England Beats Netherlands 1-0 In International Friendly
Jesse Lingard’s first international goal extended England’s unbeaten run to seven games and gave them a deserved friendly victory against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
Lingard made the decisive contribution just before the hour, arriving on the edge of the penalty area to fire low past Dutch keeper Jeroen Zoet, who got a hand to the shot but could not keep it out.
It was just reward for manager Gareth Southgate and his players after a controlled display with an experimental side, including Kyle Walker on the right side of a three-man defence.
Southgate’s only complaint will be England should have made more of their domination of possession, though they should also have had a penalty when Marcus Rashford was brought down by a combination of Zoet and defender Matthijs de Ligt.
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had the satisfaction of keeping a second successive clean sheet for England, although there was a setback when Liverpool’s Joe Gomez went off early through injury.
Despite that, the Netherlands seldom threatened in former Everton boss Ronald Koeman’s first game in charge after Dick Advocaat’s resignation.
Southgate’s team selection raised eyebrows in a defensive context – particularly his use of Walker in a three-man defence rather than in his accustomed right-back position.
But Southgate can be satisfied with how his system worked, despite the early disruption when Gomez went off.
It was a performance that must be placed in context as it came against a very poor Dutch side in an obvious period of transition, but England were solid and composed, got a lead they deserved and protected it in complete comfort.
Walker settled well into his new role, and his raw pace certainly gives Southgate another option as he finalises his defensive options for Russia.
Greater tests will lie ahead with more threat than this lame and lacklustre Netherlands but England fully merited stretching their unbeaten run since their loss to France in Paris in June 2017.Read More
Brazil coasted past Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium Friday, recording a comfortable 3-0 victory in a pre-World Cup friendly.
The visitors, who played without injured striker, Neymar, peppered the Russia goal in the first half but the sides went into the break on level terms after Igor Akinfeev made a string of saves.
Tite’s men finally took the lead on 53 minutes when Miranda reacted the quickest to stab into the roof of the net from close range.
10 minutes later and it was two. Philippe Coutinho nervelessly converted from the spot after Paulinho was pulled down in the area.
Paulinho then got one for himself, heading in Willian’s cross to put the game to bed.
Meanwhile, twenty-five English football fans were arrested in Amsterdam after violent clashes with the police.
An Amsterdam police force statement said the “drunken” fans had thrown beer bottles at officers.
It comes ahead of England friendly against Holland Friday night.
England manager Gareth Southgate had called on his team’s supporters to behave, saying it is important for fans to “support us in the right way” and “respect our opponents”.
The arrests come a year after violence marred another England friendly, in Dortmund, Germany, which saw the FA issue some fans with life bans on membership of the England Supporters Travel Club.Read More
Financial experts have lamented the country’s tax to GDP ratio, describing it as one of the poorest in Africa. The figure, which stands at just 6 per cent is significantly lower than Ghana and Egypt at 16 percent, Morocco at 22 percent and South Africa at 27 percent.
This was revealed at the tax conference, themed, Understanding Tax and its effect on Nigerian Businesses, organized by the National Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in partnership with the Lagos Internal Revenue Services (LIRS) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) in Lagos.
Describing tax as a vital aspect of the nation’s economy, especially as a source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and a way by which government finance social activities for citizens, the national president of NACCIMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson stressed that there was a need to educate the masses now more than ever before.
She noted that even though it was important to be tax compliant as it gives the people the audacity to question the government when it doesn’t fulfill basic civil responsibilities to the citizens, she pointed out that several challenges continue to prevent people from complying.
They include high tax rates, segmentation and valuation criteria, collection, multiple taxation and perceived inefficient utilization of the funds generated from tax.
“Some contentious tax related matters which require clarification include the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) recently introduced and Value Added Tax (VAT), which many of us need to be enlightened about as well as the appropriate tax collection authorities.”
In his presentation, the CEO of Med-View Airlines, Alhaji Muneer Alade Bankole represented by his Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Adedayo Olaniyan said that the only way government can properly interplay with the economy is through good monetary and fiscal policies and poor usage of tax collected over the years is affecting businesses and their bottom line.
Revealing the challenges arising from tax processes, a partner with Deloitte & Touche Nigeria, Oluseye Arowolo said just 214 Nigerians pay up to 20 million Naira as annual tax, just 914 people pay up to 10 million Naira while 14 million are tax registered as PAYE (Pay as You Earn). Just 70 million are economically active individuals and according to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), there are just 2.5 million tax-registered corporates while there are 30 million on the CAC list. Decrying this lopsided figure, he admitted that government and taxpayers have several challenges that need to be overcome soonest.
Listing government’s limitations as two pronged, enforcement and administration, he added that illiteracy of taxpayers, insufficient human capacity and technology, poor tax compliance culture, multiple taxation arising from ambiguity of taxing powers of each level of government and unsynchronized database to capture taxpayers are the major problems they face.
Urging citizens to embrace taxation culture, he said, “Paying tax is the surest way to exert pressure on government for good governance. If you don’t pay tax, where is government supposed to generate income? The present infrastructure deficit in the country requires 30 billion dollars yearly for 10 years to fix it completely.”
