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5.0-magnitude quake hits 93 km NE of Nago, Japan — USGS



An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 jolted 93 km northeast of Nago, Japan at 19:33:06 GMT on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 47.02 km, was initially determined to be at 27.3133 degrees north latitude and 128.4541 degrees east longitude.


Oil & Gas

COVID-19: NNPC-Agip begins construction of 200-bed infectious diseases hospital in Yenagoa



The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)-Agip Joint Venture, on Saturday inaugurated the construction of a 200-bed capacity infectious diseases hospital for the South-South Zone.

Speaking at the event, Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, said that the project was part of the Nigerian Oil Industry Coalition led by the NNPC to support the nation’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sylva said that the oil industry was contributing about N21 billion worth of support provided through the internal procurement processes of contributing companies.

Sylva said that Bayelsa was considered a suitable site for the project given its pioneering role in the history of the region and the contribution of about 40 per cent to onshore crude oil output.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, said that the Corporation was working with its Joint Venture partners, across the upstream, Midstream and Downstream Sectors to support the health sector.

He said that the NNPC-led intervention had allocated the N21 billion worth of support to various International Oil Companies, Indegenous operators with Joint Venture stakes across the oil sector.

Kyari explained that the infectious diseases hospital sited on 1,586 square meter space would serve as zonal isolation centre for the COVID-19 and would serve as reference hospital for communicable diseases after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his speech, Mr Lorenzo Fiorillo, Managing Director, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), said that the outbreak of the corona virus had put a lot of strain globally on health care systems and personnel.

Fiorillo who spoke through Mr Macwon Jitubo, Head of Community Relations, NAOC, said that the company remained sympathetic to the threat posed by the coronavirus resulting to millions of deaths worldwide.

“Eni, the parent company of NAOC considers people to be at the core of its culture and fundamental to its business, aware that creation of reciprocal values is possible through the sharing of objectives.

“We are certain that the Oil and Gas industry as a whole shares in these values.

“It is for this reason that we are here today at this difficult period to perform the ceremony which will engender a valuable medical asset to the South South region of the country,” he said.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa, who earlier applauded Sylva for attracting the project to Bayelsa performed the ground breaking ceremony with dignitaries.

Mr Chukwuemaka Nwajiobi, Minister of State for Education, represented the Chairman of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to Government of Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha at the occasion.

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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COVID-19: Rotary Club of Yenagoa donates preventive kits to health centres in Bayelsa



The Rotary Club of Yenagoa has donated preventive kits to the Amarata Primary Healthcare Centre and Family Support Programme Clinic in Ovom as part of efforts to prevent the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic in Bayelsa.

The President, Rotary Club of Yenagoa, Mr James Peretu, said this while making the donation to the health facilities on Wednesday in Yenagoa.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the preventive kits includes 28 bottles of hand sanitisers, 10 packs of surgical face masks and 60 tablets of antiseptic soap.

“We are here to present this little items toward the fight against COVID-19 in our little ways.

“I think this is not much but it can go a little way to assist in the fight, as other NGOs will still present theirs,” he said.

He appealed to other organisations to also support the government by equipping primary healthcare centres with drugs and needed equipment to ensure availability and accessibility.

On his part, the immediate past President of the organisation and Chairman, COVID-19 Response Committee, Dr Obioma Obikeze, said the items and materials donated would enable the health facilities to enhance preventive measures and control.

“We are happy that they are doing those things we wanted them to do, so it is a way of support to the residents of Bayelsa,” he said.

Obikeze advised residents to practice and maintain personal hygiene, saying that by doing all those necessary preventive measures, “Bayelsa will never have any case till when it will come to an end”.

NAN reports that the items were received on behalf of the Primary Healthcare Centre, Amarata by Dr Bekesuo Martins, the Executive Secretary Primary Healthcare Board.

Dr Benjamin Tabowei, Chief Medical Director, Bayelsa State Management Board, received on behalf of Family Support Programme Clinic, Ovom.

They both thanked the organisation for extending its contribution to healthcare delivery and called on other non-governmental organisations to emulate the initiative.

“We are honoured and grateful to have received such gesture from Rotary Club, in this trying time of COVID-19, ravaging the whole world,” they said.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Peter Ejiofor) (NAN)

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Israel to close synagogues as part of stricter virus measures



As part of stricter measures Israel on Wednesday announced plan to close synagogues in its fight against the spread of the coronavirus, Israeli media reported.

The new measures reportedly also restrict Israelis from going more than 100 metres from their homes and allow only one person per household per day to go out for supplies.

Under current rules, no more than 10 people are allowed to gather in closed spaces, though many have disregarded the measure, especially in ultra-Orthodox neighbourhoods.

