NBA Conference: Lawyers Asked To Consider Electoral System Issues

Nigerian_lawyers_Conference2014Nigerian Lawyers have been asked to ensure that issues relating to the electoral system and other meaningful issues that will uplift the nation should top talks at the 54th Nigerian Bar Association’s annual conference holding in Imo State.

The governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, in his address at the opening of the conference on Monday, said that discussing such relevant issues would help sustain the nation’s democracy, even as the 2015 general elections draw nearer.

The conference holding in Owerri, the state’s capital, had in attendance, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Okey Wali, the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke and the Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan.

The chairman of the occasion is a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and also present were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, his Deputy, Emeka Ihedioha and the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere.

Over 10 thousand lawyers from across the country are attending the conference, with the theme, ‘Nigeria; 100 years after’.

Before gaining access to the venue of the event, each participants had to be screened of the Ebola virus with the test kit.

Okey Wali says politicians in Nigeria try to draw the Bar into political bickering

The President of the NBA, Wali said that even though the efforts of the Federal Government and security operatives needed to be commended, they still need to do more in safeguarding the lives and property of Nigerians in the face of all the insecurity challenges.

He stressed that there should be concerted efforts by stakeholders to ensure free and fair election at all times as it was the only way good governance could thrive.

Mr Wali advised politicians to step up their game in ensuring that the nation’s democracy gets to an enviable level.

While commending the Nigerian Bar Association for organising the conference, General Gowon lamented that 100 years after, Nigeria had not achieved its full potentials but expressed hopes that with the resolutions made in the just concluded national conference, the journey for a new Nigeria had commenced.

In his speech, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, stressed that delivering good governance to the people was not to be negotiated.

He called on participants at the conference to ensure that at the end of the 5-day conference, issues that would be of great benefits to Nigerians and also promote the nation’s democracy would be discussed.

This is the third time the Nigerian Bar association is hosting her annual conference in Imo State 1982, 1991 and 2014. The conference is expected to last for five days and on the last day, August 29, the present NBA President, Okey Wali, will officially hand over baton to the newly elected Bar Association’s President, Augustine Alegeh.


Spouses Of Late Ebola Victims Test Positive- Health Minister


The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, has confirmed two new cases of the Ebola Virus Disease. Professor Chukwu says the two victims are spouses of dead victims of the disease.

They are currently being treated in Lagos.

This brings the total number of cases, including the index case to 14, with five deaths and five survivors, while four are currently being treated.

At a media briefing in Abuja on Friday, Professor Chukwu said the 67 persons under surveillance had completed the 21 days incubation period for Ebola, and had been discharged. “Presently, there are 213 people under surveillance,” he said.

The Health Minister further refuted reports credited to the Lagos State Commissioner, Mr Jide Idris, that there are additional five cases of Ebola.

Professor Chukwu added that it was his duty as the head of Nigeria’s Health Ministry to announce new cases and also give updates on the virus.

According to the Minister, the six people under surveillance in Enugu State had not developed symptoms of Ebola, but are still being monitored.

“The Federal Government, working with the Lagos State government and other partners, will continue to maintain vigilance, continue to strengthen our containment activities and wishes to reassure the Nigerian public and the global community that efforts will not relent until the very last case of Ebola Virus Disease is seen in Nigeria,” he stressed.

Professor Chukwu, however, cautioned that the government could not give an assurance of complete eradication at the moment.

He asked Nigerians to be calm and not panic, as the efforts of the government to battle the disease had been applauded by the international community.


Ebola: First Nigerian Patient Discharged From Hospital

Ebola DoctorsThe Minister of Health in Nigeria, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, says the first Nigerian Ebola patient declared fit and discharged from hospital.

Professor Chukwu told journalists in Lagos on Saturday that the patient, whose identity has not been revealed, was asked to go home after all the necessary medical examinations were carried out.

“The total number of Ebola cases now stands at 12, while the number of deaths remains four. The people under surveillance in Lagos is now 189, while six are in Enugu, in southeast Nigeria,” Professor Chukwu said.

