According to the governor, the state government will not relent in arresting commuters who may want to flout the lockdown policy.
While vowing to arrest more culprits for disobeying government’s directives on the restriction of movement, Sanwo-Olu explained that security agencies have been asked to make to more arrests.
Speaking further, he said: “We are going back to ensure that nobody is spared. If they need to continue to arrest your buses, they will do.
“Over 400 or so have been arrested from what we were told. And they will continue to do that. That is why we need to continue to encourage that people stay away until when all of these is over,” he said.
On palliative measures to cushion the effect of lockdown on residents of the state, the governor announced that the government would be offering free medical services to pregnant women and other persons with health emergencies.
He noted that the development is an additional measure to complement the welfare food stimulus package already in place in the state.
The Federal Government has sought the approval of the National Assembly for an intervention fund to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed met with NASS leadership on Saturday over an Executive proposal to establish a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.
Zainab, with senior officials from her ministry, held the meeting with the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The meeting which held at the National Assembly was also attended by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Speaker of the House, Idris Wase and some other principal officers from both chambers.
According to a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media, Ola Awoniyi, the meeting was a follow-up to one held last week Wednesday between the National Assembly leadership and members of the Presidential Committee which was set up for the management of the COVID-19 crisis.
“What we are proposing is an establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.
“This Fund that we are proposing, that should be created, will involve mopping up resources from various special accounts that the government, as well as the Federation, have, to be able to pull this N500 billion,” Zainab said.
Speaking further, the Minister said in addition to the identified special accounts from where the money will be drawn as loans, the proposed intervention fund is also expected to be sourced from grants being expected and loans from multilateral institutions.
“Our general view is that this crisis intervention fund is to be utilised to upgrade healthcare facilities as earlier identified.
“The Federal Government also needs to be in a position to improve health care facilities not only in the states but to provide intervention to the states,” she stated.
Zainab explained to the lawmakers that the fund if approved, will also take care of special public work programmes currently being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
On his part, the Senate President said the meeting was in fulfilment of an earlier promise to provide support as the need arises in this time of crisis.
“I think coming to us for those loans is critical because we are in an emergency and time is of the essence. So, we must work as expeditiously as possible to ensure that we place the request before the National Assembly.
“I think the time has come for us to redefine the implementation of the Social Intervention programme, probably going out to communities to give them N20,000 per person might not be the best way to go. It is still an effort, but I think we need a better approach that will be more efficient,” Lawan said.
“This morning we embarked on a headcount and found out that only one person could not be accounted for by officials stationed at the Isolation centre out of the 127 persons.
“The State Government is currently investigating the matter and will ensure that the missing person is brought back to the Isolation centre and we will also ensure we trace all his contacts,” the statement read in part.
The state government also explained that it is working to ensure that the contacts of the missing person are traced to prevent a further spread of the disease.
Stating further, Egbemode said “We want to reiterate that any official(s) found culpable will also be dealt with accordingly.
“We implore members of the public to discountenance the alarm being raised. We will continue to do everything to protect the lives of our citizens in this fight against Coronavirus.”
“As you know, we started yesterday through Holy Ghost, ShopRite, Old Artisan, and later in the day Government House. Today, we are doing it at Okpara Square, bearing in mind that this is more of a gathering centre as there is always a multitude of people here.
“If not because of the lockdown of the state, you will see people jogging, exercising themselves. His is the centrepiece of the state’s social gathering. If there is anything being done by the state government or even Federal Government, or anything that will attract a crowd of 500 and above they will use Okpara Square.
“The state government is being proactive to make sure that coronavirus will not be a threat to the state. Tomorrow, we are moving to Obiagwu Council. Saturday, Sunday we may rest. Monday, we will go to Nsukka,” he stated.
He has also called on citizens to comply with the sit at home order and avoid public gatherings so to enable them carryout the assignment.
The Kaduna State Government has threatened to sanction people who violate the quarantine order aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
In a broadcast at the Government House on Friday, the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said that the Quarantine order and social distancing was variously breached in several places.
According to her, markets were opened for business and people and vehicles moving about freely like in a normal situation despite the global pandemic.
