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John Ameh

The move by the House of Representatives to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the Peace Corps Bill has failed.

Members have just voted against the second reading of the bill in Abuja.

Details later…



Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Presidency on Thursday said there was no truth in the allegations that it substituted some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress’ sub-committees for the national convention.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, disclosed this via a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.

Adesina said it was not in the character of President Muhammadu Buhari to interfere in party affairs or matters before the courts.

The presidential spokesman said it was disingenuous to attribute every perceived infraction in activities of party or government appointees to the President’s desk.

He said, “We are constrained to deny media reports alleging that the Presidency substituted or smuggled in some names of members of the All Progressives Congress Convention Planning Sub-Committees.

SEE ALSO: Two Ebola patients attended church with 50 people before dying –Doctors

“Nothing in the allegation can be further from the truth in every material particular. For the umpteenth time, we wish to reiterate President Muhammadu Buhari’s position that he will not interfere in party affairs or matters before the law courts.

“It ought to have been obvious by now to discerning Nigerians that it is not in the nature of this President to go against the provisions of the country’s constitution let alone his party’s constitutional provisions.

“It is, therefore, disingenuous to attribute every perceived infraction in activities of party or government appointees to the President’s desk.”

A drama had played out at the APC national headquarters Abuja on Wednesday as some members protested the removal of their names from the party’s sub-committees for its national convention.

About 50 affected persons who claimed their names had earlier been published in the media as members of different committees had claimed that their names were replaced with names on a list allegedly sent in from the Presidency.



Peter Dada, Akure

An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure the state capital has sentenced a man identified as Samson Kajopelaye to a life imprisonment over his involvement in the abduction of one Alhaji Adeyinka Yusuf.

The convict and one Abimbola Osinyemi were arrested by the men of the state police command, Ore Division, over the kidnap of the victim.

They were later arraigned on a three-count which included conspiracy to commit a felony, aiding and abetting kidnapping.

They had pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the counts preferred against them when it was read to them.

The victim, who testified during one of the proceedings, narrated that he was kidnapped on the fateful day when he was on his way home from work by the convict and some other armed persons, who were said to be at large.

He testified that his neighbours had rescued him by barricading the road, preventing the hoodlums from taking him away. He said the matter was later reported at the Ore police station.

The court admitted some exhibits which included two cartridges, Honda Accord car and the statements of the accused persons and that of the complainant.

In his judgment, the judge, Justice O. A Odusola, with the graphic narration of the complainant, it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the first defendant had aided, facilitated and encouraged the kidnap by making his car available for the dastardly act.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment. He, however, ruled that there was not enough evidence to convict the second accused person and discharged and acquitted him.



Two Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola patients who fled hospital in the city of Mbandaka on Monday attended a prayer meeting with 50 people hours before they died, Jean-Clement Cabrol, an emergency medical coordinator at Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), said on Thursday.

Health officials are scrambling to contain an outbreak of the deadly disease in the heavily populated port city in northwest Congo that is believed to have killed 22 people since April.

Two new deaths from Ebola and seven new confirmed cases have been recorded in Democratic Republic of Congo, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: Beckham’s Miami MLS club could have name soon

One of the deaths occurred in the provincial capital of Mbandaka, according to a daily bulletin.

A nurse also died in the village of Bikoro, where the outbreak was first detected, ministry spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga told Reuters.

The ministry said the seven new confirmed cases were registered in Bikoro.

Health officials administered an experimental vaccine on Monday to 33 medical workers and Mbandaka residents, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva.

The vaccine manufacturer Merck has provided WHO with 8,640 doses of the vaccine and an additional 8,000 doses are expected to be available in the coming days, WHO said.

Congo’s ninth outbreak of Ebola since 1976 is believed to have killed at least 28 people so far.

Officials are particularly concerned by its appearance in Mbandaka, a crowded trading hub on the Congo River with road, water and air links to Congo’s capital, Kinshasa.

NAN reports that the WHO said it will need 26 million dollars for the Ebola Response in the DRC over the next three months.

WHO said it had also released two million dollars from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies, to scale up the Ebola response.

The Government of DRC, with the support of WHO partners, is preparing to vaccinate high risk populations against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in affected health zones.

The organisation said health workers operating in affected areas were being vaccinated on Monday and community outreach had started to prepare for the ring vaccination.

