The Late 5: Police arrest seven in connection to Offa bank robbery, Sagay says looting still takes place at the National Assembly, and other top stories

These are the top five Nigerian stories that drove conversation today.

Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawan Ado, on Saturday said seven suspects have been arrested in connection with the robbery of banks in Offa, Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State.

Armed robbers had on Thursday robbed Union Bank, Ecobank, Guarantee Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Banks and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank.

Ado said, “Seven suspects arrested; one at Igosun road and six others at different locations in Offa. They are helping us in our investigation.”

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu has said heads of public sector organisation steal from the public through the procurement process.

Magu said this at procurement retreat for chief executives/accounting officers of public agencies.

He warned the CEOs to stick strictly to the 2017 budget in the award of contracts or face prosecution.

He said, “It has come to our knowledge that heads of public offices try to steal from public covers through the procurement processes.”

Chief Orji Kalu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, has said that there is no division in the leadership of the party.

Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, made this known during his advocacy visit to the palace of Deji of Akure, on Saturday.

He noted that all arms of the party had agreed to work together.

“The National Executive Committee of the party only asked Odigie Oyegun, the APC National Chairman, to act since elections are approaching.

“Oyegun himself never asked for tenure elongation and that is the truth.”

The Conference of National Assembly Legislative Aides (CONASSLA), a forum of current and former aides to members of the national assembly, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to reveal their running costs.

They also asked to know what Aisha Buhari, wife of the president, ministers, heads of agencies and parastatals of the government receive in running costs.

In a statement on Saturday, Abdullahi Al-Mustapha, chairman of CONASSLA, said the executive should reveal its running costs in-line with the transparency agenda of the federal government.

CONASSLA said the information should be published “in seven days”.

Itse Sagay, chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), says looting of public funds still takes place at the national assembly through budget padding.

In an interview with PUNCH, Sagay said there is no looting at the executive level.

He said the implementation of treasury single account (TSA) by the Buhari administration has shown that country is making trillions of naira that “nobody knew about”.

Sagay said: “Nobody is sharing any money again — but perhaps at the national assembly looting is still ongoing due to budget padding. Some sharing may be going on at that level, but at the executive level, I can assure you that no sharing is going on.”

And now, stories from around the world…

Several people have been killed in the city of Muenster, in western Germany, after a van drove into pedestrians.

The driver of the vehicle has killed himself, police said, without providing further details. They are not looking for more suspects.

About 30 people are reported injured in the incident, which occurred near the Kiepenkerl statue in the old town. Some are said to be in a serious condition.
Police have closed the area and asked people to avoid the city centre.

An Indian court has granted bail to Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, two days after he was jailed for poaching rare antelope back in 1998.

The defence had questioned the testing of the animals and the reliability of witnesses, NDTV reported.

On Thursday, Khan had been convicted in Jodhpur, sentenced to five years in jail and fined 10,000 rupees ($154).

The court ruled Khan, 52, killed the two blackbucks, a protected species, in Rajasthan while shooting a film.

The US state of Texas is deploying National Guard members to the border with Mexico following a call from President Donald Trump.

A Guard spokesman said 250 personnel would be sent to patrol the area within the next 72 hours.

Arizona is also planning to deploy 150 troops there next week.

President Trump says he wants to send up to 4,000 National Guard members to secure the border with Mexico, until his proposed border wall is built.

The United States and North Korea have been holding secret, direct talks to prepare for a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, a sign that planning for the highly anticipated meeting is progressing, several administration officials familiar with the discussions tell CNN.

Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and a team at the CIA have been working through intelligence back-channels to make preparations for the summit, the officials said. American and North Korean intelligence officials have spoken several times and have even met in a third country, with a focus on nailing down a location for the talks.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva failed to turn himself in to federal authorities Friday, when he was supposed to begin serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption.

Lula da Silva will remain at the headquarters of the country’s metalworkers union building Saturday, where he’s been holed up, said Lindbergh Farias, a senator for Workers’ Party.

Farias said Lula will stay in the building and celebrate mass Saturday in memory of his deceased wife, Marisa Letícia Lula da Silva, on what would have been her 68th birthday.

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