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Updated: 1 hour 25 min ago

BREAKING: P&ID Representatives Plead Guilty To Fraud, Tax Evasion

11 hours 12 min ago

Two representatives of the Process and Industrial Development Ltd on Thursday pleaded guilty before the Federal High Court in Abuja to charges of fraud and tax evasion instituted against them in respect of the contract leading to the recent controversial judgment of a British court empowering the firm to seize about $9.6bn worth of Nigerian assets.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned P&ID Ltd, Virgin Island, its Nigerian affiliate, P&ID Nigeria Ltd on 11 counts of fraud and tax evasion, Punch reports.

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Border Closure: Neighbouring Nations Not Helping Nigeria To Improve Economy, Says Emir Sanusi

11 hours 40 min ago


The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has expressed dissatisfaction at nations sharing borders with Nigeria for not helping the country to develop its economy and local products.

Emir Sanusi told journalists, “I always felt that if you really want to enforce laws that you have against smuggling, you need to close borders. 

“You have petroleum products moving basically across the borders from Nigeria to neighbouring countries because of our fuel subsidies. You have goods coming in across the border using the port in Cotonou to avoid tax revenues in Lagos; so what happens is we don’t get the revenue from duties and tariffs and then we end up having the goods coming in anyway.

“Closing the borders becomes indispensable because our neighbouring countries are not helping us to protect our economy. For instance, if you want to protect rice farmers, you have to impose heavy taxation on the importation of foreign rice into the country."

He added, “Therefore, any country that allows smuggling of rice into Nigeria through its borders is doing that at the expense of our farmers who could not withstand competition with foreign producers. Besides rice and other food items, you must also understand that all the illicit drugs get into this country through the land borders.

“So sometimes it is important to take these difficult decisions so that we get the cooperation and collaboration of customs officials across the borders. It is something that I wholeheartedly support. I think it is temporary and I think it will lead to improvement.”

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FAAN Gives NAMA 48-Hour Notice To Demolish Staff Quarters

11 hours 43 min ago




The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has issued the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) 48 hours to relocate its workers at the staff quarters of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos in order to demolish a four-block of flats in the area.

FAAN said that the relocation was necessary in order to give room for the expansion of its ongoing construction of the new terminal at the airport.

A letter dated September 13, 2019 and personally signed by the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu with the reference number: FAAN/HQ/HD/1BE/VOL.BD/90 addressed to the Managing Director of NAMA, said that the issue had been lingering since January 2019.

FAAN said that it was revisiting the issue in the interest of completing the ongoing new terminal project on time, adding that the demolition of the four blocks would reduce the pain experienced by passengers using the airport due to traffic bottleneck at peak hours.

The letter, which was made exclusively available to SaharaReporters recalled that the structures belonging to FAAN at the transit camp of Lagos airport were demolished in February, 2019 to give away for the new apron construction except for the four bloks belonging to FAAN and NAMA. 

Yadudu in the letter to NAMA MD also recalled that in February 2019, a letter was written to NAMA explaining the importance of the plan to demolish the remaining four building, but there had been no response from NAMA’s agency till date.

The letter said: “I would therefore like to reiterate that the piece of land occupied by the four buildings is proposed for the construction of aircraft ground handling equipment parking. The said land is therefore needed for the stockpiling of construction materials for the apron works instead of the terminal access approach.

“Consequently, upon the unavailability of the transit camp land, the contractor was forced to stockpile laterite on the available piece of land opposite the ever-busy existing international terminal building. The stockpiling of the laterite at the traffic bottleneck at peak periods.”

However, the planned demolition of the flats did not go down well with the staff of NAMA who are the occupants.

Some of them told SaharaReporters that there was no alternative accommodation provided for them, even as rent was deducted from their salaries monthly.

As of the time of filing this report, the management of NAMA had yet to respond to the letter from FAAN, but it was gathered that the flats mght be demolished tomorrow, Friday.    

