Bagudu, Ekweremadu top list of Nigerians linked to 800 Dubai properties worth N164bn


Bagudu, Ekweremadu top list of Nigerians linked to 800 Dubai properties worth N164bn

The chairman of the forum of governors elected on the platform of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Bagudu, and a senator representing Enugu west senatorial district, Ike Ekweremadu, are among serving political office holders named to be part of 334 prominent Nigerians who are linked to 800 properties scattered around the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
This was revealed by a new report on illicit financial flows which put the value of the properties at N164 billion.

The report, which was published on Thursday by an American-based non-governmental organisation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is a product of an investigative research conducted by one of its nonresident scholars, Matthew Page.
According to the report, the prominent public figures otherwise described as politically-exposed persons (PEP), who were found to own these properties, cut across Nigeria’s major ethnic, religious and political divides.

The report noted that about 20 former and serving governors, seven former and serving senators, current and former heads of ministries, departments and agencies of government, commissioners and those described as ‘money changers,’ that is, bureau de change operators, own a significant number of the properties.
Some of the other identified individuals linked to the properties include the former PDP chairman, Ahmadu Ali; former Kwara State governor, Mohammed Lawal; former petroleum minister, Dan Etete; another former deputy senate president, Ibrahim Mantu; former managing director of the acquired Oceanic Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru.

Others are the former inspector general of police, Tafa Balogun; former chairman of military pension board, Bala Mshelia; former group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ladan Shehu, and a former head of the petroleum product marketing company, Samuel Okeke, among others.
About the report
The report, which is titled; “Dubai Properties” An Oasis for Nigeria’s Corrupt Political Elites”, according to its author is based largely on private data compiled by UAE-based real estate and property professionals.

Dubbed “Sandcastles data,” the UAE-based real estate professionals had in 2016, made the data available to the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (now known as C4ADS) as confidential sources. But as credible as the data is, the Centre added a caveat that they do not constitute property deed, which it noted is a form of official documentation strictly controlled in the UAE as confidential information.

“Further, the data, last updated in 2016, show the affiliation of individuals and entities with Dubai property at that moment in time, and, as such, this paper makes no claim that these affiliations have continued past that year. The mention of any individual, company, organisation, or entity in this paper does not imply the violation of any law or international agreement,” the report cautioned.
Some of the individuals’ share of the properties
Mr. Bagudu
Described in the report as Abacha man, Mr. Bagudu is said to be linked to eight properties on the twelfth floor of Dubai’s capital bay towers development. The properties are said to worth more than $4.8 million in total.

Mr. Bagudu’s name has consistently appeared in some of the recoveries of monies stashed abroad by Mr. Abacha. Mr Bagudu, the incumbent Kebbi State governor, helped Mr. Abacha embezzle billions of dollars from government coffers in the mid to late 1990s, according to U.S. court filings.
He has, however, continued to deny all corruption allegations leveled against him, but a 1998 Nigerian government investigative panel described how Mr. Bagudu and his accomplices siphoned these funds.

Very recently, Nigeria was reported to be committed to a deal that would give Mr. Bagudu about $100 million from funds recovered from his erstwhile boss, Mr. Abacha. This was revealed through a report by Bloomberg, which cited court documents.
The report noted that “when provided with an opportunity to comment on his possible connection to property in Dubai, Bagudu did not respond.” PREMIUM TIMES’ message asking similar questions sent to his telephone line and his WhatsApp page was not replied.

Late Mohammed Lawal: He was the governor of Kwara State between 1999 and 2003, and was a military governor of Ogun State between 1987 and 1990. Mr. Lawal is linked to six properties with a total purchase price of over $2 million. “At least, one of those properties, a villa, was bought in January 2003, while Lawal was still in office.”

Ike Ekweremadu: Currently Nigeria’s longest serving parliamentarian and three-time deputy president of the senate, Mr. Ekweremadu is said to be connected to eight Dubai properties, with an estimated total value of more than $7 million. “These include a luxury flat in Park Towers bought for $2.2 million and one in Burj Dubai purchased for $1.4 million.”

Described as a career politician, Mr Ekweremadu is also linked to at least two properties in the United Kingdom, which according to the records were purchased between 2008 and 2011 for a total of 4.2 million pound sterling in 2011.

“One of these properties, an upscale flat in central London, is registered in the name of Ekweremadu’s charitable foundation while the second, a detached house in a leafy north London suburb, is owned by a shell company registered in the British Virgin Islands,” the report stated.
The researcher noted in the report that through Mr. Ekweremadu’s unnamed spokesman, he denied owning “purported ‘hidden properties’” and has stated “unequivocally that he declared all his assets with the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by law.”
When contacted by our reporter, his spokesman, Uche Anichukwu, said he was unaware of the said report and requested that its link should be forwarded to him for reaction. However, as at the time of filing this report, he was yet to respond to the enquiry.

Ibrahim Mantu: A former deputy senate president and an advocate of third term agenda for former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr. Mantu is linked to 12 of the 800 properties which he was said to have purchased for a total of over 10 million dollars through a front company, TSE Stevedoring Nigeria.
His wife and sons reportedly own 70 per cent of the company. “Through another company, A-Z Properties, Mantu also is linked to a $600,000 flat in the Jumeirah Beach Residences while his son, Musa, is also tied to a comparable flat in the same development.”

Ahmadu Ali: A former chairman of the PDP, Mr. Ali; his wife, Marian Ali, and his son, Mamman Ali are linked to 11 of the identified properties. Seven of the said properties are worth about $4 million while the other four are said to be worth an estimated $2 million.
The report added; “Ali also owns two high-end London properties: a $10 million house near Hampstead Heath and a $1.3 million flat in Marylebone.84 Ali did not respond when given an opportunity to comment on the aforementioned allegations or his family’s possible connection to property in Dubai.”

