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FG warns Nigerians as COVID-19 cases rise by 630% in 10 days

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Dayo Ojerinde, Deborah Tolu-Kolawole and Bakam Armstrong

The Federal Government on Thursday warned Nigerians to take responsibility for their health as COVID-19 cases continued to rise in the country.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunmimbe Mamora, who stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents, said, among other measures, there was the need for Nigerians to take responsibility for their to tackle coronavirus.

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Mamora said this as COVID-19 cases  continued to increase, with the country recording  5,398 infections between December 6 and 15.

Data obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Thursday indicated a sharp increase in infections as only 739 cases were recorded between November 26 and December 5, indicating 630.45 per cent increase within 10 days.

When asked on what the Federal Government would do in view of the increase in cases,  Mamora  stated that the government would continue to strengthen existing measures.

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He said, “It’s essentially to strengthen the existing measures through advocacy, awareness creation, education and emphasis on the need for people to take responsibility for their health.”

had on Thursday reported that no fewer than 107 inbound passengers to Nigeria  tested positive for COVID-19 in the last one week.

According to the report, between November 25 and December 4, the country recorded  749 cases of COVID-19.

Between  December 5 and December 14, the cases recorded were 4,029 representing 437.92 per cent increase over the previous 10 days.

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Commenting on the rising cases, the President, Guild of Medical Directors, Dr Abiodun Kuti, said they might  be as a result of people coming into the country from Europe and the United States of America.

Kuti, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said, “The influx of Nigerians coming from Europe and America for the festive period will definitely increase the spread of Omicron variant in the country. These countries have high exposure levels already.”

Meanwhile, the Bauchi State government has said that it will soon get 350,000 COVID-19 booster doses from the Federal Government.

The Executive Secretary of the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Rilwan Mohammed, disclosed this in Thursday at the third Annual Research Day and Scientific Conference of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi.

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The theme for the 2021 conference is: “Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine hesitancy in developing countries: Latest evidence and future direction.”

Mohammed who is also the Chairman, Contact and Surveillance Sub-Committee of the Bauchi State Task Force on COVID-19, said the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency would soon supply the booster doses to the state pointing out that the booster shots would only be administered to those who had taken their first and second jabs of COVID-19 vaccines, to further protect them against the Omicron variant.

He said,, “Even if you are vaccinated, you can get infected with the mutant Omicron variant of COVID-19, however, the good thing is that people that were vaccinated will not get the severe form of the Omicron variant.

“To prevent Omicron variant, the only way is to do the booster dose and the federal government will send about 350,000 booster doses next week to Bauchi State.”

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The Executive Chairman described COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy as a major problem because even the most educated people including healthcare workers were yet to take the vaccine.

Nigeria Newspapers

John Abebe’s forgery trial adjourned

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The trial of John Warimeme Abebe before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has been adjourned till April 13, 2022 for the adoption of written addresses.

Justice Mojisola Dada gave the new date at the continuation of trial on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, with the defence closing its case.

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Abebe, ex- President Obasanjo’s in-law was first arraigned on July 26, 2018 on a four-count charge bordering on forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice by the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged BP Exploration Nigeria Limited’s letter dated 30th November, 1995 to Inducon (Nigeria) Limited by inserting in page 2 of the said letter the following words: “Also note that the ‘Buy-Out Option’ only applies to the pre-production stage of the NPIA. The $4m buy-out is thus irrelevant from production of oil in any of our fields” and purported same to have been issued by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited and committed an offence contrary to Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”

Another count reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly used a fabricated evidence in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 between Dr. John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited and Statoil Nigeria Limited, before the Federal High Court, which evidence was admitted and marked exhibit BB in the said suit and committed an offence contrary to Section 120 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”

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Abebe pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

Led in evidence by his counsel, E.D. Onyeke, the defendant had taken to the dock to defend himself.

He was also cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who confronted him with several documents.

At today’s sitting, Onyeke told the Court that the defence was closing its case.

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“We will be asking the Court for a date to file our written address,” he said.

Thereafter, Justice Dada adjourned till April 13, 2022 for “definitive adoption of written addresses”.

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Nigeria Newspapers

Bandits killed 300 persons, kidnapped 200 in Niger January attacks – Gov

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In the first two weeks of this month, Niger State communities were attacked by bandits at least 50 times, with over 300 persons killed and 200 kidnapped, including security personnel.

Governor Abubakar Bello disclosed this to State House correspondents on Tuesday after he met with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to brief him on the development.

The governor, who enumerated the series of attacks and their consequences on lives, blamed the low response time to the attacks on the lack of access roads to the affected communities.

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He, however, expressed optimism that with the new measures being put in place, the security situation in the state would improve soon, adding that contiguous states must work together to stop terrorists from moving from one region to another.

Bello stated, “This afternoon, I came to visit Mr President to give him an update on the security situation in Niger State concerning banditry activities, kidnapping and cattle rustling, among others. We were able to review some of the invasions in the state. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you all.

“In the last few days, there have been a lot of activities in Niger State. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we will see some relief with regard to banditry. I also gave a highlight on some of the challenges. Of course, our size is a disadvantage, almost nine million hectares. We lost some forests.

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“In January this year alone, we suffered not less than 50 reported attacks and loss of lives between January 1 and 17. Within the same period, no fewer than 300 communities were invaded by bandits. The number of people kidnapped is 200, including three Chinese nationals.”

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