The Big 5: JAMB suspends official over ‘swallowed’ N36m, Liberia’s Sirleaf wins Mo Ibrahim prize, and other top stories

These are the top five stories from Nigeria that you should monitor today.

Nigerians who own property in the United Kingdom have approached the Federal Ministry of Finance’s Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) for help, following the country’s new regulation on ‘Unexplained Wealth Orders’.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Ministry of Finance’s sources said on Sunday that the unprecedented level of calls was not unconnected with the new UK regulation on UWOs.

The sources disclosed that the confidential hotlines that were provided to enable the booking of appointments had received massive calls and frantic requests from taxpayers in the last 72 hours, asking for extension of time to complete their VAIDS declaration forms.

The Federal Government, through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) will on Monday resume the trial of suspected Boko Haram insurgents.

Special Adviser to the AGF on Media and Publicity, Mr. Salihu Isah, in a statement on Sunday said that the second phase of the trial at the Kainji detention facility in Niger would begin on Monday.

Minister of Transportation and the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has insisted that he will not support the governorship ambition of the lawmaker representing Rivers South-East, Senator Magnus Abe.

The minister spoke on Saturday during a meeting with the Ikwerre Chiefs and Elders’ Forum.

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Sunday said it had suspended its employee, Philomena Chieshe, on account of N36m which was reported to have been swallowed by a snake in the board’s office in Makurdi, Benue.

JAMB Head of Information, Fabian Benjamin said the board was taking her through other disciplinary measures while security agencies were investigating the matter.

Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello, has apologised to the Catholic Bishops and Christians over his alleged comment that those who opposed President Muhammadu Buhari were corrupt Christian leaders who were unhappy because looters were no longer able to pay tithes to them.

Bello said he could never insult men of God as he had “tremendous respect for the Catholic Community.”

And now, stories from around the world…

China says its newest stealth fighter is combat-ready.

Posts on both the website of the People’s Liberation Army and the official Xinhua news agency said the J-20 fourth-generation fighter had been armed and officially commissioned into China’s air force.

Long touted as China’s answer to US F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter jets, analysts say the J-20 is intended to fulfil two roles: air-to-air combat and ground attack.

London City Airport was closed on Sunday after construction workers discovered a World War II bomb close to the Thames River.

“Following the discovery of a World War II ordnance in King George V Dock as part of planned development works, a 214m exclusion zone has been implemented,” the airport said in a statement. “As a result, London City Airport is currently closed.”

Metropolitan police were called after the bomb was revealed. The Royal Navy was also deployed to the scene and confirmed the nature of the bomb, the police reported.

US President Donald Trump declined to give a timeline for releasing the US plan for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, telling an Israeli newspaper that he is not convinced that either party is committed to the process.

“We are going to see what goes on,” Trump told “Israel Hayom” in an interview released Sunday.

“Right now, I would say the Palestinians are not looking to make peace, they are not looking to make peace.

And I am not necessarily sure that Israel is looking to make peace,” the President said. “So we are just going to have to see what happens.”

New York prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against the Weinstein Company, alleging that the studio failed to protect staff from Harvey Weinstein.

The film producer is facing dozens of allegations of sexual abuse, including rape, but denies non-consensual sex.

The lawsuit alleges Mr Weinstein abused female employees and made verbal threats to kill staff members.

A lawyer for Mr Weinstein said a “fair investigation” would show that many of the allegations were without merit.

Liberia’s ex-president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has won the $5m (£3.6m) Mo Ibrahim prize for African Leadership.

Mrs Sirleaf, who stepped down last month, became Africa’s first elected female president in 2006.

She was praised for her work rebuilding the nation after civil war and leading a process of reconciliation.

The prize committee admitted that while Ms Sirleaf was accused of tolerating corruption, she had shown exceptional leadership in difficult circumstances.

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