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Nigeria arrests 8,634 drug traffickers in 8 months – Marwa

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Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd)
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Nigeria arrested no fewer than 8,634 suspected drug traffickers from January to August 2021, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), has disclosed.

Marwa told the Human Rights, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Committee of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday that NDLEA also made seizures of more than100 billion naira in drugs and cash over the period.

“Our consistent targeting of drug trafficking organisations has resulted in the arrest of 8,634 suspected drug traffickers and the seizure of over 100 billion Naira in cash and drugs,” he said.

“Perpetrators will go through the criminal justice system, with their fundamental human rights being strictly upheld.

“Against the backdrop of the strong linkage between illicit drug consumption and insecurity, it is worthy of note that Nigeria made its first seizure of 74.119 kg of Captagon brand of amphetamine, presumably destined for use, to fuel insurgency and other violent crimes and criminalities, which Nigeria is currently grappling with.

“Nigeria is happy to report that the EU funded, UNODC sponsored Cannabis Cultivation Survey is expected to bring to the fore the full extent of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria and make it easier to target measures to contain this perennial menace,” Marwa said.

The UN Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NDLEA boss thanked the international partners for supporting Nigeria’s fight against drug abuse and trafficking.

Marwa said the unexpected emergence of COVID -19 pandemic, no doubt, had further accentuated the scourge of drug trafficking and related crimes globally.

“It is worthy of mention here that one of the challenges of the pandemic is the proliferation of online sale of drug cookies and use of courier services to move illicit drugs.

“However, we were able to intercept, trace and dismantle most of the drug cells involved.

“This constitutes a clarion call for all nations of the world to unite in adversity by taking concerted and well-coordinated actions at national, regional and international levels to address and counter the world drug problems, through evolving drug control policies, effective crime prevention nechanisms and complete overhaul of the criminal justice system.”

“Nigeria will remain undaunted in adopting dynamic strategies to counter new approaches adopted by organised criminals, in order to make drug trafficking unattractive.

“It will ensure forfeiture of the criminally derived assets, a tested and powerful deterrent to the proliferation of Drug Crimes and Criminalities,’’ he said.

In addition, Marwa told the UN committee that Nigerian government had produced the improved fourth edition of the Drug Control Master Plan 2021 to 2025 with the technical support from the UNODC, EU funding.

He said the document comprehensively addressed four thematic pillars of supply reduction, demand reduction, access to controlled medicines for medical purposes and coordination and governance.

“Nigeria is committed to the periodic monitoring and evaluation of the master plan with relevant stakeholders for optimum results,’’ the Nigerian drug enforcement boss stressed.

According to him, the Nigerian government has exhibited the political will by demonstrating high commitment to the protection of public health and safety with the launch of the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign.

“This campaign is a call for civil action for all Nigerians to buy in and take full ownership of the fight against the menace of illicit drugs.

“More so, Nigeria’s drug control efforts have received a tremendous thrust with unprecedented stakeholders’ involvement.

“We have engaged civil society groups, non- governmental organisations, academia and governments at all levels, public enlightenment is also being strengthened with remarkable media visibility against illicit drugs and related criminalities,’’ he said.

The NDLEA chief also told the committee that appropriate strategies had been adopted to address the issue of stigmatisation of people who used drugs in the country.

He said strategies adopted to address stigmatisation included meeting the needs of vulnerable communities and groups such as women, girls, children (out of school and homeless), internally displaced persons, among others.

He said Nigeria recognised drug use disorder as a public health issue and the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown necessitated the establishment of UNODC-EU sponsored Drug Help Net, a network of professionals who provided over the phone assistance to people who use drugs and their families during the lockdown.

The NDLEA, saddled with eliminating the growing, processing, manufacturing, selling, exporting, and trafficking of hard drugs, is present at the nation’s international airports, seaports and border crossings and it tries to eradicate cannabis by destroying plantings.

NAN reports that the agency also targets leaders of narcotics and money laundering organisations. (NAN)

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Let’s move on – Ningi Tells Colleagues On Resumption From Suspension

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Senator Abdul Ningi ( PDP Bauchi Central ), on resumption from suspension , told fellow Senators on Tuesday at plenary that ” It’s time to move on ” , just as the Senate President , Godswill Akpabio , said ” bygone should be bygone .

Senator Ningi made the ‘ time to move on ‘ assertion while expressing his appreciation to the Senate for recalling him from suspension after spending 75 out of 90 days slammed on him on March 12, 2024 at the committee of the whole .

