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United States President, Trump, Signs Executive Order Regulating Social Media After Twitter Fact-checked His Tweets

28 May 2020 - 3:11pm


U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a front page of the New York Post as he speaks to reporters while signing an executive order on social media companies in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 28, 2020.


Trump's Tweets

President Donald Trump of the United States on Thursday signed an executive order seeking to limit the broad legal protection that federal law currently provides to social-media and other online platforms.

This is coming days after Twitter called two of his tweets "potentially misleading". 

Speaking from the Oval Office ahead of signing the order, Trump accused Twitter of acting as an editor “with a viewpoint” and described the platform’s fact-check of his tweets as “political activism”. 

He said he would delete his Twitter account “in a heartbeat” if he felt the news media were fair to him. U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a front page of the New York Post as he speaks to reporters while signing an executive order on social media companies in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

He said, “We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers. 

"A small handful of social media monopolies controls a vast portion of all public and private communications in the United States. 

"They've had unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter, virtually any form of communication between private citizens and large public audiences."

Trump said that if his lawyers could find a way to legally shut down Twitter, “I would do it.”

Trump's Tweets Twitter

The order escalates an already heated fight over how big social-media platforms handle politically charged content. 

The companies long resisted stronger moderation efforts and have struggled to address growing pressure to combat the proliferation of misinformation and other problematic content in a way that avoids fueling criticism that they are inconsistent, biased or stifling free expression.

The executive order marks the Trump administration’s most aggressive effort against social-media companies. 

The President has threatened for years to counteract what he and many conservatives see as a systemic bias against their political positions on social media. 

His campaign on Thursday sent supporters an email seeking to raise money off the President’s feud with Twitter.

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Kebbi Discharges Last Two COVID-19 Patients After Recovery

28 May 2020 - 2:55pm


Kebbi State government has discharged the last two COVID-19 patients in its isolation centre after recovery.

This was disclosed by the Task Force Chairman on COVID-19, who is also the Commissioner for Health, Jafar Muhammed, who said follow up tests conducted on them came back negative.

He stated that with the latest discharge, the state no longer had any active case of COVID-19.

"Our two remaining COVID-19 patients at the isolation center in Kebbi Medical Center, Kalgo, are discharged today.

"So, by implication, they are free to be integrated back into the mainstream society because their results turned out to be negative after their two weeks stay in the isolation centre," Muhammed said.

Kebbi smState recorded 32 cases of persons infected with Coronavirus.

 

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Katsina Governor, Masari, Lifts Ban On Juma’at, Church Services

28 May 2020 - 2:52pm


Kastina State Governor Bello Masari

Governor Bello Masari of Kastina State has announced the temporary lifting of lockdown throughout the state every Friday.

Masari also lifted the ban on religious gatherings and inter-local government movements across the state.  Kastina State Governor Bello Masari

The governor said the decision was to enable Muslim and Christian faithful observe their weekly religious activities while every Friday of the week was declared lockdown-free for residents to get essential items.

He said hand sanitisers must be provided and used by each worshipper at every entry point and at other convenient points of religious premises. 

 

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$18.34m Paid To Nigerian Kidnappers In Nine Years —Report

28 May 2020 - 1:32pm


About $18.34m has been paid by families, friends and loved ones of kidnap victims in Nigeria in the last nine years, a new report by SBM Intelligence has shown.

The report titled 'Nigeria’s Kidnap Problem': The Economics of the Kidnap Industry in Nigeria, highlighted that a large proportion of the amount (just below $11m) was paid out between January 2016 and March 2020.

The report said, “SBM Intelligence analysed data covering the period from June 2011 to the end of March 2020 using a collection of public sources, police and media reports, as well as SBM’s extensive research network spread across the country. What we have found shows that between June 2011 and the end of March 2020, at least $18.34m has been paid to kidnappers as ransom.  google

“Even more frightening is that the larger proportion of that figure ( just below $11m) was paid out between January 2016 and March 2020, indicating that kidnapping is becoming more lucrative."

