The Big 5: Nigerian Students in the UK protest against Plateau killings, NNPC accused of shortchanging Federation account of N20b and other stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Nigerian students at the Cambridge University in England have protested the recent killings in parts of the country as a result of the herdsmen-farmers crisis.

At the demonstration held on Saturday, the students bearing placards with different inscriptions decried government’s indecisiveness in resolving the insecurity challenges in Nigeria and demanded actions to end the killings and justice for the victims of the attacks.

This is coming in the wake of condemnations and protests by prominent citizens and various groups in the country over the recent attack on some villages in Plateau which left no fewer than 100 persons dead.

The Forum of States Commissioners of Finance have claimed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) shortchanged the Federation Account to the tune of N20 billion.

The Chairman of the Forum, Mamoud Yunusa on Saturday night told journalists in Abuja that instead of N 147 billion, NNPC remitted N127 billion, adding that the N3.5 billion which the oil agency claimed to have spent on leaking oil pipelines was another area of contention as the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) claimed ignorance of it.

The development has reportedly affected the prompt payment of June salaries of public servants, as no new date has been set for a Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Saturday, says it would be meet with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to address the issue of remittances to the Federation Account that caused the suspension of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.

Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu who disclosed this Abuja said the decision to address the issue with the Vice President was due to the stance of the state commissioners of finance.

According to Ughamadu “The NNPC N147 billion June remittance to the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC), is in line with the terms of agreement it had with governors on the matter,” describing the he demands of the governors as unfortunate and a breach of the said agreement.

“The issue will be resolved with the Vice President who chairs the National Executive Council (NEC),” he added.

The Gubernatorial Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Kayode Fayemi, in the July 14 election in Ekiti has said the white paper issued by the state government barring him from holding political office is of no effect.

According to the former Minister of Mines and Steel Development in an interview with Vanguard, the White Paper could neither stop him nor any other person, adding that it used to be the case in the country where administrative panel report or a judicial commission report were so used to orchestrate the ban of a political office holder, but that period has since gone as it became very clear that it was a witch-hunting tool.

Fayemi citing the rulings of the Supreme Court in the case between Atiku Abubakar and the Federal Government, stressed that it is a settled matter and If anyone had any concrete or verifiable case against him, he/she should prove it in court.

“I am not the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) but there is judicial precedence,” he added.

The Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of BudgIT, Seun Onigbinde has questioned the rationale behind the President’s signing of the 2018 budget despite the discrepancies noticed by the executive.

Onigbinde who was speaking in an interview with PUNCH said the President did not take the right approach, as the Budget office ought to have taken advantage of the 26 day window legally allowed to review the budget and brought the points to the President’s notice, who in turn would have set the record straight before signing the budget.

“The National Assembly has the power to appropriate funds and that function is open-ended. The estimates submitted by the executive can be tinkered with to any length but great power comes with great responsibility.”

“Because you have the powers to modify the budget does not mean to appropriate for private gain or without alignment to the set vision. I don’t think the National Assembly has done the right thing and the President should not have signed it,” he added.

He further stressed that the executive will rapidly present a supplementary budget and make up for the cuts introduced by the National Assembly if they were still serious about the projects.

And stories from around the world:

South American side, Uruguay cruised into the quarter finals of the 2018 World Cup as Edinson Cavani bagged two impressive goals to sink Ronaldo’s Portugal 2-1 in their round of 16 tie on Saturday.

In the other game played earlier, Kylian Mbappe was the star of the show as France ran riot over an Argentina side in a 4-3 victory to break Lionel Messi’s World Cup hope and power his team to the Quarter-Finals.

Thai officials leading a massive effort to rescue 12 boys and their assistant football coach from a flooded cave said Sunday they had set up a working base deep inside a passageway and expressed optimism about their progress as bad weather eased. (AFP)

Iran is studying ways to keep exporting oil and other measures to counter U.S. economic sanctions, state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday. (Reuters)

Mexicans vote for a new president on Sunday in an election tipped to hand power to an anti-establishment outsider who would inject a new dose of nationalism into government and could sharpen divisions with Donald Trump’s United States. (Reuters)

The three black United States senators have introduced a bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime alongside existing crimes such as murder.

More than 200 anti-lynching bills have been introduced to Congress since 1918 only to be voted down, noted the bill’s lead sponsor, Democrat Kamala Harris.

“Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our history, and we must acknowledge that, lest we repeat it,” she said.

If passed, the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act would make lynching punishable by a sentence of up to life in prison. (BBC)

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