463 New COVID-19 Cases Recorded As Total Infections Rise To 33,616

 

Nigeria’s COVID-19 infections have risen with 463 new cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 33,616.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed this in a tweet on Tuesday night.

The new infections were identified in 16 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Lagos State maintained its lead position with 128 new infections, bringing the total infections in the state to 12, 711.

Other states with new infections are Kwara – 92, Enugu – 39, Delta – 33, Edo – 29, Plateau – 28, Kaduna – 23, Oyo – 15 with Ogun and Osun each having cases.

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Though new infections in the FCT stand at 12, relatively low when compared to 99 cases as of July 13, states like Ondo and Rivers each reported 9 fresh infections.

Meanwhile, states with fewer cases include Abia – 8, Bayelsa – 5, Ekiti – 3 and Borno – 2.

NCDC however, noted that a total of 13,792 patients have recovered and been discharged, while the country’s death toll stands at 754.

Global Outlook

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 574,278 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 13,178,180 cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 7,096,000 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 136,113 deaths from 3,394,033 cases. At least 1,031,939 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 72,833 deaths from 1,884,967 cases, Britain with 44,968 deaths from 291,373 cases, Mexico with 35,491 deaths from 304,435 cases and Italy with 34,984 deaths from 243,344 cases.

The country with the highest death rate is Belgium with 84 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Britain with 66, Spain 61, Italy 58, and Sweden 55.

China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau — has to date declared 83,605 cases, including 4,634 deaths, and 78,674 recoveries.

Over the past 24 hours, there have been 4,217 more recorded deaths worldwide and 172,069 news cases logged.

Europe overall has 203,285 deaths from 2,863,908 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 146,735 deaths from 3,424,235 infections, the United States and Canada 144,947 deaths from 3,502,410 cases, Asia 44,687 deaths from 1,819,605 cases, the Middle East 21,009 deaths from 944,111 cases, Africa 13,476 deaths from 612,088 cases and Oceania 139 deaths from 11,828 cases.

As a result of corrections by national authorities or late publication of data, the figures updated over the past 24 hours may not correspond exactly to the previous day’s tallies.

 

Enugu Airport Runway Will Be Ready In August, Says Sirika

 

A file photo of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

 

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has assured Nigerians that the rehabilitation work at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport runway Enugu will be completed by August 30.

He made this known on Tuesday during a working visit to ascertain the level of work at the international airport.

Sirika explained that the work progress is currently at the last stage of pavement wearing, thus bringing it up to over 90 percent completion.

He also noted that Perimeter fencing, roads, and air landing systems will all be ready to enable a 24-hour operation when it reopens again.

The Minister appreciated the South-East Governors, particularly the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for their efforts and assistance in the job.

COVID-19 Palliative: Jigawa Announces Tax Holiday For Small Businesses

Jigawa State Governor, Badaru Abubakar

 

The Jigawa State Government has given a one year tax holiday to Small and Medium-scale Enterprises whose businesses suffered as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commissioner of Finance, Babangida Umar, confirmed this to newsmen in Duste, the Jigawa state capital.

According to him, only those business owners with a registered business name will benefit from the gesture.

Umar explained that new businesses and those that would commence in the post-COVID-19 era would benefit from an 18-month period without paying tax.

The Commissioner noted that all existing enterprises and individual taxpayers in the state have an extension date of filling their returns until 30th September 2020.

“We have reduced penalty and interest fee from 10% to 5% and from 21% to 9% respectively and 50% waivers on business premises license, informal sector taxpayer and warehouse rent tax,” he said.

Kwara Governor, AbdulRazaq Sets Up Independent Panel To Probe LG Funds

Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

 

Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct an independent probe into funds so far received and disbursed to the 16 Local Government Areas from May 2019 till date.

The governor also set up a panel of inquiry comprising members from various backgrounds will also be set up to look into the Local Governments’ funds.

This was confirmed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye.

“For the sake of accountability and transparency, the Governor is hereby calling in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct an urgent probe into funds so far received as allocations and spent by the 16 local government between May 29 and now.

