The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adeniyi, and the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), have unequivocally praised the synergy between their two agencies.
They made it clear that the partnership sends a strong message to drug cartels that they will continue to suffer significant losses in the criminal trade.
At the Tin Can Seaport in Lagos, where the Customs CG led his team to turn over illegal drugs found during a joint inspection of containers that the anti-drug agency had been monitoring, the two leaders made their intentions crystal clear.
They emphasised that the collaboration between their agencies, along with other security agencies, will continue to receive reliable information from foreign partners to support their efforts in combating drug trafficking.
Marwa, who was represented at the ceremony by the agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, in his remarks, said the “handing over of seized illicit drugs in the custody of the Nigeria Customs Service is a development that speaks volumes about the hard work and diligence of security agencies tasked with securing the territory of our country.”
He noted that the seizure “is a testament that, just like the airports, the seaports are also secured.”
He said: “That we are here today doing this is a testament to the cooperation we received from the Nigeria Customs Service. This level of cooperation between NDLEA and Customs, as well as other security agencies and port stakeholders, is a strong signal to drug cartels that our ports, and indeed Nigeria, will not be a haven for their criminal business. The synergy between Customs and NDLEA would further ensure the closing of other loopholes that criminal elements may have capitalised on in the past years to smuggle illicit items into our country.”
He expressed appreciation to the leadership, men and officers of the Customs for the collaboration between the Service and NDLEA, not only at Tincan Port but across all areas of responsibilities where the two agencies partner to promote the interest of the country.
According to him, “I will also seize this opportunity to commend the officers and men of the Tin Can Command of NDLEA and other special units, including our K-9 unit, involved in the processes leading to these seizures, for their steadfastness since we received intelligence weeks ago from our international partners on the containers from which these drugs were recovered as they departed the port of loading.
“The command and other units had diligently tracked the movement of the containers up to the time of their landing in our port. In the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, NDLEA never hesitated to share intelligence with the Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service and also requested that the command ensure the containers were pinned down for 100 percent examination.”
Marwa assured that NDLEA, Nigeria Customs, and other security organisations remain committed to ensuring that the country’s territorial integrity is protected.
In his remarks, the CG Customs said the collaborative efforts with the NDLEA have proven effective in pooling resources and intelligence to safeguard the nation’s borders.
He said: “In recognition of the threats and the collaborative nature of criminal activities, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has steadfastly prioritized strategic partnerships with stakeholders over the past seven months. This deliberate focus aims to harness the specialized expertise of our partners in a manner that enhances our capability to fulfill our core mandates.
“Just as criminals find strength in collaboration, government agencies must equally appreciate the advantages of working collectively to fulfill their statutory responsibilities. It is within this context that the ongoing collaborative efforts between the NCS and the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have consistently yielded positive results.
“This collaborative synergy exemplifies the effectiveness of pooling resources and intelligence, reinforcing the commitment of both agencies to safeguarding the nation’s borders and protecting its citizens from the threats posed by illegal substances”
The items handed over include 65 packets of Colorado, a strain of cannabis weighing 32.5kg seized from 1X40FT Container No. UACU 534833/6 imported from Canada; 17 parcels of cocaine weighing 16.690kg; 151 parcels of Colorado weighing 107kg; some precursor chemicals among others seized from 1x40ft Container No. MSCU 458177/0 imported from Durban South Africa; 40 packets of cocaine weighing 39.7 kilogrammes; 1026 packets of Colorado weighing 688.2 kilogrammes seized from 40ft container No. THRU 796807/1 imported from Durban, South Africa, and 226 packets of Colorado weighing 128 kilogrammes seized from 40ft container No. MEDU 785276/3 imported from Durban, South Africa.
Assailants Kill Umuoji Community President-General In Anambra
Only a year ago, the President-General of the Obosi community in Anambra State’s Idemili-North Local Government Area was butchered to death by unknown people who have yet to be identified and apprehended by Nigerian police.
Another President-General, this time the President-General of the Umuoji community, Chief Silas Onyima, was assassinated in his bathroom at home on Friday night last week by yet-to-be-identified individuals.
