The Apo Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, on Friday, ordered the prison remand of a former Director, Legal Services of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Grace Taiga, charged with offences connected with the controversial P&ID $9.6bn judgment.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Suleja Prison in Niger State.
This came after the defendant pleaded not guilty to the eight counts preferred against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The judge subsequently fixed September 25 for the hearing of her bail application.
The prosecution accused her of among other charges, receiving bribe through her offshore bank account for signing, alongside the then Minister of Petroleum Resources, the late Rilwan Lukman, the Gas Supply Processing Agreement between the Process and Industrial Developments Limited and the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry on January 11, 2019.
She was also accused of violating various laws by entering into the GSPA without prior approval by the Federal Executive Council and a certificate of no objection to the contract from the Bureau of Public Enterprise.
The charges are in connection with the controversial Gas Supply Processing Agreement which led to the recent $9.6bn judgment given against Nigeria and in favour of Process and Industrial Developments by a British court.
Taiga was said to have signed as Nigeria’s witness to the GSPA while the then minister presiding over the ministry, the late Dr. Rilwan Lukman, signed as Nigeria’s representative.
After she pleaded not guilty to the charges, her lawyer, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), who said his client was suffering from hypertension and diabetes, pleaded with the court to allow her to be remanded in the custody of the EFCC.
But the EFCC’s lawyer, Bala Sanga, opposed the request, insisting that her proper place of custody after arraignment was the prison.
The judge agreed with the prosecuting counsel and ordered her remand in prison.
He, however, added that she should be accorded proper medical treatment in custody pending the hearing and determination of her bail application.
JUST IN: Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases now 8344
Nigeria on Tuesday recorded 276 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total active cases to 8344.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on its official twitter handle, said that as of May 26, 2020, 14 deaths were recorded in the country.
The health agency said no new state reported a case in the last 24 hours.
“276 new cases of #COVID19; Lagos-161 Rivers-36 Edo-27 Kaduna-19 Nasarawa-10 Oyo-6 Kano-4 Delta-3 Ebonyi-3 Gombe-2 Ogun-1 Ondo-1 Borno-1 Abia-1 Bauchi-1
“8344 cases of #COVID19 in Nigeria
“Discharged: 2385 Deaths: 249”
Since 31 December 2019 and as of 26 May 2020, 5 459 528 cases of COVID-19 (in accordance with the applied case definitions and testing strategies in the affected countries) have been reported, including 345 994 deaths.
Cases have been reported from:
Africa: 115 868 cases; the five countries reporting most cases are South Africa (23 615), Egypt (17 967), Algeria (8 503), Nigeria (8 068), and Morocco (7 532).
Asia: 971 938 cases; the five countries reporting most cases are Turkey (157 814), India (145 380), Iran (137 724), China (84 102), and Saudi Arabia (74 795).
America: 2 518 852 cases; the five countries reporting most cases are United States (1 662 302), Brazil (374 898), Peru (123 979), Canada (85 700), and Chile (73 997).
Europe: 1 843 581 cases; the five countries reporting most cases are Russia (353 427), United Kingdom (261 184), Spain (235 400), Italy (230 158), and Germany (179 002).
Oceania: 8 593 cases; the five countries reporting most cases are Australia (7 118), New Zealand (1 154), Guam (166), French Polynesia (89), and Northern Mariana Islands (22).
Other: 696 cases have been reported from an international conveyance in Japan.
Deaths have been reported from:
Africa: 3 478 deaths; the five countries reporting most deaths are Egypt (783), Algeria (609), South Africa (481), Nigeria (233), and Morocco (200).
Asia: 27 680 deaths; the five countries reporting most deaths are Iran (7 451), China (4 638), Turkey (4 369), India (4 167), and Indonesia (1 391).
America: 146 391 deaths; the five countries reporting most deaths are United States (98 220), Brazil (23 473), Mexico (7 633), Canada (6 545), and Peru (3 629).
