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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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BREAKING: Tribunal Sacks Adeleke, Declares Oyetola Osun Governor

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BREAKING: Tribunal Sacks Adeleke, Declares Oyetola Osun Governor

An Election Petition Tribunal on Friday sacked PDP’s Ademola Adeleke as Osun State Governor.

The tribunal hearing the APC and Adegboyega Oyetola’s petition annulled the result of the July 16 Osun governorship poll.

Justice Tetsea Kume, while delivering a majority decision declared that INEC did not comply substantially with the Constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act.

He subsequently deducted the over-voting observed from the votes scored by the candidates and declared that Oyetola won the election, having polled 314, 921, while Adeleke’s score came down to 290, 266.

 READ ALSO: Oyetola Left Behind Over N40b Debts – Adeleke

He directed INEC to withdraw Adeleke’s certificate of return and issued another one to Oyetola who won a majority of the lawful votes.

Meanwhile, a minority decision by one of the judges is being read as at the time of filing this report.

 

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Gyado, Family Need Justice – AfAW

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Gyado, Family Need Justice - AfAW

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) has urged the government to institute legal action against those who lynched Pa Justin Gyado in Gwer East Local Government Area in Benue state.

According to the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) Director Dr Leo Igwe, the call has become necessary following the growing pressure on Pa Gyado and family for the release of the suspects from police custody.

“It must be recalled that over ten youths abducted and set ablaze Gyado after accusing him of killing a young man through witchcraft this month. It took the combined efforts of the police, civil defense, and the army, to rescue Pa Justin. But he was severely burnt. Justin was taken to the Federal Medical Center in Makurdi, where he is currently battling for his life. While at the hospital, family sources told the AfAW that one of the perpetrators invaded the hospital and tried to attack and kill Justin.”, AfAW said.

AfAW continues : “Fortunately, in the past few days, the police have arrested five persons linked to this horrific act. And the investigation is ongoing. However, information reaching the Advocacy for Alleged Witches is that relatives of the suspects are pressuring Pa Gyado’s family members to get the police to release the suspects. They are holding meetings and plotting several ways to frustrate the case. The police should not yield to this pressure and scheme. Justin is at the hospital nursing his wounds at his own expense without any support from the community. The community leaders are only interested in securing the release of those who attempted to murder him. The AfAW is asking the police in Benue not to release these suspects and to ensure that justice is done in this case. The police should use Pa Gyado’s case to demonstrate their commitment to upholding the rule of law and enforcing the criminal provisions against witchcraft accusations and jungle justice. The government of Benue should expedite efforts to ensure the prosecution of all implicated in this savage act. The case of Pa Gyado is the second to be reported in the Gwer East in recent months.

READ ALSO: AfAW Urges Victims, Survivors Of Witch Persecution In Benue To Speak Out

“In October last year, two men were reportedly murdered after they were accused of witchcraft. The police have not arrested anyone linked to that murder to date. If the police yielded to pressure and allowed these suspects to go scot free, they would be encouraging impunity and injustice. If the government of Benue state did not prosecute these suspects, it would be sending a message that perpetrators of witch persecution and jungle justice would get away with their crimes. And it would not reflect positively on the police, and the government of Benue state.

“Pa Justin Gyado and his family need justice. The world is watching.”

 

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BREAKING: Frank Mba Becomes Lagos Police Commissioner, Idowu Owohunwa Takes Over In Ogun

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BREAKING: Frank Mba Becomes Lagos Police Commissioner

The Nigerian Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba, has approved the redeployment of two commissioners of police to Lagos and Ogun States respectively.The commissioners of police concerned are: Frank Mba and Idowu Owohunwa.

This was stated in a letter dated January 24, 2023, and signed by Hafiz Inuwa, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police to the Police Service Commission (PSC).

While Mba, who had served as the Force spokesman and appointed as the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, would be replacing Abiodun Alabi in Lagos, while Owohunwa, former principal staff officer of the IGP, would take over from Lanre Bankole in Ogun.

This comes just over a month before the elections.

Nigerians will vote next month to elect a new president to succeed Muhammadu Buhari, who is finishing his second term in office.

READ ALSO: Police Begin Physical Screening Of Applicants For Recruitment Feb 1

The posting, according to the letter, was part of a strategy to strengthen the strategic and operational control of the Lagos and Ogun commands.

“I am directed to humbly write and forward the proposed posting of the under-mentioned commissioners of police to state commands indicated against their names for the commission’s kind consideration and approval,” the letter reads.

“The Inspector-General of Police is deploying the under-mentioned commissioners of police to strengthen the strategic and operational control of the commands.”

 

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