“Separately, the Governor will also be setting up a Panel of inquiry in the immediate to look into the same issues. Members of the panel and its terms of reference would be announced soon,” the statement read.

Ajakaye said the administration was of the view that council funds should be probed and laid to rest because governance was about public trust.

He noted that the investigation is necessary following “outrageous claims by some persons that money to the tune of N300 million was diverted monthly from LG accounts.”

“The governor restated that he would not be found mismanaging or siphoning public funds. He maintains his stand, which dates back to his days in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), that the local governments should be allowed to manage their own funds with minimal or no supervision by the state as the law may allow.

“He insists that any official found to have diverted or mismanaged public funds under him would be made to account for the same as prescribed under the law,” Ajakaye added.

Corruption Fight: Buhari Won’t Be Deterred By Baseless Criticism – Presidency 

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at a meeting with members of the CNNI in Abuja on February 21, 2020.

 

The Presidency says President Muhammadu Buhari will not be deterred by baseless criticism in the fight against corruption.

Speaking to State House correspondents on issues raised by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since the beginning of the interrogation of suspended acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said his principal will not fail Nigerians.

According to him, President Buhari is determined to “eradicate rampant, chronic corruption.”

He, however, berated the main opposition for its stance on corruption while at the helms of affairs in the country, adding that the volume and reach of the anti-corruption crusade so far reflect what the PDP left behind.

“A large number of cases, new and old, may appear to be daunting but PDP, which is now heckling the President, has forgotten that the party bequeathed this to the current administration.

“They had a large number of cases they did not investigate and prosecute,” the presidential spokesman said.

While cautioning the PDP to allow the process of investigation and prosecution to work instead of being pre-emptive about ongoing cases, Shehu expressed hope that the Judiciary would deal with the cases swiftly and satisfactorily, in a manner that would deter other would-be offenders.

“The current administration is handling many of the cases that the PDP should have dealt with and the new ones as they arise,” he said while praised the current administration’s approach in tackling corruption.

Buhari Should Clear All NDDC Board Members, Inaugurate Fresh Ones – Itse Sagay

 

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to remove all the board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

He made this call on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

Professor Sagay also wants his principal to inject fresh members into the board in view of the allegations of corruption rocking the commission.

“I will suggest that everybody there should be cleared out and the President should not appoint a new set of people very quickly under temporary conditions so that a permanent board and management can be established in the place that will then be monitored.

“My view is that everybody should be removed right now. Clear the place, sweep it clean. Start afresh with a new set of people,” he said.

READ ALSO: NDDC Fails To Defend 2019 Budget Over Discrepancies In Figures

While describing the corruption allegations as mind-boggling, Sagay wondered why forensic auditing cannot be done despite having a regular board manning the affairs of the commission.

The professor recalled that when some appointments were made into the commission, he was against the character of two nominees then.

He regretted that the question mark posed on some members of the NDDC has given a bad impression about the Niger Delta region.

This comes shortly after the 2019 budget defence of the NDDC by the agency’s Interim Management Committee (IMC) suffered a setback.

The NDDC team comprising its acting Managing Director, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, Executive Director (Project), Dr Cairo Ojougboh, among appeared before the National Assembly in Abuja to defend the agency’s budget for the previous year.

They, however, could not successfully defend the agency’s budget as the lawmakers pointed out some discrepancies in the budget.

Seven Police Officers Die In Kaduna Road Accident

A file photo of IGP Mohammed Adamu. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun
A file photo of IGP Mohammed Adamu. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Nigeria Police Force has lost seven officers to a ghastly road accident in Kaduna State.

This was confirmed on Tuesday in a statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba.

Mba said the victims, attached to the Police’s Special Forces Unit, were on their way to Katsina State.

According to the police spokesman, the unfortunate incident, which involved an 18-seater Toyota Hummer Bus conveying 18 personnel of the Unit, occurred at Jaji town along Kaduna-Zaria Road.

The deceased were part of an additional deployment made recently by the Force to boost the ongoing fight against bandits in the north-western state.

READ ALSO: NDDC Fails To Defend 2019 Budget Over Discrepancies In Figures

While three of the deceased officers have been buried according to Islamic rites, the remains of the other four officers have been deposited in a Morgue.

