The Big 5: Police says Offa robbery gang leaders accompanied Saraki on condolence visit and other stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Nigerian Police on Tuesday said four of the gang leaders accompanied the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, 48 hours after the Offa bank robbery to the palace of the Olofa of Offa, Oba Muftau Gbadamosi Esuwoye, to sympathise with him.

As reported by the Vanguard Newspapers, a source at the SARS office in Abuja, said that contrary to widely publicized report, which indicated that Saraki was invited because of his role in the robbery attack, the Senate President was only invited to explain why he allegedly purchased illegal and prohibited weapons used to kill innocent and law-abiding people.

“It is an offence to purchase prohibited weapons for criminals in whatever guise, be it thuggery or whatever you call it,” he said, insisting the Senate President had a case to answer.

The source also disclosed that Police investigators during interrogation of the suspects also discovered that one of the gang leaders was putting on the same ankara clothing specially invited guests wore on the day of Bukola Saraki’s daughter’s wedding in Kwara.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has said its fight against oppression includes all Nigerians and not limited to only Christians.

CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, made the disclosure during a funeral programme organised in honour of the association’s General Secretary, Musa Asake, who died recently, said the association will continue to lend it’s voice against oppression of any kind against all Nigerians.

“We are against any form of oppression, not only against Christians, but all Nigerians. Yes, you may say Christians first because that’s our constancy. But a lot of things are going wrong in this country. The current wave of violence is unprecedented. We will continue to speak against that. We will speak out against all causes of religious agitation and oppression against Nigerians,” Ayokunle said.

The Transparency International has said militias offer bribes to corrupt officials at seaports, land borders and airports to bring weapons into Nigeria, urging for more accountability and transparency to strengthen security in the country.

Musa Rafsanjani, Head of Transparency International Nigeria,who stated this in Abuja on Tuesday at a policy dialogue on the state of the nation, added that the Federal Government must adequately fund the police and provide them with “the requisite skills and modern equipment to effectively tackle the insecurity challenges in the country.”

While noting that Nigeria was not yet mature for state police, as most state governments would use such to promote political violence and oppression, he advocated for more transparency and accountability in the security sector. as well as more oversight from the National Assembly on the security sector.

Haruna David, a Deputy Director in the Kogi State Ministry of Education,  slumped and died on Tuesday while at his office in Lokoja. 

The deceased civil servant was said to have complained to some staff about difficulty in meeting his family obligations due to nonpayment of his salaries and that he had accumulated much debts.

According to sources in the ministry, David ust like other workers in the state was last paid in February 2018.

Kogi State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Onuh Edoka, who confirmed the incident, said he has mandated some of its officials ascertain the cause of the death and the union would make its position known after the cause of the sudden death is ascertained.

Three Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) policemen and eight farmers were said to have been killed by suspected herdsmen in Mararaba Udege, Aisa and Aguma communities in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa.

A conflict was said to have erupted after an Agatu man shot a Fulani and stole his motorcycle, leading to houses being burnt and the communities deserted in the incident which happened on June 3.

Police spokesman Ismaila Usman, who confirmed this, said “As the Fulani launched a reprisal, the police was called in. But unfortunately, our men were ambushed and three were killed, adding that although no arrest has been made, normalcy has returned to the affected areas as a team of policemen, headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, had been deployed there to maintain order.”

The Paramount Ruler of Agatu Chiefdom, Alhaji Ahmed Kwanaki has appealed to the state and Federal Government to deploy military men in the area to stem the attacks as the security operatives earlier deployed in the area were overpowered by the herdsmen and they could not move to the interior where the killings happened.

And stories from around the world:

At least 192 people are missing and 75 are dead as a result of the explosion of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala on Sunday, officials say.

Villages on the slopes were buried in volcanic ash and mud.

Rescue work on Tuesday was disrupted when a new eruption sent hot gas and molten rock streaming down the volcano’s south side, a development that took many by surprise after volcanologists said the eruption, which had sent ash up to 10km (33,000ft) into the sky on Sunday, was over for the near future. (BBC)

Singapore airspace will be restricted during the planned United States-North Korea summit next week, according to a notice to airmen posted by aviation authorities on Wednesday.

A separate notice on the ICAO website warned aviators to keep clear of the Paya Lebar Air Base, a military facility in the island’s east that has been used by U.S. presidents on past visits. The notice said aircraft that breach the restrictions “may be intercepted.”

As part of its preparations for the summit, Singapore has designated certain parts of city as “special event areas” for June 10 to 14. These include the central region, which is home to its foreign ministry, the U.S. embassy and several hotels, and Sentosa Island in the south, where the summit is scheduled to take place. (Reuters)

Ukraine’s president has robustly defended the decision to fake the death of a journalist, as questions persist over the necessity of the stunt and an alleged “hit-list” of future potential victims.

“If we want to protect the freedom of the press, if we want to protect journalists, this is the kind of technique we need to use,” said President Petro Poroshenko, speaking to Spanish newspaper El País. “Would you have preferred it if the Russian secret services had murdered that journalist?” he added. (The Guardian, UK)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seeking to draw on his close ties with President Donald Trump in talks on Thursday, will urge the U.S. leader not to forget Tokyo’s security concerns in his drive for a historic deal with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un.

“Japan has repeatedly made clear that Japan is seeking complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all the weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges, and Japan’s position has not yet changed,” a foreign ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

“We think the U.S. of course understands Japan’s position.” (Reuters)

An international court is expected to approve the early release from prison of one of the architects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda – despite objections from prosecutors who claim it will undermine confidence in global campaigns to combat extremism.

The Rwandan government has also made protests over what it describes as a secretive process which could see Hassan Ngeze freed along with others responsible for the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis.

Rwandan officials have strongly criticised Theodor Meron, an American who heads the international court which took over responsibility for administering sentences after the individual tribunals for Rwanda and Yugoslavia were wound up, for granting reductions in sentences and early release for a number of people convicted of genocide.

The government in Kigali said there is nothing in the ICTR statute which requires release of prisoners after completing two-thirds of their sentences and that the measure is a “judicially-invented creation” imposed without consulting Rwanda. (The Guardian, UK)

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