The same fate befell the President-General of the Nimo community, who was shot multiple times before dying in his car. According to a source who requested anonymity, this is the tragic story of PGs who were assassinated or murdered in cold blood while on active duty.
According to the source, Anambra State’s Presidents-General are being slaughtered like chickens because they are always the prime target for assassination. Worse, every time these heinous incidents occurred, the government showed little empathy, let alone condoled with the bereaved family.
The source expressed concern that little or no effort is being made to identify the killers of the affected PGs or those responsible for the killings. That the safety and security of PGs are no longer guaranteed, as evidenced by the way and manner in which they were slaughtered like chickens, and that the perpetrators are free to roam the communities without being caught.
Although Prof. Charles Nwadigwe, the 1st National Vice President of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), believes that insecurity exists throughout the country, he believes that the insecurity of Presidents-General is unique because they are community leaders and public servants.
Nwadigwe, a former President-General of the Ikem Ivite community, stated that the attacks were carried out by those who are upset that criminalities are not permitted to take precedence over civility and the rule of law.
He stated that the heinous murder of Umuoji President-General was one too many and serves as a wake-up call for PGs to take proactive measures to ensure their personal security and safety.
He urged the Anambra State Government and security agencies to respond to the situation and apprehend the killers of PG Umuoji Chief Silas Onyima, adding that the death of the PG has made it critical that the security architecture in the communities be restructured, even as he stated that ASATU will pursue the matter until the Umuoji PG killers are apprehended and brought to justice.
Comrade Bonny Ozo Nkwuaku, the National Laison Officer of ASATU in Anambra-Central Senatorial Zone and President-General emeritus of the Enugwu-Ukwu community in Njikoka Local Government Area, also stated that PGs are like endangered species in Anambra State and urged the government to beef up security around them.
Nkwuaku proposed that even if the PGs were not assigned conventional police, they could be assigned local vigilantes to play special roles in their security. He stated that it was not long ago that the President-General of the Obosi community was assassinated similar to the assassination of Omor and Nanka Presidents-General were still fresh until the very recent gruesome murder of Umuoji PG just last week.
The former Enugwu-Ukwu PG who stated that no arrests were being made when these assassinations occurred, maintained that such heinous crimes were allowed to fly as no arrests or prosecutions were made to bring those involved to justice, adding that it was time the government came to the rescue of Presidents-General.
Nkwuaku explained that PGs render selfless service to the communities and that no PG is being paid by the town union yet they are brutally killed and their families left to suffer untold hardships.
Investigations however revealed that a delegation of ASATU led by the National President Chief Barr. Titus Nnabuike Akpudo, have paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Umuoji PG to commiserate with them over the loss.
This reporter also gathered that ASATU has resolved to get to the root of the matter because the association has lost about five Presidents-General to malicious killings and assassinations.
Katsina Police Command Neutralises Scores Of Bandits, Recover 332 Rustled Animals
The Katsina State Police, in partnership with the Community Watch Corps, have apprehended a suspected known bandit boss and his collaborators, as well as recovered 332 rustled animals.
ASP Abubakar Sadiq Aliyu, the state police command spokesperson, confirmed this in a statement released to journalists in Katsina on Thursday.
According to him, on February 21, 2024, at around 0800hrs, in a coordinated effort to combat the menace of banditry in the state, operatives of the State Police Command attached to Kankara and Malumfashi Divisional Headquarters, in collaboration with members of the Katsina Community Watch Corps (KTCWC), raided the Burdugau bandits camp in Malumfashi LGA, led by one Babayo, a suspected notorious bandits’ kingpin.
According to the statement, the team also recovered 332 suspected rustled livestock and neutralised numerous suspected armed bandits during the collaborative operation.
“Amid these commendable achievements, a member of the Katsina Community Watch Corps (KTCWC) and another member of the vigilante group were unfortunately fatally injured; one police officer was also shot and injured during the raid. However, the injured are currently receiving treatment and responding to medical care”.