Cecilia Ibru: The former bank managing director, her family and associates are linked to dozens of properties in Dubai as recently as 2016, according to the report. They include eight apartments in the Park Towers development purchased for a total of $4.3 million; a flat in Dubai Marina now worth about $500,000, and four commercial properties.
These are apart from $1.2 billion in stolen cash and assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria following her plea bargain with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, after she pleaded guilty to three of 25-count of fraud brought against her.
The forfeited assets then had included 12 homes in the United States; four homes in South Africa, 28 shop fronts and seven residences in Dubai; 41 properties in Lagos, and eight houses in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
Use of fronts
Meanwhile, the report also identified possible use of fronts by prominent Nigerians including former Delta State governor, James Ibori.
According to the report, about four political associates of the former governor were found to have ties to properties in Dubai. “One is linked to four Dubai properties, purchased for a total of $3.8 million, according to Sandcastles data. Another is affiliated with a two-bedroom flat on the 21st floor of the DAMAC Residenze, which, according to the developer, “comes with all the trappings of an indulgent lifestyle,” as well as “uninterrupted panoramic views of the ocean.”
The report further noted that the official reportedly purchased the apartment for over $1.5 million and also bought a flat in another development for $500,000.66.
“A third Ibori ally is linked to a two-bedroom flat on the 23rd floor of the DAMAC Residenze that he purchased for over $1.3 million. Yet another is tied to four luxury flats in Dubai, purchased for just over $2 million in total,” the report added.
There is also a businessman involved in technology and petroleum sectors, Shehu Badamasi, who is said to have created a Dubai property empire worth over 120 million dollars. He is said to have accomplished this despite being well-known to Nigerian law enforcement.
The report noted that Badamasi asserted that he and his companies do not, as of February 2020, own any Dubai real estate. “When asked to clarify whether he owned property prior to 2016—the period covered by the Sandcastles data—he did not deny owning it.”
The businessman was said to be known to the EFCC having been allegedly arrested, at least twice, for alleged criminal conspiracy, fraud, and diversion of credit facility worth roughly N17.7 billion.
“Badamasi appears to have owned Dubai property through two firms he controls. Through Nujuum Ventures, he was linked to 89 properties. He also holds an 11 per cent stake in Secure Electronic Technology (formerly the Nigerian Sports Lottery) through Nujuum. Badamasi’s other major corporate vehicle is Tanzila Petroleum, a petroleum products trading company. Through Tanzila, he was affiliated with 25 Dubai properties, purchased for a total of 25.7 million dollars,” report said.

The table below shows the distribution and ownership of the properties:

Individual TypeTotal IndividualsNo. of Individuals Suspected politically exposed persons (PEP) proxy>158
226 Known Nigerian law enforcement agency suspects13
216 PEP-linked businesspersons 50 91 Security sector leaders 14 71 Governor 35 69 Legislator 16 45 Department/Agency head 16 25 Minister 15 24 NNPC 5 13 Presidency staff
5

13 Judge 11 Total 334 800

Source: Sandcastles data (last updated in 2016).
Consequences
With her worsening poverty rate, which is said to be as high as 52 per cent, Nigeria was recently dubbed world’s poverty capital. However, in spite of this frightening stigma, a handful of the country’s elites have been found to control huge wealth stashed away in foreign lands both in cash and assets.
The report recommended strict response from the country’s anti-corruption agencies, noting that “ignoring this phenomenon would ensure that Dubai property remains an attractive conduit for illicit financial flows from Nigeria for decades to come.”
It added that failure to act appropriately will enable the outflows to “drain government coffers, drive up borrowing, and put further pressure on the naira, Nigeria’s perennially struggling currency.”
Speaking on the development, the spokeswoman for one of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Offences Commission (ICPC), Rasheedah Okoduwa, said the agency is determined to recover as much loot as possible.
She said the agency would study the report and consider its review for possible action.
“We will look into it and take appropriate action,” she said.
Mrs. Okoduwa’s counterpart at the EFCC, Tony Orimolade, neither picked his call nor replied text message forwarded to his mobile line.
Dubai’s ‘uncooperative’ stance
But the report has identified as a possible clog in stopping illicit outflows to the Middle East, Dubai government’s poor commitment to financial regulations.
The report noted; “For politically exposed persons (PEPs) with ill-gotten wealth, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an alluring destination for investing their gains. Although certainly not the only place to stash money, Dubai—dubbed the commercial capital of the Middle East—exercises minimal oversight and has few legal or logistical obstacles to transferring large amounts of cash or purchasing property.”
Dubai authorities are said to beyond reprimand by the western world, especially following the city’s relationship with both Europe and America.

“Western governments are constrained by their complex and cozy relationships with the UAE. The United States, United Kingdom, and many European governments enjoy close ties to Emirati leaders, underpinned by decades of close diplomatic and military cooperation. Strong financial and institutional links—not to mention robust defense equipment sales—have also helped cement ties. Compared to its neighbors, the UAE is a relatively stable and reliable Western partner in the Gulf region. Constrained by its own strategic imperatives, the international community lacks leverage—or even backroom influence—over Emirati decision making. This makes it difficult to apply coordinated and sustained pressure on Emirati officials on sensitive issues like Dubai’s role in facilitating illicit financial flows,” the report added.
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Jude Ighalo’s wife, Sonia reverts to her maiden name over his sister’s death


Jude Ighalo’s wife, Sonia reverts to her maiden name weeks after shading him over his sister’s death

Manchester United Star Jude Ighalo’s wife Sonia has reverted to her maiden name “Adesuwa”, weeks after she shaded her husband over his sister’s death.

Sonia ignited speculation of a marital crisis after she dropped shades via her Instastory, in which she alleged that her husband staged a party barely a week after he lost his sister.
She also insinuated that her husband was “celebrating in the name of an orphanage”, while his sister’s children who are now orphans are in deep pain in Canada.

Though she quelled claims of going through a divorce with her footballer husband via an Instatory post which read “to those of u panicking….Jude and I are still traditionally and above all legally married, No leave no transfer”, she has however reverted to her maiden name after he ignored her birthday today March 20.

Sonia whose Instagram handle was @sjighalo24 before now, now goes with @desuwa30 on same social media platform.




A quick check on Instagram also revealed that Jude Ighalo has been quite active on social media today, though ignoring his “estranged” wife’s birthday.
His last Instagram post shared hours ago came with the caption “#imissfootball #itmustendinpraise”. The comment section of the post was however turned off.

The footballer has also ditched his wedding and no longer appears with it in public.
Here are photos below;



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WAEC postpones 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination over Coronavirus


WAEC postpones 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination over Coronavirus

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Nigeria has postponed the conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates, 2020, until further notice. It was earlier scheduled to commence on April 6, 2020.

A statement released by the council’s Head of National Office in Nigeria, Patrick Areghan, on Friday March 20th, said the decision was as a result of the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the “serious implications” it has for the conduct of the WASSCE for school candidates.

