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2 traders in court for allegedly stealing clothes worth N235,000



Two female traders, Mariam Sirah and Mariama Kaita, on Monday appeared before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly stealing clothes worth N235, 000.

Sirah, 45 and Kita, 39, whose residential addresses were not given, are standing trial on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.

The duo pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them by the Police.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp. Ingobo Emby, told the court that the defendants committed the alleged offences on June 22, at 3.30 p.m. at Sleek Studio on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

He alleged that the duo conspired with others still at large and stole different brands of brocade materials, belonging to Sleek Studio.

Emby also alleged that the materials stolen were six yards of Filtex white brocade worth N30, 000; 10 yards of Empgets white brocade worth N60, 000; and five yards of Empgets cream brocade worth N30, 000.

Other goods allegedly stolen were five yards of Getzner Magnum cream brocade worth N35,000, five yards of Platinum white worth N10, 000 and 10 yards of Empgets cream brocade worth N70, 000.

According to the prosecutor, the total value of all the items stolen was N235, 000.

He said the offences contravened Sections 287 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Counsel to the defendants, Mrs N. G. Lawani, urged the court to grant bail to the defendants in liberal terms.

In his ruling, Magistrate Mr A. O. Alogba granted them N50, 000 bail each with one surety each in like sum.

He said that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must be tax-compliant.

The magistrate adjourned the case until July 26 for trial.


64th Anniversary: Navy donates food, palliative items to communities in Abuja



The Nigerian Navy on Monday distributed foods items and other palliatives to host communities in Abuja to commemorate its 64th anniversary.

The Navy said this was to support the Federal Government’s efforts to cushion the effect of COVID-19 and as part of activities to mark the Service 64th anniversary.

The exercise took place in Kuje and Abuja Municipal Area Councils

The News Agency of Nigerian reports that the Force also distributed some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as well as hand sanitizers.

Rear Admiral Jatau Luka, the Director of Administration, Naval Headquaters, represented the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, at the event.

Speaking during the occasion, Ibas said the palliatives were aimed at reaching out to vulnerable communities.

” Today rounds up the low keyed activities of the 64th Anniversary of the Nigerian Navy which started last week with distribution of palliatives and inauguration of projects by the Commands.

In general, the Nigerian Navy week serves as an opportunity for introspection and reflection as well as merriment which will be lacking this year due to the prevailing COVID-19 Pandemic.

” In rounding off the 2020 Nigerian Navy(NN) Week, the NN was expected to observe one of its major tradition which is the conduct of medical outreach in communities that host NN formations and establishments.

” However, due to the prevailing public health environment, arising from the occurrences of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this effort could be quite challenging within the extant framework to curb the virus spread.

Therefore, the CNS has directed for the conduct of palliative distribution to members of the public in host communities within the FCT.

” This underscores the commitment of the NN to its corporate social responsibility as well as support to the efforts of the Federal Government in mitigating the impact of the pandemic on the less privileged citizens.

” Arising from the foregoing, the Nigerian Navy is here to donate palliatives to the vulnerable Nigerians residing in Kuje and Jiwa Communities,” he said.

The CNS reiterated the commitment of the Navy to sustain the relationship between the Force and the communities and prayed that the relationship continues.

He also acknowledge the warm and cordial relationship between the Nigerian Navy and the Kuje and Jiwa Communities.

Ibas said the Navy is hopeful that the relationship will continue to deepen progressively for improved national security.

In his response, the Chief of Kuje (Gomo of Kuje), HRH Haruna Jubrin, commended the Nigerian Navy for providing the communities with the palliatives.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)



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Okei-Odumakin raises concern as COVID-19 cases cross 10,000 line



Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Centre for Change, has expressed concern over the rising number of COVID-19 infection in the country, saying the country is yet to reach peak of the pandemic.

Okei-Odumakin, who expressed this concern on Monday in a statement in Lagos, decried the capacity of government to test citizens for the virus so as to isolate and treat the infected.

“The figure of Nigerians infected with coronavirus keeps surging, meaning that we are yet to reach the plateau of the pandemic.

“Last night, the figure hits 10,162 while Lagos still leads on the chart of new infections with 188 cases, followed by the FCT with 44.

“The capacity of government to test citizens for the virus so as to isolate and treat the infected continues at snail’s speed.

“Testing kits and reagents as well as PPE equipments and materials are said to be in short supply, in addition to their prices hitting the roof.

“Governments are running short of beds in the available isolation centres and treating less severe cases at home is being considered an option,” Okei-OdumkIn said.

According to her, it is however not pessimism all the way as 3007 cases have been successfully treated and discharged.

