The Late 5: MURIC says Nigerians begged it not to sue Falz, Nigeria and Morocco signs 3 agreements and other stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco on Monday signed agreements on a 5,660 km long Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP), a chemical plant and agricultural training as part of activities marking President Muhammadu Buhari’s two-day visit to the country.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday, revealed that parts of the agreements signed at the Rabat Royal Palace, Morocco, would see Nigeria providing gas to countries in West Africa sub-region that extend to Morocco and Europe, reduce gas flaring in Nigeria, encourage diversification of energy resources and cut down poverty through the creation of more job opportunities.

The Regional Gas Pipeline feasibility study which is expected to be concluded by July 2018 was signed by the Group General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Farouq Said Garba, and Mrs Amina Benkhadra, Director General of the National Office of Hydrocarbon and Mines.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has said it will no longer take legal action against Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana over his controversial #ThisIsNigeria video, nor demand an apology from the artiste. 

As contained in a statement issued on Monday, and signed by its director, Ishaq Akintola, the Islamic group said “the matter will now go to those government agencies who are supposed to do their jobs in the first place,” as it was no longer looking at Falz but at a larger picture, adding that it didn’t want to create media tension and grant cheap popularity.

“Our office has since been inundated with solidarity visits, while our telephone lines have been flooded with a deluge of calls from members, friends, well-wishers, journalists and other concerned Nigerians, majority of whom are of the Islamic faith.

In deference to pleas made by well-meaning Nigerians, in order to keep faith with our avowed motto (Dialogue, Not Violence) and to further confirm that MURIC is a listening, mature and responsible organisation committed to promoting peace in Nigeria, the Think-Tank resolved to drag the artist to government agencies saddled with the responsibility of censoring films and videos, the statement read.

The Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Monday accused the administration of Governor Ayo Fayose of inflicting untold hardship on the people in the last four years.

Fayemi who made the claim in an interview with newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, said apart from owing workers salaries of five to nine months, the state government had also failed to pay the allowances of traditional rulers, noting that there was no excuse owing workers as there has been steady inflow of funds from the federation account, IGR, and bail-out released by the Federal Government.

The candidate pledged to effect positive transformation in the state through his eight-point agenda, if elected and slammed the governor for failing to disclose the Internally Generated Revenue of the state since he assumed leadership in 2014.

The Lagos Police Command on Monday said it had commenced investigation into reports that an unidentified lady allegedly parked her car on the Third Mainland Bridge and jumped into the Lagoon on Sunday.

Police spokesperson, Chike Oti, said that though the Police was yet to receive any official report, it was not leaving anything to chances, adding that the report of their investigation would be made public as soon as they find anything.

General Manager of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Adeshina Tiamiyu, who described it as a “developing story,”  revealed however that rescue operatives had been searching for the alleged victim since 5pm on Sunday when the incident was reported to have happened.

The Benue Government on Monday suspended three traditional rulers over their roles in a land dispute and announced that it is taking over the disputed land.

The Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom, who disclosed this after the Security Council meeting, warned the warring factions to stay away from the disputed land. adding that the decision had become necessary to prevent further crisis in the area.

Ortom said a committee headed by Secretary to the State Government, Professor Anthony Ijohor, SAN, had been constituted to look into the crisis which is between Mbazerem and Mbayem/Mbaikyu kindreds of Iwarnyam District of Konshisha Local Government Area and make recommendations to government for further action.

And stories from around the world:

The United States says its discussions with North Korea are moving “more quickly than expected” ahead of the summit in Singapore on Tuesday, as preliminary talks between officials have been taking place ahead of the unprecedented first meeting.

The White House also confirms that President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will hold a one-on-one meeting, with only translators present. (BBC)

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has promised that water supplies to Egypt will not be disrupted by the massive dam under construction on the River Nile.

On a visit to Cairo, he told President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi the Grand Renaissance Dam would not restrict the flow that Egypt relies on for drinking water, agriculture and industry. (BBC)

The United States Treasury on Monday imposed sanctions on three Russian individuals and five companies, saying they had worked with Moscow’s military and intelligence services on ways to conduct cyber attacks against the United States and its allies.

The designation blocks all property of those targeted that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits American citizens from engaging in transactions with the firms; Digital Security, ERPScan, Embedi, Kvant Scientific Research Institute, and Divetechnoservices. (Reuters)

Britain on Monday urged the United States to honour free-trade commitments made at the G7 summit even after US President Donald Trump rejected a joint communique in a bitter spat over tariffs.

A spokesman said, “we would hope that the US will similarly honour the commitments that they have made,” he said, speaking before a parliamentary statement on the summit by Prime Minister Theresa May. (AFP)

Ukraine said on Monday it would investigate possible separatist activities in a team of ethnic Hungarian soccer players from Ukraine who won a tournament billed as an alternative to the World Cup in Russia.

Sports Minister Ihor Zhdanov wrote on Facebook that the team organizer should also be investigated for ties with separatist and terrorist groups, while Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin called for the players to be questioned, including about their source of funding.

The Ukrainian Football Federation (FFU) said it might ban the team members from playing in professional or amateur matches under its auspices, for participating in the tournament run by the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) which hosts teams from regions, ethnic groups or states that do not have representation at the global soccer body FIFA. (Reuters)




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