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EPL: Mourinho speaks on Alexis Sanchez, Bailly leaving Manchester United

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Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, feels Alexis Sanchez does not want to leave the club in January.

Sanchez has struggled to find his best form since joining United from Arsenal last January.

The Chileans has started just five of United’s 12 Premier League matches this season, scoring once and was dropped for the Manchester Derby.

Mourinho admits Sanchez is underperforming, but feels he still has the desire to turn his United career around.

When asked if he expected Sanchez to leave, Mourinho replied: “I don’t think so because he has never told me that he wants to leave. He never told me that he’s not happy to stay.

“He is playing like the team. He is improving, like the team is improving, when he plays he is giving us his personality.

“His desire is to play and to produce for the team and [he is] trying to adapt to the way we play and vice versa.

“Can he do better? We all can do better. I can do better, he can do better, all the players can do better.”

Another United player who can “do better” in Mourinho’s mind, appears to be out-of-favour centre-back Eric Bailly.

Bailly started United’s first two Premier League games of the season, against Leicester and Brighton, but he gave away a penalty in the 3-2 defeat to the Seagulls and was subsequently dropped.

His only league start since came against Newcastle on October 6, when he was hauled after just 19 minutes with United already 2-0 down.

Mourinho has since settled on Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling as his preferred partnership in central defence.

“I think Smalling and Lindelof are playing much better than the beginning of the season.

“I decided to give Victor the opportunity of his evolution, evolution with some mistakes yes because he is young, especially young in the Premier League. We decided to give him this continuity which I think it is clear it has improved him.

“Bailly has physical qualities, he is very fast [but] he is not very tall. We thought that Chris Smalling would give some balance in relation to the qualities. Chris is very good in the air. He is tall and dominant in the air.

“Victor, in the building up, is better than Chris. We have found the balance. I repeat, they are not perfect but nobody is perfect. That couple is performing quite well,” Mourinho added.

Boko Haram: Army finally speaks on killing of soldiers

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The Nigerian Army on Friday confirmed the reported killing of some Nigerian soldiers by Boko Haram sect along the Nigeria-Chad border on Sunday.

It was gathered that no fewer than 44 soldiers were killed during an attack, which occurred at Metele, a remote village bordering Nigeria and Chad.

However, reacting, the Army in a statement on its Official Twitter handle on Friday described the attach as “an unfortunate event”,

It also decried the misinformation being circulated about the attack, noting that the situation has been brought under control.

The statement reads, “The attention of the NA has been drawn to several social media, print, electronic and online publications about the recent attack on 157 Task Force Battalion at Metele.

“Whilst it is true that there was an attack on the location on 18 November 2018, it has however, become necessary to correct several misinformation being circulated with regards to this unfortunate event.

“It is important for the public to note that the NA has laid down procedures for reporting incidents that involve its personnel who fall casualty in action. Out of respect for the families of our gallant troops, the NOKs (Next of Kins) are first notified before any form of public information so as to avoid exacerbating the grief family members would bear, were they to discover such from unofficial sources.

“Furthermore, it suffices to observe that several social media, print and online publications have been brandishing false casualty figures as well as circulating various footages of old and inaccurate BHT propaganda videos and alluding same to be the attack on 157 Task Force Battalion.

“Whilst it is understandable how such misinformation can spread in this era of social media frenzy, the spurious circulation of some of these videos only contribute to further propagate the propaganda intent of the terrorists; to misinform the populace and portray themselves as what they are not. So far, the situation is that the location is under control as reinforcing units have been able to repel the terrorists and stabilise the situation.

“The NA sincerely, wishes to thank the various arms of government, MDAs and sister security agencies that have stood with her in these trying times; by commiserating with the families of the fallen heroes who have paid the supreme price for the defence of our dearly beloved country. The necessary support being given the NA by the Federal Government and the goodwill of the Nigerian populace will undoubtedly continue to spur the NA towards the ultimate defeat of the highly degraded BHTs.”

2019: Ex-Reps member, Ikpeazu’s aide, 5000 others dump PDP for APC in Abia

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Ahead of the 2019 general elections, about 5,000 members and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, have dumped the party for the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abia State.

The defected PDP members were led into APC by a former Speaker of the Abia House of Assembly and former Member of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Arua Arunsi.

Others who decamped alongside Arunsi included, a Special Adviser to the Abia Governor, Chief Ndukwe Orji Agu and former Member of the State House of Assembly, Agwu. U. Agwu.

Nkporo Ohafia is the hometown of the Abia deputy Governor, Ude Oko Chukwu.

Speaking at Nkporo in Ohafia local government area of the state, while declaring for APC, on Friday, Arunsi said it was the desire to develop Nkporo that motivated him and his supporters to join the APC family.

