The Big 5: We expect FG to forward minimum wage bill within 2 weeks – NLC; Be humble and apologise to Atiku without delay – Shehu Sani tells FG | Other top stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

The Atiku Campaign Organisation has berated the All Progressives Congress-led administration over Sunday’s search of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar’s aircraft, describing it as a premeditated intimidation tactic premised on an earlier statement of the party, wherein it accused Atiku of plans to move into the country, “illicit cash” from Dubai.

In a statement on Monday, the campaign organisation added that the statement by the aviation ministry explaining that thevsearch of Atiku’s plane was “routine,” is an afterthought that does not hold water, for the simple reason that Atiku has been flying in and out of Nigeria without ever receiving such a treatment until the APC released the said statement.

Similarly, the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani has called on the Federal Government to apologise to Atiku Abubakar, without delay over the incidence, condemning the action of the “overzealous” security operatives in what he described as “intimidation and harassment camouflaged as routine.”

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it expects President Muhammadu Buhari to within two weeks, forward to the National Assembly for passage into law, the new national minimum wage bill.

General Secretary of the NLC, Peter Eson, who disclosed this to Thisday late Monday via telephone, said labour was appealing to the President to expedite action on the proposed new national minimum wage by transmitting it to the National Assembly in good time, warning that any delay could attract a reaction from workers.

“We all signed up on the N30,000, so why should there be any controversy. The report has been submitted to Mr. President and what we expect now from Mr. President is to do justice to that report, by quickly raising an executive bill on the new National Minimum Wage. And when that bill gets to the National Assembly, we want to assure Nigerian workers that we will be ready to engage them constructively,’’ he added.

A Kano High Court on Monday upheld its earlier order halting the state House of Assembly Investigative Committee from probing the bribery allegation against Kano Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.

Responding during the hearing on Monday, Counsel to the Kano House of Assembly (first defendant) and Investigative Committee Chairman, Hon. Baffa Babba Dan Agundi (second defendant), Mohammed Waziri, described his clients as law-abiding citizens who would not breach the law in any way, adding that “the Assembly has no intention whatsoever to take any further steps until the subsisting matter is decided upon because constitutional issues are being raised.”

The court also ordered all other parties involved in the investigation of the bribery allegation to maintain status quo, pending the determination of the originating summons.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Monday reiterated his stance that geographical restructuring is not an answer to Nigeria’s socio-economic circumstances, adding however that “stronger, more autonomous states would effectively eradicate poverty.”

Osinbajo who disclosed this on Monday during an Anniversary Lecture on ‘Restructuring and the Nigerian Federation’ he delivered in Lagos, stressed that he has been an advocate, both in court and outside, of fiscal federalism and stronger state governments and have argued in favour of state police, for the simple reason that policing is a local function.

“You simply cannot effectively police Nigeria from Abuja,” he said.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Sokoto has announced the “expulsion” of the party’s National Vice Chairman (North West), Inuwa Abdulkadir, for alleged anti-party activities.

And stories from around the world:

The United States will step up enforcement of sanctions on Iran, national security adviser John Bolton said on Tuesday, as Tehran tries to find ways to evade the restrictions in oil trade and in banking. (Reuters)

Late-night UK-EU talks in Brussels ended with “optimism on both sides”, government sources say, although no final Brexit deal has been agreed. (BBC)

A member of a Saudi assassination squad phoned a superior shortly after Jamal Khashoggi was murdered and told him “tell your boss” their mission had been accomplished, The New York Times has reported.

North Korea is operating at least 13 undeclared bases to hide mobile, nuclear-capable missiles, a new study asserted Monday, as progress stalls on US President Donald Trump’s signature foreign policy initiative. (AFP)

China’s Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday that Beijing hoped a consultation with Southeast Asian nations on a code of conduct in the disputed South China Sea would be completed in three years, and that such an deal would bolster free trade. (Reuters)

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