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Obasa threatens Sowore with N1bn defamation lawsuit

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Obasa threatens Sowore with N1bn defamation lawsuit

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa has threatened Omoyele Sowore over an alleged defamatory report.

Obasa, through his lawyer, Lawal Pedro, has written a pre-litigation letter to Sowore, the publisher of online news medium, SaharaReporters, over an alleged defamatory report.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in his April 30 letter, claimed that SaharaReporters maligned his client through a publication titled, ‘Exposed: Speaker of Lagos Assembly, Obasa, awards contracts to self through a company registered in son’s name.’

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Pedro described as absurd, abusive and malicious the claims that Obasa awarded contracts to himself through companies registered in the names of his father, wife and children.

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He contended that none of the firms mentioned by the publication had ever been engaged or awarded any contract by the lawmaker.

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He demanded that Sowore retracted the story within seven days and apologise or face N1bn defamation lawsuit.

The letter, titled, ‘Demand for retraction of defamatory statements published against and concerning the person of Rt. Hon, Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa and apology for the publication, read in part, “Upon our discreet inquiry, we were able to confirm that the House of Assembly has never at any time engaged or awarded any contract to any of the listed companies in the publication.

“Therefore, we find the publication utterly absurd, abusive, malicious and amount to irresponsible journalism to deliberately tarnish the image of the Rt. Honourable Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.”

Pedro said although the lawmaker had already denied the report on social media platforms, the online medium repeated the claims elsewhere.

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JUST IN: Abia gov recovers from COVID-19

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Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has recovered from coronavirus, said the state government in a statement on Saturday.

The state’s Commissioner for Information, John Kalu, said the governor’s samples submitted on Thursday returned negative on Friday.

He wrote,

“To the glory of God, repeat COVID-19 test conducted by Nigeria Center for Disease Control on samples submitted by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Thursday, 2nd July 2020, returned negative result on Friday, 3rd July, 2020.

“Governor Ikpeazu is therefore deemed free of the virus according to the extant guidelines of NCDC and the World Health Organisation.”

Recall that Ikpeazu tested positive for coronavirus and had immediately gone into isolation.

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According to the NCDC on Friday night, Abia has recorded 382 infections including 207 recoveries and three associated deaths.

 

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COVID-19: Demand for oxygen by patients has increased- Lagos commissioner

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, has said that there is an increase in the demand for oxygen by COVID-19 patients.

As a result of this, he said the state government has intensified efforts to make oxygen available across the local government areas in the state.

Abayomi stated this on Friday at a Zoom webinar by the Lagos Civil Society against COVID-19. The webinar was themed, ‘COVID-19 Home/Community Based Care in Lagos: Issues and Opportunities.’

It was moderated by the Chairman, International Institute of Risk and Society Management Nigeria, Dr Eugene Itua.

Speaking during the session, Abayomi stated,

“We noticed that there is a slight increase in the demand for oxygen. Patients are coming in with breathlessness and sometimes they present (themselves) to other hospitals in need of oxygen.

“So, we are trying to make oxygen available across the local government areas so patients can get oxygen treatment to be stabilised. Once they are stable, they can now be moved into isolation centres and get more medical treatment and hopefully, we can rescue them from getting into a more critical stage where we may now need to consider ventilating.

“We’d rather not ventilate. There are about five levels of oxygen therapy before we get to the ventilation stage and if we can use those levels and avoid ventilating patients, we’ll rather go down that route. But that depends on getting the patient early enough.”

Abayomi said it was important for people in communities to go for testing early if they noticed COVID-19 symptoms so their conditions wouldn’t escalate to the critical stage.

“If they are feeling unwell, they should not automatically think it is malaria or typhoid or anything else. If they are feeling unwell and there is a fever, body pains, cough and signs of breathlessness or exhaustion, then it’s important to get tested for COVID-19 and assess their respiratory function so they can be admitted to an isolation centre early enough to prevent getting into a severe or critical state,” he said.

Furthermore, Abayomi said the state was now testing about 1,000 people a day and hoped to attain 4,000 tests per day.

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Due to the increasing number of patients (10,823 cases as of Thursday, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control), the health commissioner said the state would soon exceed its isolation capacity, hence the adoption of home-based care.

He said,

“This (home care) is not new. It is recommended by the World Health Organisation. Home isolation is a normal progression of an outbreak and we have reached that stage in Lagos.

“For the patients receiving home care, we will send them a package which contains the basic items we give patients at the isolation centres. The kit includes a mask, hand sanitiser, thermometer and some drugs. So, we are evolving into home-based care and we’ll be reserving our centres for more complicated cases.”

Meanwhile, the webinar’s moderator and IIRSMN Chairman, Itua, said civil society organisations had a major role to play regarding home-based care for COVID-19 patients. He said they must support the various stakeholders and communities on how to manage the pandemic.

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Covid-19: Ortom’s wife, son, aides test positive

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Covid-19: Ortom’s wife, son, aides test positive

The wife of the Governor of Benue State, Mrs Eunice Ortom, her son, and some of her aides have tested positive for Covid-19.

Mrs Ortom disclosed this in a statement she personally signed around 11:30 pm on Friday.

“Few moments ago this evening, I received my result from the tests earlier carried out on me by NCDC personnel on routine screening at Government House, Makurdi which returned that I and my son, and some staff are Covid-19 positive.

“We have from this moment, gone into total isolation as required by the protocols and would immediately begin the management treatment as advised by medical experts.

“While I have taken the responsibility to personally call everyone I can recall to have had recent contact with to go for testing, I advise anyone who has had close contact with me in the last 2 weeks and the public to go for screening and testing.

“I wish to reiterate that being Covid-19 positive is not a death sentence as evident by the many recoveries recorded thus far. So there is no need to panic, but we should continue to be responsible in our actions so as to keep others safe,” she said.

The governor’s wife, therefore, encouraged people to take preventive measures and be safe by observing the primary protocols such as wearing of masks, constant washing of hands, maintaining social distancing and staying indoors if not necessary to go out.

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The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Terver Akase, had last Tuesday confirmed that his principal, Governor Samuel Ortom, had taken a second Covid-19 test and that the result was being awaited.

It is not immediately clear if Orton’s result had been released and what the test result read.

Since the relaxed lockdown in the state, the coronavirus infection rate has increased and there are palpable fear that if something is not done, it will go out of hand.

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Only recently, the Vice-Chancellor of the Benue State University tested positive to the virus.

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