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NBA roundup: Suns end years of futility in beating Warriors



NBA roundup: Suns end years of futility in beating Warriors


Mar 10, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) controls the ball between Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) and forward Draymond Green (23) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Playing the second night of a back-to-back, the Suns found the energy to outlast the Warriors after having trailed by as many as 16 points.

The Suns hadn’t beaten the Warriors since November 2014 and hadn’t won in Oakland since February 2011. The loss was the Warriors’ second in six days, sandwiching a 122-105 home win over Denver on Friday.

Booker finished with a game-high 37 points, including 13 consecutive Suns points during a stretch of the fourth quarter in which Phoenix took charge of the game. Klay Thompson had 28 points and Kevin Durant 25 for the Warriors.

Joel Embiid returned from an eight-game absence to score 33 points and grab 12 rebounds as host Philadelphia defeated Indiana.

Embiid had been out with a sore left knee but came back to post his league-best 49th double-double of the season as the Sixers snapped a two-game losing streak.

With the win, the Sixers moved into third place in the Eastern Conference, holding a tiebreaker over the Pacers. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pacers with 18 points while Darren Collison added 14.

Final scores 76ers 106, Pacers 89.

LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan added 28 points as host San Antonio turned back Milwaukee for its fifth straight win.

The Spurs trailed the entire first half but took the lead in the third quarter and led by four points heading to the fourth. Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills hit for 16 points each for the Spurs, while Bryn Forbes added 12.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe scored 21 points, Khris Middleton tallied 15, Pat Connaughton hit for 14 points, Brook Lopez added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Nikola Mirotic contributed 10 points.

Final scores Spurs 121, Bucks 114.

Eric Gordon scored a game-high 26 points as Houston extended its winning streak to a season-best eight games by edging host Dallas.

James Harden, who picked up his fifth foul in the opening seconds of the third quarter, missed 18 of his 25 shots and took just three free throws in finishing with 20 points. Center Clint Capela added 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Luka Doncic, who was hobbling late in the game, led the Mavericks with 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. He didn’t have a good shooting game, going 5 of 16 overall and 1 of 6 from beyond the arc.

Rookie Jalen Brunson scored 18 points with seven rebounds.

Final scores Rockets 94, Mavericks 93.

Mike Conley brought host Memphis from behind to steal a win from Orlando, giving the Grizzlies their fourth win in their last five games.

Memphis trailed 95-88 with 3:06 remaining but closed out the game on a 17-2 run. Conley had 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds, and Avery Bradley added 21 points for the Grizzlies.

Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Terrence Ross added 15 points off the bench.

The Magic have lost three of their last four games, though they sit just one game out of the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Final scores Magic 105, Grizzlies 97.

John Collins had his second straight double-double and Kevin Huerter scored 27 points to help host Atlanta break its three-game losing streak by knocking off New Orleans.

Collins followed Saturday’s performance of 33 points and 20 rebounds against Brooklyn by getting 23 points and 10 rebounds for his 27th double-double.

He also had four blocks, two of them in the final quarter when the Pelicans were trying to mount a comeback.

New Orleans center Anthony Davis returned after a missing a game with back spasms and finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Davis played only 21 minutes. The Pelicans were led by Frank Jackson and Julius Randle, who each scored 23 points.

Final scores Hawks 128, Pelicans 116.

Taj Gibson scored a season-high 25 points and filled in nicely for injured center Karl-Anthony Towns, as Minnesota ran its home winning streak to six games at the expense of New York in Minneapolis.

Towns (right knee inflammation) missed the third game of his career after injuring his knee with eight seconds left in Saturday’s overtime win over Washington.

The injury appeared significantly worse when Towns limped off the floor but and was held out of Sunday’s game as a precaution after participating in pregame warmups.

Jeff Teague collected 20 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double as the Wolves shot 44.7 per cent while playing without Andrew Wiggins (right quad) for the second straight game.

Damyean Dotson scored 26 points for the Knicks, whose losing streak reached six games.

Final scores Timberwolves 103, Knicks 92.

Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, making six 3-pointers, and added 10 assists and seven rebounds as Toronto defeated host Miami.

Kawhi Leonard did not play Sunday because of “load management” for the Raptors, who ended the Heat’s four-game winning streak.

Pascal Siakam added 20 points for the Raptors, who have won all three meetings with the Heat this season.

Bam Adebayo scored 19 points with six rebounds and five assists for the Heat, Dwyane Wade and Dion Waiters each added 15 points, Rodney McGruder had 13 points, Goran Dragic had 11 and Justise Winslow scored 10.

Final scores Raptors 125, Heat 104.