The report listed Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers, as three of the top 10 states with the highest number of reported kidnap incidents in Nigeria.

Kaduna State was listed in the report as having the second highest rate of kidnapping incidents in Nigeria while Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, occupies 11th position.

The report added, “In terms of the absolute number of reported kidnap incidents, four of the top 10 states with a high number of kidnap incidents over the last decade are in the South-South geopolitical zone, with three of them, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers being a part of the Niger Delta. These three are also the states with the strongest history of Niger Delta militancy. 

“Kaduna – the state with the second highest number of incidents – also has a significant history of violence especially along its connecting road to Abuja. While it is not in the top 10, Abuja has the 11th highest number of kidnap incidents over the last decade, and there is anecdotal evidence that some of the perpetrators responsible for Kaduna’s high rate of kidnap attempts have extended their operations into the federal capital.

“The states with the highest number of fatalities are in the North, and they all have ongoing violence from other sources in common. It would appear that such existing violence has made the kidnaps much deadlier in these places. Our conclusion is that where existing violence and/or historic violent norms have devalued human lives, crimes such as kidnapping tend to result in more fatalities.

“This becomes even clearer when we organise the list to show the average number of fatalities per kidnap attempt. Once this is done, all the Niger Delta states fall from the top eight. All but one of the top eight falls within the North, with Lagos being the only Southern state featuring. It would appear that in the South, while kidnapping may be frequent, the selection of victims is more targeted and the kidnappers see it more as a business transaction, trying hard to extract money from their criminal activities.

"This targeted approach makes their victims less expendable as they are usually fewer in number at a time. In the North, the modus operandi is more likely that a larger number of people are simply rounded up and then ransoms demanded en masse. Because of this approach, victims that are unable to pay up as quickly as expected are more likely to be killed by the kidnappers. Seven other states had no fatalities even though kidnap incidents were recorded in these states.

“The high fatality rate of kidnap attempts in Borno and Adamawa states can be directly linked with the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group, which is responsible for most of the attempts and a few others linked to Fulani herdsmen militia.

"However, the data of fatalities per attempt for the other Northern states reveals that until late 2018, the fatalities were relatively low as kidnap attempts were targeted at specific intended victims (mostly politically-exposed persons, business people and their close relatives, or expatriates). This data takes into account only victims, and discounts suspected kidnappers killed by security forces in various skirmishes or rescue attempts.”

DOCUMENT: Nigeria’s Kidnap Problem by Sahara Reporters on Scribd

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Pay Property Tax On Exotic Cars, Mansions, Before Masses Rise Up, Senator Smart Adeyemi Tells Wealthy Nigerians

28 May 2020 - 1:17pm


Smart Adeyemi, senator representing Kogi West at the National Assembly, has asked affluent Nigerians to pay property tax to save the nation's dwindling economy from total collapse.

Adeyemi while speaking at the Senate on Thursday, said Nigeria's squandered resources in the time of oil boom had come back to bite President Muhammadu Buhari as oil prices crash.

He said, “When we were asking the government of the day at that time to diversify the economy at the time oil was selling at $100 to $150, that party squandered our resources. 


“Roads were not built, road lines were not constructed, where did the money go? Who were the people who were in charge of our resources?

“I pity this President, I pity this government now that oil is selling at $22 or $30.”

The senator said those living in mansions should pay property tax to save the country’s economy.

He added, “In the last decade or so, we used to have some of these toll gates but suddenly they were removed by other party when they were in government.
“I think the time has come for those who drive exotic cars, SUVs to pay tax to government.

“Before the masses will rise, we should start looking at introducing property tax. For those living in mansion, they should start paying back to the society to save the economy of our nation from collapse.”

