Gunmen Attack US Consulate Convoy In Anambra, Leaving Four Dead; Court Orders Police to Release Seun Kuti on Bail within 48 Hours | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Gunmen Attack US Consulate Convoy In Anambra, Leaving Four Dead
  • Court Orders Police to Release Seun Kuti on Bail within 48 Hours
  • Bola Tinubu, President-Elect, Holds Meeting with Rabiu Kwankwaso in France
  • After 13 Days in London, Buhari Returns to Nigeria
  • Resident Doctors Advised by FG to Suspend ‘Warning Strike’

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

Gunmen Attack US Consulate Convoy In Anambra, Leaving Four Dead

In a tragic incident on Tuesday, an attack on a convoy of US Consulate staff in Anambra State, Nigeria, resulted in the deaths of four individuals. Tobechukwu Ikenga, the spokesperson for the Anambra State Police Command, confirmed the incident and clarified that no US citizens were present in the convoy.

Ikenga stated, “The Joint Security Forces have embarked on a rescue/recovery operation in Ogbaru LGA, following an attack on a convoy of staff of U S Consulate today 16/5/2023 by 3:30 pm along Atani, Osamale Road. The hoodlums murdered two of the PMF operatives and two staff of the Consulate and set their bodies and vehicles ablaze.”

Expressing regret over the entry of the convoy into the state without prior notification to the police or any other security agency, the spokesperson assured that the police would continue their battle against insurgents without faltering. He emphasized that the fight for security stability would persist until full restoration is achieved.

Following the attack, John Kirby, the spokesperson for the US National Security Council, confirmed that no American citizens were affected. He stated, “I just got informed about a whole lot before coming out here to talk to you all. Just looks like a US convoy vehicle was attacked. What I can tell you is that no US citizens were involved and therefore there was no US citizens hurt. But we are aware of some casualties, perhaps even some killed.”

This incident adds to a series of targeted attacks in Anambra State, which have targeted security and government facilities, as well as high-profile individuals and organizations. While no group has claimed responsibility for these attacks, security agencies have expressed their readiness to confront the perpetrators.

Court Orders Police to Release Seun Kuti on Bail within 48 Hours

The Yaba Magistrate’s Court in Lagos has ordered the police to detain Nigerian singer Seun Kuti for an additional 48 hours to facilitate their investigation into the alleged assault of a police officer. Kuti was brought before the court on Tuesday and charged with assault, a violation of Section 356 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act.

During the court proceedings, the police prosecutor, S.A Adebese, requested that the defendant be remanded for 21 days pending legal advice from the directorate of public prosecutions (DPP). However, Femi Falana, Kuti’s counsel, appealed to the court not to remand his client.

Chief Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun granted the police’s application to keep the singer in custody but only for an additional 48 hours. The magistrate also ruled that the police must conclude their investigation within this timeframe and release Kuti on bail.

Read Also: Seun Kuti’s Lawyer Raises Alarm Over Starvation of the Music Star in Detention

Seun Kuti was arrested in the early hours of Monday and detained at the state criminal investigation Department (SCID), also known as Panti, following an incident where he was filmed assaulting a police officer on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos. The viral video showed Kuti pushing the officer and subsequently slapping him while shouting derogatory remarks.

The footage sparked widespread condemnation on social media, with users expressing disappointment at Kuti’s actions.

Bola Tinubu, President-Elect, Holds Meeting with Rabiu Kwankwaso in France

In a significant development, President-elect Bola Tinubu and Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the 2023 election, held a meeting in Paris. The encounter, which occurred on Monday, was facilitated by Abdulmumin Jibrin, an ally of Kwankwaso who was formerly associated with Tinubu’s camp.

When contacted about the meeting, a well-informed source within Tinubu’s camp affirmed its occurrence, stating, “It’s true. They met in France as reported. It also confirms that the man (Tinubu) is alive and well.” The source also disclosed that the discussions revolved around the possibility of collaboration between the two leaders, as well as efforts to reconcile Kwankwaso and Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

Another source present at the meeting expressed that it was expected and suggested that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would be delighted to welcome Kwankwaso back into the party, given his longstanding friendship with Tinubu. The source remained optimistic about the prospect of the President-elect and Kwankwaso working together but acknowledged that reconciling Kwankwaso and Ganduje would require further dialogue. The primary focus, the source added, was to encourage Kwankwaso to join a government of national unity.

Responding to the possibility of Kwankwaso serving as a minister under Tinubu, the source stated, “It is a possibility.” Tinubu had previously stated his intention to form a government of national unity, indicating a willingness to allocate positions to members of the opposition.

Tinubu emerged as the winner of the fiercely contested February presidential elections, defeating Kwankwaso and other contenders. During the meeting, discussions also touched upon developments within the legislative arm in preparation for the lawmakers’ inauguration.

While the ruling APC recently unveiled its zoning formula for the leadership positions in the 10th National Assembly, some party members have expressed opposition and threatened to collaborate with the opposition to disrupt the arrangement.

As the meeting between Kwankwaso and Tinubu proved fruitful, both leaders are expected to engage in further consultations with their respective camps. During the meeting, they also reminisced about their past relationship in the National Assembly dating back to 1992 when Kwankwaso served as the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives and Tinubu as a senator.

Notable attendees at the meeting included the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Bola Tinubu’s wife, Remi Tinubu, and Kwankwaso’s wife, Salamatu.

After 13 Days in London, Buhari Returns to Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived back in Nigeria after a 13-day trip to London, United Kingdom. The president landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Tuesday, aboard a gulfstream jet at the presidential wing.

Buhari’s visit to the UK was to attend the coronation of King Charles III, which took place on May 6. He was accompanied by high-ranking officials including Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation, Geoffrey Onyeama, the minister of foreign affairs, Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, and Babagana Monguno, the national security adviser.

During his stay in London, President Buhari also participated in a summit for presidents and heads of government of Commonwealth countries on May 5. Originally planned as a five-day trip, the president’s return was delayed by an additional week at the request of his dentist, as announced by Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesperson.

President Buhari is expected to hand over power to President-elect Bola Tinubu on May 29.

Resident Doctors Advised by FG to Suspend ‘Warning Strike’

The Federal Government of Nigeria has issued a warning to the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to cancel their planned five-day warning strike, stating that it is illegal. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, delivered the warning shortly after receiving a letter from the NARD executive notifying him of the impending industrial action.

In response, Ngige advised the doctors to participate in a scheduled meeting with the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, rather than embarking on a warning strike. He emphasized that a warning strike is not recognized by the law and cautioned the doctors that if they proceed with the strike, their pay for those five days may be withheld in accordance with Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act.

The minister highlighted the principles of the International Labour Organization (ILO) regarding decent work and the protection of lives, urging the doctors to prioritize the well-being of the patients. Ngige also stated that the Federal Government lacks the authority to compel states to domesticate the Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) as health is under the residual list, where both federal and state governments have legislative powers.

Ngige denied the claim that the Federal Government did not pay minimum wage consequential adjustment arrears to NARD members, clarifying that all workers in the education, health sectors, and defense agencies benefited from the adjustment. He further mentioned that the issue of the bill at the National Assembly to bond doctors for five years cannot be intervened by the executive, as it is a private member’s bill.

The minister advised the doctors to refrain from demanding a 200 percent pay rise, stating that it is not feasible. He highlighted the ongoing negotiations between the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and relevant authorities for a pay increase for doctors.

Ngige emphasized that it is contradictory for student doctors to go on strike when the consultants who train them are already engaged in negotiations with the government. He urged the doctors to prioritize dialogue and work towards finding solutions rather than resorting to industrial action.

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