More than 7,500 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine have been deployed to DRC to conduct vaccination in the northwestern Equator Province where 46 suspected, probable and confirmed Ebola cases and 26 deaths have been reported – as of Friday.(Reuters/NAN)



David Beckham’s Major League Soccer expansion club isn’t expected to debut until at least 2020, but it could soon have a name, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

The newspaper’s online search of the United States Patent and Trademark office found a company calling itself Miami Freedom LLC applied on May 17, 2018 to trademark four names:  Miami Freedom Football Club, Miami Freedom United, Miami Freedom FC and Miami Freedom.

The goods and services the trademark application lists include “soccer exhibitions live in a stadium” along with posters, decals, trading cards, stickers and media guides relating to a “professional soccer team” and a wide range of apparel.

There were also patent applications on May 18, 2018 for variations of “Miami Futbol Club” and “Miami Mundial Futbol Club.” Those listings included the same items as the Miami Freedom listing.

English football superstar Beckham was officially awarded an MLS franchise in Miami in January, the glitzy announcement capping a tortuous near decade-long journey studded with false dawns and setbacks.

The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and England Star was granted a cut-price $25 million option to buy his own MLS franchise under terms of the deal that brought him to the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.

In 2014 he announced plans to launch a team in Miami, but he struggled to find a suitable stadium site.

The Beckham group, bolstered by the addition of local tycoons Jorge and Jose Mas, has now secured land on which to build a privately developed 25,000-seat stadium in the heart of the city.

(AFP)



Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Presidency on Thursday showcased some of the economic achievements said to have been recorded by the present administration and said only the blind will not see them.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said this in a statement titled “The economy: Facts are stubborn things” made available to journalists in Abuja.

Adesina said some unnamed persons have made it a duty to continue to make it appear as if there is nothing good about the economy under President Muhammadu Buhari.

SEE ALSO: Price hikes spell misery for fans at Champions League final

The presidential spokesman said those in that category were only doing so to gain political advantage for themselves or their sponsors.

He said, “Some people have made it a pastime to talk as if there is no silver lining in the sky as far as the Nigerian economy is concerned. They carry on as if it is doom and gloom all the way, a thoroughfare of woes.

“This they do to hoodwink the public, and peradventure gain political advantage for themselves, or their principals.

“But facts are stubborn things. Those arrayed against facts may abhor and deride them, but there they are, staring them starkly in the face.”

Adesina then highlighted some of the achievements which he said the “naysayers” may not be able to do anything about.

He quoted the National Bureau of Statistics as saying that the economy has recovered from the slow-down and eventual recession, which started in 2014.

He said there has been improvement with stronger growth for three successive quarters, adding that from contracting by 0.91% in Q1 2017, the economy has grown by 0.72 percent in Q2 2017, to 1.17 percent in Q3 2017, and 2.11 percent in Q4 2017.

The Q1 2018 GDP, Adesina said, showed that the economy has recorded a GDP growth of 1.95 percent, compared to a contraction of 0.91 percent in Q1 2017.

He explained that the growth is driven by agriculture and industry, which shows that after more than 50 years of lip service, the Nigerian economy is on the road to diversification, indicating that the oil sector’s contribution to GDP is 9.61 percent, while non-oil sector’s share is 90.39 percent.

He adde, “One of the factors responsible for the positive performance of the economy in Q1 2018 was the spending of about N1.5trn on infrastructure projects in 2017.

“For the past 15 months, inflation has declined consistently from 18.72 percent to 12.48 percent. The country is steadily on the road to single digit inflation rate.

“The first quarter of 2018 saw a continuous growth in total capital importation into the country, the fourth consecutive quarterly increase since Q2 2017. The total value of capital imported is $6,303.63m, a 17.11 percent growth over the figure reported in the previous quarter.

“Foreign reserves stand at $47.79bn, compared to $29.6bn inherited in May 2015, after about six years boom in oil prices in the international market. The increase came at a time of modest oil prices, showing transparency and accountability by government.

“Nigeria’s Stock Market ended 2017 as one of the best-performing in the world, with returns of about 40 percent.

“Tax revenue increased to N1.17trn, in Q1 2018, a 51 percent increase on the Q1 2017 figure.”

According to Adesina, milled rice production has increased from 2.5MT to 4MT, and rice imports have dropped from 580,000MT in 2015 to 58,000MT in 2016.

He said the country was saving millions of dollars in that regards.

“These are just little among the good things happening to the Nigerian economy.

“Only the wilfully blind will not see it, but it does not stop the good work, which continues.