Following the development, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has commiserated with the families of the deceased.

The IGP who described the incident as a huge loss to the Force, however, noted that the departed officers were “Heroes of Peace.”

He explained that the incident is one of the unfortunate sacrifices officers often encounter in the line of duty.

Adamu also directed the Police Accounts and Budget Department to ensure the immediate payment of the burial expenses, benefits and other entitlements to the families of the deceased officers.

Meanwhile, a team of Police Medical Personnel has been dispatched to Kaduna State where the 11 officers that survived the accident are receiving medical attention.

Reps To Investigate Purported Resignation Of Over 356 Soldiers

In this photo released by the House of Representatives, some lawmakers are seated during one of the plenaries in the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The House of Representatives is to investigate the purported resignation of over 356 soldiers from the Nigerian army.

This follows a motion of urgent public importance raised by the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno, and co-sponsored by three other leaders of the house.

According to the motion, a memo from the aggrieved soldiers was sent to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, dated July 3, with reference number NA/COAS/001, quoting the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service for Soldiers/Ratings/Airmen (revised) 2017.

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In leading the debate, Monguno stated that the protests by junior officers of the Nigerian army have become a recurring decimal which is a serious source of concern.

He feared that the morale of the officers is at an all-time low which is affecting the outcome of the war against insurgency.

The house has mandated its Committee on the Army to investigate and report back in a week.

Police Arrest 60-Year-Old Man For Raping Minor In Niger

A file photo of a police van.

 

The police in Niger State have arrested a 60-year-old man, Haruna Lawal, for raping a minor in Wushishi Local Government Area of the state.

Lawan was said to have used N100 as bait to lure the unsuspecting victim, an 8-year-old girl from Angwan Barwa community.

This was confirmed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abiodun Wasiu.

Wasiu noted that the victim, who went out to hawk fishes for her mother that early morning, was lured by Lawal into an uncompleted building where he also allegedly raped her.

Although the accused is known by everyone in the area as a scavenger of scraps, the police authorities say he is a potential rape suspect.

“On 11/07/2020 at about 1330hrs, based on information received, Police detectives attached to Wushishi division arrested one Haruna Lawal age 60yrs ‘m’ of Wushishi, a scavenger who criminally lured an eight years old girl ‘f’ of Angwan Barwa Wushishi, while she was hawking fish in the area with the sum of one hundred naira (#100.00k) into an uncompleted building and had canal knowledge of her,” the statement partly read.

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Channels Television learnt that the suspect did not deny the allegation as he was said to have confessed to using his victim to service his sexual cravings.

The police spokesman said that the “during interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime and will be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is concluded.”

Over the last five months, there has been an upsurge in the cases of rape in Niger State.

According to Rayuwa Sexual Assaults Referral Centre (SARC) located in the state capital Minna, at least over four hundred cases of sexual assaults have been lodged in the centre since January this year, mostly involving minors, both males and females.

In June, a father of four was arrested by the Police for allegedly raping his two daughters shortly after the demise of their mother.

Senate Asks FG To Commence Rehabilitation Of Eastern Rail Line

(File Photo)

 

The Senate has called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, commence rehabilitation of the Eastern rail line.

This was even as the upper chamber mandated its Committee on Land Transport to interface with the relevant Ministry and agency.

These formed parts of resolutions reached during plenary on Tuesday sequel to the consideration of a motion sponsored by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC – Abia North).

In his presentation, Senator Kalu noted that one of the greatest challenges facing the nation as an emerging economy is poor infrastructural development, adding that, “the movement of goods and persons from one point to another is becoming very cumbersome, if not hazardous.”

According to him, the Federal Government in recognition of the fact that there is a dire need for transformation of the Nigerian Railway system into a more dynamic and functional one, encouraged the use of rail to reduce road traffic congestion problems and open up the sector to private sector investment.

“The Federal Government in 2017 entered into an agreement with General Electric, a Boston, United States-based company, under the Rehabilitation and the Concessioning of Western and Eastern Railway lines to connect Abia, Rivers, Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Kwara, Kaduna, Katsina, Enugu, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Yobe and Kano States.

