The spread of COVID-19 risks devastating countries across East Africa, where food insecurity could more than double in just three months, the United Nations warned Tuesday.
The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that some 20 million people currently do not have secure provisions of food across nine countries in the region: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda.
Compared to other parts of the world, these countries have so far registered few confirmed COVID-19 cases, with numbers still counted in the dozens or hundreds.
However, due to their often weak economies and poor health infrastructure, they are considered highly vulnerable to the impacts of the mounting crisis.
“WFP projections are currently that the number of food insecure people in the region is likely to increase to 34 or up to 43 million during the next three months due to the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19,” spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told journalists in a virtual briefing.
In the worst-case scenario, “food insecurity will have more than doubled,” she stressed, adding that nearly half of the projected 43 million people affected were expected to be acutely food insecure.
The suspended boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has complained about the “unfortunate” handling of his investigation for alleged corruption, saying he has consequently been “paraded like a common criminal”.
Magu on Monday, July 6, appeared before the presidential panel investigating allegations of corruption leveled against him by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Premiumtimes reports that Magu in a letter written by his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, and sent to the Presidential Investigative Committee on Friday, July 10, said he had not seen the petitions containing the allegations against him nor has the committee availed him with their terms of reference. The letter which was reportedly sent to the Committee on Friday, July 11, reads in part
“Mr Chairman, since the 6th of July when our client honoured your invitation, he has been consistently applying to the Committee to be given the petitions containing the allegations of CONSPIRACY, CORRUPT ENRICHMENT, ABUSE OF POWER/OFFICE, which request has not been honoured or obliged till date. Our client has also informed us that he remains unaware of the terms of reference of this distinguished Committee.”
The letter also related Magu’s discomfort with his continued detention at the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department FCID “without being informed of the allegations against him and the deserved opportunity to timeously study and respond to same.”
Magu in his letter complained that “witnesses are called and examined by the Committee behind his back and without allowing him and counsel of his choice to participate in the proceedings involving these witnesses.”
The suspended chairman of the antigraft agency said he had been a target of campaigns of calumny by the media taking advantage of his detention to spread damaging, false and prejudicial allegations.
Among such “unfounded allegations which never featured in the proceedings of the Committee thus far,” the letter said, were that Mr. Magu gave Vice President Yemi Osinbajo four billion naira (an allegation Mr Osinbajo has denied); that he ran secret accounts; procured cronies to front for him; and that he acquired properties in Dubai.
“These campaigns of calumny have greatly affected the morale of our client and damaged his hard earned reputation and that of the Commission (EFCC)
It continued, “that our client as a result of this campaign of calumny has been paraded like a common criminal and subjected to all manners of insults and embarrassment just for serving his nation diligently and efficiently as the arrow-head of the anti-corruption campaign of this administration.
This unfortunate development is happening even before the determination of the petitions before this Honourable Committee with prejudicial consequences.” the letter read in part
Magu in his letter made seven requests from the committee, including its terms of reference; access to the petitions against him to “enable him study and prepare a robust defence”; intervention of the committee to facilitate his release from the FCID detention; and adequate time to respond to the allegations against him with necessary materials and evidence.
He also sought an opportunity to confront the petitioners with his own defense; and requested that witnesses be examined in his presence and his counsel. He then asked the committee to guarantee “his right to fair hearing including his right to liberty in the course of the proceedings of this distinguished Committee.”
The investigative committee is yet to comment on Magu’s letter.
Kiki Osinabjo, daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has reacted to the allegation she invested N800m in the property where she uses in running her business
Jackson Ude, the Former Director of Strategy and Communications under President Goodluck Jonathan administration took to Twitter this morning to make the allegation.
How did Kiki Osinbajo, VP Osinbajo’s daughter, earn N800million she invested in the property housing her Glam’d Africa Beauty House in Abuja on 10 Durban Street, Wuse 2. Abuja?”he tweeted
Taking to her Instagram page to react, Kiki described the allegation as a lie. She stated that she is a tenant in the property where she runs her business.
”For me it is completely UNBELIEVABLE that a grown man will sit in his home and LIE about me, a grown man who possibly has children my age! Like many young women in Nigeria I work hard , It may be difficult for people like him to understand that a young woman can work hard and succeed on her own steam. ANYONE can verify the ownership of the property of Glamd Africa at Agis in Abuja. I am a tenant in that property. My landlord’s name is Mr MUSA ADAMS” she wrote
The Anambra State Police Command have arrested a 60-year-old man identified as Okafor Ndubuisi for allegedly defiling a 9-year-old girl.
Ndubuisi, said to be a resident of Sun Rise Estates Nkwelle Ezunaka in Oyi LGA of Anambra State was accused of defiling the minor on different occassions. He was arrested at about 2:30pm on Sunday July 12, following a tip-off.
The state’s police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed said the Commissioner of Police John Abang has directed that the case be transferred to the State Criminal investigation Department, Awka for discreet investigation after which suspect would be charged to court for prosecution.
The statement read;
On the 12/7/2020 at about 2:30:pm following a tip off, Police operatives attached 3-3 Division arrested one Okafor Ndubuisi ‘m’ aged 60years of Sun Rise Estates Nkwelle Ezunaka in Oyi LGA of Anambra State.
