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Serena Williams Out Of Yarra Valley Classic

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serena williams_newtimes

Serena Williams has been forced to withdraw from her Yarra Valley Classic semi-final against world number one Ashleigh Barty as a result of a right shoulder injury.

Williams earlier defeated fellow American Danielle Collins 6-2 4-6 10-6 in the last eight in Melbourne.

Australian Barty, who won 7-5 2-6 10-4 against American Shelby Rogers, has now received a walkover into the final.

Williams will be looking forward to record-equalling of 24th Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open.

The first Slam of the year begins on Monday and all six ATP and WTA warm-up events are being held at Melbourne Park.

READ ALSO; Jesse Lingard Dazzles on Debut With A Brace

Williams, 39, last won her major title at the Australian Open in 2017. She missed the 2018 competition and reached the quarter-finals in 2019, but fell in the third-round last year.

Serena Williams has been forced to withdraw from her Yarra Valley Classic semi-final against world number one Ashleigh Barty as a result of a right shoulder injury.

Williams earlier defeated fellow American Danielle Collins 6-2 4-6 10-6 in the last eight in Melbourne.

Australian Barty, who won 7-5 2-6 10-4 against American Shelby Rogers, has now received a walkover into the final.

Williams will be looking forward to record-equalling of 24th Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open.

The first Slam of the year begins on Monday and all six ATP and WTA warm-up events are being held at Melbourne Park.

Williams, 39, last won her major title at the Australian Open in 2017. She missed the 2018 competition and reached the quarter-finals in 2019, but fell in the third-round last year.

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Security Operatives Crack Down On Sagamu Cultists, House of Assembly Member, Six Others In DSS Net

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Acting IGP Kayode Egbetokun

Security operatives in Ogun State on Wednesday tracked six suspected cultists, allegedly involved in the violence that erupted in Sagamu at the weekend to the official residence of a member of the state House of Assembly.

The member, representing Sagamu State Constituency (1), Hon. Damilare Bello Mohammed, was alleged to have provided shelter to the fleeing cultists.

A team of security operatives, in a sting operation after a tip-off, arrested the suspects on the premises of the lawmaker.

Those arrested, according to sources, include Damilare Bello Mohammed aka DRE, Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade.

They are currently undergoing interrogation at the Department of State Service (DSS).

Sources revealed that many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from the suspects.

It would be recalled that Hon. Bello was arrested by the DSS for masterminding the violent protest that took place in February this year in Sagamu over the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

During the protest, irate youths vandalised about 10 banks and other public infrastructures.

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Ogun Considers Special Court To Try Cultists

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Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun

A Special Court is to be established by the Ogun State Government to try cult-related cases.

Also to be set up is a Joint Anti-Cultism Security Task Force comprising all major security outfits, with the mandate to rid the state of the menace of cultism.

The state is also proposing an amnesty programme for would-be cultists who may wish to surrender their weapons.

These decisions were arrived at after a joint security meeting, held at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State on Wednesday.

It would be recalled that Governor Dapo Abiodun on Tuesday hinted that his administration would enact a law that would pronounce the death penalty on anyone caught engaging in cult activities in the state.

The governor spoke during a visit to the palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, following days of cult-related clashes in Sagamu, which left many dead and others injured.

The meeting, according to Governor Abiodun, focused on providing adequate measures to eradicate cultism in the Gateway State.

Prince Abiodun said: “During the Joint Security meeting that took place today (Wednesday), we engaged in fruitful discussions regarding the implementation of measures aimed at combating cultism in Ogun State.

“Our primary focus was on establishing a special court, forming a joint operational force comprising various security agencies, and implementing a death penalty for cultism offences.

“In addition to these measures, we also deliberated on the possibility of introducing a period of amnesty. This would allow individuals who wish to surrender their weapons and renounce their affiliation with any cult-related groups and activities the opportunity to do so without fear of prosecution.

“As an administration deeply committed to fostering a peaceful and violence-free society, we are dedicated to providing the Special Court and Joint Anti-Cultism Security Task Force with the necessary logistics and tools to support their operations effectively.

“The overall objective of our conversation is to address the issue of cultism through a multifaceted approach. This will include legal and enforcement measures, rehabilitation efforts, and community engagement through our respected traditional leaders.

“In conclusion, we are determined to tackle the menace of cultism in our state head-on. By employing a combination of legal frameworks, law enforcement strategies, rehabilitation initiatives, and community involvement, we believe we can bring about lasting change.”

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Why We Sacked NNPP’s Abba Kabir As Kano Governor – Tribunal

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Kano State GovernorAbba Kabir

The Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

The tribunal declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Nasiru Gawuna, as the winner of the March 18 election.

Yusuf was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the poll in March.

But on Wednesday, the three-man panel, after hearing the petitions, ordered the withdrawal of the certificate of return which INEC presented to Yusuf and directed a certificate of return to be issued to Gawuna.

The court deducted 165,663 votes from Yusuf’s total as invalid votes, stating that the affected ballot papers were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.

The ruling comes about six months after the APC candidate conceded defeat to Yusuf in the wake of INEC’s presentation of the certificate of return to the NNPP candidate.

In a two-minute audio statement on March 29, Gawuna stated that “as a good Muslim”, he was compelled to accept the outcome of the election, whether in his favour or not.

He added that although his campaign team had requested a review of the election results by INEC, upon review, the commission had found Yusuf to be the winner of the election.

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