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    Saturday, January 14, 2023

    Court Orders CBN to Freeze Polaris Bank Account

    Germany will soon drop a mask mandate on long-distance trains and buses, one of the country’s last remaining COVID-19 restrictions, the health minister said Friday.

    The mandate will be dropped on Feb. 2, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced in Berlin.

    Other European countries already have scrapped mask mandates in public transport, and Lauterbach faced increasing pressure to follow suit in recent weeks. Masks remain mandatory in doctors’ practices, while masks and negative tests are still required to enter hospitals and nursing homes.

    Rules for local transportation are a matter for Germany’s 16 state governments, and an increasing number have dropped or are dropping their mask mandates. Some also have scrapped rules requiring infected people to isolate at home.

    The long-distance transportation rules were scheduled to end on April 7, though legislation allows for them to be suspended earlier if the situation is better than expected.

    After one of Germany’s top virologists said shortly after Christmas that the pandemic is over, Lauterbach — who has long taken a cautious stance — faced mounting calls from inside and outside the governing coalition to do away with them.

    “The pandemic situation has stabilized,” the minister said Friday, with the number of known or suspected infections stagnating or falling, and the number of people hospitalized continuing to decline.

    “The population has built up high immunity, and the experts who advise us no longer believe there will be another big, serious winter wave,” he added. “At this point, we also don’t foresee particularly dangerous variants reaching us in the coming weeks and months.”

    Lauterbach appealed to people who want to continue protecting themselves and others to continue wearing masks voluntarily when indoors and on trains. -AP

    Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye of the Federal High Court, Akure, on Friday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze the account of Polaris Bank over a N2.16 billion debt.

    The judge granted the garnishee order while ruling on an application filed by the Ondo State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Charles Titiloye.

    In the judgment delivered in suit No AK/75/2017, Polaris Bank was held liable for mismanaging the account of the Ondo State’s ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs.

    The trial court held that the bank made unlawful deductions from the government account and ordered a refund and payment of damages.

    The court also granted a stay of execution pending appeal on the condition that the bank made payment of the judgment debt to an account held by the registrar.

    After Polaris Bank failed to meet the condition of the stay of execution of the judgment, the court granted leave to the state government to garnish the bank’s account with the CBN for the payment of the judgment sum.

    Justice Adebusoye adjourned the matter till January 16 for further hearing.

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