These are the stories that drove the conversation today:
Three persons have been feared dead in Abia on Friday as personnel of the Nigerian Army attached to the Forward Operation Base, Aba and Mobile Policemen engaged in heavy shootout over alleged assault on one of them.
The situation which occurred at the Osisioma Ngwa junction along the Enugu –Port Harcourt expressway, caused panic among motorists and shop owners who fled to safety, leaving several motorists to abandon their vehicles on the expressway for fear of stray bullets.
Police and Military authorities in the city who were contacted over the incident declined comments while the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Anthony Ogbizi said he was yet to be briefed about the incident.
In a press release through the Commissioner of Information in the state, John Okiyi said that the state received with sadness “disturbing reports of an unfortunate confrontation between a group of soldiers and police officers at the Osisioma area of Aba earlier today(Friday).”
Zamfara Governor, Abdul’aziz Yari has lamented the recurring killings in the state despite huge spending on security.
Yari while speaking to reporters on Friday, condemned the prevailing situation where as the Chief security officer, he could not take decisions on strategies for protecting the state and its people.
The governor who said that it was disheartening that killings in the state had continued in spite of the President’s order to security agencies to end the incessant blood-letting,urged people of the state to be more faithful to God and embark on special prayers over the security challenge.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said its National Convention scheduled for Saturday, June 23 will hold as planned, with about 6,800 delegates expected to participate in the exercise.
Secretary of the Convention Committee, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, while briefing journalists at the convention secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, said that 1,200 dignitaries and party men and women are expected to attend the event that would take place at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
Ndoma-Egba added, “of course you know that we will have observers, vendors, the media and entertainers. In all you should expect about 8000 people.”
The Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KDIRS) said it has generated N14.2 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) between January and May.
Executive Chairman of the Service, Mukhtar Ahmed, made this known in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Friday, noting that the state has increased its IGR from a 2015 average of N800 million a month to between N2.7 billion and N3.0 billion monthly in 2018, compared to N11.5 billion generated in the whole of 2015 and more than half of the N23 billion generated in 2016.
According to him, the revenue profile of the state has been on consistent increase since the reform in revenue collection, beginning with the tax law that established KDIRS in 2016 as the sole revenue collector in the state and among other things harmonised and abolished cash collection as well as automated all revenue collection in the state.”
“Our target is to generate N4.0 billion a month and with the ongoing reform in tax administration and revenue collection in the state, I am very confident that we shall get there,” he added.
157 Nigerians, including nine pregnant women, on Friday voluntarily returned from Libya with the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Programme Manager, Migration Management Unit, IOM, Lagos,Abraham Tamrat who confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos said that the Nigerians arrived at the Cargo wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 4.15a.m. aboard a chartered flight.
Tamrat said that the returnees comprised 89 males and 62 females, including three children and three infants, with six medical cases returned from the Libyan cities of Janzour, Salah Adden and Tajoura and were received by officials of government agencies including the National Emergency Management Agency and the Nigeria Immigration Service.
And stories from around the world:
It was a hard day for two of Africa’s representatives at the 2018 World Cup in Russia as North African giants, Egypt and the Atlas lions of Morocco both lost their opening games in the tournament.
The Pharaoahs of Egypt who played earlier in the day lost 1-0 to Uruguay in Group A, courtesy of a last-minute header from Uruguayan striker, Jose Gimenez.
Morocco on the other hand got a hard result despite an enterprising and offensive minded game which they played against Iran. The failure of the team to convert several chances eventually saw it grant Team Melli of Iran a first win at a World Cup finals since 1998.
Iran won the Group B opener against Morocco on Friday in St. Petersburg, 1-0, thanks to an own goal scored in injury time by Morocco substitute, Aziz Bouhaddouz.
Real Madrid and Portugal footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly agreed to accept a £16.4m (18.8m euro) fine and suspended jail term to settle tax evasion charges.
Ronaldo was accused last year of defrauding tax authorities of €14.8m (£12.9m), charges he denies and offered to pay £12.9m in June 2017 but the government rejected the offer, according to reports by El Mundo newspaper.
Ronaldo is unlikely to serve any jail time under the deal – reportedly a verbal one at this stage. Under Spanish law, a two-year sentence for a first offence can be served on probation, with no requirement for custody.
There are unconfirmed reports that Mullah Fazlullah – the commander of the Pakistan Taliban – has been killed in a US air strike in Afghanistan.
The United States military who carried out the attack in collaboration with Afghan forces,only confirmed it had carried out a strike aimed at a senior militant figure in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, on the Pakistani border.
An Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman told the BBC that Fazlullah was targeted and killed but the Talibans were yet to make any comment. (BBC)
President Emmanuel Macron on Friday urged Italy’s new prime minister to work with France, Germany and Spain on resolving migration issues rather than siding with an anti-immigration “axis” emerging within the European Union.
“I hope deeply that France and Italy will work hand-in-hand, together, to propose and contribute European solutions, in particular with partners like Spain and Germany,” Macron said during a news conference with Conte alongside.
“There have been days that were a little tumultuous, but we are in perfect agreement,” said Conte, who only two days ago had described France’s stance on immigration as “hypocritical.”
The two leaders on Friday avoided reporters’ questions about their verbal jousting earlier in the week and tried to present a united front. (Reuters)
United States President, Donald Trump stepped up his offensive Friday against Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling, declaring it “totally discredited” following the release of a watchdog report documenting failings by the FBI.
“The report yesterday may be more important than anything. It totally exonerates me,” Trump told journalists in front of the White House.
“There was no collusion, there was no obstruction, and if you read the report… what you’ll really see is bias against me,” he said, adding that the investigation is a “ridiculous witch hunt.” (AFP)