The Late 5: Buhari formally accepts N45m nomination form, Lagos PDP reportedly adopts Otedola as 2019 guber candidate | More stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday formally accepted the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms purchased by a group known as Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network (NCAN) to enable him contest the 2019 Presidential primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Briefing State House correspondents shortly after the presentation, Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Amaechi, said that the forms presented to the President were purchased by a large number of people who made contributions.

“This is a group of persons; some people paid less than N1 million; some paid N50,000; it is a group of hundreds of thousands of people that came together to buy form for the president.

“Not one person bought the form for Mr President; not one person brought the money; not two persons; not three; what we saw from their database is hundreds of thousands of persons that raised the money,” he said.

There are indications that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos may be up for a fierce competition in retaining his seat as Governor of Lagos in 2019, following the speculations that oil mogul, Femi Otedola, has “accepted” the offer of a governorship ticket by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Information on the alleged intention to field the businessman as the gubernatorial candidate of the opposition party was revealed by influential media entrepreneur, Dele Momodu on his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

While the report is yet to be confirmed by Otedola or any of his associates, the anticipated contest will be a litmus test for the businessman in his first shot at political office in the country and for the ruling All Progressives Congress who have dominated the politics of the state in the last 20 years.

The ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) has on Tuesday made clarifications on the modalities for the emergence of consensus candidates for all elective positions ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Acting National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, explained that “Consensus does not foreclose Direct or Indirect Primaries for all elective positions as contained in the resolution of the 6th meeting of the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), stressing that “while consensus is provided for by the Party’s Constitution, the option is conditional.”

“Again, consensus will apply when no other aspirant signify interest (i.e. through purchase of nomination forms) for the position in question,” the statement read.

An aspirant for the Anambra North Senatorial seat in the National Assembly in 2019, and chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr Chinedu Ekwalo, has called for a overhaul of the nation’s educational system to pave way for innovations and creativity among the country’s youth.

Ekwalo who disclosed this at the party’s headquarters in Abuja after picking his Expression of Interest and Nomination forms called for a scrapping of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board , stressing that it was more of money-making than placement of students, as the huge fees the university admissions body usually demanded from applicants had devastating effect on poor Nigerians who wanted to go school but lacked the means.

“Today, the only thing the examination body does is remitting several billions of naira to the government, which ask it to start generating revenue for this nation,’’ he said.

The Federal government has lamented the difficulty in recovering its looted funds starched in developed countries, accusing Switzerland and a some other countries of “robbing” Nigeria in the course of recovering the said funds.

Speaking in Abuja at a conference on combating Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) and Enhancing Asset Recovery for Sustainable Development on Tuesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, said the difficulty in recovering the loot is usually “mind-boggling,” adding that when a country is “making it difficult” for legitimate owners to recover looted funds, “then you’re just as guilty of theft as those that transferred the money in the first place.”

“We got some money back from Switzerland, but my God! When you look at the details, I was shocked and extremely angry at the process of recovery. Percentages were paid out to all kinds of institutions.

“To me, this is daylight robbery that these countries are perpetrating, and of course playing on the fact that we’re not the United States. So, it’s something we keep harping on, that these countries have to do a lot more, because at the end of the day, they are condoning huge theft and are accessories after the fact in fact,” the Minister said.

And stories from around the world:

US President,Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have visited a memorial in Pennsylvania to mark the 9/11 attacks 17 years ago, where he delivered a speech saying that the U.S will never submit to tyranny. (BBC)

Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban has on Tuesday vowed that his country would resist any attempt to “blackmail” it into softening its anti-migrant stance on the eve of an EU parliament vote to censure his populist government. (AFP)

Russia launched its largest war games since the Cold War on Tuesday with hundreds of thousands of troops, including Chinese soldiers taking part for the first time, in eastern Siberia. (Al Jazeera)

Oil prices rose more than 2 percent on Tuesday as U.S. sanctions squeezed Iranian crude exports, tightening global supply despite efforts by Washington to get other producers to increase output. (Reuters)

Russia is the main suspect in U.S. agencies’ investigation of mysterious illnesses in American personnel in Cuba and China, NBC News reported on Tuesday. (Reuters)

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