The Big 5: Osinbajo escapes death, House of Reps wants June 12 Election umpire honoured and other stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday escaped death as the helicopter conveying him from the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada in Abuja, was forced to land, few seconds after take off.

As reported by the Guardian Newspapers, while taking off, it could not ascend beyond the tree level before it emitted thick smoke and landed on the same spots few seconds after take off, forcing him to leave the college by road.

Osinbajo had earlier arrived in the school for the graduation ceremony of Senior Division Course 1 /2018 participants by the same chopper.

A lawmaker in the House of Representatives have called for the inclusion of the Electoral umpire at the June 12, 1993 elections in the list of those to be honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Following a motion at the plenary on Thursday by Hon. Wale Raji (APC-Lagos) brought under “Urgent Matter of National Importance’’ on the need to commend Buhari for the June 12 Democracy day initiative and call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to release the result of the 1993 election and declare Moshood Abiola, President-elect.

Hon. Chris Azubogu (PDP-Anambra) drew the attention of the house to the exclusion of the electoral umpire, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, who conducted the election, from the list of those honoured, citing that Nwosu was a key actor in the June 12 election who risked his life to conduct a free and fair election.

He also added that Nwosu been given due recognition for the role he played in the election would encourage future umpires of the electoral process to be free and fair.

Philip Gwada, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the rescheduled chairmanship election in the Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State, has been declared the winner of the poll.

The Returning Officer, Grace Doyaro, who announced the result in Kwoi on Thursday, said Gwada secured 17,967 votes to defeat the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Mr Benjamin Jok, who scored 7,401 votes.

Doyaro described the election as free and fair, devoid of rancour, adding that the PDP won all the 10 councillor seats in the local government. (NAN)

Senate President Bukola Saraki said he had given the police the explanation on his alleged links with the Offa robbery suspects.

Saraki who disclosed this using his official account, said he has complied with the Police demand that he put down his response in writing within 48 hours.

“In line with their request, earlier today, the Police received my response to their letter on the investigation into the Offa robbery case,” he tweeted.

The Federal Government has said the completion of Warri-Port Harcourt-Eket section of the East West Road would require an additional N100 billion.

Minister of Transport, Rotimi Chubuike Amaechi, disclosed this yesterday while inspecting the East-West road in company of Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Uguru Usani.

He said contractors handling the section I-II of the project stretching from Warri-Port Harcourt said they would need additional N57 billion to complete the project, while the contractors handling the Port Harcort-Onne-Eket end would need additional N43 billion to complete the work.

And stories from around the world:

Russia and United States authorities are discussing a possible meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, RIA news agency reported on Friday citing a diplomatic source.

“We are thinking about the presidential summit, and in conversations with American partners this question emerges. But there are no agreements yet,” RIA cited a source as saying. (Reuters)

United States President, Donald Trump said he would consider inviting North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to the White House if their summit in Singapore goes well.

Trump who made the comment after meeting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the 12 June summit, said it was possible an agreement to end the Korean War could be reached, though he called that “the easy part” of the negotiations.

“It’s what happens after that that is really important,” he told reporters.

The U.S. State Department on Friday issued an expanded health alert for all of China amid reports some U.S. diplomats based in the country had experienced a mysterious malady that resembles a brain injury and has already affected U.S. personnel in Cuba.

China has said that it thoroughly investigated the initial case reported by the United States and found no reasons or clues to explain it.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday that as far as she was aware the Chinese government had not had any formal communication with U.S. officials on any new cases. (Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was “no longer immune” from retaliation, while declaring the Iran nuclear deal over after Washington ditched the accord.

Noting that Israel had stayed out of Syria’s protracted civil war, in which Tehran backs Assad, Netanyahu said increasing Iranian encroachment required “a new calculus.” (AFP)

The youngest sister of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands has been found dead in her apartment in Bueno Aires.

Inés Zorreguieta, 33, who worked as a researcher at the United Nations in Panama and was also a talented guitarist, was reported by Argentinian and Dutch media to have killed herself.

The King of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, and Queen Máxima are flying to Argentina for the funeral. (The Guardian, UK)

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