The Kaduna State Government has arraigned two Islamic clerics before a Chief Magistrate court sitting in the state capital for defying the ban on large gathering and not complying with the 24-hour curfew imposed across the state.
The two Imam’s and their followers were arrested last week Friday while they were holding congregational service with their members contrary to the existing directive on social distancing in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
They were however arraigned on Monday before a Kaduna State Chief Magistrate Court on two counts of criminal conspiracy and disobedience to lawful order as enshrined in sections 59 and 115 of the penal code of Kaduna State.
Due to their unknown status of whether positive or negative to COVID-19, the Chief Magistrate, Ibrahim Musa granted the defendants bail in the sum of N1million each and two sureties in like sum.
He also ruled that the sureties must be related to the defendants, must show evidence of being residents of Kaduna State and also show proof of ownership of land titles.
The court, however, adjourned the case to April 21 and 29 for hearing and ordered that the defendants will remain the custody of the police pending when they fulfill their bail conditions.
The decision to impose curfew according to her is due to the Unsatisfactory compliance level to the ban on the commercial tricycle and motorcycle operators and restriction on large gatherings by large section the residents.
She lists those excluded from the curfew to include health workers and other emergency officials.
The Kaduna State government has said that the three suspected cases of coronavirus have tested negative for the virus.
Giving an update at a news conference on Tuesday, the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Amina Mohammed-Baloni, said the three suspected cases upon their return into the country isolated themselves for 14 days.
According to her, the Ministry of Health processed their blood samples of the three people who returned from the UK and Egypt, and the results came out negative.
She also disclosed that a 24-hour call centre is being put in place to avail information to the populace, in addition to the existing emergency lines.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) chapter in Kaduna state has directed its members to suspend all church activities involving large gathering for the meantime in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The state chairman, Reverend Joseph Hayab, who gave the advice in a statement, called on churches to shorten the duration of services by holding brief services, unless necessary.
He advocated on the need to enlighten church members about the virus and some of the preventive measures they should adopt in order not to contract the disease.
He asked all churches to provide hand sanitizers at the entrance of the church so that those coming for service will apply before going into the church.
According to Rev. Hayab, CAN will be happy to have health workers to come to Church premises with genuine equipment to test worshippers, while also asking them to minimise handshakes and hugs to help fight the spread of the virus”.
While CAN says it believes in the efficacy of prayers, it also notes that it will not be proper for a pastor to tell his members to come for prayers and special anointing only without doing what is needful such as the washing of hands regularly, keeping required distance to avoid contacts that may lead to being infected by the virus.
“The challenge of coronavirus is now a global epidemic and many countries in diverse continents have recorded cases of the virus.
“The church in Nigeria, therefore, should not be ignorant of this global pandemic. The church, as a school of faith, which is known for having large gatherings for church services, wedding, burial, prayer meetings, crusades and revival services must endeavour to join forces with government and health workers to stop the spread of this virus.
“Our role must not just be to pray but we must be seen taking concrete steps for the well being of our flocks and the country at large.
“Accordingly, CAN Kaduna State, therefore, wishes to appeal to all Pastors and Church leaders to read through official guidelines and information about the virus, then tell their members.
“On the spread of the virus, social media platforms have so many unverified information that can be misleading, hence, let us make use of information available from the Ministry of Health and other recognized government agencies”.
The statement further assured that CAN will work with the government and their health agencies to educate and mobilize Nigerians in fighting the virus, believing that with the right information and proper guidance from all leaders and stakeholders, they can reduce the spread of this virus.
The religious body also called on the President not to allow anyone to play politics with this serious challenge but to assemble qualified experts to develop simple messages for transmission and distribution at places of worship, motor parks, airports, schools and in every gathering.
The Nigerian Air Force says its airstrikes have killed several armed bandits at Walawa, Yadi and Kuduru hills in Kaduna State.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, some of their logistics supplies were destroyed in the process.
This follows a special operation conducted in coordination with the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to smoke out the bandits.
Daramola explained that the operation was carried out “after credible intelligence reports and days of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions revealed that the bandits, after driving away from the original inhabitants of the area, had continued to operate from the locations with impunity.”
“The NAF detailed its attack aircraft to conduct series of air raids at the bandits’ camps resulting in the destruction of some of the logistics facilities and structures housing the armed bandits as well as the neutralization of several of them.
“The airstrikes also paved the way for ground forces to conduct mop-up operations, supported by NAF combat helicopters.
“In all, no fewer than 5 commanders of Ansaru and a dozen armed bandits were neutralized in the operation,” the statement read in part.
Daramola also reiterated the commitment of the Air Force to flush the armed bandits out of the Northwest region.
Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted four people including a one and half-year-old baby along the Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Highway in Kaduna state.
The three other victims who are students were said to be returning from Kaduna to Birnin Gwari after writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination organized last Saturday by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board(JAMB) when they were kidnapped by the bandits.
The Kaduna State Police Command spokesman, ASP Muhammad Jalige, while confirming the incident to Channels Television, disclose that the bandits also killed the driver of a former member of the House of Representatives on the spot.
He, however, said that a combined team of mobile policemen and anti-kidnapping squad of the command have been deployed to Birnin Gwari to help in rescuing the kidnapped victims and also apprehending the bandits
The deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has gotten another appointment from the Kaduna State government.
In a statement from Sir Kashim Ibrahim House on Wednesday, the government named Sanusi as the Chancellor of the Kaduna State University (KASU).
According to the statement signed by the governor’s media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye, the former Emir succeeds the pioneer Chancellor of the university and the Chief of Moro’a, Tagwai Sambo, who was appointed to the role in 2005.
“On behalf of the government and people of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai is delighted to appoint His Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi II as the Chancellor of the Kaduna State University. In public life, His Highness has demonstrated a strong commitment to education.
“The Kaduna State Government has no doubt that as Chancellor, His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi, would provide symbolic and substantive leadership in raising the profile of KASU as an emerging centre of learning on the national and global level.”
Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have killed a retired soldier and abducted four others from their homes at Mahuta area of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state.
The spokesman of Kaduna state Police Command, ASP Muhammad Jalige told Channels Television that he is yet to get the number of victims and casualties from the attack.
However, an eyewitness confirmed that one of the victims kidnapped is a pregnant woman.
The attackers were said to have invaded Mahuta community on Tuesday started shooting sporadically to create panic and in the process killed a retired soldier right inside his house, and thereafter, whisked four other people including a pregnant woman away.
Also in neighboring state Zamfara, no fewer than 10 persons including four women and six men were also kidnapped yesterday by bandits at Kawaye village in Anka Local Government Area of the State.
While the police authorities say they are still gathering information about the incident, a member of a local vigilante group in the area said that the bandits came in large numbers and started shooting in different directions, thereby forcing residents to flee into nearby bushes.
In the ensuing confusion, the gunmen later took away 10 members of the community to an unknown destination, while those that fled their homes are yet to return for fear of being killed or kidnapped.
The IGP’s meeting with top police commanders follows Sunday’s attack by bandits in five villages in Giwa and Igabi local government areas of Kaduna state by where no fewer than 51 people were killed and several others injured.
Channels Television reported that during a visit to some of the affected villages, Governor Nasir El-Rufai vowed to wipe out bandits in Kaduna state.
He insisted that his administration will not succumb to granting the bandits amnesty.
Governor El-Rufai apologised to the villagers on behalf of his government for failing to protect them, while assuring them that troops of the Nigerian military will be stationed in the villages to provide adequate security.