The Late 5: Kachikwu says FG won’t sell refineries, Court dismisses corruption case against Nnamani, and other top stories


These are the top five Nigerian stories that drove conversation today.

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is incapable of conducting credible election in Nigeria.

Wike said this when the German Ambassador to Nigeria. Dr. Bernhard Shlagheck, visited him at the Government House in Port Harcourt.

He urged the international community to monitor the electoral process.

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered that missing leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, be separately tried.

This was after lead prosecuting counsel, Shuaibu Labaran made an application that Kanu’s continued absence from court since he was granted bail in April 2017 “has frustrated progress in the case.”.

Justice Binta Nyako made the order.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Monday announced that 25 out of the 36 states of the federation had voted on the Constitution amendment bills passed by the National Assembly in July 2017.

A Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed the corruption case against former Enugu  State, Chimaroke Nnamani.

Nnamani was re-arraigned before the court on Tuesday after he was first arraigned in 2007.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had accused Nnamani of laundering N4.5 billion while in office between 1999 and 2007.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu has said the Federal Government will not sell refineries.

Kachikwu said rather than selling off Nigeria’s ailing refineries, the federal government will ramp up investments such that new refineries will be built across the country.

And now, stories from around the world…

A London-based lawyer has been charged with making false statements to investigators looking at links between Donald Trump’s election campaign team and Russia.

Court documents allege that Alex van der Zwaan made the false statements when questioned about his work for Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice.

Singer Fergie has apologised for her rendition of the US national anthem at the NBA All-Star.

The singer told TMZ: “I’ve always been honoured and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA.

“I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone.”

She added: “I love this country and honestly tried my best.”

Russia’s foreign ministry has confirmed that “several dozen” Russian citizens – not regular soldiers – were killed or wounded in a recent battle in Syria.

The statement did not give a date. Previously the Russian government said “probably five” Russians had died in a clash in Deir al-Zour province.

More than 100 civilians have been killed in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta in the past 24 hours, the largest single-day death toll in the rebel-held area in nearly three years, according to observers.

At least 20 children were among those killed by Syrian regime shelling and airstrikes on the besieged Damascus suburb, which rights activists and residents described as being under “constant bombardment.”

US-supplied weapons originally intended for moderate allies in Syria have ended up for sale on jihadist online forums in the country’s northern al Qaeda heartland, CNN reports.

An M16 assault rifle — whose serial number suggests it was originally supplied as part of a US-taxpayer-funded effort to defeat extremists in the region — was offered to CNN by a resident of the city of Idlib over the encrypted messaging app Telegram.

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