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Covid-19: Inmates at Kaduna Prison attempt jailbreak

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Inmates in Kaduna Prison have attempted a jailbreak after a riot broke out over the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The inmates, who fear that they could contract the deadly virus going by the poor ventilation and lack of protective items in the facility, mobilised in large numbers on Tuesday morning in an attempt to break free from the correctional centre.

Security personnel fired several gunshots around the facility to scare the inmates and bring the situation under control.

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One person is currently feared to have been killed during the chaos while several prison officials, who sustained injuries have been rushed to a teaching hospital in the city for urgent medical attention.

An official of the facility, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Tuesday, said several sections of the facility were vandalised by the irate inmates.

“There was an attempted jailbreak and riot in the yard. Staff were injured and cells broken but security agencies in collaboration with armed squad officers are trying to restore normalcy,” the official said.

Recall that some prominent citizens had called on the Nigerian Government to decongest prisons by releasing minor offenders in a bid to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

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It was gathered that since inmates got a hold of the information, they had been making attempts to force their ways out since government was yet to respond to that call.

“We warned both federal and state governments last week to quickly decongest the prisons by releasing minor offenders and death-row inmates who have been in custody for over 10 years and those 60 years of age and above.

“Honourable Minister of Interior got the message and joined in the call but till now, nothing has been done.

“Eventually, jails will break and dangerous criminals will be out on the streets seeking means of survival,” a source familiar with prison operations in Nigeria said.

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Two policemen indicted over killing of 17-year-old girl in Lagos

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The Lagos State police command has commenced disciplinary action against two policemen indicted for the killing of one Tina Ezekwe, 17, at the Iyana- Oworo a part of the state.

Ezekwe was last week shot dead by police officers on pindown point at the Iyana- Oworo area and afterwards, the state Commissioner of Police Mr Hakeem Odumosu ordered an in-depth investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Ezekwe.

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The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) DSP Bala Elkana said:

“Investigations so far, revealed that the conduct of the two police officers: ASP Theophilus Otobo and Inspector Oguntoba Olamigoke linked with the incident, fell short of professional standard of the force.

“In view of the above, the command has commenced forthwith, internal disciplinary proceedings against the two officers. While the ASP has been served an official query in line with the provisions of the Public Service Rules, Inspector Oguntoba Olamigoke is undergoing an Orderly-Room trial (in-house ‘court’ trial) at the State Command Provost Office. The ASP will be appearing before the Force Disciplinary Board sitting in Abuja and their recommended punishments will be forwarded to the Police Service Commission for approval.

“Meanwhile, the CP has assured that as soon as the internal disciplinary proceedings have been duly exhausted and culpability of the indicted officers established, they will be arraigned in a court of competent jurisdiction.”

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COVID-19: FG bans street trading, hawking

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), had approved the relaxation of restriction placed on churches and mosques starting from Tuesday.

The Chairman of the task force and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, who disclosed this at the PTF press briefing in Abuja, said the reopening of churches and mosques would be based on guidelines issued by the task force and protocols agreed on by states.

But the Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, noted that while markets would be opened and artisans could run their business, street hawking was prohibited.

He said,

In terms of general movements, persons may go out for work, go out to buy necessary foods and for exercise, provided they abide by the curfew hours. Movement between local government areas is strongly discouraged unless for critical reasons such as health care and work.

“I will like to emphasise that it is still safer to stay at home and avoid crowds. The pandemic is not over in this country and the relaxation of some of the rules does not mean that it is safer to go out. If you do not need to go out, please continue to stay at home.

“Hawking and street trading is also prohibited and we will be looking into this in greater detail with state authorities.”

“With interstate travels, movement across state boundaries remains restricted other than the free movement of goods and essential travels. Security services are requested to please cooperate with members of the public and ensure that goods are provided with free passage, as this particular phase is directed at ensuring the economy starts moving again.

“With intrastate travel, we will implement new travel processes for areas of the country with high-burden local government areas, and this will be restricted to essential travels.”

The task force coordinator listed the new guidelines for reopening of offices in the public and private sectors.

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He said,

“For the industry and labour sectors, in terms of working hours, normal working hours will apply to offices other than government offices, provided this is kept within (outside) the curfew hours of 10pm to 4am. Offices are to maintain working at 75 per cent capacity while maintaining the two-metre physical distancing.

“For government offices, they can open between the hours of 9am and 2pm. So, no changes in opening hours but can work from Monday to Friday. Prior to this, we allowed three working days. However, all persons within the Grade Levels of 14 and above at both the federal and state governments will be allowed to come to work.”

 

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COVID-19: South African-based firm donates palliatives to vulnerable in FCTA

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A South African Real Estate Investment Company based in Nigeria, Novare, has donated palliatives to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to help vulnerable communities cushion the effect of COVID-19.

Head of Legal of the company, Mr. Chineme Onuoma, while presenting the items on Monday in Abuja, assured that the company would continue to support the FCT and Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

According to reports the items donated included 100 bags of 50kg rice, 245 cartons of indomie noddle, 100 cartons of spaghetti, 100 cartons of vegetable oil, and 75 cartons of tomato paste.

He commended the steps taken by the administration to manage the pandemic in the territory.

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Onuoma revealed that aside from the provisions of palliatives to underserved communities, Novare had approved four months rent-free period, beginning from April 2020 to July 2020 with the intention to extend if necessary for its tenants.

“Particularly those tenants providing non-essential services as described by the Federal Government.

“Each of Novare’s mall accommodates over 60 tenants, having Shoprite and Game as its anchor tenant, with over 600 direct employees and well over 2, 000 indirect employees in each mall, including suppliers of the different goods and products sold by the tenants at the mall.

“To ensure that jobs and livelihoods are protected, starting from those closest to it, Novare, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, has so far approved four months rent-free period, beginning from April 2020 to July 2020.

“The rent-free concession granted to tenants has helped to keep their various businesses afloat, thus alleviating the financial burden on these tenants.

“This financial assistance enables the tenants to channel the income they generate to payment of staff salaries and sustaining their respective supply chains.

“This effectively reduces unemployment, which would have been the consequence if tenants were unable to survive this period,” Onuoma said.

He also stated that the firm had expressed commitment to observe all laid down protocols by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on the prevention of the spread of the virus particularly within its facilities, and to educate and sensitize the public in line with government directives.

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Receiving the items, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, commended the thoughtfulness of the firm especially in supporting the vulnerable with palliative items.

Represented by Prof. Muhammad Usman, her senior Special Assistant on Administration, Aliyu also appreciated the company for putting measures in place to ensure job sustainability.

The minister, who stressed the need for collaboration in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, assured that the items would be distributed to underserved communities.

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