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Native doctor in court for allegedly intimidating, cheating woman



A 29-year-old native doctor, Terfa Bur,  on Wednesday appeared in a Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court for intimidating and cheating a woman.

Bur, who lives at N0 36, Daniel Amokachi Lane, Makurdi, is charged with criminal breach of Ttust, intimidation and cheating

He, however, pleaded not guilty.

The Prosecution Counsel, ASP Edward Imo, told the court that one Iwuese Adaga reported the case at the ‘D’ Division Police Station, Makurdi on Feb 26.

Imo alleged that the defendant collected N275, 100, from him with a promise to prepare a ”portion” that would help her  give birth to twins.

He said that the defendant also demanded a white cola nut, perfume and her husband’s passport photograph.

“The complainant gave the native doctor clothes worth the sum of N275, 100 from her shop and submitted the other items he demanded.

“When the defendant started demanding for more money she decided to withdraw from the whole arrangements and he started intimidating her,’’ he said.

He said the defendant told the complainant that if she does not comply, he would kill her husband.

Prosecutor said that the defendant was arrested during police investigation and he confessed to making threats.

Imo informed the court that investigation was still ongoing and asked for an adjournment.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Isaac Ajim, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N50, 000 with one surety in like sum and adjourned the case to May 23.

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Delta graduates 90 indigenes trained in production of native attire



The poverty alleviation programme of Delta Government on Thursday received a boost with the graduation of 90 indigenes trained in the production of native attire popularly known as “Akwa-Ocha’’.

Speaking at the ceremony, the state Commissioner for Youths Development, Mr Ifeanyi Egwuyenga, said that the training had exposed participants to the entire processes involved in the production of the “Akwa-Ocha’’ fabrics.

Egwuyenga said that the vision of the state government was to raise the next generation of Delta youths that would sustain the creativity and production of ‘the fabric.

The commissioner said that it would also expand opportunities for them to excel in the vast textile industry in the country.

Egwuyenga said he was delighted and confident that the training had provided useful platform to the beneficiaries.

“This is to gain not just hands-on-skill, but completely new insights that will strengthen their resolve to succeed in the textile industry,” he said.

The commissioner urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the startup packs given to them by the state government.

“I urge you all to be creative, resourceful and innovative because that is your sure bet,” he said.

Egwuyenga expressed appreciation to the state governor for his immense support which, according him, had brought the laudable initiative to fruition.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said that the training and provision of starter-packs by the state government was part of the deliberate measures to diversify the state’s economy in Delta Beyond Oil drive.

Aniagwu said that clothing, being a necessity, was one of the ways to create jobs for the unemployed youths in the state.

Also, the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr Chika Ossai, charged beneficiaries of the programme to allow their skills to distinguish them in the fashion and design as well as the textile industry.

Ossai lauded Gov.Ifeanyi Okowa for his youths-friendly policies and programmes.

He called on youths in the state to leverage on the wealth creation and employment generation programmes of the state government to empower themselves economically.

Earlier in a lecture, the training consultant for the programme, Mrs Oreva Okowa, urged the beneficiaries to put the knowledge they acquired to maximal use, noting that fashion and design industry need high level of creative ingenuity.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Nancy Nelly, who spoke on behalf of others, thanked Okowa for the training and provision of starter-packs.

She pledged that they would leverage on the opportunity provided by the state government to be economically independent.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Eurovision organisers plan alternative show to replace cancelled contest



Diehard Eurovision fans will not go entirely without the show this year.

The 2020 song contest was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but its organisers are set to host an alternative television show on Saturday, with video performances from past and present participants.

The two-hour-long, non-competitive show called ‘Europe Shine a Light’ will be broadcast by 40 public broadcasters across Europe.

The makers said they want to “celebrate what Eurovision stands for and create a sense of unity across borders”.

The show will include all of this year’s entries together, singing “Love Shine a Light” from their respective living rooms by video link.

The song by Katrina and the Waves was the winning entry in the 1997 Eurovision contest.

Former winners are also set to appear, including Serbia’s Marija Serifovic, who won in 2007.

In a teaser clip on Eurovision’s Twitter account she can be seen getting ready for a performance in the deserted streets of the capital Belgrade.

The Eurovision Song Contest final is one of the world’s biggest television events and had been scheduled to take place in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on May 16.

The contest has been held annually since 1956, and was expected to draw up to 200 million viewers.

Eurovision features live musical numbers from each participating country – more than 50 in recent editions – reaching beyond Europe to Israel and Australia.

It is scheduled to take place next year, again in Rotterdam, but participating countries will have to send in new songs, the European Broadcasting Union, which organises the event, has said.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Native Americans set up roadblocks as Donald Trump threatens coronavirus calamity: UK newspaper




The London-based Mirror newspaper on Thursday ran an exclusive story, revealing that Native Americans set up roadblocks as U.S. President Donald Trump pushes to reopen the country against expert advice.