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Nigerian Government Defends Akinwumi Adesina, Asks AfDB Board To Dismiss Calls For Fresh Probe

28 May 2020 - 1:02pm


The Nigerian Government has dismissed allegations of corruption levelled against Akimwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, calling on the financial institution to shun calls for a fresh probe on his tenure. 

In a letter written by Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria's Minister of Finance, to Chairman of the Board of Governors of the AfDB, the Nigerian Government expressed support for the work Adesina was doing at the institution. 

The letter reads in part, “The call for an ‘independent investigation’ of the President is outside of the laid down rules, procedures and governing system of the bank and its articles as it relates to the Code of Conduct on Ethics for the President. 

“As Board of Governors (made up of the finance ministers of member countries), we must uphold the rule of law and respect the governance systems of the bank. If there’s any governance issues that needs improvement, these can be considered and amendments proposed for adoption in line with laid down procedures.

“The Nigerian Government welcomes the conclusion of the Ethics Committee and the decision of the Chair of the Board of Governors.

“The Ethics Committee, following three months of work to examine the whistleblowers’ allegations made against the President, dismissed each and every one of the allegations of the whistleblowers against the President as unsubstantiated and baseless."

Ahmed said Adesina’s accomplishments as head of the AfDB includes securing a General Capital Increase of $115bn, the largest ever in the history of the bank; he led the bank to develop a $10bn Crisis Response Facility for Africa to fight the Coronavirus pandemic as well as leading the bank to launch a $3bn “Fight COVID19” social bond, the largest US dollar denominated social bond ever in world's history.

The minister said the call for "independent investigation" was outside laid down rules, procedures and guidelines of the laws governing the bank and any changes to that must follow laid down procedures.

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Mixed Reactions Greet Lifting Of Ban On Religious Activities In Ondo

28 May 2020 - 12:08pm


Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

Residents of Ondo have continued to react to the lifting of the ban on religious activities in the state by government.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had on Wednesday announced the lifting of a partial ban on religious gathering in the state after consultation with religious leaders and stakeholders.

Some Christian and Muslim worshipers, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Thursday, expressed different views on the lifting of the ban.

Mr Samuel Abiola, a worshiper with the Christ the King Church, Akure, said the opening of churches was a right decision taken by the state government, noting that it would allow Christians to pray more for the nation in order to surmount the challenges bedeviling the country.  Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

Another Christian, Mrs Abigail Ilerioluwa, who is also an evangelist in a Pentecostal church in the state, said government must not be in a rush to open churches and mosques in the state due to the threat of Coronavirus.

A Muslim faithful, Ibrahim Rafiu, said allowing worshippers in mosques was a welcomed development but expressed fear that it could trigger a spread of the virus in such gatherings.

In a chat with SaharaReporters, Rev Ayo Oladapo, Ondo State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, disclosed that government had already met with religious leaders on the modalities to protect worshippers from the virus in churches and mosques.

Oladapo disclosed that heads of churches in the state had been told to sensitise all their members ahead of the opening.

He said, “We would be working with the state government to ensure that our people are reminded on what they need to do in keeping themselves safe from contracting the virus.”

Chief Imam of Akure Kingdom, Alhaji Abdul Hakeem Yayi Akorede, could not be reached for comments when SaharaReporters contacted him.

However, a member of the Muslim Welfare Board in the state told our correspondent that it was ripe to open back religious activities since markets have been gradually opened for commercial activities.

 

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Fight For Respect Of Democratic Freedom, CIVICUS Tells Civil Society Organisations

28 May 2020 - 11:56am


Activists marching

International rights group, CIVICUS, has called on civil society organisations to fight for greater democratic rights by scrutinising decisions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group made the call in its 2020 State of Civil Society Report released on Thursday

It said the effect of mass mobilisation and protest in Hong Kong against the establishment, in Sudan against a dictator and in Kazakhstan against rigged elections were proof that change can happen when CSO's respond to corruption and injustice.  Activists marching Google

The report said, "In Africa, people spilled onto the streets to demand better democracies, fairer economic policies and an end to corruption.

