Police IG orders arrest over Igbo threat; 17 killed, 24 injured in Maiduguri attack; 106 lawyers defend Saraki at CCT as trial continues

Here are our trending stories from Thursday,

1. Police IG orders investigation, arrest of Arewa group members over Igbo threat

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the Commissioner of Police (CP) in Kaduna State to investigate and arrest members of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum for issuing ultimatum to South Easterners to leave the north.

The group on June 6, at a news conference in Kaduna, gave a three-month ultimatum to Igbos living in the orth to leave.

It also advised northerners living in the South Eastern part of the country to return to the north.

The group attributed the ultimatum to the constant agitation by the Igbo ethnic group to have their own independent country.

2. Nigerian Senate passes bill to protect whistle-blowers

The Senate has passed a bill to protect whistleblowers and witnesses directly involved in the prosecution of certain criminal cases.

The bill, titled Witness Protection Programme (Establishment etc), SB 157, was passed on Thursday, following a report submitted by the committee on human rights, legal matters and judiciary chaired by David Umaru (APC-Niger).

It was sponsored by Isiaka Adeleke, the Osun West APC Senator who died in April.

3. Presidency reacts to recall of Justice Ademola, others

The Presidency has restated its decision to appeal a judgement by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory that acquitted one of the six judges recalled by the National Judicial Council, Justice Adeniyi Ademola.

Mr. Ademola and seven other judges were suspended in November 2016 after a raid on their homes by the State Security Service.

Three of the affected judges were charged to court for alleged corruption, but only Mr. Ademola’s case has so far been concluded. The judge was acquitted of corruption charges.

4. Maiduguri Attacks: 17 killed, 24 injured — Police

Police said 17 persons were killed and 24 people injured when Boko Haram insurgents staged a coordinated attack on Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Wednesday night.

The Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, told journalists at a press briefing at the state police headquarters, Maiduguri, that three Boko Haram suicide bombers were shot dead as security personnel battled to repel an invasion late Wednesday.

He said one of the attackers, who was also armed with explosives wrapped around his body, was arrested alive.

5. Nigerian govt to spend $1.12 billion to revamp refineries — Minister

The Nigerian government says it will require about $1.12 billion to finance a comprehensive turnaround of the country’s refineries.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this on Thursday during a media briefing in Abuja.

The minister said the government had determined what needs to be done to meet set target, while those with the right technical and financial capacities would be chosen to handle the jobs.

6. Why Buhari administration is not keen about restructuring Nigeria — Minister

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that given what the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari inherited, restructuring the country could not have been its priority.

The minister said this on Thursday when he featured on “Focus Nigeria” current affairs Programme of African Independent Television (AIT), anchored by Gbenga Aruleba.

Mr. Mohammed said with the high level of corruption, economic downturn, insecurity, particularly with the activities of Boko Haram, which had taken over half of the North East, the government could not have contemplated restructuring.

7. Nigerian Air Force denies planning coup, pledges commitment to democracy, constitution

The Nigerian Air Force has denied that it was involved in any coup plot to overthrow the government.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Olatokunbo Adesanya, the Air Force pledged its “loyalty … to the President and Commander-in-Chief as well as to the Nigerian Constitution.”

The statement by the Air Force comes about three weeks after the Nigerian Army warned politicians to stop luring soldiers into politics.

8. Corruption trial of Jonathan’s former doctor continues

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday in an FCT High Court, Maitama, opened its case against Fortune Fiberesima, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s chief physician.

Mr. Fiberesima was alleged to have abused his position as the chief physician to the former president in 2012 in awarding contracts valued at N258.9 million and N36.9 million to companies where he had interests.

He was arraigned on a six- count charge bordering on abuse of office by influencing the award of contracts to companies where he had interest.

9. Senate bows to Nigerians, stands down bill that would’ve increased petrol price

Following public outcry, the Nigerian Senate on Thursday stepped down a bill that would have led to an increase in price of petrol.

The National Roads Funds bill, 2017, was stood down for further consultation.

The bill recommends that importers should pay N5 levy on every litre of imported petroleum products and that the levy will form part of the proposed national roads fund.

It also recommends the deduction of 0.5 per cent on fares, paid by passengers travelling on interstate roads to commercial mass transit operators, as well as the return of toll gates on federal roads, among others.

The bill was condemned by Nigerians and labour unions who argued that such levy would be transferred to consumers through price increase.

10. False asset declaration: 106 lawyers defend Saraki at CCT as trial continues

There were 106 lawyers in the defence team of Senate President Bukola Saraki on Thursday, as the false asset declaration case against Mr. Saraki came up for hearing at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The tribunal postponed its ruling on a no-case submission application made by Mr. Saraki.

The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, said he would communicate the date for the ruling on the application after considering the submissions of council in their written adresses.

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