The group president, who noted that the death toll had climbed to 287, said that the number was less than three per cent of the total number of infected, including those discharged.

She, however, said that the fatalities number, viewed against the total national population of 200 million, showed it was massive.

“As state and federal governments contemplate more relaxation of the lockdown so that life can return to normal, apprehension mounts about the continuing spike in the number of infected persons.

“Another total lockdown appears ruled out for economic and security reasons. The impact of previous lockdowns on individuals and the economy has been massive.

“Besides, its effectiveness in combating the pandemic has also been called to question,” she added.

The president, in addition, expressed concern that citizens with other ailments requiring visits to hospitals had been crowded out of the health facilities.

The rights activist said that fatalities arising from hospitals and health workers refusing to admit and treat emergency or sick patients on the suspicion they could be COVID- 19 patients was on the rise.

Okei-Odumakin said: “More worrisome is the fact that security agencies meant to enforce the lockdowns in operation all over the country have generally compromised and allowed movement of goods and persons for pecuniary gains.

“The unwise dispersal of almajiris in some Northern states, many of them trooping into the South, has also not helped efforts to combat the virus.

“The high rate of new infections in Lagos has been put down to this influx, in addition to its being the economic life wire of the country where all paths meet.

“Managing the pandemic until a vaccine or other means of treatment is found or herd immunity is attained appear to be the unstated hope of the governments and the agencies tasked with managing the crisis.

“The other end, of course, is to continue to trust in God and prayers, and in the resilience and never-say-die spirit of our people while the NCDC continues to try its best.”

She also expressed concern that non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols of PPE and physical distancing by a lot of Nigerians had not made the job of the NCDC easier.

According to her, a vast number of Nigerians still continue to be sceptical about the existence of the virus, believing the lies and half truths that it is a white man’s disease or virus of the affluent and rich.

She also described as condemnable and suspicious, the manner government had handled palliatives and relief materials meant to cushion the impact of coronavirus on the vulnerable segments of the society.

Okei-Odumakin added that this had also fuelled the belief that the virus had only offered another opportunity for a corrupt elite to fleece the country.

“As matters now stand, the last has not been heard of COVID-19 and our response to it at national and state levels,” she said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)


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Nigerian Army Medical Corps gets new Acting Corps Commander



The Nigerian Army Medical Corps gets a new Acting Corps Commander, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The handing and taking over ceremony was held on Monday at the Headquarters, Nigerian Army Medical Corps, Bonny Camp cantonment, Lagos.

The ceremony witnessed by Col. S. J. Adama, the outgoing Acting Corps Commander, who handed over to Col. I.B. Solebo.

The new Acting Corps Commander said that his vision was to have a highly regimented, professional and accountable Corps in the delivery of its services.

“You will agree with me that the amount of financial resources devoted to and already expended by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on healthcare infrastructure in our medical establishment is enormous.

“The Corps is unparalleled in the recent history of the Nigerian Army. As such, there is no gainsaying that to whom, much is given much is expected.

“By extension, performance, excellence and efficiency in the delivery of prompt and enviable healthcare to our officers, soldiers and their families is therefore not an exception, but the norm henceforth,” he said.

He said that regimentation was the bedrock of military indoctrination and panacea for victory at warfare and success in peacetime administration.

Solebo implored all personnel to reflect on the ethics, customs and tradition of the military and abide strictly by the rules therein, if we are to foster an enviable Corps for the future.

He urged all corps commanders to ensure that all military personnel in their various units engaged in physical activities as stipulated by the Nigerian Army to improve the performance at work.

According to him, to improve the performance at work, a physically fit body and mentally alert mind are essential.

“As such, all commanders are to ensure all military personnel of the Corps in their respective units actively participate in physical activities by way of morning physical training.

“And also evening games as stipulated by the NA except while on duty as the current COVID-19 pandemic settles.

“Participation in this activities are to be reflected in the PER’s of all personnel by their respective directors and commanders.

“All officers and soldiers of the Corps will also work to maintain their body mass index prescribed by the ASA.

“There would be special focus on health care deliver in the North East including the Reference hospital in the AOR.

“With the goal of reinforcing and bringing clinical, and surgical expertise closer to the location of injured amongst troops.

“Such that intervention is faster with the expected effect of further reduction in morbidity and mortality,” he said.

Solebo also said that all medical units would benefit from declaring their average drug usage on a monthly or quarterly basis.

According to him, drug availability on the NHIS in our hospitals and the scourge of fake drugs had become a topical issue.

“All medical units would benefit from declaring their average drug usage on a monthly or quarterly basis. This would aid budgeting and efficient use of primary funds including capitation and fee for service.

