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Nigeria Has 54 Cases Of UK COVID-19 Variant

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Scientists Identify New COVID-19 Variant In France

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has disclosed that Nigeria now has 54 cases of the United Kingdom’s (UK) variant of the COVID-19 virus,

During the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday, Ihekweazu said: “Concerning the updates on the variants of concern, at the moment, last week, the update so far is that we have had 54 cases of the b117 variant – the variants of concern first detected in the United Kingdom, which is now the dominant strain; almost 100 per cent of the circulating strain in the UK are made up of these variants.

“We found 54 of them between November and February – that is a significant number out of those we have sequenced. We have sequenced about 400 altogether since the beginning of the outbreak. We continue to watch that strain and understand how much it is circulating in Nigeria.

“There were reports on a new strain b1525, which we began to detect in Nigeria and a few other countries. It is important to note that this variant has not been classified as a variant of concern. Researchers and scientists are still working hard to understand if this variant has any impact on transmissibility, severity, immunity, diagnostics of vaccines or therapeutics, but we haven’t found any yet,” he added.

The NCDC DG added that 80 to 90 per cent of residents in Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa, and Gombe states are still susceptible to the COVID-19 virus, according to the recent COVID-19 Household Seroprevalence Surveys carried out by the NCDC and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR).

READ ALSO: Fulani Not Killers, Only Fighting Ethnic War – Gumi

He noted that the results of the survey also showed that there are higher rates of infection in urban areas compared to rural settlements, with persons aged 18-64 years being more infected.

He, therefore, stated that 100,000 representative samples would be sent weekly to the Africa Centre for Excellence in Genomics in Ede for sequencing, even as it continues to improve the country’s sequencing capacity.

“Concerning the COVID-19 household prevalence survey just completed, between September and October 2020, a household seroprevalence for covid-19 was carried out in four states in Nigeria – Lagos, Nasarawa, Gombe and Enugu states.

“Following up on our epidemiological analysis, we now have the results, which we will include in shaping public health response. We tested representative samples for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies so we can identify people who have been infected but not detected by the national surveillance system because if you are asymptomatic, many people are unlikely to come forward for testing.

“The findings for this survey showed that the highest estimated prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the population were 23 per cent in Lagos and Enugu States, 19 per cent in Nasarawa State, and nine per cent in Gombe State. This means that as many as 1 in 5 individuals in Lagos, Enugu and Nasarawa State would have ever been infected with SARS-CoV-2. In Gombe, the proportion is about 1 in 10.

“We are still working to have a better understanding of the SAR-COV-2 and the duration of the immunity that it offers. There is a possibility that immunity wanes over time and antibodies may not have been detected in people that were infected earlier in the outbreak.

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Two Catholic priests Kidnapped In Edo

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Two Catholic priests Kidnapped In Edo

The abduction of two Catholic priests, Rev. Father Udo of St, Patrick Catholic church Uromi and Rev. Father Philemon Oboh of St. Joseph Retreat Center Ugboha, was confirmed on Sunday by Edo State Police Command.

The priests were abducted along the Benin-Auchi Road on their way back to Uromi in Esan South-East Local Government Area of the state.

In a statement on Sunday, the Police Public Relations Officer of the state, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the abduction of the reverend fathers.

The statement read: “This is to confirm the kidnap of two Catholic Rev. Fathers; Rev. Fr. Udo Peter of St. Patrick Catholic Church Uromi and Rev. Fr. Philemon Oboh of St. Joseph Retreat Center, Ugboha in Esan South East LGA of Edo State.

READ ALSO: Kukah’s Diocese Under Attack, Two Priests, Worshippers Kidnapped

“The Edo State Police Command was informed of the incident by the Divisional Police Officer, Ugboha, Edo State, that on Sunday, July 3, 2022, one Rev. Father Amos Abhulimen of St. Dominic Catholic Church Ugboha, reported that he was informed by the Catholic authority via WhatsApp that the above-named Catholic Rev. Fathers were attacked, kidnapped and taken to unknown place by some kidnappers along Benin-Auchi Expressway between Ehor and Iruekpen Communities.

“Immediately, the Commissioner Of Police, CP Abutu Yaro, dispatched policemen to the area to carry out aggressive and well coordinated manhunt in arresting the kidnappers as well as rescue the Rev. Fathers unhurt,” the statement added.

A Catholic priest popularly known as Rev. Father Christopher Odia was Kidnapped last Sunday at Ikabigbo Community, Etsako West LGA and was later found dead after few hours in the bush.

 

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Court Jails APC Senator Seven Years For Fraud

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Court Jails APC Senator Seven Years For Fraud

The Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Peter Nwaoboshi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) , has been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

The Court of Appeal in Lagos on Friday also ordered that the senator’s two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, be wound up in line with the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.

The court’s ruling was delivered in an appeal challenging the judgment of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court which on June 18, 2021, discharged and acquitted the defendants on two counts of fraud and money laundering. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which arraigned him however challenged the lower court’s decision.

EFCC had arraigned the three defendants over the acquisition of a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million.

 READ ALSO: Why Move To Impeach Senate President Will Fail – Nwaboshi

Part of the money paid to the vendor – N322 million transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd – was alleged to be part of proceeds of fraud.

Earlier in his judgment, Justice Aneke said the evidence of the prosecutor “proved that the third defendant obtained a loan of N1.2 billion from Zenith Bank to purchase additional equipment and as provision of working capital”.

“It also proved that the loan of N1.2 billion together with interest of N24 million was properly granted to the third defendant .Nothing else was proved by the complainant or prosecutor in this case,” the EFCC quoted the judge as saying in a statement.

The high court judge was also quoted as claiming that a fatal blow was dealt to the case of the prosecution by its failure to call officials of Sterling Bank “to testify and probably tender exhibits F and F10. Consequently, he discharged and acquitted the defendants”.

However, ruling on the EFCC’s appeal on Friday, the Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in dismissing the charges against the respondents.

“The court said the prosecution had proved the ingredients of the offence and consequently found the defendants guilty as charged,” EFCC said.

 

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Drama In Court As Lawyer Appears In Priestly Attire

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VIDEO: Drama As Lawyer In Priestly Attire Appears In Court

By John Michael Ojo
There was a mild drama today at the Okpoko Magistrate Court in the Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, as a lawyer simply identified as Ogbachalu Goshen appeared before the court in a pastoral robe.

But Ogbachalu who was standing before the magistrate, CB Mbaegbu, was denied  hearing on the ground that he was not properly attired, leading to a minor incident in the court.

READ ALSO: Female Students Can Wear Hijab To Lagos Schools – Supreme Court

However,  citing a recent Supreme Court’s judgment which supported the wearing of hijab by female students in public schools as a reference point, Ogbachalu reminded the court that it was his right to dress in his priestly attire as he was an ordained pastor and that the objection by the court to hear him, was an infringement on his fundamental human right as enshrined in section 38 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

The magistrate however disagreed his submission which only forced the court to dismiss.

 

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