The Late 5: President Buhari says he is on course to achieve his objectives; Court reduces Dariye’s jail term | Other top stories

These are the stories that drove conversation today.

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, has reduced the jail term of former Governor Joshua Dariye to 10 years.

Dariye was in June sentenced to 14 years in prison by the high court. However, the appeal court on Friday said while the conviction was right, the former governor should have been jailed for 10 years.

Similarly, the Court of Appeal in Abuja has ordered the former Taraba Governor, Jolly Nyame, to pay a fine of N495 million for alleged misappropriation of funds while he was governor of Taraba from 1999 to 2007.

The court on Thursday, however, reduced the 14-year jail term, earlier given to Nyame by a High Court in Abuja to 12 years.

As members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) visited him led by its President, Reverend (Dr,) Samson Ayokunle in State House, Abuja, on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari says his vision and objectives for Nigeria are very clear and he is on course to achieve them.

He said, “It is on record that some cases initiated by the anti-graft bodies since 2003 are yet to be concluded.

We will, however, not be discouraged. Where monies have been recovered, such monies will not find their way back to the looters as I have directed the EFCC to account for every money it has recovered and put them in a dedicated account.’’

President Buhari has approved the appointment of five Chief Executive officers and two Executive Directors of some Federal Agencies.

In a statement by Permanent Secretary (General Services) Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun Adekunle on Friday in Abuja, Okechukwu Ukwuoma, Director-General, National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) is re-appointed for a final term of four years with effect from July 22.

Also, Prof. Victor Adetiloye, Chief Medical Director (CMD), Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, was re-appointed for the final term of four years with effect from Sept. 22; Amb. Abdul-Jalil Suleiman as the Director-General, Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa (DTCA), for an initial term of four years with effect from Sept. 17; Dr Bassey Abasi as Chief Medical Director (CMD), University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, for an initial term of four years with effect from Sept. 22; Capt. Junaid Abdullahi as the Executive Secretary, Border Communities Development Agency (BDCA) with effect from Sept. 22 for an initial period of four years and; Mrs Mojoyi Dekalu-Thomas as Executive Director (Liability Management) of Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) for an initial term of four years with effect from Sept. 20.

Mrs Chinedum Olisakwe- Lawrence’s appointment was renewed as the Executive Director (Corporate Services) of Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) for a second term of four years with effect from Sept. 20.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has declared that President Buhari cannot legally double as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

The court made the declaration on Thursday while giving judgment in a suit filed last year by a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dr Olisa Agbakoba. Agbakoba had, in the suit, urged the court to restrain Buhari from continuing to hold the office of the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

In a statement on Friday by his office, Agbakoba said the court in deciding the case held that Buhari had not violated Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution since he is not directly in charge of the day-to-day running of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The court, according to the statement, said there would have been a violation if Buhari had not appointed someone else — Dr Ibe Kachikwu — to oversee the day-to-day running of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday re-arraigned a former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, for an alleged fraud of N1.6 billion.

Dudafa, alongside Joseph Iwuejo, said to be his account officer, was re-arraigned on 13 counts before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

And stories from around the world…

The U.S. is cutting hundreds of troops in Africa as it focuses on countering threats from Russia and China.

Around 700 counter-terrorism troops will be removed over the next few years, the Department of Defense said.

A judge has ordered the White House to return CNN reporter Jim Acosta‘s press pass after it was revoked by the US Secret Service.

The judge’s order says that the pass must be reinstated as a CNN lawsuit against Donald Trump continues.

The judge said the White House decision likely violated the journalist’s right to due process and freedom of speech.

North Korea deported a U.S. citizen who was detained last month after he “illegally entered our country through the border between North Korea and China,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Friday.

KCNA reports the US citizen, identified as Bruce Byron Lowrance, illegally entered North Korea on October 16 and testified that he did so. KCNA further reports that Lowrance claimed he entered North Korea under “the control of the US Central Intelligence Agency” during his testimony.

Israel will pick a date for early elections on Sunday, according to CNN.

The decision to call early elections came after crunch talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the rightwing Education Minister Naftali Bennett broke down on Friday.

Bennett had threatened to quit the government if he wasn’t given the defense portfolio after the resignation of former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday, but Netanyahu rejected Bennett’s demands.

Leading Brexiteers in the cabinet have rallied behind U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May amid attempts to unseat her by Tory MPs.

Michael Gove said he “absolutely” had confidence in May and Liam Fox urged MPs to support the PM’s draft Brexit agreement, saying a “deal was better than no deal“.

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