Napoli clinch first Serie A title in 33 years with goal from Osimhen; UK court to deliver landmark judgement on Ekweremadu’s case today | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Napoli clinch first Serie A title in 33 years with goal from Osimhen
  • Gowon urges politicians to allow tribunals, supreme court do their work
  • UK court to deliver landmark judgement on Ekweremadu’s case today
  • Onaiyekan deems swearing in Tinubu before Tribunal verdict as nonsensical
  • Reps demand INEC to purge voter register of deceased individuals

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

Napoli clinch first Serie A title in 33 years with goal from Osimhen

Napoli secured their first Serie A title in 33 years on Thursday night with a 1-1 draw against Udinese. The title-deciding match saw Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, break his three-match goal drought and score the equalizer in the 52nd minute.

Despite Udinese taking the lead in 13 minutes through Sandi Lovric, Napoli remained resolute and eventually equalized through Osimhen’s well-placed shot from a loose ball in the area. This goal secured his place as the African with the highest number of goals in a Serie A season, surpassing Samuel Eto’o’s record of 21 goals for Inter Milan in the 2010/2011 season.

Osimhen’s 22nd league goal of the season also equaled the record for the all-time African highest goalscorer in the league, held by George Weah.

Speaking after the game, the 24-year-old expressed his excitement at helping Napoli win the league after such a long time.

He said, “It’s an incredible feeling to be part of this team and to win the league. We worked hard for this and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.”

Napoli’s unassailable 80 points from 33 matches, with a 16-point lead ahead of second-placed Lazio and five matches left to play in the season, cemented their status as deserving champions.

Gowon urges politicians to allow tribunals, supreme court do their work

Former Military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, has urged aggrieved candidates in the general election to accept the decisions of the election petition tribunals and the Supreme Court.

Speaking at the 15th edition of Punuka annual lecture 2023 in Abuja on Thursday, Gowon emphasized the role of the judiciary in nation-building and stressed that it should be allowed to perform its duties independently.

According to him, the judiciary serves as the bedrock of democracy and is responsible for protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens while maintaining stability and order in society.

“As we move forward as a nation, let us not forget the role that the judiciary plays in nation-building, especially the apex court in carrying out its duty of questioning the veracity of the decisions of the lower courts,” he said. “As such, we need to allow the apex court to deliberate, come up with their decisions, and accept their decision as final in order to maintain the sanctity of the judiciary as individuals and institutions.”

Gowon extolled the late supreme court justice, Chukwunweike Idigbe, in whose honour the event was held, describing his life and works as exemplary.

“His unwavering dedication to justice and fairness has been a source of inspiration to many, and his legacy will continue to live on for generations to come,” he added.

UK court to deliver landmark judgement on Ekweremadu’s case today 

Former Nigerian Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, 60, faces a potential life sentence in the UK after being found guilty in March of conspiring to traffic a man into Britain for his kidney.

Ekweremadu’s wife Beatrice, 56, and Obinna Obeta, 50, were also convicted and will be sentenced on Friday. Ekweremadu’s daughter, Sonia, was cleared of the same charge.

The group had flown the 21-year-old man from Lagos, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to the UK in order to harvest his kidney, which was intended for Sonia, who suffers from a renal condition.

The man fled and slept on the streets for three days after he realised the purpose of the trip, before eventually walking into a police station and reporting the crime. The maximum sentence under the UK’s 2015 Modern Slavery Act, under which Ekweremadu was convicted, is life imprisonment.

“This is a landmark conviction,” said Detective Inspector Esther Richardson of the Metropolitan Police’s Modern Slavery and Exploitation Command. “I would like to thank the victim for his bravery in coming forward and giving evidence which has helped to secure this successful prosecution.”

Lawyers for the defendants argued that the man was acting “altruistically” and that Ekweremadu feared he was being “scammed.” Nigeria’s parliament has appealed for clemency on Ekweremadu’s behalf, stating he was a first-time offender who has made valuable contributions to politics in West Africa.

Around 20 people a day in the UK are diagnosed with kidney failure, and around 7,000 are waiting for a transplant from a suitable donor. It is legal to donate a kidney in the UK, but not for financial or material reward.

“Informed consent is a vital part of the organ donation programme” and thorough checks are made to ensure “no coercion,” said Fiona Loud, policy director at the charity Kidney Care UK.

Onaiyekan deems swearing in Tinubu before Tribunal verdict as nonsensical

The Archbishop of the Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, John Onaiyekan, has expressed his concerns over the swearing in of President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu before the conclusion of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

The opposition parties, Labour Party and the Peoples Democratic Party challenged Tinubu’s victory at the February 25 Presidential elections. The hearing of the petition has been scheduled to commence on May 8, 2023, while preparations for Tinubu’s inauguration and swearing-in remain underway.

During an interview with Channels Television on Thursday, Archbishop Onaiyekan referred to the election process as “anomalous” and stated that he was waiting for the court to declare the winner of the election.

He further stated the need for a review of the election process to make it easier for a winner to emerge and be sworn in while expressing concerns that the electoral system in the country was constantly contested.

“There are cases in court that have not been disposed of. That is why we are in an anomalous situation. We have a president-elect whose election is being challenged and the court is handling it. It doesn’t make much sense to be swearing in people when they are still in court. I think we need to review our election process, so we do have a winner who will be sworn in and whom everybody would rally around,” said Archbishop Onaiyekan.

He added, “It is a pity that it is taking longer for the court to come to its decision. My problem is that the whole system of our election must be properly reviewed so that it would be easier for winners to emerge according to the wishes of the people. It is not right to have a system that is constantly contested. We should find out why every election is being contested.”

Reps demand INEC to purge voter register of deceased individuals

The Nigerian House of Representatives has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create a system to remove deceased voters from the voter register.

The resolution came as a result of a motion of national importance presented by lawmaker Leke Abejide, who pointed out irregularities observed during the 2023 general elections, including the appearance of his late father’s name on the INEC register.

The House also suggested that the electoral commission remove any voter who does not vote in two consecutive election cycles.

Additionally, the House of Representatives has directed the National Assembly clerk to forward the bill for a constitutional amendment, providing for uniform retirement age and pension rights for judicial officers, to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The bill, which passed the Sokoto State House of Assembly, met the requirements of Section 9(2) of the constitution, which calls for two-thirds approval from state assemblies. The proposed legislation, if approved, will raise the retirement age of high court judges from 65 to 70 years.

The House of Representatives has also urged the Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Plateau, and Taraba State Houses of Assembly to forward their resolution on the bill to complete the process.

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