The Late 5: I’ll never succumb – Suspended NHIS boss boasts; Presidency finally reacts to re-apperance of Nnamdi Kanu | More stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

The Presidency has reacted to Saturday’s reappearance of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), one year after the he was rumoured to have been killed or kidnapped by soldiers who attacked his family house during the military exercise.

Speaking in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service on Tuesday, Presidential Media assistant, Garba Shehu said with the re-appearance of Kanu, it had become clear who lied between the government and its accusers, adding that should the IPOB leader eventually return to Nigeria, his trial for felony which was stalled due to his absence, would be expected to continue.

“If it happens to be true, the video footage showing Nnamdi Kanu; the truth has been revealed about his alleged assassination against Nigerian government,” Shehu said.

The Senate on Tuesday passed the fourth version of the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which the Senate President, Bukola Saraki has said will go a long way in improving our electoral process and further strengthen governance in the country.

“I am sure with this now, Mr President will of course give his assent, and we can now finally have an Electoral Act that we would all be proud of,” Saraki said.

Speaking on the bill, Chairman of the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on INEC,  Senator Suleiman Nazif explained that the committee addressed all the issues raised by the president in withdrawing assent to the bill.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos has promised to lead a strong campaign to ensure victory for President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the 2019 general elections.

Ambode, who disclosed this to journalists in Lagos at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport on Tuesday, stressed that it was important for the APC to retain its leadership positions both in the federal and the State level.

“We are going to campaign heavily for him. I am also committed to ensuring that the APC wins the governorship election come 2019. We support the candidacy of Babajide Sanwo-Olu and we would make sure that APC retains Lagos State and the centre,” he said.

Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has assured Nigerians that hope was still alive in sustaining and establishing the vision of the national carrier, ‘Nigeria Air.’

The Minister who gave the assurance while receiving in his office, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Nigeria, Fahad Al Taffaq, said the suspension was only temporal and that a new pronouncement would soon be made on the project, adding that it is inconceivable that Nigeria, with its population of over 180 million people, would not be a major player in the aviation industry.

“The suspended national carrier would be activated as soon as possible, although the December 24th earlier given for its take-off is no longer feasible,” Sirika said.

The embattled Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf says his ordeal may not be unconnected with agents of the commission whom he stepped on their toes.

Yusuf in an interview with BBC Hausa, said he has been going through “unnecessary accusations of fraud” since he came on board at the NHIS, stressing that the EFCC and ICPC currently recovering billions of naira as a result of whistleblowing in the commission have never indicted him for corrupt practices.

“They’re doing that just to intimidate and stop me from doing my good work. They have failed, I will never succumb to their ploy, I think they have to change plan,” he said.

And stories from around the world:

The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned days in advance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told MPs from his ruling party, as he called for the suspects to be tried in Istanbul.

He said Turkey had strong evidence Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated and “savage” murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. (BBC)

Brazil’s leading presidential hopeful, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, said on Tuesday that he will not debate his leftist rival before Sunday’s election, and sought to counter criticism that he represents a threat to the country’s democracy. (Reuters)

The United Nations Human Rights Council has said France’s face veil ban is a violation of women’s rights, as it called for a review of the “sweeping” legislation.  (Al Jazeera)

The European Commission on Tuesday rejected Italy’s draft 2019 budget, the first time the EU executive has ever sent a member state back to the drawing board over spending plans. (AFP)

Washington is pressing ahead with its plan to quit a nuclear arms control pact, senior U.S. official John Bolton said on Tuesday, signaling that a meeting with Russian leader President Vladimir Putin had not deflected the White House from its plan. (Reuters)


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