It reported that tribal leaders in the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota set up nine checkpoints on routes in a bid to keep the novel coronavirus out of their community as Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic threatens a calamity.

“Mr Trump’s handling of the pandemic has been slammed after landing the U.S. with the world‘s highest death toll, at 85,000, and a tanking economy. Yet despite 1,500 lives being lost a day, the President wants businesses open and people back at work. This is a nightmare for the vulnerable reservation,” said the newspaper.

Though local governor declared them illegal roadblocks and threatened with court action, tribal leaders insisted they will maintain these checkpoints as “it is the only thing we can do to try to prevent this virus coming in”.

Tribal leaders accused government of putting “business ahead of people’s lives”.

“We don’t agree with their push to open up the economy. We’d rather be poor and alive than see our loved ones die as people try and get rich,” one leader was quoted by Mirror as saying.

The news story said the 12,000 people living on the reservation have an eight-bed medical facility, with no ICU.

“Their situation is compound by a lack of Government funding,” said the newspaper, adding that “they had to go to court” to stop the multi-billion-U.S.-dollar relief promised by the Trump administration to U.S. tribes from going to corporations instead.


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Nurses Day: Reps give standing ovation to nurses, make case for alternative medicine



The House of Representatives during its plenary on Tuesday gave a standing ovation in honour of nurses and other frontline health workers in the fight against COVID-19, to mark  the International Nurses Day 2020.

The lawmakers, led by its Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, stood up and with resounding applause which lasted for a minute, celebrated nurses in the country and all other health workers.

“We thank our nurses who are in the frontline in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we thank them as they fight to keep us alive,’’ Gbajabiamila said.

Meanwhile, the house has urged the Federal Government to support and encourage the use of locally developed remedies for the management and treatment of COVID-19 in order to ascertain their efficacy.

This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion on Urgent Matters of Public Importance by Rep. Prestige Ossy at plenary.

Moving the motion earlier, Ossy said that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic had more than four million confirmed cases of infection globally with a death toll of over 200,000.

According to him, Nigeria has over 4,641 confirmed cases and over 150 deaths and that the virus is spreading to virtually all states of the federation at an alarming rate.

The lawmaker said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) was yet to find any effective cure or vaccine for the virus but had launched  international clinical trials known as “Solidarity” to help cure.

Ossy said that though the WHO had cautioned against the use of any drug or treatment that had not undergone clinical trials, some countries had jettisoned the caution.

He said that some countries had gone ahead to develop indigenous treatments to combat the ravaging effects of this virus on their citizens.

“Informed that Israeli Institute for Biological Research have successfully developed a series of antibodies to combat the Coronavirus.

“The Israeli President is considering building a vaccine production plant for the production of vaccines to treat COVID-19 patients.

“Madagascar, a small African country, took their destinies in their hands and to the consternation of the WHO and the African Centre for Disease Control, developed a herbal drink for the treatment of COVID-19 and so far, it has not recorded any death from COVID-19 cases,’’ he said.

Ossy expressed worry that various similar claims of breakthroughs in the cure of COVID-19 by Nigerian scientists and alternative Medical Practitioners had received virtually no attention from the government or its agencies.

“I am aware that Prof.  Humphrey Nwosu, the Chief Executive Officer of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria,  stated that his team of researchers have found a cure for Coronavirus.

“This information has been conveyed to the Ministers of Health and Science and Technology and till date,  no action has been taken by the government to verify the authenticity of this claim.

“I am aware that the Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department of the Ministry of Health, has written to the Director-General of NAFDAC, informing her that the department through its research,  has formulated a possible cure for the management of COVID-19.

“I am aware also that the Anambra Traditional Medicine Board, headed by Reverend Father Raymond Arazu,  a Catholic Reverend Father and foremost Traditional Medical Practitioner, has announced that the board has developed a cure for COVID-19.

“I am also informed that a Nigerian Pharmaceutical Company, headed by Dr. Paul Olisah Ojeih, came out with claims that the COVID-19 pandemic has become a money making venture for certain privileged Nigerians and that his Company, Iris Medical Foundation Drugs and Pharmaceutical, have developed a drug that can cure COVID-19 in 72 hours.

“I am concerned that instead of looking inward and encourage our scientists and alternative herbal practitioners like other countries are doing,  we are rather waiting for the WHO for a cure and subjecting our people to be used as experimental guinea pigs for vaccines, which are still in their developmental stages.

“There is need to encourage and support some of the claims by our local scientists and alternative medical practitioners as some of their claims sounds convincing enough to allow a trial of the drugs developed by them,

“After all,  it is still the same trial of treatments that WHO is currentiy engaged in,’’ he said.

