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Nigeria Records 661 More COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Exceed 500

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Nigeria has recorded 661 more positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) – one of the highest figures reported so far in the country.

This was confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in a tweet on Saturday night, saying 19 more people died of complications related to the virus.

NCDC

@NCDCgov

661 new cases of ;

Lagos-230
Rivers-127
Delta-83
FCT-60
Oyo-51
Edo-31
Bayelsa-27
Kaduna-25
Plateau-13
Ondo-6
Nasarawa-3
Ekiti-2
Kano-2
Borno-1

19,808 confirmed
6,718 discharged
506 deaths

Giving a further update on the outbreak of the disease, the health agency noted that the new cases were reported in 13 states across the country and the Federal Capital Territory.

It added that Nigeria now has a total of 19,808 confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of which 6,718 have been discharged with 506 others dead.

Of the new cases, Lagos has the highest with 230 infections, followed by Rivers and Delta States which reported 127 and 83 more cases respectively.

Others are FCT – 60, Oyo – 51, Edo – 31, Bayelsa – 27, Kaduna – 25, Plateau – 13, Ondo – six, Nasarawa – three, Ekiti and Kano – two, and Borno – one.

With the latest update on COVID-19 in Nigeria, Lagos now has a total of 8,407 cases, followed by Abuja and Kano which have 1,549 and 1,184 infections respectively.

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Troops Kill 75 Boko Haram Terrorists, Recover Weapons

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Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole have killed 75 Boko Haram terrorists and recovered weapons in the northeast.

The Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, confirmed this in a statement issued on Sunday.

According to him, the terrorists were killed in an ongoing offensive in the region that resulted in casualties on Boko Haram fighters and equipment.

Enenche noted that the Boko Haram fighters met their death during 17 separate encounters with the troops from June 1 to June 30, 2020.

“It is evident from recent encounters with Boko Haram/ISWAP that the resilience of the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE is being sustained across the North-East Theatre of operation resulting to high BHT/ISWAP casualties on men and equipment as well as capture or surrendering of some of their fighters.

“In their resolve to end BHT/ISWAP menace in the North-East region, from 1 – 30 June 2020, the gallant troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE had a total of 17 encounters with the marauding criminals, neutralizing 75 of them in the process,” the statement partly read.

Weapons recovered from the insurgents include one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 13 AK 47 Rifles, one Sniper Rifle, 21 locally made guns, 2 Dane guns and one Rocket Propelled Gun.

Others are three hand grenades, five Rocket Propelled Gun bombs, 205 rounds of Anti-Aircraft ammunition, 1018 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and two Boko Haram flags.

The defence spokesman explained that one Gun Truck, one Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device, one Toyota Starlet car and several makeshift structures belonging to the terrorists were also destroyed by the gallant troops within the period.

He, however, regretted that during the period, one of their officers was killed and another injured in the process with 35 people rescued. Amongst those rescued are 18 women, 16 children and one adult male.

Speaking further, Enenche said four insurgents including two women were captured and later identified to be the wives of the local Boko Haram commander at Gajingi in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

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Alleged Kidnapping: Femi Falana Asks AGF To Produce Indicted Soldiers For Trial

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A Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has asked the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami to produce the indicted soldiers involved in the brutal murder of three policemen over suspected kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu in court for trial.

Falana made this call on Sunday via a statement he personally issued.

The legal practitioner noted that the military’s court-martial lacks the competence to try the soldiers for terrorism offences committed against police personnel or other members of the public.

He argued that the terrorism offence allegedly carried out by the soldiers were not provided for in the Armed Forces Act.

“With respect, the offence of terrorism allegedly committed by the indicted soldiers are not provided for in the Armed Forces Act.

“To that extent, a general court-martial or special court-martial lacks the jurisdictional competence to try the offence of terrorism committed against police personnel and other members of the public by soldiers who are subject to service law.

For the avoidance of doubt, Section 32 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended by the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013 provides that “The Federal High Court located in any part of Nigeria, regardless of the location where the offence is committed, shall have jurisdiction to (a) try offences under this Act or any other related enactment; (b) hear and determine proceedings arising under this Act,” the statement partly read.

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE

A COURT-MARTIAL LACKS THE COMPETENCE TO TRY OFFENCES OF TERRORISM

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN was reported to have said that the soldiers indicted in the brutal murder of 3 policemen who arrested a suspected kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (alias Wadume) could be tried by a court-martial. According to the Minister, “They are military personnel. First, they are to go through the in-house processes. There are two options – either to charge them before the court-martial which is a special court established by law for the trial of soldiers or in the alternative for the military after consummation of the in-house processes should consider handing them over for trial.”

With respect, the offence of terrorism allegedly committed by the indicted soldiers are not provided for in the Armed Forces Act. To that extent, a general court-martial or special court-martial lacks the jurisdictional competence to try the offence of terrorism committed against police personnel and other members of the public by soldiers who are subject to service law. For the avoidance of doubt, Section 32 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended by the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013 provides that “The Federal High Court located in any part of Nigeria, regardless of the location where the offence is committed, shall have jurisdiction to (a) try offences under this Act or any other related enactment; (b) hear and determine proceedings arising under this Act”.

Hence, the indicted soldiers were properly charged with terrorism along with other suspects in the only competent court in the land. However, since the military authorities did not release the suspects to the Police for the purpose of arraigning them in court the learned trial judge, the Honourable Justice Binta Nyako rightly ordered the Chief of Army Staff to produce them to answer to the heinous charge of terrorism and allied offences. Even though the Attorney- General withdrew the charges against the indicted soldiers the order that they be produced in court for arraignment has not been vacated or quashed either by the trial court or the Court of Appeal. Therefore, the Attorney-General is duty-bound by to ensure full and unconditional compliance with the valid and subsisting order of the federal high court in accordance with section 287 (3) of the Constitution.

Femi Falana SAN

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Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Worsen As Country Reports 544 Fresh Infections

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Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases continued to rise as the country on Sunday reported 544 fresh infections.

This is according to a tweet by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which said the new figure brings the West African nation’s total confirmed cases to 28,711.

The agency said the new COVID-19 cases were reported in 18 states in the country and the Federal Capital with Lagos State having the highest number of infections for Sunday – 199.

Other states which had new COVID-19 cases include Ebonyi – 65, Oyo – 47, Ondo – 46, Ogun – 31, Edo – 30, FCT – 28, Katsina – 25 and Plateau – 15.

The rest are: Bayelsa – 11, Kaduna – 10, Adamawa – 10, Akwa Ibom – 8, Gombe – 7, Kano – 4, Taraba – 3, Rivers -2, Abia – 2, Ekiti -1.

So far, 11,665 persons who contracted the virus have been discharged in Nigeria with 645 deaths recorded, according to the NCDC.

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