Messi fires blank on international return as Venezuela trash Argentina in Madrid Football

Lionel Messi’s return to the Argentina side ended in a shock 3-1 friendly defeat to Venezuela in Madrid on Friday.

Messi had not played for the national team since their last-16 elimination by eventual winners France at the 2018 World Cup – a tournament for which Venezuela finished bottom of South American qualifying.

But it was Rafael Dudamel’s men who stole the show at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Salomon Rondon and Jhon Murillo firing them into a 2-0 lead in the first half.

Lautaro Martinez pulled one back for Argentina after the interval but this was a poor showing from Lionel Scaloni’s side, whose fate was sealed by a Josef Martinez penalty 15 minutes from time.

Venezuela took their unexpected lead when a ball over the top from Roberto Rosales was brilliantly brought down and prodded home by a composed Rondon after only six minutes.

Wuilker Farinez produced a spectacular save to keep out a close-range Lautaro Martinez header on the half-hour mark.

Messi had delivered the cross for Lautaro Martinez’s headed effort and witnessed Farinez’s talents first-hand when his strike from the edge of the box was tipped over the crossbar by the goalkeeper.

Darwin Machis and Rondon squandered opportunities before Murillo deservedly doubled Venezuela’s advantage, capitalising on a quickly taken free-kick to curl a wonderful effort beyond the reach of Franco Armani from 18 yards.

When Argentina’s response arrived, it happened in the blink of an eye.

A rapid counter-attack involving Messi ended with Giovani Lo Celso playing a perfect pass into the path of Lautaro Martinez, who made no mistake with a cool finish.

Argentina piled on the pressure in pursuit of an equaliser but were fortunate to avoid giving away a penalty when Machis went down under the challenge of Leandro Paredes.

Venezuela did get their spot-kick in the 75th minute after Juan Foyth clumsily brought down substitute Josef Martinez, who sent Armani the wrong way with a peculiar penalty routine, running up and leaping into the air before striking the ball.


:watch: 35′ ST @Argentina 1 – #Venezuela 3— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) March 22, 2019

What does it mean? Messi’s miserable return

This outing will have done little to convince Messi that he has made the correct decision to end a self-imposed international exile that saw him miss six matches. There were plenty of positive contributions from the Barcelona star, but his team were found wanting in Madrid.

Argentina miss forward experience

Despite welcoming back Messi, Argentina were without Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Mauro Icardi – all left out of the squad by Scaloni. Taking nothing away from Lautaro Martinez’s lethal finish for the Argentina goal, you have to wonder whether one of those more experienced heads would have taken some of the earlier chances he squandered. Paulo Dybala was an unused substitute.

Farinez gives Venezuela platform

Both of Venezuela’s goals from open play were taken wonderfully, but the team could be equally thankful to the man between the posts, whose save to keep out Lautaro Martinez’s header in the first half was tremendously impressive. There was little he could do to prevent Argentina pulling one back.

What’s next?

Argentina will look to get back on track when they visit Morocco for a friendly on Tuesday, while Venezuela are in action against Catalonia on Monday in a clash not sanctioned by FIFA.

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Delta State Eager To keep Hosting Super Eagles’ Matches

Tonobok Okowa, the Chairman of Delta Sports Commission, says the state will be delighted to continuously have the Super Eagles play their matches at the Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba, reports.

Okowa said on Thursday that the Super Eagles handlers seemed comfortable with the Delta State capital city’s hosting capabilities and facilities.

“The state government has not influenced it in any way, the choice of Asaba by the NFF may be out of the fact that the state has successfully hosted other international matches and that the facilities are good,” Okowa stated.

“The state government has not really done any form of pushing to continue to host the matches in Asaba but if the state has the option, it will grab it.

“We want to keep bringing them (the Eagles) back because we want to always put the stadium into use and our people love to have them here,” he said.

The Eagles ended their 2019 AFCON qualifiers on a winning note by defeating Seychelles 3-1 at the Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba, Delta State on Friday.

And next up for Nigeria is an international friendly against Egypt at the same venue on Tuesday.