“This decision is a demonstration of the organisation’s concern and support for the various protocols being put in place by the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria and the governments of the other member countries ti check the spread of the disease,” the statement in part read.
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UNIZIK graduate Onyinyechi Mmecha shares inspiring story


UNIZIK graduate Onyinyechi Mmecha shares inspiring story

An Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) Computer science graduate, Onyinyechi MMecha has taken to Facebook to share her inspiring story.
According to Onyinye who recently graduated as the Best Graduating student from the Computer Science Department UNIZIK, She just wants to give all glory to God and hope her story inspires someone.
She wrote:
“About a week ago, I was joined by families, friends and well wishers to celebrate the 14th Convocation ceremony of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka .

The event to me was not just to participate in the Convocation ceremony but also celebrate myself and and everyone who contributed in the journey as I was awarded the best graduating student from my department (Computer Science Department).While family and friends + the entire Zuckerville was celebrating me, I was busy reflecting on not just what has past but also what’s ahead of me. The journey from being a sales girl to finding myself at NAU prescience, Mbaukwu to joining other 2015 freshers to being a bunkie at Unizik female hostel, to building a Technology platform focused on changing the educational sector accross the globe starting from Africa, to finding myself at Florida, United States of America to being the #BGS from my department.I have pondered on so many #To-Dos including what the future holds for nwa Nmecha. 

I counted my blessings and couldn’t name the ones to come, I remembered thousands of friends who stood behind me as I walked through the journey of who I am today. Indeed I have the best of friends. I counted and recounted the doors shut before me, opportunities missed and the ones I couldn’t attempt.With lots of expectations from family and the society, I know I have gotten myself into something bigger than the little picture I have painted but I trust with God, I can do all things through him that strengthens me. The younger siblings are looking up to big sis, the entire community are hopeful, the church is waiting for the return, I couldn’t hold but become #RadicallyIntentional.

Special thanks to God almighty, my ever loving parents and siblings, my super supportive lecturers especially Solu Onyesolu, my office supermen and women, the Extraclass Team, the ZuckerFam, Hon. Maria Ude Nwachi, Hon. Nonso Smart Okafor, Chu KA, Pascal Okeke, Chukwunonso Nzekwe, the Abịa State government, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, My Bigger Boss Jide Awe, The Nigeria Association of Computer Science Students (NACOSS National), The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the Computer Professionals of Nigeria (CPN), the Young Innovators of Nigeria (YIN), the Startup Anambra Team, the YALI Anambra team, and so many of you too numerous to mention.Chukwu goziere m unu niile. 

Thank you for your wishes and prayers. God bless you once again.As the journey to becoming a new me just began, I am intentionally focused on creating this new version but also trusting God for what he can do.#LetsKeepBuilding#OnyinyechiNmech
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Coronavirus: Lagos bans religious, social gatherings of over 20 people


Coronavirus: Lagos bans religious, social gatherings of over 20 people


Following seven new number of people infected with the Coronavirus in Lagos, the state government has issued a new directive bringing down the maximum number of people that can gather for religious or social purpose to just 20 from its initial 50.
The state government made this known on its official Facebook page, with the headline, ’No social gathering of more than 20 people.’

It would be recalled that the state government earlier in the week, after a parley with religious leaders, both Muslims and Christian placed a ban on the religious gathering of over 50 people, while urging that the directive is complied with in order to curb the spread of the deadly virus in the state.

”The Lagos State government has banned all religious or social gathering of over 20 people within the state,” the government in its new directive, urging: ”It is important we all adhere to this directive.”

It went further to enjoin Lagosians to practice social distance of at least 1metre, while also calling on whosoever feels feel sick or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing or sneezing to dial the emergency numbers, namely:
NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
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Coronavirus: Cristiano Ronaldo Shares Tips On How To Stay Safe


Coronavirus: Cristiano Ronaldo Shares Tips On How To Stay Safe

Following the pandemic of coronavirus, five times Balloon D’or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to his official Twitter handle to share tips of how best to stay safe.
According to the Juventus striker, it is important to try as much as posssible not to touch the eyes, mouth and nose.
The talented striker is currently in his hometown, Lisbon(Portugal) where he is currently on isolation after a numbers of his team mates tested positive for the deadly virus.

He wrote:
Hi guys, just a little message and reminder of the steps we must all follow to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Please stay safe. #stayhome #staysafe
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Rivers PDP congress : Ambassador Akawor elected new PDP Chairman Rivers state





Former Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Desmond Akawor has been elected as the new Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State.
In his remarks, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike called on Nigerians to mount pressure on the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to ensure credible elections in 2023.
Ambassador Desmond Akawor was elected by PDP Delegates during the PDP State Elective Congress at the Obi Wali Cultural Centre in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
The New Rivers State Working Committee will assume office in May 2020, when the second term of Bro Felix Obuah comes to an end.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, National and State Assembly members joined other party delegates to vote during the State Elective Congress.

Akawor takes over from Bro Felix Obuah, who served out his two terms as Rivers State PDP Chairman, leading the party to electoral victories in 2015 and 2019.
The Rivers State PDP Congress was marked by strict observation of the Coronavirus Medical preventive measures, as medics were on ground to run temperature checks on delegates as well as apply hand sanitizers on them. For now, Rivers State has no confirmed case of coronavirus.
The accreditation of delegates and the voting process for all the officials of the new State Executive Committee went on peacefully. The Ward and Local Government Congresses were conducted across the State without rancour.

In a remark, Outgoing Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah thanked the Rivers State Governor for his support that helped the party to be successful in the last six years.
He said that PDP enjoys unprecedented internal party democracy because of the leadership provided by Governor Wike. He said the strength of the party is exemplified.

Chairman of Rivers State PDP Elective Congress Panel, Senator Sam Anyanwu said that 39 Party positions were listed, with 39 officials picking forms for each of the posts. The entire 39 officials were elected unopposed.#

PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus voted first, while Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was the second delegate to cast his ballot. Former Rivers State Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia, Former Deputy Governor, Engr Tele Ikuru, National and State Assembly members proceeded to cast their votes.

