These are the top stories you should be monitoring today.
President Muhammadu Buhari has warned Nigerians against playing into the hands of the agents of disunity.
The president gave the warning following report of reprisal attacks over Tuesday’s killing of 19 persons at a church in Benue.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, Thursday night, Buhari said those behind the Church attack did not mean well for Nigeria and peaceful coexistence.
“We must resist all temptation to fall into this laid out plan,” he said.
The Nigerian Army has said its soldiers repelled an attempted attack on Maiduguri on Thursday night.
The head of the Nigerian Army’s operations in the North-east, Rogers Nicholas, later released a statement confirming that the attack had been repelled.
“The troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE are currently in pursuit of the Boko Haram Terrorists and have dominated the area while also patrolling the general area of Jidari,” he said.
Detained leader of Nigeria’s Shiite group, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has been charged with murder.
In what appears to be a response to the protests, the Kaduna government slammed a fresh eight-count charge on the Shiite leader, his lawyer, Femi Falana, said Thursday.
The charges include homicide which is punishable by death.
The lawyer representing alleged billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, has petitioned the Chief Judge of Lagos seeking the transfer of his case to a different judge.
The lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, accused the judge handling the trial of Evans, Oluwatoyin Taiwo, and his co-accused, of bias against his client.
“We do not in any way doubt the judicial capacity and ability of Hon Justice O.A Taiwo as one of the finest judges of our time,” Ogungbeje said in the petition dated April 18.
“His lordship remains our ‘Mother in Law.’ However, from the facts and circumstances of the case, we doubt the ability of his Lordship to dispense justice without fear or favour.”
Evans and Victor Aduba are facing a four-count charge of kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms before Taiwo of the Ikeja Division of the Lagos High Court.
They are accused of kidnapping of Sylvanus Ahamonu and collecting a $420,000 ransom from his family.
The defendants are also being tried for the attempted kidnap of Vincent Obianodo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Young Shall Grow Motors.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to order the Senate President Bukola Saraki and 108 other senators to refund “illegal and unconstitutional N13.5 monthly allowance received by each senator with interest, and to stop the lawmakers from receiving such unjustified allowances.”
SERAP is also asking the court to order “an investigation by appropriate agencies as to how the public funds that have so far been received by each senator have been spent and for the findings of any such investigation to be made public.”
And… stories from around the world.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared at about 9:30 South Korean time for his historic summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
He walked up to the demarcation line that divides the two countries and shook hands with Moon.
The pair shared pleasantries and, in an impromptu moment, briefly crossed to the north side of the demarcation line for a photo op before walking back into the southern side.
After a welcoming ceremony, the leaders then retreated to the Peace House, where Kim Jong Un signed a guestbook with the inscription “a new history begins now.”
US President Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time Thursday that his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is representing him with regards to legal matters involving Stormy Daniels, the porn star who says she had an affair with Trump.
On Cohen, the President both solidified his link with Cohen on the Stormy Daniels matter and distanced himself from his personal attorney, whom Trump said has overseen “a tiny, tiny little fraction” of his legal work. But in the process, the President may have inadvertently boosted the arguments of prosecutors who have said that communications between the two men shouldn’t be considered confidential under attorney-client privilege provisions.
Ten-man Atletico Madrid battled to a 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal on Arsene Wenger‘s final European night in north London.
Everything seemed to be going to Wenger’s script with eight minutes to go — “1-0 to the Arsenal,” as their famous chant goes — but a late equalizer from Atletico forward Antoine Griezmann cancelled out Alexandre Lacazette‘s earlier headed effort, leaving the tie in the balance for the second leg.
Almost 1,500 migrant children are unaccounted for after being placed with sponsors by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a top HHS official’s testimony on Thursday the New York Times reports.
Acting assistant secretary of HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, Steven Wagner, told the Senate homeland security subcommittee that the department learned of 1,475 missing kids after calling to check in with their sponsors. This comes as the HHS and Department of Homeland Security are working towards an agreement on “joint procedures” for handling unaccompanied children.
In a verdict that seemed destined to stand as a major milestone in the #MeToo movement against sexual assault, the once beloved actor and comedian Bill Cosby was convicted by a Pennsylvania jury on Thursday of drugging and molesting an acquaintance in 2004.
The jury announced its verdict after fewer than two days of deliberation. Cosby, 80, faces a possible maximum prison sentence of 15 to 30 years.