The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has said that 50 – 60 percent of the mysterious deaths recorded in Kano may have been as a result of COVID-19. The Minister said this at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. 979 deaths were recorded in eight municipal areas in Kano, Ehanire said when the deaths peaked in the second week of April. According to him, the indices of COVID-19 in Kano had improved. The Minister also said that the healthcare workers in Kano and the Northern part of Nigeria had become very jittery because of coronavirus and had stopped or slowed down attending to other patients which led to complications in health delivery. He added that 150 health workers were infected at the time of the arrival of the team while no infection among the one who received the training on infection prevention and control, thus restoring confidence. Nigeria currently has 12,486 confirmed coronavirus cases of which 999 are in Kano. The national death toll stands at 354 deaths, with 48 of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Kano. In another development, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors including members of the union working at the coronavirus isolation and treatment centres, has declared a nationwide strike starting from 15 June. The president of the association, Aliyu Sokomba issued a notice Sunday with Bilqis Muhammad, the general secretary, asserting that the doctors’ decision was taken after the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum given to the federal government to address their grievances. The association said its members working at COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres will also be withdrawn from providing services.

About 12 people have been confirmed infected with Ebola in a new outbreak of the deadly disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization said on Monday. This is coming in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic that countries of the world including Congo are making effort to curb. Authorities in the Central African country, last week, reported six infections in the northwestern city of Mbandaka, saying they appeared to be separate from another outbreak of the virus that has raged in the east since 2018. There have now been nine confirmed cases and three probable cases of the disease in and around Mbandaka, the WHO said. Six of those people have died, it added. The city sits on the Congo River, close to the border with the Republic of Congo. The country so far has recorded 4,015 cases of covid19. While 537 persons have recovered, 85 people have been confirmed dead. Genetic sequencing of the virus by Congo’s biomedical research laboratory showed the new ebola outbreak is likely to have started as a “spillover event”, a transmission from an infected animal, according to research published on virological.org, a molecular evolution and epidemiology forum. A situation report from the WHO said 300 people in Mbandaka and the surrounding Equateur province had been vaccinated, a tool health workers used to control the outbreak in the east, which has not seen any new infections since 27 April. Mbandaka suffered a small Ebola outbreak in 2018 that killed 33 people. Health officials say vaccinations and swift containment efforts including mobile hand washing stations and a door-to-door education campaign kept it at bay.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami is under fire for dropping the names of 10 soldiers named as accomplices in the kidnapping charges involving an alleged Taraba State kidnapping kingpin, Bala Hamisu, AKA Wadume, and others. An amendment to the charges announced at the Federal High Court in Abuja by the prosecuting counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, came days after the AGF took over the case from the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on 3 June 2020. Labaran cited the “bureaucracy” involved in bringing the soldiers to court and the need to allow the case to begin as the reason for the amendment which saw the number of defendants reduce from 20 to seven and the number of counts dropping from 16 to 13. The soldiers, whose names were removed in the amended charges are Captain Tijjani Balarabe; Staff Sgt. David Isaiah; Sgt. Ibrahim Mohammed; Corporal Bartholomew Obanye; Private Mohammed Nura; Lance Corporal Okorozie Gideon; Corporal Markus Michael; L/Corporal Nvenaweimoeimi Akpagra; Staff Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu, and Private Ebele Emmanuel. The names of a policeman, ASP Aondona Iorbee, and one Ahmad Suleiman (aka Dan Ball), were also struck off the charge. The defence lawyers for the remaining defendants did not oppose the amendment. The remaining defendants arraigned were Inspector Aliyu Dadje, who was a station officer at police headquarters in Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State, Wadume, Auwalu Bala, aka Omo Razor, Uba Bala (aka Uba Belu); Bashir Waziri, (aka Baba runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho); Hafizu Bala (aka Maiwelder); and Rayyanu Abdul.

Nigeria has received a “notice of non-payment” from Accugas, gas supplier to the Calabar Generation Company over outstanding invoices to the tune of $15.8 million. According to The Cable, this is the first step in activating the World Bank partial risk guarantee signed by the FG under the gas supply agreement and the ministry of finance is already making efforts to settle the invoices and avoid the scenario. Nigeria’s credit rating will not only be at risk with the cost of foreign borrowing likely to go up, but the $118 million sovereign guarantees could also be called in by JP Morgan Chase, the bankers. Under the GSA signed in May 2017, the country is obliged to pay Accugas over $10 million monthly with or without gas supply to the Calabar GenCo, owned by Niger Delta Power Holding Company. Accugas has issued at least three notices of non-payment to the FG over non-settlement of invoices and in the recent notice signed by Accugas’ Head of Commercial, Oge Peters referred to clause 18.5.1 of the natural gas sales agreement dated 12 May 2017 between Accugas and the Calabar GenCo and clauses 3 and 4.1 of the support agreement of the same date between NDPHC and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading. Peter said in the notice that a monthly invoice of $17,978,938.76 dated 7 January 2020 issued by the Seller and received by the Buyer on 9 January 2020 of which $2,141,176.30 has been paid leaving a balance of $15, 837,762.46. “Payment in respect of the Invoice was due on 8 February and a dispute Notice has not been received in connection with the Invoice by the expiration of the Due Date. The letter addressed to Calabar GenCo, NDPHC and NBET copied the International Development Association, JP Morgan Chase and finance minister, Zainab Ahmed.