Delegates from the 23 Local Government Areas of the State thereafter cast their votes in alphabetical order.
Senator Anyanwu announced that that Ambassador Desmond Akawor polled 2908 to emerge victorious as the Rivers State PDP Chairman.
Born on December 1, 1964, to the family of late Eze and Lolo Jackson Akawor of Egberu Ndoki in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State, Ambassador Akawor is loaded with political and administrative expertise

He was Former Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Former Minister of State, FCT, Former Executive Director, Projects, NPA, Former GM/CEO, NDBDA, One time Commissioner for Water Resources & Rural Development, Former Commercial Manager, First Aluminum Plc, Director General, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike Campaign Organization 2015 & 2019.
Until his election as Rivers State PDP Chairman, he has been the Administrator, Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPHCDA).

Other major officials elected at the State Elective Congress are Mr Chukwuemeka Aaron, Deputy Chairman and Secretary, Benibo George, Financial Secretary, Shedrach Chukwu, Publicity Secretary, Sydney Gbarah, State Legal Adviser, Barr Kingsley Chukwu and State Woman Leader, Mrs Miriam Ogbonna.
Others are State Youth Leader, Ikpechi Oriji, Assistant Youth Leader, Mrs Joy Oyaghiri-Fagbemi, State Auditor, Philip Onyeche, State Treasurer, Barrister Blessing Amadi and State Organising Secretary, Kagbang Offis.

In his acceptance speech, Rivers State PDP Chairman, Ambassador Desmond Akawor commended the Rivers State Governor for creating the platform for peaceful congress in the state.
He said Governor Wike has been a worthy ambassador of the PDP through his superlative performance since 2015.
He said that members of the new Rivers State Working Committee will serve the party and lead it to greater achievements. He assured the party of the loyalty and commitment of the new executive committee.

Ambassador Desmond Akawor said that the leadership and membership of the new Rivers State PDP Executive Committee will always stand by Governor Wike throughout his administration.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike while addressing the congress said that PDP remains a force in Rivers State because his administration delivers on its development agenda.

He said: “We must continue to do what will sustain the hope our people have in government. If INEC conducts credible elections at any time, PDP candidates will win all the positions.”
Governor Wike called on the party to continue to support the State Government for the benefit of Rivers people.

“The party must continue to support the State Government. Don’t allow anyone to deceive you into distracting the State Government.
This is a time for governance, ” he said.

Governor Wike urged the new State Working Committee of Rivers State PDP not to lower the standard of performance set by the outgoing State Executive. He appealed to the incoming State Chairman to apply his wealth of experience to sustain the party.

The Governor praised the outgoing Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah for his commitment to the growth of PDP and his total loyalty to the leadership in the state.
He said: “Loyalty is not by mouth, showing appearance or seeing the Governor regularly. Loyalty is by conduct and the things you do at the back.”

Governor Wike said when the struggle to win back Rivers State started 8b 2013, a decision was made to elect Bro Felix Obuah because of his pedigree.
“We concluded that Bro Felix Obuah will not sell out. He stood firm, despite all temptations. Since he became chairman, he has never wavered. He has never sabotaged the State Government and the party.

“If it was constitutionally possible for anyone to stay, we would have allowed Felix Obuah to stay. It is going to be difficult to replace Obuah,” he said.
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus said that the State Congress is a transparent process that threw up a new State Working Committee in Rivers State.
He called for electoral reform ahead of the 2023 General Elections to avoid further electoral mandate.

The PDP National Chairman commended Rivers State Governor and Rivers people for standing firm to defend their mandate. He said that some other states were not as lucky as their mandate was stolen.Secondus declared that Governor Wike has done very well for Rivers State.

The Rivers State PDP Elective Congress was monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as represented by Emmanuel Wonke HOD EPM, Representative of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Don Umealor, HOD Legal, INEC Rivers and four other officials of INEC Rivers. From the National Headquarters of INEC: Stephanus Nsima, Imelda Okwute and Ngozi Onwuka monitored the Rivers State Elective Congress.
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Coronavirus: Bayelsa Shuts Down Schools, Bans Religious Gatherings


Coronavirus: Bayelsa Shuts Down Schools, Bans Religious Gatherings

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri has ordered the closure of schools in the state as a preventive measure against the spread of Coronavirus.

Diri directed that all public and private schools in the state to proceed on compulsory vacation with effect from Thursday, 26th March 2020.

In a statewide public broadcast, the Governor announced the suspension of all gatherings at religious worship centres, night clubs and other forms of public gathering that are above 50 persons with effect from Monday, 23rd March 2020.
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Coronavirus forces Messi to shave clean -


Wife reveals Coronavirus forces Messi to shave clean -

The Argentine football legend, Lionel Messi, has shaved his beard. This was revealed by his  wife, Antonella, that her husband decided to get rid of his beard for the fear of contacting coronavirus.
His new look brings back the glorious early 2010. According to Spanish publication, Tribuna, it is widely known having a beard could pose a serious risk for a person.
There were reports the virus adheres more to facial hair, moreover, bearded people tend to touch their face more often which could be dangerous nowadays, sportsvillagesquare reported.
“Having a beard also makes it complicated to put on a protective mask. Many medical workers have already shaved their beards so Messi could also act out of the solidarity for those on the frontline of this global battle.

Above all, Messi’s new look brings us back to the glorious early 2010s.
In 2011, Messi claimed the Champions League trophy by beating Manchester United 3-1 in the final. The Argentine scored the winning goal.

Moreover, in 2012 when Messi set a new all-time record by scoring 91 games in a single calendar year.
Leo played a total of 69 games for club and country that year, meaning that he scored about 1.32 goals per game or a goal every 68 minutes.”
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5 Hit Songs by Kenny Rogers You Have to Listen To




Kenny Rogers, an American singer known for his country style of music, passed on Friday at the age 81.
Rogers died under hospice care at his home in Sandy Springs, Georgia, and the family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency. They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date, a representative for the singer said in a statement.
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FG to shutdown Lagos, Abuja international airports Monday


FG to shutdown Lagos, Abuja international airports Monday
FG to shutdown Lagos, Abuja international airports Monday
The Federal Government on Saturday confirmed that it would shutdown all inbound and outbound flight operations in the Lagos and Abuja International Airports with effect from Monday.
The Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, confirmed the development in a letter addressed to all airlines’ Country Managers dated March 21 with Ref: NCAA/DG/AlR/ll/16/106.
Nuhu explained in a statement that henceforth, all airports in Nigeria were closed to all incoming international flights with the exception of emergency and essential flights.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the subject of the letter was an “Update on clarification on flight restriction into Nigeria due to COVID-19 pandemic”.
He said: “Further to our earlier letter on restriction of international flights into Nigeria, we wish to inform you that effective March 23 at 23:00 to April 23 at 23:00.
“The Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja (DNAA) will be closed to all International flights.