Stating that the recent increase in the Land Use Charge of Lagos and other tariffs angered taxpayers because they were not consulted and felt taxes collected in the past have not been adequately utilized, Morenike Babington-Asaye said there should be “no taxation without representation.
The government must realize that the more money businesses make, the more revenue is accrued by the government. Government must be a part of the solution and not the problem. Taxation properly utilized can eradicate poverty, stop bribery and corruption and is a means for government survival and societal development. Citizens must lobby with government and ask questions to know where our money is going to or has gone to.”
Debunking the double taxation allegation leveled against government, the representative of LIRS, Tokunbo Akande insisted that double taxation does not exist in Lagos rather it was perceived multiple taxation. “Lagosians are not truthful when it comes to declaring personal income and this is a huge problem for us especially when we already have an idea of what an individual’s personal income comes to yearly. The state is working hard towards ease of doing business and we enjoin citizens to be partners of progress on this journey,” he said.
Speaking on understanding VAIDS and its effect on small and medium scale businesses (SMEs), Obinna Maduabuchi, a tax consultant said the main objectives of VAIDS is to increase the tax to GDP ratio, reduce tax evasion, widen the tax net, increase level of tax compliance and awareness and when all this is done, businesses would feel a positive impact not just on their businesses but in everyday life.Read More
Zlatan Ibrahimovic completed his move to Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday, aiming to conquer Major League Soccer in the final stop of his glittering career.
The iconic 36-year-old striker announced his move in a typically enigmatic full-page advert in the Los Angeles Times, which read simply: “Dear Los Angeles – you’re welcome.”
“Coming to play in the United States, it is only fitting for me to join the most successful team in Major League Soccer, the LA Galaxy,” Ibrahimovic said in a statement released later by the Galaxy.
“I am excited to join a club with a winning legacy that has embodied soccer in Los Angeles for over 20 years.”
Asked by the Los Angeles Times if he believed Los Angeles was big enough to accommodate his larger-than-life personality, he added: “If not, I’ll make it bigger.”
The Swedish star’s move to MLS had been widely reported on Thursday after Premier League giants Manchester United confirmed the player had been given permission to leave the club with immediate effect.
The Galaxy have not released details of Ibrahimovic’s contract but Sports Illustrated have reported that the forward has inked a two-year deal worth $3 million, a fraction of the reported $13.1 million annual salary he was earning in his final year at United.
Dan Beckerman, chief executive of AEG, the Galaxy’s parent company, said Ibrahimovic was not motivated by dollar signs.
“He’s made it clear he’s coming here to win championships,” Beckerman told the Times. “It’s not about the money. LA is a place for stars, and he’s going to be one of the brightest stars that’s ever played in this market.”
It is not known when Ibrahimovic will play his first game for the Galaxy although reports suggested he could make his debut in next Saturday’s derby against Los Angeles FC.
Ibrahimovic’s arrival in California comes after a serious knee injury last year disrupted the end of his stint with Manchester United, which he joined in 2016 from Paris Saint-Germain.
The charismatic goalscorer had not played for United this season since featuring in a 2-2 draw against Burnley on December 26.
Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals in 46 appearances during a remarkable first campaign in the Premier League before tearing knee ligaments in a Europa League game last April.
The deal makes Ibrahimovic the latest in a long line of ageing stars who have been lured to America by the Galaxy following David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane and former England international Ashley Cole.
Ibrahimovic’s transfer is almost certainly the final chapter of a career which has seen the 6ft 4in (1.95m) forward collect winners’ medals during spells with Ajax, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and United.Read More
Oyo APC Candidates For May 12 LG, LCDA Election Emerge Through Consensus
Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the proposed May 12 election into the 33 Local Government and 35 Local Council Development Areas of Oyo State were elected through indirect primaries, on Friday.
The State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Michael Adeyemo; State Chairman of the APC, Chief Akin Oke; his Deputy, Alhaji Isiaka Alimi; and Secretary, Hon. Mojeed Olaoya, supervised the election, which took place at Lafia Hotel, Ibadan.
The names of the consensus chairmanship candidates were read at the occasion, while councillorship aspirants were directed to visit their LGs and LCDAs to check those that also emerged through the consensus arrangement.
Addressing delegates at the event, the governor said that the consensus arrangement was adopted in line with Section 20A, Subsection 1,2,3 and 4 of the party’s constitution.
He said that the section empowers party’s leaders and stakeholders across the state to deliberate and reach a consensus on how to pick candidates for elections, in order to avoid what he called bad blood within the party’s hierarchy.
The governor explained that the desire of the party’s leadership to forestall rancour and the determination to go into the election as a united entity informed the adoption of the consensus arrangement.
Ajimobi said, “The adoption of consensus was a decision of the party’s stakeholders to avoid disunity and acrimony that could lead to failure.
“Let us thank God for the peaceful outing. You will see that most election primaries have always been very rancorous, but in our own case, it was very peaceful and was conducted in line with the constitution of our party.
“Particularly, if you look at page 74, Sections 1,2,3,4 of our constitution it was clearly stated that once you have elected members from the wards to the various levels of the party organs, you can have them as a collegiate group.