The minister also announced that the drug, Nano Silva, which was thought could be used to treat Ebola patients in Nigeria, was said not to have met the requirements of the National Health Research ethics code.

His statement is coming two days after the death of a fourth Ebola patient was reported.

In an effort to contain the spread of the virus, the Lagos State government had provided an isolation unit to accommodate persons who tested positive to the virus.

At a press conference in Abuja on Thursday Professor Chukwu, said eight persons were still alive, more than half of them are doing very well and actually showing signs of recovery … under treatment,” Prof Chukwu said.

The discharged patient is believed to be among those he earlier said were recovering.

The World Health Organization has called this Ebola outbreak, whose worst affected countries include Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, an international emergency. It has killed around 55 to 60 per cent of those who have contracted the disease.

President Goodluck Jonathan last week declared the Ebola outbreak in Lagos State a national emergency and approved an intervention fund of 1.9 billion Naira to contain the disease.



Ebola: Catholic Diocese Bars Corpses In Churches

ebola_virusThe Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, in Benue State, has barred members from taking corpses of late relations to churches for funeral Mass.

As a measure to check the spread of Ebola virus.

The diocese directed that corpses of deceased members should be given immediate burial.

It, however, said that it would allow corpses to be brought to the churches in the area only when death certificates issued by relevant medical authorities were produced.

This is contained in a statement by the Director of Communications in the Diocese, Reverend Father Moses Iorapuu, in Makurdi on Saturday.

The statement, which was issued on behalf of the Bishop of the Diocese, Very Reverend Athanissius Usu, also announced changes in two aspects of activities during mass, including the mode of administering the Holy Communion.

According to the statement, parishioners will henceforth be served the Eucharistic feast on their hands as against the practice of putting it on their tongue by the priest.

Also, it said, the exchange of the sign of peace, involving handshakes has been replaced with other suitable gestures to avoid the possibilities of contracting the Ebola virus.

The Diocese advised priests, who conduct pastoral visitation to hospitals to be cautious and seek doctor’s permission before touching sick people with undisclosed illnesses.

It also announced the prohibition of group prayer sessions that involved touching and praying over unknown sicknesses.

According to the statement, the measures, which are in accordance with the Federal Government’s directive on ways to prevent the spread of Ebola virus, are aimed at safeguarding the health of members.

” We hope that with these preventive pastoral and standard procedures and with prayers and steadfastness in responsible behaviours, the Lord will keep this virus away from us.

“We also encourage personal hygiene, washing of hands regularly, clean environment and eating habits.

“We urge you not to ignore government’s advice and other official statements on how to prevent the outbreak of Ebola virus,”  the statement further read.

Ebola Movement Restriction, A constitutional Issue

Ebola_VictimThe Ebola Virus Disease has been in Nigeria for over four weeks and the Federal Government and health officials have been working hard to ensure it does not become an epidemic, all this happening in a period that medical doctors in Nigeria are on strike.

On Friday, August 22, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, announced two fresh cases of the Ebola virus bringing the known cases up to 14 with five deaths, five in recovery, four in isolation and over 200 under surveillance.

Last week, a woman under surveillance travelled to the eastern part of Nigeria causing panic on a possible inter-state spread and also bringing to question the efforts of government to efficiently manage the surveillance cases and contain the spread of the disease in Nigeria.

As much as the government is trying to contain the spread of the virus, depriving Nigerians movement from one part of the country to another and other border controls are issues that may be considered unconstitutional, as it is against a citizen’s right of movement.

Channels Television had a chat with a lawmaker on the constitutional implications of these restrictions on health grounds and the issues surrounding Ebola and health in Nigeria.

Simple Basic Hygiene Will Curtail Ebola Virus – Dr. Oguntimehin

Dr. OguntimehinA Permanent Secretary in the Primary Healthcare board, Lagos, Dr. Oluwakayode Oguntimehin, has advised Nigerians to imbibe the habit of maintaining simple basic hygiene  as it is the key to curtail the threat posed by the deadly Ebola virus.

