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Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic, Yahaya Bello Lifts Ban On Religious Gatherings In Kogi

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Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has lifted the social distancing order imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on religious congregations in mosques and churches across the state.

Bello, in a statement issued in Lokoja on Thursday, said that the lifting of the ban was to enable religious bodies to resume their normal worship and services.

The statement was signed by Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication.

The state government urged all religious leaders to put in place preventive and precautionary measures in their various worship centers in order to contain the outbreak and spread of coronavirus in the state.

Specifically, the governor directed that hand sanitizers must be provided for worshippers at the entrances of all churches and mosques.

” Sitting arrangements in mosques and churches should be done to ensure social distancing.

” We also urge churches and mosques to make their services as brief as possible in order not to keep a large crowd of worshipers within enclosed confinement,” the governor said

Bello then enjoined the religious leaders to continue to pray for the end of the pandemic so that the world could return to normal activities.

NAN reports that Gov. Bello on March 20, ordered the closure of public and private schools (tertiary, secondary and primary) in the state indefinitely as measures in preventing the spread of coronavirus disease in the state.

Bello said the closure of schools and other public gathering places take effect from Monday, March 23, 2020.

The governor also banned all forms of gathering involving 30 people and above as part of the preventive measures against the spread of the virus.

(NAN)

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BREAKING: DPO, Seven Other Policemen, One Civilian Killed In Kogi Bank Robbery [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

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Nine persons, made up of eight Policemen and one civilian, were feared killed on Thursday in Isanlu, Kogi State when a gang of armed robbers launched an attack on a first generation bank in the town.

The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that among those killed was the Divisional Police Officer in the town, two policewomen, and five policemen.

NAN sources indicated that while the DPO, the two policewomen, and four policemen were killed at the Police Station, one policeman was killed at the bank’s premises.

The other victim, a male civilian, died when a stray bullet hit him.

The armed robbers were said to have invaded the Police Station at about 1 pm and opened fire on all officers and men on duty.

The source told NAN that the Police Station was completely destroyed by the armed robbers who also set free all detainees in the detention facility.

The robbers later proceeded to the bank where they killed one of the Policemen on duty and carted away money.

An eyewitness, Segun Thomas, told NAN that the robbery operation lasted almost one hour.

Thomas said: “The robbers came in two vehicles – a bus and a car – with which they also escaped from the town.”

NAN learnt that the car, believed to have been snatched from its owner, was later abandoned around Kizito College, Isanlu.

William Aya, spokesman of Kogi State Police Command, confirmed the robbery incident and the invasion of the Police Station, but added that the casualty figure was “still hazy”.

Aya told NAN: “The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ede Ayuba, has dispatched the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operation to Isanlu to ascertain the true situation.”

Aya promised to brief the press “as soon as details are available”.

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Nigerian Lawmakers Reject Castration As Punishment For Rapists

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The House of Representatives has voted against a prayer seeking to recommend castration for rapists.

The House, at the plenary on Thursday, considered and adopted a motion on the rising cases of sexual violence in Nigeria.

A member, Mr James Faleke, had recommended that persons found guilty of rape should be castrated.

Just before the prayer was subjected to a voice vote, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, however, asked what would happen to an older female who rapes a younger male.

The comment generated noise in the chamber, The PUNCH reports.

Putting the prayer to vote, the nays had it.

In honour of victims of sexual violence in Nigeria, the House resolved that members should be dressed in black on the next legislative day.

The House is expected to sit on Tuesday.

Debate on rape and other sexual crimes lasted over two hours during Thursday’s plenary.

Details later…

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Alleged Rape: Nigeria Police Forward Biodun Fatoyinbo’s Case To Justice Ministry

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The Nigeria Police Force says it has forwarded the alleged rape case of the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation at the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The NPF said this in a letter addressed to Lagos-based photographer, Busola Dakolo, who is also the wife of popular musician, Timi Dakolo.

In the letter signed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, the police said the DPP would study the case file and then give advice.

The letter read in part, “I am directed to inform you that the Force Criminal Investigation Department had concluded its investigation and forwarded the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation for legal advice and further necessary action.’’

Mrs Dakolo had last year accused Fatoyinbo of raping her in Ilorin, Kwara State in 1999 while she was still a teenager.

The cleric, however, denied the allegations.

The scandal sparked a series of reactions last year which led to the pastor stepping down for several weeks.

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