The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has arrested a 36-year-old lady, Chioma Afam, in Benue state along with her partner, Peace Chidinma Caleb, 22, for trying to smuggle a total of 296,000 tablets of Diazepam and Exol-5 from Onitsha, Anambra state to Gombe state.
A press statement Wednesday by the Director Media and Advocacy NDLEA Headquarters Abuja Mr Femi Babafemi said, the suspect Chioma who uses multiple identities such as Amina, Uzoamaka and Ifunaya also wears a hijab to evade security scrutiny and cover her criminal activities.
She was “Arrested on Saturday 17th July, 2021, along with the 22-year-old Peace Chidinma Caleb who also wears hijab during routine checks and profiling of inward vehicles into Makurdi, the Benue state capital.”
“Their vehicle coming from Onitsha, Anambra State was intercepted along Makurdi – Alliade road while heading to Gombe State via Makurdi.”
The statement added that “A search of their vehicle led to the discovery of 43kilograms of Diazepam and 33kg of Exol-5, both weighing 76 kilograms with a total of two hundred and ninety-six thousand (296,000) tablets packed in four large ‘Ghana must go’ bags.
Curiously, the two interstate drug traffickers have rebuffed efforts to take pictures with the exhibits without wearing their hijab.”
Meanwhile, the Ondo state command of the Agency “On Sunday 18th July 2021 intercepted one Olu Ameh, a commercial motorcycle rider with 465 kilograms of cannabis Sativa along Ijagba-Ute road in Ose local government area of the state.”
“The illicit substance was said to have been bought from one Joseph in Ago-Akure, Akure North LGA and being conveyed to the buyer, a certain Egbonwon at Ijagba village in Ose LGA.”
Reacting to the two seizures and arrests, the Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Mohammed Buba Marwa commended the commanders, officers and men of the Benue and Ondo state Commands of the Agency “For their efforts to ensure that no illicit substance is allowed to pass through their areas of responsibility under whatever guise or cover to destroy the lives of innocent Nigerians.”
While wishing them and their colleagues in other Commands across Nigeria a happy Sallah celebration, Marwa charged them to remain vigilant at all times.
“For us in NDLEA, a kilogram of illicit drug seized by our gallant and courageous officers across the country is a kilogram less what is available on the streets and in our communities and that is why we’ll continue to encourage all our officers and men to continue to give their best in our pursuit of the mandate President Muhammadu Buhari has given us,” Marwa stated.
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Nigeria/Cameroun Border Bridge to Facilitate International Trade – Minister
The completed border bridge at Mfum community between Nigeria and Cameroun and the Ikom bridge will facilitate international trade between the two countries when inaugurated.
The Minister of Works and Housing ,Mr. Babatunde Fashola, made the remark while inspecting the two -lane bridge over Cross River at the Cameroun/Nigeria new Border at Ekok /Mfum and the new Ikom Bridge in Cross River State.
“This is the A-4 Axis coming from Calabar to Maiduguri through Ogoja to Katsina-Ala. So you will expect more volume of trade. And it is no accident that Cross River State bears its name. It is actually the River that named the state. That River opens to the sea and the Gulf of Guinea. And so high impact on international trade is expected”, he said.
Fashola also said , “We have had very strong relationship with Cameroun in terms of trade and business and if you go to Aba, Enugu, Abakaliki, for example, this is the route that facilitates trade, agro produce, merchandise, manufactured goods from Aba in Abia State.”
The Minister explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s strategy of planning and execution of infrastructure projects was yielding results through successful completion.
“This is a very strategic infrastructure to take Nigeria to the future for many more decades to facilitate relationship between brothers and sisters in Cameroun and Nigeria and to strengthen the bond of relationship in a joint development with the Republic of Cameroun and Nigeria.” Fashola said, adding that ‘’We are now entering the season of completion of infrastructure projects.”
The Minister while speaking with journalists after inspecting both the Nigeria /Cameroun Joint Border Bridge at Mfom /Ekot and the New Ikom Bridge at Ikom in Cross River noted that these bridges would increase the prosperity of the people, facilitate hundreds of jobs, movement of agro produce and manufactured goods.
He further stated that joint border patrol would also lead to security efficiency and position both nations to reap the benefit of the free trade zone agreement.
Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade who was represented by the State Commissioner for Works, Engr. Dane Osimasu at the sites of the inspection, said the Minister is a conceptualizer , implementor and committed to road development in the state.
He assured the Honourable Minister that counterpart funding from the state would always be provided where it is necessary in infrastructure development projects.
The Director Highway Bridges and Design Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr. Emmanuel Adeoye said during the inspection of Ikom bridge, “The project was awarded in October 2018 and it is due to finish by 7th November, 2021.”