“The mass street protests had been the decisive element in bringing about change, and those many voices simply refused to fall silent."

It went on to say the work of CSO's was critical post-COVID-19 to expose corruption in government, holding politicians accountable as well as expanding the civic space.

It added, "Civic rights and democratic freedoms are needed now more than ever. Civil society needs to be unfettered, so we can play our proper role in pandemic response and scrutinising decisions taken in response to the crisis, help ensure the lessons are learned and become equal partners in post-pandemic reconstruction.

"In the immediate period of virus response, measures to protect public health should respect human rights. We need to challenge censorship, restrictions on access to information and infringements of personal privacy, and expose overreach by governments, such as illicit surveillance.

"We need to continue to advocate for people’s right to express democratic dissent. We need to demand that all emergency measures stand the test of proportionality and necessity, in line with international law and the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and are withdrawn as soon as possible.

"Looking ahead, we will need to promote new strategies to combat disinformation and new models of inclusive and accountable leadership. Civil society will keep pushing for open civic space, and will urge governments to adopt people-centred and partnership approaches to reconstruction that satisfy the demand for positive change.

"As part of this, economic stimulus packages prepared by states should recognise the need to enable the adequate resourcing of civil society and ensure the sustainability of organisations on the ground and in the global south."

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Man Narrates How He Was Charged To Court For Recording Bribery, Posting Video On Facebook In Ogun State

28 May 2020 - 11:37am

Oluwatobi Odulate, a resident of Ogun State, has recounted his ordeal after being arrested and charged to court for refusing to give bribe to some vigilante cadet at an illegal roadblock in the state.

SaharaReporters had reported how Odulate, who was on a motorcycle as a passenger, was arrested after the rider of the motorcycle was detained by the vigilante cadets for refusing to pay N500 as a bribe.

Odulate did a live video recording of the incident on his Facebook wall, an act that infuriated the vigilantes, who held him and dragged him to the police station. 

Video of Vigilantes In Ogun Hand Over Man To Police For Going Live On Facebook After Refusing To Pay Bribe Vigilantes In Ogun Hand Over Man To Police For Going Live On Facebook After Refusing To Pay Bribe WATCH: Vigilantes In Ogun Hand Over Man To Police For Going Live On Facebook After Refusing To Pay Bribe

He was detained at the Igbobi Police Station before he was arraigned at the Sagamu Magistrate Court.

Speaking with SaharaReporters after he was granted bail, Odulate said the vigilante group wanted the police to detain him perpetually for recording them.

He also said that he was denied the right to call his family and lawyer until the day of his second appearance in the court.

He said, “I went to collect all my properties, my phone and the bike we were riding. On getting there, they just threw us inside the cell and took us to court very early on Monday.

“I was remanded on Thursday evening and from then to 7am on Monday when we were taken to court, they denied me access to make any phone call.

“I was arraigned at Sagamu Magistrate Court and they did not allow anybody to enter the courtroom. It was shrouded in complete secrecy.

“On Friday, when we first appeared in court, they came with their lawyer and witness while I didn’t have anybody to speak for me.

“They did not allow me to make calls. The police said it was an overnight case so they took us to court with no option of calling anybody.

“The charges are that we assaulted them, which was a lie. They also charged me for recording video and posting the video online to breach the peace."

He revealed that he was pestered to do another video on his Facebook wall denouncing the initial video, which he declined.

He added, “Because it happened in my local government, and for the swift intervention of my family, they were able to secure my bail and the two other persons arrested with me would have been in jail by now.”

Odulate was granted bail by the magistrate and asked to provide a surety with each.

The surety must submit to the court Ogun State tax clearance, receipt of any property worth N50,000 and national ID card or voters card.


 

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Nigeria’s Northern Governors Have Turned Killings, Banditry Into Business –President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Shettima

28 May 2020 - 11:35am


Yerima Shettima

President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima, has accused Northern governors of turning banditry and killings in the region into business by not doing what is necessary.