Suspect had on the same date and on different ocassion allegedly defiled a 9 years old girl in his room.Scene was visited by police detectives and victim taken to the hospital for medical examination.
Meanwhile,the Commissioner of Police *CP John B.Abang,fdc* has directed that the case be transferred to the State Criminal investigation Department,Awka for discreet investigation after which suspect would be charged to court for prosecution please.
Three persons have died and nine injured following a building collapse on Freeman Street, in the Lagos Island area of Lagos State.
Channels Television gathered that the three-story building collapsed in the early hours of Saturday when the occupants were still asleep.
The Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Damilola Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed the tragic incident to Channels Television.
According to him, the remains of the dead victims have been transported to the mortuary, while the nine injured are being administered pre-hospital care by the agency.
Oke-Osanyintolu explained that the victims comprise a child and two adults, adding that the agency is moving the ‘unstable’ structure to ground zero.
This to him is based on the safety and stability of residents of the area and indeed the state.
“We were able to rescue nine people alive and we sympathise with the people that lost their loved ones in there. We recovered three bodies. The three bodies that were rescued have been deposited in the mortuary.
“It is pertinent to note that we have served these people for over three months ago. The building controlling agency was there to serve them. The material testing did the needful in terms of doing the integrity test of this structure and it failed,” he said.
Manchester City will discover the result of their appeal against a two-year ban from UEFA competitions on Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced Friday.
City were banned by UEFA and handed a 30 million euro ($34 million, £27 million) fine for allegedly overstating sponsorship revenue to hide that they had not complied with financial fair-play (FFP) rules between 2012 and 2016.
The English side steadfastly refuted the allegations and a three-day hearing on the case was held by videoconference last month.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will announce the decision taken in the arbitration procedure between Manchester City Football Club and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) on Monday, 13 July 2020,” CAS said in a statement.
CAS added that the decision would be announced at 10:30 am local time (0830 GMT).\
City hold an 11-point lead over fifth-placed Manchester United in the Premier League and need just one win from their remaining four games of the season to be sure of Champions League qualification.
But, if their ban is upheld or only reduced to one season, whoever finishes fifth will take their Champions League spot.
No matter the outcome of the appeal, City will be able to complete their 2019/20 Champions League campaign.
They hold a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid after the first leg of the last 16 and host the Spanish giants on August 7 in the return match.
The tournament will be concluded with a ‘Final 8’ event in Lisbon, with City to face either Juventus or Lyon in the quarter-finals if they get past Real.
The World Health Organization said Friday that it is still possible to bring coronavirus outbreaks under control, even though case numbers have more than doubled in the past six weeks.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the examples of Italy, Spain, South Korea and India’s biggest slum showed that however bad a outbreak was, the virus could still be reined in through aggressive action.
“In the last six weeks cases have more than doubled,” Tedros told a virtual press conference in Geneva.
However, “there are many examples from around the world that have shown that even if the outbreak is very intense, it can still be brought back under control,” said Tedros.
“And some of these examples are Italy, Spain and South Korea, and even in Dharavi — a densely packed area in the megacity of Mumbai — a strong focus on community engagement and the basics of testing, tracing, isolating and treating all those that are sick is key to breaking the chains of transmission and suppressing the virus.”
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 555,000 people worldwide since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Friday.
Nearly 12.3 million cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories.
“Across all walks of life, we are all being tested to the limit,” Tedros said, “from countries where there is exponential growth, to places that are loosening restrictions and now starting to see cases rise.
“Only aggressive action combined with national unity and global solidarity can turn this pandemic around.”
Egbemode, who noted that the relaxation of lockdown in other areas has been extended by two weeks, said the government was closely monitoring other LGAs with rising COVID-19 cases.
According to her, the government has every reason to believe that it is already witnessing what looks more like a community transmission in the areas, and as such, there is a need to come up with measures to arrest the trend.
The commissioner stressed that residents in the affected LGAs cannot go to worship centres and markets during the period, but they would be allowed to shop within their neighbourhood.
She added that during the lockdown, there would be no vehicular movement but those on essential duties such as health workers, fire service officials, security personnel, and journalists would be exempted.
Egbemode warned that the government would ensure that violators of the lockdown order were severely punished if caught.
She said, “To this end, we urge citizens and residents of the affected communities to take advantage of the hours between now and Monday to stock up provisions that will last them one week in the first instance.”
“We have mandated and mobilised the state’s task force and security operatives to strictly enforce the measures.
“The decision to shut down a part of the state, though painful, is the only way to go if it must arrest a further spread of the virus in the state,” she added.
Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has reacted to the suspension of the 2020 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) by the Federal Government.
Atiku’s reaction comes two days after the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu announced that no Unity Schools will participate in the scheduled WAEC exams.
Speaking after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, the Minister asked the examination body and the state governments to reconsider their decision to open for exams.
In a statement he personally signed on Friday, Atiku said the cancellation will put the country at more risks.
He pointed out that 1.5 million Nigerian youths write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination annually, adding that the abrupt cancellation of “this examination is to set back our nation’s youth, and place them behind their contemporaries in other West African nations.”
