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Update on $200bn COVID-19 Suit: Lawyers ebullient as fresh evidence boosts case against China

The move by some top legal practitioners in Nigeria to seek redress against China over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ravaging the World especially Nigeria may have gotten a boost as fresh evidence shows that the Chinese authorities were miserly with truth about the disease outbreak.

According to reports, the Chinese authorities took several days to alert the World Health Organization (WHO) about the initial cluster of cases and waited a week before releasing the virus genome to the public.

Even when they reported the emergency of the new virus to WHO on January 3, it first seemed a rectification of mistake of SARS outbreak in 2003 and was not definitive.

The report showed that it was already three months before China alerted the World about the virus, after it had already killed over 100.

Global Upfront Newspapers (GUN) gathered that this fresh evidence arising from investigations by experts seems to have boosted the case of the Nigerian lawyers who feel that the Chinese did not do the needful and should be liable for the consequences of their neglect.

Reliable information from Professor Epiphany Azinge (SAN), the leader of the over 20 Senior Advocates behind the case, shows that finishing touches are being put in their demands that will soon be filed.

GUN had earlier reported how Chinese Government rejected service of demand notice from group of Nigerian lawyers sent to Beijing via an international couriers company.

The Presidency in China refused to acknowledge the service sent via international courier service, mother DHL

The lead Counsel in the suit that has generated international attention, Professor Azinge, had told the media in Abuja that they are not deterred, pointing out that their cause is just and intentions noble. He assured that details of their demands would be made public after filing.

According to a statement by Professor Azinge, the Nigerian lawyers had approached the court in Abuja demanding $200 billion in damages for the “loss of lives, economic strangulation, trauma, hardship, social disorientation, mental torture and disruption of the normal, daily existence of people in Nigeria.”

The lawyers established a two-phase action plan, as they will first go to the Federal High Court of Nigeria and second, to persuade the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to institute a State action against the People’s Republic of China at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague.

“The legal experts will be claiming damages to the tune of $200 billion and the Chinese government will be served through its Embassy in Nigeria,” Azinge said.

Previously, an Egyptian lawyer has pressed charges against Chinese President Xi Jinping, calling on his country to pay $10 trillion in damages caused by the novel coronavirus in Egypt.

In a related development, last week, the U.S. State of Missouri filed a lawsuit against the Chinese government over the Coronavirus, alleging that the Asian nation’s officials are to blame for the global pandemic.

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