The Late 5: Buhari declares intention to run for second term, Bill Cosby’s retrial begins, and other top stories

These are the top five Nigerian stories that drove conversation today.

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he is not sure that current officers of the All Progressives Congress can meet the conditions for their re-election.

Buhari said he was not sure of the “practicality of present serving officers’ ability” to meet the conditions prescribed for their reelection.

Buhari stated this at the party’s National Executive Council meeting in Abuja on Monday.

The President stated, “I also believe that the current executives should be free to vie for elective positions in the party if they so wish, as permitted by our Party constitution.”

Suspected Fulani herdsmen have killed five people and injured three others at Inding Village in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The Public Relations Officer of the Plateau State Command, ASP Terna Tyopev, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos on Monday.

“Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked and killed five people, injuring three others at Inding Village in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.

“The attackers struck the village on Sunday at about 8p.m.,’’ he said, noting that investigation had commenced to unravel those behind the killing.

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared his intention to run for re-election in 2019.

The President’s Personal Assistant on New Media Engagement, Bashir Ahmad said this in a statement released on his Twitter handle.

Buhari was said to have made the declaration on Monday morning (today) at the ongoing National Executive Committee meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has just officially announced his intention to seek re-election in 2019,” Bashir tweeted.

Suspected thugs have broken into the Atiku Abubakar’s Presidential Campaign office along Dandagoro road, Batagarawa local government area of Katsina state.

The incident occurred during the weekend, with the thugs destroying vehicles parked inside the premises.

Jacob Dickson, spokesman of Atiku’s campaign in the north-west geopolitical zone, said items worth
hundreds of millions of naira were destroyed during the attack.

The Nigerian Army has set up a panel to probe the allegations made by Theophilus Danjuma, former minister of defence.

Speaking at the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University, Danjuma alleged that the army had lost its professionalism.

He accused the army and other security agencies of colliding with killers to attack Nigerians.

“The armed forces are not neutral. They collude with the armed bandits. They kill people, kill Nigerians. They facilitate their movements, they cover them,” Danjuma had said.

And now, stories from around the world…

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said no evidence has been found of a chemical weapons attack in Syria’s formerly rebel-held town of Douma.

Medical sources say dozens were killed in Saturday’s alleged attack but numbers are impossible to verify.

Mr Lavrov said Russian specialists and aid workers had visited the area, which rebel fighters have started leaving under a surrender deal.

The US and France have threatened a “joint, strong response”.

The retrial of the American actor and comedian, Bill Cosby, is due to begin in Pennsylvania on Monday.

Mr Cosby, 80, denies drugging and sexually assaulting former basketball player Andrea Constand 14 years ago.

The first trial, in June 2017, ended when the jury failed to reach a verdict.

The actor, who starred in the 1980s TV series The Cosby Show, has faced allegations from dozens of other women but has denied them all.

The start of the trial was delayed by an issue with one juror, who is alleged to have remarked: “I just think he’s guilty, so we can all be done and get out of here.”

The art collector killed in a blaze at New York City’s Trump Tower had been trying to sell his flat and disliked US President Donald Trump, friends say.

Todd Brassner, 67, died on Saturday in hospital after the fire in his 50th-floor apartment. The blaze’s cause has not yet been determined.

Friends told local media that Mr Brassner had been trying to move out of the Manhattan skyscraper.

His flat had no sprinklers, which Mr Trump reportedly opposed installing.

Mr Brassner was an art collector who spent time with Andy Warhol.

President Donald Trump strongly condemned the “atrocious” chemical weapons attack in Syria during a Cabinet meeting at the White House Monday afternoon and said a decision on US action would be made over the next 24-48 hours.

“I’d like to begin by condemning the heinous attack on innocent Syrians with banned chemical weapons,” Trump said. “It was an atrocious attack, it was horrible, you don’t see things like that as bad as the news is around the world, you just don’t see those images.”

Trump said major decisions would be made in the next day or two.
“We are very concerned, when a thing like that can happen, this is about humanity. We’re talking about humanity.

And it can’t be allowed to happen,” he added.
Trump expressed frustration at investigators not being able to get immediate answers about who was behind the attack.

“So if its Russia, if its Syria, if its Iran, if its all of them together we’ll figure it out and we’ll know the answers quite soon,” the President said.

The Chinese government has reacted warily to the establishment of a new Japanese amphibious special unit, designed to repel invasions on Japan’s remote islands.

Japan and China have a long history of territorial disputes over islands in the East China Sea, in particular a rocky, uninhabited island chain known as the Diaoyu Islands in Beijing and the Senkaku in Tokyo.

The Japanese Self Defense Force debuted their newly formed Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB) on Saturday, at a military display near Sasebo, on the southwestern tip of Kyushu Island.

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