Blake Griffin racked up 28 points, six rebounds and five assists and streaking Detroit defeated Chicago for the second time in three days and completed a four-game sweep for the season.

Reggie Jackson and Langston Galloway had 21 points apiece and Andre Drummond supplied 16 points and 15 rebounds for his 18th double-double for the host Pistons, who won their fifth straight and 12th in their last 14.

Wayne Selden scored 18 points off the bench to lead the Bulls. Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen added 17 points apiece, while Shaquille Harrison tossed in 11.

Science & Technology

Buhari approves Danbatta’s reappointment as NCC’s boss, says Minister



The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, says President Muhammadu Buhari has approved  reappointment of Prof. Umar Danbatta as Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

Pantami made the disclosure in a statement signed by Mrs Uwa Suleiman, spokesperson for the ministry, on Friday in Abuja.

The minister said it was an effort to consolidate the gains made in the telecommunications sector in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy of the country.

He also informed that Danbatta’s reappointment was based on his recommendation in line with the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.

Pantami congratulated the EVC and directed him to significantly improve on the overall performance of the commission to ensure adequate mechanisms were in place to facilitate implementation of all policies of Federal Government through the ministry.

He, however, enjoined him to ensure that the interests of telecommunication consumers, Nigerians and investors were adequately protected.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)


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Why rape cases are increasing-Ex-NBA chairman



A legal practitioner, Manzuma Issa, says lack of diligent prosecution of rape cases is responsible for the recent upsurge  in the country.

Issa, the immediate past Chairman of the Ilorin branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday that the rising cases of rape exposed the ineffectiveness of security agencies in diligently prosecuting accused persons.

He also called for  intensive advocacy and diligent prosecution to curb the incessant cases of rape.

I think I will suggest there should intensive awareness and advocacy to sensitise on the dangers of rape and the consequences.

“What we need is advocacy, proper prosecution of offenders because I know that some cases that are taken to recognisable institutions and authorities are settled.

“This encourages others to commit the offences.

“We need to address the issue of social justice. We need to address issue of corruption. People will commit crimes and get away with it.

“People have blamed the court of law, but the court acts on the materials put before it to deliver justice.

” So if there are insufficient materials, the judge, whatever may be the sentiment about the rampancy of a particular crime, cannot convict the defendant unless there is sufficient evidence before the court.

“The punishment for rape is 21 years imprisonment and I doubt if anybody has been convicted for offences of rape and incest in recent times,” he said.

On the burden of proof in rape cases, the legal practitioner explained that the proof of commission of rape is not too stringent.

“What the prosecution needs to prove is that there was a penetration and the victim never gave consent. It is as simple as that,”   the lawyer said.

He urged victims of rape and their families to always come out to report so that  culprits could be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.

The lawyer also warned females against indecent dressing, saying it might  be one of the contributory factors to the rising cases of the menace in the society.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Mufutau Ojo (NAN)


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Post COVID-19 economy stimulus: Osinbajo’s committee confers with NASS



The Economic Sustainability Committee(ESC) led by Vice President  Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday had an  interaction with the leadership of the National Assembly on the draft Sustainability Plan, ahead of the submission of the plan to the President.

The virtual meeting, anchored from the Presidential Villa, was joined by the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and several other principal officers of the National Asembly.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande,  in a statement, said the ESC called the meeting to consult with the National Assembly before the committee’s report would be submitted to the President.

Osinbajo  praised members of the National Assembly, adding  that the President had always commended the good working relationship between the executive arm of the Federal Government and the current National Assembly.

He added that it was very clear that COVID-19 had presented the country with an enormous economic challenge and also an opportunity.

“This is why the ESC is interacting with the National Assembly,” he said.

Both the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives  welcomed the plan and commended the President and the Vice President for calling the meeting to enable the legislative arm to review the plan and make comments.

Principal officers of the National Assembly, members of the ESC alongside members of the National Assembly  attended the meeting.

Edited By: Obike Ukoh (NAN)

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Financial autonomy will radically transform state judiciary – Ex-NBA chairman



Mallam Manzuma Issa, a former Chairman of the Ilorin Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), on Thursday said financial autonomy for state judiciary would ensure rapid improvement in justice delivery.

Issa stated this while reacting to the Executive Order 10 recently issued by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, the signing of  Order 10 will bring efficient and effective service delivery.

“I think over time, the challenge of judiciary at every level is inadequate funding in the system.

“I think the story at the federal level has changed because money due to the judiciary is paid to the National Judicial Commission (NJC) for onward disbursement to the head of various courts.

“But the story has not changed at the state level; dilapidated building, lack of computers and libraries and other facilities are still major challenges.