The Director said, “The rate at which the contractor is working, by the end of October it should be finished. Right now as we speak, the job is 92% completed, with the time lapse of 68%. We are moving faster than the scheduled time, so by end of October we should be done with the bridge.”
According to him “the Road Lane Marking has also been done.
The Federal Controller of Works in Cross River State, Engr. Bassey Nsentip disclosed that several road projects were progressing without hitches in the State.
The Executive Chairman of Etung Local Government Council Cross River State, Hon. Nkom Etuk praised the Ministry of Works and Housing for the remarkable job done on the bridges.
The Ajassor Community Representative, Hon. Victor Njor said the border bridge has enhanced joint border patrol linking Cameroun and Nigeria within their community adding that “the people shall come out en mass when the bridge will be inaugurated soon”.
The border bridge between Nigeria and Cameroun is funded by the African Development Bank while the Ikom bridge is through the Sukuk bond.
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Governor Oyetola restates commitment to protect lives, property
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to further ensure the protection of lives and property of the citizens in the State.
He stated this when he paid a visit to the victim who was reportedly hit by a stray bullet after a police officer allegedly shot to disperse people at a traffic scene around Oke-Onitea area, Osogbo, on Tuesday afternoon.
The victim, Saheed Olabomi who sustained gunshot injuries is currently receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit, Osun State University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.
The Governor also visited the family members of the victim as part of efforts to show the Administration’s concern over the ugly incident.
While assessing the state of the health of the victim, Governor Oyetola expressed delight at the fact that the patient has been responding to treatment.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Works and Transport, Engr. Hussein Olatoke Olaniyan; Special Adviser on Security, Mrs. Abiodun Ige, in company of the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olawale Olokode, the Governor said no effort would be spared to ensure adequate treatment for the victim as government was ready to foot the medical bills.
While conducting the government’s delegation round the facilities dedicated to save the life of the patient, the Chief Medical Director, Uniosun Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Prof. Peter Babatunde Olaitan, said the patient was in a stable condition.
He said necessary surgery had been carried out on the patient to stabilise his health situation, saying, “thank God, he is responding to treatment.”
The hospital’s CMD noted that other operations would still be carried out on the patient to permanently stabilise and restore his health.
Speaking on what necessitated the sympathy visit, Oyetola said the visit became necessary to demonstrate government’s sensitivity to citizens’ welfare.
“The unfortunate incident that happened on Tuesday which involved the shooting of one citizen of the State was seen as a very serious development.
“We have gone to visit and sympathise with the relatives of the victim, starting from Aragbiji of Iragbiji, who is an uncle to the victim and also to other members of the family of the victim, particularly his father.
“We have been praying to God that the victim should survive this and come back to life. The Commissioner of Police has assured us that necessary measures will be taken to avoid a reoccurrence. He has also been directed to get to the root of the incident. Government will foot the medical bills,” Oyetola added.
Commending the delegation during a visit to the family of the victim, the Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Olabomi, appreciated the Governor and the Commissioner of Police for their untiring efforts at guaranteeing the security of lives and property of the citizens.
Oba Olabomi who is an uncle to the victim, said the swift response of the government to the situation had really helped to douse the tensions occasioned by the people’s reactions that followed the incident.
At the family house of the victim, the father of the victim, Mr. Adewale Oyedele Olabomi, who spoke on behalf of the family appreciated the visit of the government’s delegation, describing it, as “a rare honour.”
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ECOWAS Parliament Speaker advocates for technology to curb insecurity
The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Sidie Tunis has challenged Parliamentarians and governments of Member State on the need to harness the merits of the latest technological advancements, innovations and intelligence as viable tools to curb insecurity in the region.
The Speaker of the Community Parliament gave the challenge in his remarks, at the opening ceremony of the de-localised meeting of the Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Legal Affairs and Human Rights and Telecommunications and Information Technology of the ECOWAS Parliament, holding at Winneba, Ghana, from 27 – 30 July, 2021.
According to Dr. Tunis evidence shows that societies mired in violent conflict are often characterized by lack of development and shortage of economic opportunities.
“So, we must strive for the return of peace in our region as it remains the key component to sustainable development”, he added. “
“As the world continues to witness innovations and changes in the ICT architecture, the judicial system and its policy makers now have the opportunity to bring justice, law and order closer to the people.”
Through the rapid development of Telecommunications and Information Technology, he argued, administration of justice can be improved and made effective for the smooth running of the society.
“The digitization of legal systems is a development that has come to stay, and I have no doubt that if improved upon, life will be made easier for the people. “
This is because it stands to reason that peace can only prevail in a society that has justice and equity”, he said.
