The Late 5: Ortom meets Oshiomhole, says he remains in APC; Lagos involves security agencies in evacuation of trucks from highways and other stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue has hinted at remaining within the folds of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after his earlier announcement on Monday that the APC had given him a red card.

Ortom who spoke with newsmen on Thursday after a closed door meeting with the party’s national Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole in Abuja, said: “It was the Benue APC that gave me a red card not the national APC and that was enough to make myself available out of the pitch, but the leadership of the party told me that its decision is superior to that of any individual or group of people and I think that is good enough.”

Oshiomhole who also spoke to newsmen, vowed that the party will not allow the governor to defect to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).


The Lagos Government has set up a joint operation involving security agencies and stakeholders in the maritime sector to clear all containerized trucks and tankers parked along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.

The operation tagged, ‘Operation Restore Sanity On Lagos Roads,’ was set up on Thursday and the exercise will be carried out from early hours of Friday to Monday.


President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received the new executive members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) led by its NMA President, Dr. Francis Adedayo.

At the meeting which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari noted that the Federal Government was considering an upward review of budgetary allocation to the health sector, in order to improve the quality and access to medical facilities across the country, to reflect the government’s priority of ensuring that Nigerians get better healthcare, especially in specialised areas.

He also asked the doctors to always see their profession as a divine call, and seek other means other than going on strikes to negotiate better working conditions, according to a statement by Presidential Media Adviser, Femi Adesina.


The National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has raised concerns over prison congestion in the country and mandated state governors to carry out a review of the cases of condemned prisoners within their jurisdiction.

Bauchi Governor, Mohammed Abubakar,who disclosed this to State House correspondents on Thursday at the end of the council meeting, said the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), briefed the council on the issue and put the number of condemned prisoners at 2,359 as of July 18.


The Nigeria Police has on Thursday restated its commitment to reforming the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) personnel for improved security in the country.

Commissioner of Police, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Haliru Gwandu, who said this at a seminar on “The Effective Response of the Nigeria Police Force to the Curbing of Crimes in Nigeria: The role of SARS,” in Abuja, noted that in a bid to achieve the reform, the police had already designed a Standard Operational Procedure to establish a friendly SARS that would meet the aspirations of the citizenry.

Gwandu was represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Fidelis Okafor.


And from around the world:

U.S. President Donald Trump rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal that Russian authorities be allowed to question American citizens, the White House said on Thursday, after the offer drew fierce criticism in the United States. (Reuters)


Russian President Vladimir Putin accused “powerful” forces within the United States of trying to sabotage ties between Moscow and Washington in the wake of a controversial summit with US counterpart Donald Trump.

Addressing Russian diplomats in Moscow on Thursday, Putin described his meeting with Trump earlier this week as “successful”, but warned relations between the two countries remain in “an extremely unsatisfactory state.” (Aljazeera)


British police believe they have identified the suspects who carried out the Novichok nerve agent attack on a former Moscow double agent and his daughter and that they are Russian, the Press Association news agency reported Thursday.


French prosecutors are investigating a senior presidential aide who attacked protesters in Paris while wearing a police visor.

Alexandre Benalla, an assistant to President Emmanuel Macron’s chief of staff, was filmed targeting a woman and a man during May Day protests. (BBC)


British police and intelligence agencies are using children as spies in covert operations against terrorists, gangs and drug dealers.

A committee of the House of Lords revealed the practice while raising the alarm over government plans to give law enforcement bodies more freedom over their use of children. (The Guardian, UK)

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