The Late 5: Obasanjo writes ‘letter bomb’ to Buhari, Rafael Nadal pulls out of the Australian Open hurt and other top stories

These are the Nigerian stories that drove conversation today.

A former minister and convener of the BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group, Oby Ezekwesili, was, on Tuesday arrested and detained by the FCT Police Command.

Her arrest is believed to be connected to the activities of the group. She has, however, been released.

In reaction, the Police has denied arresting and detaining Ezekwesili and some of its members.

The Command Spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah explained that some members of the group were only taken to the Command to forestall breakdown of law and order.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday, in a 13-page statement, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election in 2019.

Obasanjo, in the letter titled, “The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement” said Buhari has performed far below expectation and should honourably “dismount from the horse” to join the league of the country’s former leaders whose “experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the side line for the good of the country.”

The Presidency has said it will not comment on the letter.

Meanwhile, hours after the letter, two prominent national leaders of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and Bisi Akande, visited President Buhari in his official residence at the State House in Abuja.

A member of the House of Representatives from Ondo, Akinfolarin Mayowa (Ileoluji-Okeibo/Odigbo federal constituency) has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mayowa in a letter read by the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, cited division in the party as his reason for defecting.

He said he had since December left the PDP and registered with the APC.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita has spoken on why disciplinary actions have not been taken against those behind the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina into the service.

Oyo-Ita said no one has been punished because investigations were still ongoing, both at the presidency and the national assembly.

The Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.) on Tuesday in Abuja, held a crucial meeting with heads of internal security agencies over the herdsmen killings and other security challenges in the country.

The minister noted that the meeting was a follow-up to a parley with state governors two weeks ago over the violent conflicts  between farmers and herdsmen in Benue and other places.

And stories from around the world…

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned by investigators examining whether Russia colluded with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.

Sessions appears to be the first member of President Donald Trump‘s cabinet to be questioned.

World number one Rafael Nadal retired hurt in the fifth set of an quarter-final against Marin Cilic at the Australian Open.

The top seed was in visible pain on court and Cilic of Croatia will now face British number two Kyle Edmund in the semi-finals following his 3-6 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 2-0 victory.

It was only the second time in 264 Grand Slam matches that Spaniard Nadal has retired – the last being against Briton Andy Murray in the quarter-finals of the 2010 Australian Open.

The 2018 Oscar nominations are in – and Get Out, Dunkirk, The Shape Of Water and Darkest Hour have all been named as contenders for an Academy Awards this year.

The president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, John Bailey made the announcement on Tuesday January 23, live from Los Angeles.

Russia’s culture ministry has withdrawn permission for the release of Armando Iannucci’s black comedy The Death of Stalin, after officials and top arts figures labelled the movie offensive and extremist.

An advisory committee to the ministry had earlier recommended postponing the release to avoid it clashing with the 75th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, after officials and film directors attended a private viewing on Monday.

Legendary South African musician Hugh Masekela died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, the South African government announced on its official Twitter page. He was 78.

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