“On exiting recession last year, President Muhammadu Buhari had said he would not consider the job done, until the ordinary man feels the impact of the rebounding economy on his life and pocket.

“We are inexorably on that road, no matter what scoffers may say,” he concluded.



Peter Dada, Akure

The old students of Owo High School, Owo, Ondo State, under the auspices of the Old Students’ Association of Owo High School have called on the State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, to make the public schools attractive in the state.

The Chairman of the association, Cannon Bayode Oladimeji stated this while speaking at the inauguration of an ultramodern digital resource center, donated by one of the members of the association, Mr. Foluso Falaye, held at Owo High school on Thursday.

Oladimeji specifically appealed to the state government to facelift the dilapidated physical structures in the Owo High School.

The chairman, who explained that the association had contributed in no small measures to the development of the secondary school, urged the governor to do more for the school in the areas of infrastructural development.

He called on other members of the association to emulate Falaye, by donating graciously to the development of the school.

Oladimeji said, ” We request the assistance of the governor to renovate many dilapidated buildings scattered all over the school compound. ”

In his remarks, the donor, Foluso Falaye, lamented the deplorable condition of the public schools in the state, saying the condition of public schools needed the attention of the government and other stakeholders in the education sector.

Falaye, who is a computer expert, said there was a need for the government to raise the standard of public schools.



Liverpool have complained to the “highest levels” of European football governing body UEFA as spiralling accommodation and travel costs threaten to turn the Champions League final against Real Madrid into a nightmare for fans.

Thousands of supporters from England and Spain will converge on Kiev for Saturday’s showpiece between two of the giants of European football.

But while excitement levels are mounting, fans are being forced to pay extortionate prices after hotels in the Ukrainian capital began charging up to 100 times their standard rates and some supporters found their early reservations had been cancelled.

READ ALSO: Old students beg Akeredolu to rehabilitate schools

Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore said the Ukrainian capital, which hosted the Euro 2012 final, was not fit for purpose, highlighting difficulties with flights and accommodation.

“They just don’t have the airport infrastructure and the hotel capacity to cope with an event of this size and there isn’t another major city within real hitting distance of it,” he told the Liverpool Echo newspaper.

“It’s not only affected Liverpool fans but Real Madrid fans too. There will be lessons learned from this. Rest assured, I’ve raised this at the highest levels of UEFA.”

Liverpool head of club and supporter liaison Tony Barrett said he sympathised with fans over their plight.

“For those of you who get to Kiev, I hope it’s worth every penny and every ounce of effort that you have put in,” he tweeted.

“For those who don’t — and there are already far too many in this position — I apologise for not being able to help you. Football without fans is nothing.”

Real Madrid fans are faced with similar problems. More than 2,000 have reportedly returned their tickets due to the logistical difficulties and spiralling costs, although the club have not confirmed the report.

Real Madrid fan Marcos Sanchez secured accommodation well in advance but his bookings were cancelled and prices skyrocketed.

– ‘Nightmare’ –

“Everything has been a nightmare,” he said. “I have reported it on social networks and Ukrainian journalists have even called me because it gives a bad image for the city and the country.

“People have created a Facebook group offering their houses in Kiev for free and it works brilliantly, it´s genuine.”

Spanish fan groups have organised accommodation outside Ukraine as well as in Kiev and many fans are flying straight in and out.

Nabil Alturek, president of fan group Pena Capote Y Montera, said two groups were travelling. One will sleep in Warsaw one night and Kiev the next before returning to Warsaw and the other will spend the night at the airport in the Ukraine capital.

“It was cheap because we booked a long time ago,” he said. “We were shocked by the cancellations, but we were lucky, we paid 40 or 50 euros per person” at the hotel in Kiev”.

But Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko, the former world heavyweight boxing champion, gave a robust response about situation in the city, saying reports of tickets being returned was “fake news”.

“There are no hotel rooms left for the Champions League,” he said.

“The fact that prices are going up before a major event, this happens in other places besides Kiev,” he added. “This is world practice. The city cannot regulate business — these are the laws of the market.”

Liverpool’s Moore has hailed the collective efforts of Liverpool supporters and staff and said club officials were working hard to stamp down on tickets being sold by touts.

“We are acutely aware of the issues that our supporters have faced in terms of obtaining tickets, arranging travel, and organising accommodation for the final,” he wrote on Liverpool’s website.

“The entire 16,626 allocation that Liverpool received from UEFA for the final has now been sold and the club is aware of instances of tickets being sold at extortionate prices, with a number of cases currently being investigated,” he said.

