The Big 5: Buhari holds talks with South African President over killing of Nigerians, Police dismisses attack on Ekiti Government House and other stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

President Muhammadu Buhari received the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa at the Presidential Villa Abuja on Wednesday.

After a closed-door meeting with Buhari, the South African leader who addressed  State House correspondents declared that the killing of Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country was an act of criminality,  not specifically targeted at Nigerians.

Ramaphosa explained that the killings are caused by high level of unemployment among the youth as well as other social factors emanating from long apartheid misrule and the government is doing all best possible to bring it down.

The Police Command in Ekiti has dismissed insinuations on the social media that its men invaded the Government House on Wednesday.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Caleb Ikechukwu, said police officers were around the Prof. Olusola Eleka Pavilion at Fajuyi on Wednesday, because two political parties intended to have their rallies at the same date and in Ado-Ekiti metropolis, against the advice of the Commissioner of Police who pointed the security implication.

He urged members of the public to consider the content of such posts as “misleading and aimed at causing anxiety in the minds of the public.”

The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung has on Wednesday summoned the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Suleiman Kazaure over the alleged forged NYSC exemption certificate of the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.

Dalung who spoke to journalists in Abuja, explained that the move was to get first hand information from the DG on what transpired and how far the scheme had gone with the investigation, adding that as soon as he was done getting the brief from the NYSC boss, he would brief Nigerians on the matter.

Following the resumed trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, commercial activities were on Wednesday paralysed in Kaduna as shops, offices, banks and schools in the city centre were closed for fear of an outbreak of violence.

While armed security operatives took over major streets around the city, vehicular movements were restricted on roads leading to the court and commuters, especially civil servants, who trekked, were subjected to thorough screening.

The Kaduna High Court however, adjourned the couple’s trial till August 2 as trial judge, Justice Gideon Kurada, adjourned the matter to enable the prosecution serve the two other persons standing trial with the Shiites leader.

 Spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bolaji Abdullahi, has responded to Buba Galadima, leader of the “reformed” All Progressives Congress (R-APC), who wrote a letter to INEC asking the commission to invalidate the election of its national officers.

Abdullahi described Galadima’s action as “ill-conceived and futile,” stressing that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not have powers to nullify an election it did not organise.

And stories from around the world:

Croatia set up their first World Cup final appearance after Mario Mandzukic’s 109th-minute strike secured a 2-1 comeback victory for Croatia against England. 

NATO leaders will seek to dampen a febrile atmosphere as their summit wraps up Thursday with talks on Afghanistan and Ukraine, after US President Donald Trump stung allies with a shock demand to double defence spending. (AFP)

British Prime Minister, Theresa May will set out a blueprint on Thursday for what her government calls “a principled and practical Brexit”, putting at its core a plan for a free trade area for goods that has angered many in her party. (Reuters)

Uganda is reviewing its decision to impose taxes on the use of social media and on money transactions by mobile phone, following a public backlash.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda made the announcement soon after police broke up a protest against the taxes. (BBC)

Four Russian diplomats will be banned from Greece after evidence revealed Russia was trying to foment opposition to a historic deal between Greece and Macedonia that is likely to pave the way for Macedonia’s Nato membership and so weaken Russian influence in the western Balkans.

Greece said it would expel two Russian diplomats and ban two others. (The Guardian, UK)

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