The Big 5: Drama in Edo as Governor walks out BEDC MD from government house; 2 witnesses die after giving evidence against former governor under trial | Other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Two vital prosecution witnesses have died mysteriously after providing evidence in the trial of former Adamawa Governor, Murtala Nyako, alongside his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba, on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N29billion.

According to a detective with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Adekunle Odofin, who made the revelation before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, one Mohammad Maj Iro, who was the general manager of Zenith Bank Plc and the account officer of 200 accounts belonging to the state, as well as Dalhatu Abdulmalik, cousin to Nyako and director of Ameak Investment Limited, made “crucial statements” during the investigation into a N29billion fraud case.

Trial judge, Justice Okon Abang thereafter adjourned to November 29, 2018 for continuation of trial.

Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday walked the Managing Director (MD) of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Funke Osibodu, out of his office for failure of her company to meet obligations to electricity consumers in the state and throwing the state into darkness for weeks.

Speaking to a delegation from the House of Representatives Committee on Power who were in Government House on a courtesy visit, the governor said BEDC has continued to fail in collaborating with the state government to provide stable electricity in the state, stressing that despite the fact that the state generates about 600 to 700 megawatts of electricity, the people are still in darkness, wondering how he is expected to explain the irony to the people, who are well aware that they produce a substantial amount of electricity in the country.

“As Governor of Edo State, we have lost confidence in BEDC. We don’t want them here. We are in darkness. Let us remain in darkness until we find people who are capable of delivering electricity.  This is our position,” he added.

Immediate past governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, has described the statement by his successor in office, that he was not interested in probing him, as  an afterthought, stressing that the fact is that the governor couldn’t find any incriminating evidence against him, hence he adopted a face-saving tactic.

In a statement by his media aide, Lere Olayinka in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, Fayose said he did not engage in corruption that could warrant any threat from Fayemi against him, insisting that the state government set up a duly constituted judicial commission of inquiry and he will personally appear before the panel.

“Fayemi should act like someone with conscience for once by letting the people know how he has been carrying operatives of the EFCC up and down, looking for what Fayose did and did not do,” he added.

The House of Representatives at its plenary on Tuesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, to release all outstanding funds from the 2018 Appropriation Act due to the Federal Judiciary, to the National Judicial Council.

The resolution followed a motion sponsored by the Chairman of the House Committee on Federal Judiciary, Aminu Shagari, who expressed worry that the absence of the funds may disrupt the efficiency of the judicial arm of government in the country.

The lawmaker citing Section 81(3) of the Constitution which states that the judiciary council would be on first line charge, informed his colleagues that the action of the Federal Ministry of Finance in withholding the funds was unconstitutional.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed the allegation levelled against it by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that it had diverted military funds to finance the 2019 election campaigns, describing such allegation as desperate politics using the blood of fallen heroes as a fair game.

In a statement by its spokesman, Lanre Isa-Onilu, the APC accused the PDP of being callous and insensitive to the families and dependants of the late soldiers as well as military who battle daily to ensure our territorial integrity, stressing that “Nigerians see through PDP’s ploy to score political points as elections approach and it will surely backfire.” 

“God forbid that the APC inherits and apply such morbid practice as brazenly displayed during the immediate-past PDP administration where funds allocated to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east were shared among PDP leaders and their cronies,”  part of the statement read.

And stories from around the world:

British Prime Minister Theresa May will take her Brexit sales pitch to Scotland on Wednesday, where she will likely face an uphill struggle to convince sceptical voters of the benefits of her deal for businesses and the fishing industry. (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump says he may cancel a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin following a maritime clash between Russia and Ukraine.

Mr Trump told the Washington Post he was waiting for a “full report” after Russian ships fired on and seized three Ukrainian boats on Sunday. (BBC)

An explosion and fire near a chemical factory left at least 22 people dead and 22 others injured on Wednesday in a northern China region that will host the 2022 Winter Olympics, authorities said. (AFP)

China will retaliate “in proportion” if the United States sanctions its top official in its far-west Xinjiang region over alleged human rights abuses, China’s ambassador to the US said, adding Beijing’s policies there are to “re-educate terrorists”.

Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai compared actions in Xinjiang to US troops battling Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), and told Reuters news agency China’s efforts to combat international terrorism were held to a double standard. (Al Jazeera)

Mexico’s outgoing government said on Tuesday it would bestow the country’s top honor for foreigners on Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, a decision quickly met with derision by critics on social media. (Reuters)

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