British police have warned fans without tickets not to travel to Ukraine and have advised against buying tickets from touts.

(AFP)



The legal action over player contracts pitting Belgian third-tier club Seraing against world football’s governing body FIFA was heard on Thursday in Brussels and the court could deliver a verdict in a month.

Seraing are challenging FIFA’s ban on third party ownership (TPO) of players. The club also took aim at Financial Fair Play Rules and the authority of the Court of Arbitration in Sport.

Legal teams for FIFA and Seraing, who between them brought 18 lawyers, presented arguments for two hours on Thursday before a civil court in Brussels. The court said it would consider the case again next Thursday and could render a decision in four weeks.

READ ALSO: Alleged fraud: Court declares Innoson motors chairman wanted

Football authorities worry that involvement of third party owners with clubs creates conflicts of interest and favours clubs who can afford to form continuing relationships with agents or player owners.

TPO’s supporters claim it helps poorer clubs sign and develop young players and spreads the burden of transfer fees because they only buy part of the player’s registration.

Seraing brought their case when FIFA banned TPO four months after the club signed an agreement in January 2015 with investment fund Doyen Sports based on the potential returns from such contracts.

Seraing refused to accept FIFA’s ban and has already been fined 150,000 euros ($175,900, £131,720). Their legal action is supported by the Spanish and Portuguese leagues, who are also taking a case to the European Commission.

FIFA is backed by European governing body UEFA and global players union Fifpro.

Former UEFA president Michel Platini, now banned from football following a graft probe, called TPO “a type of slavery”.

(AFP)



Tottenham Hotspur are only willing to sell Toby Alderweireld to Manchester United if their Premier League rivals cough up £75m for the centre-back.

Alderweireld has failed to reach an agreement with Spurs over a new deal and will therefore be sold before his hefty valuation deteriorates.

The Mirror claims that the two clubs have already opened negotiations, with Jose Mourinho keen to complete his transfer business early in the window.

SEE ALSO: North Korea dismantles nuclear test site ahead of US summit

United have been told to pay the same amount that Liverpool handed over to Southampton for Virgil van Dijk, however, which is £20m more than the Red Devils had anticipated.

Alderweireld, restricted to just six appearances last season from November onwards, will be available for a cut-price fee of £25m when his contract enters its final year in 12 months’ time.



North Korea has dismantled its nuclear test site, media invited to attend the ceremony said Thursday, in a carefully choreographed move portrayed by the isolated regime as a goodwill gesture ahead of a potential summit next month with the US.

Pyongyang announced its plan to “completely” dismantle the Punggye-ri facility in the country’s northeast, inviting some foreign journalists to witness the destruction.

Reporters at the scene described a series of explosions throughout the day, three of them in entry tunnels to the underground facility, followed by explosions that demolished a nearby barracks and other structures.

“There was a huge explosion, you could feel it. Dust came at you, the heat came at you. It was extremely loud,” Tom Cheshire, a journalist for Sky News who was among those invited to attend the ceremony, wrote on the British broadcaster’s website.

The Punggye-ri test facility is buried inside a mountain in North Hamgyong province, near the border with China and is North Korea’s only known nuclear test site.

It has been the staging ground for all six of the North’s nuclear tests, including its latest and by far most powerful one in September last year, which Pyongyang said was an H-bomb.

Experts are divided over whether the demolition will render the site useless. Sceptics say the facility has already outlived its usefulness with six successful nuclear tests in the bag and can be quickly rebuilt if needed.

North Korea also did not invite any independent observers from overseas.

But others say the fact that North Korea agreed to destroy the site without preconditions or asking for something in return from Washington suggests the regime is serious about change.

– High stakes talks –

Trump is due to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12 for high stakes talks aimed at ridding the reclusive state of its newly acquired nuclear weapons and improving ties after decades of animosity.

The summit announcement came after months of unusually cordial diplomacy between the historic foes brokered by South Korea.

But the newfound bonhomie and the meeting’s potential success has been thrown into doubt in recent days with both Washington and Pyongyang raising the prospect of cancelling the talks and trading threats.

Politically, Trump has invested heavily in the success of the planned summit, so privately most US officials, as well as outside observers, believe it will go ahead.

Hand-picked US aides travelled to Singapore this week where they are expected to meet their North Korean counterparts and iron out details of the meeting.

