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1000 dead from Coronavirus as senior officials get sacked



coronavirus death toll hits 1000

The number of casualties of the deadly coronavirus has been put at 1000 for the first time on Tuesday, according to figures released by the country’s health authorities.

China’s National Health Commission reported that 103 of the 108 new deaths occurred in the central province of Hubei, where the outbreak first began.

Within the same 24-hour period, 2,478 new infections were confirmed nationwide, bringing the total tally up to 37,626. In Hubei province alone the number of confirmed cases has reached over 30,000.

In the provincial capital Wuhan, the epicentre of the crisis, the mortality rate stands at over four percent, official statistics reported.

In Hong Kong housing complex, dozens of people have been quarantined after the virus spread through pipes. The number of total cases in China topped 42,000.

Hong Kong officials evacuated and quarantined dozens of residents of an apartment building after two people living on different floors were found to be infected with the coronavirus, the authorities said on Tuesday.

In addition to the infected residents, four other people living in three different units displayed symptoms of the coronavirus, according to Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s health secretary.

In another development, senior chinese officials involved in handling the epidemic have been dismissed. The party secretary for the Hubei Health Commission, and the head of the commission, were among those who lost their jobs.

They are the most senior officials to be demoted so far. The deputy director of the local Red Cross was also removed for “dereliction of duty” over “handling of donations”.

The two Hubei party officials will be replaced by a national figure – the deputy director of China’s National Health Commission, Wang Hesheng.

On Monday, some 103 died in Hubei province alone, a daily record, and the national death toll is now 1,016.

But the number of new infections nationally was down almost 20% from the day before, from 3,062 to 2,478.

Hubei’s health commission confirmed 2,097 new cases in the province on Monday, down from 2,618 the previous day.

According to state media, there have been hundreds of sackings, investigations and warnings across Hubei and other provinces during the outbreak.

But removal from a certain role – while regarded as a censure – does not always mean the person will be sacked entirely, as it can also mean demotion.

As well as being removed from their posts, officials can also be punished by the ruling Communist Party.

For example, the deputy head of the Red Cross, Zhang Qin, was given “a serious intra-Party warning as well as a serious administrative demerit”, state media said.

Earlier this month, the deputy head of the Wuhan bureau of statistics was removed, also with a “serious intra-party warning as well as a serious administrative demerit for violating relevant regulations to distribute face masks”.

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Turkey halts flight to France, Germany and Spain




Turkey halts flight to France, Germany and Spain

Turkey halts flight to France, Germany and Eight other European countries.

Turkey will suspend flights with nine European countries including France, Germany and Spain as part of Ankara’s effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging Europe the transport minister said Friday.

“From 8:00 am (0500 GMT) tomorrow, Saturday, flights will be stopped until April 17 to Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands,” Transport and Infrastructure Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan told reporters in Ankara.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the number of COVID-19 infections increased to five, all connected to the first case confirmed Wednesday of a man who had returned from Europe.

Due to the widespread of the COVID-19 in most European countries, Turkish authorities have taken stringent measures to contain the spread the virus by ordering schools to close on Monday for two weeks, and colleges to take a three-week break.

Turkey halts flight to France, Germany and Spain 1

Football matches and other sporting activites are to be played behind closed doors until further notice.

South Africa evacuates citizens from Wuhan

A military action is underway in the northern province of Limpopo in South Africa, planning to quarantine thousands of people evacuated from China’s Wuhan province, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic.

At least 120 South Africans working and studying in Wuhan have pleaded to be repatriated after spending nearly two months there in lockdown.

The government has issued guarantees that none of them are contaminated, and a precaution is quarantine at a nearby resort hotel. The host communities have since been in panic mode since the announcement.

Provincial citizens have blamed the government for endangering people’s lives by operating the Limpopo quarantine location.

“I’m worried,” said 25-year-old labourer Mavunda Benedicto in Limpopo city, the province’s capital. “Out of all (the) provinces, our province is the one that is much poorer.”

“You can call an ambulance now and it will come maybe after five hours.”

A hashtag had begun on twitter saying #LimpopoIsNotADumpingSite trended before the arrival of the aircraft from Wuhan, expected at the weekend.

Two weeks ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa requested South Africans to be repatriated and demanded to be evacuated from Wuhan, which has been in lockdown for almost two months.

The entire project-including passenger screening, airlifting, quarantining-will be conducted by the military.

