Good morning, readers! This is a summary of some top news stories
1-.The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has waded into the reported case of a musician, Yahaya Sharif-Amnu who was sentenced to death in Kano State for blasphemy. According to a statement issued on Thursday by the NBA National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Ernest Nduka, NBA President, Olumide Akpata, has set up a two-man Fact-Finding Committee.
2-.Gunmen suspected to be bandits have attacked the First Bank branch in Kagara, a community in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State. Eyewitnesses said scores of armed men riding on motorcycles stormed the area at about 6pm on Wednesday and started shooting into the air before heading for the bank. They added that many residents in the area sustained varying degrees of injury from gunshots and a yet-to-be-ascertained number of people were feared killed.
3-.Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that efforts are ongoing to resolve the dispute between Nigerian traders and the Ghanaian Government. A statement by the Speaker’s Spokesman, Lanre Lasisi, on Wednesday, said Mr Gbajabiamila led a delegation of lawmakers from the House of Representatives on a two-day legislative diplomatic mission to Ghana and met with the Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye.
4-.The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has rejected the reported increase in the pump price of fuel from N148 to N151.56. Minority Leader of the House, Ndidu Elumelu, made the position of the lawmakers known in a statement on Wednesday. He described the announced price as unacceptable, saying it would result in an increase in the already high cost of consumer goods and services, as well as worsen the current economic hardship being suffered by Nigerians.
5-.The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the reported increase in the price of petrol to N151 per litre and electricity tariff to N66 per kwh. In a statement on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party described the increase as callous and cruel, alleging that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was punishing Nigerians.
6-.Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has asked leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to emulate ex-President Goodluck Jonathan who congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari after losing the 2015 polls. The monarch gave the charge on Wednesday during a meeting he had with the leading candidates ahead of the September 19 governorship election in the state.
7-.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Wednesday for Turkey and Greece to reduce tensions over disputed maritime rights and gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean. Greece has accused Turkey of violating its sovereignty by pushing ahead with natural gas exploration activities in disputed waters southwest of Cyprus. Both countries deployed naval warships to the area in shows of force, elevating concerns over a possible clash.
8-.America’s top diplomat for Africa has urged a fair trial for “Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina, as concern mounts over the mysterious circumstances of his arrest and return to his home country. Rusesabagina, who saved more than 1,200 Rwandans during the 1994 genocide by sheltering them in a hotel, appeared in handcuffs in Kigali this week accused of serious charges including terrorism after a quarter century in exile abroad.
9-.Coronavirus restrictions were tightened in the Scottish city of Glasgow and extended in parts of northern England on Wednesday following a surge in infection rates. The new measures come amid a steady uptick in cases across Britain, which has suffered Europe’s deadliest outbreak of COVID-19, with more than 41,500 confirmed deaths.
10-.Pope Francis used a first public audience in six months Wednesday to warn that Lebanon faces “extreme danger that threatens the very existence of the country” following last month’s massive explosion. The leader of the Catholic Church focused on the disaster-hit country almost a month after the huge blast in the Beirut harbour ripped through the city, killing more than 180 people and wounding at least 6,500.