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EASTER CELEBRATIONS: Churches under lock and key in Abuja, Kaduna, Kwara. … Jam-packed in Kogi

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It was an unusual Easter celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic which has confided worshipers all over the world and, essentially in Abuja. Various worship centers in Abuja have complied to the directives of the federal government and and advice of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to remain at home amdist the lock down so as to contain the spreed of coronavirus.

At the branches of the Mountain Of Fire Church, there were no worshippers except the security personnel guarding the premises. According to the gaurds, everyone was in their various homes celebrating the easter, listening and watching the service on line.

At the Redeemed christian church of God Kubuwa, it was the same situation as services were conducted online just like the Catholic Church Kubuwa, which on a normal day, would have witnessed heavy traffic. The church premises was empty just the security was in the compound and a priest who were inside the church offering prayers to the lord. Lastly the living faith church wasn’t left out as all services were conducted online while food items were shared to members to enable them stay at home and enjoy the festive season.

Following the total lockdown imposed by the State Government to check the spread of coronavirus pandemic, Churches in Kaduna State were on Sunday shut despite the celebration of Easter.

Journalists who went round the state capital, observed that only the security guards of churches were outside the gates to prevent desperate worshippers from gaining entry.

At St. Andrew Catholic Church, Kakuri the security man on duty told our correspondent he has been instructed not to open the church for any worshipper.

According to him: “Yes, it is Easter period but, but the church leadership has instructed me not to open the Church to anyone, except the senior Reverends who may come to do one thing or the other and the woman who comes around to sweep the Church premises.

“This is the third week now the Church has not had service because of coronavirus. We don’t want to endanger the lives of worshippers.” He explained

It would be recalled that the Kaduna State Government had partially closed markets and prohibited all forms of gatherings, including church and mosque congregations.

The Government had threatened any group, church or mosque that violates the order prohibiting gathering of large crowd will have its property demolished, land title revoked and people involved prosecuted.

Some Christians who spoke to our correspondent said, they have been told by their pastors to celebrate Easter at home and pray that, God ends the coronavirus pandemic.
many churches in Kwara state on Sunday conducted online services for Easter.

In Kwara State, Churches complied strictly with Government announcement of a total lockdown from 6pm on April 10 after two comfired cases of COVID-19 in the state.

One of the major churches in the state, the Living Faith Church (LFC) aka Winners Chapel had directed its members to observe the Easter Sunday service at their respective homes, while it admonished members to hook up to the headquarters and watch the service online.

In the same vein, the Supervising Pastor, Pastoral Council of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church Worldwide, Ademola Popoola, charged Christians to emulate virtues of humility, perseverance and compassion exhibited by Jesus Christ.

He urged his online congregation to continue to live in peace and harmony with believers in other faiths, adding that good neighbourliness, selflessness and patience were among the lessons taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ.

The Cleric further advised Nigerians to reflect on how best to positively impact the lives of their neighbours and family members through love, kindness and care for one another as the world fights against COVID-19.

Prophet Emmanuel Alonge of the Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Imole, Ogidi Oloje headquarters, Ilorin called On Nigerians to be full of prayers and imbibe Christ-like sacrifices as exemplified by Jesus Christ during the season of Easter.

……KOGI CHURCHES JAM-PACKED

Meanwhile, in contrast to what obtained in other states, most churches in Kogi state were jam-packed for Easter celebration following relaxation of the lockdown order on Sunday.

Governor Yahaya Bello had on Thursday lifted the ban on religious congregations imposed in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Winners Chapel, Phase 1, it was a full house as worshippers thronged the Lokoja church headquarters without any fear of contracting the much-dreaded coronavirus.

At the Catholic Cathedral Lokoja, attendance was more controlled with the entrances along the Hassan Katsina road under strict control.

The Evangelical Church, also in the Lokongoma Phase 1 area, long rows of vehicles on both sides of the road in front of the church premises; attested to the volume of worshippers that braved the Covid-19 lockdown for the Easter Sunday service.

The State government had in its statement, enjoined religious adherents to do so responsibly as they continue to observe social distancing and other personal hygienic practices.

The statement which was signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, also said it was to allow religious bodies have their normal worship and services.

Some residents of the state interviewed, expressed consternation on the decision of the state government to allow massive congregation of worshippers at a time the scourge of the coronavirus was on the increase.

“It is not a time to play to the gallery or seek to please some interests when the general wellbeing of the citizens is at stake” said a respondent who chose to remain anonymous.

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open

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Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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BUHARI REMOVES ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, REPLACES HIM WITH SHEHU ILELAH AS NBC DG.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah

It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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