“A drive towards centralisation of drug procurement from a few validated sources would be urgently explored, whilst our drug manufacturing unit continue to explore capacity building and expansion to meet the drug consumption need of the NA,” he said.

Solebo, however, thanked the COAS for counting him worthy of steering the affairs of the Corps, saying that all his efforts would be channelled toward swiftly achieving the vision of the COAS.

He also thanked the outgoing Acting Corps Commander on the effort made to reposition the Corps thus far.

Present at the event include all Headquarters Directors, Commandants Nigerian Army School of Medical Science, Chief Medical Director 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Yaba.

The MD, Nigerian Army Drug Manufacturing Company Limited, the Ag Chief Medical Director Military Hospital Port Harcourt, Heads of Departments and Principal staff officers.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Sanitation: FCTA issues 7 days ultimatum to illegal mechanics



after the expiration of the ultimatum.

He said the FCTA would reclaim all the spots from Apo round-about to the popular junction known as Apo NEPA junction.

Similarly, Attah said the second phase of the aggressive sanitation would begin from the NEPA junction to APO mechanic village, where illegal businesses had taken over great portions of the road, making it difficult for contractors to complete their work.

“This stakeholders meeting is to enable us interface with stakeholders who engage in one form of business or the other along the Apo road corridors, also known as Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX).

“The minister has given us a directive to reclaim all the road corridors, to allow contractors complete their jobs, and also allow the Abuja Environmental Protection Board officers beautify the place in accordance with Abuja master plan.

“We have given the affected people seven days ultimatum, because we want to put up a human face in carrying out the exercise.

“The minister had wanted us to start immediately due to his desire to complete all ongoing projects there as a legacy he will leave behind for residents of the nation’s capital,” he said.

The Director AEPB, Mr Baba Lawan, disclosed that the minister had selected seasoned professionals who formed an effective squad for the exercise.

Lawan warned that at the expiration of the ultimatum, the task force would move to the area, and whoever refused to vacate the place should not blame the administration.

He added that abandoned vehicles, furniture and every other thing left on the road corridors would be removed and seized.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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General news

Delta govt. to put necessary measures in place for schools’ resumption – Commissioner



The Delta Government on Monday said necessary measures would be put in place before academic activities could resume in the state.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, made this known at a media briefing held in Government House Annexe, Warri.

Aniagwu said that government would among other things fumigate the schools before students resumed.

“Schools might not resume in the next one week. We will put all measures in place before children will be allowed to resume academic activities.

“We will fumigate the schools to ensure safety of our children. So schools might not resume in the next one week,” he said.

The commissioner said that the state government had upscaled its healthcare facilities.

He said that the state now had six isolation centres with two donated by corporate bodies.

“We are not just upscaling our health facilities because of COVID-19, we are looking beyond the pandemic to the benefit of our people,” Aniagwu said.

The commissioner said that amid the challenges of the global pandemic, the state government was still committed to building a stronger Delta through infrastructure development.

He said that the state government was about to float a domestic security outfit codename ‘Operation Delta Hawks’ to complement the existing security apparatus in the state.

According to him, the security outfit would deal with domestic security issues in the state.

The commissioner said that the state government was committed to regional security outfit.

“Regional security outfit will deal with security issues across the region, while state security will deal with security issues within the state,” he said.

Aniagwu, however, urged the people of the state to continue to support the government to enable it deliver on its promises.

The commissioner was accompanied by Mr Olisa Ifeajika, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and some government aides.

Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Nigeria yet to reach ‘peak’ of COVID-19 cases – PTF



The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19,  says Nigeria is yet to reach the “peak” of COVID-19 infections.

The chairmen of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha , disclosed this at the COVID-19 daily news conference on Monday in Abuja.

He said it was necessary to restate to the citizenry,  that Nigeria had not reached the peak of confirmed cases, adding that the battle against COVID-19 was a long term battle.

He urged Nigerian to pursue a strategy that would aid the sustainable control of the spread of the disease, stressing that risk communications and community engagement should remain  top priority.

He added that precision approached to containment and management should be adopted based on the overall assessment, including available data on the public health considerations and resultant economic impacts.

According to him, the PTF is of the opinion that Nigeria is ready to allow science and data determine her cautious advancement into the second phase of the eased lockdown for a period of four weeks.

“It is the consideration of the PTF that while Nigeria’s confirmed cases have increased in the period under review, the following factors should inspire confidence in the response

“Majority of the confirmed cases are in a handful of local government areas  in the country as 20 out of the 774 LGAs nationwide account for 60 per cent of the cases,” he said.

