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The 42-day countdown to being declared Ebola free for a third time began on Thursday, Dec 3, after Liberia released last two known cases. The patients, a father and a younger brother of a 15-year-old boy who died on November 23, were discharged from a treatment unit (ETU) in the capital Monrovia.
The country was first declared free of human-to-human transmission in May, only to see the fever resurface six weeks later, and officially credited with beating the epidemic for a second time in September.

Speaking to state Radio, Tolbert Nyensuah, head of the country's Ebola response said,
     "As far as we know (there is) no case in the ETUs in the entire republic of Liberia,"
     "We also know that there is no new known transmission as of today, based on our epidemiological investigations." Nyesuah added.

Nyensuah said 165 potential contacts of the family -- 34 of them high-risk -- are going into the third week of the 21-day observation period, with none showing signs of illness.

Liberia was the last country affected by the Ebola outbreak, with Sierra Leone declared free of transmission in November and Guinea's last known case recovering two weeks ago.

The patients' recovery triggered a 42-day countdown -- twice the incubation period of the virus -- before Liberia can be declared free of transmission for a third time.
 
Ebola has left more than 11,300 people dead since December 2013 in its worst ever outbreak. Liberia has registered almost 10,700 cases and more than 4,800 deaths.

The World Health Organization said in an update on the outbreak on Wednesday that investigations into the origin of the latest cluster of cases were ongoing.

Source: AFP Read More
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Following reports yesterday that the Nigerian Senate are planning to censor use of social media, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), today sent an urgent appeal to David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

SERAP asked the UN, through the office of Kaye, to 'urgently request the National Assembly of Nigeria, specifically the Senate, to withdraw a bill which if passed into law would undermine the internationally recognized right to freedom of expression and press freedom on the internet in the country.”

Below is the content of SERAP's letter to David Kaye


“We are seriously concerned that the National Assembly of Nigeria will any moment from now pass a bill to jail for two years and fine anybody or group of persons who send any alleged false text message or post false message on the social media against another person.”

“SERAP is concerned that rather than increasing universal and inclusive access to the Internet for all Nigerians, the National Assembly of Nigeria is working to undermine access of citizens to the Internet. Yet, freedom of expression entails the ability to both speak and receive information, including through the social media and other generated content services such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and chat applications,”

“By initiating this bill, the National Assembly is impermissibly restricting the ability of the citizens to use these tools to communicate, connect, and seek independent sources of information.”

“SERAP also contends that the bill will restrain access to internet and social media, curtail the freedom of the press, and online content in illegitimate, disproportionate, or otherwise unlawful and abusive ways. The real targets of the bill are social media and human rights defenders that might be critical of government policies or report on corruption involving high ranking government officials,”


“International law provides that any restriction to rights online must be provided in law, pursuant to a legitimate aim, and limited to only what is necessary and proportionate. SERAP believes that the bill falls far short of international requirements of legitimacy, necessity and proportionality,”

“The bill will also have chilling effect on freedom of expression in the country, as it will create an atmosphere of fear among bloggers and online activists who may not post critical commentary on Facebook or other social media platforms for fear of being sent to jail. The Internet cannot enable citizens and others to participate in governance or critique government policy if they cannot freely access information, use social media services, or if they fear being sent to jail simply for expressing their views.”

“The Senate has set in motion a process to accelerate the passage of this obnoxious bill. SERAP is seriously concerned that if passed into law the bill would contravene  Nigeria’s international legal obligations, including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a signatory,”

“While it is important to protect personal integrity in social media, a clean, transparent and accountable government that has nothing to fear will not use this ground as an excuse to undermine the sacred right to freedom of expression.”

SERAP therefore asked the Special Rapporteur to:
Publicly express concerns about the proposed bill and insist that the National Assembly of Nigeria should withdraw the bill 
Urge the National Assembly in particular the Senate to protect freedom of expression online in line with international standards
Urge the National Assembly to allow free space for expression without fear of criminal prosecution, and not to contemplate impermissible restrictions to access internet and social media
Urge the National Assembly to promote and facilitate access to the media in the country
Urge the National Assembly to ensure that in the exercise of its legislative duties it complies with Nigerian international human rights obligations and commitments

The bill, titled: “A Bill for an Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and other Matters Connected therewith”, is sponsored by Senator Ibn Na’Allah, APC, Kebbi South. The bill provides for an option of N4 million for persons convicted of false newspaper, radio and television statements and N2 million for offenders of false phone text messages or messages on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, or WhatsApp. The bill also punishes alleged malicious intent to discredit or set the public against any person or group of persons, institutions of government.

