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NDLEA hails Tinubu’s support for anti-drug war

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The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has expressed the appreciation of officers and men of the anti-narcotic agency to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his continuous support for the ongoing efforts to curb the scourge of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the country.

Marwa stated this while fielding questions from journalists during the inspection of facilities at the NDLEA barracks, which he said is almost ready for commissioning in Yola Adamawa state.

According to him, “We thank God for the project, we appreciate the continuity in governance. President Buhari appreciated the issues surrounding the security and welfare of staff. They seize, arrest, prosecute and deal with the criminals, yet the criminals come back to them because they live among them. But now we have the barracks for our personnel. President Buhari approved it and commenced it, and now President Tinubu has continued with same zeal and drive, so we appreciate this element of concern towards the NDLEA.”

While commending the standard and quality of work being done at the barracks, he said “Consultants, and contractors have done very well, good quality, well monitored, best materials and design as you can see, and we are 95 per cent done. We hope that by the grace of Allah, before the middle of this year, we’ll fully launch this first phase.

“We are targeting initially the six geopolitical zones to have a barrack each, for equity and balance and in the succeeding years, we hope the succeeding government will continue in all the 36 state commands, Federal Capital Territory, and Special Area commands. Our officers are all excited and willing to do more because this is a testament to the good work that the officers have been doing that yielded this project and they are willing to do even more.”

The NDLEA boss also said the agency is equally committed to reducing the demand for illicit substances by combining forces with other stakeholders to raise awareness and address the root causes of substance abuse.

“In 2018, a Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse was set up, which I had the distinct honour of being the chairman. One of the major tasks that we had was to identify the root causes of drug abuse and trafficking and make recommendations which we did. In the process, we found that poverty is one of the key predisposing factors of drug use in all societies. It is important to note that it is not only Nigeria that has this problem, the whole world is facing it. So, in pursuing temporary relief, some people get into drugs.

“For this reason, I know for a fact that the president is determined to pull Nigerians out of poverty. And for the NDLEA and other institutions and stakeholders like the Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, etc, we are all combining efforts in drug demand reduction.”

He noted that the war against drug abuse is an all-encompassing one, which goes beyond the responsibility of only NDLEA.

“The media are in the forefront, the church is in the forefront, community leaders, Imams, clerics, educators, NGOs, traditional institutions, women and youth organizations; we all must collaborate with security agencies to stamp out drug abuse from this country.”

He hinted that in a matter of days, he would be briefing the nation about a major seizure and some arrests made as part of ongoing efforts to dismantle drug cartels still operating between Nigeria and other countries in Africa, Europe and America.

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Police detain Yahaya Bello’s ADC, security details

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The Nigeria Police Force has detained a female police officer who was the aide-de-camp to embattled former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.

The ADC was arrested alongside other police officers attached to 48-year-old Bello, and is being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Their arrests and detention followed a Thursday night order by the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, directing their immediate withdrawal from the former governor.

Senior police sources, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity because they did not have authorisation to comment publicly on the matter, noted that the officers were arrested on the suspicion that they aided and abetted Bello’s escape from operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who had gone to effect his arrest at his Abuja home on Wednesday.

“The ADC and the other police details attached to Yahaya Bello have been arrested and detained.

“They were arrested on the order of the IG, on the suspicion that they aided and abetted the former governor’s escape from the EFCC on Wednesday,” one of the sources told our correspondent in a telephone conversation on Friday.

Another source said, “Yahaya Bello’s female ADC and other police officers attached to him were brought to the command this morning, and they’ve been detained for aiding and abetting (the governor’s escape).”

Egbetokun had, on Thursday night, ordered the withdrawal of all police officers attached to Bello.

The order for the withdrawal was contained in a police wireless message sighted by our correspondent on Friday morning.

The document read, “CB:4001/DOPS/PMF/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.48/ 34 X ORDER AND DIRECTIVES X FOLLOWING MESSAGE RECEIVED FROM NIGPOL.

“DOPS ABUJA X BEGINS X CB:4001/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.21/462 DTO:180955/04/2024 X ORDER AND DIRECTIVES X REF MYLET NO CB:3412/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.1/36 DATED 15/04/2024 X AND MY EARLIER LET NO CB:3412/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.1/30 DATED 24/01/2024 X Nigeria police have ordered the withdrawal of all men.

