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Breaking News In Nigeria This Night, Monday 29th Of June 2020

Ochepet 06/29/2020

Order Nigerian Government To Name Beneficiaries Of COVID-19 Intervention Funds, SERAP Tells Court

The project for socio-economic rights and accountability has filed a lawsuit with the Federal Court in Abuja, instructing the Nigerian government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to publish the names of the beneficiaries of money transfers, food distribution, and other facilities during the Abuja, Lagos, and lockdown Ogun states caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

The lawsuit followed SERAP's request for freedom of information of April 4, 2020, and was concerned that "Millions of the country's poorest and most vulnerable have not benefited from the announced palliative, donations, cash payments, money transfers, and other facilities".

In complaint number FHC / ABJ / CS / 657/2020 filed by SERAP through its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Joke Fekumo and made available to journalists, the organization requested: "An order to request a judicial review and an order from Mandamus to Ms. Sadia Forcing Umar-Farouk, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the CBN, to publish details of public funds and private sector donations to provide the poorest in the country with socio-economic benefits, and at most vulnerable people. "

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Among others, requests were made to “instruct and force Ms. Umar-Farouk and Mr. Emefiele to publish a current list of donations and names of those who have made payments in accordance with their publicly announced donations; Details of the COVID-19 Intervention Fund's expenditure of N500 billion, the names of the beneficiaries and whether these beneficiaries include people with disabilities (PWDs).

"A statement that the failure of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the CBN Governor to provide SERAP with the requested information about public and private donation expenditures and to disclose the names of the beneficiaries is a fundamental one Violation constitutes the FoI Act and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

"The lawsuit was partially:" Combining reading the FoI Law and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights should instruct and force Ms. Umar-Farouk and Mr. Emefiele to provide details about those who have benefited from COVID -19 funds and donations.

"Any perception that the relief, funds and donations will not reach the intended beneficiaries would undermine public trust and the integrity of the whole process and way of giving relief / benefits to these Nigerians."

SERAP believed that the general public had a legitimate interest in reviewing and verifying the accuracy of the information about the use of funds and donations and knowing that the intended beneficiaries had received benefits.

The group added: “Ms. Umar-Farouk and Mr. Emefiele should also be instructed and forced to publish details of any plan that provides social and economic relief to over 80 million of the country's poorest and most vulnerable beyond 11 Millions targeted by the federal government in 35 states.

“Democracy cannot thrive if citizens have no access to information, no matter how much open discussion and debate is allowed. This lawsuit would ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of COVID 19 funds and donations.

SERAP claims that the principle of information disclosure in the overarching public interest has been reaffirmed internationally, including the joint statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, the OSCE Representative on Media Freedom and the OAS Special Report Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression.

"The Joint Declaration states that the right to access information should be subject to a narrow, carefully tailored exemption system."

Wike Orders Testing of Government House Staff for Covid-19

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Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike has ordered all employees at the Port Harcourt government house to be tested for coronavirus.

This, he said, is the ongoing intensified investigation of potential Covid 19 patients in the state to save more lives.

Wike spoke on Monday when BUA Foundation executive director Khalifa Rabiu handed him three ambulances in the government building in Port Harcourt.

He said that more tests would uncover more Covid-19 cases to provide medical help to people immediately.

He said: “The more we test, the more the number will increase and we are ready to continue testing. Let our people know that this is not the kind of illness to be ashamed of. Nobody knows who you shook hands with.

"I'm sure we lost no less than 38 lives in Rivers State. Nobody will be glad that every day you wake up you hear that someone, probably a family breadwinner, has a Covid-19- Pandemic is no longer there.

"In fact, I gave an instruction that all government house employees must go for testing. Nobody knows who a transport company is, and we all have to save as much as possible.

"He pointed to the continued support of the BUA Foundation for the Rivers State Government, especially during this time of the Covid 19 pandemic.

He said most companies in the state were only interested in making a profit but would not help the government save lives.

He urged companies operating in the state not to support the government because they do business there.

The executive director of the BUA Foundation, Rabiu, thanked Governor Wike for creating a favorable business environment for their business.

He said they donated N 100 million and a truckload of Covid-19 prevention items, as well as the three ambulances they presented on Monday.

Rabiu said the donation was a sign of her support for the state government to be successful in the fight against Covid-19.

Health Commissioner Prof. Princewill Chike said that 3,434 samples have been tested to date and the state treatment center has successfully managed and discharged approximately 584 patients.

Chike also said that about 284 medical workers in the treatment centers and monitoring offices are hired and cared for by the state government.

This was only sponsored by the international oil companies. The state government has also released over 40 ambulances to strengthen the team's responsiveness.