“They can then become delegates that will participate and vote at a designated location for candidates of their choice; and that is what we have done today.
“We have been able to bring together all elected party members, National and State Assembly members representing the state, including leaders from the local government and ward levels. We all agreed to have consensus candidates.”
The governor said that the party also consulted women leaders, youth groups and other stakeholders before the emergence of the candidates.
He expressed confidence that the APC would be the party to beat during the election giving its cohesion and rancor-free primaries ahead of the election.
Court Strikes Out Corruption Charges Against Justice Ngwuta
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Friday, struck out the 13-count criminal charge the Federal Government preferred against Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court.
The court, in a ruling that was delivered by trial Justice John Tsoho, held that FG failed to fulfill the condition precedent that is required before a serving judicial officer could be arrested or charged to court over corruption related offences.
Relying on a recent decision of the Court of Appeal in the case involving Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa who was also accused of engaging in acts of corruption, Justice Tsoho, maintained that FG ought to allow the National Judicial Council, NJC, to “appropriately scrutinize” allegations against judicial officers, before charging them to court.
“Any direct arrest and prosecution of a judicial officer by security agencies as in the present case should be declared a nullity”, the court held.
According to the court, it was not in dispute that Justice Ngwuta is a serving judicial officer, stressing that sections 152, 158 and Paragraph 21 Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution are clear and unambiguous to the effect that only the NJC has administrative and statutory powers to disciple judicial officers.
“No matter how incompetent the NJC may seem to the security agencies, its powers are constitutionally vested”, Justice Tsoho held, adding that such powers “cannot be switched or overrun under democracy”.
“This court is of the view that it will be tidier and safer that all kinds of offences against judicial officers must first pass through the NJC”. He said the NJC should be allowed to “first consider cases involving judicial officers across all offences before the involvement of security agencies”.
Besides, the court noted that some of the charges against Ngwuta were vague.
“This court has difficulty seeing a clear distinction as to whether the alleged acts are within the scope of Applicant’s performance of his official function or outside the scope of offences within the rank of theft, arson or murder”.
The court said it was not persuaded by FG’s argument that the appellate court had in Nganjiwa’s case, held that judicial officers could be prosecuted for committing offences like theft, arson or murder, without recourse to the NJC.
It maintained that FG has no option than to report erring judicial officers to the NJC, pending the filling of lacunas in the constitution. “It is the humble opinion of this court that condition precedents to the filing of the charge herein against the Applicant was not fulfilled. “Consequently, the jurisdiction of this court to try same was not properly invoked. Therefore processes herein before this court is declared a nullity. The charge is struck out and the applicant discharged”, Justice Tsoho held. Justice Ngwuta had through his lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, prayed the court to quash charges against him which bordered on money laundering charge, age falsification, as well as his alleged possession of multiple international passports.
He argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the charge since his trial was not okayed by the NJC.
The embattled apex court jurist was docked before the high court on November 21, 2016, and later granted bail to the tune of N100million. He was among eight superior court judges that were arrested after a sting operation the Department of State Service, DSS, conducted in October, 2016. FG said the DSS had at the end of the search operation conducted at Ngwuta’s official residence, recovered several sums of cash, including the sum of Thirty-Five Million, Three Hundred and Fifty-Eight Thousand Naira (NGN35,358,000.00); Three Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety- Six United States Dollars ($319,596.00).
As well as Twenty-Five Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifteen Pounds Sterling (GBP 25,915) and Two Hundred and Eighty Euros (EURO 280.00). FG told the court that shortly after Ngwuta was granted administrative bail by the DSS, he quickly called the PW-1, one Mr. Linus Nwamba, to help him conceal some of the evidence against him, including N27million he hid in his bathroom at Abakaliki in Ebonyi State.
The prosecution told the court that the defendant equally removed three exotic cars from his residence in his home town.
It told the court that Nwamba initially hid the bag that contained the N27m cash at the residence of one Abraham Ezeani in Abakaliki, saying the Money “was subsequently dissipated by Mr Nwamba on the direct instructions of the defendant/applicant”.
It listed the three exotic cars that Ngwuta allegedly attempted to conceal, as a Hummer Jeep Sports Utility Vehicle, Wrangler Jeep Sports Utility Vehicle and a BMW 5 Series Sedan Vehicle which it said was quickly moved by the defendant to Clevero Hotel in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
FG said the properties which it maintained were derived from the proceeds of an unlawful act, were all recovered by investigators on November 11, following Nwamba’s arrest, weeks after the defendant had been released on administrative bail.
More so, FG alleged that Ngwuta was in possession of multiple international passports, which he allegedly used interchangeably to travel abroad, especially to Seychelles and the United Arab Emirate, UAE.
An operative of the DSS, Mr. Aminu Ndakpoto who testified as a prosecution witness in the matter, told the court that the defendant claimed that the funds that were found in his house, which were stashed inside bags, were proceeds of his palm oil and rice business. He said Ngwuta equally admitted under interrogation that he was into foreign exchange business that involved buying and selling of currencies with “Malams”.Read More
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