The Big 5: Presidency denies Buhari asked Maina to return to Nigeria, Senators donates 1,280 bags of rice to “cushion” suffering of Kogi workers, and other top stories

Good morning.

Here are the top 5 stories you should be monitoring today:

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has continued its fervent denial that it had nothing to do with the reinstatement of the wanted ex-pension boss, Abdulrasheed Maina, despite testimonies from Maina’s family that President Buhari directly invited him back to the country.

The presidency responded to the claim, calling it a “freshly minted falsehood” which “nobody should believe,” a typical case of ‘your word against ours.’

Here’s the presidency’s full response.

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With the pressure mounting on President Buhari’s government over Maina’s reinstatement, who better to pass the blame on to than the previous government?

The presidency, desperate for relief, alleged yesterday that some influential government officials loyal to the previous administration reinstated the wanted ex-pension boss.

A presidential spokesperson said in a press statement some influential officials loyal to Jonathan caused the scandal, and that everything will be uncovered soon.

Read the presidency’s full statement, here.

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Apparently, former president Goodluck Jonathan is not taking these allegations silently. In a scathing reply, he described them as “ridiculous” and “laughable.”

Jonathan argued that how could he have had a hand in Maina’s reinstatement when he has been out of office for over two years.

“It is funny. It doesn’t make any sense. Is it Jonathan’s men that reinstated him into office, wrote a letter to him and asked him to return to work,” he asked in a statement issued by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze.

Read his full response, here.

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Certainly not oblivious to the fact that the much-hyped anti-corruption path of this present administration is quickly going awry, Vice-president Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said the anti-corruption war in the country must take a new turn for it to succeed.

“If the fundamental of justice is undermined, everything is undermined,’’ he said, delivering a speech in Abuja.

He also admitted that the Boko Haram insurgency escalated because of the diversion of funds meant to prosecute the war.

Read the highlights of the Vice-president’s speech, here.

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In Kogi state, the effect of non-payment of salaries by the government has deteriorated such that some senators had to donate 1,280 bags of rice to the workers “in order to cushion” their suffering.

Kogi senator Dino Melaye, made this revelation in a press briefing on Wednesday, stating that this action was promoted by the “disturbing reports of deaths by suicide and inability to pay medical bills by some workers.”

You should note that Kogi State workers are being owed over 11 months salary, although, the state governor, Yahaya Bello has continued to boast about how he paid half salaries in some months.

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