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Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspires Milan win at Roma as Athletic deny Real Sociedad

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspires Milan win at Roma as Athletic deny Real Sociedad

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 150th Serie A goal as Milan inflicted Jose Mourinho’s first home defeat in the Italian top flight with a 2-1 win over Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday to keep pace with Serie A leaders Napoli.

The 40-year-old striker rifled a low free-kick into the bottom corner in the 25th minute to put the visitors ahead after a lively start, his 400th goal in total in domestic leagues.

Ibrahimovic had a brilliantly finished second ruled out for offside after the break, just like team mate Rafael Leão in the first half, before going down under Roger Ibañez’s challenge to earn a spot kick that Franck Kessié converted in the 57th.

Milan were reduced to 10 men for the final 25 minutes after left back Theo Hernández was shown a second yellow card, but Stephan El Shaarawy’s stoppage-time strike was not enough to rescue the game for Roma.

Napoli maintained top spot with a 1-0 win at Salernitana on Sunday, but had to work hard against the relegation battlers as Piotr Zielinski scored a scrappy winner and both sides had players sent off late in the game.

Napoli struggled to create in the absence of the injured top-scorer Victor Osimhen and captain Lorenzo Insigne, who was only fit enough for the bench, but they eventually broke through in the 61st minute. The substitute Andrea Petagna headed against the bar, the ball was cleared to Mario Rui, and the defender’s shot deflected into the path of Zielinski for a close-range finish.

It was Napoli’s first shot on target and proved to be enough for the win, and there was more incident to come when Salernitana midfielder Grigoris Kastanos and Napoli captain Kalidou Koulibaly were sent off in the final 20 minutes.

Earlier, Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic scored a hat-trick to fire his seventh-placed side to a 3-0 win over a Spezia team stuck in the relegation zone. The Viola have 18 points. Empoli rose to 10th, level on 15 points with Juventus, after coming from behind to beat 12th-placed Sassuolo, while Genoa and Venezia, who both sit just above the drop zone, drew 0-0.

In La Liga, Real Sociedad went back to the top of La Liga after the derby with Athletic Bilbao but were left to run an injury-time equaliser for their Basque rivals.

Alexander Isak had given Sociedad a 58th-minute lead from the penalty spot. Just as they were contemplating a three-point advantage on Real Madrid and Sevilla at the top, Bilbao levelled in stoppage time. Iker Muniain’s free-kick beat Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro’s failed attempt to punch the ball clear.

Atlético Madrid put an end to their winless run by beating Real Betis 3-0 to stay within range of the Spanish league leaders. Atlético got on the board with goals from Yannick Carrasco and João Félix, and an own-goal by Betis defender German Pezzella, in heavy rain at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. The victory moves Atlético within two points of leaders Real Madrid, Sevilla and Real Sociedad.

Mallorca drew 1-1 at Cádiz after conceding a late goal for the third consecutive match. The visitors opened the scoring with a goal by Iddrisu Baba in the 29th, and Álvaro Negredo equalized for Cádiz by converting a penalty three minutes into stoppage time. Enes Ünal’s double strike saw the bottom club, Getafe, defeat Espanyol 2-1 for only their second win of the season.

In France, Nice moved up to second place in Ligue 1 with another comeback win, Andy Delort scoring twice in a 2-1 victory over Angers. The Angers winger Sofiane Boufal opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 29th minute after Youcef Atal tripped him inside the area.

But Delort equalized with a deflected shot in the 57th before slamming home a volley from the edge of the box in stoppage time. The victory moves the club within eight points of league leader Paris Saint-Germain.

Elsewhere, Brest stunned Monaco 2-0 to earn their first win of the season but remain in the relegation zone. The Benin international striker Steve Mounie scored from close range after Jeremy Le Douaron diverted a free-kick from Romain Faivre in the 17th. Brest capitalised on a counterattack to double the lead in the 79th as Franck Honorat converted a cross from Irvin Cardona.

Strasbourg striker Habib Diallo raised his tally to six goals for the season by scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Lorient while Florent Mollet and Elye Wahi led mid-table Montpellier to a 2-0 win over Nantes, Bordeaux moved away from the relegation zone with a 3-2 comeback win over Reims, and Troyes stayed in the bottom half of the table after drawing 2-2 with fifth-placed Rennes.

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NDLEA destroys 304,436kg, 40, 042 litres of illicit drugs seized in Lagos, Ogun

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, on Tuesday 16th April 2024 destroyed a total of 304,436kg kilograms and 40,042 litres of illicit substances seized from parts of Lagos and Ogun states.

Speaking at a brief ceremony where the seized drugs were publicly destroyed in Badagry Lagos, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) said the open destruction of the seized illicit drugs followed court orders, even as he called for more public support for ongoing efforts by NDLEA and other stakeholders to curb the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

“Though a routine exercise and an established process of removing dangerous substances from our society, the public destruction of confiscated illicit drugs is usually conducted at the end of their related cases in court”, the NDLEA boss stated adding that the exhibits being destroyed were of mixed types, “which include illicit drugs in solid and liquid states as well as in various classes such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and tramadol, among others.”

He said the drugs were seized by NDLEA operatives across different formations of the Agency in Lagos and Ogun states from January 2022 till date especially at the Lagos seaports, airports, and land borders.

“To be destroyed here today on the order of the court are solid drugs, weighing 304,436.055kg and 40, 042. 621 litres of liquid drugs. The sheer volume of the drug haul speaks volumes about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld.”

He expressed appreciation to traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, the clergy, members of NGOs and CSOs as well as other stakeholders who witnessed the ceremony.

“The destruction of these seizures complies with the NDLEA Act, which mandates the Agency to destroy all drug exhibits after prosecution. We want to say that your presence here is a testament to this important occasion. To this end, we appreciate all stakeholders and members of the public for witnessing this exercise”, he added.

