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Arsenal have reached an agreement with French club Lille to sign Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe in a deal worth 80m euros (£72m).

The Gunners will pay for the 24-year-old via a series of instalments that suit their restricted budget for this summer.

An agreement between Arsenal and Pepe’s representatives still needs to be finalised.

But the transfer is expected to be completed in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Italian side Napoli also met Lille’s asking price, but their proposal was rejected by the player’s camp.

Pepe tends to operate on the right wing and cut in on to his left foot, but can also be used as a striker in a 4-4-2 formation.

He scored 23 goals for Lille last season and satisfies Arsenal’s need for a wide player with pace and high technical ability.

Arsenal offered £40m for Crystal Palace’s Ivory Coast winger Wilfried Zaha earlier this month, but their Premier League rivals value the player at about £80m.

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Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, has reiterated his administration’s determination to stop beggars and almajiris from roaming the streets seeking for alms in the state.

Ganduje stated this while addressing the new House of Representatives’ Majority Leader, Alhaji Alhassan Ado Doguwa and the people of his constituency, who paid him a courtesy call at Government House, Kano on Sunday.

He said, “I holistically consider free and compulsory education as my major cardinal thrust considering the compelling need for me to take millions of kids out of school to access education.’

He said that the practice must stop as Islam frowned at begging as a means of livelihood.

“Begging under whatever guise is not legitimised in Islam and I am determined to stop it at all costs.

“All those that see begging as Islamic are ignorant of the Islamic law.

‘‘I have made it explicitly clear that my government is on course to introduce compulsory and free education at primary and secondary school levels in the state,’’ Ganduje said.

According to him, the state government conceived the idea of creating new additional emirates for the overall development of the areas affected in the face of the prevailing challenges.

“Those opposing the creation of the new emirates are only being myopic and inconsiderate because they have failed to see things beyond their noses.

“We have created the four new emirates not with the intention of offending or hurting anyone but to ensure even development,” Ganduje said.

He said his administration was a government of continuity and that he would leave no stone unturned in forging ahead with notable developmental projects left by his predecessors.

He gave assurance that he would complete all the abandoned five- kilometre road dual carriageways in all the headquarters of 44 local government areas of the state.

In his remarks, Alhaji Alhassan Ado-Doguwa said the people of Doguwa and Tudun-Wada Federal constituency were at the Government House to express their gratitude to Ganduje over the role he played in ensuring that he became House Majority leader.

“We are here to thank you for the pivotal role you played in realising my ambition of becoming the House majority leader of the lower chamber of the National Assembly,” he said.

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Kaduna State High Court yesterday declared the Preaching Regulatory Bill passed by the House of Assembly illegal.

According to the court, the bill is a gross violation of fundamental human rights which guarantees freedom of association and freedom of religion.

The presiding judge, Justice D. Gwadah, said that the bill is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The judge said the passage of the bill, despite the pending court proceedings and the subsisting court injunction restraining the action, “is an affront to this honourable court”.

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) in Kaduna had instituted a case against Governor Nasiru El-Rufai, the house and the Attorney General of the state on the bill intended to issue licences to religious leaders.

Addressing newsmen after the judgment lead counsel to PFN S. A. Akani, said: “Our grave concern is that you can’t license our pastors. How many of them do you want to license? Now court has agreed with our claims. For us, we are excited and we are glad because by the time you setup a committee to issue license to people at the local government. If you don’t like my face, you won’t give me license. As far as am concerned, we have won. My clients do not need licence to preach.”

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Legendary Nigerian musician, Femi Kuti has been announced as one of the artistes to perform at the 2019 African Cup of Nations opening ceremony in Egypt.

This was disclosed in a tweet on CAF’s official Twitter handle.

Femi, who is a four-time Grammy Awards nominee, will be performing alongside two other musicians from Egypt and Ivory Coast – Hakim and Dobet Gnahore.

The eldest son of Afro-beat icon Fela Kuti will perform in English, while Hakim and Dobet Gnahore perform in Arabic and French respectively.

This is not the first time Femi Kuti will be performing at the opening ceremony of a major soccer tournament.

In 2010, he performed at the opening ceremony of 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

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