He said there was an opportunity to concentrate efforts in the high-burden areas, adding that the federal agencies and state governments were working together on the promotion and utilisation of guidelines on case management.

According to him, there is increased capacity to detect, test and trace those infected with the virus as 29 testing laboratories have been activated, with Bauchi being the latest addition.

He added that the test count nationwide had exceeded 60,000, stating that a shift in focus to community engagement and enhanced risk communication was imperative.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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At least 5 soldiers killed in ambush in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region




At least five Cameroonian soldiers were killed on Monday in an ambush by suspected armed separatist fighters in the country’s restive Anglophone region of Southwest, according to defense sources.

The incident occurred in Otu, a locality bordering Cameroon and Nigeria. A senior military Commander told Xinhua that bodies of up to five soldiers were recovered when suspected armed separatists laid an ambush on them after officials organised a football match “to ascertain the return to normalcy” in the locality that has been controlled by the separatists since 2018.

Several other soldiers were wounded in the ambush, said the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The victims are currently receiving treatment at a military facility.

The incident was not direct combat with the separatists, according to several security sources.

Ayaba Cho, Separatist leader based abroad, immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on social media and praised the militants for their “bravery”.

Government forces and armed separatists have been clashing since 2017 in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest where separatists want to establish an independent nation.


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COVID -19: Youth group inaugurates e-clinic in Kano



A youth group, known as COVID-19 Relief Alliance (CORA) has inaugurated an e-clinic to cater for the health needs of the people of Kano State during the COVID -19 pandemic.

Dr Khalid Umar, Head of the Project, launched the e-clinic at the Centre for Infectious Disease and Research, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, on Monday.

He said the initiative was carried out in collaboration with the teaching hospital and Private Health Instructions Management Agency of the state government.

He said the aim of the project was to carter for outpatients in the state thereby reducing their risk of contracting COVID-19.

According to Umar, the e-clinic operates through a 24/7 toll-free line that enables residents to consult highly trained and experienced physicians via voice or video call during and after the pandemic.

The director, Center for Infectious Disease and Research, Prof. Isa Abubakar, said the e-clinic would reduce the number of people who visited hospitals as a way of curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

“Patients can now consult a physician at the comfort of their homes with a voice or video, which is toll free.

“These days people are afraid to go to hospitals because of the pandemic. This technology will go a long way in helping the less privileged and poor ones in the society,” he said.

Abubakar commended the eight NGOs for the initiative.‎

Head of Mobilisation of CORA, Bashir Suaid, said the organisation received about 4,000 calls and distributed palliative to 1,450 people during a10-day test run.

He identified the NGOs that formed the alliance as the Arewa Young Entrepreneurs Initiative, Minds in Making, Orphans and Women Support Group, and Teens Development Initiative.

Others, he said, are: Angels of Hope, Jamar Health Foundation, Hope for Healthy Society and the Exceptional Girls Network. (NAN)

Edited By: Chidi Opara/Salif Atojoko (NAN)


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Indian gov’t approves 9.33 billion USD relief for small businesses, hikes MSP for farmers




The Indian government Monday cleared a 9.33 billion United States dollars debt scheme to help stressed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and approved a new definition for these units.

“Approval for provisioning of Rs 20,000 crore (2.66 billion United States dollars) as subordinate debt to provide equity support to the stressed MSMEs. This will benefit 2 lakh stressed MSMEs,” reads a statement issued by cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA).

“Approval for equity infusion of Rs. 50,000 crore (6.67 billion United States dollars) for MSMEs through Fund of Funds (FoF). This will establish a framework to help MSMEs in capacity augmentation. This will also provide an opportunity to get listed in stock exchanges.”

Both the decisions were part of the government’s relief package, which was announced by federal finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month to support the battered economy in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday launched the technology platform CHAMPIONS, a one-stop-shop solution of the MSME Ministry that would attempt to make smaller entrepreneurships evolve and grow by solving their grievances. The acronym CHAMPIONS stands for Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength.

This information and communications technology-based system has been set up to help the MSMEs in the present difficult situation and also to handhold them to become national and international champions, an official statement said.

Government says MSMEs are the backbone of Indian economy. As per official estimates, MSMEs have a crucial role to play in building a stronger and self-reliant India. “These small economic engines have a huge impact on the country’s GDP-making a contribution of 29 percent. They contribute to almost half of exports from the country. Additionally, more than 110 million people are employed in the MSME sector,” official data reveals.

The government has also approved to hike the minimum support price of 14 Kharif crops. The hike will increase farmers’ profit by 50 to 83 percent. Kharif crops are the crops that are sown before monsoon in India.


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