Europe: 168 308 deaths; the five countries reporting most deaths are United Kingdom (36 914), Italy (32 877), France (28 432), Spain (26 834), and Belgium (9 312).
Oceania: 130 deaths; the four countries reporting deaths are Australia (102), New Zealand (21), Guam (5), and Northern Mariana Islands (2).
Other: 7 deaths have been reported from an international conveyance in Japan.
Kaduna extends lockdown for another two weeks
According to the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, who made the announcement in a broadcast to residents, the two weeks lockdown would start as from June 1st, 2020,
The two-day windows remained Wednesdays and Thursdays for now.
However, as from the June 1st, 2020, the relaxation windows would be extended from two days to three days.
She said the three days window took effect Monday, June 1st 2020, saying that instead of Wednesdays and Thursdays, the three days window, would start from Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The government had imposed its quarantine orders on the state for one month beginning March 26 and extended it from April 26, to May 26, 2020.
The Deputy Governor who is also the Chairperson of the COVID-19 Task Force in the state, said the period of extension, required that citizen would adhere to safety guidelines which included greater compliance in wearing of face masks, washing of hands with water and soaps and avoidance of large gathering.
She said a violation of these guidelines would now force the government to re-imposed the restriction order.
She added that the compliance of residents helps in no small way to reduce the number of infected persons and kept fatalities to a minimum.
According to Balarabe, during the additional two weeks lockdown, the prohibition of interstate and intercity travel remains, adding that government officials and mobile courts will enforce this ban to prevent people from spreading the virus through non-essential movement.
“In addition, the nighttime curfew that has been enforced across the state still remains, from 6pm to 6am,” added.
Moreover, the Deputy Governor continued that “schools, places of worship and markets will remain closed under the adjusted orders.”
The Deputy Governor said,
“After 60 days, the state government has reviewed the Quarantine Orders. The Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has approved the recommendation to extend the partial lockdown regulations for two weeks, with adjustments to permit the reopening of certain sectors.
“These measures are intended to preserve the state’s ability to protect citizens, empower citizens to lead the fight against Covid-19 and make necessary adjustments to the partial lockdown to permit the safe resumption of the pursuit of livelihoods in more sectors.
“The Kaduna State Government is conscious of the sacrifices that citizens have made and the many challenges that remain in keeping them safe from Covid-
“This is why the state government has adjusted and extended the Quarantine Orders, by two weeks to empower citizens to more steadfastly carry forward, the against fight Covid-19.
“Preservation of the relaxations in this extension requires that citizens demonstrate greater compliance with laid down health protocols, particularly the wearing of facemasks outside the house, observance of physical distancing, regular handwashing with soap and water and the avoidance of large gatherings.
“Violation of these protocols will compel the government to reimpose restrictions. A spike in Covid-19 infections will also necessitate a tightening of restrictions.
“This week, the relaxation of movement will be effected on Wednesday and Thursday.
“From Monday, 1st June 2020, the revised regulations will come into effect. They give citizens a three-day window every week to shop for food and other essentials. Until otherwise stated, the lockdown-free days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
“Temporary neighbourhood markets will continue to operate from 10am to 4pm on these three days, but citizens can move from 6am to 6pm on these lockdown-free days.
“Informal markets are not allowed and those flouting regulations by turning streets into markets are advised to stop.
“The adjusted orders also expand the ability of citizens to resume the pursuit of livelihoods, in permitted sectors subject to compliance with health and safety protocols, including physical distancing.
“Private sector firms that meet these requirements will also operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This window also allows vulcanisers, welders, mechanics and providers of similar services to operate on the same days.”
France reports more than 28,500 coronavirus deaths
France’s cumulative death toll from coronavirus infection rose by 73 or 0.3 per cent to 28,530 on Tuesday.
This is a similar rate of increase as the day before despite health authorities having resumed taking into account nursing home data after a four-day interruption.
In a statement, the Health Ministry said the number of fatalities was up 83 in hospitals, to 18,195.
But the death toll in nursing homes has been revised to 10,335, 10 fewer than the last time it was published.
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