The Late 5: Kogi police commissioner reinstated, Russia calls for UN Security Council meeting, and other top countries

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

The Federal Government on Thursday said only 4,000km of Nigeria’s 10,000km waterways is navigable.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at the Nigeria – Ukraine Trade and Investment Roundtable held in Abuja.

“Nigeria has 10,000km waterways and 4,000km is navigable. I believe that if the waterway is fully developed, it can take away pressure from our roads as a bulk of our cargoes can go on our waterways,” Mustapha said.

Ali Janga has been reinstated as the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, the state police command spokesman, ASP William Aya, has confirmed.

Aya told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lokoja on Thursday that Janga returned to office on April 3 on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.

He said that Janga was reinstated after meeting the one-week ultimatum given to him by the Inspector-General of Police to re-arrest the suspects who escaped from police custody.

Matthew Kukah, Catholic bishop of Sokoto diocese, says it will be “one of the greatest miracles” if Nigeria pulls through the 2019 elections successfully.

Kukah said this in an interview published in the April edition of The Africa Report magazine.

“It will be one of the greatest miracles if we pull through the election successfully,” he said.

“I do not see how we are going to conduct these elections if nothing urgent is done to increase a sense of national cohesion.”

He said there is heightened tension in virtually all states in the country, which would make it difficult to have a peaceful election.

Ohaneze Ndigbo, the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, has asked the federal government to stop carrying out “unwarranted inquisition” into the life of Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president.

Speaking in Enugu on Thursday, Nnia Nwodo, president of the group, said Ohaneze Ndigbo would resist any attempt to discredit Ekweremadu.

He said the allegation that Ekweremadu, the highest ranking Igbo politician in the country, embezzled public funds without any prima facie case was inappropriate.

He said as a revered Igbo son, Ekweremadu had attracted a lot of development to his region without any previous accusation of embezzlement.

“Sen. Ekweremadu is a revered Igbo son whose public image is very high and who has attracted a lot of development to his area; he has never occupied any public office where he was accused of embezzlement,” he said.

The Arewa Pastors Non-denominational Initiative for Peace in Nigeria has vowed to expose the pastors working against President Muhammadu Buhari.

John Richard, leader of the group said this when he led a delegation to the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday.

He said among members of the group were archbishops and bishops from the 19 northern states, over 45,000 registered pastors, and millions of followers.

Richard said the president has done well but is being sabotaged by the opposition.

“We wish to thank His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for granting us audience amidst your heavy-duty national and international responsibilities. We congratulate you and ourselves and give all the thanks to the Almighty God for the good health he has restored to you,” Richard said.

And now, stories from around the world…

An Indian court has sentenced Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to five years in jail for poaching rare antelope back in 1998.

The court in Jodhpur also fined him 10,000 rupees ($154; £109) for the crime. He has since been taken to jail.

Khan killed the two blackbucks, a protected species, in the western state of Rajasthan while shooting a film.

Four other actors who starred with him in the movie and were also charged with the offence have been acquitted.

Khan, 52, can appeal against the verdict in a higher court.

A gunman has shot and killed four teaching staff at a university in Eskisehir in north-western Turkey.

Turkish media say the attacker is a research fellow at the city’s Osmangazi University and has been detained.

Those killed were a deputy dean, a faculty secretary and two lecturers, the state-run Anadolu news agency said. Three others were wounded in the attack, according to CNN Turk.

The gunman’s motive is not clear but he reportedly surrendered willingly.

Former WWE wrestler, manager and later television star “Luscious” Johnny Valiant has died.

The 71-year-old – whose real name was Thomas Sullivan – was hit by a pick-up truck while crossing a road in his hometown in Pennsylvania on Thursday.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Mr Valiant wrestled alongside his stage brother, Jimmy Valiant, in the 1970s.

Russia has called a United Nations Security Council meeting for Thursday as it seeks to undermine Britain’s case that it was responsible for the poisoning of a Russian former spy.

Moscow, emboldened after the UK was forced to withdraw a claim that its scientists had pinned the blame on Russia for the attack, will attempt to further embarrass Britain in front of its international allies.

A month after former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in the English city of Salisbury, the United Kingdom and Russia remain locked in a battle over who is to blame.

President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to sanction “several” Russian oligarchs with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin over 2016 election interference, according to two senior administration officials.

The officials said the sanctions will likely come later this week.

The planned sanctions would be the latest public step the US has taken against Russia in an ongoing tit-for-tat of punitive measures. The US and Russia last month continued to push each other’s officials out of their borders in a further round of expulsions from diplomatic outposts.

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