By Oluyemi Ogunseyin

How Natural Herbal Remedy Killed Stubborn Staphylococcus, Ecoli And Aureus And Other Infections

You Have A Case To Answer, Court Tells Goje – Channels Television


Justice Babatunde Quadri of a Federal High Court, Jos, Plateau State has ruled that a former governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje, has a case to answer on counts eight and nine of the 21-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Goje, a serving Senator, is standing trial along with a former Executive Chairman of the state’s Universal Basic Education Board, Aliyu El-Nafaty; and S.M. Dokoro for an alleged N5 billion fraud. A fourth defendant, the ex-governor’s cousin, Sabo Tumu, who is now late was removed from the charge sheet.

They are alleged to have been involved in alleged financial impropriety, including the award of contracts for food supply to the state’s Government House, during his tenure.

READ ALSO: Police To Charge Personnel Over Death Of Teenager In Lagos

The EFCC had through its counsel, Wahab Shittu, closed its case against them, on May 31, 2018 after calling 25 witnesses and tendering several documents to prove its case.

However, rather than open its defence, Goje through his lawyers, filed a “no-case” submission on September 14, 2018.

Counsel for the EFCC, Wahab Shittu, had objected to the application, which was made by Paul Erokoro, SAN.

“We are making a no-case submission because all the charges against us have not been proved by the prosecution,” Erokoro had said.

Shittu, however, countered his argument and urged the court to ask them to open their defence, stressing that, “in view of documents and evidences before the court, the defendants have cases to answer.”

At the last sitting on January 25, 2019 the trial judge had adjourned to today, March 22, 2019 to rule on the “no-case” submission.

Ruling on the said application, Justice Quadri while discharging the defendants on 19 of the 21 counts, held that the defendants had a case to answer on counts eight and nine, and ruled that they should open their defence on May 8, 2019.

Alleged N6.6bn fraud: Court strikes out 19 of 21 charges against Goje, three others

A Federal High Court in Jos has struck out 19 out of the 21 charges preferred against former Gombe State governor, Danjuma Goje, and three others. The charges border on alleged misappropriation of funds, money laundering and diversion of N6.6 billion belonging to the state.

The former governor and the three others were in 2011 alleged to have committed the offences between 2007 to 2011.
Charged alongside Mr Goje were a former Executive Chairman of Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Aliyu El-Nafaty, a food supplier to the state government, Sabo Tumu, and an auctioneer, S.M Dokoro.

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), which is the prosecutor, alleged that Mr Goje misappropriated a N5 billion loan from Access Bank approved by the state House of Assembly for infrastructure development in the state.

Mr Goje was also accused of diverting another N1.4 billion for a contract for the supply of dictionaries to primary and junior secondary schools in the state through the SUBEB.

Delivering the judgement, Justice Babatunde Quadri said the evidence presented before the court and the prosecution witnesses did not link Mr Goje to misappropriation of funds or money laundering.

“Charge 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 19 and 21 which bordered on diversion, laundering and misappropriation were not proven by the prosecutor. We look at the ingredients of the offences,” the judge said.

The court, therefore, discharged Mr Goje and the three other defendants.

Justice Quadri also said the evidence before the court did not prove that Mr Goje laundered, diverted, misappropriated or awarded a N1.6 billion contract for the supply of dictionaries through SUBEB without due process.

The judge, however, ordered Mr Goje to defend himself on why he ordered the third defendant to auction 50 Toyota vehicles belonging to the state government.

The judge adjourned the case to May 8 for the continuation of hearing on the remaining two charges.

Rainstorm: JSS2 student gets electrocuted in Enugu

The Nsukka Catholic Diocese has confirmed the death of a student, allegedly electrocuted on Thursday night at the Queen of Rosary Secondary School, Nsukka, Enugu state.

The diocesan Director of Communications, Rev.- Fr. Matthew Eze, confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Nsukka on Friday.

Eze, who described the death of the student as shocking, prayed for the eternal repose of her soul.
He also prayed God to give the bereaved family and friends, students, management and staff of the school the fortitude to bear the death.

The school is owned and run by the Nsukka Catholic Diocese.

Read also: FG, IFAD hail implementation of VCDP in Niger

An eyewitness account said that the JSS2 student, identified as Maureen Amadi, was electrocuted around 9.30 pm outside her hostel.

She was said to have come out of her hostel to pick her clothes inside during a heavy downpour, when the incident occurred.

