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New Guidelines As Lagos Enters New Phase Of Lockdown Ease

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New Guidelines As Lagos Enters New Phase Of Lockdown Ease

As Lagos state begins the second phase of the gradual easing of the lockdown, the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has given out new guidelines that would hasten and guarantee the safety of residents and contain the spread of the virus.

Governor Sanwo-Olu says a register will be opened to ensure inspection of businesses and compliance with physical distancing rules before the lockdown can be lifted totally.

He also called for special considerations for the elderly while he explained that he’s been holding series of meetings with leaders of religious organisations in the state on the best ways to ensure the safety of everyone ahead of the total lifting of the lockdown.

Below is the governor’s full speech.

Lagos considers full re-opening of economy, embarks on assessment of readiness of businesses

•LASEPA, Safety Commission to re-register, assess businesses before re-opening

•‘Infected Govt House staffers have recovered’ – Governor

Lagos State is considering full re-opening of the critical sectors of its economy, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, revealed on Sunday. But, the move will not be pushed in a hurry.

In the coming days, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be rolling out Register-to-Open initiative as part of the plans that would enable it assess the level of readiness of the players in the identified sectors for supervised operations.

The Governor spoke at a briefing after the State’s Security Council meeting held at the State House in Marina.

Sanwo-Olu said officials from the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) will be visiting restaurants, companies, religious houses to assess their level of readiness.

With the size of the State’s economy and numbers of businesses that operate in its domain, the Governor said the Government could not afford to keep people and businesses on lockdown permanently.

He said: “We are at a level where we are reviewing the other arms of the economy. In the coming days, we will be starting what we call Register-to-Open, which means all players in the restaurant business, event centres, entertaiment, malls and cinemas will go through a form of re-registration and space management.

“There is a regulation that will be introduced to supervise this move. We will be coming to their facilities to assess their level of readiness for a future opening. I don’t know when that opening will happen in the weeks ahead, but we want these businesses to begin to tune themselves to the reality of COVID-19 with respect to how their work spaces need to look like.

“For us, it is not to say they should re-open fully tomorrow or any time; there has be a process guiding the re-opening. We will be mandating LASEPA and Safety Commission to begin the enumeration process and the agencies will be communicating with all relevant businesses and houses in the days ahead. I must, however, caution that this should not be misinterpreted as a licence for full opening; it is certainly not. The State’s economy is not ready for that now.”

Sanwo-Olu said the Government agencies also would be visiting places of worship to evaluate their level of preparedness ahead of full reopening. He stressed that social distancing and hygiene would be fully considered in determining whether mosques and churches can re-open in the future.

“We are reviewing and considering how the phased unlocking will happen. If we see huge level of compliance, then it can happen in the next two to three weeks. If not, it could take a month or two months. It is until we are sure all of these players are ready to conform to our guidelines,” the Governor asserted.

Sanwo-Olu urged businesses, religious houses and residents to maintain the status quo while the State works out modalities for full re-opening.

The Governor disclosed that all the 10 staff of the Government House who tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) had fully recovered and returned to their beats. He said the disclosure was necessary to further promote transparency in the reporting and management of coronavirus cases by the State Government.

Sanwo-Olu enjoined banks and markets to strictly enforce orderliness in their premises. He directed that elderly people must be given the priority to transact their businesses in bank and markets between 9am and 10:30am, after which other younger customers should be allowed to transact.

Lagos residents, the Governor charged, must not take the easing of lockdown for granted, saying everyone residing in the State must collectively take responsibility for public health safety.

He reiterated that the use of face mask in public places is compulsory, while disclosing that the State had distributed a million free face mask to residents in the last two weeks. Thousands more will be distributed in the course of the week, the Governor said.

Sanwo-Olu said those walking in public places without face mask are risking their lives, urging residents to fully comply with public health guidelines.

The Governor, however, frowned at laxity observed in the enforcement of ban on inter-state movements. He also said commercial buses still lag in complying with spacing of passengers and 60 per cent load capacity.

Sanwo-Olu said: “We are not happy with the level of compliance by yellow buses despite assurance from their union. We do not want to use force to drive compliance; we want it to be self-compliant. We have also not seen the level of compliance we wanted for inter-state travels. We are seeking collaboration with Ogun State government and the police to ensure obedience to the directive on this.”

The Governor said the State’s whistleblowing policy had yielded encouraging feedbacks, adding that incidents reported by whistleblowers had helped the Government to further drive compliance in business places.

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Jarigbe Agom declared winer of Cross River North senatorial By-election.

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Jarigbe Agom is a candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

Jarigbe Agom

The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar, Friday declared Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe winner of December 5th, 2020, Cross River North senatorial By-election.

The court also nullifies the certificate of return earlier issued to Dr Steven Odey by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and directed that it be withdrawn immediately.

Stating that a new certificate should be issued to Jarigbe Agom as new senator elect and returned to office.

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Unknown Gunmen Behead Victim, Dump Head in a Market in Imo

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Unknown gunmen behead victim in Imo

Unknown gunmen have beheaded another unidentified person and displayed his head at Orie Okporo market Community in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State.

Unknown Gunmen

The ugly incident happened in the early hours of Thursday.

This has brought the number of such killings to three persons who have been beheaded in Okopro Community, starting from Tuesday this week.

Some of the sources from Orlu, who spoke to Newsmen on the beheading of residents have continued to link the activities to criminal elements, diabolical gangs operating freely in the area especially at night.

A source from the Okporo community said: “The head of this person was taken to the Orie Okporo market and dumped there. Just this morning we got the news and went to Okporo market where we saw the head of the person. we were shocked, asking what does this group of persons want to achieve?”

“You will remember Okporo market, is where a peculiar incident happened when heads of two other persons killed on Tuesday, were dropped and we don’t know what next again. We beg them to stop this kind of killing. Orlu is known for peace,” He said.

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IMN Leader, Zakzaky freed and acquited

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A Kaduna State High Court has freed the embattled leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife.

The judge in his ruling held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendants.

In a ruling that lasted over eight hours, the presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada upheld the no-case submission filed by Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife in an alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace levelled against them by the Kaduna state government.

El-Zakzaky

The duo has been standing trial for four years on an eight-count charge of alleged culpable homicide,  disruption of public peace and unlawful Assembly among others levelled against them by the Kaduna State Government.

The defendants were brought to court on Wednesday morning by officials of the Nigerian Correctional service amidst tight security.

Their lead counsel and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria,  Mr Femi Falana, had on July 1,  argued that all the 15 witnesses presented by the prosecution counsel were unable to establish any connection between the alleged crimes of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife.

El-Zakzaky’s Trial

Following El-Zakzaky’s arrest by the military on December 13, 2015, the IMN leader had experienced what may be described as a long contentious trial.

He marked his first appearance on May 15, 2018 where he was arraigned before a Kaduna High Court amidst tight security.

The Department of Security Services (DSS) had held the Shiite leader in detention despite a court order ordering his release.

However, the DSS complied with the court order and freed El-Zakzky who proceeded to India for medical treatment.

El-Zakzaky and his wife left Nigeria in August 2019 for India following a ruling of the Kaduna State High Court which granted them permission to be treated in the country.

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