Shettima, who spoke with SaharaReporters, also blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for not taking definitive steps to end banditry and insurgency in the region.

He attributed the incessant killings to poor leadership in the region.

He said, “The renewed attack emanated from lack of leadership, those who are saddled with responsibilities are not serious.  Yerima Shettima SaharaReporters Media/File Photo

“What does it take our security forces if not that everything has been politicized and some of them take it as a business that they make so much money out of it. What does it take to wipe off this banditry?

“It is because there is no political will. It has become a business where they receive money in the name of security vote; unaccounted for, non-remittable, so they just continue doing it as a business. The day they wake up and there is no banditry, automatically, no more business.”

Shettima compared the bandit attacks to Boko Haram, saying Northern governors lacked the political will to put an end to the unnecessary killings.

He said, “When there is no clear direction or policy by government to tackle the issue and with lack of political will to address issues, things will continue to metamorphose to something else.

“When the leaders lack the political will to address these issues, it becomes the order of the day and this is exactly what we are facing in the northern part of the country.

“Banditry issue is high, Nigerians are tired of hearing we will let us see it. Do it and don’t tell us, just do it because things are getting out of hand.”

Shettima said the President must immediately swing into action to end the killing in his state, noting that it the issue was not addressed, it could spread to other parts of the country.

He added, “It will be impossible until we have a government at the central willing and determined to address this issue once and for all.

“They need a political will to address this issue, otherwise, what is affecting us today will turn out to be a serious problem in other parts of the country. We must see it as our collective responsibility to fight it out, all hands must be on deck.”

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Civil Rights Group Calls For Transparency In Selection Of Kogi Election Appeal Panel Members

28 May 2020 - 11:22am


A group, Nigeria Integrity Movement, has called for transparency in the constitution of membership of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Appeal Panel.

The group in a letter to the Acting President of Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica B. Dongban-Mensem, asked for transparency and sense of justice in constituting members of the panel that will adjudicate in the case.

In the letter dated May 26 and signed by its National Coordinator, Kayode Esan, NIM said extra-judicial murder of innocent citizens during the November 2019 gubernatorial election in state should as well not be ignored. 

The group said, “The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered its split judgment on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Two members of the panel, Justices Kashim G. Kaigama from Yobe State and Baraka Wali from Katsina State ruled in favour of Alhaji Yahaya Bello of All Progressives Congress while Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele from Edo State stood against the above. The details of the judgment is in the public domain.

“As a result of the above, the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the election, Musa Wada, have vowed to approach the Court of Appeal for enduring justice to be served.

“In the light of this, the Nigeria Integrity Movement, a non-partisan and non-political civil society group, hereby appeals to the leadership of the Court of Appeal to exercise due diligence, transparency and sense of justice in constituting members of the Appeal Panel that will adjudicate in the case.”

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Technical Problems Prevent President Buhari From Giving Speech At UN Event

28 May 2020 - 11:10am


Poor network connection on Thursday prevented Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari, from addressing a United Nations virtual meeting.

Themed on finance for development, the meeting was convened by at the instance of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres.

Buhari’s connection from Abuja had hitches right from the start as he went on and off for seconds before the video connection went off completely, a report by PUNCH said.  Presidency

He briefly highlighted the impact of COVID -19 on African countries and how the situation was making it difficult for Nigeria to fund the 2020 budget before he was disconnected by poor network connection completely.

The organisers quickly called on the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha, to make his own presentation.

Chan-o-cha too seemed to have connection issues but he substituted his presentation with a pre-recorded video speech.

 

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Two New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed In Oyo State

28 May 2020 - 10:58am


Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde

Two new cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in Oyo State, bringing the total number of infections in the state to 252.

Seyi Makinde, governor of the state, made the announcement via his Twitter handle on Thursday.