As the date draws nearer, the gulf in expectations between the two sides is coming into sharp relief as both wage a public relations campaign ahead of the talks.

Washington has made it clear it wants to see the “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation” of the North.

But Pyongyang has vowed it will never give up its nuclear deterrence until it feels safe from what it terms US aggression.

A handful of foreign journalists from China, the US, Britain, Russia and South Korea were invited to attend the demolition ceremony.

Their journey to reach the remote site involved some 14 hours of travelling by train, bus and finally a short hike — a vivid illustration of the impoverished country’s notoriously decrepit infrastructure.

Agence France-Presse is one of a number of major media organisations not invited to cover the demolition.

AFP



Amnesty International on Thursday urged Nigeria to act on claims soldiers and members of the civilian militia have raped women and girls in remote camps for people displaced by Boko Haram but the government said the rights monitor was repeating false accusations.

“This… is just a wild goose chase report, in essence… the report seemed like the one in 2015, and the one in 2016, and the one after that year, the same things being recycled again and again,”  presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said.

Amnesty said it had gathered multiple testimonies about alleged abuse by the security forces, including claimed that soldiers coerced vulnerable survivors into having sex in exchange for food.

But despite long-standing complaints about sexual violence and repeated promises by the Nigerian authorities that they would address concerns, “no tangible action” had been taken.

In November 2016, police vowed to look into allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation in the camps but several months later, the military rejected the allegations.

“It is not always clear if these investigations were carried out and no reports have been made public,” the London-based rights group said in a statement.

Amnesty’s Nigeria director, Osai Ojigho, said it was time for President Muhammadu Buhari “to demonstrate his frequently-expressed commitment to protect the human rights of displaced people in northeast Nigeria.

“The only way to end these horrific violations is by ending the climate of impunity in the region and ensuring that no-one can get away with rape or murder.”

– Rape widespread –

Women and girls, many of whom have been separated from their families, are vulnerable to sexual abuse and say rape is widespread both in and outside the camps, according to aid agencies.

Some non-profit organisations run family planning clinics, providing contraception, and say there are high numbers of sexually transmitted infections, abortions and unwanted pregnancies.

“Scores” of women told Amnesty that soldiers and civilian militia members coerced them into becoming “girlfriends”, which meant them being available for sex.

In return they got food.

Sexual exploitation was at an “alarming level, as women remain desperate to access sufficient food and livelihood opportunities”, the group added.

“Sex in these highly coercive circumstances is always rape, even when physical force is not used, and Nigerian soldiers and (militia) members have been getting away with it,” said Ojigho.

– ‘Alarming level’ –

According to the latest available figures to April 30, nearly 1.8 million people have been displaced within Nigeria by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has killed at least 20,000 since 2009.

Including figures from neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, the number of people forced to flee their homes by the violence reaches nearly 2.25 million, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

Military gains have wrested back control of areas previously held by the Islamist militants, laying bare the extent of the damage to farming and fishing on which most locals depend.

By the end of March, 3.5 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance, the UN said. Malnutrition cases with medical complications are expected to rise in the upcoming rainy season.

Amnesty said thousands of people had died from starvation due to a lack of food at the camps over the past four years, without specifying an exact number.

(AFP)



Olaide Oyelude, Katsina

Al-Qalam University, Katsina, has expelled 16 students for various offences considered as gross misconduct against the rules and regulations governing the institution.

The public relations unit of the institution revealed on Thursday, in a statement, that the students’ offences ranged from forgery, to examination malpractice, indecent dressing, immoral behaviour and rudeness.

It was learnt that the Senate of the university approved the expulsion of the 16 students following a report submitted by the Academic Misconduct and Disciplinary Committee.

Apart from the 16 expelled students, nine others were asked to proceed on suspension for a period of two semesters.

The Senate also directed 29 students to repeat two semesters, while two others received warning letters for committing minor offences such as keeping a handbag inside the examination hall.

Cases against nine students could not be established and the Senate exonerated them for lack of evidence to warrant any sanction.

Insiders said the senate of the institution, at its recently held 48th meeting, ratified the committee’s report containing 65 cases in all.

The institution’s Head of Public Affairs Unit, Mallam Akilu Atiku, confirmed the development.



In an age when individual awards are given ever greater importance, Saturday’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool — and Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah — could determine the winner of the next Ballon d’Or.

After all, Ronaldo has won the prestigious prize on the back of helping Madrid to each of their recent European Cup triumphs, in 2014, 2016 and again last year.

