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Pay Up! Family of Nigerian Boy Killed by Drunk Constable Demand N100M Compensation

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The family of Friday Arunsi, a 19-year-old man allegedly murdered by a “drunken” police constable has demanded for N100 million compensation.

The constable allegedly shot Arunsi dead on April 17 at Ebem Ohafia in Abia State, during a lockdown imposed by the Nigerian government to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

The Nneibo maternal family, represented by Chief Kingsheart Ukpai, is also asking for justice in a petition filed before the Abia Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality and extrajudicial killings, through its Counsel, Mrs Ngozi Ukwueni.

Ukpabi told the panel on Wednesday in Umuahia that the family was demanding justice and compensation for the “brutal killing of a promising young man” by a policeman.

The defendant was attached to the Ohafia Divisional Police Station, when the incident happened.

Ukpabi, who was led in evidence by the Defence Counsel, SP Stanley Ofoegbu, said that the 19-year-old deceased was the breadwinner of his family.

Narrating how the boy was killed, Ukpabi said that constable, who was said to be drunk at the time of the incident, shot and killed the boy, while he was unloading essential goods from a truck in front of a shop during the COVID-19 lockdown.

He said: “Three policemen were coming back from a drinking spree in their private car about eight poles away from the shop.

“The driver lost control, while the car veered off the road and rammed into the truck.

“The policemen quickly jumped out of their car and asked the boys to stop unloading the goods.

“While this was going on, the constable rushed to his house to pick up his rifle and immediately started shooting sporadically, hitting Friday in the process.”

He said that the deceased was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital from where he was referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia.

Ukpabi said that the boy was confirmed dead upon arrival at the hospital.

He further told the panel that his remains were deposited at the hospital’s morgue and that efforts made by his relatives for the police to release his body for burial had been unsuccessful.

However, the defence counsel wondered why the petitioners were still asking for justice, when the suspect “is already facing justice”, having been detained at the Umuahia Correctional Centre.

Ofoegbu prayed the panel to grant him an adjournment to enable him to continue with the cross examination of the witness at the next sitting.
The petitioner’s counsel did not oppose the application.

The Chairman of the panel, retired Justice Sunday Imo, thereafter, adjourned the matter to Dec. 1 for continuation of the hearing.

The 17-member panel, which was set to investigate cases of police brutality, extra judicial killings and other related matters, began sitting in Umuahia on Nov. 10.

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Nigeria Stock Exchange | All-Share Index and Market Capitalization increased by 2.19%

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Nigerian Stocks ended last week on a bullish run cumulatively. The All-Share Index and Market Capitalization increased by 2.19% to close the week at 34,885.51 and N18.228 trillion respectively. We had, on News Central Now, the CEO of TrustBanc Asset Management Limited, Oluwaseun Adesoye join Sulaiman Aledeh to discuss this.

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The Big 5 Review | 30 – 11 -2020

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Malaria Death Toll to Exceed COVID-19 Deaths in sub-Saharan Africa – WHO

More than 409,000 people globally; most of them children in the impoverished parts of Africa were killed by malaria last year, the WHO said in its latest global malaria report, and COVID-19 will almost certainly make that toll higher in 2020.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that, due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, malaria deaths will far exceed those killed by COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa.

More than 409,000 people globally, most of them children in the impoverished parts of Africa, were killed by malaria last year, WHO said in its latest global malaria report, and COVID-19 will almost certainly make that toll higher in 2020.

Director of WHO’s Malaria Programme Pedro Alsonso said “Our estimates are that depending on the level of service disruption (due to COVID-19), there could be an excess of malaria deaths of somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000 in sub-Saharan Africa, most of them in young children.”

“It’s very likely that excess malaria mortality is larger than the direct COVID mortality.”

Meanwhile, drugs like Hydroxychloroquine, which should have been used to treat malaria patients, were once sold out in many countries. Both U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro touted the drug as a preventative measure for the coronavirus.

But later studies have shown that it’s not an effective treatment for COVID-19. WHO has halted the drug’s clinical trials, as it doesn not reduce the death rate among COVID-19 patients.

Read also: Africa COVID-19 Cases Surpass Two Million – WHO

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also revoked the emergency authorization for malaria drugs championed by the President, amid growing evidence they don’t work and could cause serious side effects.

The WHO report found there were 229 million malaria cases globally in 2019. It further said that despite the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries around the world had fought hard and held the line against the disease.

But it also said “long-term success in reaching a malaria-free world within a generation is far from assured.” Some of the African countries worst affected by malaria have struggled to make significant progress since 2016.

Due to the ongoing transmission of malaria via mosquitoes in many parts of the world, half the global population is at risk of contracting the disease, and it still kills a child every two minutes. Despite this, the focus of worldwide funding and attention has been diverted, making preventable child deaths more likely.

Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, said the WHO report’s findings were “extremely timely.”

“The global health world, the media, and politics, are all transfixed by COVID, and yet we pay very little attention to a disease that is still killing over 400,000 people every year, mainly children.”

“And to remind you, this is a disease we do know how to get rid of – so it is a choice that we don’t.

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