It was learnt that she got electrocuted when she allegedly had contact with a wire from an electric pole said to have been pulled down by a thunderstorm.

“Everybody in the school has been in a mourning mood over the death of the girl last night,” the eyewitness said on the condition of anonymity.

The Principal of the school, Rev.-Fr. Luke Eze, was said to have led a delegation of the school to Aku in Igboetiti Local Government Area (LGA) for the burial of the deceased, when NAN correspondent visited the school.

When contacted, the Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, said that the command had yet to receive the report.

NAN reports that the thunderstorm also destroyed buildings and other property worth millions of nairn in Nsukka town and its environs.

Some residents of the area described the effect of the thunderstorm as devastating and colossal.
Mr Onyema Idoko, the former Caretaker Committee Chairman of Nsukka LGA, said that the rainstorm pulled down a telecom mast in his neighbourhood.

He said that the mast in turn fell on top of the roof of his building, located at 52 Enugu Road, Nsukka.
Idoko said that he would need at least N500,000 to pull out the mast and fix the damaged roof.

He, however, thanked God that no life was lost in the unfortunate incident.

Also affected was the roof of St. James Catholic Church building at Umakashi in Nsukka LGA, which was reportedly blown off by the rainstorm.

It was further learnt that many trees, electric poles and structures at the Nsukka Mechanic Village were also pulled down during the heavy rain. (NAN)

Keyamo: Anyone Who Thinks I Bribed Charly Boy Should Have His Head Examined

Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, has denied the claim that he paid an amount running into “nine figures” to Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy.

Charly Boy made the allegation in a video interview, after an earlier claim by Deji Adeyanju, Convener of Concerned Nigerians, that he collected money from Keyamo.

In an attempt to clarify the supposed circumstances under which he collected the money, Charly Boy had alleged that Keyamo paid the said amount to him for a song he composed against Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, taking to Twitter on Friday evening, Keyamo debunked Charly Boy’s claim, stating that anyone who believed he paid a penny for any song by the latter needs to have their heads examined.

In a series of tweets, Keyamo wrote: “1. I’ve been having some good laugh. Whoever thinks that I would pay a penny for a song by @Areafada1 that disses both the APC and PDP must have his/her head examined. If the quarreling parties want to hurt their egos by bandying phantom figures, they should leave me out of it.

“2. As we’ve said before, some of us ran the PMB campaign on zero budget as volunteers whilst the opposition was paying $90,000 monthly to an American lobbyist (N400 million per year). It’s therefore preposterous to suggest that a 9-figure amount or any at all was paid for a song!

“3. In the world of entertainment, it’s the culture of most (not all) entertainers to raise their stock in the public by bandying phantom figures for their engagements & some others display phantom acquisitions on social media to attract attention and raise their worth for clients.

“4. I’ve always encouraged @Areafada1 & @adeyanjudeji, who are my long-time friends & clients to continue on the path they chose for themselves. I will hate to see them fall apart. Therefore it behoves us all to work together to put things right. I always enjoy vibrant opposition!”

YIAGA AFRICA deploys 361 observers for re-run elections ▷ Nigeria news

– All is now set for the rerun elections across 23 states and the FCT

– YIAGA AFRICA has deployed a total of 361 observers for the polls in the affected states

– The organisation is deploying 258 stationary observers, 6 roving observers and 97 results collation centre observers for the exercise

A Civil Society Organisation, YIAGA AFRICA, has deployed a total of 361 observers for Saturday, March 23 rerun elections in 23 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the governorship elections will take place in Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto states.

State Assembly elections will take place in Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Edo, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Lagos, Nassarawa, Osun, Plateau, Sokoto and Taraba.

There will also be FCT area council elections in Abaji, Bwari, Gwagwalada and Kuje.

READ ALSO: Atiku releases his own state by state result of presidential election (Full Report)

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, March 22, the chairman of YIAGA AFRICA board, Hussaini Abdu, said: “On March 23, 2019, YIAGA AFRICA will deploy duly trained and accredited stationary and roving observers to observe the conduct of the supplementary elections in the affected polling units and states.

“YIAGA AFRICA will deploy 258 stationary observers and 6 roving observers. 97 results collation centre observers will be deployed to the local government area and state results collation centre.