“Furthermore, it is pertinent to consider the conduct of elections, which is the bedrock of democracy and good governance considering this digital age. “
He noted that elections in the region continue to attract a lot of discussions.
“It is true that the Community is yet to attain the stature of most advanced democracies, where citizens express their rights through free and fair elections, thereby making their voices heard and their choices respected”.
He continued: “Our systems are still in the infancy stage and one major way to embrace rejuvenation is by ensuring that we roll out electoral reforms that can withstand the test of time.
The successes we have garnered in recent years must be consolidated through effective counting and monitoring systems, which have been provided for by technology.
To this end, beyond reforms, there must also be a system of accountability and redress that is void of violence and criminality”.
On the issue of the internet, Mr. Tunis noted that as the internet and other digital technologies expand the frontiers of businesses and exchange, cyberspace related crimes also increase.
“There is, therefore, a lot of danger if we do not have a harmonized system that ensures that cybercrimes of all sorts are not allowed to take place and in case they do, we should have the mechanisms in place to thwart calamities”.
The Speaker of the Community Parliament observed that whilst the region crave and yearn for more advancement in digital transformation, it must equip IT professionals and stakeholders with necessary policies to improve the functioning and efficiency of administrations, public policies and economies, as well as the well-being of our population.
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EFCC, NEITI Sign MoU, To Check Corruption in Extractive Industry
The Executive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa has reiterated the Commission’s resolve to sanitize and deal with fraud-related issues in the extractive industries.
The EFCC boss stated this during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the EFCC and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI led by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji at the Commission’s Headquarters, in Abuja.
The EFCC boss promised to use the Commission’s Extractive Industry Fraud Section to deal with issues relating to the extractive industries, and to sanitize the sector.
“I want to assure you that all the issues that your report will raise and all the issues that we are also seeing on our own relating to extractive industries, in oil and gas as well as in solid mineral, we will deal head on with them.”
Bawa promised to work with NEITI in meeting the expectation of both parties for the betterment of the country. “The Memorandum of Understanding is very clear regarding your expectation and our expectation and I want to assure you in addition to other issues of training and all of that, we will do our best and ensure that the industry is sanitized for the betterment of this country.
“The EFCC so much believe that if we can block the leakages, this country will not need to borrow a single cent from any other country to come and finance our budget and that is why we are interested in this MoU and that is why we are keen to see that the extractive industries are sanitized for the betterment of this country.” Bawa explained.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji noted that with the MoU, NEITI, which has no enforcement powers, will be able to leverage on the powers of the EFCC, to “bark and bite”.
“We are here because the EFCC and NEITI are in this together, to rescue our country from indiscipline, malfeasance, mismanagement of public resources, to work together with the EFCC to seek avenues to channel our peoples mind to living legitimate lives and adding content and public value to whatever assignment they have been given for the benefit of our citizens.” He said.
The NEITI boss also promised to work with the EFCC to strengthen their position and rescue the extractive industries resources. “We are very grateful that you have offered us the support and we will relate with mutual respect as two sister agencies and timely exchange of information and data will be very useful in this relationship.
The NEITI boss added that, “as an agency we believe in the work the EFCC is doing and we are very proud of the courage and excellence that this institution has exhibited in the face of all kinds of challenges, and we will continue to encourage men and women of goodwill, fellow Nigerians that are working here that you are on the right track and you have an ally in NEITI.” Picture below:
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Ebonyi Judiciary begins decongestion of Correctional facilities
Ebonyi State Judiciary has embarked on decongestion of Nigeria correctional Centers and custodial facilities in the State.
The Cheif Judge of Ebonyi State, Justice Elvis Ngene made this Known to Journalists in Abakaliki the State Capital.
Justice Ngene said the essence of this excercise is to ensure that justice prevails in the State and no one stays beyond expected time.
He said “Some inmates have stayed beyond the time they ought to be. Some were awaiting trial but have not been appearing in court, while some were forgotten in the jail”.
“In this Goal Delivery, two inmates were discharged and aquited, 27 were granted bail and 21 were further remanded all in both Nigeria Correctional Center Abakaliki and Affikpo Custodial Center“. Justice Ngene added.
He called on General Public to eschew crime as it leads to nowhere.
Ngene appreciated the efforts of the management and staff of Nigeria Correctional Center Abakaliki for making the excercise achievable.
The Controller Corrections, Nigeria Correctional Services Ebonyi State Command, Mr Ndubuisi Ogbodo said the decongestion excercise is a welcome Development as that would help the facilities be of a standard.
Ogbodo thanked the Chief Judge and his brother Judges for the exercise.
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