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Nigerian Teams Missing As Champions League Draw Comes Up Friday

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Nigeria’s standing representative in the CAF Champions League, Enyimba failed to progress past the preliminary stages on Wednesday, despite a 2-1 defeat of visiting Al Merreikh.

The Sudanese had put Enyimba to the sword in Omdurman, defeating the Nigerian giants 3-0.

Enyimba will come to rue their terrible defensive organisation and profligacy in attack in the first leg, as they battled to overturn the deficit at home.

The People’s Elephants have joined Plateau United who got eliminated by Simba SC of Tanzania in the first round of the preliminaries.

Nigeria, arguably Africa’s biggest football nation has seen its clubs failing on the continent. A very inconsistent league campaign and organisation have caused clubs not preparing as much as their counterparts in other parts of the continent.

Where Nigeria is struggling for presence, South Africa is raving. Premier Soccer League’s two representatives on the continent, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns have earned places in the group stages of the Champions League, in what’s the first of its kind for the former.

Amakhosi defeated Angola’s Primeiro D’Agosto 1-0 in Luanda, becoming the first South African team to do so in history.

The biggest shock of the preliminary stages came when Teungueth FC of Senegal defeated Morocco’s Botola Champions, Raja Casablanca to make it to the group stage.

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They are joined by other West African teams in Guinea’s Horoya and Ghana’s Asante Kotoko.

Other teams in the Champions League are regular suspects, Al Ahly, Zamalek, TP Mazembe, who are joined by another Congolese side AS Vita, Algeria’s Belouizdad and MC Alger, Wydad Casablanca and others.

Teams have been seeded into different pots ahead of Friday’s draws with last season’s champions, Al Ahly in pot 1. They are joined by TP Mazembe, Wydad Casablanca and Esperance of Tunisia.

Pot 2 comprises Zamalek, Mamelodi Sundowns, Horoya AC, and AS Vita Club. Pot 3 has Simba SC, Asante Kotoko, MC Alger and Al Hilal, while the 4th Pot has Teungueth FC, Kaizer Chiefs, Al Merreikh and Belouizdad.

The CAF Champions League is Africa’s biggest football club cup competition and the prize money for this year’s edition has increased by more than 60%.

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East Africa News

Zambian President Grants 246 Death Row Inmates Clemency

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President Edgar Lungu of Zambia has removed 246 inmates, who were on death row, and commutated their sentences to life sentences.

Minister of Home Affairs, Stephen Kampyongo, on Wednesday, said that among the inmates includes 225 males and 21 females.

He announced the commuting of the sentences during an event held at Mukobeko Maximum Prison in central Zambia’s Kabwe town which was streamed live on Facebook.

He made the clemency of death to life sentences for over 500 after 332 inmates had their sentences commutated in 2015.

He said the commutation of sentences of inmates would help decongest the section of condemned inmates at the prison which was meant for 50 people but now has over 400 inmates.

The move, he said, was also meant to protect inmates from contracting COVID-19.

In spite of the death penalty being on the country’s statutes, Zambia has not carried out any execution since 1997.

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Nigeria Confirms 15 Additional COVID-19 Deaths

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 15 additional deaths from COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of death toll in the country to 1,522.

The NCDC disclosed this on its website.

The centre also said that 1,303 new cases of COVID-19 was recorded, bringing the total number of infection in the country to 124,299.

The new infections were reported in 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The centre said Lagos, FCT and Nasarawa recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections on Monday, with 478 , 211 and 83 cases respectively.

Others state with new infections are Rivers-72, Kwara-42, Edo-36, Ondo-34, Benue-32, Kaduna-32, Katsina-26, Plateau-26, Kano-25, Taraba-25, Osun-22, Delta-21, Oyo-21, Niger-19, Sokoto-18, Ebonyi-17, Ekiti-14, Gombe-13, Ogun-12, Bauchi-11, Zamfara-eight, Borno-four and Jigawa-one.

The 1,270,523 people have been tested since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was recorded on Feb. 27, 2020.

The agency also announced that 917 patients have been discharged from isolation centres across the country after testing negative to the virus , raising the total number of patients discharged to 99,276.

It added that the discharged included 542 community recoveries in Lagos State, 103 in Plateau and 22 in Kwara, managed in line with NCDC guidelines.

The NCDC noted that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at Level III, is coordinating response activities nationwide.

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Police Rescue 5 Newborns from ‘Baby Factory’ in Anambra, Southeast Nigeria

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The Nigerian Police have rescued five newborns from a baby factory in Anambra State, southeast Nigeria.

According to CSP Haruna Ahmed – the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state – 10 suspects were arrested over their roles in the baby factory where young girls are impregnated and their babies sold by human traffickers.

Mohammed, in a statement on Wednesday, said three more children and five pregnant girls were also rescued in a raid on the factory.

“On January 26, at about 7 a.m., following an intelligence report, police operatives attached to the SIB and Area Command, Oraifite, coordinated by the Area Commander, ACP Afolabi Wilfred raided the house.

“The house which belonged to one Melvina Uju Uba is located opposite Nnamdi Azikiwe Orthopedic Teaching Hospital Oba in Idemili South LGA of Anambra state,” he said.

The spokesman listed the arrested suspects as Edna Nnadi, 37, Ujunwa Nweke, 25, Izuchukwu Uba, 24, Chinasa Ibeh, 19, Peace Effiong, 25, Gift Collins, 20, and Chimkaso Kingsley, 25.

Others are Happiness Monday, 18, Chioma Okonkwo, 25, and Uchechukwu Nwankwo, 18.

According to Mohammed, five of the suspects are heavily pregnant.

The rescued children would be handed over to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Children and Women’s Affairs for proper care.

He added that efforts are being intensified to apprehend other accomplices in order to bring them to justice.

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