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Why I Accepted To Work With Buhari Regime –Seun Onigbinde Of BudgIT

11 hours 58 min ago


Seun Onigbinde of BudgIT has explained the real reason he took up the offer to work with the President Muhammadu Buhari regime.

 He said he did so in bid to make some changes to the budgeting system of Nigeria.

Onigbinde, the founder of BudgIT, who spoke with Punch in an interview, stated that there was no moral justification for anyone to criticize the government and reject an opportunity to take up roles when offered.

Asked if he regretted taking up the offer, Onigbinde said, “I don’t regret it. I feel that this is one of the greatest things I have ever done in my life, apart from resigning from a commercial bank.

“If you look on the flipside, would I have had the moral authority to continue criticising the government from outside, if it were said that I turned down an invitation to come and make some changes to Nigeria’s budgeting system?  It is like the proverbial man and his donkey.

“If you say yes or no you’re damned. A man’s conscience is his biggest guide and that is why I will not be discouraged. I satisfied my conscience. It was one of the goals I had when we were setting up BudgIT.”

Onigbinde also said he was not moved by heavy criticisms he received, adding that he was approached by the ministry to offer his support and expertise.

He reiterated that he had previously turned down offers to join the government adding that his major goal is to help the government achieve budget transparency.

“Everybody knows that in the last eight years, BudgIT has championed transparency in public spending. And this is not the first time I would be approached.

“I had turned such offers down twice. I had taken a 10-month operational break in 2018 as an Obama Foundation scholar and I thought it was time to do something new.

“So, I thought of how I could help in actualising one of the goals of BudgIT, which is helping the government to achieve transparency. That was my own goal.”

Onigbinde, however, noted that he was not going to be paid by the federal government as the position was offered to him by an international development agency.

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Nigerian Lawyers Kick Against CBN New Charges On Withdrawals

12 hours 2 min ago


The Lekki Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association has rejected the newly introduced plan of the Central Bank of Nigeria tNigerian Lawyers Kick Against CBN New Charges On Withdrawalso commence imposition of charges on deposits and withdrawals above N500,000.

The lawyers in a statement jointly signed by Chairman of the Chapter, Oladotun Hassan, and Secretary, Ayodele Ademiluyi, described the charges as “evil, inhuman and wicked", adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is set to make life difficult for Nigerians.

“The obnoxious charges is evil, inhuman and wicked at a period when majority of Nigerian citizens are finding it difficult by the day to make ends meet under an inflationary and battered economy,” the statement read.

It added, “It is becoming clearer by the day that the current President Muhammadu Buhari-led regime in power is set to make the year 2020 a year of economic armageddon for the citizens of the country.

“The inference is based on the imposition of Value Added Tax hike on Nigerians with commencement in year 2020 and to add insult to injury, Nigerians who are struggling to make ends meet under an inflationary and battered economy would have to pay unwarranted charges through their nose.”

The lawyers called on Nigerians to rise and resist this "economic armageddon visited on the citizens of the country without prior consultation", while also urging civil society organisations to strongly resist the charges.

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PDP Chieftain, Toyin Ajinde, Involved In Car Crash Dies After Going Into A Coma

12 hours 8 min ago


Toyin Ajinde, one of the stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, involved in an auto crash is dead. 

Ajinde, had gone into a coma after the crash, died on Wednesday night.

Immediately after the crash, Ajinde was rushed to the intensive care unit of the Trauma Centre in Ondo.

A family source who spoke on the condition of anonymity SaharaReporters on Thursday: "It saddened our heart when we heard yesterday that she (Mrs. Ajinde) gave up the ghost in the hospital.

"Toyin had been in coma since the accident occurred and she took the brute of the impact of the injury she sustained."  

The auto crash had occurred on Igbara Oke road on September 6.

Aside from Ajinde, others involved in the crash included Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, Banji Okunomo, a governorship aspirant of PDP and Yetunde Dada, a chieftain of the party were involved in the crash.