The house, therefore, urged the government to support and encourage the use of locally developed remedies for the management and treatment of COVID-19 ailments in Nigeria in order to ascertain their efficacy.

In his ruling, Gbajabiamila mandated the House Committee on Health to interface with the relevant government agencies to ensure compliance and ensure that they were included in the clinical trials by the WHO under its ‘Solidarity initiative’.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Dilapidated Building: LASEMA advises residents to seek alternative accommodation



The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has advised residents of house 17, Obadina Street, Lagos Island, to seek alternative accommodation to enable it to carry out integrity test on the cracked building.

The Director-General of the agency, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria after visiting the three-storey building on Sunday in Lagos.

According to Osanyintolu, the attention of the agency was drawn to the building, with failing structural integrity, by a responsible member of the Olosun Community Development Association (CDA) in the area.

He said that the agency’s response team, alongside the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Materials Testing Agency would carry out a full inspection and integrity test on the entire building.

He said that the decking of the building were cracking and falling, which rendered it dangerous for people to continue staying in there.

Oke-Osanyintolu said that the results of the integrity test would determine the state of the building whether to be allowed standing or to be levelled to ground zero.

He, therefore, advised residents to exercise caution or begin to seek alternative accommodation while the integrity of the building is being determined.

The director-general said that the Lagos State Government was determined to prevent the unfortunate incidence of lives being lost due to unsafe building conditions.

He commended the effort of the CDA and promised to continue working with all stakeholders to prevent avoidable disasters in the state.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Virologist urges FG to approve alternative medical cure for COVID-19



Dr Jacob Abdullahi, a Virologist, has urged the Federal Government to support and approve available alternative medical (local) cure for Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria.

Abdullahi, a doctoral graduate in Health Support Services at the Columbus International University, U.K., made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Ilorin.

According to him, there is  already an existing cure for the ravaging COVID-19 in Nigeria, but  government is still doubting the local efficiency and production.

Abdullahi, also a Masters Degree holder in Immunology from Ambrose Alli University, Edo State, claimed that Nigeria was yet to emulate other African countries countries like Ghana and Madagascar that supports locally made drugs.

“Nigeria has yet to toe that line.

COVID-19 cure could be sourced locally just as other countries such as Madagascar and Ghana.

“The virus that can be treated with anti-viral and immune booster drugs which we already have in the country.

“We have earlier notified the government about our breakthrough, it is just that the government do not want to take us serious.

“I know that what we have is sufficient and capable of healing the COVID-19 disease, but we have yet to come under one umbrella like what we have in Madagascar and others,” he said.

Abdullahi said that it would be difficult for the alternative medical practioners to be laying claim to the same thing about the potency of locally made drugs, if attention was not given to them.

“It will be difficult to come together to be repeating what we have been saying since 22 years ago of our existence in Nigeria as alternative medicine practioners, if we are not taken seriously.

“We have said it countless times that we have the resources to cure most diseases but government is yet to pay attention to the Trado- medicine,” he said.

He also claimed that government still doubting the potency of the locally developned cure for HIV.

“I have drug for HIV which had been patented by NAFDAC since 2004,” he said.

“We have formed an ethical committee made up of doctors, professors, scientists, pharmacists and other stakeholders to do a clinical trial which we have the result published in scientific journals all over the world.

“I dont know what else we can do because the result of that cure is about 80 per cent and I believe COVID-19 cases in the same category such as HIV,” he said.

Abdullahi explained that there were two types of virus, RNA and DNA, which he claimed have same symtoms and could be treated alike.

“There are two types of virus, the RNA and DNA, they have the same genetic material component, they do attack and this is the immune system.

“All the viruses behave in the same way, all they do is to attack immune system and establish themselves, which we already have solutions to because this is what we have been doing for over 21 years.

“The drugs here do not need any more clinical trial because even the drug approved as an emergency treatment for COVID-19 is the one being used for Ebola disease.

“The drug for Ebola only have 30 per cent success rate, but for us, we have an anti-viral and immune system drug approved by NAFDAC and can go for COVID-19 treatment as well,” he claimed.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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COVID-19: Ajulo urges alternative measure to lockdown 



Dr Kayode Ajulo, a legal practitioner and human rights lawyer, has called for an alternative measure to the lockdown occasioned by Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ajulo made the appeal in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.

The statement is coming against the backdrop of the expiration of additional two weeks of lockdown as announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 11.

He stated that while the lockdown measure had significantly reduced the spread of the virus, the difficulties had brought to fore, the urgent need for more equitable measures in curbing and curtailing the spread of COVID-19.

