The Late 5: Oshiomhole is talking out of ignorance – Ngige, Ortom announces defection from APC and other stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has on Wednesday reacted to the threat by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole to expel him from the party, describing him as one speaking out of ignorance.

Ngige who spoke with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, maintained that the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) was yet to be inaugurated because of reports of diversion of funds to the tune of N48bn.

When asked if he would comply and if he was not afraid of suspension from the party, he said: “How? In a party that we formed and brought them in? The man is talking out of ignorance. I’m not afraid of suspension.”

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue has announced his defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Ortom’s defection on Wednesday puts to rest speculations about his stay in the party following a purported red card issued to him by the state chapter of the party.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos on Wednesday urged the Federal  Government to do everything within its powers to revive existing ports in the country to solve the issue of traffic congestion along the Apapa Expressway. 

Ambode who was speaking during a town hall meeting in Ibeju Lekki Local Government area, said that this will solve the existing traffic congestion at the Apapa axis of the state, stressing that the recent chaos witnessed in the area was beyond traffic issues and concerted efforts must be made to revamp moribund ports.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has given reasons for not honouring the invitation by the Police over the Offa robbery incidence.

Saraki who disclosed this through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, explained that after answering all the questions raised by the police in his letter which was duly acknowledged on Tuesday, he did not believe that there was any further need to go to the police personally for the same issue.

President Muhammadu Buhari has on Wednesday sworn in a former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Musiliu Smith, as the new Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC).

Other members of the commission sworn in are: Najatu Mohammed (North-West); Braimoh Austin (South-South); and Rommy Mom (North-Central), Dr. Nkemka Jombo-Ofo (South-East), Clara Ogunbiyi (North-East) and retired AIG Lawal Bawa (North-West).

Buhari also swore in Mr. Festus Okoye, as a National Electoral Commissioner representing the South East in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), shortly before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

And stories from around the world:

President Donald Trump’s proposed Washington meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has been delayed until 2019.

The National Security Adviser, John Bolton, in a statement, cited special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election as the reason for the delay. (The Guardian, UK)

An Israeli tank fire killed two Palestinian militants as violence flared on the Israel-Gaza border on Wednesday, four days after a de facto truce that had been largely holding. (Reuters)

Rescue workers in Greece continued to search charred homes and burned-out cars Wednesday as the toll from some of the worst wildfires this century is expected to rise from at least 74 dead and 187 injured. (AFP)

Nine of 10 prisoners who escaped from an Australian jail on Tuesday have been recaptured, police say. (BBC)

South Sudan’s warring sides have signed a preliminary power-sharing deal once again, which will see rebel leader Riek Machar reinstated as first vice president.

The deal sealed on Wednesday should be followed by a final one on August 5, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed said at the signing ceremony in Khartoum. (Aljazeera)

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