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333 Students Still Missing After School Kidnap in Katsina, Nigeria

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Following reports of the abduction of hundreds of students in northwest Nigerian state, Katsina, the governor of the state has revealed that 333 students are still missing.

Bandits attacked the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina state on Friday night with many students reportedly missing.

The Nigerian government has said soldiers and Police officers have since been on the trail of the kidnappers and identified their hideout.

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari said while some students of the school who escaped the attack have returned, there are still more than three hundred missing.

“Based on the available record we have, we are still searching for 333 students through either the forest or their parents to ascertain the actual number that have been kidnapped,” the governor said.

“We are still counting because more are coming out from the forest and we are calling through the numbers those parents that have phone numbers to find out whether or not their children have gone back home.

“We as government we are yet to be contacted by any group or person responsible for the kidnap of the students,” he said.

Nigeria’s Northwest has been plagued with banditry and a kidnap-for-ransom business that has seen at least five states in the region under heavy security threats.

Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States have been hotbeds for kidnappers in the last two years, with students of the Ahmadu Bello University abducted recently.

Residents of Katsina State and parents have gone out on protests against government as their lives are in grave danger.

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East Africa News

Zambian President Grants 246 Death Row Inmates Clemency

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President Edgar Lungu of Zambia has removed 246 inmates, who were on death row, and commutated their sentences to life sentences.

Minister of Home Affairs, Stephen Kampyongo, on Wednesday, said that among the inmates includes 225 males and 21 females.

He announced the commuting of the sentences during an event held at Mukobeko Maximum Prison in central Zambia’s Kabwe town which was streamed live on Facebook.

He made the clemency of death to life sentences for over 500 after 332 inmates had their sentences commutated in 2015.

He said the commutation of sentences of inmates would help decongest the section of condemned inmates at the prison which was meant for 50 people but now has over 400 inmates.

The move, he said, was also meant to protect inmates from contracting COVID-19.

In spite of the death penalty being on the country’s statutes, Zambia has not carried out any execution since 1997.

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Nigeria Confirms 15 Additional COVID-19 Deaths

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 15 additional deaths from COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of death toll in the country to 1,522.

The NCDC disclosed this on its website.

The centre also said that 1,303 new cases of COVID-19 was recorded, bringing the total number of infection in the country to 124,299.

The new infections were reported in 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The centre said Lagos, FCT and Nasarawa recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections on Monday, with 478 , 211 and 83 cases respectively.

Others state with new infections are Rivers-72, Kwara-42, Edo-36, Ondo-34, Benue-32, Kaduna-32, Katsina-26, Plateau-26, Kano-25, Taraba-25, Osun-22, Delta-21, Oyo-21, Niger-19, Sokoto-18, Ebonyi-17, Ekiti-14, Gombe-13, Ogun-12, Bauchi-11, Zamfara-eight, Borno-four and Jigawa-one.

The 1,270,523 people have been tested since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was recorded on Feb. 27, 2020.

The agency also announced that 917 patients have been discharged from isolation centres across the country after testing negative to the virus , raising the total number of patients discharged to 99,276.

It added that the discharged included 542 community recoveries in Lagos State, 103 in Plateau and 22 in Kwara, managed in line with NCDC guidelines.

The NCDC noted that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at Level III, is coordinating response activities nationwide.

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Police Rescue 5 Newborns from ‘Baby Factory’ in Anambra, Southeast Nigeria

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The Nigerian Police have rescued five newborns from a baby factory in Anambra State, southeast Nigeria.

According to CSP Haruna Ahmed – the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state – 10 suspects were arrested over their roles in the baby factory where young girls are impregnated and their babies sold by human traffickers.

Mohammed, in a statement on Wednesday, said three more children and five pregnant girls were also rescued in a raid on the factory.

“On January 26, at about 7 a.m., following an intelligence report, police operatives attached to the SIB and Area Command, Oraifite, coordinated by the Area Commander, ACP Afolabi Wilfred raided the house.

“The house which belonged to one Melvina Uju Uba is located opposite Nnamdi Azikiwe Orthopedic Teaching Hospital Oba in Idemili South LGA of Anambra state,” he said.

The spokesman listed the arrested suspects as Edna Nnadi, 37, Ujunwa Nweke, 25, Izuchukwu Uba, 24, Chinasa Ibeh, 19, Peace Effiong, 25, Gift Collins, 20, and Chimkaso Kingsley, 25.

Others are Happiness Monday, 18, Chioma Okonkwo, 25, and Uchechukwu Nwankwo, 18.

According to Mohammed, five of the suspects are heavily pregnant.

The rescued children would be handed over to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Children and Women’s Affairs for proper care.

He added that efforts are being intensified to apprehend other accomplices in order to bring them to justice.

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