A recent analysis by an Israeli Health Information Centre found out that nearly 25 per cent of people who were infected with the coronavirus contracted it at a synagogue.

The Chief rabbis of Israel have called for millions of Jews to participate in a joint prayer, each person separately at home for an end to the coronavirus.

According to reports, several senior Orthodox rabbis have given permission for people to use videoconference technology during the upcoming Passover Seder feast to speak with their relatives.

The use of electronic devices and electricity is banned during the Sabbath, or Shabbat, and festivals under most Orthodox religious rules.

Israel has recorded over 2,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including five deaths.

Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Isaac Aregbesola

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Police trail suspected kidnappers of 80-year-old woman in Yenagoa



The Police Command in Bayelsa said on Friday that it was doing everything possible to rescue an 80-year-old woman, Beauty Nimiyigha, abducted by suspected kidnappers on Thursday night.

SP Asinim Butswat, Spokesman for the command, told the Nigeria News Agency in Yenagoa that the command had launched a manhunt for the masterminds of the crime.

Butswat said that the command’s anti-kidnap unit was already trailing the suspects and gave the assurance that the woman would soon be freed unhurt.

“On Thursday at about 2340 hours, five gunmen went to Agudama Ekpetiama community in Yenagoa Local Government Area (LGA) in a Pathfinder jeep without a registration number.

“They kidnapped one Mrs Beauty Nimiyigha aged 80 years, abandoned the jeep and escaped into the creek.

“The command has launched a manhunt for the kidnappers in order to rescue the victim,’’ Butswat said.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Ejike Obeta (NAN)







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Landlords protest planned demolition of houses by Navy in Yenagoa



Houses owners in Okoria community in Agudama-Epie, a suburb in Yenagoa,  have protested against alleged planned demolition of their property by the Central Naval Command.

The aggrieved protesters on Thursday marched through the Melford Okilo Road terminating at the Government House in Yenagoa to appeal to Bayelsa  Gov, Douye Diri, to intervene and prevail on the Naval Authorities to stop the planned demolition of their houses.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the protesting residents, comprised property of owners of buildings around the Okoria community in Agudama-Epie, close to the Central Naval Command in Yenagoa.

They carried placards with different inscriptions reading: ‘We no go gree , our sweat no go go in vain’,’”they want to destroy our property,” Mr President and Governor, please save us’, and ‘we say no to oppression, Nigeria Navy you can’t destroy our houses without compensation’ amongst others.

Two members of the group, Asaye Ebikebina and Emmanuel Efrisou, told NAN that the men of Central Naval Command had given them until  Saturday, March 7, to demolish their property without compensation in spite that he matter was in court.

A mother of six, Mrs Sokore Blokore, who is in her 60s, said she lost her husband recently and had no where to go to if the house built by her daughter, also now late was demolished.

Another property owner, Mr Christopher Brik, whose house had already been demolished, narrated the harrowing experience he had been subjected to since then.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Domestic Matters, Mr Lucky Yubogha, while addressing  the protesting landlords commended them for their peaceful and orderly conduct, promising to table the issue before the governor.

The Spokesperson for the Central Naval Command, Sub Lieutenant Patricia Dike, when contacted by NAN, said that she was working on getting a reaction to the development.

As at the time of filing this report, no official response has been received from the  Central Naval Command.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)



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Synagogue collapsed building: Court fixes April 24 for adoption of final written addresses



A Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, on Friday, fixed April 24 for the adoption of final written addresses in the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) collapsed building trial.

The Lagos State Government had sued SCOAN over the collapsed building which killed 116 worshipers of the church on Sept.12, 2014.

The defendants in the case are two engineers, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun and their companies Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Ltd.

They are facing trial on 110-count charge of involuntary manslaughter, while the Registered Trustees of SCOAN was charged with building without approval.

The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) accused the defendants of violating Section 75 of the Urban and Regional Planning Law of Lagos State, 2010.

The directorate also said the defendants violated Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

They were arraigned on April 19, 2016, but they pleaded not guilty.

At the resumed hearing on Friday, the Lagos State Prosecutor, Dr Jide Martins, told the court that the business of the day was to pick a date for adoption of the final written addresses.

The Judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, however, ordered that the defence counsel should file and adopt their final written addresses within 14 days.

Lawal-Akapo also ordered the prosecution to file their written addresses within 21 days.

He said that the defence should file their reply within seven days after the prosecution had filed theirs.

Lawal-Akapo adjourned the case until April 24 for adoption of the final written addresses.

At the last proceeding on Dec. 20, 2019, the defendants closed their case after cross examination of their last witness by the prosecution.