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Abandoned Projects: Central Bank Of Nigeria Governor, Emefiele, Faces Parliament Today

12 hours 16 min ago

Godwin Emefiele, Central of Nigeria Governor has been summoned to
appear today (Thursday), before the House of Representatives Committee
over abandoned projects in the Niger Delta.

The committee is investigating the projects.

In an interview with journalists in Abuja, Nicholas Ossai said the
acting managing director and all the directors in the Niger Delta
Development Commission (NDDC) would also answer questions on abandoned
projects in the oil-rich region.

“Some of the documents we requested from the CBN has come and we are
looking forward to receiving him on Thursday by 12 noon.

“I believe we might ask one or two questions from the documents we
have received, that is what we are going to do, I know the CBN
Governor is a law-abiding citizen.

“What we did is to protect the interest of the Niger Delta people, who
are a part of the people of Nigeria, whose money had been released to
do a good job for them by the federal government.

“The investigation we are conducting will unravel a lot of issues and
make sure that some of these contractors go back to the site to
execute those jobs abandoned over the years; that is the essence of

“So the CBN governor is going to appear on Thursday including all
directors and the Acting MD of NDDC, who is also a Director of a
Department,” he said.


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Atiku Vs Buhari: PDP Chieftains Meet In Dubai, Strategize For Supreme Court

12 hours 18 min ago


Leaders of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) have met with the presidential candidate of the party in the
February 23, 2019 poll, Atiku Abubakar, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Impeccable sources in Abuja told Daily Trust that the BoT chairman and
secretary, Senators Walid Jibrin and Adolphus Wabara, led a few other
members of the board to the UAE where they met with Atiku and
discussed Nigeria’s politics and the judiciary.

Senator Jibrin also confirmed to our correspondent in a telephone
interview, yesterday, that leaders of the BoT met with Atiku in Dubai
where they spent a few days and returned to Nigeria, adding that the
trip was successful.

When asked to explain the essence of the meeting and why it was taking
place in another country, Senator Jibrin said he was at a meeting and
asked our correspondent to call him back for details.

He, however, didn’t pick his calls and a text message sent to him at
the time of filing this report. Similarly, the PDP BoT Secretary,
Wabara, neither picked his phone call nor responded to a text message
sent to him by our reporter.

A top member of the PDP National Working Committee who preferred
anonymity, however, said the worry by some people over the BoT’s
meeting with Atiku in Dubai was unnecessary.

Daily Trust reports that Atiku has yet to appeal the judgment of the
tribunal at the Supreme Court eight days after it was delivered.

The newspaper reports that Atiku and the PDP have only six days
remaining to appeal the judgment at the apex court as they had vowed.

“As of today (yesterday), Atiku and the PDP are yet to file their
appeal at the Supreme Court. Our legal team is still studying the
judgment of the lower court.

“We have only 14 days from the day the judgment of the tribunal was
delivered to appeal. The 14 days will elapse next Wednesday.

“So we still have up to 6 days to act. And I believe everything is
going to be fine. It is not late yet. We still have time to do that,”
he said.

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P&ID $9.6 Billion Scandal: Nigeria Parliament Summons Attorney-General Malami, Minister Of State For Petroleum Resources, Sylva

12 hours 21 min ago

Daily Trust


The House of Representatives says it will investigate the
circumstances that led to the $9.6 billion judgment recently secured
by Process and Industrial Developments Limited in a United Kingdom
court against Nigeria.

The house also resolved to invite the Attorney-General of the
Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Minister of State for Petroleum,
Timipre Sylva, for interrogation.

This was sequel to the adoption of a motion by Julius Ihonvbere, at
yesterday’s plenary, titled, ‘Motion for the Urgent Need to
Investigate the Act of Negligence in the Handling of the Process and
Industrial Development Limited’s Transaction by the Ministry of
Justice and Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Respectively'.