“Our observers will observe the entire election day process from setup of the polling units, accreditation, voting, announcement and posting of the official results and will send in periodic reports to the Watching the Vote National Data Centre located at Floor 01, Niger/Enugu Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja where they will be processed and analyzed.

“This deployment will enable YIAGA AFRICA to provide the most timely and accurate information on the governorship rerun elections in the 5 states.”

He stated that YIAGA AFRICA is a strictly nonpartisan and independent civil society organization without affiliation to any political party, candidate or state agency.

According to him, YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching The Vote effort includes volunteers representing Nigeria’s diversity: women and men, youth and the elderly, persons with disability, Muslims and Christians from the six geographical zones.

He also said YIAGA AFRICA’s observers have all been carefully selected and extensively trained in accordance with strict criteria to ensure their independence and neutrality, adding that they are properly accredited with INEC and have signed a project Code of Conduct to uphold standards of impartiality, objectivity and professionalism.

“YIAGA AFRICA observes on behalf of all Nigerian people and speaks in their name on the basis of verified data,” he said.

READ ALSO: INEC lists 18 states where supplementary elections will hold on March 23

Meanwhile, the Nigerian military has assured Nigerians that it would not truncate the country’s nascent democracy, adding that it is fully subordinated to civil authority.

The military’s assurance followed reactions arising from its conduct in the just concluded general elections and militarisation of some parts of the country.

At a press conference addressed jointly by spokespersons of the Defence Headquarters, Police, Army, Navy and Air Force in Abuja, the Defence spokesman, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, said contrary to insinuations in some quarters, the military would not truncate Nigeria’s fledgling democracy. ( -> Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!

2019 elections: Do you still trust INEC to conduct fair elections? – Nigerians speak| Legit TV

Rivers rerun: Wike rejects sole administrator, insists on Governor for the state

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has made it clear that the people of the state, will never have a sole administrator.

Wike also insisted that the people voted for their preferred candidate during the March 9 elections and must have a Governor.

The Governor stated this on Friday, as 86 political parties conceded defeat to him in the state governorship election, during a solidarity visit to the Government House in Port Harcourt.

“No matter how (it might be) delayed, Rivers State will have an elected governor.

“It is not the portion of Rivers State to have a sole administrator. Our people voted on March 9 and Rivers votes will count,” Wike said.

Governor Wike said that when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is declared the winner of the state governorship elections, he would operate a government of unity.

“If we are declared the winner of the election, we will operate a government of unity.

“We will rally everybody together in the interest of the state,” he added.

Osun: Adeleke speaks, says to God be the glory

By Nwafor Sunday

Following his victory at the Tribunal, the Senator representing Osun-west senatorial district, Dr Ademola Adeleke, Friday joined his party members to congratulate himself, saying to God be the glory.


Recall that the Osun State governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, declared Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, winner of the September 2018 gubernatorial election in the state.

Adeleke’s petition which challenged the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Gboyega Oyetola governorship election, saw his victory today.

However, as PDP, Ede people and some Nigerians jubilate for his victory, the dancing senator, who promised to dance for his people if he wins the election in 2018, said via his tweeter handle; “To God be the glory”.

Nigeria 3 Seychelles 1: Eagles finish off Pirates despite Uzoho’s blunder 9ja

Super Eagles of Nigeria ensured they finished top of their qualifying group with a 3-1 win against Pirates of Seychelles at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on Friday.

Eagles took the lead from the 12-yard when Odion Ighalo scored his 7th goal of the 2019 qualifiers with ease.

The visitors pegged Nigeria back after Francis Uzoho misjudged a ball and allowed Roddy Melanie to fire into an empty post in the 41st minute.

Eagles got back in front in the 50th minute after a fine Jamilu Collins ball found Henry Onyekuru who made no mistake with a fine header.

Eventually Paul Onuachu made his debut when he was subbed on for Oghenekaro Etebo.

He didn’t get a goal on his debut but another substitute Simon Moses got the winning goal in the 90th minute with a fine strike.

The Levante cut in between two defenders before firing past the goalie for the goal that brought the crowd to their feet.

Nigeria who had already qualified finished top of the group with 13 points.

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