According to him, government must focus on efficient testing, training and building capacity across board, creating reliable infrastructure and employing principles of transparency and good governance will also be crucial.

He said there was no need to belabour the fact that the lockdown measure taken by the President and some other similar measures such as curfew implemented in some states were not without significant benefits.

He added that the lockdown had reduced the spate of the spread of the virus, adding however that total lockdown risked a complete halt of economic activity across the country.

“It suffices to add that more than a third of the Nigerian population lives below the poverty line, while most of them live in rural areas and without access to basic amenities.

“While we are uncertain as to when business will be restored, if there is a need to completely lockdown the whole country for a long time, the potential death toll is unknown.

“Economic recession and deteriorating livelihoods mean impoverishment, malnutrition, worsened access to routine health services, and that in turn all means lives lost as well,” he said.

He said that what the government failed to understand was the fact that it could not impose a lockdown like more developed nations, as there were many citizens who did not have homes.

He said that Nigeria had limited resources to replace the incomes of citizens coupled with the fall in the oil price from which Nigeria derives 95 per cent of its revenue.

Ajulo said that limiting person-to-person transmission would be more difficult in highly populated cities, stressing that many people worked in the informal economy and stayed in areas where clean water for hand washing might be challenging.

The human rights lawyer added that in such areas self-isolation would be practically impossible, cautioning that this can lead to a bigger and more prolonged outbreak of COVID-19.

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

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Lockdown: NGO advises sexually abused women, girls to seek alternative shelter



Cleen Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, has advised women and girls suffering from Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) to seek alternative shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Ms Teresa Chigozirim-Okoro, Head of Public Safety and Security Department of the foundation,  gave the advise in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Chigozirim-Okoro said that women and girls suffering from various forms of abuse during the compulsory sit-at-home should seek alternative shelter away from their abusers to trusted families, churches amongst others.

She said that seeking alternative shelter during the lockdown was paramount for victims in order to prevent further abuse and possible case of death and destruction of property.

According to her, seeking alternative shelter will eliminate unhealthy and volatile environments, as well as reduce close proximity of preys from their predators.

“Victims should avoid volatile environment with their predators such as spouses, family members, close relatives and neighbours.

“It is important that women and girls speak up and seek help on time. Women should also look out for each other, and intervene or report suspected cases during this lockdown.

“More importantly, those who cannot secure alternative shelter should give their abusers enough space even in the midst of observing the lockdown under the same roof.

“Women should avoid unnecessary physical and emotional demands and still be mindful of family finances, as all this can be trigger factors,” she said.

She advised SGBV victims to use technology for escalation of complaints as well as for distress calls to relevant authorities.

She also urged women and girls suffering from SGBV,  to ensure that their phones were charged and constantly loaded with airtime for emergency calls.

“Victims should have the numbers of trusted family and friends’ and also numbers of human rights organisations and security agents.

“Most importantly they must maintain peace in the face of provocation,” she said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Lockdown: Use alternative dispute resolution now, lawyers tell judiciary 



Some lawyers have  called on the judiciary to employ  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to settle disputes this period of lockdown caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

Many states of the federation are on lockdown as a strategy to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states were particularly locked down by the Federal Government since March 30.

The lockdown has crippled activities in the states including court proceedings.

ADR) can, especially in civil matters, assist disputing parties in resolving conflicts through the use of communication and negotiation techniques.

In a telephone interview with the Nigeria News Agency , some lawyers said that the lockdown provided an opportunity for the judiciary to promote ADR.

They said that ADR like arbitration and mediation could push legal practice during  lockdown and ensure that citizens  would still have access to justice.

A Lagos-based lawyer,

Mr Paul Obishai,

told NAN that  parties in conflict would easily accept ADR  during lockdown.

“This period, parties that have civil conflicts will easily accept to toe the line of ADR because they will feel that in the midst of the lockdown, at least, their cases can be heard.

“Social distancing can still be observed during the resolution; just the litigants, their lawyers and the mediator need to be present.

“I don’t think it will put anybody in danger,” he said.

Miss Adaobi Onyemaechi, a

lawyer and mediator, said that if the judiciary could employ ADR during lockdown, when courts would  resume regular sittings, they would not be crowded.

“Most Nigerians think that getting justice means going through the court and filing cases; this is the best time to properly educate them about ADR.

“This virus has put the whole world on standstill but with ADR, a part of our judicial system can still function.

“Some courts are still sitting but only for essential and urgent cases.

“We need to encourage ADR so that all that judges would need to do would be to sign agreements into consent judgements.

“When  we are back to the  normal situation,  there will be a huge backlog of cases, and our judicial officers may  be overwhelmed;  we can  lift even if it is a very little portion off of them now,” she said



Edited By: Saidu Adamu/Ijeoma Popoola

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