He urged the House to set up an  ad hoc committee “to as a matter of
urgency, invite the ministers of both ministries as well as other
officials of the ministries saddled with the responsibility to
negotiate the agreement with P&ID and the prosecution of the matter
before the tribunal, to give situational report on the matter and
explain the lapse in judgment of time and due diligence in the
(miss)handling of the case, with a view to finding lasting solutions
to the avalanche of extant and future cases".

The 17-man panel, set up by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, was mandated to
recommend appropriate sanctions where necessary “without fear or
favour or preference for status” in line with Order 14 of the Standing
Orders of the House. Ihovbere said for a country with a foreign
reserve of only $45bn and a sovereign debt profile of over $80bn, the
debt was punitive and would devastatingly affect Nigeria’s economy.

He stated: “The House is aware of the fact that Nigeria has a penchant
for disregarding the sanctity of contracts and terms of the agreement,
coupled with the failure of Nigeria’s representatives in many cases to
carefully or diligently scrutinize agreements they sign, knowing that
the consequences will affect past and future generations.

“The House is alarmed that the agreement was somewhat shrouded in
secrecy and, as such, apparently dubiously procured as those who ought
to know about its existence did not. And more important, the relevant
laws in Nigeria for the transaction to be consummated were not
applied, especially Part IV of the Bureau of Public Procurement Act
2007 which deals with the fundamental principles of procurement."

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Saudi Attack: Houthi Rebels Say Country’s Government Lying

18 September 2019 - 3:58pm

Houthi Rebels

Houthi Rebels ABC News

Iran-backed Houthi rebels fighting for supremacy in Yemen, have accused Saudi Arabia of fabricating evidence claiming Iran was behind drone attacks on two of its oil facilities on Saturday.

The BBC reports that Brig-Gen Yahya Sarea, a spokesperson for the rebels, said the damage to the two oil facilities were downplayed.

According to the British broadcaster, Sarea said the satellite imagery had been fabricated and the damage to the Saudi facilities had been downplayed.

He added that the Houthis were behind the attacks, going on to state that they could deploy a wide range of drones and missiles.

A spokesperson for the Saudi military, Colonel Turki Al-Malki, said wreckage from 18 unmanned area vehicles and seven cruise missiles indicate that the attack was from Iran.

He said, “Despite Iran's best efforts to make it appear so, their collaboration with their proxy in the region to create this false narrative is clear.”

The United Nations is also expected to carry out a fact-finding visit to Saudi Arabia.

With the Saudi Arabia failing to state when their facilities, which pump up to 5.7m barrels of oil per day will come back into operation, the oil market remains in a state of uncertainty.

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JUST IN: Buhari Sends Oyo-Ita On Indefinite Leave

18 September 2019 - 3:31pm

Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, to proceed on an indefinite leave.

In a statement by the Director of Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey, the leave is to allow the conclusion of the investigation being carried out by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Oyo-Ita.

President Buhari further approved the appointment of Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan as the Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation with immediate effect.

Oyo-Ita had on August 20, 2019 tendered a resignation letter to President Buhari, citing family pressure and poor health as her reason for quitting her position.

But the Presidency while reacting to that development denied knowledge of any resignation letter sent to Buhari by the former HOS.

The EFCC had questioned her over an alleged N3bn bribery, duty tour allowance falsification and fraud case.

Even though the commission said there are evidences against her, Oyo-Ita has continued to maintain her innocence in the alleged offence.

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AAUA Partners Police, Vigilante To End Robbery Attacks On Students

18 September 2019 - 3:12pm

The management of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, has partnered with the police and a local vigilante group in a bid to tackle the rising spate of robbery attacks on students of the institution.

The latest development follows a report by SaharaReporters highlighting the frustrations of students over the incident.

Speaking on efforts they were making to address the situation, spokesperson for AAUA, Victor Akinpelumi, said that the university will also partner para-military outfits to end the attacks on students.

He said, “The AAUA management received the reports of armed robbery attacks on students living off the campus, precisely in the Medoline and Cele areas of Akungba Akoko.

“The university has held several meetings with the students and landlords in the affected areas on how best to stop this menace.

