The Big 5: We evacuated football fans in Russia with $1 million- FG; Akpabio rounds off consultations, meets Tinubu I More stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Federal Government says the evacuation of 355 stranded Nigerian football fans in Russia after the 2018 World Cup cost $1 million, and has urged Nigerians to travel out of the country in a regular and legal manner.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, who made the disclosure to newsmen on Monday in Abuja, said that the evacuation was done in two batches of 155 persons and 200 persons, adding that the second batch of 200 fans returned to the country on Sunday along with 17 Ghanaian football fans also stranded in Russia.

Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, on Monday met with the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu ahead of his admittance into the APC on Wednesday.

Akpabio’s visit to Tinubu in Abuja, is believed to be the final leg of consultations by the former governor in order to ensure his seamless movement from the PDP to APC, after similar visits to the President who is on vacation in London and the Acting President recently.

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday met behind closed doors with the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Lawan and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang who accompanied the Senate Leader to the meeting, addressed newsmen at the end of meeting, warning that the country might face total government shut down, if the National Assembly does not reconvene urgently.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has however summoned a meeting of the National Assembly Leadership comprising the presiding and principal officers of the Senate and House of Representatives.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to provide to Nigerians, explanations about the $25bn contract scam allegedly perpetrated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) under their watch.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, who threw the challenge at a press briefing on Monday in Abuja, described the Buhari-led admnistration of providing cover for corrupt elements in government while simultaneously harassing opposition figures under the guise of fighting corruption.

The PDP challenged the Buhari Presidency and the APC to explain to the world, its silence on a number of allegations including: alleged stealing of N18bn out of the N48bn fund for the rehabilitation of millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and certificate scams involving key appointees of his government.

The Lagos Government has issued a 21-day notice to quit to owners of bonded terminals in Ajegunle, Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Rotimi Ogunleye, who said this on Monday after a meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, and owners of the terminal in Ikeja, said, “the bonded terminals are located in areas designated for residential purposes and their operations are in conflict with the state’s urban and regional planning and development law.”

Ogunleye added that owners of trailers parked indiscriminately on streets in Ajegunle and Olodi Apapa had been told to leave the areas within 48 hours, which would elapse on Wednesday, August 8.

And stories from around the world:

Canada on Monday refused to back down in its defense of human rights after Saudi Arabia froze new trade and investment and expelled the Canadian ambassador in retaliation for Ottawa’s call to free arrested Saudi civil society activists. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia’s state airline has said it is suspending flights to and from Toronto, the latest in a series of measures announced by the kingdom in its diplomatic dispute with Canada. (Aljazeera)

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has hit out at the United States over its reinstatement of economic sanctions, describing the measures which came into effect overnight, as “psychological warfare” aimed at “sowing division among Iranians”. (BBC)

Terrified holidaymakers rushed for boats and planes to leave Indonesia’s Lombok island Tuesday after it suffered a second deadly quake within a week, while rescuers struggled to reach hard-hit areas where survivors are in urgent need of food and shelter. (AFP)

Bangladesh has promised to apply the death penalty to people involved in some traffic accidents as it struggles to contain mass student-led protests for better road safety, as protests continued on Monday despite a forceful response by police and pro-government mobs. (The Guardian)

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