CP Aliyu Abubakar Musa, the state police commissioner, praised the operatives’ professionalism and bravery, saying these successful raid operations highlight the command’s commitment to protecting the lives and property of state citizens, reaffirming its resolve to confront and neutralise criminal activities in the state and ensure the safety and security of all residents.
He prayed for the repose of the slain officers’ souls and expressed his heartfelt condolences to their families, emphasising that the bravery, dedication, and sacrifices demonstrated by these officers will be remembered forever.
In a swift reaction, the state Governor, Malam Dikko Umaru Radda saluted the gallantry of Mallam Sanusi Hassan, the Commander of Katsina Community Watch Corps (KCWC) in Kankara Local Government Area, who was killed by the miscreants in the operation.
“Hassan, together with four local vigilantes and two young men from Burdigau paid the supreme price during the gun battle with the terrorists loyal to the notorious bandit kingpins, Dankarami and Barbaru, who had established a new camp in Yar Tepa”.
“The government and people of Katsina State painfully mourn the gallant and fearless local security personnel, described as “true heroes of war“.
According to him, Hassan and the six men who died battling the terrorists deserved to be praised and acknowledged for dying in active service to their beloved country.
He advised the relatives of the deceased not to despair, but rather to take consolation in the fact that their loved ones perished while fighting to restore long-term peace and security in Katsina state.
Radda praised the security personnel for their bravery, which resulted in the deaths of over 100 bandits during the encounter and the rescue of hundreds of rustled cows in four trailers.
“This terrible incident will not dampen our morale to restore peace and security in our troubled state. The Katsina State government shall honour the memories of Hassan and those who died alongside him, by ensuring that terrorists holding the state to ransom are all eliminated, very soon”.
“I wish to pledge that the Katsina State Government, under my leadership, will not abandon the families of the deceased. They will be supported in every way possible, to cushion their hardship in the wake of their loved one’s death,” the Governor assured.
PCRC Honours Zone 13 AIG Aghaulor For Security Gallantry
By Chuks Eke
The Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), has bestowed some special awards on Godwin Ndidi Aghaulor, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG in charge of Zone 13, Ukpo, Anambra State, for his valiant efforts so far in bringing crime to a halt in the zone that controls Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi states.
Agunechemba, Gallant Crime Fighter, Grand Commander, and Community Policing Ambassador were among the medals given.
The committee also conferred an honorary title of Ugosimba and Patroness on the AIG’s wife, Mrs. Salome Chinasa Aghaulor, just as they equally conferred an honorary title of Administrative Expert on the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, ZPPRO, Josephine Ihunwo.
Among the special awards conferred on AIG Aghaulo included Agunechemba (The Lion that guides the zone), Community Policing Ambassador, Grand Commander and Gallant Crime Fighter.
Conferring the awards in the AIG, his wife and the ZPPRO during a security summit/official visit of the AIG to Onitsha at the PCRC Hall, Central Police Station, CPS, Onitsha, the Senior Special Assistant to the National Chairman of PCRC on Interstate Projects (Southeast Zone), Sir Vic Agubisi described Aghaulor as a security giant and a role model to both the police force and humanity for setting standards in crime fighting.
Agubisi explained that the awards were in line with PCRC’s avowed determination to reward whosoever devoted their time and resources in making the law-abiding citizens sleep with their two eyes closed without being molested by hoodlums.
Agubisi who commended the police high command for finding Aghaullor a true son of Igbo-speaking Delta worthy of being trusted with the security of lives and properties of people of Zone 13 which is domiciled in the heart of Igbo land, further explained that Aghaulor deserved his status as AIG because of his quality track records.
Responding, the highly elated AIG Aghaulor commended Agubisi and his team of PCRC members for their initiative and for devoting their time and resources to assisting the police give maximum services in terms of the provision of adequate security of lives and properties of the entire citizenry.
He therefore charged members of the public to always give useful information to the police for effective crime prevention.
“This triple awards would no doubt spur me and my men to fight crime and criminality to a barest minimum, particularly at this present time when insecurity of lives and properties have become the order of the day”, said Aghaulor.
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