“Emergency and essential flight operations are however exempted from this restriction.
“This is in addition to the closure of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu; and Port-Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa; effective on March 21 at 23:00.”

Nuhu said domestic flights would continue normal operations at all the airports in the country.
He said all airlines were required to submit passenger manifest to Port Health Authorities prior to arrival of flights into Nigeria, adding that they should be guided accordingly.
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Nigerian Railways shuts train services nationwide


UPDATED: Nigerian Railways shuts train services nationwide

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced the shut down of all passenger train services with effect from Monday.

Spokesman of the NRC, Mr. Yakub Mahmood, said the board and management of the corporation approved the shut down as a measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The statement attributed the shut down to the “already known COVID-19 outbreak.”
“Further information on passengers’ train services will be made available in due course to our esteemed passengers,” the statement said.

Daily Trust learnt that the shut down affects all standard and narrow gauge train services on Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ogun routes as well as the ongoing free trial run of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge.
A senior NRC official, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “This is response to the nationwide lockdown in response to COVID-19 outbreak. This is in order to safeguard the lives of the passengers and our staff.

“The shutdown affects all train services including your darling Abuja-Kaduna train and all narrow gauge services on Ido-Ijoko route until further notice.”
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About Ben Roethlisberger joke Last Night



Ben Roethlisberger on the sideline against the Bills.
On Friday, Ben Roethlisberger sent a message to all his fans about staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The franchise quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers is currently spending his time inside with his family.
Roethlisberger’s message was shared by the team’s official Twitter account. The main goal of his message was to inspire those who can remain at home to make sure they don’t put others in harm’s way.

“If you have to (leave home), I hope that everyone practices good social distancing,” Roethlisberger said. “If you’re locked down in your house like we are, there are a lot of fun things that you can do.”
He also listed a few activities that his family is doing to pass the time, such as hitting golf balls in the back yard and playing charades.#

This video on Twitter sparked tons of fans to make jokes about his incredibly long beard.
Here’s the joke that everyone keeps making:
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Gov. Murphy Announces NJ 'Stay-At-Home' Order Due To Coronavirus


Gov. Murphy Announces NJ 'Stay-At-Home' Order Due To Coronavirus

NEW JERSEY – Gov. Phil Murphy issued a "stay-at-home" order on Saturday, and announced that five additional people have died, raising the state's coronavirus death toll to 16. He also announced 442 additional positive tests in New Jersey, raising the state's total to 1,327. (you can watch it live here, below).
"It's no time to panic. But it's no time for business as usual," he said.
The order provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work or engaging in outdoor activities.
The order also prohibits all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events. When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members or romantic partners, he said.
The orders shall take effect on Saturday at 9 p.m.
"From day one, we've made a commitment to be guided by the facts and take any action necessary to protect the health and safety of New Jersey's nine million residents," said Murphy. "We know the virus spreads through person-to person contact, and the best way to prevent further exposure is to limit our public interactions to only the most essential purposes. This is a time for us all to come together in one mission to flatten the curve and slow – and eventually halt – the spread of coronavirus."
Murphy's executive order further directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public, with the exceptions of:
  • Grocery stores, farmer's markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store;
  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
  • Medical supply stores;
  • Gas stations;
  • Convenience stores;
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;
  • Hardware and home improvement stores;
  • Banks and other financial institutions;
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years;
  • Pet stores;
  • Liquor stores;
  • Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics;
  • Printing and office supply shops;
  • Mail and delivery stores.
This does not limit:
  • The provision of health care or medical services;
  • Access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks;
  • The operations of the media;
  • Law enforcement agencies, or
  • The operations of the federal government.
Additionally, the order mandates that all businesses or non-profits, wherever practicable, must accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements, Murphy said.
To the extent a business or non-profit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangements, the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary, he said.
Examples of employees who need to be present at their work site in order to perform their job duties include:
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Firefighters and other first responders
  • Cashiers or store clerks
  • Construction workers
  • Utility workers
  • Repair workers
  • Warehouse workers
  • Lab researchers
  • IT maintenance workers
  • Janitorial and custodial staff
  • Certain administrative staff.
The order continues existing bans on recreational and entertainment businesses, requirements that all restaurants operate by delivery and takeout only, and the directive that all pre-K, elementary, and secondary schools close and all institutions of higher education cease in-person instruction.
Murphy also invalidated any county or municipal restriction that in any way will or might conflict with the state's rules.
The update comes as Murphy signed 16 bills into law, all intended to help New Jersey fight and deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Read more: Read more: NJ Gov. Phil Murphy Signs 16 Coronavirus Bills Into Law
Murphy also announced on Saturday the indefinite closure of all municipal, county and state public libraries in addition to all libraries and computer labs at public and private colleges and universities.
"New Jersey will continue to be proactive in our approach to identify and enact measures to promote social distancing," said Murphy. "While many of these facilities are an important part of the fabric of our communities, it's critical that we take this opportunity to slow the spread of coronavirus seriously."
That order took effect at 8 p.m. on Friday.
Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced the five deaths, saying three of the five were in either long-term care or rehabilitation facilities:
  • A Monmouth County man in his 50s
  • An Essex County man in his 80
  • A Bergen County man in is 40s
  • A Morris County woman in her 70s
  • A Bergen County man in his 90s
Persichilli also provided a county-by-county breakdown of the cases:
  • Atlantic 1
  • Bergen 113
  • Burlington 4
  • Camden 3
  • Cape May 1
  • Essex 34
  • Gloucester 3
  • Hudson 31
  • Hunterdon 3
  • Mercer 8
  • Middlesex 40
  • Monmouth 39
  • Morris 28
  • Ocean 13
  • Passaic 17
  • Somerset 7
  • Sussex 3
  • Union 38
  • Warren 2
Five more counties also will be getting coronavirus testing sites. Read more: Coronavirus Drive-Through Testing Sites To Open In 5 NJ Counties
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https://patch.com/new-jersey/moorestown/watch-live-gov-phil-murphy-issues-nj-update-coronavirus
 
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Vindication for Taylor Swift With Newly Leaked Kayne West Call Video


Vindication for Taylor Swift With Newly Leaked Kayne West Call Video


The coronavirus quarantine is hard on everyone but it just got a little bit harder for Kanye West. With so many of us staring at our phones and laptops, even those who long ago tapped out of his feud with Taylor Swift are agog at the latest development, a newly leaked video. It's a major escalation, ensuring that the saga will continue long after the Covid-19 pandemic passes.
L’affaire Taylor and Kanye has roots back to 2009 of course, but a particularly notable moment was in 2016, in which Kim Kardashian, as part of a “National Snake Day” celebration, defended her husband against accusations of lying by unleashing a video of a phone call. In the video, it appeared as if Swift gave approval for West’s risqué lyrics for the tune “Famous.” (If your memory is hazy, a step-by-step is available for further study.)

