The Late 5: Time has come to bring the evils of Boko Haram to a definitive end – Buhari; I can’t wait for the Presidential debate – Atiku | Other top stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday summoned another Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to address prevailing security challenges in the sub-region.

Addressing the other Heads of the State at the Summit, Buhari noting that the meeting was called up to consider the report of the Committee set up during the last Summit in N’Djamena, Chad on the way forward, said the crisis in the sub-region must be put to an end to enable meaningful development for its people.

“The time has come for the evil of Boko Haram to be brought to a definitive end,” he stated.

The Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed satisfaction with the showing of his running mate, Peter Obi, at the Vice-Presidential debate, adding that he is eager to participate at next month’s presidential debate.

The former Vice president who stated this in a tweet using his verified Twitter handle hours after watching the five-man vice-presidential debate in Abuja, said that his running mate laid out their vision to get Nigeria working again.

The lawmaker representing Borno South, Senator Ali Ndume, on Saturday appealed to his colleagues in the Senate and House of Representatives not to boycott Wednesday’s presentation of the 2019 Budget to National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ndume who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria  in Abuja, said he understood the reactions of the honourable members, “as a result of the unnecessary comment credited to the Minister of Budget as to who is responsible for the delay,” noting that national interest should be placed above any individual or group interest.

“My take on this is that two wrongs do not make a right and I want to appeal to my colleagues in the House of Representatives to have a rethink because the President is not responsible for what the minister was alleged to have said. “So, I feel the reasonable thing to do is to receive Mr President in a joint session because it is very key to our national interest,” he said.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of plotting to use some Russians to hack the database of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the 2019 general election.

Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, made the allegation in an interactive session with journalists on Friday in Abuja, insisting that the alleged plot is the reason the opposition leaders are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the electoral act amendment bill into law, in line with a strategy they (the PDP) agreed on in Dubai.

“They planned to bring some Russians to help them hack the system. That is their joker. Once the president signs the bill, they will just bring in the Russians to help them hack into the system. Saraki and others went to Russia and they have their plan to hack the system, input their figures after results have been transmitted electronically which will now be announced,” he stated.

An embattled former Federal High Court Judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia on Friday, slumped in the premises of the Ikeja High Court where she is standing trial over allegations of collecting bribes running into millions of dollars.

She was consequently rushed to a local hospital in an ambulance forcing Justice Hakeem Oshodi to adjourn the matter, following a request by her lead counsel, Mr Robert Clarke, SAN.

Ajumogobia had in October been dismissed from the bench by the National Judicial Council (NJC) for gross misconduct.

And stories from around the world:

Zambia has denied claims by a White House official that China is about to take over its state power utility to recover $6-10 billion debt, noting the utility was never provided as collateral and its debt to Beijing was only $3.1 billion. (Reuters)

“Yellow vest” protesters have gathered in Paris and other cities for a fifth consecutive Saturday of demonstrations.

Protesters defied a government call to suspend the action following Tuesday’s attack on Strasbourg’s Christmas market where a gunman killed four people. (BBC)

Australia formally recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing decades of Middle East policy, but will not move its embassy there immediately, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday. (Reuters)

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the US health care law known as Obamacare is unconstitutional — a ruling that opposition Democrats condemned Saturday and vowed to appeal. (AFP)

At least 21 people have been killed in two days of intense fighting between ethnic groups in southern Ethiopia amid escalating violence that has sent hundreds fleeing across the border to neighbouring Kenya. (Al Jazeera)

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