The Big 5: Army Officer fighting Boko Haram in the North East commits suicide, Ebonyi says it has no land for ranching and other stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

A Nigerian Army Captain attached to troops operating at the heart of Boko Haram onslaught in Mafa Local Government Area of Borno has committed suicide.

According to military sources,  the incident occurred at the 7 Division Medical Centre on June 18 where the officer whose name is being withheld, threatened shooting a storekeeper at the Medical Centre Armoury in Maiduguri, who fled for safety, only to turn his rifle on his own stomach and open fire, killing himself in the process. He was rushed for treatment, but passed on shortly thereafter.

Despite the fact that he was referred to the facility for medical examination and treatments, no information as at press time was available on the nature of his ailments prior to the suicide, but the brigade has notified the appropriate authorities of the development, including the Defence Headquarters. (Vanguard)

The Government of Ebonyi on Thursday frowned at the news making rounding that the State has directed or provided for a cattle ranches in the state.

Addressing journalists after the state Executive Council meeting, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Barrister Ikechukwu Nwobo stressed that the State Executive Council and the State Security Council being the highest organ of Ebonyi state was not consulted and it “has decided and made sure that there is no land for ranching in Ebonyi State,” adding that  it has no plan to  do that.

“The Ebonyi State through the executive council wishes to state that the government has not provided or released any land for ranching, The ranching programme being done by the federal  government does not include Ebonyi State and it has been redirected to those states in the North where the farmlands have been gazetted and have ranching ground which they will now revitalized,” he said.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it would provide transport aircraft to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the movement of election materials and other logistics nationwide during the forthcoming general elections.

“The air force is willing to avail INEC its transport aircraft for the expeditious distribution of electoral materials, as it had done in the past, should INEC require such services,” Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said on Thursday in Abuja during a quarterly conference with senior officers and men of the air force. noting that all personnel must not be involved in partisan politics as the 2019 general elections was fast approaching.

President Muhammadu Buhari restates that terrorist group, Boko Haram has been degraded and is no longer in control of any part of Nigeria.

Speaking at the 2018 World Congress of the International Press Institute in Abuja on Thursday, the President informed the participants that “the Federal Government has limited the attacks which extended to the nation’s capital at the height of the insurgency,” after years of battling Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.

Buhari also provided an update on recent developments in the North East, as he said  “Internally displaced persons are gradually returning to their communities in reasonable safety and security.”

The State Government in Adamawa has announced a record of at least 12 new cholera cases on Thursday in Yola.

Mohammed Abubakar, an Information Officer at the State’s ministry of information made the announcement in a statement, noting that the 12 new cases were recorded on June 20 but with no death, bringing the total number of cases so far to 1,349 with 25 deaths since the outbreak started in May in the affected Local Government Areas of Mubi North, Mubi South, Maiha and Hong.

Putting the fatality rate of the outbreak at 1.9 per cent, Mr Abubakar said that active case search by health officials had been intensified “in hotspots settlements to ensure cases are not missed.”

And………….stories from around the world:

Argentina were utterly outclassed and defeated 3-0 against a better Croatian team in the second round of matches for Group D at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Argentina were so convincingly torn to shreds by the Croats in what will no doubt be one of the worst World Cup performances for any Argentine side as Messi was indeed a non-feature in the game where the South Americans hardly troubled Croatia.

The result effectively meant that Argentina does not have their fate in their own hands, if Iceland defeats Nigeria today as the defeat swang the group open for Nigeria to fight for qualification to the second round of the prestigious football tournament.

An Indonesian cleric found guilty of masterminding a 2016 terror attack in Jakarta which left four civilians dead has been sentenced to death.

Aman Aburrahman (46) was convicted of planning the attack which saw a suicide bomber blow himself up at a Starbucks from his jail cell, which was the first attack linked to Islamic State (IS) in Indonesia.

The cleric, who had declared his support for the IS is also the spiritual leader of a local extremist network. (BBC)

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree to enact a recently adopted decision to expand sanctions on Russian companies and entities, Ukraine’s council of national security and defense said on Friday.

It said 30 Russian legal entities and 14 individuals were added to the sanction list, taking it to 1,762 individuals and 786 entities.

“The Council has imposed sanctions symmetrical to the sanctions imposed by the U.S. government on June 11 against legal entities involved in the activities of Russian special services in cyberspace,” it said in a statement. (Reuters)

Eurozone ministers declared the end of the Greek debt crisis early Friday agreeing debt relief and a big cash payout for Greece, part of a broad bailout exit deal that will close eight years of financial rescues for cash-strapped Athens.

The eurozone creditors also agreed to disburse 15 billion euros ($17.5 billion) to ease the country’s exit from its programme. This would leave Greece with a hefty 24 billion euro safety cushion, officials said.

“The Greek crisis ends here tonight,” said EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, after marathon talks in Luxembourg.

“We finally got to the end of this path which was so long and difficult it is a historic moment,” the former French finance minister said.

“I am happy,” Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said after the talks. (AFP)

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel’s prime minister, has been charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly using public funds to pay for restaurant meals to be delivered to the couple’s official residence.

The long-anticipated charges were announced by Israel’s justice ministry on Thursday while PM Benjamin Netanyahu is also under investigation

According to the indictment, Sara Netanyah (59) spent tens of thousands of dollars on meals from expensive restaurants between 2010 and 2013 in alleged violation of rules barring the residence from ordering in meals during periods when there was a cook on its staff. (The Guardian, UK)

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