Ningi who expressed his appreciation through Order 42 of the Senate standing rules , said he was in Turkey when he had of his being recalled from suspension.

He said : Mr President , Distinguished colleagues , I rise with profound humility to commend the Senate , its President , Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Senate leadership and the minority caucus for recalling me from suspension .

” I was in Turkey when the news got to me last week and I’m very much appreciative of the gesture .

” I’m happy to be back at home because National Assembly is like home to me , having served as House leader , Deputy Senate Leader in the past and now as one pf the Distinguished serving senators .

” I also thank my State Governor , Senator Bala Mohammed , the people of Bauchi State and other Nigerians who reached out to me in one way or the other during the period that has now been put behind “.

In his response , the President of the Senate , Senator Godswill Akpabio , on behalf of the Senate , said bygone should be bygone .

” Distinguished Senator Abdul Ningi , you are a very resourceful person needed in the 10th Senate , electorates from Bauchi Central Senatorial District voted you for .

” You are welcome and let bygone be bygone

The Senate had on Tuesday last week on the strength of motion sponsored by the minority leader , Senator Abba Moro on behalf of minority caucus , recalled Senator Ningi from the three months suspension .

Recall that Senator Ningi was suspended by the Senate at the committee of the whole on 2024 budget padding allegation leveled against the Senate during interview he had with the BBC Hausa service.

Apparently elated to be back in the Senate , Senator Ningi was among the first set of Senators and House of Representatives members to arrive the National Assembly for plenary on Tuesday .

Senator Ningi who along with some few other Senators like Suleiman Kawu ( NNPP Kano South) , Aminu Waziri Tambuwal ( PDP Sokoto South) etc , came into the National Assembly through the Villa Gate , arrived exactly at 10: 40am , 20minutes to 11:00am fixed for commencement of plenary which even started at about 12:10 pm .

However as a result of his suspension , Senator Ningi lost his Chairmanship position of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population , which was allocated to Senator Mustapha Musa ( APC Yobe East ) ,two days after the now lifted suspension .

 

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Commissioner of Police Dies At Force Headquarters

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Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Mr. Abubakar Muhammad Guri was reported to have slumped and passed away on Monday at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

According to sources, DCP Muhammad collapsed shortly after entering his office at the Louis Edet House, without displaying any prior signs of illness.

Eyewitnesses recounted that the late police chief, dressed in his uniform, collapsed on his seat within his office premises. Swift action was taken as fellow officers rushed him to the hospital for immediate medical attention.

Sadly, despite all efforts to revive him, DCP Muhammad was pronounced dead upon arrival at the medical facility.

An unnamed source familiar with the situation shared, “Some officers rushed him to the hospital and even before reaching there, he had already passed away.”

Despite the gravity of the incident, official statements from police authorities are yet to be issued regarding the untimely demise of DCP Muhammad.

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INEC Extends Voter Registration In Edo, Ondo

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Following a review meeting held with stakeholders, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), said it has extended voters’ registration for Edo and Ondo States respectively.

Registration was earlier slated to end on the 5th of June, 2024 in the two states.

However, a statement by the commission said following appeals by stakeholders, the date has been extended from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th, June 2024, to allow more eligible persons to register.

The commission, similarly, extended the duration of the exercise from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily.

Furthermore, it said the number of centres has been increased beyond 397 wards, and the two states’ offices in Benin City and Akure to include all the 36 Local Government offices of the commission.

“More machines will also be deployed to areas identified to have peculiar needs such as difficult terrain or communal issues,” the statement partly said.

Like the ward registration centres, INEC explained that the detailed information on the names and location addresses of the LGA offices, have also been uploaded on its websites and social media platforms for the guidance of registration in the two states.

Meanwhile, the commission said the exercise is progressing in the two states.

It said, “As of Monday, 3rd June 2024, eight days after the commencement of the CVR, a cumulative of 120, 1458 new voters have registered. Of this figure, 55, 861 (46.4%) are male, while 120, 458 (53.6%) are female,”

It added that the majority of the 82, 003 registered voters, representing 68.8 per cent, are youth between the ages of 18-34 years.

In terms of occupation, 43, 419 or 36.8 per cent are students, while 812, 0.67 per cent, are persons with disability.

It, however, noted that the figures were preliminary, adding that the final figures will be published on a state basis and for all categories of registration at the end of the exercise, and after data clean-up, using Automated Biometric Identified System (ABIS).

 

 

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