He seized the opportunity to acknowledge the support of the Agency’s local and international partners, “especially the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA); United Kingdom NCA, Border Force; the Germans, the French; Indian NCB, among others who had worked with us on a number of busts. Similarly, we appreciate the Nigerian military and other law enforcement agencies such as the Customs; Immigration; Police; Civil Defence; FRSC; NFIU,NAFDAC and others that have been supporting our efforts to rid Nigeria of illicit drugs.”
While assuring that NDLEA will not relent in its effort to end the drug scourge in the country, Marwa called for more public support for the activities of the Agency. “The safety of our society is the responsibility of every one of us. Every citizen shall be fulfilling his or her civic duty by assisting the Agency’s War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign to clean up our communities and cities. Together, we can make this country secure”, he added.

Lagos state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu represented by Chairman, Badagry West Local Government, Mr. Olusegun Onilude expressed satisfaction with the efforts of NDLEA to tackle the scourge of illicit drugs in the country.

“Almost all crimes and criminalities are fueled by illicit drugs, so the Lagos state government appreciates NDLEA and its leadership in their resolute fight against illicit drugs.

“The volume of illicit drugs being destroyed here today speak volume and every right-thinking person should be worried”, he stated.

He also thanked the Agency for taking the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) social advocacy campaign to schools and communities across Lagos State. “No doubt, NDLEA is working, and the state will continue to collaborate with the Agency and its leadership”, he assured.

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NSA receives 22 abducted students, staff of Zamfara varsity

The National Security Adviser, NSA, Nuhu Ribadu, on Monday, April 15, 2024, received 22 abducted students and staff of Federal University, Gusau in Zamfara, who were rescued after 207 days in captivity.

The victims, comprising 15 students and seven workers of the university, were abducted from the university in September 2023.

According to the NSA, the rescue operation was coordinated by the National Counter-Terrorism Centre, NCTC, on Sunday

Mr Ribadu who received the rescued victims on Monday in Abuja, urged them not to allow their experience to break them, but should rather make them stronger.

The NSA also thanked the parents of the rescued victims for their patience and understanding during the period and commended security agencies for their tireless work and sacrifices.

“On behalf of the President, I thank all those involved in the successful rescue of the victims without losing anyone of them or paying any ransom,” he said.

“This is yet again a success story in our efforts to free all those being unlawfully held in captivity.

“We have so far released over a thousand of such victims without noise and with complete respect to their privacy and safety.

“This occasion marks a final juncture in a series of rescues we have undertaken in the last few months, to free victims of recent cases of mass abductions.

“Going forward, we are strengthening law enforcement and security measures to prevent these abductions, and strengthen physical security across vulnerable communities,” he said.

Earlier, the National Coordinator, NCTC, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Laka recalled that those rescued were abducted from the school on Sept. 22, 2023, at about 0230hrs

Mr Laka said bandits armed with various weapons attacked three off-campus students’ hostels at Sabon Gida in Gusau and kidnapped a number of female students alongside some male artisans

Others, he said, were a private security guard and a protocol officer of the university.

He added that the bandits ransacked the hostels, and carted away foodstuffs, mobile phones, laptops, ATM cards, cash and other valuables.

According to him, the abductees were subsequently herded on motorcycles and foot to a location through a town in the Tsafe local government area of Zamfara.

“Search and rescue was conducted by a combined team of law enforcement agencies and the abductees were subsequently released in three batches, after 207 days in captivity,” he said.

“The first batch was rescued on March 15 while the second batch was rescued on April 12 and the last batch was rescued on April 14.

“All the abductees were profiled at NCTC while the ONSA Medical Team examined them and administered minor treatments on the bruises sustained by 3 of the abductees.

“Four of them were diagnosed with malaria and are being treated. None of the females was molested and all the females tested negative for pregnancy test,” he added.

One of the rescued victims, Hafsat Ibrahim, thanked God and the government for ensuring their safe return after 207 days in captivity.

Representative of the Zamfara government, Ibrahim Anka, commended the efforts of the NSA in coordinating the military and security operations that ensured the safe rescue of the victims.

Anka also commended the Federal Government for the efforts and recent positive improvement in security in the state.

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President Tinubu declares April 7, National Police day

President Bola Tinubu has declared April 7 as National Police Day.

Tinubu, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, made this known on Monday night during the maiden edition of the Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations ceremony held in the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

The president identified a complete overhaul of institutional mentality and memory of police officers as fundamental in his administration’s ongoing bid to transform the force into a modern, professional and accountable institution.

According to Tinubu, his administration had initiated wide-ranging reforms to revitalize the nation’s police force since assuming office in 2023.

He, therefore, stressed the need to engage men and women of the force in training and capacity-building to equip them with the expertise required to carry out the arduous task of modern policing.

He also disclosed that the Federal Government had approved the first week of April as police week and the last day of the week as the National Police Day.

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in our tradition of honouring the Police Force in the life of this great nation, we have approved the adoption of the first week of April as Police Week.

“Furthermore, the last day of the week, April 7th, is hereby declared National Police Day in Nigeria.

“Tonight, I must remind you that we don’t see you as just the shields of the nation, we don’t see you as robots.

“This is why we are here; we are here to humanise you.

“At a time in Nigeria’s history, when the nation’s security architecture is being stretched beyond elastic limits, the citizens have been able to endure in the face of security threats as well as attacks on their lives and livelihoods due to the commitment of the police.

“Your exemplary valour doesn’t only represent the pinnacle of patriotism that binds us but also instils confidence that brighter days lie just beyond the horizon,” he said.

The president listed part of the comprehensive reforms by his administration to rejuvenate the police force to include investment in training and capacity-building.

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