On the social media, the bill read: “Where any person through text message, tweets, WhatsApp or through any social media post any abusive statement knowing same to be false with intent to set the public against any person and group of persons, an institution of government or such other bodies established by law shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction, shall be liable to an imprisonment for two years or a fine of N2,000,000.00 or both fine and imprisonment.”

Signed
Adetokunbo Mumuni                  
SERAP Executive Director Read More
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Press statement from the Nigerian Military below...

Vigilant troops of 7 Division Garrison providing security at Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp, Dalori in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Borno State yesterday Tuesday afternoon apprehended an 11-year-old boy, Master Usman Modu Tella, a potential suicide bomber. He is suspect number 82 on the poster containing the photographs of 100 wanted suspected Boko Haram terrorists released by the Nigerian Army.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was from Bama town and is among 4 other children trained for suicide bombing by the Boko Haram terrorists. He further added that the 3 others have already carried out their missions at different locations. His job was to do same in the camp sometime in the future.

The boy also pointed out one other Boko Haram senior member, Alhaji Kerewu Abubakar at the camp. It will be recalled that due to the concerted efforts of the military quite a number of towns and villages hitherto held by the Boko Haram terrorists were liberated, this brought about an unprecedented influx of IDPs to the camp which the terrorists took advantage and infiltrate in order to wreck more havoc among the society.

The case of these suspects clearly indicated this point hence the need for proper screening of all IDPs with a view to ascertain their true identity. The apprehension of the suspects is a boost to the fight against terrorism and insurgency in that they were assisting with investigation that would lead to the arrest of more suspected terrorists in the camp and elsewhere.

You are please requested to disseminate this information to the public through your medium. Thank you for your kind and usual cooperation.

Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman
Acting Director Army Public Relations
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 The Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, has vowed to discipline, dismiss or jail any officer found guilty of corrupt practices.

While speaking to Customs officers in Calabar, Ali said the dismissal and jailing of corrupt officers will serve as a deterrent to others, and ultimately restore the integrity of the Service.

 â€œI want to make it clear to all of you that I have zero tolerance for indiscipline and corruption. I will dismiss and jail any officer found guilty of such. Indiscipline will no longer have a place in the NCS. We must have officers and men with impeccable character to promote the image of the service.

“Anyone caught falsifying any documents or compromising with fake imported goods will also be dismissed and jailed. The NCS has resolved that anyone caught in an unprofessional conduct, no matter the circumstances, will be dismissed and jailed for the offence,’’ the comptroller-general said.

“I am determined to undertake reforms and reorganise the service, so we can generate more revenues into the Federal Government’s coffers.

“We have been seen as the most undisciplined para-military organisation because we have refused to obey the laws that govern us. Para-military is all about discipline and we must operate on that basis. We must also work in line with the law establishing the service.
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Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the immediate former Minister of Finance, has called on the Federal Government to caution Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, over his recent attempt to link her to the alleged $2.1 billion arms procurement scandal.

Speaking on Wednesday, through Paul Nwabuikwu, her media adviser, the former Minister said she has absolutely nothing to do with the arms procurement issue.

 Okonjo-Iweala said Oshiomhole is after her because she stopped him from ‘taking a highly suspicious N15 billion loan’, hence his resort to making false allegations against her.

“As recently confirmed by the Debt Management Office, professional analysis showed that Oshiomhole’s loan request which was based on using low interest World Bank loan to offset high interest commercial loans would have left Edo state with a heavy debt burden and the the state would have found it very difficult to pay back.”

She said the failure of Oshiomhole to get the loan is behind his ceaseless campaign of lies.

Okonjo-Iweala stated that she has briefed her lawyers and that she is ready to explore all legal means, local and international, to defend her name against corrupt and compromised persons.

“It has become a pattern of behavior that each time Dr. Ngozi OKonjo-Iweala is internationally recognized, Governor Oshiomole and his cohorts embark on a cynical and devious ploy of trying to pull her down locally.”

“Just last night, December 1st, Dr Okonjo-Iweala was honored at a high profile event attended by Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton. Dr Okonjo Iweala was honored alongside Michael Bloomberg, Bill and Melinda Gates and Mo Ibrahim for their contributions to global development and humanity.

