The Big 5: CJN says attackers of Rivers High Court must not go scot-free, Security tightened at the Senate ahead of Omo-Agege’s resumption and other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:


The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has warned that the attackers of the Port Harcourt Division of the Rivers State High Court’s complex last Friday must not be allowed to go unpunished.

In a statement issued on his behalf on Monday, he expressed deep worry over the development, describing it as “violence against a peaceful arm of government” and “an act of intimidation of the judiciary”, adding that such show of shame ought not to be encouraged by right-thinking members of the Nigerian public.

He further stated that if those he described as “the enemies of our peace and democracy” were allowed to go scot-free, it would motivate them to unleash similar attacks on the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court whenever they were displeased by the court’s decisions.

Ahead of the expected resumption of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege today, authorities at the National Assembly, Abuja, on Monday beefed up security at the complex, following last Thursday’s Abuja High Court nullification of his suspension by the Senate.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that apart from full security detail in the red chamber on Monday, policemen were seen at the lobby leading into the chamber, a development that is unusual on a non-sitting day.

Some staff of the Assembly who pleaded anonymity confirmed that the move was to check likely breakdown of law and order as experienced when the mace was forcefully taken away.

The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on Monday inaugurated the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, with an inspection tour of the road.

According to the Director, Federal Highways, South-West, Mr. Olalekan Busari, the project re-awarded to Julius Berger for construction this month “is a complete rehabilitation of the entire road, and it is awarded at N22.387bn over a contract period of two and half years, and we hope the contractor will actually deliver.”

Mr Busari alongside the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr. Adedamola Kuti; and the Federal Controller, Works, Ogun, Mr. Olukayode Popoola explained that the road was important to the socio-economic development of the South-West and the entire nation, as well as it being the link to the Republic of Benin and that measures have been put in place for traffic management and diversions so as to reduce the hardship of road users.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has charged soldiers sent to provide security in Birnin Gwari in Kaduna to wipe out the armed bandits in the area within three weeks.

The Army Chief while addressing troops at the official flag-off of the FOB for Operation ‘Idon Raini’ at the proposed site of the Battalion at Kanfanin Doka village of Birnin-Gwari said, “We are no longer going to adopt the defensive approach, it must be offensive. Since the battle has been brought to you, you must take it back and crush them wherever they are.”

“In the next two, three weeks, there must be a very resounding result that will bring these criminals to their kneels finally. They must be wiped out.”

The Delta State Government says no fewer than 13 pilgrims of the 156 who travelled to Israel on pilgrimage last year absconded.

While speaking in Asaba on Monday, the Delta State Commissioner of the Bureau for Special Duties, Mr. Ernest Ogwezzy said that the pilgrims to the Holy Land, made up of 146 people and 10 officials, were sponsored by the state government.

“The state government frowns at pilgrims absconding. We will not tolerate it. It is supposed to be for religious obligation. We have put stringent machinery in motion to ensure that pilgrims sponsored by the state government come back,” he added.

And… stories from around the world.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif is set to visit Belgium this Tuesday on the final leg of a global tour aimed at rallying diplomatic support for his country’s nuclear deal after the Trump administration’s abrupt withdrawal.

Zarif will meet with his counterparts from Britain, France and Germany

He has since embarked on a whirlwind global tour, visiting both Russia and China, the two other signatory nations, in a bid to bolster support.

The World Health Organization has deployed 4,000 doses of vaccine along with emergency teams and equipment to the Democratic Republic of Congo to contain the Ebola outbreak in the country.

Working in conjuction with the DRC’s Ministry of Health and international non-governmental organizations, the WHO would conduct ring vaccinations across the affected region, where contacts of those infected, followed by contacts of those contacts, would all be vaccinated.

Though 4,000 doses have been shipped, more are expected to be sent out, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevik confirmed.

A satellite survey conducted by American researchers has revealed that North Korea has begun dismantling facilities at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

According to analysts at the 38 North website, commercial imagery taken last week reveals that several support buildings have been demolished, railroads have been removed and mining carts overturned.

North Korea has promised to dismantle the test site in the presence of journalists between May 23 and 25.

China has called for a restraint “especially” from Israel, after 59 Palestinians were killed by Israeli army during clashes and protests along the Gaza border against the US embassy moved to Jerusalem.

Foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang told a regular press briefing on Tuesday that “China is seriously concerned about a large number of casualties caused by the violent conflict in the Gaza border.”

“We oppose violence against civilians. We call on both sides, especially Israel, to maintain restraint and avoid further tension and escalation of the situation,” Lu said.

South Africa has recalled its ambassador to Israel “until further notice,” in protest of the deaths of Palestinians in violent clashes with Israeli troops along the Gaza border on Monday.

“The South African government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border‚ which has led to the deaths of over 40 civilians‚” a statement from the country’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation said.

“Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack‚ the South African government has decided taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice‚” it added.

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