He said, “The COVID-19 confirmation tests for two suspected cases came back positive. One case is from iSON Xperiences and the other case is from Ido Local Government Area. So, the total number of confirmed cases in Oyo State is 252.

“Please call the Emergency Operations Centre if you have any COVID-19 symptoms such as cough, fever, tiredness, body ache, and shortness of breath.”

Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde

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68 NYSC Members In Lagos To Repeat Service Year Over Disobedience

28 May 2020 - 10:55am


At least 68 National Youth Service Corps members in Lagos State will repeat their service year after failing to adhere to rules and guidelines of the scheme.

Eddy Megwa, Coordinator of the programme in Lagos, on Thursday in Ikeja, the state capital, said those affected belonged to the 2019 Stream I Batch B.

He said a total of 6, 196 received their certificates of national service, with three corps members distinguishing themselves during the service year.  File photo

He added that the three would be receiving state merit awards for their outstanding performance during their service year.

He said, “We are happy to come to a successful end of the service year for Stream I Batch B in Lagos State.

“To those 68 who would be repeating the year, it is simply because they had gone against the rules of the NYSC and hence they would repeat their service year.”

 

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Mob Sets Alleged Witches Ablaze In Cross River State After Orders From Governor Ayade's Adviser

28 May 2020 - 10:54am


The Advocacy for Alleged Witches has called on the Inspector-General of Police in Nigeria to investigate the attack on alleged witches in Boki Local Government Area leading to the death of some and injury of others.

Leo Igwe, President of AfAW, in a statement on Thursday said the victims were set ablaze at the instance of an adviser to Cross River State governor.

AfAW also stated that the police were directed not to intervene while the rights violations were going on.

The statement reads in part, "The unfortunate incident took place in Boki LGA in Cross River State. At least a dozen persons, mostly women who were alleged to be witches and wizards were set ablaze at the instance of an adviser to the state governor who hails from that area. This adviser has been identified as Thomas Obi Tawo (aka General Iron). 

"This incident happened on Tuesday May 19. A report in a local newspaper says that three chiefs were among those who were lynched. General Iron warned the police in the area to stay away. A local source said that Tawo went around the community with some boys, one of them had a mirror which he used to identify those who were witches. 

"Some traditional priests claim they can look into the occult world using a mirror to find answers and solutions to individual and community problems. People invite these supposedly spiritually powerful persons to point out witches and wizards and other evil persons in their families. They usually place the mirror in front of any suspect or ask the person to look into it as they try to certify if the person is evil or not. These charlatans are hired and paid huge sums of money to come and identify witches and wizards

"In response to the incident, I called the Police Public Relations Officer in Calabar but she did not pick the call. It was almost midnight, I decided to wait until morning. The following day, I called the AIG, CP, and PPRO several times but they did not pick the call.

"I eventually got through to the PPRO and informed her about the incident. She decried the issue of witch burning in the state. According to her, the challenge was how to eradicate witch persecution and wondered if AfAW could be of help. I told her that AfAW could help but it would need the police to guarantee security.

"I made it clear that in a situation like that of the Boki LGA, the organisation could not fulfill its objective of educating and enlightening witchcraft accusers and believers, and supporting the victims without the cooperation of the police.

“Interestingly, the PPRO told me that in her place in Edo State, people suspected of witchcraft were taken to the community leaders and given something to drink. That she could not understand a situation as in the Boki LGA where suspected witches were set ablaze.  See Also News Alleged Witchcraft: Man Attacked For 'Stealing Destinies' In Imo Community 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

"I told her that the practice of giving suspected witches some concoction to drink was illegal and should be abolished. The said concoctions are usually toxic substances that lead to health damage or death.

"Through an associate of AfAW in Cross River, I contacted a relative of one of the victims. She confirmed that the incident took place on Tuesday May 19 by 2pm. She noted that before this day, there had been tension in the community due to suspicions of witchcraft. General Iron has been suspecting some family members of trying to kill him through occult means. In fact on one occasion, last year, Tawo slapped and wounded his uncle, Chief Kekong.