With the signing of the Executive Order  10 by the president on May 20, 2020, we believe as the funding of the system improves, there will radical transformation in the system and rapid improvement that would bring efficient and effective service delivery.

” What the governors are saying is that Nigeria is a federation and even if the Section 5 of the constitution gives the president the power to defend the constitution, it has to do with the federal judiciary, not the state judiciary.

“In an ideal democracy, this is right. But governors also would have to implement the provisions of the constitution.

“Governor should have power to implement that section of the provision as it regards the state judiciary.

“The provisions of the constitution are mandatory. It does not need approval. It is self implemented.

“In a federation, the money due to the state must be paid into its account and it is the responsibility of the governor to disburse accordingly because funding  is the responsibility of the governor.

“In those days, the judiciary used to be  on the first line charge from the consolidated revenue account of the state, the money due to the judiciary is credited to the account of the head of court for effective running of the system.

“But unfortunately today, we are not running an ideal democracy.

” There is nothing wrong if the president is funding the federal judiciary and the state governors are funding those in states by virtue of the 1999 constitution,” he said.

Edited By: Mufutau Ojo (NAN)

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Obaseki announces Ohonbamu’s replacement as Commissioner for information



Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has approved the appointment of Mr Stewart Efe as the state’s new Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, shortly after less Mr Paul  Ohonbamu, resigned from the position.

In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, said the appointment was with immediate effect.

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has approved the appointment of Mr Stewart Efe as Commissioner for Communication and Orientation. His appointment takes immediate effect,” he said.

Efe, until his appointment was the Public Relations Officer, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City.

He hails from Ward 9, Egor Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The new commissioner was a top contender as Chairman, Egor LGA, in the last local council elections, but stepped down for party interest.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ohonbamu said he resigned from the state cabinet for the good of Edo people and thanked Obaseki for the privilege given him to serve in his cabinet.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Buhari greets Otunba Oyin Jolayemi at 80



President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with renowned industrialist, investor and philanthropist, Otunba Matthew Oyin Jolayemi, on his 80th birthday.

The President, in a congratulatory message released by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday, congratulated the elder statesman for ”investments that have transformed the economy of the country, and greatly impacted on the citizenry.”

President Buhari affirmed that Otunba Jolayemi’s entrepreneurial spirit, which spurred investments in banking, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, deserved commendation, especially the growing profile of his companies and training of many to start their own businesses.

He acknowledged the visionary role Jolayemi had played as an industrialist for more than 40 years in the financial sector of the country, particularly raising infrastructure that served his businesses and community, and building confidence in the economy through international exhibition of his products.

The President believed the ”industrialist can joyfully look back, with three of his scions already involved in the family business, and be thankful to God for the grace of a good lineage.”

President Buhari joined family, friends and business associates of the philanthropist in celebrating the milestone, praying that the almighty God would grant him longer life and more strength.

Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Osinbajo, Sanwo-Olu, ASUU hail Unilag VC at 60



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu have prayed for more wisdom, strength and  favour for the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, as he clocked 60.

In a congratulatory message made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, Osinbajo thanked God for Ogundipe’s life. and prayed Him to grant the vice chancellor more grace.

Dolapo and I, congratulate you heartily on your 60th birthday anniversary.

”We bless the name of the Lord for his great favour and mercy over your life in the past years. God is truly worthy of praise.

”As we celebrate with you and your family and friends as you attain this milestone, we pray that as your days are, so shall your strength, wisdom and favour with God  be, in Jesus name,” Osinbajo prayed.

Similarly, Sanwo-Olu  congratulated the vice chancellor, saying that he  (Ogundipe)  belonged to the privileged class of ‘Nigeria’s Independence’ children.

”You were born in the same year the country emerged as an independent nation, bearing the hopes and aspirations of the African continent and the entire black race.

”By your towering and exceptional achievement as a foremost man of God, scholar, administrator and patriot, you stand tall today.

”I have followed closely your transformational strides at Unilag, which happens to be my alma mater.

‘’Under your watch, the institution entered the 2020 Times Higher Education Ranking of the best 1000 universities in the world, for the first time,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The governor said that the vice chancellor

had registered his footprints  on the sands of time, by his achievements.

“I am proud of the work you are doing,  and grateful that the Almighty God  has spared your life to see this Diamond Jubilee,” he said.

The governor prayed God to continue to grant Ogundipe grace and wisdom  to take the university to greater heights.

”On behalf of my wife, Ibijoke, and myself, I congratulate you and the entire Ogundipe family on this milestone, and wish you many more glorious years,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Also in a congratulatory message, the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) wished Ogundipe more years of experience and diligence.

