Latest Breaking News This Afternoon, Saturday 18th Of July 2020


1. Lawan denies plans to run for president in 2023


Ola Awoniyi, Special Adviser on Media to Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, says his principal has no plans to run for president in 2023.

The media aide made this known in a statement on Saturday while reacting to certain reports published by media outlets (not The PUNCH) claiming otherwise.

Awoniyi said it is premature for anyone to start thinking about 2023 politics now, noting that the Senate President is preoccupied with extant issues of governance.

The statement partly read, “The attention of the office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to a rather puerile media report that the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, is making plans to run for president in 2023. The report was first published by the Daily Independent newspaper of Friday, 17th July, 2020 and reproduced later by the Sahara Reporters.

2. Senate will decide on 774,000 jobs Tuesday –Abaribe

The Senate will take an official position on the decision by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), to flout its decision on the recruitment of 774,000 federal workers.

The Minority Leader of the Upper Chamber, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, stated this in an interview with Saturday PUNCH.

He said the senators were expecting the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to brief them on the outcome of Thursday’s meeting of the presiding officers of the National Assembly with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on the issue.

3. Ex-Edo Speaker, Zakawanu Garuba, is dead

A former Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Zakawanu Garuba, is dead.

A family source, who did not want his name mentioned, said the two-time member of Edo Assembly died of an undisclosed ailment at an Abuja hospital on Saturday morning.

Born on 23 August 1965, in Akpekpe community, Auchi, in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state, Garuba studied Law at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State and was called to Bar in 1990.

He was elected into the Edo State House of Assembly in 2003, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party.

4. Coronavirus: Nigeria Records 600 New Cases…Total Death Toll Now 772

Nigeria has reported 600 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 35,454.

This is according to the latest figures released on Friday night in a tweet by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to the health agency, the 19 new cases were recorded in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Lagos remains the epicentre of the virus in the country with 129 new infections followed closely by the FCT with 118 reported cases.

5. Australian virus resurgence forces suspension of parliament

Australia’s parliament will be suspended for two weeks over fears that politicians could bring coronavirus from outbreak hotspots to the country’s capital, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Saturday.

The postponement comes a day after the nation’s second-biggest city reported a record rise in COVID-19 infections.

Citing medical advice, Morrison said the government could not ignore the risk that legislators might spread the disease to Canberra.

“The risks posed by a parliamentary sitting are significantly higher and unlikely to be resolved in the next month,” he said.

Canberra and its surrounding Australian Capital Territory continue like much of the country to control the virus but cases have been on the rise in Sydney and Melbourne.


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