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Army claims responsibility for air strike which killed over 30 Kaduna villagers

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The Kaduna state government says the Nigerian Army has accepted responsibility for the death of some residents of Tudun Birni community in Igabi LGA of the state.

According to the state government, the army said the air strike that killed the villagers was a mistake.

On Sunday, many residents were feared dead after an air strike was launched on the community. Some reports have put the death toll from the strike at over 30, with scores left injured.

However, Edward Gabkwet, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) spokesperson, said reports that NAF launched the air strike on hapless civilians was false.

Speaking on the development, Samuel Aruwan, overseeing commissioner, ministry of internal security and home affairs, in a statement on Monday after an emergency security meeting, said the incident inadvertently occurred during a routine mission against terrorists by the army.

Aruwan added that injured victims are currently receiving treatment at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital.

He said the meeting was presided over by Hadiza Balarabe, deputy governor of the state, and had heads of security agencies, religious and traditional leaders in attendance.

“The Kaduna State Government has received briefings on Sunday night’s attack which left several citizens dead and others injured,” Aruwan said.

“The Nigerian Army explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.

“The General Officer Commanding (GOC) One Division, Nigerian Army, Major VU Okoro explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists, but inadvertently affected members of the community.

“The Deputy Governor at the end of the closed door meeting, conveyed the condolences of the Government and People of Kaduna State to the families that lost their loved ones, and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls.

“As of the time of this update, search-and-rescue efforts are still ongoing, as dozens of injured victims have been evacuated to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital by the Government.

“Heads of security agencies who attended the meeting include the Commissioner of Police, MY Garba, and Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Abdul Eneche.

“The Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of Jam’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Professor Shafi’u Abdullahi, led other religious leaders.

“Also present at meeting was the District Head of Rigasa, Alhaji Aminu Idris, in whose domain the incident occurred.”

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FG to begin Lagos-Sagamu Long Bridge repairs on Monday

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The federal government says repair of damaged sections on the Long Bridge, along the Lagos-Sagamu expressway, will commence on Monday.

In a statement on Friday, Olukorede Kesha, the federal controller of works in Lagos state, said the repair work on the bridge will end on March 25.

“The Federal Ministry of Works wishes to inform the motoring public that repair works for the damaged expansion joints on the Long Bridge will commence by Monday, 4th March 2024 simultaneously on both bounds of the bridge,” the statement reads.

“Consequently, traffic leaving and entering Lagos through the Long Bridge will be narrowed to two lanes on both sides of the bridge to enable the contractor handling the repair works to commence works on the other two lanes of the carriageways.

“Thus, all road users are advised to be patient and adhere to lane discipline on both approaches to the Long Bridge and around the narrowed sections on the bridge.”

Kesha said the earth road beside the Sagamu bound carriageway will be made motorable to serve as a complementary road.

She advised motorists to use alternative routes and cooperate with traffic management officials deployed to ensure hitch-free movements, in order to minimise discomfort during the duration of the repair works.

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Anambra among states with high drug abuse prevalence, says NDLEA

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says Anambra is among states with high prevalence of drug abuse cases in the country.

Daniel Onyishi, Anambra state commander of the NDLEA, disclosed this on Friday when he led officers on a visit to Nonye Soludo, wife of the Anambra state governor, in Awka, the state capital.

Onyishi said the growing drug abuse cases in the country call for concern, adding that in 2018 alone, the agency intercepted 3.38 tons of drugs in Anambra state.

“According to statistics, Nigeria alone has 14.4 percent drug abuse prevalence rate, as against the global 5.5 percent world prevalence rate,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“One of the reasons for this visit is to formally welcome Mrs. Soludo as the chairperson of Anambra state drug control committee.

“This committee will be an action-driven crusade that will see to the complete elimination of drug use in Anambra state.”

Responding, the first lady said she was prepared to work with the agency and lead the ongoing fight against drug abuse in the state.

“These are scary statistics and we need a more sincere and committed approach to the war against drugs, beginning from identifying the producers of these deadly substances,” she said.

“Although my initiative, Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo, has been leading the drug elimination campaign in Anambra.

“But there is a great need for a united response in the face of what drug abuse is doing to the society, especially among our youths.

“I promise to work closely with the agency, advocate for a stronger community involvement in the fight and the need to follow up every case until justice is served.”

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Olu Agunloye files N1 billion suit against EFCC for declaring him wanted

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Former Minister of Power and Steel, Dr Olu Agunloye, under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government, has lodged a lawsuit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), demanding N1 billion. 

The lawsuit, filed under the case number FHC/ABJ/CS/167/2024 by Agunloye’s legal team led by Mr Adeola Adedipe, SAN, includes the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as an additional defendant alongside the original filing. 

Currently, the lawsuit is being heard by Justice Emeka Nwite at the Federal High Court in Abuja, with the hearing date scheduled for April 18. 

The former minister Is seeking six forms of legal relief, one of which includes a statement affirming that the EFCC does not have the legal authority to use its discretionary powers or functions, as outlined in Sections 1(2)©, 6, 7, 13 of the EFCC Act, 2004, and similarly Section 4 of the Police Act 2020, to declare him wanted on its website or any similar platform. 

He, therefore, sought an order for the EFCC, its agents, privies, representatives and other related affiliates to forthwith remove his picture, name, references, details and or particulars from the wanted list published on its official website or any other related platform. 

He said,  “The EFCC and the AGF both jointly or severally, whether by themselves or their staff, from further declaring the plaintiff wanted about the particulars and subject matter of this suit, either on the EFCC official website, newspaper publication or any other related platform, except by a judicial intervention and recourse to all constitutional safeguards available to him in law and equity. 

“General damages of one billion naira (N1, 000, 000, 000 00) against the defendants, especially the 1st defendant cost of action.” 

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