“Police attached to His Excellency and former Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, should acknowledge compliance and treat with utmost importance. Please above for your information and strict compliance.”

Also, the Federal Government had on Thursday night placed Bello on a watch list.

In a document exclusively obtained by our correspondent on Thursday night, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, revealed that Bello was placed on a watchlist for conspiracy, breach of trust, and money laundering.

The Assistant Comptroller General signed the document and copied the Nigeria Customs Service, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Services, and the Director of the National Internet Agency.

The document read, “I am directed to inform you that the above-named person has been placed on a watch list. Suffice to mention that the subject is being prosecuted before the Federal High Court Abuja for Conspiracy, Breach of Trust and Money Laundering vide letter Ref; CR; 3000/EFCC/LS/EGCS.1/TE/V 1/279 dated April 18, 2024.

“If seen at any entry or exit point, he should be arrested and referred to the Director of Investigation, or contact 08036226329/07039617304 for further action.

“Please, accept as always the Comptroller-General’s warmest regards and esteem.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had earlier declared Bello wanted for laundering the sum of N80,246,470,088.88.

The development was contained in a notice posted on the commission’s official Facebook page on Thursday, with a snapshot of the embattled ex-governor attached.

The notice read, “The public is hereby notified that Yahaya Adoza Bello (former Governor of Kogi State), whose photograph appears above is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in connection with an alleged case of Money Laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eighty Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo).

“Bello, a 48-year-old Ebira man, is a native of Okenne Local Government of Kogi State. His last known address is: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja. Anybody with useful information as to his whereabouts should please contact the Commission.”

Bello had, on Thursday, failed to appear before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja following his arraignment by the EFCC.

The embattled former governor was arraigned in absentia before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering.

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Owners to pay fine as Anambra sets to remove illegal structures

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The Anambra government says it will soon commence the removal of illegal structures across the state.

In a statement issued on Friday, Paul Nwosu, information commissioner in Anambra, said owners of such illegal structures would “bear the cost of the logistics of removal”.

“Anambra State Government has noticed that in spite of the warnings given to owners of illegal structures to remove them, these notices have been largely disregarded,” the statement reads.

“This government is a proponent of law and order, and therefore will not condone any flagrant violation of legitimate directives given in the interest of public good.

“Government has repeatedly stated that these illegal structures distort and completely mangle our cities’ original masterplan. This has resulted in the blocking of our drainages and water channels, causing flooding and, sometimes, loss of lives. This can no longer be tolerated as the rainy season is just around the corner.

“Let it be known therefore that as the government has directed individuals, companies, market and park leaders to commence intensive desilting of their gutters and drainages, it will soon start a sustained campaign to remove illegal structures.

“Owners of such structures are therefore advised to remove them on their own so that they can carefully evacuate their belongings.

“But where they ignore government notices and the structures are removed by the government, the owner(s) of such structure(s) will bear the cost of the logistics of removal. The owner of the structure will be given a stipulated time to pay, after which the property/goods within would be disposed to settle the cost.”

Nwosu added that some of the illegal structures might have been erected by the owners out of ignorance of the law or other reasons.

“But now that they know, it is only proper they remove the structures by themselves to avoid the harsh consequences that may trail their negligence to act promptly,” he said.

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Ex-Oyo gov, Olunloyo debunks death rumour, says I’m alive

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An elder statesman and former governor of old Oyo State, Dr Omololu Olunloyo, has broken his silence about the rumour of his death, saying he is alive.

Olunloyo who spoke with The PUNCH correspondent who visited his Molete residence in Ibadan, the state capital on Friday said he was hale and hearty.

Earlier, the rumour of the death of the elder statesman was reported by some news platforms (not The PUNCH).

However, Olunloyo, while speaking said, “I’m still here, not yet gone.”

He also expressed worry over the rumour and asked who would live forever, stressing, “Those breaking death news and the person presumed dead will all die one day.

“I’ve been lucky. My father died at 42, while my mother died at 102. I’m 89. I’ve crossed the expected life age.”

The elder statesman also illustrated how the rumour of his death hit several news platforms on June 7, 2022.

He noted that the rumour mongers claimed that he died at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

A few days later, the family issued a statement, declaring that he was not dead but suffering from old age ailment and asked Nigerians to pray for him to survive the health complications.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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