Convoy Of Nigeria's Chief Of Army Staff, Buratai, Kills Man In Katsina

The convoy of the Nigerian chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, killed a bike rider in the state of Katsina on Monday.

We learned that the victim was sharing wedding invitations at the time of the accident and he died on the spot.

It was found that the Mani House Junction accident occurred in the metropolis of Katsina.

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The convoy left the body of the deceased in the street and drove away.

Buratai was in the Forward Operating Base in Daura, the hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari, to fight the bandits and ensure lasting peace and security in the state and in the northwest region.

The Army chief of staff said during a visit to Governor Aminu Bello Masari in the government building that he would stay in Katsina state for some time to coordinate and oversee operations in the Rugu Forest and beyond.

He assured that operations against the bandits will continue to rid the region of crooks.

COVID-19: Nigerian govt resolves not to impose lockdown in LGAs with highest cases

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The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force for COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu said on Monday that the federal government had maintained the nationwide curfew to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Aliyu, who announced this during the daily task force briefing in Abuja, announced that the government had approved the restriction of movements in heavily affected local government areas in the country.

He added that the curfew would remain in effect after 10 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. daily.

President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a nationwide curfew from 8:00 p.m. on April 30. until 6:00 a.m. as part of the federal government's response to the increasing number of COVID-19 pandemics during the period.

The curfew was later relaxed to start at 10 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. during phase 1 of the gradual release of the block in May.

The high-burden LGAs are locations in various parts of Nigeria that are reported to account for 60 percent of the country's confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The LGAs according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) are Lagos Mainland (Lagos), Abuja Municipal (Abuja), Mushin (Lagos), Eti-Osa (Lagos), Tarauni (Kano), Katsina (Katsina), Alimosho (Lagos) ), Maiduguri (Borno), Kosofe (Lagos) and Dutse (Jigawa).

Others are - Ikeja (Lagos), Nassarawa (Kano), Oshodi / Isolo (Lagos), Apapa (Lagos), Amuwo Odofin (Lagos), Oredo (Edo), Bauchi (Bauchi), Lagos Island (Lagos), Surulere (Lagos )) and Ado Odo / Ota (Ogun).

Bishop Oyedepo faults continuous closure of churches amid coronavirus

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The presiding bishop of Living Faith Church International, popularly known as Winners' Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, yesterday condemned the constant closure of churches and said that COVID-19 had suddenly become an anti-church virus.

The minister asked in a sermon entitled "Breaking Invisible Barrier" why schools are closed because of the virus, but children go to the markets and help their parents. He wondered why places of healing (the churches) are closed, but markets are open where diseases can spread easily.

Oyedepo therefore noticed that behind the closure of the churches there are invisible forces and Christians have to stand up to pray.

"I know that the gods of the country are behind it; Behind it are some dealers of evil. But it is difficult for every man to kick the stones, no matter what backing he has. The church where healing takes place around the world is closed and the marketplaces where diseases can spread easily are opened. There are some states in Nigeria that opened activities a few weeks ago and no high cases have been registered. Even a worst-case state in the north opened up a long time ago.

"This is an anti-church virus and the God of the Church of Christ does not sleep and does not slumber. To date, we have 114 clear cases of coronavirus healing certificates, and there are many churches where healing takes place through the Word of God and not through devilish means. “Is this the place to shut down?

FG reduces fees for Statutory Marriage in Nigeria

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The federal government has approved a downward review of fees related to legal marriage services under the CAP M6 LFN 2004 Marriage Act, which is set to begin on Wednesday July 1st.

Mister Mohammed Manga, director of press and public relations for the Interior Ministry, announced this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Manga said Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola announced this in a public announcement signed by the Permanent Secretary and Chancellor for Marriages in Nigeria, Georgina Ehuriah.

Aregbesola said the adjustment was an offshoot of stakeholder recommendations at the awareness conferences that took place nationwide in the third quarter of 2019.

According to him, the fee for a new marriage license to a place of public worship was reduced from N 30,000 for two (2) years to N 6,000 per year, initially payable for five years.

He further said that for the renewal of the marriage certificate through a place of public veneration, the sum of N 5,000 per year, which is to be paid for three (3) years, has been approved, compared to the N 30,000 previously calculated annually.

The minister added that the statutory marriage fee was also reduced from N 21,000 to N 15,000, while the fee for the special legal license was reduced from N 35,000 to N 25,000.

Aregbesola said a link was created on the ministry's website. (www.ecitibiz.interior.gov.ng) to give states and local governments access to the automation platform of the Ministry of Services related to the conduct of legal marriage in the country.

He urged stakeholders to take advantage of the lower fees for licensing their public places of worship and to continue to celebrate the statutory marriage.

Source: opera.com
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