NHIS ES, Yusuf asks conspirators to “change plan”; court remands alleged rapist and killer of Ochanya #JusticeForOchanya | Other top stories of the week

These are the stories that drove conversation this week.

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), now sacked, Nnamdi Kanu resurfaced after more than a year thanking Israel for its support and also promising to bring hell with him, “the way it has never been seen before“.

The spokesman of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Emmanuel Nashon, however, said there is no evidence of Kanu in Jerusalem, Israel, despite his claims.

“There are no details about his recent visit to this country yet,” Nashon said.

Also, presidential media assistant, Garba Shehu said with the re-appearance of Kanu, it had become clear who lied between the government and its accusers that Kanu had been killed, adding that should the IPOB leader eventually return to Nigeria, his trial for felony would be expected to continue.

“If it happens to be true, the video footage showing Nnamdi Kanu; the truth has been revealed about his alleged assassination against Nigerian government,” Shehu said.

The former governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose appeared in court on Monday, October 22, but was refused bail and asked to remain in EFCC custody until Wednesday, October 24, when he was granted a N50 million bail.

Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika assured Nigerians that hope was still alive in sustaining and establishing the vision of the national carrier, ‘Nigeria Air.’

The Minister said the suspension was only temporal and that a new pronouncement would soon be made on the project.

“The suspended national carrier would be activated as soon as possible, although the December 24 earlier given for its take-off is no longer feasible,” Sirika said.

The embattled Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf said his ordeal may not be unconnected with agents of the commission whom he stepped on their toes.

In an interview with BBC Hausa, he said he has been going through “unnecessary accusations of fraud” since he came on board at the NHIS, stressing that the EFCC and ICPC currently recovering billions of naira as a result of whistleblowing in the commission have never indicted him for corrupt practices.

“They’re doing that just to intimidate and stop me from doing my good work. They have failed, I will never succumb to their ploy, I think they have to change plan,” he said.

A Magistrates’ Court in Benue has remanded Andrew Ogbuja, 51, a senior lecturer in the Department of Catering and Hotel Management, Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo at the Federal Prison, Makurdi.

He was charged with criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.

The lecturer was accused of raping – for several years – 13-year-old Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje.

The Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed dismissed media reports that it was working on a policy to put a limit on child birth among mothers in the country.

“We never said we are placing a cap on childbirth. What is child spacing? This is a healthy practice of waiting between pregnancies,” she tweeted.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed threw out reports saying he issued an ultimatum to Israel to return Nnamdi Kanu to Nigeria or expect missiles.

The Minister said he was outside the country at that time and was not in a position to issue a statement on the matter when the news of Kanu’s reappearance in Israel broke.

“I just laughed. It speaks to what we are talking about fake news because it is probably the biggest threat in the run-up to the elections. At the appropriate time, the various authorities will make a statement about the issue of Kanu,” he added.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola urged the people of South-West to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 elections to guarantee a return of power to the region in 2023.

Speaking in Yoruba language he is quoted to have said “Do you know that power is rotating to the South-West after the completion of Buhari’s tenure if you vote for him in 2019? A vote for Buhari in 2019, means a return of power to the South West in 2023. I am sure you will vote wisely.”

The Nigerian Army said it has discovered a shallow grave where the immediate past Chief of Administration (Army), retired Major General Idris Alkali, was buried.

General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, said Alkali was killed and buried in a shallow grave in an area popularly known as, “no man’s land” in a community on the outskirt of Jos metropolis.

He alleged that the late military officer who was travelling from Abuja to Bauchi via Jos was assaulted and killed on September 3, 2018, by hoodlums who blocked the Eastern Bypass in protest of an attack on their area that saw 11 people killed, adding that his body was moved to somewhere else while his car was driven and pushed into an abandoned mining pit filled with water.

A U.K. news magazine, The Economist has predicted that President Buhari will lose the 2019 Presidential elections to the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.

The prediction was contained in its latest country report on Nigeria, provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), less than two months after it had predicted that President Buhari would lose the election.

“With the vote likely to be split in the North, Abubakar will find it easier to garner support from the country’s south, which has traditionally been a safe haven for the PDP. This gives Abubakar an edge, as does popular frustration over the rise in joblessness and poverty (two of the biggest voter concerns) on Mr. Buhari’s watch, as well as growing insecurity in central Nigeria,” the report read in part.

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