The Big 5: State Governors threaten to take over subsidy payment, Court rules marriages at Federal Registries as unconstitutional and other top stories

These are the major stories you should be monitoring today:

The National Economic Council (NEC), comprising the 36 State Governors has threatened to take over the responsibility of subsidising petroleum products in their states based on consumption, following the huge amount of money being spent annually by the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation (NNPC) on fuel subsidy payment.

The Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Gov. Abdul’aziz Yari of Zamfara who stated this while responding to questions after the NEC meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja on Thursday, said the governors would take a decision on whether to take responsibility for the subsidy in their states or not, next month.

“Working with the governors so many decisions were taken but by next month, we are going to adopt that position either for the governors to take responsibility for the subsidy in their states based on the consumption or we look at other ways.”

A Lagos High Court has issued a restraining order to the Federal Marriage Registry, Ikoyi  from conducting marriages, saying such marriages as are not legally binding.

Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, in granting the order ruled that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to perform the duties of the state and local governments.

The judgement delivered on Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1760/16 said marriage registries in the local government and local council development areas of Lagos state are the authentic and legally-binding government divisions established to carry out such functions, the cable reported.

President Muhammadu Buhari met behind closed doors with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Thursday.

The meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja centred on efforts being made by the Army authorities to restore peace to troubled parts of the country.

Buhari disclosed this in a message he posted on his verified Twitter handle, @MBuhari, after the meeting.

“Our commitment to the peace and security of Nigeria is total,” he tweeted.

The National Industrial Court, Abuja, has ordered striking members of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), to suspend its ongoing strike and resume duties across the nation within 24 hours.

Justice Babatunde Adejumo, gave the order on Thursday after listening to the submissions of Mr Okere Nnamdi, in an ex-parte motion filed by a non-governmental organisation, Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, in a motion praying the court to order the workers to resume work and go back to negotiation table.

Adejumo ordered the Minister of Health, Minister of Labour and Employment, among others, to immediately set up a committee to address issues raised by labour and the parties should arrive at an acceptable and amicable solution in the interest of Nigerians who are bearing the brunt of the strike action.

Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has called on Nigerians to embrace attitudinal change towards education. He decried the subsisting situation of, “the lack of treating education with the seriousness it deserves by classifying money spent on it as expenditure rather than investment”.

Mr. Obi who made this observation during a visit to Good Shepherd Anglican Academy, Lokoja, Kogi State, urged Nigerians interested in the meaningful development of the country not to leave the task of improving education to government alone.

He appealed to wealthy Nigerians to deny themselves the pleasure of the huge expenditure on the things and habits they do not necessarily need, and commit some of that money to support schools across the country, vanguard reports.

And stories from around the world:

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered on Thursday that the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip be opened for the whole of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, he said on his official Twitter account.

Sisi’s Twitter account said the opening of the crossing would “alleviate the burdens of brothers in Gaza.”

The border with the Palestinian territory is mostly shut but opens at regular intervals. This would be the longest single opening in years.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin held meeting with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on Thursday and said the situation in Syria is now favourable for the beginning of a “political process” which would lead to the withdrawal of foreign forces, Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“After the military success (of the Syrian army in recent months) supplementary conditions have been created which favour the start of a political process on a major scale,” Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin following the meeting in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

“With the start of the political process in its most active phase, foreign armed forces will withdraw from Syrian territory,” Putin added. (AFP)

Malaysian Police seized 284 boxes containing designer handbags and dozens of bags filled with cash, jewelry and other valuables from a private residence linked to former Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday morning.

Amar Singh, Director of Police Commercial Crime Investigations said police have carried out raids on six premises, which include the Prime Minister’s office, official residence in Putrajaya and four private residences linked to the former Premier.

Singh confirmed that the raids on the premises are related to an investigation into a multi-billion scandal involving the Najib-founded state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).


United States President, Donald Trump said he was referring to criminal gangs when he called some illegal immigrants “animals,” a term the Mexican government labeled as unacceptable and which drew rebukes on social media.

Mexico’s government said it filed a diplomatic note of complaint to the U.S. State Department over the remarks, saying that the comments were not respectful of human rights.

“President Trump referred to some immigrants, perhaps he had criminal gangs in mind, I don’t know, as animals, not as persons,” Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told local TV on Thursday. “In the opinion of the Mexican government, this is absolutely unacceptable.”

When asked about the remarks, Trump said on Thursday they had been taken out of context.

The President of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, has ordered the withdrawal on Thursday of additional security assigned to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has remained for almost six years.

“The President of the Republic, Lenin Moreno, has ordered that any additional security at the Ecuadorian embassy in London be withdrawn immediately,” the government said in a statement.

“From now on, it will maintain normal security similar to that of other Ecuadorian embassies,” the statement added.

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