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Almat Adds Emir Of Katsina Cup To Trophy Chest

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Almat Adds Emir Of Katsina Cup To Trophy Chest

Maurice Ekpenyong and his compact Almat Group polo team at the weekend continued their recent run of success when they won the highly revered Emir of Katsina Cup at the 2018 Kaduna Centenary International Polo Tournament. The success in the competition held at the Murtala Mohammed Polo ground stretches their victory run this year to four.

The winning run, which started earlier in the year at the prestigious Niger Delta Polo festival in Port Harcourt with a sensational victory in the Governor Cup, has seen the team winning such heavyweight polo diadems like the Orphanage Cup in Keffi, The President Cup at 12-12 Polo Turf in Abuja and the unprecedented three back-to back General Hassan Katsina Cup victory.

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This remarkable victory record of the Almat polo lords, inaugurated only five years ago at the serene Guards Polo Club in Asokoro, has already confirmed them as top contenders for Best Team of the Year award.

Rated outsiders by pundits in the Emir of Katsina Cup that pitted three Kaduna-based teams, Sublime, YY Kangimi, Barbados and two visiting teams, Kano Titans, Lagos A-Plus, debuting Ekpenyong and his champion squad had only their self belief to count on.

It ultimately proved to be the Centenary’s biggest surprise, as Almat Tigers, AlMalik Badamasi, Idris badamasi, Manuel Crespo and their patron, stunned Kaduna Sublime in their opening game and edged Lagos A-Plus in the semifinal to book a final ticket in the royal polo prize in the century old Kaduna polo carnival.

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Their final game against pundits’ favourites, Kaduna YY Kangimi was the game changer, with Maurice and his warriors cruising to a comfortable 9-71/2 victory in a sensational campaign to fetch them the Emir of Katsina title on first attempt.

The fiesta was a highly competitive run of matches between the top-ranked teams and emerging polo powers on  knock-out basis.

“I think Ekpenyong and his Almat guys will  be a major champion within the next couple of years,” Bello Buba, the first Nigerian top rated player to win the Georgian Cup a record 18 times,  said. “It’s awesome to see him tearing it up here.”

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Three back-to-back  cup victories has further confirmed Almat Group LCC squad as the Medium-goal team to beat in the Nigerian circuit.

Their patron, Ekpenyong, who earned a deserved handicap elevation by the polo ruling authority, is up there alone in the race for the New Patron of the Year award.

Other top winners in the epoch Centenary tournament that pitted over 40 top teams in the nine days international extravaganza include reigning Nigerian high-goal kings, Kaduna EL-Amin, who won their 15th Georgian Cup title, and Badakao who won the Imani Cup.

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Nigerian News

NIMC Extends Diaspora Enrolment Of Nigerians To UK, UAE

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NIMC Extends Diaspora Enrolment Of Nigerians To UK, UAE

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has extended enrolment of Nigerians under the diaspora registration programme to the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.

Commission spokesperson, Loveday Ogbonna, said the commission has decided to extend the enrolment to these two countries after the huge success in South Africa.

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Ogbonna says the extension is in line with NIMC’s mandate to ensure all Nigerian citizens at home and abroad, as well as legal residents in Nigeria, were enrolled into the national identity database and issued the unique national identification number.

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Ogbonna said DEFCON systems limited, DSL, and the National Authentication Limited (NEAL) are the two Nigerian companies licensed by NIMC to handle the enrolment services across the globe to ensure best-in-class services and inclusivity.

He said the enrolment will involve demographic & biometric data capture of all Nigerian citizens residing in the two countries.

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The UAE programme is scheduled to take off today, while the UK programme kicks off on Friday.

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Nigerian News

Offa Robbery: Court Grants Defence Request To Examine Gunshot Injuries

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Offa Robbery: Court Grants Defence Request To Examine Gunshot Injuries

A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has ruled in favor of the defence counsel who asked for an independent examination of the alleged gunshot injuries sustained by three accused persons alleged to have participated in last year’s robbery incident in Offa.

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Thirty-three persons, including nine policemen, were killed during the robbery, while five accused persons are standing trial.

But the court refused a post-mortem examination on the corpse of the principal suspect in the robbery incident, Michael Adikwu, whom the accused persons claimed, was deliberately killed by a police inspector while in custody at the force headquarters in Abuja.

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Earlier, the 5th accused person (Niyi Ogundiran), had narrated to the court how the police extracted confessional statements from him under duress.

The case has been adjourned till early April.

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Nigerian News

There Are Plans To Revisit And Deliver The National Carrier Project – Aviation Minister

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There Are Plans To Revisit And Deliver The National Carrier Project - Aviation Minister

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has revealed that there are plans to deliver the national carrier project during president Buhari’s administration.

Sirika says the federal government will revisit the project which he describes as the brain-child of the president.  He said the president would not let it die.

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The minister said this while defending the ministry’s budget before the senate committee on aviation in Abuja.

He said the ministry only suspended the project to put adequate measures in place.  He also expressed concern that Nigeria is not able to boast of a national carrier, despite being a huge aviation market.

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The minister says the national carrier project is a Public Private Partnership (PPP). The private sector will lead and deliver, while the government will play its role.

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He said the process would be transparent and would be done through local and international fora and media.

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