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CRIME

Assailants Kill Umuoji Community President-General In Anambra

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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.

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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.

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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.

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CRIME

NDLEA Incinerates 304,436kg, 40,042 Litres of Illicit Drugs Seized in Lagos, Ogun

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Burning of the drugs in Lagos

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) destroyed 304,436 kilogrammes and 40,042 litres of illegal substances seized in parts of Lagos and Ogun states.

Speaking at a brief ceremony in Badagry, Lagos State, the agency’s Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (Retd), stated that the open destruction of the seized illicit drugs was in accordance with court orders.

Marwa appealed for more public support for ongoing efforts by his agency and other stakeholders to curb the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

He stated, “Through a routine exercise and an established process of removing dangerous substances from our society, the public destruction of confiscated illicit drugs is usually conducted at the end of their related cases in court,” and that the exhibits being destroyed were of mixed types, including illicit drugs in solid and liquid states as well as in various classes such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and tramadol, among others.

He revealed that the drugs were seized by NDLEA operatives across different formations of the agency in Lagos and Ogun states from January 2022 till date especially at the Lagos seaports, airports, and land borders.

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He said: “To be destroyed here today on the order of the court are solid drugs, weighing 304,436.055 kilogrammes and 40, 042. 621 litres of liquid drugs. The sheer volume of the drug haul speaks volumes about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld.”

The NDLEA boss expressed appreciation to traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, the clergy, members of NGOs and CSOs as well as other stakeholders who witnessed the ceremony.

He said: “The destruction of these seizures complies with the NDLEA Act, which mandates the Agency to destroy all drug exhibits after prosecution. We want to say that your presence here is a testament to this important occasion. To this end, we appreciate all stakeholders and members of the public for witnessing this exercise.”

Marwa used the opportunity to thank the agency’s local and international partners, particularly the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA), the United Kingdom NCA, Border Force, the Germans, the French, and the Indian NCB, among others, who had collaborated with the agency on a number of busts.

He said: “Similarly, we appreciate the Nigerian military and other law enforcement agencies such as the Customs; Immigration; Police; Civil Defence; FRSC; NFIU,NAFDAC and others that have been supporting our efforts to rid Nigeria of illicit drugs.”

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He assured them that NDLEA will not relent in its effort to end the drug scourge in the country, while calling for more public support for the activities of the agency.

He acknowledged that: “The safety of our society is the responsibility of every one of us. Every citizen shall be fulfilling his or her civic duty by assisting the Agency’s War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign to clean up our communities and cities. Together, we can make this country secure.”

Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu represented by Chairman, Badagry West Local Government, Mr. Olusegun Onilude expressed satisfaction with the efforts of NDLEA to tackle the scourge of illicit drugs in the country.

He said: “Almost all crimes and criminalities are fueled by illicit drugs, so the Lagos state government appreciates NDLEA and its leadership in their resolute fight against illicit drugs. The volume of illicit drugs being destroyed here today speak volume and every right-thinking person should be worried.”

 

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CRIME

With 50,901 Arrests, 9,034 Convictions, We Have Sent A Message To Drug Cartels, Says Marwa

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At the event

Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), stated that the arrest of 50,901 drug offenders, including 46 barons, and the successful prosecution and conviction of 9,034 of them, as well as the seizure of over 7,561 tonnes of illicit substances in the last 38 months, has sent the right message to drug cartels and their kingpins that Nigeria will not tolerate their criminal activities.

Marwa stated this in Lagos on Monday during the commissioning and handover ceremony for an operational facility built and donated to the NDLEA by the British government.

He praised the British government for its generous support, noting that it would strengthen the anti-narcotics agency’s ability to combat the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

He stated: “We are here not only to commission a new building complex but also to commemorate a significant milestone in our ongoing fight against the scourge of licit and illicit drug trafficking. Today, we dedicate the newly acquired building, made possible by the generous support of the British government.

“I must begin by expressing our heartfelt appreciation to the British government for their unwavering support and invaluable contributions to our cause. Since the beginning of our collaboration, the United Kingdom has been a staunch ally in our relentless pursuit of transnational organised criminal activities, particularly in the realm of illicit drug production and trafficking.

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“This building complex is more than just a physical structure; it is also a symbol of our two countries’ long-standing partnership in the global fight against drug trafficking. It represents the culmination of years of collaboration, mutual trust, and shared determination to combat one of our society’s most serious threats.

“The magnitude of this project cannot be overstated. It will be a critical hub for data analysis and strategic planning as we work to disrupt drug trafficking networks and apprehend those responsible. With cutting-edge facilities and technology at our disposal, we are better positioned than ever to face this complex and ever-changing challenge.

“But, beyond the bricks and mortar, this building complex embodies the spirit of collaboration and solidarity that characterises our partnership with the British Government. It demonstrates what can be accomplished when nations work together with a common goal and commitment to making the world a safer place for all.

“As an agency, NDLEA has undergone a tremendous transformation, aided by partners such as the United Kingdom. Our operations have undergone significant reforms, resulting in outstanding achievements over the last three years.

