The Big 5: Court tells Jonathan’s cousin he has a case to answer, No British referee chosen for Russia 2018 World Cup and other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today.

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday, hailed Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for developing the state within three years.

He spoke while inaugurating Ikeja Bus Terminal, shortly after arriving the state for a two-day official visit.

The President, in his brief remarks during the ceremony, praised Ambode for his reform in public transportation.
He said the Federal Government would adhere to its plan for the ports and other transport infrastructure.

The Federal Government has warned the media to be cautious in reporting security.

The Presidency urged the media to strike a balance between openness and national security.

Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu in a statement yesterday said: “In the midst of the debate over the right to freedom of expression and the government’s efforts to ensure that the digital space and the mass media generally do not become a playground for terrorism and destabilisation, security agencies in the country have given assurances that they would maintain a balance between openness and national security.

They have, however, called on the nation’s media owners and practitioners to walk the fine balance between openness on one hand and national security on the other“.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said he and members of his administration will not desist from talking about how their predecessors mismanaged the country’s resource.

Osinbajo was speaking at the 10th annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium, organised to commemorate the birthday of the former governor of Lagos and national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu.

As for our fight against corruption, as our president said, if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us. Let me reiterate that from all I have seen in government in the past three years, the corruption of the previous five years is what destroyed the Nigerian economy,” he said.

The spokesperson of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Kola Ologbodiyan, has accused Osinbajo of not being bold enough to mention names of those he claimed stole public funds.

Ologbondiyan said the vice president was only fond of bandying figures he cannot trace to a personality in the PDP.

This comes after Osinbajo’s speech at the colloquium organised to mark the 66th birthday of a leader of the All Progressives’Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, in Lagos on Thursday.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Robert Azibaola, to defend himself in a fraud allegation of $40 million leveled against him and his company, One Plus Holding Ltd, by the federal government.

The court on Thursday ordered Mr Azibaola to defend himself on two out of the nine-count charge preferred against him by the government.

He was to defend himself on the two counts bordering on being in possession of and converting $40 million received from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, to personal use.

And stories from around the world…

Kenyan opposition figure Miguna Miguna says he was beaten and drugged before being forcibly removed from the country for a second time.

The deportation came hours after a court held top officials in contempt for failing to release him from the airport where he was being held.

Kenyan officials have argued the lawyer – who holds dual Canadian nationality – is not a citizen.

But Miguna, who was flown to Dubai, says their motives are political.

He has now appealed for help through his social media accounts.

France has offered to mediate in the conflict in northern Syria, where Turkey launched a military offensive against Kurdish fighters in January.

President Emmanuel Macron met members of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces, including the YPG.

His office said he had “paid tribute to the sacrifices and the determining role” of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

There will be no British referee at the World Cup this summer for the first time since 1938.

Fifa has chosen 36 officials for the tournament in Russia but none from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

There are also no British officials among the 63 assistant referees selected, while video assistant referees (VAR) will be chosen from the pool of officials at the tournament.

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by the Trump administration but has said he was terminated because he is a crucial witness in the Russia investigation has raised around $300,000 in seven hours to help cover costs defending against government investigations, a funding website showed.

A statement on a GoFundMe page unveiled on Thursday said the goal was to raise $150,000 from the public, but it was raised to $250,000 because of a response that “has been remarkable and beyond our expectations”.

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has described Hollywood actors who alleged they were assaulted by Harvey Weinstein as “prostitutes”, suggesting they should have spoken out earlier.

Dmitry Peskov’s comments, made during a discussion panel at a Moscow university, came in response to a question about Russian MP Leonid Slutsky, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, prompting a public debate and comparisons with the Weinstein scandal.

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