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Presidency Bars Ministers, Other Abba Kyari’s Burial Attendees From Villa

Peter Okunoren

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The Presidency on Sunday insisted on its decision not to allow those who attended the burial of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, access to the Presidential Villa for 14 days.

The Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday tweeted, “There is nothing extraordinary about those of us who attended Abba Kyari’s funeral being advised to distance ourselves from the Villa.”

Kyari on Friday died of COVID-19 at the First Cardiologists Consultant Hospital, Lagos, where he had been undergoing treatment for the virus.

Medical experts had attacked ministers and other dignitaries, who attended Kyari’s burial for not maintaining the social distancing rule.

On Sunday in Lagos, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, at a press conference said centres were established to reduce the stress of health workers, who visited several local government areas for sample collection.

According to him, the centres will enable the response team to have a better view of what is going on and be able to diagnosis the virus at the early stage.

He said, “We have decentralised the locations where you can have yourself submitted for sampling. So what we’ve done is to move sampling stations to the local government areas. And if you feel that you have any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, you can present yourself to these decentralised sampling stations.

“They are not testing stations, they are sampling stations and if you meet the criteria for testing, you will be able to receive the counsel of the staff and your sample will be taken.

“We are not just testing anybody, there is a criterion for testing. You either must have COVID-19 symptoms to meet the case definition or be in close contact with somebody that has been confirmed with COVID-19. Your samples would be taken and it would then be sent to one of our accredited testing facilities and those facilities will then perform the tests.”

According to the list released by the state government, the testing centre for the Somolu Local Government is Wright Memorial Primary Health Centre Emmanuel Street, Somolu; that of the Ifako Ijaiye LGA is at Mini Stadium College Road; Ojo LGA, Ojo PHC 1, Rest House, Ojo; Eti-Osa LGA, Ikota Primary School, Lekki-Epe Expressway and Surulere LGA, Surulere LG Secretariat, Alhaji Masha Road, Surulere.

Also on the list are Kosofe LGA which has its centre at Ogudu Area Office, Ogudu Roundabout; Amuwo Odofin, Amuwo Odofin LG Secretariat, 41 Road, Festac Town; Ikorodu LGA, Ita Elewa PHC Oriwu Road, Ikorodu and Igbogbo PHC, Bola Ahmed Way, Igbogbo. The Lagos Island testing centre is at Igan Iduganran, Adeniji Adele Road.

They also include Epe PHC, Epe-Ijebu-Ode Expressway; Lagos Mainland, Simpson PHC; Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Akere PHC; Ibeju Lekki, Awoyaya Mayfair Estate; Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA Secretariat; Alimosho, Bola Ahmed Tinubu PHC, Egbeda; Ipaja Mini-Stadium, Fela Field, Ipaja and Rauf Aregbesola PHC 1, Powerline Road, Okunola, Mosan-Okunola.

The sample collection centres are also at the Ajibulu PHC in Osodi-Isolo LGA; Ikeja LG secretariat; Sango PHC in Agege, Ajara Flagship Health Centre in Badagry and Isola Road PHC in Mushin.

The health commissioner noted that the state government had ordered tailors to commence the mass production of face masks based on a standard design that had given to them.

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Ebonyi Governor Tests Positive For COVID-19

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Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease.

This was contained in a statement personally signed by him on Saturday.

Details later…

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Heritage Bank Shuts Branch For Disinfection Over Suspected Coronavirus Case

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Heritage Bank Plc said it has closed down an Experience Centre- EC (branch) at Allen Avenue; Ikeja over the “unconfirmed case” of Coronavirus for deep hygiene clean up after an employee took ill last week.

The bank in a statement made available to the press and customers noted: “in line with our emergency response plan and following regulatory practices, we have taken immediate steps to close down Allen Avenue, Ikeja Experience Centers- EC (branch) for thorough disinfection of the affected location.”

Contrary to rumour, the bank disclosed that whilst the suspected staff awaits her medical test from the Covid-19 Test Centre in Yaba, she had not exhibited any symptoms related to the virus.

“Neither of the suspected person or others in the EC had exhibited any symptoms,” the bank said in the statement.

Specifically, the bank stated that staff were advised to self-isolate for 14days forthwith which was in consonance with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The bank stated that the EC will undergo “thorough disinfection,” further affirmed, “Customers and staff safety remains paramount; hence we will recommence business with a new set of relief employees, as the current staff self-isolate.”

In the interim, the bank advised customers, “please visit other ECs or branches in Ikeja where you can conduct your daily transactions. Otherwise, you can use our alternate e-channels for seamless service deliveries.

“Heritage Bank remains resolute to continually serve you seamlessly despite prohibitions imposed on physical contact through our bouquet of electronic products which have been made available on notable mobile stores and our website (www.hbng.com).”

The bank noted that it would continue to intensify ongoing efforts via its intranet and other channels to keep staff and customers up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 information and provide clear direction and guidance expected of workers and customers.

“We have set up a COVID-19 Support Centre to offer COVID-19 safety tips to all our customers during this period, in support of the efforts of the Government and relevant bodies. Please send any information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic via these channels: E-mail: [email protected] and contact number: 01-2369099,” the bank stated.

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Hushpuppi Conspired To Defraud Premier League Club Of $124 Million

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United States authorities on Friday said an English Premier League club was among the victims the suspected Nigerian fraudster Igbalode Ramoni Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, conspired to defraud.

US Department of Justice said Hushpuppi will face criminal charges, alleging he conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a U.S. law firm, a foreign bank and an unnamed English Premier League soccer club.

“Abbas and others further conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club, the complaint alleges,” the Department of Justice said in a statement on Friday.

Abbas, popularly known as Huspuppi was arrested earlier in June along with Olalekan Jacob Ponle, also known as Woodberry and 10 others.

The 12 suspects were arrested in six simultaneous raids carried out by the e-police unit of the Dubai Police.

The gang was responsible for Dh1.6 billion (about N169 billion) fraud involving over 1.9 million victims. Items worth N15.845 billion (Dh 150 million) were also seized.

13 luxury cars worth N2. 640 billion (Dh 25 million), 21 laptops, 47 smartphones, 15 memory storage devices, 5 external hard drives, and 800, 000 emails of potential victims were also recovered from the gang.

Their arrest in an operation codenamed Fox Hunt 2 came after about four months of painstaking investigations into their activities., during which their social media activities were monitored by the highly trained police unit.

The video posted by the Dubai Media Office said their police were able to track the locations of the suspected fraudsters using their social media activities.

The Dubai Police said the Hushpuppi and his gang specialized in hacking corporate emails and then send fictitious messages to the clients of the companies whose email accounts they have hacked to redirect financial transactions and bank details to their own accounts.

“This was a challenging case, one that spanned international boundaries, traditional financial systems and the digital sphere,” said Jesse Baker, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Los Angles Field Office.

The DoJ affidavit alleges that Abbas and others committed a BEC scheme that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of approximately $922,857 in October 2019.

DoJ said Abbas and co-conspirators allegedly tricked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring money intended for the client’s real estate refinancing to a bank account that was controlled by Abbas and the co-conspirators.

The Dubai Police said he and Woodberry were extradited to the United States this week to face charges of money laundering. If convicted, Hushpuppi would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

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