The Big 5: EFCC debunks claim accounts were frozen on Saraki’s order, I’ll be President for just one term – Atiku | More stories


These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Former Vice President and chieftain of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said he will be President for a single term of four years, if elected in 2019.

Atiku who disclosed this in an interview with THISDAY , spoke on a variety of issues, including youth unemployment, the troubled education system, insecurity and restructuring as part of his plan to reposition the country in realising its full potential. 

“Of course, I would! I have said this before on my own initiative. I believe in it. If I am elected as the President in 2019, I give an undertaking that I would only do one term.”

“I am prepared to sign an undertaking to do only one term.” he added.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has faulted claims by the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, that the agency was playing out a script written by Senate President Bukola Saraki to undermine the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

Ojudu had in an article on Saturday titled, ‘Fifth columnists in our recent history,’ alleged: 

“From the shenanigans at the Benue House of Assembly to the siege on National Assembly, the attack on judges home in the night, the so-called barricade of the Senate President’s house, the laughable kidnap of Boy Dino and ‘his 11 hours on a tree’, the freezing of the Benue and Akwa Ibom accounts all are scripted, produced and acted by Oloye (Saraki) Productions.”

In a statement by its spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC said the freezing of the accounts were not scripted by Saraki, but by the commission after months of painstaking investigations and “called for circumspection on the part of Ojudu and political leaders, while urging them to seek clarification before making comments on matters they do not know about.”

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has called on the acting Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mathew Seiyefa to review cases of hundreds of illegally detained persons by the service under the leadership of its sacked director, Lawal Daura and release them forthwith.

Falana in an open letter to the acting DSS chief, on Sunday while congratulating him, called on the new boss to remedy the past wrongs and demanded that the DSS “discontinue the frivolous charge pending against Messrs Jones Abiri, a journalist and Peter Collins Opume at the Wuse Magistrate Court; while releasing  the hundreds of detainees that are languishing without trial in the various detention centres of the SSS.”

The lawyer among a long list of issues also called for the release of Col. Dasuki and other criminal suspects who have been admitted to bail by municipal and regional courts, including Sheik Ibraheem Elzakzaky and Hajia Zeinab Elzakzaky from illegal custody in line with the orders of the Federal High Court.

Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra on Audiovisual Productions, Randie Chima (57), has been found dead in his room on the Nwakpodulu Avenue, Awka, the state capital.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, who confirmed the incident on Sunday, said, reports from B Division, Awka indicated that the Governor’s aide slept on Friday night and did not open his door the next day, leading his neighbours to force the said door open after several knocks, where his lifeless body was found lying on the bed.

Mohammed noted that there were “no marks of violence and no foul play suspected at the moment,” but investigation had commenced to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the death.

The Federal Government has launched a new initiative under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), called the Trader Moni, expected to empower two million petty traders between now and the end of the year.

Trader Moni which was launched on Tuesday in Lagos is aimed at enlarging the financial inclusion agenda for all Nigerians regardless of social class and economic status and would grant loans to a minimum of 30,000 beneficiaries in each State of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The scheme is designed to help petty traders expand their trade through the provision of collateral free loans of N10,000 which are repayable within a period of six months.

And stories from around the world:

Vote counting was under way across Mali on Monday after a tense presidential runoff in which a poll worker was killed and 100 polling stations were forced to close due to the security threat from Islamist militants. (AFP)

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has said he would allow US FBI agents into the country to help investigate the alleged assassination attempt against him a week ago, adding that he believed that the people involved had fled to Florida, Peru and Colombia. (BBC)

North and South Korea has agreed to hold an inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in September, the South’s Unification Ministry has said on Monday. (Reuters)

Turkey has vowed to take measures later Monday to calm market fears sparked by the precipitous plunge in the lira’s value as its president accused Washington of spearheading an “underhand plot” against his country. (AFP)

An official Communist Party newspaper said China’s campaign of pressure against its Uighur Muslim minority has prevented the Xinjiang region from becoming “China’s Syria” or “China’s Libya.” (Al Jazeera)

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