“Apart from this, the university has also put in place a joint patrol team comprising the police, our security outfit in the institution, and paramilitary outfits.

“We are also engaging a local vigilante group that would work in conjunction with the people in a joint patrol of these areas to end the attacks on students.”

Spokesperson for the police in Ondo, Femi Joseph, confirmed that they had met with the school’s authorities and would work with them to end the robbery attacks on students.

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Evacuation Of Nigerians Has Discouraged Tourists, Others To South Africa, Says Air Peace Boss

18 September 2019 - 3:06pm

Second batch of returnees from South Africa

Second batch of returnees from South Africa

Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, has said that the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa had led to a drastic reduction of tourists and air travellers to that country.

Onyema made the statement in Lagos on Wednesday evening while speaking with journalists during the arrival of the second batch of Nigerians evacuated from the former apartheid nation in the wake of latest xenophobic attacks on African migrants.

In total, 315 Nigerians returned from South Africa aboard Air Peace, bringing the total number of returnees to 493 out of over 600, who expressed their desire to return home following the latest xenophobic attacks.

The first batch had landed in the country last Wednesday with 178 returning with the Air Peace aircraft that airlifted them from South Africa.

Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, was on the ground to receive the returnees including a representative of the Lagos State Government.

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Law-abiding Citizens Shouldn’t Be Harassed By Regime That Negotiates With Bandits, Terrorists, Says Falana

18 September 2019 - 12:34pm

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari administration of human rights violation, stating that a government that negotiates with bandits and terrorists shouldn’t harass law-abiding citizens.

Falana was reacting to the invasion of the secretariat of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and also the Civic Media Lab.

He said, “This morning, the Nigeria Police Force invaded the secretariat of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and sealed off the place in Lagos.

“In spite of the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, the police had wanted to disrupt and stop the peaceful meeting of law-abiding citizens to discuss the illegal detention of Omoyele Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Abayomi Olawale and scores of others being incarcerated in various detention facilities in the country.

“Contrary to the order of the Federal High Court that Sowore should be detained for 45 days, the Department of State Services has incarcerated him for 47 days.

“Last week, the Federal High Court turned down the application for the renewal of its order for the detention of Agba Jalingo and Ekanem Ekpo for 14 days.

“In spite of the expiration of the detention order of the two journalists, they are being held by the police in Cross River State.

“Mr Abayomi Olawale, who was arrested on August 5, 2019, has been detained for 45 days by the DSS without any court order whatsoever.

“These detainees and scores of others languishing in illegal custody ought to be released forthwith.

“While congratulating the organisers of the symposium for successfully holding the programme at another venue, the harassment of law-abiding citizens cannot be tolerated under a regime  that is busy negotiating with bandits and terrorists, bribing them with public funds and granting them amnesty.”

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Police Arraign 10 Persons In Bayelsa For Electoral Fraud

18 September 2019 - 12:31pm

The police in Bayelsa State has arraigned 10 persons in court over their alleged involvement in electoral malpractice during the August 10 local government election.

A non-governmental organisation known as the Patriotism Advancement and Community Orientation Network in a statement in Yenagoa, the capital, confirmed that the prosecution of the suspects is being done in conjunction with the police in the state.

Convener of PACON, Aluzu Augustine, who signed the statement, said, “The arraignment of the suspects is part of the efforts to discourage electoral malpractice.

“We are currently prosecuting some suspects through the Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa State over reports of hijacking electoral materials in the just concluded August 10, 2019 local government area election.”


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BREAKING: Second Batch Of Nigerians Evacuated From South Africa Arrive Lagos

18 September 2019 - 12:26pm

The second batch of Nigerians evacuated from South Africa by the Nigerian Government have arrived Lagos.

They were airlifted by Air Peace, a private airline company in Nigeria.

Details shortly

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US Mission Supports Intellectual Property Rights Protection In Nigeria

18 September 2019 - 12:25pm

The United State Mission in Nigeria and the American Business Council in partnership with the Nigeria Government and members of the private sector launched a two-day intellectual property symposium.

