The Big 5: FG says no new minimum wage by September, EFCC yet to find evidence against former SGF and other stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Federal Government says the payment of a new national minimum wage will not materialize  by the end of September as envisaged.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, disclosed this on Tuesday while speaking with journalists in Abuja, pointing out that the September date was just a date to conclude negotiation on minimum wage,as it has to be tabled before the National Council of State before an executive bill is sent to the National Assembly on the issue.

Dr. Ngige added that the capacity to pay by employers was paramount in the deliberations on the wage, as governors were also of the belief that for the new minimum wage to become effective, the current revenue allocation formula will have to be reviewed in favour of the states and local government.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it is still investigating the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, and will act based on the outcome of the probe.

Spokesperson of the agency, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said this on Tuesday during the Channels Forum which brought together experts and policymakers to discuss key issues in the country, amid questions about the fate of the former SGF who was fired after being indicted for corruption and investigated for the same.

“The matter is on the table of the EFCC, we are currently doing our investigation and at the end of our investigation, if we have credible evidence to take him to court, we will take him to court.” he said.

Former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, has faulted the idea that special courts have to be created to tackle corruption in Nigeria.

Odinkalu on Tuesday in an appearance on Channels Television’s special programme – The Forum described the idea as disreputable saying every court with jurisdiction on a matter, ought to be able to exercise jurisdiction.

“The Idea that we have to start creating corruption tribunals at this time in the 21st century is disreputable quite honestly. It is part of the problem that we’ve got,” he said.

“So you’ll create a special court for rape, for murder, for corruption, how many special courts are you going to create,” he questioned.

“Nigeria is so messed up as a country and as a people that we think military solutions offer a pathway out of everything and I like to think that we can do much better than this,’ he said.

The Socio-cultural youth group, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to go beyond assenting to the ‘Not too Young to Run’  bill and give the younger generation the opportunity to govern  the country in 2019.

Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the group’s National President, stated this in an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, while reacting to the Democracy Day broadcast of the President, where he said it was one thing for the President to tell Nigerians that he would sign the bill and it was another thing for him to match his words with action.

He further maintained that whether Buhari quit the stage for younger generation to contest in the 2019 presidency or not, the President would hear from Nigerians during the 2019 elections.

Suspected cattle rustlers on Tuesday killed eight persons at Kurega village in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, police said.

According to residents of the community, the rustlers reportedly attacked the community at about 2pm,”opened fire on innocent people killing some and took away cows.”

A member of a vigilante group in the area, who said he participated in chasing the bandits said they ran into the bush when they sighted vigilantes coming after them, adding that “the people of Kurega village lost eight of their strong hunters. We have brought out eight bodies to the town, from the bush.”

Police Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Aliyu Muktar, confirmed the incident, “Yes, we got the information that around 2 pm, some suspected cattle rustlers attacked Kurega village and killed three persons, injured four others”  he said.

Mr Muktar said the command had already deployed officers to the area. (Premium Times)

And stories from around the world:

United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Mexico of doing “nothing” to stop illegal immigrants crossing into the United States, and repeated his election campaign pledge that Mexico would pay for his planned border wall.

Trump who was addressing supporters in a campaign-style rally in Nashville, Tennessee said “In the end, Mexico is going to pay for the wall,” Trump told the crowd. “They do absolutely nothing to stop people from going through Mexico, from Honduras and all these other countries … They do nothing to help us.”

About an hour later, Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto took to Twitter to hit back.

“President @realDonaldTrump: NO. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever. Sincerely, Mexico (all of us),” Pena Nieto wrote in English. He then repeated the tweet in Spanish.

Japan on Tuesday said it had detected what appeared to be a Chinese-flagged vessel, 350 km (218 miles) off Shanghai, conducting illegal transfers to a North Korean ship.

“Following a comprehensive assessment, the government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned by UNSCR,” Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release, referring to U.N. Security Council resolutions.

A Japanese P-3 maritime patrol plane detected the vessels, which lay alongside each other connected by hoses, on May 19, with one of the ships flying what seemed like a Chinese flag, it said. (Reuters)

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko has died after being shot near his home in Kiev, Ukrainian police say.

Mr Babchenko, 41, was found bleeding at the entrance to his block of flats by his wife and died in an ambulance.

After writing about a crashed Russian military plane in 2016, Mr Babchenko said he received death threats and left his home country. (BBC)

Roseanne Barr’s revived sitcom has been cancelled after she posted a racist and Islamophobic tweet that attacked former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

The sitcom star falsely alleged that Jarrett, who was born in Iran to American parents, has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, and compared her to an ape. Barr wrote: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” using Jarrett’s initials.

ABC swiftly announced the show’s cancellation. The network said in a statement: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” (The Guardian, UK)

An upcoming video game that lets players simulate a school shooting is coming in for criticism from parents of shooting victims and from politicians.

An online petition by the activist group urging the game distributor not to launch the game has drawn more than 100,000 signatures.

“This company should face the wrath of everyone who cares about school and public safety and it should start immediately,”  Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter, Jaime, 14, was killed in the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida said on Twitter. Do not buy this game for your kids or any other game made by this company.”

“This is inexcusable,” said Florida Senator Bill Nelson. “Any company that develops a game like this in (the) wake of such a horrific tragedy should be ashamed of itself.” (AFP)


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