But now there is more. Someone — a guardian of truth! — as leaked the raw footage of what actually went down during that call.
If a full ten minutes of Kanye referring to his work as “Apple Steve Jobs-type music” isn’t your thing, there are some key takeaways. After asking Taylor to tweet-launch his new song, he then preps her for the controversial lyrics. There’s a lot of prevaricating, as well as using Kardashian and Ninja of Die Antwoord as a shield, then saying he’s been trying for eight months (eight months?!?) to come up with a more brilliant rhyme than “best” and “sex.”

Anyway, the point is that the couplet that West asked Swift to approve was not what ended up on the album. (He leaves the “I made the bitch famous” part out.) The video also shows just how savvy Swift is concerning her own social media impact, and why her launching West’s single (beyond being a preposterous ask on West’s part) would actually negatively impact the song.
The Internet, naturally, went haywire, and threw a #KanyeWestIsOverParty. And considering most everything is closed right now, the party may last well into the night.

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https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2020/03/vindication-for-taylor-swift-with-newly-leaked-kayne-west-call-video
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American singer Kenny Rogers is dead


American singer Kenny Rogers is dead

Famous American singer Kenny Rogers is dead. He was 81.His death was announced by the family early Saturday.
“The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25PM at the age of 81. Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family,” the singer’s family said in a statement released on his social media.

“The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency. They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date,” the statement said.

Married five times, Rogers is survived by his last wife Wanda and five children.
The three-time Grammy winner was inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association the same year.

Born and raised in Houston, he was the fourth of eight children in a poor family. He took to the guitar as an adolescent, and would sometimes perform with another aspiring local musician and future star, Mickey Gilley, reports Variety.
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corona virus chloroquine : a family of 5 poisoned of chloroquine



- Some Nigerians residing in Lagos state have been hosipitalised for chloroquine poisoning after taking overdose of the anti-malaria medication


- A doctor discloses that a family of five was hospitalised in the intensive care unit of a private hospital as a result of chloroquine poisoning

- The doctor says people who have not tested positive to the coronavirus are taking chloroquine based on unconfirmed rumour that the drug can cure COVID-19
Some Nigerians have been hosipitalised for chloroquine poisoning after resorting to self-medication based on the declaration by US president, Donald Trump, that chloroquine can be used to treat persons infected with coronavirus.
About 20 Nigerians who reside in Lagos are currently hospitalised in various hospitals in the state after taking overdose of the anti-malarial drug, Leadership reports.
A doctor disclosed that people who have had not tested positive to the coronavirus are taking chloroquine based on the unconfirmed rumour that the drug can cure COVID-19
Source: UGC
The newspaper stated one of the cases includes a family of five who were hospitalised in the intensive care unit of a private hospital as a result of chloroquine poisoning.

A doctor in the hospital who does not want to be named, disclosed that some people were rushed to the hospital on an emergency after taking chloroquine without prescription.
He said people who have not tested positive to the coronavirus were taking the anti-malaria medication based on unconfirmed rumour that chloroquine can cure COVID-19.

The Lagos state government also confirmed the development when the chief press secretary to the state governor, Gboyega Akosile, cited comments by the senior special assistant on health, Dr Oreoluwa Finnih, that some hospitals in the state were now treating patients who took too many quantities of chloroquine, leading to poisoning.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has admonished citizens of the country on the use of chloroquine, a pill famous for the cure of malaria, to treat the dreaded disease called coronavirus.
On its official Twitter page on Friday, March 20, told Nigerians that the use of the medicine is subject to the approval of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The agency said that for now, the global health body is yet to give its opinion on chloroquine as a means to eradicate the global pandemic.
It added that scientists are currently "working hard to confirm the safety of several drugs for this disease."

In another report, amid the spread of the coronavirus and the diligent search for treatments and cure, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Friday, March 20, announced the approval of chloroquine production for clinical trials. 

According to Channels TV, Mojisola Adeyeye, head of NAFDAC, disclosed this at the agency's headquarters in Lagos state.
Nonetheless, Adeyeye stated it clearly that chloroquine is not being approved by NAFDAC as a treatment of the deadly virus but for clinical trials to find a treatment for COVID-19.

While calling on experts and researchers that are interested in doing clinical trials, Adeyeye explained that only one company has been asked to make a batch of chloroquine for this purpose.
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Nollywood actress shan George:am afraid of remarrying after 3 failed marriages


Nollywood actress shan George:am afraid of remarrying after 3 failed marriages


Nollywood actress and producer, Shan George is no stranger to controversy, having been married and divorced three times.
But the 49-year-old grandmother said she might be willing to give marriage another shot if not for fear.
George, born to a Nigerian mum and British dad, said she is avoiding marriage for the sake of her peace of mind.

The actress noted that she would need to find a man willing to take her as a sister before dabbling into matrimony again.
“Marriage! Hmmm… to be fair, one of the reasons that would make me not to consider marrying again is that I am scared.
“I am an only child and all my life, I have always defended myself by myself, because it was just me. When people bully me, I man up and challenge them.

“So, right now, little things that seem like a threat to me, I could possibly overreact. It might have to take someone who truly sees me as a sister for anything marriage to happen again.
“I am just scared, let me carry my cartons of trouble and maintain my lane,” she told Saturday Sun.

She added that she hardly got lonely because of her line of work which confines her to locations for extended periods.
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okoi obono-obla arrested by icpc



Following months of running from the law, ICPC has finally arrested the suspended Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr. Ekoi Obono-Obla.

Obono-Obla’s arrest by operatives of the Commission Friday, in Abuja, comes after he was declared wanted in October last year by ICPC, for repeatedly failing to honour invitations sent to him.

