TRAGEDY AVERTED, HELICOPTER CONVEYING VP OSINBAJO DEVELOPS FAULT MID-AIR

** The helicopter that conveyed Vice President Yemi Osibanjo from the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja, was forced to land few seconds after take off on Thursday.

Osinbajo was in the college for the graduation ceremony of Senior Division Course 1/2018 participants. The chopper had earlier taken the Vice President to the college for the ceremony.

Upon take off, the white chopper with yellow and blue stripes, could not ascend beyond the trees level before it emitted thick smoke and landed on the same spots few seconds after take off. Osinbajo later leave the college by road.

TRENDING

*. Following yesterday’s declaration by President Buhari that June 12th has become the official democracy day, the Senate during plenary today asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the results of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
President Buhari in a statement released yesterday, explained that June 12 was more symbolic than May 29 and also conferred a posthumous GCFR title on the late businessman.

*. The national assembly has embarked on a four-week recess. The leadership of the two chambers announced this after the respective plenaries. The lawmakers are to resume sitting on July 3, to give room for the Eid-el-Fitri holiday and upcoming Salah celebration. The recess, however, does not affect the various committees of the two chambers as their meetings and other activities would still continue.
Meanwhile, the house of representatives has begun activities marking its three years’ anniversary.

NEWS FLASH

1. PRESIDENCY:
Contrary to what most Nigerians are expecting, there will be no public holiday on June 12 this year, despite President Muhammadu’s announcement on Wednesday. Buhari, in a press release, moved Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12. The president also announced that MKO Abiola, winner of the annulled election, will be posthumously awarded the highest honour in the land, GCFR. We reached out to a source around the presidency, to make clarifications and it was indeed confirmed that the date will be a public holiday in future years, but not in 2018.

2. PRESIDENCY:
Following his declaration on Wednesday that henceforth, June 12 be observed as Democracy Day in Nigeria and that some heroes of democracy be given national honours, President Buhari has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Shehu Malami to take immediate steps to publish the Presidential Order in the Federal Gazette as follows: Chief MKO Abiola – GCFR (Posthumous) Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe – GCON, Chief Gani Fawehinmi -GCON (Posthumous) The President also directed that this should be done so that the awards slated for June 12, 2018 can go on as planned.

3. NATIONAL ASSEMBLY:
The senate today deliberated onPresident Buhari’s decision to declare June 12th as Nigeria’s new ‘Democracy Day’. During the discussion, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said, ‘the Constitution needs to be amended if June 12th is declared as Democracy day’.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki however said, ‘we recognize the fact that the recognition of Chief MKO Abiola and his contributions have been long overdue. We must recognize this good intention.There might be imperfections in how it was implemented, but let us take the good intention behind all of this’.

4. ASO ROCK:
Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power, will be getting at least N11.5 billion as its allocation in the 2018 budget. Of that amount, N45.68 million was budgeted for power plants and generator fuel. N45.54 million was budgeted for the same item in the 2017 budget, N140,000 lesser than that of this year. Also, a total of N1 billion was budgeted for the Aso Rock Medical Centre, while it got N331.7 million during the 2017 fiscal year, thus an extra allocation of N668.2 million. This is different from the N36.8 million meant for “drugs and medical supplies” for the state house – and yes, the N1 billion covers a sum of N208.3 million meant for the same purpose.

5. #JUNE 12:
Former CJN, Alfa Belgore, has described as illegal, the award of the highest title in Nigeria, GCFR, to MKO Abiola, posthumously. Last night, President Buhari announced the change in the date of democracy day from May 29th to June 12th in honor of Abiola who is said to have one the freest and fairest election in Nigeria. Belgore who was Chief Judge between 2006 and 2007 and also the chairman of the National Honors Committee in 2016, spoke to Premiumtimes where he stated that the National honors are only conferred on living people and that it is only soldiers or service men that are awarded posthumously for their bravery.

6. JUDICIARY:
Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says President Muhammadu Buhari is not prohibited by law to confer national honours on deserving Nigerians, dead or alive. Falana said this on Thursday in reaction to a statement by Alfa Belgore, a former chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), describing as illegal, the conferment of Nigeria’s highest national honour on MKO Abiola, presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 election Falana said the ex-CJN did not refer to any section of the National Honours Act or any other law that has been violated by the president.

7. JUDICIARY:
An Abuja chief magistrate’s court in Wuse has granted leave to Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi) to travel to the United States for an appointment with his doctor. Melaye was arraigned before the court on May 2d on charges bordering on his alleged escape from a police vehicle in Abuja on April 24th. At the resumed hearing yesterday June 6th, his counsel, John Odubela (SAN) asked the court to order the Commissioner of Police, FCT command to release Melaye’s international passport to enable him travel for medical treatment abroad which had previously been scheduled before his faceoff with the police.

8. ECONOMY:
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says funds received under the Naira-Yuan Swap Agreement must be utilised within 72 hours. In a document titled Regulations for Transactions with Authorised Dealers in Renminbi, the apex bank said funds not utilised within the period must be returned for repurchase. The document, which was released on Thursday, was signed by Alvan Ikoku, director, financial markets department. The regulator said it might conduct bi-weekly trading sessions to ensure liquidity for trade and direct investment between the two countries.

9. ENTERTAINMENT:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was a guest on Trevor Noah’s show where she touched on topics like chivalry. The renowned author said chivalry, for example opening doors for people, shouldn’t be gender-based and women should also open the door for men. She also spoke about what happens in crisis situations where women and children are usually giving preference to men. She said this shouldn’t be so because there are women who are stronger than men, and as such, priority should be placed on the weak and young not based on gender.

10. SPORTS:
Today June 7th is the 2nd anniversary of the death of football coach, Stephen Keshi. The quintessential football coach died suddenly in Benin city in 2016. His son, Stephen Jnr took to his IG page to pay him glowing tribute as he remembers him ”It was 2 years ago today when I received a call from Nigeria saying my pops had passed away. I miss him, we miss him, wish he could be here in the physical to meet Grayson but I know he’s here in the spiritual. He was a very happy and positive person so I feel it’s only right to celebrate this day with joy not sadness” he said.

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