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NDLEA Grabs Sokoto Village Head Over Illicit Drugs

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested the village head of Gidan Abba in the Bodinga local government area of Sokoto State, Mr Abubakar Ibrahim, for his alleged role in drug trafficking.

This was disclosed in a statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi.

The agency revealed that Mr Ibrahim was among 11 suspects arrested in interdiction operations in which 991,320 pills of pharmaceutical opioids and 1,251kgs of cannabis and khat, as well as 46.637 kilograms of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, were recovered by operatives across seven states.

The village head, 38, was arrested in Bodinga town the same day with 3kgs of cannabis Sativa and 4,000 tablets of exol-5.

Operatives seized 146,000 pills of Tramadol 225mg in a buy and bust operation in the Oshodi area of Lagos state on Tuesday, October 25.

It was disclosed that at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos, NDLEA operatives attached to the SAHCO import shed on Wednesday, October 26, intercepted 15 cartons containing 802,000 pills of Tramadol imported from Dubai, UAE, and Karachi, Pakistan.

Also, 10 cartons of Tramadol 225mg came in from Dubai on an Ethiopian Airlines flight, four cartons of 100mg and a carton of 225mg Tramadol came from Karachi, Pakistan, on another Ethiopian Airlines flight.

On the same day, operatives at the SAHCO export shed intercepted cans of tomato paste going to the United Kingdom. A thorough search of the consignment revealed that the tomato cans were used to conceal 36 pellets of cannabis with a gross weight of 21.30 kilograms, while a cargo agent, Mr Sodehinde Akinwale, has been arrested in connection with the seizure.

In the same vein, a 27-year-old Madu Chukwuemeka Miracle was arrested by operatives at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, AIIA, Enugu, on arrival from Nairobi, Kenya, via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday, October 26. A search of his three bags revealed 76 foreign bathing soaps made with cocaine in one of the bags, while another had two plastic bottles containing cream-like liquid, which tested positive for cocaine. The cocaine bars weighed 10.650 kilograms, while the liquid cocaine weighed 2.496 kilograms, bringing the total weight to 13.146 kilograms.

Two days after, on Friday, October 28, operatives attached to the NAHCO import shed of the Lagos airport seized five cartons of dried khat leaves weighing 107.70kgs that came in from Bangkok, Thailand, through Dubai on an Emirates Airline flight.

A follow-up operation on the seizure of 11.90kgs Meth concealed in the heads of dried fish going to Dubai, UAE, on August 5 has led to the arrest of a 30-year-old bricklayer, Mr Babatunde Quadri Mamowora, on Thursday, October 27, in Sango Ota area of Ogun State in collaboration with men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in the area.

In Kogi state, NDLEA operatives on a stop and search operation along Okene-Abuja highway on Thursday, October 27, intercepted a Chisco branded bus coming from Lagos to Abuja with a consignment of 32.9kgs Meth packaged as tubers of yam; 376 grams of cocaine and 215 grams of heroin. While the bus driver, Chief Pascal Chigozie Nmaram, was promptly arrested, a follow-up operation in Abuja the same day led to the arrest of the recipient of the illicit cargo, Mr Ikenna Jude Akunne who confessed he was detailed to travel with the consignment to Spain the following day, Friday, October 28 through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.

Meanwhile, operatives of the state command of the Agency have destroyed five hectares of cannabis farms at Agbonkete, Iyaya Camp, Igalamela/Odolu LGA, where a suspect, Mr Augustine Agbenyo, 34, was arrested with three sacks of both fresh and dried leaves and stems of the illicit substance.

In the FCT, operatives on patrol along the Kwali-Abuja highway on Monday 24th Oct intercepted a truck with 915.8kilograms of cannabis and arrested three suspects: Kabiru Ibrahim, 40; Muhammad Muawiyya, 30, and Adamu Adamu, 24.

In Adamawa state, operatives arrested two trans-border traffickers, Abdullahi Mamuda (aka Mama) and Aliyu Abdullahi (aka Garga), at Skylight Hotel in Jambutu, Yola North. A search of their vehicle, an ash-coloured Toyota Corolla car with registration number JMT 146 TE (Adamawa), revealed 39, 320 tablets of Tramadol 225mg concealed in different compartments of the doors of the car.

Preliminary investigation shows the trans-border traffickers took off from Onitsha in Anambra State and travelled to Jimeta, Adamawa State, where they lodged in the hotel before heading to Belel, a town along the Nigerian – Cameroon border where they would repackage the drugs as ordinary consumables and ferry across the river to Garoa in Cameroon. Operatives in Ondo state on Friday, October 28, stormed a 2-bedroom building in Uso town, where they arrested one Okon Etim, 45, with 12 bags of cannabis Sativa weighing 207kgs.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Aminu Adamu Lands in Prison for Insulting Aisha Buhari

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A student of the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, Mr Aminu Adamu, has been remanded in prison for allegedly ‘insulting’ the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs Aisha Buhari.

