The Big 5: You’ve committed high treason- APC to Saraki; SARS arrests Premium times reporter | Other stories

These are the stores that drove the conversation today:

The Nigerian Police, through the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Tuesday arrested and detained a reporter of Premium times who covers the security sector.

According to a statement by the publisher of the newspaper, Dapo Olorunyomi, on Tuesday, the police are demanding that the journalist, Samuel Ogundipe disclose his source for a story published by the medium, revealing a letter written by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to the Acting President on last week’s siege to the National Assembly by security operatives.

While the Police authorities are yet to make a formal statement on the issue, the newspaper has called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to direct the Police to release Ogundipe immediately and unconditionally.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has criticised the ‘decision of the Senate President,’ Dr. Bukola Saraki not to reconvene the National Assembly in consideration of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the budget for the 2019 elections and other requests by the President.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, in a statement on Tuesday, said: “Saraki’s decision not to reconvene the National Assembly, done with the support of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, is another brazen display of his penchant for abuse of powers and sabotage of government, however the cost and implication.”

Nabena further described the delay of the INEC budget as dangerous, adding that “Saraki’s actions as Senate President now bother on high treason.”

The Presidency has corrected reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, again vetoed the latest version of the 2018 Electoral Bill passed by the National Assembly forwarded to him for assent.

Giving a clarification on the issue on Tuesday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Sen. Ita Enang said:

“Yes, an electoral bill  was vetoed or refused assent by the President but not the last version of the 2018 electoral bill transmitted to the President for assent on Aug. 3 that has just spent 11 days on his table and still having 19 days more for possible consideration and assent.”

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, on Tuesday restated his call for the impeachment of Senate President Bukola Saraki.

In his remarks, Oshiomhole who made the call in Abuja, on Tuesday, during a meeting with the APC caucus in both houses of the National Assembly, said:

“The only way he can avoid impeachment is to either resign or return to the majority party; even then we will not accept him, he should remain where he is,” adding that the Senator Saraki will be impeached by the APC “legally and democratically.”

The Federal Government has insisted that failure to obtain external debt as contained in the 2018 Appropriation Act will slow down the implementation of the capital component of the budget.

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, who disclosed this in an interview with Daily Trust on Tuesday, said the external debt is necessary because of the huge deficit (equivalent to 67 per cent of the total N2.87 trillion capital expenditure for the year) in the 2018 budget.

“The borrowing is one component of the funding, which is the major one for now and if we are not able to realise the two borrowing as projected in the budget, it will affect the performance of the budget,” she said.

The N9.12 trillion 2018 budget has a deficit of N1.95 trillion, . The deficit is to be financed mainly by borrowing of N1.643 trillion both from external and internal sources.

And stories from around the world:

Turkey has doubled tariffs on some U.S. imports, such as passenger cars, alcohol and tobacco, in what its vice president said was a response to deliberate U.S. attacks on the Turkish economy. (Reuters)

China has blasted US tariffs on solar panel imports, filing a complaint at the World Trade Organization in the latest salvo of the trade battle between the world’s two economic giants. (AFP)

Israel’s defence minister has announced it will reopen the main cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday if the relative calm of recent days continues. (BBC)

Thousands of Brazilians are planning a mass rally to demand that their controversial choice of presidential candidate and former leader, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption, be allowed to run for office. (Al Jazeera)

Crossbench senator Fraser Anning has been widely criticsed for his invoking of the White Australia policy and use of the term “final solution”, with Malcolm Turnbull, Labor, the Greens and even One Nation leader Pauline Hanson condemning his racially inflammatory first Senate speech. (The Guardian)


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