The Commission, while investigating allegations of abuse of office, certificate forgery and fraud amongst others, had wanted Obono-Obla to appear before it to clear his name.

ICPC had kept surveillance on his movements and activities for some time until he was finally arrested along Aso Drive opposite the Millennium Park Abuja on Friday afternoon.

He was taken to the Commission’s headquarters and run through custody protocols including medical profiling.

Further investigation continues.
#DoTheRightThing #IntegrityPays

https://twitter.com/ICPC_PE/status/1241127268694601729?s=19
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Finally, the chickens have come home to roost ...
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corona virus treatment : Doctor claims he made breakthrough with stem cell injections


Doctor claims he made breakthrough with stem cell injections to treat coronavirus

A Chinese doctor who runs a lab in Wuhan - ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic - claims he could save thousands of lives after making a breakthrough in the treatment of the deadly pathogen, DailyMailTV can reveal.
Dr. Dongcheng Wu, an expert in stem cell therapy, said he has successfully treated nine patients who were hospitalized with novel coronavirus pneumonia.
The patients, mostly elderly, had developed serious breathing issues as well as overwhelming inflammation in their lungs before they volunteered for Dr. Wu's medical trial earlier this month in Wuhan.
Alongside conventional treatment, Dr. Wu infused Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells (UC-MSCs) directly into all nine patients' veins.
It's claimed they all made a complete recovery within days of receiving the treatment.
News of the breakthrough only reached Dr. Wu, who is partnered with American stem cell company Blue Horizon International (BHI), early last week.Dr. Dongcheng Wu (main), who runs a lab in Wuhan - ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic - claims he has discovered a treatment for the deadly virus. The expert in controversial stem cell therapy said he has successfully treated nine patients who were hospitalized with novel coronavirus pneumonia
Dr. Dongcheng Wu (main), who runs a lab in Wuhan - ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic - claims he has discovered a treatment for the deadly virus. The expert in controversial stem cell therapy said he has successfully treated nine patients who were hospitalized with novel coronavirus pneumonia Dr. Wu infused Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells (UC-MSCs) directly into all nine patients' veins. Miraculously, it's claimed they all made a complete recovery within days of receiving the treatment
Dr. Wu infused Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells (UC-MSCs) directly into all nine patients' veins. Miraculously, it's claimed they all made a complete recovery within days of receiving the treatment

WHAT ARE THE CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS?

The new virus, called COVID-19, is transmitted from person to person via droplets when an infected person breathes out, coughs or sneezes. 
It can also spread via contaminated surfaces such as door handles or railings. 
Coronavirus infections have a wide range of symptoms, including fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.  
Mild cases can cause cold-like symptoms including a sore throat, headache, fever, cough or trouble breathing.  
Severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory illness, kidney failure and death.  
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. 
In an exclusive interview, the scientist told DailyMailTV: 'This treatment could potentially save thousands upon thousands of lives, so naturally we are very happy with these results.
'Yes, it is a cure, but it is still very early in the process and we still have work to do.
'We need to finish the clinical trials to confirm whether the stem cell therapy is safe and efficacy to treat novel coronavirus pneumonia.'
Stem cells, often dubbed the building blocks of life, are cells that have the ability to develop into different cell types. They can also help repair damaged tissue.
Scientists can take stem cells from adult tissue such as bone marrow but the most controversial type are embryonic stem cells, which come from human embryos.
Dr. Wu and BHI only use stem cells taken from the umbilical cord placenta, which is considered throw away tissue.
Dr. Brian Mehling, co-founder of BHI, is working closely with Dr. Wu on the research and said the results of the medical trials are 'astounding'.
'As the coronavirus outbreak unraveled, coincidentally it started in Wuhan, China which is where our stem cell labs have been for over a decade,' he explained.
'A lot of people were coming down with severe pulmonary pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis and ultimately they were dying.
'But it's not the viral load that kills them it's the pulmonary complications that develop, just like influenza.
'So our research found that stem cells are extremely effective in decreasing inflammation and also enabling the body to repair damaged tissue.
'So we thought what the heck, let's give it a shot. We gave nine patients, who were in hospital with severe, acute pulmonary dysfunction, we gave them core blood stem cells via IV and 100 percent of them got better, so of course we were astounded.'Coronavirus brings about mild flu-like symptoms in most people, but for the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions, it can be deadly. Pictured: Tourists wearing masks in New York City
Coronavirus brings about mild flu-like symptoms in most people, but for the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions, it can be deadly. Pictured: Tourists wearing masks in New York City The breakthrough, however, could bring about a sea change in how coronavirus is tackled in the future and is a sign of hope for the most vulnerable. Pictured: Graphic showing the total cases worldwide and the death toll
The breakthrough, however, could bring about a sea change in how coronavirus is tackled in the future and is a sign of hope for the most vulnerable. Pictured: Graphic showing the total cases worldwide and the death toll 

WHAT IS STEM CELL RESEARCH?  