The symposium brought together a broad range of stakeholders including senior officials from federal ministries, departments and agencies, legislators, lawyers, business, and technology leaders.

US Embassy Chargé d'affaires, Kathleen FitzGibbon, delivered remarks highlighting the importance of intellectual property rights protection, which enables the innovation and creativity needed to bolster economic growth.

FitzGibbon noted that strong intellectual property rights protection is essential to creating jobs and opening new markets for goods and services. 

She said, “This is not just an American issue, this is a global issue and as Nigeria moves ahead with goals of diversifying and shifting to a knowledge-based economy, a strong intellectual property rights regime will help attract investment and protect Nigerian ideas and Nigerian businesses.”

Also speaking at the event were Robert Bowman from the US Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training as well as Prof Adebambo Adewopo, a leading intellectual property scholar, and the IP Chair at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

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US Consulate Launches Academy for Women Entrepreneurs

18 September 2019 - 10:37am

The United States Consulate General in Lagos has launched the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, a State Department-led initiative that supports women entrepreneurs around the world.

During a week-long program, a diverse group of 100 women selected from a pool of over 6,000 applicants, will receive lessons on business management, network with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors, and learn the practical skills required to create successful and sustainable businesses. 

Declaring the workshop open, US Consul-General, Claire Pierangelo, said that women’s empowerment will be key to Nigeria’s long-term economic development.  

She said, “One of the US Government’s goal is to promote entrepreneurship worldwide. 

“Through the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, we are doing just that by giving ambitious businesswomen the skills they need to take their ventures to the next level.”

Pierangelo described the role of women as crucial for the progress of national economies.

She added, “Women are the backbone of society no matter what country they are in. When women are working, the country is working.”

In addition, participants will receive access to DreamBuilder, a blended business-training course developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company, Freeport-McMoRan.

Nigeria is among 26 pilot countries worldwide that were selected to participate in the AWE program.

The other African countries participating in the inaugural AWE scheme are Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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NDLEA Destroys Cannabis Farm, Arrests 25 Dealers In Adamawa

18 September 2019 - 10:33am

Cannabis farm

Cannabis farm

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has made huge gains in its war against narcotics and other illicit drugs in Adamawa State.

NDLEA Commander in the state, Yakubu Kibo, told journalists in Yola, the capital, on Wednesday that it destroyed a cannabis farm, among other things.

Kibo said operatives of the agency, uncovered the cannabis farm in Jada, the local government area of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

The NDLEA also arrested the alleged grower of the outlawed plant, one Yusuf Mohammed, according to the commander.

Kibo said, “If this practice is unchecked, it would grow into a large scale cannabis sativa cultivation/farming.”

The state command also made seizure of 166.95 kilograms of illicit drugs.

Kibo added, “On September 9, our operatives in Mubi Area Command recovered a total of 218 bottles of cough syrup with codeine weighing 29.5kg and 350g of Rohypnol capsules.

“Similarly, the Gombi Area Command of the agency intercepted a truck carrying 107kg of Tramadol concealed with other pharmaceutical drugs and two suspects were arrested.”

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25 Infants Among 290 Nigerians Airborne From South Africa

18 September 2019 - 10:19am

At least 25 infants are among the 290 Nigerians that are currently airborne from South Africa aboard Air Peace Airlines.

Information gathered stated that the aircraft left South Africa at 1:00pm Nigerian time and is expected to touch down at the Murtala Muhammed international Airport, Lagos by 7:00pm Nigerian time on Wednesday.

The Nigerians were being evacuated from South Africa following latest xenophobic attacks on African migrants in that country.

The airline had originally planned to evacuate 320 Nigerians in the second batch of the exercise on Tuesday but faced some delays.

Recall that the aircraft was supposed to have departed Lagos at 1:00am on Tuesday but was denied landing permit by the South African authorities. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Air Peace Granted Landing Permit By South African Authorities 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

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