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Ogun announces date for reopening of Churches

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Dapo Abiodun

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has announced a date for reopening of worship centres in the state.

The announcement made on Wednesday stated that worship centres would reopen in the state effective August 14.

He made the disclosure while giving COVID-19 updates at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

He warned that any worship centre that fails to follow all the guidelines would be sanctioned appropriately, noting that even the holy books stipulate obedience to constituted authorities.

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Some of the measures put in place include mandatorily use of face masks, sitting two metres apart, provision of handwashing facilities, amongst others.

He said:

“We urge our religious leaders to ensure that they abide by the measures mutually agreed upon and rolled out. As a government, we will not hesitate to impose severe sanctions, including, but not limited to, lockdown on any worship centre that fails to comply with the laid down guidelines. It is important to note that all religions obey God and the authorities of the land.

“Wearing of face masks in the public is now compulsory. Therefore, I hereby invoke powers conferred on me by Regulation 7 of the Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations No. 2 of 2020 (the Regulations), made pursuant to Section 33 of the Public Health Law of Ogun State (the Law), to mandate the compulsory wearing of face masks by all persons in public as part of measures to prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

“Failure to do so is punishable by up to six months imprisonment under Regulation 8 of the Regulations and Section 68 of the Law.”

On education, the governor said graduating pupils should resume on August 4 in line with the federal government directive to prepare for their examinations starting from August 17.

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Delta relaxes curfew, reopens markets

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Okowa

Delta has relaxed curfew imposed on the state following the COVID-19 pandemic.

It further ordered the reopening of all the markets in the state.

Secretary to Delta State Government (SSG), Chiedu Ebie in a statement on Thursday said:

“It is hereby announced for the information of the general public, particularly Deltans and residents in the State that Delta State Government has adjusted the curfew earlier imposed in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic from the earlier period of 7:00 pm to 6:00 am to a new period of 10:00 pm to 5:30 am.

“Furthermore, government has approved the resumption of normal trading activities in all markets across the 25 Local Government Areas of the state.

“However, cinemas, bars in hotels and beer parlours remain closed while restaurants and eateries are to continue to serve their customers on take away basis, even as government would not hesitate to shut them down if they are observed to be in breach of the COVID-19 safety guidelines.”

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Osun-Osogbo festival cancelled by State govt

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Osun-Osogbo Festival

Osun-Osogbo Festival for the year 2020 has been cancelled by the Osun state government.

According to Osun state government which however approved the observance of traditional rites and routines associated with the festival, only authorised persons and worshippers will be allowed into the grove.

The announcement was made by Osun state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Obawale Adebisi due to the increased cases of Coronavirus recorded in the state.

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He said:

“The state government is by this medium informing the public that this year’s celebration of Osun-Osogbo festival will be symbolic, as only the worshippers that will perform ritual activities will be allowed into the grove.

“These worshippers must however, comply with the state government’s COVID-19 protocols.

“To this effect, the government has banned all social activities associated with the celebration and prays that subsequent festivals will be better celebrated at the exit of the current pandemic.”

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Widow sues SARS for abducting son, demanding N500k for release

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Special Anti-Robbery Squad

A petty trader, Regina Stanley, who also happens to be a widow, has dragged the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) before the Federal High Court in Lagos for abducting and illegally detaining her son whom she had sent on an errand since March 28 2020.

She also accused SARS operatives of demanding N500, 000 for the release of her son, Sunday Stanley, which she did not have.

She told the court that she sent her son on an errand in the Morogbo area of Lagos State when she was informed by her fellow traders that he had been abducted and locked up in Black Maria van by SARS operatives raiding the area.

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In an affidavit attached to a fundamental rights suit, seeking an order for the release of her son, Regina said;

“I went to my place of trade together with my son who assists me in my trade. At about 11.30am, I sent my son on an errand only to be informed by my fellow traders that my son had been arrested and locked up inside the Black Maria by armed agents of the 3rd respondent.

“I hurriedly closed my trade and went to the place where my son and other persons had been arrested and locked up. Every effort made by me to secure the release of my son proved abortive.

“My son, together with other persons, was driven to SARS office at Ikeja police command. Agents of the respondents levied all sorts of trumped-up allegations against my son and told me to bring N500,000 to secure his release. Because of my inability to get the money my son has been detained since the 28th of March, 2020 till date. He is my only child and my husband has passed away since 2019.”

The lawyer of the widow, Olukoya Ogungbeje filed a suit in the name of the detained Sunday Stanley and urged the court to declare his arrest as unlawful, oppressive and a violation of his fundamental right to personal liberty and fair hearing provided for under sections 33, 35, 36 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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He also prayed the court to order the immediate release of the Widow’s son as well as order the Nigerian Police to issue a public apology in a national newspaper.

He also prayed the court to order an award of N50m in damages to the plaintiff for his unlawful arrest, detention and humiliation by SARS.

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