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Kaduna Court fixes April 23 for El-Zakzaky trial


El-Zakzaky Kaduna court

The Kaduna State High Court presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada, on Monday, fixed April 23 and 24th, 2020 for the trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and wife, Zeenat.

The Shi’ites leader and his wife put a personal appearance before the court at the resumed hearing on Monday.

El-Zakzaky’s wife was spotted being wheeled into the Kaduna Correctional Centre shortly after the adjournment of the case around 12:51 pm.

The adjournment was to enable the defendants to be medically fit to take a plea.

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The court was earlier informed by one of the Counsels for defendants, Marshal Abubakar, that the couple were declined medical attention in the prison custody.

The development prompted the judge to summon the Controller of the Kaduna Correctional Centre to appear before it and stood down court proceedings for more than 2 hours.

Abubakar had earlier told the court that Zeenat was refused access to her personal physician contrary to the order of the court.

Meanwhile, the trial was held under tight security as all roads leading to the court along Independence way; Ibrahim Taiwo Road, as well as Bids Road within the metropolis, were barricaded by security operatives.

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Recall that the IMN leader and his wife Zeenat, were standing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace, among other charges, in another court, following the Nigerian Army and the Shi’ites clash in December 2015.

The High Court had in December 5, 2019 order the Department of State Services to transfer the Shi’ite leader and his wife, to the Nigerian Correctional Centre in Kaduna and to allow his lawyers access to him(El-Zakzaky).

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The Presiding Judge order was a sequel to the application by one of the defendant’s lawyers, Haruna Magashi in December 5, 2019, at the resumed hearing in Kaduna. This was eight months after the last hearing in March 24, 2019.

Justice Kurada had also in March 24 adjourned the trial of the IMN leader indefinitely to enable him serve on the panel of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal, in Yobe state.






Swine fever virus kills pigs worth N7 bn in Lagos farm-AFAN



The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Lagos State Chapter, says swine fever virus has killed pigs worth about N7 billion in the Oke-Aro piggery farm during the COVID-19 lockdown in the state.

Dr. Femi Oke, AFAN’s Chairman told the Newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday, that the farm was stricken by the swine fever before the COVID-19 lockdown.

African swine fever virus is a large, double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family. The virus causes hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs.

Some isolates can cause the death of animals as quickly as a week after infection.

African swine fever is the biggest threat to commercial pig production the industry had ever seen, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Oke said due to the restriction of movement by both the Federal and State governments, many of the affected farmers were unable to visit the farm to attend to the animals which resulted in the death of the animals.

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He said some of the affected farmers were now dead, while others were bedridden due to the huge loss in their business and source of livelihood.

He said very few were now struggling to revive the farm which was now in ruins.

According to Oke, about two months before the lockdown, our farmers in Oke-Aro discovered that there was an outbreak of swine fever on the farm.

“They tried to contain it and treat the animals but because of the inability of our people to go to the farm during the lockdown, they were not able to treat the animals very well.

“The situation resulted in the death of many of the pigs on the farm and the loss is very huge investments.

“It is a very huge loss to the sector and some affected farmers died of shock.

“Oke-Aro market is one of the largest piggery markets in the country.

“Many of the affected farmers borrowed money from the banks and have not been able to pay back since the incident occurred.

“We have lost some of our farmers due to the incident, some are in the hospital as we speak and some are still battling with the losses,” Oke lamented.

The AFAN’s chairman said the Swine fever virus was a major killer of pigs any outbreak and almost all the pigs would be dead.

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Oke described the piggery value chain as very huge, with Nigeria having the biggest producer in West Africa.

“The Oke-Aro piggery farm is in ruins. Our farmers are in pain because they have lost all their live investments,” he said.

“The piggery farm sits on about 10,000 acres of arable agricultural farmland with about 10,000 active members.

“Members breed top quality pigs for local and export consumption.

“We are still trying to relate the situation to the Federal and State government, the Lagos state government is aware and have been to the farm, as I was reliably informed,” he said.

Oke appealed to the federal and state governments to assist the farmers in order to revive the sector as the country battled to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to reach out to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development through AFAN, to see what the federal government can do in terms of grants and compensation for the affected farmers.

“We are looking at compensation from the government despite the fact that some have died and others are still battling to revive the farm.

“The loss is very huge and it will have a huge effect on the piggery value chain and the farmers for a long time,” he said.

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BREAKING: It is safer to worship at home- FG



BREAKING: It is safer to worship at home – FG

The Federal Government has said it is safer to worship at home.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, stated this on Tuesday during a briefing in Abuja.

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He said, “There is no doubt that COVID-19 is still around. There is no doubt that it is safer to stay at home and there is no doubt that it safer for you to worship at home.”


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Details later…

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COVID-19: Lagos working to protect pupils when FG reopens schools – Education Commissioner



The Lagos State Government has begun work on putting measures to protect pupils when the Federal Government reopen school nationwide.

WuzupNigeria reports that the President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari [retd], had announced the closure of schools to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at the annual ministerial press briefing of the state Ministry of Education on Tuesday, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo, said although it was the FG that would decide when the schools, the state was putting in place measures to protect the pupils when the schools reopen.

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She said,

“It is the Federal Government that will open the schools as they were the ones that closed the schools. Recall that the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 on Monday said schools remain closed.

“I can’t give you a date when schools will resume in Lagos, but we are working with development partners, ministries of Education across the country to come up with series of protocols on how we will be able to manage when we open schools.

“So, we are working behind the scene, we have a paper on the protocols and we will start to share as the paper is finally approved in a few days.

“There must be protocols that will address schools with large gatherings.

“There are many things we are thinking of, we are thinking about pupils not coming to school every day so that we will be able to spread the children across the whole school.

“Pupils don’t have to be in their class to learn, they can learn in a room with tables and chairs.”

Adefisayo added that a total of 3000 primary and secondary school teachers were recently absorbed into the teaching workforce of the Lagos State in a bid to boost the capacity of the existing workforce thereby providing quality education.

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The Commissioner also pointed out that the Ministry had embarked on the construction and upgrading of Public Schools’ infrastructure across the state with the completion of six blocks of 92 classrooms in primary schools and three blocks of 54 classrooms in secondary schools in the state.

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