The Late 5: 210 inmates escape from Minna Prison, Police make U-turn on Saraki invitation and other stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

210 inmates on Sunday night escaped from the Minna Maximum Prisons, Tunga area of Minna Metropolis in Niger.

Spokesperson of the Prison Service in Niger, Rabiu Shuaibu who confirmed the attack said the incident was carried out after armed criminals attacked the prison and gained access following an exchange of fire with prison officials.

According to reports, a prison warder and a commercial motorcyclist were killed during the jailbreak as the gunmen shot sporadically. Over 35 inmates have however been rearrested.

The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau who also confirmed the incident on his visit to the prison facility on Monday morning to ascertain the situation, alongside Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello, lamented inadequate manpower in the Nigerian Prisons, adding that plans are on to recruit more workers to enable adequate security.

The Nigeria Police has withdrawn its invitation to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki over his alleged connection with the Offa bank robbery in Offa.

Saraki made this known via his official twitter account on Monday evening

“Following my earlier tweet, I have received the letter from @PoliceNG.

“They are no longer asking me to appear at any station, but to respond in writing to the allegations within 48 hours — which I plan to do.”

President Muhammadu Buhari is not yet ready to sign the 2018 Appropriation Bill recently sent to him by the National Assembly.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, who gave the indication in an interview at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said the President was currently busy reviewing the document transmitted to him by the National Assembly.

“The President is currently reviewing the budget. As you know, we have a minimum window of 30 days,” the minister said. “The President is currently reviewing it and as soon as he is through, he will sign it. That is what l can tell you for now,” he added.

The Assistant Publicity Secretary of the party, Abiodun Salami, issued the threat during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Lagos, describing the NWCs decision on the main congress as mischievous, saying it was meant to scuttle things at the state chapter.

“We will challenge their decision at the court because there is a Supreme Court judgement in favour of Lagos State on 57 councils.

“We have been operating with 20 LG’s and 37 LCDA’s in Lagos before the formation of APC,” he said.

And stories from around the world:

United States President, Donald Trump has said he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself in the Russia inquiry, while insisting he has done nothing wrong.

He echoed the argument his lawyers made in a January memo to the US special counsel leading the investigation.

In his tweet, Trump once again lashed out at the inquiry into whether his election campaign had colluded with Russia or obstructed justice.

Constitutional scholars are divided on whether a president can pardon himself. (BBC)

A British citizen and outspoken critic of the Ethiopian government , Andargachew Tsege, released last week after being imprisoned on death row in Ethiopia said he found out  on Facebook.

Tsege, known as Andy, said he found out he would be released after Ethiopia’s attorney general responded to a Facebook appeal page, saying he would be pardoned. “It’s very strange,” said Tsege. “I’m floating. It’s a feeling of unrealness.”

He said his thought was that he would never see his family again, and that he was very sad to have missed out on four years of his children’s lives. “It was very emotional, especially seeing the kids,” he said. “When I saw them at the airport, they had changed. The children are amazing, but they have been very emotionally affected,” he added.  (The Guardian,UK)

Madagascar’s Prime Minister announced his resignation on Monday in the first step towards the naming of a “consensus” premier to resolve a political crisis sparked by controversial electoral reforms.

“I will tender my resignation to the president today. As a statesman, I cannot be an obstacle to the life of the nation,” Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana told a press briefing.

“I resign willingly and with happiness. I have no regrets today and I can leave with my head held high.”

“I will leave this magnificent palace, (but) I tell you this is not ‘goodbye’,” he added without giving details of his future plans.

Turkey and the United States have agreed on a plan over the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters considered “terrorists” by Ankara from the northern Syrian city of Manbij. 

The agreement was reached during a meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, DC, on Monday.

A joint statement by the top diplomats said the agreements “includes steps to ensure the security and stability” there.

“They endorsed a Road Map to this end and underlined their mutual commitment to its implementation, reflecting their agreement to closely follow developments on the ground,” the statement said. (Aljazeera)

Jordan’s King Abdullah replaced his prime minister on Monday in a move to defuse the biggest protests in years, over IMF-backed reforms that have hit the poor.

King Abdullah appointed Omar al-Razzaz, a former World Bank economist, to form the new government after accepting Hani Mulki’s resignation, a ministerial source said. Razzaz was education minister in Mulki’s government.

In his letter accepting the resignation, the monarch praised Mulki for his “bravery in taking difficult decisions that do not gain popularity”, and asked him to stay on in a caretaker role until the new government is formed. (Reuters)

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