”The association rejoices with the vice chancellor. We believe he is 20 years old, plus 40 years of experience. We look forward to another 40 years, when we will come back to celebrate him.

”We wish him the very best in office as he continues to pilot the affairs of the Great Akokites,” ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said.

NAN reports that Ogundipe clocked 60 years on Sunday.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Osinbajo inaugurates Clean Nigeria Steering Committee



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday performed the virtual inauguration of the Steering Committee of the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign.”

Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, in a statement, said the vice president is the chairman of the committee.

The virtual inauguration was anchored from the Presidential Villa.

The Federal Government is expanding access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities being one of Nigeria’s most effective weapons against infectious diseases as efforts are being ramped up to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was attended by members of the committee drawn from the Federal Executive Council, states, local government areas, civil society ogranisations and the organised private sector.

“We are embarking upon this initiative at a most auspicious time; as our nation confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise that expanding access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities is our most effective weapon against the scourge of infectious diseases.

“Ensuring the provision of adequate WASH facilities in our communities is the cornerstone of our efforts to strengthen the resilience of our public health structures beyond the present challenge of COVID-19.

“This is the basis of our commitment to ending open defecation and more broadly to raising the standards in the WASH sector,” he said.

Osinbajo spoke on the progress made since the adoption and implementation of the national road map for WASH in 2016.

He said that more local governments across the country had so far been certified as Open Defecation Free according to the National Open Defecation Free (ODF) Protocol.

“The key objectives of this effort include the implementation of a campaign to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.

“This will involve mobilising support and resources (i) at the highest political level and (ii) within the private sector, the communities and from development partners.”

The vice president said that the campaign on sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria would create a pool of resource persons to support local actors to implement this nationwide transformational sanitation agenda.

According to him, thecampaign will mobilise various strata of the society to imbibe a new culture of safe sanitation through behavioural change communication and advocacy strategies.

He said mechanisms for tracking progress and sharing knowledge and lessons learnt would be established.

On the terms of reference for the steering committee, Osinbajo said the group would meet bi-annually to, among other things, provide strategic oversight to the implementation of the Clean Nigeria Campaign.

“The committee will oversee and advise on the implementation and strategic orientation proposed by the Clean Nigeria Secretariat to execute the campaign.

“Facilitate maximum synergy between the Clean Nigeria Secretariat and other relevant government agencies including security and law enforcement agencies and stakeholders towards meeting the campaign objectives.

“Facilitate access of the Clean Nigeria Secretariat to technical and financial resources for effective implementation of the campaign.

“Receive and review progress reports of implementation of the campaign.

“Ensure that results of the campaign monitoring outcomes are well communicated to all stakeholders.’’

The vice president commended the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and other partners.

He lauded them for their engagements towards achieving the campaign objectives as approved by the Federal Executive Council and in line with the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) for Water and Sanitisation.

Members of the committee include the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Mr Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Sen. Bello Mandiya and Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli.

Also in the committee are the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono.

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Paulen Tallen, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk,  Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Minister of Federal Capital Territory Administration, Mohammed Bello.

The Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Mr Garba Abari, SSA to the President on SDGs, Mrs Adejoke Adefulire, Representative of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and Representative of Organised Private Sector in WASH (OPSWASH), Dr Nicholas Igwe.

Others are Representatives of Network of NGOs in Water and Sanitation, Mr Benson Attah and Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr Emmanuel Awe.

The Special Assistant to the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Taoheed Amusan, is also a member of the committee.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)


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Eid-el-Fitr: FEC congratulates Buhari, Osinbajo, Nigerians



Members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) have congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and all Nigerians on the occasion of the Eid celebrations.

A circular signed by Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), in Abuja, noted that the FEC members prayed the Almighty Allah accept the nation’s supplication in this holy month of Ramadan.

The members of the FEC also prayed that God should look upon Nigerians with His mercy, especially at a time like this when the entire world and Nigeria in particular was faced with COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is the prayer of members that the Almighty shall accept our supplication and look upon humanity with mercy, especially at a time like this when the nation and indeed the entire world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is also the prayers of members that the nation shall experience peace, unity and economic growth even as the impact of the pandemic continues to disrupt global economy,” he said.

Members of the FEC also urged Nigerians to hold steadfastly to God, and continue to pray fervently for the restoration of normalcy in the country.

Meanwhile, members of the FEC had appealed to Nigerians to recognise COVID-19 as a potential danger and observe all guidelines for safety issued by the government.

“Nigerians are particularly encouraged to observe personal hygiene, wear face mask/coverings and please avoid non-essential outings,” SGF advised.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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