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Nigerian online news today Thursday, June 20, 2019

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1.President Muhammadu Buhari has spoken on the absence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the June 12 Democracy Day celebrations. Obasanjo had earlier claimed that he was not invited for the national event. However, in a statement on Wednesday by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said Obasanjo owes Nigerians explanation on why he did not attend the programme because the claim that he was not invited or he did not receive an invitation cannot be sustained. The statement claims that the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha wrote on May 16th, 2019 to the former president.

2.The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday said it withdrew and re-issued over 70 certificates of return after the 2019 general elections. Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said this at an electoral reform round-table organised by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and the Kofi Annan Foundation in Abuja. Okoye said that one of the biggest challenges facing the commission is the large number of pre-election matters that are still pending in various courts of law.

3.Kogi Youth Movement (KYM), a volunteer group of youths from Kogi State, on Wednesday rejected the second term ambition of Governor Yahaya Bello and insisted on direct primary to pick the candidate of the All Progressives Congress ahead of the November 21 governorship election. The youths, who protested against Bello’s 2nd term ambition at the Unity Fountain arena in Abuja with placards bearing different inscriptions, said the KYM was adding their voice to the millions of others voices in the state that have rejected the governor’s ambition.

4.Similarly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State on Wednesday urged the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to disqualify some identifiable aspirants seeking the governorship ticket of the November 16 poll on grounds of alleged anti-party activities. This was in a statement by the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Malam Jibril Abu, on Wednesday in Abuja. Abu gave the names of the alleged violators of the party’s constitution to include Sen. Alex Kadiri, Vice Adm. Jibrin Usman, Mohammed Audu, and Prof. Seidu Ogah.

5.President Muhammadu Buhari has reappointed Mr. Ahmed Idris, as the Accountant General of the Federation. The Director, Communications, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHoSCF), Mrs. Wunmi Ogunmosunle, made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja. The appointment will take effect from June 25.

6.Nigeria’s chances of playing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Round of 16 were boosted on Wednesday, following the completion of Group D fixtures. England beat Japan 2-0 and more importantly, Argentina fought back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Scotland in a thrilling affair. The result ensures Scotland cannot qualify as one of the best losers. The Super Falcons will now be hoping to clinch one of the last two spots reserved for third-placed teams, with the three points and -2 goal difference they have accrued.

7.President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the current attacks on the people of Kona in Taraba State. The President ordered security forces to end the violence immediately and decisively. This was contained in a statement signed by Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity. The President warned that attacks on innocent people in the name of revenge or whatever motives would not be tolerated by his government.

8.The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Yekini Nabena, has described recent reports on the 2019 general elections by some international institutions as efforts to discredit the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. Nabena said the reports recently-released by the European Union (EU), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) were part of international conspiracy against Nigeria, adding that it was a western agenda to destabilise democratic process in Nigeria.

9.The Ebonyi State government has sacked a staff (Reporter) working in the State broadcasting corporation for testifying in a case, suit no EPT/EB/REP/01/2019 between the petitioner, Comrade Chinedu Nweke Ogah of the APC and respondent, Hon Lazarus Nweru Ogbee of the PDP and four others. In a statement on Wednesday, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mba Ukweni lamented the situation, saying it was regrettable.Ukweni and a team of other lawyers who represented the petitioner said “The witness (The Reporter) who testified yesterday (Tuesday) for the Petitioner was unceremoniously removed from work with effect from yesterday, 18/06/2019”

10.A National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Mr. Johnson Onyilo, who had been serving in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, has committed suicide. Onyilo, a 2018 Batch B Stream 1 corps member, was until his death serving in Ibadan North West Local Government area of the state. He was said to have committed suicide and died on Friday. Our correspondent gathered on Wednesday that Onyilo, who graduated from the Department of Accounting at the University of Jos, Plateau state, hails from Benue state.