He said, “All our desire as politicians are to see that Nkporo Ohafia enjoy access roads and other democratic dividends.

“It is very unfortunate that all our sacrifices for PDP was not rewarded with democratic benefits.

“I’m confident that if the APC gets into power, Nkporo Ohafia will benefit from the developmental plan that Dr. Uche Ogah and the party will be bringing into the state”.

Earlier in his speech, the APC governorship candidate in Abia state, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, commended the PDP decampees for their courage to pitch tent with the APC and assured that the people of the state would witness unprecedented development in all sectors of the state economy if elected as governor.

Welcoming the defectors during the declaration ceremony, the State chairman of APC, Hon. Donatus Nwankpa, assured the new party members that they would be carried along in the affairs of the party in the state, reiterating that the party, APC, was determined to enthrone the needed change in Abia come 2019.

Nwankpa took a swipe at the Peoples Democratic Party-led administration in the state over alleged poor performances and vowed that his party will send the governor and the PDP packing from the state government house in 2019.

Meanwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Abia state and the Director General of Uchechukwu Ogah Governorship Campaign Organization, Barrister Kelvin Ugboaja, on Friday, stated that the Peoples Democratic Party, will collapse before the 2019 general elections.

EPL: Mourinho predicts when Manchester United will enter top four

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Jose Mourinho has declared that Manchester United will be back in the Premier League’s top four by the end of 2018.

United host Crystal Palace on Saturday sitting in eighth place, seven points off Champions League places.

Although Mourinho acknowledges that is a “big gap,” he remains confident of climbing the table by January.

“I know it’s a big gap but I also know that until the end of December, if I’m not wrong, we have eight Premier League matches to play.

“Eight Premier League matches — we are speaking about 24 points, 24 points for us to fight for the other ones in the top four to fight for too, but I believe we are going to be there,” he told a news conference on Friday.

Mourinho will have Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini available, after they missed international duty with France and Belgium respectively.

Boko Haram: Buhari summons service chiefs over killing of soldiers

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President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned Service Chiefs to an emergency security meeting over the reported killing of some Nigerian soldiers by Boko Haram sect along the Nigeria-Chad border on Sunday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reliably gathered that the urgent meeting was necessitated by the latest security developments across the battle fields in the North East region of the country.

A reliable source, who preferred not to be named, confirmed this development to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

NAN reports that the Federal Government’s pronouncement on the latest victims of Boko Haram insurgency was being delayed because families of the victims were being identified and contacted.

“The President has called an urgent meeting with the Service Chiefs.

“And the families of the latest victims of the Boko Haram are being identified and contacts made before a government pronouncement on the tragic attacks.

“This, it is understood is the reason for the silence of the government over the incident,’’ the source added.

2019: Atiku reveals why he regrets joining APC

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Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has apologised for joining the groups who came together to form the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Atiku said the apology had become necessary because of the sufferings Nigerians had been subjected to in the last three and half years, from a party he played a role in bringing to power.

The former vice-president stated this while speaking at a town hall meeting with residents of Jimeta in Adamawa state.

He said, “I regretted being a part of the party which never deemed it fit to fulfil all of the promises it made to Nigerians.

“If I had known that the APC would be such a colossal failure and disgrace, I would never had joined the party.

“The APC has failed to fulfill even one of the promises it made to Nigerians. The APC is simply an assembly meant to defraud Nigerians.”

3 siblings paraded for allegedly kidnapping church member’s 6-year-old daughter in Ondo

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It was just like a scene in one of the Nollywood movies, when three brothers of the same parent were on Friday paraded for their alleged involvement in kidnapping.

The siblings were apprehended by men of the Ondo State Police Command at the point of collecting the N720,000 ransom they had allegedly demanded after kidnapping a six-year-old girl at Oba-Ile in Akure North Local Government area Ondo State.

The three brothers Joy Ramond, 19; Peace Ramond, 24; Ramond Ayomide,16 and Akinseye Oluwayomi, 18 a friend of Joy, who was also involved in the crime were paraded before newsmen at the state headquarters of the Nigeria Police.

It was gathered that the suspects who attend the same church with the parents of the victim, kidnapped the girl during a meeting at their church, Jehovah Witness Kingdom at Apeju Street, Oba-Ile in Akure North Local Government Area of the state.

According to the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, the arrest was possible through a team of Anti-Kidnapping outfit led by their officer in-charge in Akure.

“On Nov. 21st, one Mr Afolabi Oladapo of Sunshine Gardens Oba-Ile, reported that his daughter, Jamama aged six was kidnapped by unknown people in their Church to unknown destination.

“The hostage was released on Nov. 22 after the payment of N720,000 by the parent of the victim.

“Shortly after the payment of the ransom a team of Anti-Kidnapping outfit led by their officer in-charge stormed the venue where the ransom was paid.

