The Big 5: Buhari to sign budget on Tuesday to prevent FG shutdown, PDP clears all 23 chairmanship seats in Rivers poll and other stories

These are the stories should be monitoring today:

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to sign the N9.1 trillion 2018 budget on Tuesday in a bid to forestall a shutdown of the government from that day.

As reported in the Vanguard Newspapers, A government source said that the president was convinced to signing the budget into law in order not to bring the machinery of the government to a standstill.

The implication of a further delay in signing the appropriation bill into law, would mean the government having no money to run the government, including being able to pay for its services except using illegal instruments to draw money to run government operations as the cycle of the 2017 budget ended on June 13 being the date  the last budget was signed in 2017. when Vice President Yemi Osinbajo signed the last budget in the absence of the then sick president.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has won all the 23 chairmanship positions contested in on Saturday’s local council elections conducted by Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, RSIEC.

Chairman of the Commission  Justice Chukwunenye Uriri (rtd), who declared the results on Sunday night, noted that the exercise was free and fair, adding that there was no report of violence during the elections.

The Chief of Staff to Adamawa Governor, Abdulrahman Jimeta, is dead.

Jimeta is reported  to have died in the early hours of Monday in Saudi Arabia.

“He died this morning in Saudi Arabia where he has gone to perform the leaser Hajj,” an assocate of the COS  Yola based said.

Civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has sued Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), for alleged failure to account for spending on the privatisation of the electricity sector.

In the suit filed at a Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP also seeks to know the exact amount of post-privatisation spending on generation companies (GENCOS), distribution companies (DISCOS) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to date.

The group also wants government to explain the source of the money spent.

The Imo chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), have given an ultimatum to a  member of the State House of Assembly, Emma Orie, to compensate a journalist,  who he slapped at a public function in Owerri.

According to a statement issued and signed by the State Chairman of the Union, Innocent Igwe, the union frowned at the alleged assault on it’s member by the lawmaker representing Ohaji/Egbema constituency in the State House of Assembly, who who met  Destiny Isinwa,  at a function in Owerri, and slapped him, over what he termed working against his political career a few days ago.

And stories from around the world:

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Osaka, Japan has on Monday killed at least three people, including a child, and injured more than 200.

Airports in the area were closed for several hours, train lines interrupted and factories had to halt production.

Monday’s quake in Osaka occurred just before 08:00 local time (23:00 GMT Sunday) north of the city, the meteorological agency said. (BBC)

Conservative political newcomer, Iván Duque has been elected president of Colombia.

At a victory rally in the capital Bogotá, Mr Duque, who won 54% of the vote pledged to unite the country following a divisive campaign.

Duque says he will overhaul the agreement that guaranteed the rebels seats in Congress and allowed them to contest elections, adding that he will impose tougher punishments on crimes allegedly committed by the rebels during the brutal five-decade conflict with the government. (BBC)

Syrian state media said on Monday that U.S.-led coalition aircraft had bombed “one of our military positions” in eastern Syria, leading to deaths and injuries, but the U.S. military denied carrying out strikes in the area.

The strike took place in al-Harra, southeast of Albu Kamal, Syrian state media said citing a military source. There were no immediate details on casualties.

A commander in the military alliance backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also told Reuters that drones, “probably American,” bombed positions of Iraqi factions between Albu Kamal and Tanf, as well as Syrian military positions. (Reuters)

On the final day of a three-day Eid al-Fitr ceasefire, the Taliban said they would resume fighting, despite President Ashraf Ghani’s announcement that the government was extending its own ceasefire with the group by 10 days.

In the statement on Sunday, the Taliban repeated their preconditions for peace talks, including that they would only negotiate directly with the US and that foreign forces should leave Afghanistan.

“Our fighters will now resume their operations across the country against the foreign invaders and their internal puppets,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Al Jazeera.

Israeli jets struck nine targets belonging to the Islamist Hamas group in the northern Gaza Strip early on Monday in response to incendiary kites and balloons Palestinians sent from the territory that have damaged Israeli property, the military said.

Sirens also sounded in Israeli areas near the Gaza Strip at daybreak and the army said three rockets had been launched towards Israeli territory but one fell short in the Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported from the rockets or air strikes. (Reuters)

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