The last witness, a professor of structural engineer, Patrick Nwankwo, had told the court that the mode of collapse of SCOAN guest house negated the characteristics of a collapsed building with structural defects.

The witness said any defective building, whether emanating from under or over reinforcement, poor constructional materials among others would have a ductile type of collapse.

He said, the collapse of Synagogue’s guest house was too catastrophic, adding that such collapse could only have been caused by an external factor.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Sadiya Hamza




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Lorry crushes 5 in commercial tricycle to death in Yenagoa



Four passengers in a commercial tricycle and the operator died  in a fatal accident on Tombia-Amasoma road in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Nigeria News Agency reports..

The accident victims were crushed by a tipper driver along the Tombia-Amassoma Road in Yenagoa, the state capital.

Mr Ikechukwu Igwe, Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Bayelsa, who confirmed the incident to  NAN Correspondent on Tuesday,  said the incident occurred on Monday night.

He said  the prompt intervention of the Police led to the recovery of the remains of the victims and clearance of the mangled tricycle and lorry.

“The incident occurred late on Monday night and we deployed our operational team to the incident site.

“By the time they got there, the Police had responded and cleared the road and we are closely working with them on the accident.

“That is the beauty of the inter-service cooperation amongst security agencies in Bayelsa at work,” Igwe said.

A sand dealer in the area, Tobis Diseye, said the tipper driver was trying to evade a heap of chippings on his lane when he ran over the tricycle operator and his passengers on the opposite lane..

In reaction,  tricycle operators under the aegis  of Tombia Along Keke Unit (TAKU) on Tuesday, protested the killing of their member by the tipper driver.

They blocked a section of the Tombia-Amassoma Road and stopped other operators from plying the road during the protest.

A former chairman of TAKU, Henry Mbu, said in an interview with newsmen that they were saddened by the incident.

Mbu, who stated that his successor died two weeks ago, said:  “We are not happy. We are not happy. After the day’s work, yesterday, in the evening, we saw one of our drivers and four passengers dead.

“Their bodies were scattered. If you saw the dead bodies, you would pity them. It was a tipper driver that caused the accident yesterday.

“We are doing this protest to tell the whole world that we are not happy about the killing of our member and his passengers by the tipper driver,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu

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Finnish synagogue vandalised on Holocaust memorial day



The Finnish president and interior minister on Monday criticised the vandalism of a synagogue in the south-western city of Turku, in which unknown assailants spattered paint on the building.

Spatters of red paint were seen on the entrance door, front steps and walls of the synagogue, local daily Abo Underrattelser and public broadcaster YLE reported.

The vandalism was detected earlier on Monday.

“Outrageous and unacceptable. There is no place for anti-Semitism in Finland,’’ tweeted Interior Minister Maria Ohtisalo.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, who was visiting Poland, said the incident was very disturbing. He planned to address the incident and racism in general in more detail later, YLE reported.

Niinisto was among the leaders, survivors and other dignitaries attending a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp as well as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Harry Serlo, member of the Turku synagogue, one of two synagogues in Finland said the incident would be reported to police, said YLE .

The two Finnish synagogues have about 1,800 members.

Separately, YLE reported that the Roman Catholic church in Turku was vandalised last week.

According to YLE Someone had written Stop hiding the pedophiles’ in black and ‘Liers’ in red on the wall,’’ said Stanislaw Zawilowicz of St Bridget and Blessed Hemming’s parish.

Zawilovicz said it was the second time the church had been vandalised this year.

Both incidents were reported to the police.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Emmanuel Yashim

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Egypt re-opens major synagogue after renovation



Egypt, on Friday reopened a major synagogue after massive renovations in a sign of religious tolerance in the mostly Muslim country.

The online edition of the state-owned newspaper al-Ahram reported that the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, Khaled al-Anany, reopened the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in the coastal city of Alexandria.

The synagogue is the largest of the two synagogues in Alexandria.

The restoration took about three years and cost 100 million Egyptian pounds (or 6.2 million dollars).

According to the antiquities authorities, the renovations of the 19th-century synagogue were done to the facade, decorations and the lighting system.

The Head of a museum at the Alexandria Library, Hussein Abdel-Baseer, said that the restoration of the synagogue sent a message to the world emphasizing that Egypt was interested in its Islamic, Coptic, and Jewish heritage.

He told Egypt’s state Middle East News Agency that the renovated synagogue housed 50 ancient copies of the Torah.

According to Abdel-Baseer, the synagogue was originally built in the 14th century but was heavily damaged during the 18th-century French invasion of Egypt. It was rebuilt in 1850.

In recent years, Egyptian authorities have revamped many relics dating back to different epochs of its history as part of efforts to revive its ailing tourism industry, a main source of national income.

Edited by: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim

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