“The quarantine continues today, and this order must be strictly adhered to in the interest of public health and safety.
“Before the review, the quarantine order was variously breached in several respects. Although most places of worship remained closed, some clerics defied the law by insisting on holding congregational prayers.
“These clerics have been duly arrested, arraigned before the court of law for onward prosecution. Similarly, some markets were partially opened, and commercial activities took place therein,” she said.
Balarabe, therefore, warned the citizens to remain indoors and stay safe against COVID-19, stating that the law will catch up with anyone that violates the government’s directives.
Speaking further, the deputy governor said the government has concluded plans to set up an additional COVID-19 Isolation Centre in the coming days to take care of confirmed cases of the epidemic in the state.
Aside from the first centre located at the Infectious Diseases Center in the State capital, Balarabe explained that the state government has identified a location that will be also used as an isolation centre for asymptomatic people.
According to her, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has assured the state government of creating a COID-19 testing centre.
While giving an update on the activities of Kaduna COVID-19 Task Force, Balarabe stressed that as an interim measure, the government is in talks with the Ahmadu Bello University(ABU) Zaria for use of the PCR machine at the African Center for Excellence for Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The Supreme Court, sitting in Abuja on Friday, have struck out a money laundering charge brought against the former governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kwara State, Dele Belgore.
The Apex court allowed the appeal against the ruling of Justice Rilwan Aikawa of Federal High Court, Lagos delivered in November 2018.
Justice Aikawa had dismissed a ‘no case submission’ application made by Belgore and his co-defendant, a former Minister of Planning, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, in the N450m Money Laundering Charge made against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In dismissing the application, the lower court had held that after a careful study of the prosecution’s case, he had formed an opinion that the defendants had certain explanations to make. The judge then ordered them to open their defence.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Belgore filed an appeal at the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal. After considering the appeal, the court dismissed it.
The Nigerian Army has announced the redeployment and appointments of some of its senior officers.
Among those affected in the massive shake-up was the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi.
Adeniyi was replaced by Major General Faruk Yahaya who would serve as the eighth Theatre Commander of the operation.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday.
He explained that the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai approved the postings as a routine exercise intended to strengthen the system for greater professional effectiveness and efficiency.
Over 20 other generals and a colonel were also affected in the exercise.
The redeployment comes amid the outrage triggered by a viral video in which Adeniyi decried an attack that inflicted heavy casualty on the troops and left some of their vehicles in a state of disrepair.
The former theatre commander explained the difficult situation under which troops were operating while pledging loyalty to the Nigerian Armed Forces.
It is, however, unclear if his redeployment has anything to do with the attack and the said video.
The Nigerian Senate has announced the decision of the lawmakers to contribute 50 percent of their salaries to the fight against coronavirus in the country.
In a statement issued on Monday by the acting spokesman of the Senate, Godiya Akwashiki, the move is part of their efforts to respond to the spread and treatment of COVID-19.
“After due consultations following a keen review of the national efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, the Senate wishes to announce that from March, 2020, Distinguished Senators will be donating 50 per cent of their salaries to these efforts to stop the spread of the disease, otherwise known as COVID-19, in our country.
“This monthly contribution from the Upper Legislative Chamber will be sustained until Nigeria is declared safe from the ravages of this deadly disease,” the statement read in part.
The upper chamber also commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in handling the situation despite the rising confirmed cases of the virus.
Senator Akwashiki noted that the National Assembly “is willing and ready to do whatever is required of the Legislature for the effectiveness of all the measures in place now or that may be required in the future to win the fight against this menace.”
According to him, all agencies of the Federal and state governments need to be commended for working together to protect public health across the country.
“The Senate further appeals to the citizens to comply with the directives on social distancing and observance of basic rules of hygiene as explained by public health officials as the most effective way to protect ourselves, families and country against COVID-19.
“This is a global adversity that is testing the wit and resilience of mankind all over the world. By staying resolute and each of us responsibly playing their role, COVID-19 like all epidemics before it will soon be pushed into history,” he stated.
The exercise affects all residents, with exemptions to healthcare related businesses; food processing, distribution and retail companies, petroleum distribution, retail entities, power generation, transmission and distribution companies and private security companies