“During this time, the NDLEA made significant strides in its mission to combat drug trafficking and abuse. With a total of 50,901 arrests, including the capture of 46 drug barons, our agency has demonstrated its unwavering dedication to bringing those involved in illegal drug activities to justice.

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“Additionally, the conviction of 9,034 offenders demonstrates our unwavering pursuit of accountability and deterrence in the fight against drug-related crime.

“Our seizure of 7,560,748.5 kilogrammes (7,561 tonnes) not only disrupts the flow of illegal drugs but also delivers a significant blow to the criminal networks that distribute them. We have taken decisive action against illegal drug crop cultivation through our search-and-destroy campaign against cannabis plantations, which has resulted in the destruction of 1,057.33348 hectares of cannabis farms in the last three years.”

Marwa, while acknowledging British government officials who facilitated the project’s completion, particularly Mr Dave Carter, called for the strengthening of Nigeria-UK relations. “As we enter a new chapter in our partnership, let us reaffirm our shared commitment to stepping up the fight against drug trafficking and organised crime. Let us continue to collaborate across borders and boundaries to disrupt criminal networks, intercept illegal drugs, and prosecute those who profit from the illicit drug trade.”

He stated that, while much has been accomplished during his leadership of the agency, the fight against illicit drugs is far from over. “Let us redouble our efforts with renewed vigour and determination as we work to create a safer, more secure future for future generations,” he urged.

During the ceremony, Jonny Baxter, British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, expressed his continued support for the NDLEA and Nigeria. According to him, “We, the UK government, are delighted to have this long-standing relationship with the NDLEA, and I am especially delighted to have personally participated in several activities, particularly your maritime. This structure creates a diverse set of actors and capabilities to address any criminal activity.

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“We are delighted to continue our support for the NDLEA and the Nigerian government as they address what is sadly a global industry that requires a global response. I would like to join the chairman in expressing our continued support, cooperation, and, indeed, pride in working with the ladies and gentlemen of this agency, the NDLEA.”

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CRIME

NDLEA Arrests Pregnant Woman, Widow Over N3.2 Million Counterfeit Cash, Illicit Substances

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) intercepted a commercial bus carrying N3.2 million in counterfeit cash owned by three suspects: an eight-month pregnant woman named Favour Peter, 24, Esther Adukwu, 27, and Ochigbo Michael, 39.

They were later apprehended at Jabi Park in Abuja in a follow-up operation last Tuesday following the discovery of the counterfeit naira notes in Lokoja, Kogi state.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by the anti-narcotics agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, this is even as NDLEA officers in collaboration with men of the Nigerian Navy Ship Lugard base, Lokoja intercepted 37-year-old Aliyu Lawal along Lokoja-Abuja road last Monday and recovered 620 blocks of cannabis weighing 310 kilogrammes from him, while 10 sacks of the same psychoactive substance weighing 98 kilogrammes were seized along Okene-Lokoja-Abuja express way by NDLEA operativ

Mrs. Theodora Ita, a 40-year-old widow and mother of two, was arrested by NDLEA operatives last Monday in Bassey Edom, Calabar, for producing and selling a lethal new psychoactive substance, NPS, locally known as ‘Combine,’ which is a mixture of different strains of cannabis and opioids soaked in raw gin. At the time of her arrest, 18 litres of the dangerous substance were discovered in used paint drums on her.

In her statement to the NDLEA, Edom claimed that she began illicit drug production and distribution in October 2023. Another suspect, Godwin Okon, 48, was apprehended last Tuesday in Calabar’s Essit Ebum area with 39.4 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa.

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While two suspects, Sani Mohammed, 43, and Christopher Eze, 64, were apprehended in Kano’s Sabon Gari area on Tuesday with 900,000 opioid pills recovered, NDLEA agents on patrol along Imo state’s Owerri-Onitsha road intercepted a logistics truck with registration number JGB 403XB on Friday and discovered 230 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 119 kilogrammes hidden under household items after a thorough search.

Babafemi disclosed that at least 252 kilogrammes of cannabis were seized during a raid at Ijesa Isu forest, Ekiti state on Saturday while four suspects: Adamu Umar, 39; Abdullahi Gimba, 27; Julius Uduakhomu, 28; and Michael Sunday, 24, were nabbed loading 40 kilogrammes of same substance to the engine compartment of a gas truck at Agho village, Owan East local government area of Edo state. He added that two motorcycles used in conveying the consignment to where the gas truck heading to the North was parked, were also recovered.

In Ogun state, a suspect, Ismaila Ogun, was arrested last Friday with 79 kilogrammes of cannabis at Imeko, while 18-year-old Friday Abah was apprehended with 410 kilogrammes of the same substance when NDLEA agents raided Obatedo camp, Itaogbolu forest, Akure North local government area, Ondo state.

The NDLEA spokesperson stated with the same zeal, the various commands of the agency across the country.
continued with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign in the past week.

Meanwhile, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) congratulated officers and men from the agency’s Kogi, Cross River, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Imo, Kano, and Edo commands on their outstanding achievements in drug supply reduction, and praised them and their counterparts in all commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures aimed at reducing drug demand.

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