The Late 5: 12 die of cholera in Adamawa, SERAP advises Buhari to refer Obasanjo to EFCC and other stories


Here are the stories that drove the conversation today:

Twelve people have died of cholera in Adamawa state in the past four days, State Health Commissioner said on Wednesday, in the latest outbreak of the disease in the region.

 “A total of 142 people were infected and medical teams have been dispatched to the affected communities to contain the rapid spread of the disease,” Ahmad Sajo said.

He said the medical teams were yet to find out the cause of the outbreak.

Human rights advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project  (SERAP), has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to refer the alleged $16bn spending on electricity between 1999 and 2007 to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

SERAP, in a statement by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said apart from the $16bn, Buhari should also cause the alleged squandering of a total of N11trn in the power sector between 1999 and 2015 to be investigated.

The advice came on the heels of lamentation by Buhari on Tuesday that a former President (Olusegun Obasanjo) claimed to have spent $16bn on electricity without any result to show for it.

The Senate on Wednesday commenced the consideration of a request by President Muhammadu Buhari for legislative confirmation of five nominees as members of the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Considering the request on Wednesday, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, referred the request to the Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, which will screen the nominees and mandated it to report back in two weeks.

The House of Representatives has called on the Nigeria Police Force to investigate the spate of jungle justice and mob killings across the country and prosecute perpetrators of such acts.

This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Hon. Ezekiel Adaji (Benue-PDP) at the plenary on Wednesday who made reference to a report of Amnesty International, he put the figure of victims of mob justice from January 1 to March 31, 2018 at 29.

Adaji who had earlier pointed out that democracy which Nigeria operated was anchored on respect for the rule of law, said mob killings and jungle justice are the consequences of failure of criminal justice, the failure of society to apply uniform and equal standards.

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has accused the members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) of sabotage and fabricating stories making outrageous demands from the Federal Government.

At a news conference in Abuja, the NMA blamed JOHESU on why the industrial action embarked upon has continued to linger on, adding that the industrial action was an act targeted at them.

According to the NMA, the crux of the matter is agitations for equal pay with the medical doctors, an allegation that JOHESU leadership denies.

And stories from around the world:

Three Ebola patients left a treatment centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo after their families demanded to take them to church, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Two of the patients later died, while the third returned to the centre in the city of Mbandaka.

This presents a new challenge for health workers battling to stop the spread of the contagious disease, the BBC reported.

The US embassy in China issued a health alert Wednesday after a US government employee experienced an “abnormal” sound and suffered a mild brain injury — in an incident reminiscent of a mysterious illness that hit diplomats in Cuba.

US and Chinese authorities are investigating the matter after the employee, who was assigned to the southern city of Guangzhou, was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), said embassy spokeswoman Jinnie Lee.

In an alert emailed to US citizens in China, the embassy said it does not know what caused the symptoms or of any similar situations in the country, “but was taking the reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event,” urging people with medical problems to consult a doctor.

Sources in Ukraine says Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian President and President Trump.

The payment was allegedly arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Mr Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law.

Mr Cohen however denied the allegation.

Uzbekistan has revealed plans to gradually implement hundreds of human rights recommendations from a United Nations council, it said on Wednesday, but has refused to decriminalize homosexuality calling it irrelevant to its society.

The government has been routinely criticized by Human rights groups and bodies over human rights issues under President Islam Karimov who ran the country from 1989 until his death in 2016.

The new President, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has however commenced re-engaging human rights bodies in a bid to establish closer ties with the West and attract foreign investment.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has denied a request by Brazil’s ex-president Lula da Silva seeking emergency action against his imprisonment, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Lula, who is currently serving a 12-year sentence over corruption, asked the committee to impose so-called “interim measures” — a step the UN panel only takes when there is evidence an accused person is facing grave, irreparable harm.

“The Human Rights Committee will not grant interim measures in the case of Lula da Silva,” rights office spokeswoman Julia Gronnevet told AFP in an email.

Gronnevet noted that while the committee rejected the interim measures bid, it had not taken a decision regarding the substance of Lula’s larger case.

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