“Ramond Joy, Ramond Peace, Ramond Ayomide and Akinseye Oluwayomi were rounded up and the ransom which had already been buried in an uncompleted building was exhume as exhibit,”he said.

The PPRO who further confirmed that the suspects had confessed to the crime, said they would be arraigned in court at the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.

Joy, who was identified as the brain behind the kidnap, claimed that he only took the girl home for safety, after he saw her wandering outside the church.

“The girl normally ran out of kingdom hall whenever we are doing meeting, so, that day I was coming from my working place, I now saw her outside the hall around 7pm.

“I now asked her where was going to and I told her that one day she may be kidnapped with the way was doing.

“So, I now took her home that day and I caller parent number to inform them that there daughter is with me but their phone number was switch off and I called them second day morning in which her mother came to pick her.

“The reason I did this was that I learnt that she is the only girl in the family and she has been over pampered because she normally go out as she like.

“So, I kept her to scare her, may be she will change her behaviours.

“As regards the ransom, I don’t know anything about the money, it may be another person who learnt about the issue that called for ransom with an intent to make quick money out of the situation”, he said.

Real Madrid react as Sergio Ramos is accused of failing drugs test after UCL final

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Real Madrid have denied a claim that club captain, Sergio Ramos, failed a doping test after the 2017 Champions League final.

The LaLiga giants also debunked claimed that the proper procedures were not followed, when Ramos was asked to take a test following a league game against Malaga in April 2018.

The article published on Der Spiegel’s website claimed that after the 2017 UCL final in Cardiff, Ramos gave a sample which contained traces of WADA-prohibited substance dexamethasone, a steroid often used to treat inflammation, but no disciplinary action was ever taken.

The report adds, however, the club noted that Ramos had received an injection of a different medication, Celestone Chronodose, on the day before the final.

Like dexamethasone, Celestone Chronodose, better known as betamethasone, is also used as an anti-inflammatory and is also a banned substance by WADA.

Real Madrid on Friday, quickly responded with a statement which said the case mentioned in the Der Spiegel story was “immediately closed” by the relevant authorities after “specific information” was provided, while also calling the reports “insubstantial.”

“With regards to the reports published by Der Spiegel in relation to our captain, Sergio Ramos, the club wishes to express the following,” the Madrid statement said.

“1. Sergio Ramos has never breached anti-doping regulations.

“2. UEFA requested specific information and immediately closed the case referred to, as is customary in such instances, following tests carried out by experts from the World Anti-Doping Association [WADA] and UEFA itself.

“3. In terms of the rest of the content published by the aforementioned publication, the club will not be making any comment, given the clearly insubstantial nature of the reports,” it read.

UEFA accused of covering up Sergio Ramos after defender failed drugs test following Champions League final

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UEFA reportedly covered for Real Madrid defender, Sergio Ramos, after he failed a doping test following the club’s UEFA Champions League final win over Juventus in 2017.

According to Football Leaks, Ramos tested positive for Desametasone after the game, which Los Blancos won 4-1.

Desametasone is a substance that can be used as long as UEFA are notified in time.

The allegations come as part of the latest wave of Football Leaks reports.

Der Spiegel had previously announced it would reveal the name of a “multiple Champions League winner” who tested positive for doping.

A previous issue arose when the Real Madrid players only accepted a surprise doping test in February 2017, if it was performed by club staff rather than the members of the anti-doping team, which is against regulations.

Explain why you advised Buhari to decline assent to 17 bills – Senate asks Justice Onnoghen

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A Technical Committee set up by the Senate has asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, to explain why he advised President Muhammadu Buhari to decline assent to over 17 bills passed by the National Assembly.

The chairman of the committee, Senator David Umoru (APC, Niger East) posed the question on Friday when the technical committee engaged the Chief Justice, in Abuja, over the matter.

He reminded Justice Onnoghen that President Buhari had, in a letter to the Senate, stated that he rejected the bills based on advice he received from him earlier in the year.

Against that background, the committee sought clarifications from Justice Onnoghen over the nature of advice he offered the President to refuse assent to Judiciary Amendment Bill 2017, No. 22, which seeks to strengthen the judiciary for speedy dispensation of justice.

Senator Umoru specifically said, “Your Lordship, this committee on behalf of the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly wants to hear from you directly on why you advised the President refusing assent to the bill.

“We believe that information made available to us via his letter of refusal to assent to the bills on account of advice given by your lordship is also available to you”.

However, before the CJN could respond, the chairman of the committee ordered journalists and members of the CJN’s protocol team to leave the venue of the meeting.

Consequently, journalists could not obtain the details of the CJN’s response, as the meeting.

Attempts by journalists to get comments from the CJN after the meeting were fruitless as Justice Onnoghen declined comments.