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The Big 5: UN calls for release of missing Dapchi schoolgirls, Osinbajo reacts to Transparency International’s report and other top stories

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These are the top stories you should be monitoring today.

The United Nations (UN) Wednesday, demanded that the abductors of the 110 pupils of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe, should release them immediately.

The Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he “very much hopes that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, and just as importantly, that the girls will be found and returned to safety“.

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos Wednesday, ordered the final forfeiture of two penthouses valued at $4.760 million belonging to the former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke.

They are: Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, 11th floor (Bella Vista Estate) Banana Island, Ikoyi; and Penthouse 22, Block B (Admiralty Estate), also in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Ruling on an application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered that they be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Wednesday, in a situation report, said that seventy-two people have died of Lassa fever since January 1.

According to the report, dated February 25, 1,081 suspected cases were reported in 18 states.

The states are: Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe and Ekiti.

A witness in the N3.9 billion fraud trial involving a former Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh, Anna Akuson Wednesday, told Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, how a search conducted on a property allegedly belonging to defendant led to the recovery of $1 million suspected to be proceeds of illicit deals.Akuson, an operative of the EFCC, who testified as PW20, said that the money was found in a wardrobe at the upper apartment of the building located at No. 6 Ogun River Street, Off Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has reacted to a recent Transparency International (TI) report which showed that Nigeria did not make any progress in its corruption perception in 2017.

While the presidency initially dismissed the report as a “fiction” sponsored by the administration’s critics, Osinbajo has welcomed the report as a catalyst for Nigeria to do better in its fight against corruption rather than a setback.

The Corruption Perception Index compiled by TI and published on February 22 said Nigeria ranked 146 out of 180 countries sampled in 2017 — dropping 12 positions against 2016.

And stories from around the world…

The White House Communications Director and one of US President Donald Trump‘s longest-serving advisers, Hope Hicks, is set to step down, the administration says.

Hicks, 29, a former model and former Trump Organisation employee has been by Trump’s side for years.

She is reported to have told colleagues she felt she had accomplished all she could in the White House.

UK Prime Minister, Theresa May was facing intense pressure to spell out how she aims to avoid a hard Irish border in her much heralded Brexit speech on Friday, as the Irish prime minister angrily accused her of reneging on an earlier agreement with the EU on the issue.

The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said it was unacceptable for May or other UK politicians to dismiss the EU’s proposals for the Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland border, as outlined in a 119-page draft Brexit treaty unveiled in Brussels on Wednesday.

Three US Senators have introduced a resolution that will force the chamber to vote for the first time on whether the US should continue to support Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen, a conflict that has led to the deaths of at least 10,000 civilians there and driven the Middle East’s poorest country to the brink of famine.

The joint resolution, sponsored by Bernie Sanders, Republican Mike Lee, and Democrat Chris Murphy, is a rare effort by Congress to claw back its war powers from the executive branch. Aides to Senators say the resolution, which would trigger a vote over whether to end US participation in the conflict, is unprecedented in the Senate.

Employees in one of the most overworked countries in Asia are about to get a break after South Korea passed a bill to reduce the typical work week in an effort to improve quality of life and boost employment.

South Korea’s National Assembly passed the law which cut the maximum weekly work hours to 52, down from 68. The law comes into force in July and will apply to large companies before being rolled out to smaller businesses.

A French grandfather has been charged after confessing to raping and sexually assaulting about 40 women in a series of attacks dating back to the 1990s.

The married 57-year-old father was arrested ,Monday after police used his number plates to connect him to the rape of a woman last week across the border in Belgium. DNA evidence then matched him to that found on several rape victims.

Read » The Big 5: UN calls for release of missing Dapchi schoolgirls, Osinbajo reacts to Transparency International’s report and other top stories on YNaija

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