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SARS: We’re investigating Ikechukwu’s assault claims, says Police

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The Lagos State Police Command says it has commenced an investigation into the alleged assault and kidnap of Ikechukwu Onunaku, a rapper and actor, by some of its operatives attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

Mr. Bala Elkana, the state Police Public Relations Officer, in a statement said the rapper has stepped forward with some facts, which is helping with the investigation.

“We have commenced an investigation into the incident; he has stepped forward with some facts, which are helping us with our investigation; so, we are still investigating,” Elkana stated.

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This is coming days after the popular personality accused the SARS operatives of beating and robbing him of his money in the Lekki Phase 1 area of the state.

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Ikechukwu who made the claims via his Instagram Page said he was pulled out from an Uber taxi, bundled into a police Hilux van and assaulted by the operatives.

He further claimed that the operatives who identified him as popular personalty drove him to the Lagos Island and forced him to withdraw all the money in his account after threatening to implicate him if he proved stubborn.

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FG directs civil servants from Grade 12 to resume

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Sani Aliyu

The Federal Government has directed civil and public servants from grade level 12 and above to immediately resume work.

Only workers from grade level 14 and above were permitted to resume work until the new directive.

It also extended working hours to normal office hours from Monday to Friday with the mandatory use of non-medical face masks.

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The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, disclosed these during its briefing in Abuja.

He said:

“For government offices and other corporate offices, we are now extending working hours to normal official hours from Monday to Friday, with the mandatory use of non-medical face masks.

“We encourage work at home policy for civil/public servants below the grade level of 12.

“Essential staff of grade level 12 and above may be allowed to come to work.

“Our previous cut-off was grade level 14. Temperature checks will be carried out in all official government buildings.

“With industry and labour, the main modification we have is an advisory for banks to limit the number of customers within the operating areas to 50 percent occupancy within the banking halls in order to allow for physical distancing and to limit their workers to 75 percent or less. But banking operations shall continue as usual.”

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Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara defies constitution, seeks third term

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Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said on Thursday he would seek re-election in October, formally accepting the ruling party’s nomination to be its candidate and defying opponents who say the constitution forbids a third term.

Ouattara, who has governed since 2011, said in March he would not run again. But his preferred successor, then-prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died in July, leading the party to ask Ouattara to reconsider.

“I have decided to respond favourably to the call of my fellow citizens,” Ouattara said in a televised speech. “Given my previous promise, this decision represents a real sacrifice for me.”

The election is seen as the greatest test yet of the tenuous stability achieved since a brief civil war in 2010 and 2011 killed about 3,000 people following Ouattara’s first election win.

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Ouattara’s opponents say the two-term limit in the constitution bars him from running again, but Ouattara has said his first two mandates do not count under the new constitution adopted in 2016.

Reuters

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Africa’s COVID-19 cases now over 1 million

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Africa’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have surpassed 1 million, a Reuters tally showed on Thursday, as the disease began to spread rapidly through a continent whose relative isolation has so far spared it the worst of the pandemic.

The continent recorded 1,003,056 cases, of which 21,983 have died and 676,395 recovered. South Africa – which is the world’s fifth worst-hit nation and makes up more than half of sub-Saharan Africa’s caseload – has recorded 538,184 cases since its first case on March 5, the health ministry said on Thursday.

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Low levels of testing in several countries, apart from South Africa, mean Africa’s infection rates are likely to be higher than reported, experts say.

In South Africa, a study last month showed some 17,000 deaths above the normal rate, or a 60% excess, between early May and mid-July, suggesting more people are dying of COVID-19 than official figures reflect.

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Many African countries imposed quick lockdowns and shut their borders early, buying precious time to prepare hospitals, set up testing machines and learn from evolving treatments.

But governments, mindful of the damage to their economies and the risk of widespread hunger, have mostly lifted lockdowns.

Despite South Africa’s early efforts to contain the virus, its already creaking public health services are overwhelmed and there are shortages of beds, protective gear and nurses. COVID-19 patients have sometimes had to be treated alongside others.

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Few African nations have health services as advanced as South Africa.

Reuters

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