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FG reaches agreement with ASUU on IPPIS




FG reaches agreement with ASUU on IPPIS

FG reaches agreement with ASUU on IPPIS

The Federal Government reached a partial agreement with members of the Academic staff Union of Universities on issues bothering University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

ASUU rejects the use of IPPIS for lecturers saying that it does not recognize any of the Universities ‘ peculiar activities. The union of lecturers then established its own platform known as UTAS which the government decided to follow for the universities.

“Both sides realised we are working for our country. ASUU already has the University Transparency and Account System. We had a preliminary agreement to accommodate the two systems. ASUU will have to get back to its members and agree on how to couple the two systems. We will continue the discussion after ASUU consults with its members and decision making authority, we will meet on Monday or Tuesday,”

FG reaches agreement with ASUU on IPPIS 2
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, announced the agreement after a four-hour meeting between both parties.

ASUU reacts to the recent development

President of the striking lecturers, Biodun Ogunyemi informed that the union’s executive committee would meet to review the conditions for the integration of UTAS into IPPIS.

“From the discussion we had, we have agreed that we will go and consult. We cannot pronounce on the proposals that came up until we consult with our members. We will leave it there for now.”

“At the earlier meeting in the House of Representatives, it appeared that it is a feature of Nigeria governance style that until there is a fire somewhere, nobody will make an effort to avert the fire”

“We recall that on February 7, 2019, we were here and we signed a Memorandum of Action, there were items that were outlined, rules were signed and time frame as attacked. We have written three letters in respect of those items while we acknowledged that some of them were activated even before we concluded the discussion then. But there were key areas over which we have been raising issues. We were thinking that we were going to trash those items that were outstanding until July 2019, when suddenly IPPIS was thrown at us,” 

“Let me state clearly that IPPIS for us was a distraction when it came because in 2013, it was first introduced to us and we engaged officers in charge then. By 2014 when we were almost coming to the point of providing an alternative, government side withdrew and for five years, we did not hear anything from IPPIS office until July 2019. Suddenly, it appears IPPIS has been made the major subject of university governance and staff unionism,” he said.

Femi Gbaja appeals with ASUU as union insists strike is legal

Speaker of the House of reps, Femi Gbajabiamila has called on the striking lecturers call off its strike in the interest of students.

Gbajabiamila made the appeal yesterday during a tripartite meeting involving the legislative chamber, the union and the government in Abuja.

He stated: “We have tried to avert strikes and we have been successful at it: Medical and electric strikes. It does not speak well of the country. It has become almost perennial that at every point, somebody is holding somebody somewhere. There are basically two main issues here. Agreements and IPPIS. The law says you should give 15 days notice. The law is not there to be broken. The notice is to delay the inevitable. It does not in any way affect the strike.”

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Supreme Court affirms ex Taraba state Governor sentence




supreme court affirms 12 year jail term to former taraba state governor

On Friday, the supreme court affirmed the 12 year sentence of the former governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame over N1.6 billion corruption charges. The apex court led by Justice Mary Odili in its unanimous judgment, set aside the N100m fine imposed on him by the Court of Appeal.

“The lower court ought to have heard from the parties, especially, the appellant who appealed for the reduction of the sentence imposed by the trial court, before imposing those fines on him,” Justice Augie ruled.

She, however, affirmed the guilt and conviction of the ex-governor by upholding the Court of Appeal’s reduction of the 14 years’ imprisonment to 12 years.

Delivering the lead judgment of the court on Nyame’s appeal, Justice Amina Augie, held that the Court of Appeal was wrong to have imposed the fine on him without hearing from the appellant.

Nyame’s appeal was against the November 16, 2018 judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal which had affirmed Nyame’s conviction by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Police charge musician Iyanya with car theft

Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the FCT High Court had on May 30, 2018, convicted Nyame on a total of 27 out of the 41 corruption charges involving about N1.6bn preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The former governor was convicted and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment with the highest being 14 years for offences bordering on criminal breach of trust, criminal misappropriation, taking valuable thing without consideration and receiving gratification as a public officer.

In its judgment delivered on November 16, 2018, the Court of Appeal affirmed the guilt of the former governor.

But citing section 416 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 which prohibits the imposition of maximum sentences on first offenders, the Court of Appeal reduced the 14 years’ imprisonment to 12.

In addition to the 12 years’ sentence, however, the Justice Abdul Aboki-led panel of the Court of Appeal imposed a fine of N100m on Nyame, a punishment the trial court had omitted in the judgment delivered on May 30, 2018.

At the Supreme Court’s hearing of the appeal on November 14, 2019, Nyame’s lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN, urged the court “to allow the appeal”.

But the counsel representing the EFCC, the respondent, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, backed by Oluwaleke Atolagbe, urged the court to dismiss it.

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