death is heartwarming. It is a sign that something has been done in this regards.
Earlier, Mr Moroe expressed regret over the killings of Nigerians in his country.
He extended the countrys condolences to the families of the victims.
He said that an inquest had been instituted to investigate all cases of xenophobic attacks in the country.
The inquest, he said would reveal the cause of the menace and find solutions across board.
He reiterated the commitment of South African government and its law enforcement agencies to get to the root of the matter while bringing to book perpetrators of the attacks.
Our government will continue to be committed to the good relationship with Nigeria.
Your sentiment has gone deep into our heart, and you will be happy that the same sentiment has been our concern in South Africa.
On behalf of the government of South Africa, we express our sincere condolences to Nigerian government for this unfortunate incident, he said. (NAN)