The Late 5: Court rejects EFCC’s bid to seize $8.4m, N7.35bn linked to Patience Jonathan, Trump slams Comey, and other top stories

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

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday rejected an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission seeking to seize the funds in 15 bank accounts linked to Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

The funds, which the EFCC sought to seize include a total of $8,435,788.84 and over N7.35bn.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun rejected the ex parte application filed by the EFCC for the seizure of the funds, saying the funds were already subject of litigation before two other judges.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Bayelsa State Command, says it arrested 89 suspects in connection with drug trafficking, narcotics abuse and drug-related activities in the state.

The drug agency also said it recorded a total seizure of 73.779 kilogrammes of different classes of illicit drugs in the state.

The command’s spokesman, Mr. Osakwe Ikenna, said in a statement that the arrests and seizures were recorded during the first quarter of 2018.

Osakwe, is the the command’s Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs, said of the total number of suspects arrested, a breakdown showed that 68 were males, while 21 were females.

The federal capital territory (FCT) command of Nigeria police force has banned protests and rallies at the Unity Fountain in Abuja.

Sadiq Bello, commissioner of police in the FCT, disclosed this on Friday after Deji Adeyanju, an activist, was arrested for allegedly inciting civil unrest.

He was released at 3: 20pm following the intervention of Charles Oputa, better known as Charly Boy, who is the leader of OurMumuDonDo Movement.

Oluwatobiloba Amusan made history as the first Nigerian to win a sprint hurdles title at the Commonwealth Games.

Amusan achieved the feat on Friday at the Carrara stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

The reigning American Collegiate 100m hurdles queen ran 12.68 seconds to win the race.

She is now Nigeria’s first gold medallist in track and field at the ongoing games.

The 20-year-old is also the third Nigerian woman to make it to the podium after Modupe Oshikoya (bronze) in 1974 and Angela Atiede (bronze) in 2002.

Mohammed Bello Adoke, former attorney-general of the federation, acted within the law and cannot be held liable for obeying a presidential directive in the resolution of the OPL 245 dispute with Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd, a federal high court sitting in Abuja ruled on Friday.

The court also held that Adoke acted on the orders of President Goodluck Jonathan on all the settlement agreements regarding the deal.

The ex-AGF is accused of misconduct in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil deal.

In May 2017, Adoke asked the court to declare his prosecution by the EFCC illegal.

He had asked the court to declare that he acted in the deal on the orders of Jonathan.

And now, stories from around the world…

The Russian military on Friday said it had proof that an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta was staged on orders from London.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the military had “proof that testifies to the direct participation of Britain in the organising of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta.”

He said Britain had told the White Helmets, who act as first responders in rebel-held areas, to fake the suspected chemical attack in the town of Douma.

London put “powerful pressure” on the civil defence organisation, Konashenkov said.

President Donald Trump slammed James Comey on Friday as a “weak and untruthful slime ball” and a “proven LEAKER & LIAR,” the day after explosive excerpts from the former FBI director’s tell-all book surfaced in media reports.

“James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH,” Trump tweeted. “He is a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!”

Former FBI Director James Comey says he’s unsure if he believes President Donald Trump’s denial that he interacted with prostitutes during a trip to Russia in 2013.

“Honestly, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current President of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013,” Comey said in a clip of an interview with ABC News that aired Friday on “Good Morning America.” “It’s possible, but I don’t know.”

The allegations that Russian authorities recorded Trump watching prostitutes urinate in a hotel suite were included in a dossier — portions of which remain unconfirmed — that was commissioned as opposition research during the 2016 election and compiled by a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele.

Liverpool will play Roma in the Champions League semi-finals, with Bayern Munich facing Real Madrid.

The Reds, who beat Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in the last round, will host Roma on Tuesday, 24 April with the return leg on Wednesday, 2 May.

Arsenal will face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals, while Red Bull Salzburg meet Marseille.

The Gunners will play the first leg at home on Thursday, 26 April, with the second leg a week later on 3 May.

Russian intelligence agencies targeted poison victim Yulia Skripal’s email account as early as 2013, the UK’s national security adviser has said.

In a letter to Nato, Sir Mark Sedwill also said Russia trained “special units” to use nerve agents, including applying them to door handles.

Police said a nerve agent was found on Yulia’s father Sergei Skripal’s front door in Salisbury.

Sir Mark is to brief Nato on Sunday about the 4 March attack.

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