The Late 5: SERAP drags NASS to U.N over press council bill, Irate youth attack police station in Zamfara I More stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the United Nations to prevail upon the National Assembly to drop the controversial press council bill. 

According to a statement on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, the anti-corruption group said: “the proposed bill by the Senate is a major threat to media independence and diversity in the country and shows lack of understanding of the essential role of independent media in the sustainability of the country’s democratic dispensation.

SERAP further called on the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Mr. David Kaye, to prevail upon the leadership of the National Assembly to immediately withdraw the bill which has passed second reading at the Senate despite widespread opposition and a lawsuit challenging its passage in court..

The Federal Ministry of Health has recalled 2.4 million bottles of cough syrup containing codeine, following a recent audit of the substance by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Director, Media and Public Relations of the Ministry,  Mrs Boade Akinola, disclosed this on Sunday in Abuja, explaining that the recall demonstrated the Federal Government’s resolve to stem the abuse of codeine  and other substances in Nigeria.

Some angry youth in Zurmi, Zamfara on Saturday attacked the community police station in the town demanding that the police officers hand over the three suspects believed to be among the bandits who carried out attack on villages in Mashema district of the local government area on July 24. 

Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Muhammad Shehu, who confirmed the incident to journalists in Gusau, on Sunday said the angry youth in demanding for the suspects who were arrested by the army to them, also burnt down a vehicle and some motorcycles at the station.

The Nigerian Army troops of 22 Brigade deployed in operation Lafiya Dole on Sunday successfully repelled yet another Boko Haram terrorists attack on Dikwa in Borno State.

According to a statement signed by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, he terrorists attempted to infiltrate into Dikwa through the Eastern flank of the town but were intercepted by the troops on duty, leading to some of the Boko Haram terrorists escaping with gunshot wounds

He added that no casualty was recorded by the  troops during the encounter.

The abductors of Mr Dele Fagoriola, a former Chairman of Akure North Local Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State,  have demanded a ransom of N10 million for his release.

According to a family source, the suspects made the demand on Sunday through a phone call put across to them, a day after he was abducted on the way to his farm along  the Akure-Ikere Ekiti Road.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state,  Femi Joseph, however informed journalists that the police were already making progress to apprehend the suspects and secure the release of the politician.

And stories from around the world:

On the eve of Zimbabwe’s first election since he was forced out of power, former President Robert Mugabe said he will not vote for his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ZANU-PF.

“I cannot vote for those who have tormented me. I can’t,” the 94-year-old said on Sunday in his first live appearance since being pushed out of power by a military intervention in November 2017.  (Aljazeera)

A Palestinian teenager released by Israel on Sunday after completing a prison term for kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier said she wanted to become a lawyer so she could continue her struggle against the occupation of the West Bank. (Reuters)

Cambodia’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) said on Sunday that it had won a general election that rights groups said was neither free nor fair due to voter intimidation and the absence of any significant challenger to Prime Minister Hun Sen. (Reuters)

Football’s world governing body, FIFA has been urged to conduct an “independent investigation” into claims the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid team ran a secret campaign in 2010 to sabotage competing host bids.

The chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee Damian Collins said the “serious allegations”, published in the Sunday Times, would be a breach of Fifa’s rules if true. (BBC)

A powerful earthquake which struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok on Sunday killed at least 14 people, injured scores and damaged thousands of homes, officials said. (AFP)

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