Stem cells, often dubbed the building blocks of life, are cells that have the ability to develop into different cell types.
They can also help repair damaged tissue.
Scientists can take stem cells from adult tissue such as bone marrow but the most controversial type are embryonic stem cells, which come from human embryos.
Stem cells are also taken from the umbilical cord placenta, which is considered throw away tissue. 
Stem cell research was much hyped a decade ago as the miracle cure for degenerative diseases, like Parkinson's.
But things turned sour when the therapy became mired in controversy over the use of stem cells derived from the fetuses of aborted babies.
Embryonic stem cells quickly became a divisive and highly-politicized issue in the U.S.
Dr. Wu and Dr. Mehling said that since their breakthrough the Chinese Government has approved and fast tracked clinical trials for the treatment.
And Dr. Wu's company, Wuhan Hamilton Biotechnology-Co.,LTD, has already received more than $5 million Chinese Yuan ($715,000) in government funding to begin research protocols, with more money expected to come in.
Dr. Wu is Chief Science Officer for New York-based BHI, which he is working with to seek the approval needed for clinical trials in the U.S.
Sadly, the scientist said it could take months before the treatment officially hits the mass market in China or the U.S.
The breakthrough, however, could bring about a sea change in how coronavirus is tackled in the future and is a sign of hope for the most vulnerable.
Right now there is no known effective treatment in clinical practice.
Coronavirus brings about mild flu-like symptoms in most people, but for the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions, it can be deadly.
Speaking to the effectiveness of the treatment, Dr. Wu said: 'It seems that the key to cure the pneumonia is to inhibit the inflammatory response, resulting to reduce the damage of cells and repair the function of the lung.
'UC-MSCs can significantly reduce inflammatory cell infiltration and inflammatory factors expression in lung tissue, and significantly protect lung tissue from virus-induced acute lung injuries.'
The UC-MSCs are manufactured by Dr. Wu's company at a lab in Wuhan and comply with the requirements of China's medical gold standard - Volume Ⅲ of the Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China (2015 Edition).
The doctor says his product has also passed the quality test of China's National Institutes of Food and Drug Control (NIFDC) and his firm is currently the only stem cell institution in the Hubei province.
BHI is moving quickly to seek the necessary Food and Drug Administration approvals in the U.S.
Dr. Mehling says they have submitted the retrospective study data to an investigational review board (IRB) and once the study receives a rubber stamp, a research paper will be written for publication.
His firm is also submitting a FDA protocol and applying for a study which they believe will be approved quickly due to the severe nature of the crisis.
Dr. Mehling said because his company has spent 10 years researching stem cell therapy, a treatment which he says is already 'proven' and 'tested', he believes their coronavirus treatment will be 'ready to deploy' sooner rather than later.Dr. Brian Mehling (pictured), co-founder of BHI, is working closely with Dr. Wu on the research and said the results of the medical trials are 'astounding'. He said that since the breakthrough the Chinese Government has approved and fast tracked clinical trials for the treatment
Dr. Brian Mehling (pictured), co-founder of BHI, is working closely with Dr. Wu on the research and said the results of the medical trials are 'astounding'. He said that since the breakthrough the Chinese Government has approved and fast tracked clinical trials for the treatment
Dr. Mehling, an orthopedic surgeon, said his firm is also about to publish a long-term safety study on stem cell therapy in which 30 patients received multiple doses over a seven to eight year period with no significant complications.
BHI already has two approved clinical trials for UC-MSCs treating osteoarthritis and diabetic nephropathy.
Dr. Wu said he has 400 doses of stem cells stockpiled in Wuhan and another 400 could be manufactured within three weeks to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
BHI, which has offices in Europe and the Caribbean, also has plans in place for international expansion to make the coronavirus treatment available to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
With the right infrastructure and supply chain in place, the company will also be able to roll out treatment for dozens of other conditions around the world.
But former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and former commissioner of the New York Health Department, Dr Tom Frieden, told DailyMail.com that the CDC will need 'clear evidence' that any coronavirus treatment works. 
'The priority now is to learn as much as possible about this virus and what works to stop it,' he said. 
'This will include randomized controlled trials of potential treatments, some of which may be effective. 
'Until we have clear evidence that any treatment works, and the means to deliver it to those who need it, we need to focus on what we can do now: wash our hands frequently, cover our coughs, not go out if sick, stop shaking hands, and practice social distancing. 
'Health care facilities should focus on surging safely by improving infection control, doubling or tripling intensive care capacity, and preparing to deal with large numbers of less severely ill patients and worried well, for example through screening outside in tents.' 
Dr Frieden is president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, a global nonprofit initiative and part of the global nonprofit Vital Strategies. 
Serial science and technology entrepreneur Nova Spirack, who operates a coronavirus information site with a team of doctors and medical experts called germinfo.com, says the new treatment could be 'great' if it passes FDA protocols, but warns that it likely won't be widely available for at least a year. Dr. Wu said he has 400 doses of stem cells stockpiled in Wuhan and another 400 could be manufactured within three weeks to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured: Dr. Wu and Dr. Mehling in the lab
Dr. Wu said he has 400 doses of stem cells stockpiled in Wuhan and another 400 could be manufactured within three weeks to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured: Dr. Wu and Dr. Mehling in the lab 
'Even if they find it working clinically and they have permission to test it on human volunteers, at this stage, if they wanted to go through FDA approval, it will take a year at least,' he explained. 
'A lot is happening with stem cell treatments so this doesn't surprise me. 'It looks to be a very promising direction and there's a number of trials in process. 
'There are a relatively small number of patients that have been treated so it's early days, but it's a very astonishing direction.' 
Spirack, a philanthropist and futurist, does note that while any new treatment will miss the window to treat anyone infected in the first wave of the coronavirus, it will be available for what he predicts will be second and third waves of the disease. 
Dr. Wu is a professor at Wuhan University School of Basic Medical Science, Chu Tian Scholar, and Director of the Stem Cell Centre, Hongqiao Brain Hospital
The first cases of novel coronavirus were reported in Wuhan late last year, and until recently, China has borne the brunt of the outbreak.
Almost three quarters of the more than 110,000 or so confirmed global cases are in mainland China and more than 3,000 people have died as a result of the virus, with the majority in Hubei province.
The Chinese government has placed hundreds of millions of people under lockdown, while others have been unable to return to work due to travel restrictions.
Stem cell research was much hyped a decade ago as the miracle cure for degenerative diseases, like Parkinson's.
But things turned sour when the therapy became mired in controversy over the use of stem cells derived from the fetuses of aborted babies.
Embryonic stem cells quickly became a divisive and highly-politicized issue in the U.S.
The biomedical industry relied on the malleable cells for groundbreaking research, but their use raised serious questions of morality and ethics.
Today, however, the technology has moved on.
Still, Dr. Mehling said stem cell research gets an incredibly bad rap because of misinformation.
'There's a huge biggest misconception about stem cells that has been perpetuated, a lot of people think that stem cells are involved with fetal embryonic tissue, like aborted babies, that's just not the case,' he said.
'That's something that's happened in the past but it's not something happening now at the forefront of stem cell medicine.
'Fortunately today you don't need embryonic or fetal cells to get useful stem cell lines to treat all these different diseases, so the technology has advanced to the point where it's just not necessary to use those sources of stem cells.'
Dr. Mehling explained that the stem cells are instead taken from the placenta cord tissue of healthy babies. Another source is the patient themselves.
Many experts in the field blame the pharmaceutical lobby for hindering the advancement of stem cell research in the U.S.
The pharma giants realized that developing a miracle cure for dozens of serious conditions could seriously dent their revenues, for the simple reason that millions of patients would no longer be reliant on expensive medication.
For more information about Blue Horizon International visit: bluehorizonstemcells.com    
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