Gov Oshiomole and his cohorts should realize that their ill-motivated attempts to taint Dr Okonjo Iweala’s reputation will never succeed.”

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The students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 raised an alarm over the authority’s imposition of compulsory N7, 500 laptop fee. The students called for a quick intervention from  the newly instituted Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu. Speaking to journalists, some new students of the university described the N75,000 compulsory laptop levy as arbitrary and inhumane.

The school has introduced the new policy in their bid to ensure that they their students are computer literates. One of the new students whose identity cannot be disclosed said: “It is so sad that they are making education so difficult for the poor. “With this policy, we would now be paying close to N200,000 in a federal university per session. This is wickedness. “As I speak to you, I’m helpless because my parents don’t have that kind of money. It is wrong for anyone to make computer ownership compulsory. It should be a matter of choice. The management should not use us to make money.”

Another added: “We are begging the minister to urgently intervene because they are turning this university to a market place. “Some of our parents are leaving on N18,000 minimum wage; now they want them to pay N200,000 as school fees for one session. This is wickedness of the highest order. This computer ownership should be by choice.” “If the vice chancellor is interested in doing laptop business, he should find a market for it, not placing such burden on poor students.”

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An Igbosere Magistrate’s Court judge, Magistrate O. A Ogunbowale of Lagos State remanded 45-year-old security man, Musa Mohammed in prison for allegedly raping a 15-year-old boy.
Ogunbowale is facing a two -count charge of assault and rape.

The prosecutor, Inspector Asu Feddy said that the security man who resides on Glover Road,  Ikoyi committed the alleged crime on November 9, 2015, at 4:10p.m.
However when the charge was read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty.
The Magistrate consequently ordered that the defendant should be remanded in prison pending more investigation.
The case was adjourned to December 9, for review of facts and sentencing.


Vanguard Read More
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A 30 year old palmwine tapper, identified as Mr. Inibu, was killed yesterday by suspected Fulani herdsmen at Ofagbe community, Isoko North Local Government Area, Delta State, while trying to collect palmwine in a bush along the community’s road to Ashaka, in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of the state. While another man, Mr. Thompson Ogege was severely injured by the herdsmen.


The Olotu-Logbo of the Ofagbe Kingdom, Othuke Omejedo said:
“One woman ran to me that as she was going to the market, she met the lifeless body of a boy lying on the ground on the road leading to Ashaka. She said another one was injured.”
He said the body of the deceased had been deposited in a mortuary at Ozoro, while the one that was injured,  had been taken to a nearby hospital.
Omejedo said the injured victim told to them that they were attacked by the Fulani herdsmen as they were tapping their palmwine.
He said:
“We have never had any problem with the herdsmen because they have not been living in this community.”

Vanguard Read More
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A Nigerian man who claimed to be a preacher has been arrested after being accused of beating, robbing and raping escorts in hotels across Washington DC. Gabriel Omogbo of Hyattsville, Maryland, is charged with attempted first degree murder, armed robbery, first degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Police believe that the 33-year-old used the website Backpage.com to find female escorts & arranged to meet up with them.
 
According to WJLA, the first two attacks happened at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Rockville and on both occasions he is accused of raping and stealing from two women he had met online.

A third attack took place at the Radison Hotel in Rockville, where he is accused of threatening a woman with a knife.
He ordered the woman to take off her clothes before reportedly telling her 'You are going to die today.'
He then beat her, cutting her arms, legs and hands and stole her iPad, cell phone and $300.
The woman survived and told police that before he fled the hotel room offered her a glass of water. 

He was arrested after police traced CCTV footage from the hotels as well as collecting DNA evidence from each of the rooms.
CCTV footage showed a man matching Omogbo's description wearing blue jeans and brown loafers entering and leaving the hotels at the time of the attacks.
Omogbo is now being held at Montgomery County Correction Facility on a no bond status. He will next appear in Court on January 8 and could face life in prison.

According to his Facebook page, he preaches at the Celestial Church of Christ in Riverdale and is a former student at Bowie State University.
He also works as a security guard and currently lives at home with his parents.
Read More
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Violence erupted outside the APC headquarters in Abuja this afternoon over the inconclusive election in Kogi state.

Some thugs numbering over a thousand attempted to attack the party's choice in the December 5th supplementary election, Yahaya Bello as he arrived the secretariat this afternoon to attend a meeting with top party leaders.

The thugs engaged the supporters of Yahaya in a free for all fight. Police and other security agents are working to restore law and order. Read More
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