Borno official jailed for stealing rice meant for IDPs; National Assembly fails to pass 2017 Budget

The false asset trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki continued on Thursday while former Jigawa State governor Sule Lamido was granted bail.

These and others made our top stories.

1. Alleged false asset declaration: Prosecution closes case in Saraki’s trial

The prosecution on Thursday closed its case in the ongoing trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Mr. Saraki is facing 18 counts of false asset declaration-related charges. He is being tried at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Abuja.

His trial continued May 4 after three consecutive adjournments at the instance of the prosecution.

The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, informed the court about his client’s decision to close its case after the last witness, Bayo Dauda, was cross-examined by the defence counsel, Paul Erokoro.

The prosecution presented four witnesses in all.

2. After four nights in detention, ex-governor Sule Lamido granted bail

A magistrate court sitting in Dutse has granted a former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, bail on own recognisance.

The prosecutor, Ikenna Ekpunobi, had argued that Mr. Lamido should not be granted bail as he could jeopardise peace in the state.

The magistrate, Muhammad Lamin, disagreed with the counsel.

3. Lawyer to Nigeria’s ex-military chief fled to Dubai with incriminating documents, Witness tells court

A prosecution witness in the trial of a former Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Alex Badeh, has revealed how a lawyer to the former CDS absconded to Dubai with title documents of various properties allegedly procured with monies removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, between January and December, 2013.

The witness, Nuhu Dalhatu, made this disclosure on May 3 while being cross-examined by Lasun Sanusi, who held brief for Mr. Badeh’s counsel, Akin Olujimi, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja.

4. Borno official, accomplice, jailed for stealing rice meant for IDPs

A Borno State High Court, sitting in Maiduguri, on Thursday sentenced two men to two years in prison for stealing rice donated by foreign donors to internally displaced persons.

The two convicts are Umar Ibrahim, a supervisory councilor in Mafa local government area, and Ali Zangebe, a local politician from the same local government area.

They were charged alongside Shettima Maina, a former council chairman of Mafa Local government.

5. Why Nigeria Customs revenue fell N216 billion short of 2016 target — Hameed Ali

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Hameed Ali, on Wednesday said the agency’s revenue for 2016 fell short of its target by N 216.5 billion.

Mr. Ali made this disclosure while briefing journalists after appearing before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Customs to defend the Customs 2017 budget estimates.

According to the custom boss, the agency only succeeded in collecting N 720.7 billion, representing 76.8 per cent of the target revenue between January and December last year.

The decline, put at 23.1 per cent, was against the original target of N 937.3 billion set for the year by the agency.

6. National Assembly fails to pass 2017 budget before expiration of 2016 budget

It has now emerged Nigeria’s 2017 budget proposal will be passed at least days after the expiration of the current 2016 budget, after the National Assembly failed to pass the 2017 appropriations bill today, Thursday, which is the last day the lawmakers have for business in the week.

By provision of the 2016 Appropriations Act, the 2016 budget expires on May 5, 2017, having been assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 6, 2016.

The chairman of the Senate committee on appropriations, Danjuma Goje, had in March promised that the 2017 budget would be laid and passed before the expiration of the current budget.

7. Buhari ‘happy with forex market stability’ — Emefiele

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the stability in the Foreign Exchange market and other activities of the apex bank.

The News Agency of Nigeria said Mr. Emefiele, who spoke to State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with the president at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Thursday, said Mr. Buhari was delighted over the stability in the forex market.

Mr. Buhari has been ill and has not been seen in public for weeks.

8. JAMB releases results of mock UTME

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it has released results of the Mock Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) conducted on Saturday.

The Head, Information and Media of the board, Fabian Benjamin, told the News Agency of Nigeria in a telephone interview on Thursday in Lagos that 150,000 candidates registered for the mock examination nationwide.

The examination was initially scheduled to hold on April 8 but was postponed to April 29 due to some hitches.

9. Three suicide bombers killed at military outpost

Three suicide bombers who attempted to attack a military outpost in Maiduguri, Borno State, were killed on Wednesdaynight, an official has said.

The three female teenage suicide bombers attempted to attack a military outpost popularly known as “Gontanamo” along muna garage at about 10:05 p.m.

After being sighted by the troops in their attempt to gain access to the premises, the bombers were shot leading to the explosion of their concealed IED.

10. Senate passes law to establish Maritime University in Niger Delta

The Senate has passed the bill for the establishment of Nigerian Maritime University in Delta State, thereby bringing the proposed school close to gaining statutory status, three years after its foundation was laid.

The groundbreaking of the proposed school at Okerenkoko in Warri South-West Local Government Area was done by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 and, according to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, physical asset were on site.

However, there was no law backing the establishment of the university.