"He claimed that he saw the chief in his dream. Weeks before this latest incident, Tawo claimed once again that he dreamt and saw Chief Kekong and his mother in his dream. He claimed that he went to a man of God who confirmed that Kekong wanted to kill him. That the chief wanted to take over the land that he had sold to him. Chief Kekong denied the allegation.

"A relative to one of the victims told me that the father was sleeping the time Tawo and his thugs arrived at the compound. He went inside the house and dragged the father out, poured fuel on him, and set him ablaze. He did the same thing to other suspected witches and wizards including his mother.

"The situation in the community is tensed. It is not yet confirmed the exact number of persons who were set ablaze following this witch-hunting incident. One of the national dailies reported at least 12 people. A relative of the survivors said there were over 13 victims. Another local contact said victims could be up to 20 persons.  

"Some of the survivors including General Iron's mother are currently at various hospitals in the region receiving treatment. The police in the area did not intervene while this attack was going one. One of those who were set ablaze, Chief Bernard, was taken to a hospital but later died as a result of the wounds.

"Chief Kekong is at another hospital battling for his life. A relative said the fire affected his private organ and he is now unable to urinate. AfAW is discussing with local partners and exploring ways to support survivors of this violent campaign."

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BREAKING: Hotels, Schools To Be Used For Isolation Of COVID-19 Patients, Says Nigeria’s Health Minister

28 May 2020 - 10:39am


Nigeria Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire

The Nigerian Government has said hotels and schools will be used for isolating COVID-19 patients in the event of overflow of hospitals.

Speaking on Thursday in Abuja during a press briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, asked schools and hotels to be prepared.

Ehanire said government was reviewing the health sector specific advisories on re-opening the economy.  Nigeria Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire VON

He said, “Nigeria presently has over 112 treatment and isolation centres in the 35 states and FCT with over 5,000 beds, but not all states have made it up to at least 300 beds prescribed for isolation and treatment.

“I had the privilege of commissioning one such center yesterday, a re-purposed hospital in Benin City, Edo State, with 300 beds, including ICU and an Edo State owned PCR testing laboratory. We need to continue increasing bed capacity to match the probable number of patients, so that we do not experience horrific scenes of bed space shortages seen in some European hospitals.

“In event of overflow, we can require hotels and school dormitories to be prepared for level 1 (quarantine) and level 2 isolation (of COVID-19 positive with zero or mild symptoms), to free hospital beds to be dedicated to level 3, (moderate to severe cases) and level 4, (high dependency and Intensive care unit). I therefore call on activists and philanthropists to work with state governments in concerted steps to scale up non-pharmaceutical measures and beef up infrastructural assets for isolation and treatment in their states.

“Though we are in the community transmission phase of response, easing social restrictions is desirable, but only if we can meet up with expectations that will not allow a spike in infection rates. This is what has led certain countries to reintroduce lockdowns. We are reviewing health sector specific advisories on re-opening the economy.”

 

See Also PUBLIC HEALTH Not All 15 Chinese Visitors Are Medics, Nigerian Government Not Aware Of Their Whereabouts —Health Minister 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

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Lagos Police Detain Man Who Tried To Save Friend After He Was Shot By Gunman

28 May 2020 - 10:32am


Lawyer of a man detained after he tried to save his friend shot by a gunman has asked the police in Lagos State to release him unconditionally.

According to the lawyer, Oviemuno Obobolo, his client named Kunle Sodipo saw his friend shot by a yet to be identified gunman and tried to resuscitate him but was arrested by the police instead.

Despite the incident being captured on camera and his glaring innocence, the police have refused to release him. 

"He informed the police and family about what happened, we have a video showing where my brother was trying to help the deceased after he was shot by a gunman," a family source said.