A few days ago, news filtered in that Mr Adamu was kidnapped by some security officials to Aso Rock, Abuja, over his post on Twitter that the President’s wife was feeding fat on the taxes paid by the poor masses.

This did not go down well with the First Lady, and the student, who is reportedly due to write his final year exams next week, was taken away from his campus and allegedly tortured.

This action angered many Nigerians, who asked Mrs Buhari to release the man or charge him in court.

On Tuesday, the student was charged to court by the police, and he was remanded in the Suleja correctional facility in Niger State, pending when his bail application would be heard next Wednesday.

According to his lawyer, Mr C.K. Agu, the student was arraigned before a court sitting in Abuja, but he pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him.

“Even in the court session yesterday, we notified the judge about the efforts made to have him released on bail, but we did not receive any reply from the police.

“We applied to the court to release the student on bail on health grounds and the fact that he will sit for the exam on December 5.

“The court has ordered the police to provide the bail application before it for consideration between Tuesday and Wednesday,” Mr Agu informed BBC Hausa Service.

On June 9, 2022, Mr Adamu posted a picture of Mrs Aisha Buhari at the presidential primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja held two days earlier and wrote in the Hausa language, “Su mama anchi kudin talkawa ankoshi,” which loosely means “Mama is feeding fat on poor people’s money.”

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House of Reps Probes Incessant Attacks on INEC Offices

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The House of Representatives has condemned the incessant attacks on the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

At the plenary on Wednesday, the green chamber of the National Assembly said the actions of the arsonists could put the nation’s democracy under threat.

On November 10, 2022, an INEC building in the Abeokuta South Local Government Area of Ogun State was burned, with over 65,000 uncollected PVCs destroyed by the arsonists. A similar incident happened in Osun State and a few days ago, the office of the electoral body was attacked in Ebonyi State.

It was gathered that since 2019, about 42 attacks have been carried out on INEC offices in 14 states and to the House of Reps, this is worrisome.

In order to curb this, the parliament has set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the incessant razing of the offices of INEC within three weeks and produce a report of its findings.

At the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, the House urged the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and other security agencies to liaise with the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minster of Justice in bringing the perpetrators to book.

The decision to probe the matter followed a motion on notice moved by a lawmaker, Mr Olarewaju Ibrahim Kunle.

According to him, the attackers destroyed the main building of INEC in Ogun State earlier this month and other facilities such as 904 ballot boxes, 29 voting cubicles, 30 megaphones, 57 election bags, eight electric power generators and 65,699 uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).

The lawmaker said on the same day, arsonists and thugs set ablaze the INEC building at Oke Iresi, Ede South Local Government of Osun State.

He warned that if these systematically orchestrated attacks on personnel and facilities of the agency are not checked, the 2023 general elections could be disrupted.

Mr Kunle appealed to his colleagues to take urgent action to protect democracy in Nigeria.

His appeal was welcomed, with the parliament calling on “politicians and stakeholders to admonish their supporters to refrain from attacks and violence before or during the 2023 elections.”

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Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Unveils Platform for Youth to Explore Business Prowess

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Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An initiative to give an opportunity to youth in the country to explore their creativity and business prowess has been introduced by Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited.

The platform known as FUZE talent hunt will employ a holistic approach to youth empowerment and feature four categories across music, dance, fashion and technology, a statement from the leading pension fund administrator (based on assets under management) said.

According to the subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, the first-of-its-kind talent hunt aims to promote indigenous talents.

The chief executive of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, Mr Olumide Oyetan, explained that the project was to the benefit of Nigerian society, adding that as a future-ready organisation, Stanbic IBTC valued talent, creativity and innovation and created the platform to shine the spotlight on youngsters and provide the necessary support they require to succeed, regardless of their chosen sphere of influence or industry.

He stated that youth empowerment had become increasingly essential with the heightened unemployment rate declared by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) at over 33 per cent.

On her part, an Executive Director at Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, Ms Nike Bajomo, disclosed that the “primary goal of the FUZE Talent hunt is to create a platform for Nigeria’s talented youth to engage and learn from other youths while also gaining access to funds and best-in-class mentoring to support the actualisation of their dreams.”

She urged young Nigerians to participate in the event, stating that the audition application is free, and the public would be relied upon to vote for their preferred candidate, who would be showcased at the grand finale in December 2022.

“FUZE is open to all Nigerians between the ages 18 and 35 years. To participate, you can download the Stanbic IBTC Events App on either the android or iOS store, register and upload an audition video,” she said.

It was disclosed that the winners of the FUZE Talent Hunt would be unveiled at the FUZE Festival slated for December 21, 2022, and in addition to the chance to win N32 million, contestants will gain recognition in the industry and winners will receive mentorship to support their careers.

“Around the world today, young Nigerians are making a statement on the global scene, putting their names and communities on the roadmap to greatness.

“The average young Nigerian is bursting with talent and potential waiting to be harnessed, and we are here to give them the support they need to soar high. After all, Nigeria is our home, and we drive her growth,” the chief executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mr Demola Sogunle, said.

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