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1,000 Nigerians Apply To Return From U.S, Other European Countries As Federal Government Gives Conditions

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As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, over 1,000 Nigerians in the United States and other European countries have applied to the Federal Government to facilitate their return to the country.

The government has given two conditions to be met.

They must undergo a compulsory COVID-19 test in their host countries before leaving and subject themselves to a 14-day quarantine on arrival.

The conditions are in line with the guidelines of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Besides, they will bear all expenses of the trip.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), headed by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, it was learnt, has been collating the requests.

Nigerians who want to return home are in China, United States, United Kingdom, France, the United Arab Emirates, Spain and Italy.

Records showed that 200 of the 1,000 applicants are those in the United States, which is now the epicenter of COVID-19.

A top source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said: “So far, over 1,000 Nigerians have shown interest to be evacuated. The Federal Government has opened up talks with the relevant authorities and embassies.

“Some logistics are being worked out on how to airlifts the affected Nigerians. This administration is committed to the welfare of Nigerians at home and abroad.

“But as for those returning, they have to meet two criteria in line with the protocol of NCDC. They will undergo the COVID-19 test before leaving their host countries and compulsory 14-day isolation when they arrive in Nigeria.

“These two conditions are necessary in order to consider the interest of the larger population. If there is any spike, Nigerians will blame it on those who have returned from abroad.”

The source added: “We are still collating figures because more Nigerians are interested in coming back home.”

Giving details on her twitter handle, the Chairperson of NIDCOM, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa said: “Several people have registered.”

”Those stranded are actually not Nigerians living abroad. They are mainly Nigerians who traveled for one reason or the other and got stranded. They want to return home. We will do our best, with strict rules for them to follow before being allowed to board.”

She said the Federal Government was doing its best to negotiate reasonable fares for those willing to return home.

She added: “The Nigerian government is also doing its best. I hope you know how heavily US, Canadian and other citizens paid to go back to their countries. Nigeria is even negotiating very reasonable airfares. These are not normal times and we all hope it comes to an end.”

On the conditions set by the Federal Government, she added: “Unfortunately, that is the protocol given as at today which NIDCOM has no control over. If anything changes, all will be informed.

“It is beyond NIDCOM’s power. It’s an NCDC protocol based on very cogent reasons, I am sure.

We will continue to engage with them.”

BIG STORY

T.B Joshua Offers To Pray For COVID-19 Patients In Isolation Centers

Gbemileke Ajayi

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General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Pastor Temitope T.B Joshua Wednesday offered to virtually pray for COVID-19 patients in isolation centers around the world.

The cleric, in an announcement on SCOAN’s YouTube channel Emmanuel TV, urged the government and medical authorities to “organize those who are in isolation” and “arrange how to connect them to us on Emmanuel TV”.

“The blessing of Jesus is for those who knock and ask,” the announcement began. “In whatever way you support to make this happen, we are a team; we are not doing more than you,” it added.

“Together we shall pray for them. Together we shall be set free from this COVID-19,” the statement continued, quoting the Biblical reference in Luke 4:40 where Jesus healed “all who had various kinds of sickness after the mass prayer.

“The same anointing that heals one is also able to heal all at the same time,” it concluded, calling on all interested parties to contact the church via their email address [email protected]

Last week, the World Health Organisation reacted to a trending video in which a Cameroonian medical doctor was ‘healed’ of COVID-19 after receiving “interactive prayer” from Joshua’s ministry, acknowledging “spiritual leadership is very important in a time like this”.

His testimony was followed days later by a couple of university lecturers who said they had been healed of the dreaded virus, replete with medical reports before and after prayers from Emmanuel TV.

Since starting its ‘Interactive Prayer’ – in which online prayer is offered via video calls – Joshua’s ministry has prayed for COVID-19 patients from around the world including citizens of USA, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Honduras, and Cuba.

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: Ritualists Arrested Over Recent Killings In Ibadan

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Some suspected ritualists have been arrested by the police for the serial killings in Akinyele area of Ibadan, The Nation is reporting.

The Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, Mr Fatai Owoseni, disclosed this while addressing a town hall meeting in Akinyele on Wednesday. The meeting was organized by a private radio station JAMZ 100.1 FM.

Owoseni said the suspects would soon be paraded by the Oyo State Police Command.

He said: “Even though there is no town where there is no sin, I can assure you as I speak that the perpetrators of the killings in Akinyele have been apprehended.

“As of yesterday, the criminals have been apprehended and the Commissioner of Police would possibly hold a press conference today. But I can specifically tell you that the person behind it has taken police to the ritualists and they are now behind the bars.”

Owoseni emphasized the need for residents to be security conscious, stressing that everyone has a role to play in securing communities.

Five people had been hacked to death in strange situations in the community in the last two months. They included a 29-year old expectant mother, two undergraduates, and a child.

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BIG STORY

Pastor Arrested For Raping, Impregnating Daughter Three Times, Procures Illegal Abortion For Her

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A 44-year-old pastor of Christ Apostolic Church, Ogo-Oluwa parish, Oluwafemi Oyebola, has been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command for allegedly raping, impregnating and procuring abortion for his daughter three times.

It was gathered that the cleric had been living with his daughter since his wife, the victim’s mother, died a few years ago.

He was arrested following a complaint by his daughter at the Owode-Egbado Divisional Police Headquarters.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the victim told the police that her father had been forcefully having carnal knowledge of her since 2015 when she was 19-year-old shortly after the demise of her mother.

The PPRO said, “The victim further reported that she got pregnant for her father three times after which her father took her to a nurse where those pregnancies were aborted.

“After the third abortion, the suspect did family planning for her so she would not get pregnant again.”

Oyeyemi said the victim, upon realising that her father was out to ruin her life, ran away from the house and reported to a non-governmental organisation, Advocacy for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network.

“Consequent upon which she was taken to the Owode-Egbado Police Station to complain.

“After the report, the DPO Owode-Egbado division, SP Olabisi Elebute, led her detectives to the pastor’s house where he was promptly arrested.

“During interrogation, the suspect made confessional statements that all his daughter said was nothing but the whole truth,” the police spokesman added.

The PPRO noted that the state Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, had ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect to the anti-human trafficking and child labour unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and prosecution.

In a related development, a Senior Magistrates’ Court in Port Harcourt on Monday remanded a 26-year-old man, Kelechi Nwankwo, in a correctional facility for defiling an eight-year-old pupil at his residence at Elele, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The accused, it was learnt, was a private home tutor of the victim before he allegedly committed the crime on June 23, 2020, at his house in Elele, where he coached schoolchildren.

It was gathered that the accused allegedly inserted his finger into the girl’s private parts when he was alone with her.

The police prosecutor, Ochogwu Wilberforce, told the court that the offence was punishable under Section 218 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37 Vol. II, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria,1999.

The charge read, “That you, Kelechi Nwankwo, on June 23, 2020, at Elele Town in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, but triable in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did unlawfully have carnal knowledge of one (name withheld) aged 8, by inserting your finger into her vagina, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 218 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37 Vol. II, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria,1999.”

The Senior Magistrate, Lenu Baridam, declined jurisdiction in the matter and referred the case file to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.

The magistrate, however, ordered the accused be remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Service facility and adjourned till September 9, 2020.

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