Obobolo in a letter to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police asked for his unconditional release on the grounds that his health was failing and the video evidence proving his innocence.

The lawyer said, "The continued detention of our client (a known liver patient with Randle General Hospital, Surulere) by the police is directly endangering his life. The police will be held responsible for our client's life if his health deteriorates or anything untoward happens to him.

"More so, it is not advisable to keep anyone suffering with a serious illness as liver disease in police custody this period because of COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

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Federal Court Declares Deregistration Of Political Parties By INEC Valid

28 May 2020 - 10:32am


A Federal High Court in Abuja has affirmed the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission to deregister political parties, which failed to comply with the provisions of the law particularly Section 225 A of the 1999 constitution as amended.

Delivering the judgment on Thursday, Justice Taiwo Taiwo affirmed that the constitutional powers of the electoral commission and reasons given by the commission for the deregistration of parties are valid and in conformity with the law.

The court therefore held that the deregistration of National Unity Party as a political party in Nigeria was lawfully done in exercise of vested constitutional powers of the INEC.

NUP is one of the 74 parties deregistered by the INEC in February.

See Also Breaking News BREAKING: INEC Deregisters Over 70 Political Parties 0 Comments 3 Months Ago

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Abia Government Declares COVID-19 Patient Wanted

28 May 2020 - 10:25am


Governor Okezie Ikpeazu

The Abia State Government has declared a COVID-19 patient, Emmanuel Ononiwu, wanted.

Commissioner for Information in the state, John Okiyi Kalu, in a statement on Thursday said Ononiwu had refused to submit himself for appropriate medical management and isolation after testing positive for the virus.

The statement reads, “Abia State Government hereby declares one Mr Emmanuel Ononiwu wanted as he tested positive to COVID-19 but refused to submit himself for appropriate medical management and isolation.  Governor Okezie Ikpeazu

“He escaped from a temporary holding facility in Aba prior to movement to an isolation center after being informed of his COVID-19 status.

“All subsequent appeals made to him fell on deaf ears as he insisted that he will not turn himself in and has gone ahead to switch off his line along with that of his spouse who is also required to come in immediately for testing. His last tracked location was around Asa Triangle in Aba South LGA.

“All those who had contact with him in the past 14 days are strongly advised to call 0700 2242 362 and submit themselves for testing.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Navy School Of Health Defies Nigerian Government’s Directive, Continues Academic Session Amid COVID-19

28 May 2020 - 9:56am


NNSHS-OFFA

The management of Nigerian Navy School of Health Sciences, Offa, Kwara State, has refused to comply with the Nigerian Government’s directive that all educational institutions in the country be shut down over the Coronavirus outbreak. 

On March 22, the government in a precautionary move aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in the country, ordered the immediate closure of all educational institutions including tertiary, secondary and primary schools.

Findings by SaharaReporters showed that the management of NNSHS didn’t stop academic activities in total disregard for the order.  NNSHS-OFFA

Students of the institution, who spoke with our correspondent, confirmed that there had not been a halt in academic activities since the directive from government in March.

They accused the commandant of the institution, Captain (NN) AO Olowolagba, and other principal officers of not shutting down the institution due to their selfish interest.

“The management of Nigeria Navy School of Health Sciences, Offa, has refused to close down despite government’s directives that all tertiary institutions should be shut down since March.

“Though institutions that belong to our sister forces such as the army and air force have closed down but the commandant here refused to obey the directive due to his selfish interest.

“Students’ welfare is not important to the Commanding Officer at all, this is a school where we don’t have water for days, the generator is not be powered efficiently. The food that is been cook for us is nothing to write home about.

“The students are been charged anyhow, when I mean charged they use unknown laws against them. The only thing the Commandant known is embezzlement of funds because it was discovered that he is about to retire.

“We hereby call on the appropriate authority like the DHQ, NHQ and the officers of the DMS and the FOC NAVTRAC to intervene.”

 

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