“And while the Western lines of 1,126 km are from Lagos to Kano and to Nguru 230 km, Funtua, and Kaura Namoda 121 km. The Eastern lines are from Port Harcourt to Kaduna 915 km, Maiduguri 706 km, 105 35 km,” he said.

Kalu lamented that “the Federal Executive Council is yet to give approval for the commencement which leaves not just the government as losers but all host communities to the rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.”

He also expressed concerns that the non-existence of an airport or inland port in the whole of Abia State, with its high volume of commercial activities, poses a serious hindrance to the export and import of goods.

Reacting to Senator Kalu’s concerns, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, directed the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance by the Federal Government and report back in three weeks for further legislative action.

EFCC Secures Conviction Of Two Internet Fraudsters

 

 

The Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of two internet fraudsters – Rasak Olayinka Balogun and Ayodeji Oluwaseun Olatona.

The duo was said to have pleaded guilty to a separate one-count charge of criminal impersonation.

This was confirmed by the spokesman for the agency, Dele Oyewale, in a statement issued on Tuesday.

According to the agency, the offence runs contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.

“While Balogun was sentenced to seven months jail term by Justice Mohammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Olatona had his date with Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, who sentenced him to six months imprisonment.

“Apart from his jail term, Balogun was ordered to restitute $4,000 to his victim, one Mantonia Duncan, and also forfeit his laptop, Samsung Galaxy S8 phone and iPhone 11 Pro Max to the federal government, while Olatona will restitute $500 to his victim and forfeit his iPhone 7 to the Federal government,” the statement partly read.

Meanwhile, Justice Peter Lifu of the Federal High Court, Osogbo has convicted one Timilehin Awojoodu of criminal impersonation.

The court however reserved his sentence till July 21, 2020.

Besides the conviction, the judge ordered Awojoodu to restitute the sum of $2,500 to his victim and forfeit his iPhone 7 and Infinix Hot 7 phone to the government.

With 595 New Infections, Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Exceed 33,000

 

The COVID-19 cases in Nigeria have exceeded 33,000 following the confirmation of 595 new infections in the country.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this on Monday night.

According to the agency, the new infections were recorded in 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Lagos maintained the lead position with a total of 156 new infections, followed by Oyo with 141 and the FCT with 99 new cases.

Other states with registered cases include Edo – 47, Kaduna – 27, Ondo – 22, Rivers – 20, Osun – 17, Imo – 13, and Plateau – 10.

While Nasarawa and Anambra each have 8 new infections, other states like Kano, Benue and Borno each reported 5 cases.

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Meanwhile, states with fewer cases include Ogun – 4 with Taraba and Gombe each having 3 cases, followed by Kebbi and Cross River states each having 1 case.

Following the 595 new cases in the country, the total confirmed cases now stand at 33,153.

On a positive note, the country has been able to discharge 13,671 people who recovered from the virus.

Unfortunately, a total of 744 persons have succumbed to COVID-19 after being confirmed as fatalities from the infection.

595 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

A Global Infection 

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 569,879 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Monday.

At least 12,992,640 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 6,943,800 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 135,400 deaths from 3,336,154 cases. At least 1,006,326 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 72,100 deaths from 1,864,681 cases, Britain with 44,830 deaths from 290,133 cases, Mexico with 35,006 deaths from 299,750 cases, and Italy with 34,967 deaths from 243,230 cases.

The country with the highest death rate is Belgium with 84 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by the United Kingdom with 66, Spain 61, Italy 58, and Sweden 55.

China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau — has to date declared 83,602 cases (eight new since Sunday), including 4,634 deaths (0 new), and 78,648 recoveries.

Europe overall has 202,780 deaths from 2,849,335 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 144,846 deaths from 3,379,778 infections, the United States and Canada 144,221 deaths from 3,443,961 cases, Asia 43,958 deaths from 1,779,712 cases, Middle East 20,655 deaths from 931,951 cases, Africa 13,282 deaths from 596,353 cases, and Oceania 137 deaths from 11,556 cases.

As a result of corrections by national authorities or late publication of data, the figures updated over the past 24 hours may not correspond exactly to the previous day’s tallies.