The Big 5: Kano Government discredits video evidence of Governor collecting bribe; Presidency denies releasing names of Nigerians placed on travel ban | More stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Presidency has denied releasing the names of 50 persons placed on travel ban on Saturday over corruption cases, sequel to the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari for the full implementation of Executive Order, Daily Trust reports.

Defending the position of the Presidency on the ban, Media Aide to the President, Garba Shehu, described the Executive Order as revolutionary, as he said its very essence was to make for speedy trials and conclusion of graft cases in the country, adding that the Immigration Service and other security agencies have the mandate of the President to carry out enforcement and they will do so giving due respects to individual rights, in line with the constitution.

“On the so-called list you asked for confirmation, I want to confirm to you that we have not issued any list and we are not doing so,” he said.

Following the report by a news medium, Daily Nigerian accusing Kano Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje of personally collecting kickbacks to the tune of $5 million from contractors executing various projects in the state and the subsequent release of a video evidence to back up the report, the state government has discredited the video portraying collecting some dollars as bribe from a contractor.

In responding to the allegation, Commissioner for Information, Youths and Culture, Muhammad Garba described the video as a cloned work, distorted, disjointed and calculated to discredit the governor, adding that government will seek redress in court against the alleger who said is a “serial blackmailer and extorter.”

“The Governor of Kano State wishes to once again emphatically debunk the allegation of receiving gratification of $5Million or any amount whatsoever from any person or body,” he stressed.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to South-East leaders to accept the decision of the PDP Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, to choose former Anambra Governor, Peter Obi as his running mate for the 2019 election, affirming that affirmed that consultation is a key ingredient in every political process.

In a statement signed by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president, however explained that the selection of a running mate doesn’t necessarily have to involve full regional review and approval, while urging the leaders to reconsider their position and accept Atiku’s choice of Obi as a candidate he thinks he can work with to achieve the party’s development goals.

“In the selection of a vice presidential candidate, a presidential candidate is allowed reasonable freedom to select his running mate based on loyalty, trust, experience, temperament and capacity to perform the responsibilities of the office. Anything other than this could create tension and acrimony between the presidential candidate and his running mate, even before the inauguration of the government,” Jonathan said.

Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has filed an action at the Federal High Court, Abuja against his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over his disqualification from the running for the governorship of his state on the basis of his non-participation in the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC).

In the suit filed by the Minister, he is among other requests, asking the court to declare that the submission/presentation of NYSC Discharge Certificate to APC is not part of the requirements for him to participate in the primary election for Nomination of Governorship candidate of the party in Oyo State for the 2019 General Election.

Shittu faulted the APC for not availing him an opportunity to be heard on the allegations as well as the NYSC for not mobilising him for the scheme as at the time of his graduation.

Following Friday’s pipeline explosion in Osisioma, Abia, the death toll from the incidence is said to be rising steadily, as sources say that dozens of people who were badly burnt have eventually died, putting the figure at 150.

Chairman of Osisioma Local Government Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Ikechukwu Chiavoghilefu, who disclosed this said the victims die every day on account of the severe burns they sustained while another traditional ruler, Eze Godswill Mgbarime of Umueze, blamed the disaster on security operatives who he said were N1,000 from each person that came to scoop fuel fuel from the leaking pipeline, rather than stopping them from gaining access to the scene.

“About 70 persons were packed to the health clinic near my palace on the first day it happened. All of them are now dead. Up to 150 have so far died.”

And stories from around the world:

Saudi Arabia warned it would retaliate against any sanctions imposed on the oil-rich kingdom over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as the Riyadh stock market plunged on growing investor jitters. (AFP)

The BBC says it has determined there is enough evidence to be confident that at least 106 chemical attacks have taken place in Syria since September 2013, when the president signed the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and agreed to destroy the country’s chemical weapons stockpile.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies suffered their worst election result since 1950 on Sunday, bleeding votes to the far-right and the ecologist Greens in a setback that raised tensions within Germany’s crisis-prone national government. (Reuters)

Jordan and Syria have agreed to reopen a vital border crossing between the two countries, three years after the commercial lifeline fell to rebel groups and traffic was halted. (Al Jazeera)

North and South Korea met on Monday to discuss the next steps in their pact to renew economic cooperation, with the North saying it wanted a “substantive outcome” from the talks, against the backdrop of U.S. concerns over their haste to warm ties. (Reuters)

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