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Fani-Kayode has heart-related ailment, lawyer tells court

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Femi Fani Kayode

The trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, for an alleged fraud of N4.9bn was stalled on Wednesday due to his absence from the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Counsel for the ex-minister, Mr. Norrison Quakers (SAN), told the court that his client was unable to make it to court as he was suffering from a heart-related ailment.

Asked by the presiding judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, for Fani-Kayode’s whereabouts, Quakers responded, “I was going to inform My Lord that the second defendant (Fani-Kayode) is indisposed. I got a call from his wife who said he was complaining of a heart-related pain.”

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While praying the court to grant him an adjournment, the lawyer promised to furnish the court with a medical report to back Fani-Kayode’s claim of ill health.

He added, “The second defendant is unavoidably absent as a result of a health challenge, which information was related to me by the wife. I’ve requested for a medical report.

“If I get the report, I’ll furnish the court with it. I apply that tomorrow’s (Thursday) date be vacated so that we can have a date for continuation of trial.”

The adjournment prayer was not opposed by the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo.

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But the prosecutor urged the judge to observe the provision of Section 396(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, which stipulated that no party, in a criminal case, could have more than five adjournments.

Oyedepo noted that already, the case had been adjourned twice at Fani-Kayode’s instance.

After hearing the parties out, Justice Aikawa adjourned the case till February 28 and March 1 and 2, 2018.

The EFCC arraigned Fani-Kayode on 17 counts of money laundering alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, who was listed as the first defendant in the charge.

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Usman had sometime last year told the judge that she was suffering from breast cancer and had taken court’s permission, on some occasion, to travel abroad for treatment.

The third and fourth defendants in the case are one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited.

The charges border on alleged conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

But the defendants pleaded not guilty.

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Lagos to recruit 2,000 teachers

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The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to employ no fewer than 2,000 more teachers in its public primary schools.

Speaking on behalf of the state government, the state Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo during an online show, Covinspiration show, moderated by a United Nations (UN) Youth Ambassador, Dayo Isreal, while giving scorecard of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration within the 360 days, said the move to employ more teachers was aimed at the standard of public primary school education in the state.

She lamented that the pandemic has held the ministry of education back in the completion of its plans for the sector.

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According to Adefisayo:

“The administration after assumption of office decided to address the challenges in education aggressively in 2020 but the pandemic which country’s index case happened in Lagos has halted various plans for education in the state.”

She stressed that administration went back to the drawing as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari lifted the lockdown earlier imposed on Lagos and other states so as to fast track completion of 2020 plans which includes recruitment of teachers.

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Adefisayo said,

‘The most important aspect of learning is the quality of teachers and we did not have enough teachers to actualize the set plan for learning in our public schools.

“And one of the earliest things we requested for and was granted by the governor was the recruitment of teachers.

“We have concluded the recruitment of 1,000 secondary school teachers. And we are currently working on the recruitment of 2,000 teachers for public primary schools.

“And we are looking at employing teachers every quarter because the rate of retirement of teachers is very high in Lagos.

“The administration has granted the ministry permission to replace retired teachers.

“Aside from recruitment, we have sent a lot on the training of current teachers to improve their teaching skills in classrooms. And this COVID-19 period was the time when we were able to do a lot of things in the education sector of Lagos state,” she added.

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COVID-19: Confirmed cases in Africa rise over 115,000

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday reported that coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Africa as at May 26, had risen to over 115, 000.

The WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, gave the update on its official twitter handle @WHOAFRO.

“There are over 115,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent – with more than 46,000 recoveries and 3,400 deaths,” it said.

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The figures showed that South Africa, Algeria and Nigeria had the highest reported cases in Africa.

According to the report, South Africa had 23,615 cases and 418 deaths followed by Algeria with 8,503 cases and 609 deaths, while Nigeria had 8,068 confirmed cases and 233 deaths.

It stated that Ghana had 6,808 reported cases and 32 deaths, while Cameroon recorded 4, 890 confirmed cases and 165 deaths.

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The report said Lesotho, Seychelles and Namibia were countries currently with the lowest confirmed cases in the region.

It said Lesotho had only two confirmed cases with zero death; Seychelles had 11 reported cases and zero death, while Namibia recorded 21 confirmed cases with no death.

Meanwhile, as at May 25, the novel coronavirus had infected more than 5.4 million people and killed over 344,000 worldwide, according to John Hopkins University.

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(NAN)

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COVID-19: NANNM orders JUTH nurses to stay at home over negligence

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JUTH dismiss 25 doctors amid Covid-19 pandemi

The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) chapter, has ordered its members working at the hospital’s isolation centre to sit at home over alleged negligence of their welfare and lack of safety.

Chairman of the chapter, Mrs. Mercy Lenka, told newsmen yesterday during a protest action in Jos that the order was necessary as members were risking their lives working under difficult and stringent conditions at the centre.

Lenka said that the nurses were risking their lives and those of their family members through their mode of interaction with the COVID-19 patients at the centre.

She stressed that the standard practice in other parts of Nigeria and the world was for special accommodation to be provided for the nurses and not living with their families while caring for patients.

She also bemoaned the lack of a special room created for suspected cases at the hospital, saying that only a screen demarcated with clothing material was available for the suspected cases at the casualty unit.

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The NANNM chairman decried the lack of incentives, insurance and hazard allowances for the nurses at the isolation centre, saying that despite the incidences at the hospital, the state government had not taken any action.

“Our members and other patients are at risk of getting infected with the disease at the unit.

“Particularly, we are taking this action because a patient was managed in the ward and it turned out that he became a suspected patient and the result turned out to be positive.

“All the people who nursed this patient were tested because of the exposure and then a nurse working at the centre tested positive.

“We raised an eyebrow when we saw the temporary arrangement made by the hospital for suspected cases, which was just a cloth demarcation at the casualty unit.

“We also called the attention of the infectious unit of the hospital, but they said the patients will not be kept for up to two hours there for their samples to be taken.

“It will interest you to know that a patient has been there since Friday, while a patient was brought last night presenting classical symptoms of COVID-19, yet his samples are yet to be taken.

“This is a risk to other patients at that unit and the nurses there who do not have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),” she alleged.

The union leader said that nurses at the centre would only return to duty if they were provided with accommodation, incentives and hazard allowances.

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She threatened that failure to provide a special room for suspected cases awaiting results may warrant a total strike of nurses in the hospital.

“Nurses at the centre must be tested before they resume as some may be positive and still going back to put their families at risk, which is in irony of our advocacy against community transmission.

“Even if the Federal Government has not implemented the hazard provisions, the state task force should handle this matter,” Lenka said.

She alleged that nurses in some isolation centres in the state had been given accommodation and wondered why it was not so for those in JUTH.

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The NANNM chairman assured that if their requests were granted, the nurses would resume work immediately at the centre.

In his reaction, the Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nimkong Lar, said he was unaware of the development, but would get details from the Chief Medical Officer of JUTH.

“We will try to look into their grievances and correct them in the interest of all and sundry,” Lar assured. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Plateau government had on May 21 announced that three health officials tested positive to COVID-19.

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