Dr. Oguntimehin, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday, insisted that doing those simple basic hygienic things such as washing of the hands regularly could actually stop the outbreak of the virus.

He further revealed that for the timely intervention as well as the professionalism of First Consultants, who were knowledgeable to identify the problem and inform the appropriate authorities of what to do, there would have been a big problem of the containing the virus in Lagos.

Dr. Oguntimehin said the Lagos State government has been meeting regularly with the officials of the Federal government since the incident started.

”There are regular meetings every day about what to do on containing the virus and we have five different groups doing different things such as information, epidemiology, case management,  burial teams that we train and people who take care of the waste.

In his opinion, Nigeria is lucky as the victim doesn’t live in Nigeria and there has been no indigenous case since the incident due to the minimal level of contact because the affected person fell ill at the airport

He assured the public that the authorities have traced and are monitoring the few who had contact with the affected person.

Dr. Oguntimehin further said that the authorities are monitoring those who were on the same flight with him and so far, none of them are affected.

Despite knowing that the virus has an incubation period of 2 to 21 days, and the critical period is usually 8 to 10 days after contact, Dr Oguntimehin said if the person does not fall ill, the virus cannot be given to another person

He explains further, ”Normally, it starts with normal symptoms such as malaria or fever as any other  infectious disease and it takes two to three days after the fever starts that you start shedding the virus in your body fluids which makes you acutely ill. So people should not panic”

He said the fever, which is a high one is such that you cannot really move about and the virus build up themselves to a certain number before shedding in a body fluids and this takes about 2 to 3 days.

Thus, it is unlikely to be transmitted, at least till the fourth day as it is the contact with body fluids that makes one get the virus.

”The virus cannot be detected before the critical stage”

He urged people to make use of simple basic hygiene, which includes but not limited to washing hand regularly with soap, as this will stop one from getting the virus. He further, advised anyone who has fever or come in contact with any suspicious disease to go to any health facility for precautionary measures.

Dr Oguntimehin said the virus is deadly but its weakness is in its deadliness because it tends to burn itself out.

On the source of the virus, which is widely  suggested that is probably from animals human eat, Dr. Oguntimehin said nobody is sure what the natural host is.

”It is the preparation of that dead animal to consumable instance that you may get the transmission”

He then advised people to eat a well cooked meat to avoid being in danger of the virus.

On the sensitization, he reiterated that as much as it is important to enlighten people about the virus, there is no indigenous case and it is not right to cause panic.

He, however, said the authorities are taking steps to involve people in the regular meetings that are been held where they share information about what is been done in Lagos.

Dr Oguntimehin said they have taken steps in monitoring the different routes to and fro Nigeria and reports are gotten regularly from the borders and so far there has been no report of any suspicious case.

”The Federal Government has alerted all border posts in the country to try and make sure that there is certain degree of caution for people coming in’’

He said the Lagos State government has distributed many thermometers as they can and an infrared themo scan which can detect a high temperature when people walk through it.

Dr. Oguntimehin said the medical association strike is not necessarily affecting the containment of the virus as people don’t need to take cases with the Ebola virus to a normal hospital but to the isolation unit which is prepared by the authorities.

Ebola Death Toll Hits 208 In Guinea

ebola-outbreak-in-uganda_57500_600x450The World Health Organization says some 208 people have now died from the Ebola virus in Guinea after a deadly spike in recent days.

As at Thursday, at least 21 people died and 37 new cases of suspected Ebola were found between May 29 and June the 1st, bringing the total number of cases in the west African country to 328.

Of these, 193 have been confirmed by laboratory tests.

More than half of the new deaths were in the southern Guekedou region, where the outbreak is centred.

Three confirmed and 10 suspected new cases were recorded in neighbouring Sierra Leone over the same period.

Six people are believed to have died there, as well as 10 in Liberia.

Medical charities say one reason for the increase is that some people are refusing to go to hospital for treatment, preferring to seek help from traditional healers.

There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola – one of the world’s deadliest viruses.