It is reductionist in the extreme to bring Saturday’s final down to just two players, given the strength in depth available — especially in attack — to Madrid and Liverpool.

But this is the era of the individual, at a time when Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the Ballon d’Or for a decade.

The status of each is such that the annual prize for the world’s best player generates ever fiercer debate.

Ronaldo has won the last two, but can he really win it again, having recently turned 33?

In a World Cup year, what happens in Russia will play a big part too — it is impossible to imagine Messi not winning a sixth Ballon d’Or should he lead Argentina to the title.

But Ronaldo can certainly make his case in Kiev, while this is also a golden opportunity for Salah before he leads Egypt into the World Cup.

— Ronaldo: An insatiable hunger —

Ronaldo’s decline in the first half of this season was as concerning as his reawakening in 2018 has been breathtaking.

The Portuguese star has scored 41 goals in all competitions this season, but an incredible 28 of those have come since late January.

Despite only scoring four times before La Liga’s winter break, he ended up with 26 goals in that competition, behind only Messi.

But it is the Champions League that really brings out the best in him.

Ronaldo scored in Manchester United’s 2008 final win over Chelsea, and has played a decisive role in each of the three finals won by Real since 2014.

This season, despite his poor domestic form, he had scored in every Champions League game prior to the semi-final win over Bayern Munich.

Karim Benzema’s brace in the second leg against the Germans was crucial, but neither he nor Gareth Bale have been close to Ronaldo’s standard this season.

The ‘BBC’ may no longer be so fearsome as a trio, but after that difficult spell, Ronaldo’s figures in 2018 mean he is making his case to be crowned the world’s best again.

“Cristiano knows that a player can have difficult moments. That’s why he’s the best,” warned Real coach Zinedine Zidane this week.

“Some players suffer under pressure, others just the opposite, and he is one of them. The more you criticise him, be careful.”

— Salah already breaking records —

This has already been a record-breaking season for the Egyptian, whose 32-goal tally was a new best in the Premier League for a 38-game campaign.

Overall, he has scored a remarkable 44 in all competitions since his arrival at Anfield from Roma, including 11 in Liverpool’s memorable run to the Champions League final.

He has been ably supported by Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, with that threesome netting 90 goals between them in all competitions.

Nevertheless, Liverpool’s hopes of winning a sixth European Cup depend to a large degree on Salah.

Whether that would be enough to land the Ballon d’Or as well is something that seems to split his team-mates.

“But what if Messi and Ronaldo win the World Cup? Do they deserve it? I don’t know what do you have to look at to win the Ballon D’Or,” said Georginio Wijnaldum this week.

“If it’s winning a prize, if it’s scoring the more goals. We will see.”

Defender Dejan Lovren was a little more optimistic.

“He can be in the top three best players in the world. He has the quality, the world-class experience already,” he said.

“He is so calm, a man down to earth and he deserves every credit for every goal he scored for now and definitely we will help him achieve this dream.”

(AFP)



Justice Daniel Longji of Plateau High Court, Jos, on Thursday, granted bail to the immediate past governor of Plateau and Senator representing Plateau North, Jonah Jang.

In his ruling, Justice Longji said the prosecution’s submission that Jang would jump bail and interfere with investigations was a mere speculation and without proof.

He said that he would not act on speculation to deny bail to the defendant, as he admitted Jang to N100m bail and two sureties in like sum.

SEE ALSO: Manchester United told to pay £75m for Toby Alderweireld

Longji also granted bail to Pam Yusuf, a cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, standing trial alongside Jang, in the sum of N50m and two sureties in like sum.

The judge said that in Jang’s case, one of the sureties must be a first class traditional ruler and the second a civil servant of not less than GL 17, and both must reside within the jurisdiction of the court.

He ordered that in Yusuf’s case, one of the sureties must be a permanent secretary with the state government, adding that the two must also submit their passports to the court.

He adjourned the matter until July 17-19, 2018 for definite and accelerated hearing.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had, on Monday, May 7, preferred 12 counts bordering on alleged corruption and misappropriation against Jang.

Jang is alleged to have misappropriated over N6bn, two months to the end of his tenure as governor of Plateau State in 2015.

According to the charges, the former governor also embezzled over N4bn from the state coffers through Pam Yusuf, who was a cashier in the office of the Secretary to the State Government.

Yusuf, who is a co-defendant in the suit against Jang, is also facing another case of allegedly enriching himself to the tune of N11m.

(NAN)