“I urge this administration to take into account that the lives they are trying to save will be further put at risk, because if this policy is not reversed, tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of Nigerians, will breach social distancing rules to cross over to neighbouring West African nations to write their WASSCE, rather than miss a year,” the statement partly read.
The former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections noted that the move by the Nigerian government to curb the COVID-19 pandemic is not in the nation’s best interest.
This, he noted, is because the Federal Government unilaterally took the decision “without consultation, and thoughtful action,” arguing that it “may be counterproductive.”
“This is perilous because Foreign Direct Investments and other economic indicators are tied to the educational indexes of nations.
“Already, Nigeria lags behind other African nations in crucial indices, like school enrolment, pass rates, and out of school children. This action will further create chaos in the public education system and exacerbate an already bad situation,” he said.
On the way forward, Atiku wants the Federal and state governments to mobilise all available public and private infrastructures including primary schools, stadia, and cinemas, for the examinations.
In doing this, he also called on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to “prevail on WAEC to have a staggering examination with a different set of questions for each shift.”
In doing this, the PDP chieftain believes that the government’s directives on social distancing will be achieved while candidates sit for their examination, thus describing the move as “a win-win scenario.”
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Nigeria has announced the timetable for the conduct of the much-awaited WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020 scheduled to hold between 3rd August and 5th September, 2020.
The Head of National Office, WAEC, Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Areghan announced the timetable at a press briefing today in Lagos to acquaint the public of the Council’s preparations and readiness for the conduct of the WASSCE.
The examination was earlier scheduled to take place between the 6th of April and 5th of June, 2020, but had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
He stated the new development in the arrangement of the examination, would now be held from Monday through Saturday, in order to be able to achieve the five-week span.
“A total of One Million Five Hundred and Forty Nine Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Three (1,549, 463) candidates have registered for the diet from 19,129 schools out of which 786,421 are males and 763,042 are females.
“The choice of the period (August 3rd to September 5th, 2020) for the conduct of the examination was not arbitrarily set. WAEC consulted extensively with the governments of all the five member countries before arriving at the period and duration of the examination.
“In deference to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the five-week arrangement was arrived at in order to make room for the other examining bodies to equally conduct their examinations in good time. The shortening of the period is also of advantage in terms of reducing the period of mass social interaction with its attendant consequences.
“During the waiting period, we continued to fine tune and perfect all arrangements for the smooth and successful conduct of the examination and I am happy to inform you that we are set to conduct the examination in Nigeria.
“In conducting the examination, we have taken due cognizance of the various measures/protocols rolled out by the Federal and State governments of Nigeria, aimed at checking the spread of the pandemic. We have encapsulated all these measures in a pamphlet which will be circulated to all stakeholders for their necessary guidance. For the sake of emphasis, schools must provide wash-hand buckets with running water, soaps, hand sanitizers and thermometer hand-gun to check the temperature of all concerned. All examination functionaries, including the Council’s staff on distribution; Supervisors; Invigilators, Inspectors; candidates and school officials will be required to wear face masks, wash and sanitize their hands daily and throughout the duration of the examination.
“Let me assure you and the general public that we shall adhere strictly to social/physical distancing in the examination halls by making sure that candidates sit two (2) metres apart. This means that many more classrooms will be used and many more supervisors and invigilators will be required to conduct the examination. This has certainly raised the supervision fee to be paid to supervisors as well as the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to staff, Supervisors and other examination officials. No doubt, all these measures have financial implications which were not contemplated at the time of drawing up the budget for the conduct of the examination. The big question looming now is how can this extra fund be raised?
“On this note, therefore, we are appealing to the governments at various levels to come to our aid. We equally call on Multi-National companies, corporate organizations and philanthropic individuals to donate these PPE to us. It is essential that all examination functionaries are well kitted to avoid the spread of the disease. May I also use this medium to escalate our challenge to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 and to humbly request for any possible assistance. WAEC has Zonal and Branch Offices all over the Federation. The various state governments can donate the required PPE to the WAEC offices in their states.
“These are no normal times. This examination is going to be conducted under a very unfriendly atmosphere and conditions. I will like to use this opportunity to advise all schools and candidates to make the best use of the situation in order to turn adversity into success.
“I must not fail to warn all schools and candidates to shun any form of examination malpractice. Lack of preparedness is not an excuse to cheat. For the benefit of doubt, standards already set remain sacrosanct. Do not delude yourself by thinking that they will be lowered due to the prevailing circumstances. Therefore, as usual, you get what you deserve. It will be a double tragedy for any candidate to write the examination under very difficult circumstances and not to have any result.
“Schools and candidates must resist the temptation of patronizing dubious websites that claim or would claim to have examination questions at their disposal. We cannot claim not to know that they are right now strategizing on their evil machinations. They are fake and conscienceless destiny destroyers. Self-reliance is the sure key to success.
“The Final International Timetable has been sent to all the WAEC Zonal and Branch Offices for onward dispatch to schools and Federal and State Ministries of Education”.
The prospective candidates and schools are advised to visit the Council’s website for further details and clearification.