The Late 5: Sacked SGF says relationship with Buhari still intact, Ekiti Traditional rulers rejects soldiers for elections and other stories

Here are the stories that drove the conversation today:

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, says his sack by President Muhammadu Buhari has not affected their relationship.

Lawal who stated this in an interview on a Channels Television programme,on Friday said he still gets to meet the President whenever he does want to, adding that his relationship with the President is strong enough to stand the test of time and it would take more than “false accusation” to ruin it.

“I joined politics to contribute to making President Muhammadu Buhari the president. That’s the only reason I joined politics and this will not be an issue between us,” he said.

Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers have told security agencies not to deploy soldiers to the state for the July 14 governorship election and also restrain from unlawful arrest.

At a meeting on Friday with heads of security agencies in the state and the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the need for a free, fair and credible election on July 14, the traditional rulers spoke in turns, asked questions and expressed their fears as the election approaches.

Attah of Ayede, Oba Abdulmumuni Orisagbemi, while addressing the gathering, said “what we are saying is that we don’t want any unlawful arrests during the elections. There should be no unnecessary arrest of anyone. If you have any issue with anyone, leave it till after the election. We don’t want soldiers in Ekiti, this is an election, not a war.”

Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike shunned casting his vote at his home Obia Akpor Ward 9, Unit 7, in Saturday’s local council elections held across the 23 local government areas of the state.

The exercised boycotted by rival All Progressives Congress, APC, was reported peaceful and orderly, but marked by apathy, aggravated by delayed release of materials and arrival of electoral officials in most of the places in Port Harcourt metropolis visited.

Scores of Boko Haram terrorists (BHTs) have been killed in Parisu and Takwala in Borno during air strikes carried out in the Northeast by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole.

The Director of Public Relations and Information of NAF, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya in a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja, said the Air Task Force (ATF) detailed 2 NAF Alpha Jet aircraft, armed with rockets and cannons, to interdict the locations after the NAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms had established the presence of the terrorists in the area, where it successfully engaged the remnants of the terrorists hibernating within the settlements and consequently neutralized them.

“The NAF will continue to deploy its platforms to conduct intensive ISR missions aimed at discovering the locations of possible remnants of BHTs in the entire Northeast,” Adesanya added.

The Lead counsel to suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, better known as Evans, has withdrawn from his client’s trial.

In a statement he personally signed by Olukoya Ogungbeje, and released to the media Friday, Ogungbeje said he was withdrawing due to “personal reasons,” allegiing that there have been threats to life his since he took up the case.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that we have fought a good fight this far, despite repeated and sustained threats to my life and my defence lawyers.

“I dare say we have no regrets whatsoever, having conducted the criminal charges involving our client this far.“For the sake of history, we have been able to enrich the basic principles of our criminal jurisprudence, especially the principle premised on ‘an accused person being presumed innocent until the contrary is proved,’ no matter the public opinion and criticism,”  he added.

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