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Nigeria, Two Others To Begin Lassa Fever Vaccine Trials

The United States said on Monday a new phase of Lassa fever vaccine clinical trials would begin in Nigeria and two other countries in West Africa soon.

In a statement issued by the Public Affairs Unit of the US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, said the vaccine trials would also take place in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The statement added that the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative was awarded €22.8 million by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to conduct a Phase IIB trial of the IAVI Lassa fever vaccine candidate among adults and children in the three countries.

The statement read: “This joint award supports an international collaboration across Africa, Europe, and North America, called the ‘Lassa Fever Vaccine Efficacy and Prevention for West Africa’ which will also strengthen the research capacity of investigational sites where Lassa fever outbreaks and disease occur frequently.

The United States said on Monday a new phase of Lassa fever vaccine clinical trials would begin in Nigeria and two other countries in West Africa soon.

In a statement issued by the Public Affairs Unit of the US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, said the vaccine trials would also take place in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The statement added that the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative was awarded €22.8 million by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to conduct a Phase IIB trial of the IAVI Lassa fever vaccine candidate among adults and children in the three countries.

The statement read: “This joint award supports an international collaboration across Africa, Europe, and North America, called the ‘Lassa Fever Vaccine Efficacy and Prevention for West Africa’ which will also strengthen the research capacity of investigational sites where Lassa fever outbreaks and disease occur frequently.

“The LEAP4WA consortium consists of the following members: IAVI Inc., U.S.; IAVI Sichting, Netherlands; Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, U.S.; Ministry of Health and Sanitation/Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone; Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, U.K.; University of Liberia, Liberia; Epicentre, France; and Henry M. Jackson Foundation Medical Research International Ltd/Gte(HJFMRI), Nigeria.

“In Nigeria, HJFMRI will conduct the study at its Clinical Research Centre (CRC) supported by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

“Other supported WRAIR Lassa projects being implemented at the CRC and other sites across Nigeria include a Lassa incidence study in collaboration with the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, a Lassa seroprevalence study, and a potential opportunity for a CEPI-funded Phase IIa Lassa vaccine study through a WRAIR/IAVI collaboration.”

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Woman who masterminded self-kidnap, two others nabbed in Benin

A Benin, Edo State-based woman, Blessing Ogunu, who allegedly masterminded her own kidnap has been arrested by police operatives in the State.

The woman who is now cooling her feet with two other suspects in police custody, was arrested on 23 March, 2024.

The Command’s spokesman, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, in a statement on Monday in Benin, said the suspect was arrested with two other accomplices, Esther Anthony and Ukpebor Joel.

According to him, “The Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime Unit received a complaint from one Samuel Prince Omomuzo, of No 102 Ihama Road, GRA, Benin City who reported that one Blessing Ogunu, a staff of Bliss Legacy Limited, Benin City was kidnapped in Benin and the kidnappers demanded for four million, eight hundred thousand naira (N4,800,000.00) ransom.

“The operatives, using technical intelligence, arrested the supposed victim of the kidnap, one Blessing Ogunu, Esther Anthony and Ukpebor Joel.

“During interrogation, the supposed Blessing Ogunu confessed that she masterminded her self-kidnap because her company refused to allocate land to a customer whom they have received money from.”

Nwanbuzor disclosed that the suspects would soon be charged to court.

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NAF airstrikes eliminate 30 terrorist kingpins, fighters in Borno

The Air component of the Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), has executed a precision airstrike on the hideouts of ISWAP terrorists, killing over 30 of their fighters within Kolleram village along the shores of Lake Chad.

This is contained in a statement by AVM Edward Gabkwet, the Director, Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on Tuesday in Abuja.

Gabkwet said the airstrikes conducted on April 13, were a decisive blow against terrorism in the North-East.

He said the operation yielded significant success as the Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) post-strike conducted revealed the neutralisation of over 30 terrorists.

Gabkwet said that among those neutralised were some senior commanders of the insurgents including Ali Dawud, Bakura Fallujah, and Mallam Ari.

“Additionally, numerous vehicles, motorcycles, and logistical assets were destroyed, severely hampering the terrorists’ operational capabilities.

“Intelligence gathered after the air strike further indicated that the aerial bombardment effectively obliterated a key facility within the Kolleram enclave, which served as a hub for the terrorists’ food processing activities, including grinding machines.

“The success of these airstrikes underscores NAF’s commitment to eradicating terrorism and ensuring the safety and security of Nigerian citizens.

“By neutralising key terrorist figures and destroying their logistical infrastructure, the operation has significantly degraded the capabilities of the ISWAP group in the region.

“These airstrikes complement the ongoing efforts of ground forces in the Lake Chad flank and represent a crucial step forward in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria,” he said.

(NAN)

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Francis Okoye arrested in Anambra bound commercial bus with firearms, POS machine

A 22-year-old man, Francis Obinna Okoye, has been arrested by operatives of Edo State Police Command’s Monitoring Unit for alleged possession of firearm.
Also recovered from him was a blue-coloured pos machine.
Okoye who resides at No 26, Jatto Street, Okolo, Lagos State, was arrested on 7 April, 2024.
A statement by the Command’s spokesman, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, said the suspect was apprehended by the  operatives while on stop and search duty along Lagos-Benin expressway, by Ovia river axis.
He was intercepted in a commercial bus loaded with passengers from Lagos state heading to Anambra state.
The suspect allegedly confessed in his statement that one Emma whose surname is unknown, gave him the gun to threaten his uncle, Mr. Paul Okoye, who was alleged to have killed his father with chams.
However, when operatives of the Command took him to Lagos on Monday, 8 April, 2024, to arrest Mr. Paul Okoye, they found out that the suspect lied to the operatives.
“The suspect will soon be process to
court,” the Edo Police Command spokesperson said.
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