A 44-year-old father of three, Gabriel Anthony Patrick has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja for ingesting 96 pellets of cocaine, which he excreted in the custody of the Agency.
A native of Nike in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu state, Gabriel was arrested on Friday 26th November during an outward clearance of Turkish Airline at the boarding screening area of the airport enroute Abuja-Istanbul-Madrid.
He had travelled to Germany in 1996 for two years on asylum after which he relocated to Spain in 1999 where he currently holds a residence permit and works as a driver in a food manufacturing company.
A statement by Femi Babafemi, Director, Media and Advocacy said Patrick claimed he came into Nigeria on 17th November to sell cloths and car spare parts he shipped to Lagos earlier.
He however said he couldn’t sell his consignments, which cost him 4,000 Euros excluding the cost of shipment because they were priced below the cost price at Ladipo market in Lagos and he needed to travel back to Spain to resume work after the expiration of his annual leave.
This, he said led him to accept an offer to traffic the drug for which he would be paid 1,500 Euros when he successfully delivers the consignment to someone in Spain.
He claimed he left Lagos for Enugu to see his family members, and then travelled on 25th Nov to Onitsha, Anambra state where he was picked from Upper Iweka park at night and taken to a house where he was given the 96 pellets of cocaine to ingest before leaving for Abuja to board his flight to Madrid the following day.
In the same vein, NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos have arrested one Okorie Godwin Onyeribe over his attempt to export 21.85kg of cannabis concealed in foodstuff to London, UK.
He was nabbed at the NAHCO export shed of the airport on Friday 3rd Dec.
Five students of American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa and University of Maiduguri, Borno state are among suspects arrested for drug offences in raids operations across nine states in the last week.
Two of the students; Emmanuel Thlama and Jonah Joshua were arrested with 16.750kg cannabis in the night of 30th Nov when operatives raided a settlement opposite Gate 4 of the University of Maiduguri.
The other three, all AUN undergraduate students: Ekene Asher; Daniel Alkali and Emmanuel Smooth, were arrested at 11:30pm on Thursday 2nd Dec. after taking delivery of Loud, a strong variant of cannabis ordered by Ekene for them to smoke.
Earlier same day, operatives also intercepted a motorised concrete mixer truck used to conceal 2000.6kg of cannabis, loaded at Ogbese, Ondo state.
Two suspects arrested with the drugs; Matthew Donuwe and Friday Nborgwu claimed they have spent a month on the road from Ondo state hoping to deliver the consignment in Mubi, Adamawa before they were arrested at Girei in Girei LGA of the State.
In Oyo state, operatives intercepted 608.40kg of Cannabis sativa concealed in a black Toyota Sequoia SUV with registration number Lagos MUS 553 GN and parked around toll gate area, Ibadan-Ife expressway, Egbeda LGA, Ibadan on Friday 3rd Dec.
The following day, operatives equally seized 85.90kg cannabis recovered from the boot of a Nissan Primera car, Lagos FJK890DZ and in one of the rooms of an apartment where search operation was carried out at Adegbayi area, Alakia, Egbeda LGA.
Those arrested in connection with the seizure include:
Benson Uzoka, 46; Kafayat Adeyemi Uzoka, 40; Ndidi Uzoka, 39 and Christopher Uzoka, 42.
While the duo of Praise Emmanuel and Aminu Aliyu were arrested with 228kg cannabis in Kano, operatives in Taraba stormed cannabis farms in Changso village, Kurmi LGA, located on the mountains between Nigeria and Cameroon, evacuated 364kg of the illicit drug and set the rest on fire.
Equally, ThankGod Danladi who has just finished a jail term in October was arrested on Wednesday 1st December with 67kg cannabis in another raid in the state.
In Niger state, operatives intercepted a commercial bus with 215kg cannabis concealed in a false bottom and side door of the bus, along Mokwa – Jebba road.
Two suspects; a driver and his conductor arrested claimed they loaded the consignment in Ogere, Ogun State and were heading to Sokoto as their final destination.
In Delta state, a lady Tina Ujene was arrested in Ibusa with 1.1kg cannabis while a follow raid on her supplier’s home led to the recovery of 54.7kg of the same substance.
Different quantities of Cannabis, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Heroin,
Diazepam and Exol-5 were seized in raids at AP- Eleme and Garki, Oil Mill areas of Port Harcourt, as well as Lewe and Kadiri in Gokana LGA, Rivers state on Friday 3rd Dec.
In Ondo state, a 72-year-old Emmanuel Akanbi was arrested at Odofin camp, Uso, Owo LGA with 2,050kg cannabis.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended the officers and men of the NAIA, MMIA, Adamawa, Borno, Taraba, Niger, Oyo, Ondo, Kano, Rivers and Delta commands of the Agency for their recent efforts.
He charged them along with their colleagues in other commands to constantly focus on raising the bar of their achievements until the last gram of illicit drug is taken away from every community in Nigeria.
West African leaders must collaborate to overcome common challenges – Buhari
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday advocated renewed collaboration among West African leaders to overcome the myriad of common challenges, including state of insecurity facing the sub-region.
This is just as the President of Ghana and Chairman of Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Nana Akufo-Addo, said only two per cent of the entire population of the subregion had been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic. President Buhari made the advocacy in his welcome address at the 60th Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, held at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He noted that the sub-region had, in recent times, managed to stay afloat amid a myriad of crises, which include the negative socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, state of insecurity, which has claimed many lives and left millions displaced.
The Nigerian leader, however, charged leaders of the region to be ready to deliberately work together in the task of finding solutions to the challenges, as a region.
“Our subregion continues to face socioeconomic, political, security, and environmental realities linked to Coronavirus pandemic. Our democracy is being challenged in Mali and Guinea. Furthermore, threats are looming around environmental degradation and climate change on our farming systems. We are facing a network of criminals, including terrorism.
“All of these challenges require our collective action to work in concert with each other to pragmatically address and provide our people better prospects in life. Today’s realities remind us of the need to continue to forge stronger solidarity in order to address the new challenges, including the current third wave of the pandemic and its Omicron variant.
“I am glad that the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States and the West Africa Health Organization are continuing to work with our respective national disease control centers to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on our people and subregion,” President Buhari said.
He, however, thanked the Ghanaian President and Chairman of ECOWAS, President Nana Akufo-Addo, for providing the needed leadership to member states, as they mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
In his opening remarks, President Akufo-Addostre-ssed the need for the subregion to take local production of COVID-19 vaccines more seriously, pointing out that with all the efforts so far made in the fight against the virus, only 2% of the population of the subregion had been completely vaccinated.
He said: “As of 8th December, our region has recorded 674,556 cases of infections with some 10,000 deaths. This scourge has impacted our humanitarian, social and economic sectors, and it continues to rage with the emergence of a new variant and the risk of a new wave in our region.
“The new variant Omicron has already been found in three member states, and has led to unfortunate imposition of travel bans by some countries, which are unjustified and unacceptable. Meanwhile, the availability of vaccines continues to remain a problem. Despite our efforts, we have only 6% of our population receiving one dose, with 2% of the population fully vaccinated.
“Whilst we remain grateful for the support from friends of the community, we must continue to pursue national and regional efforts to fight COVID-19 and move rapidly into the domestic production of vaccines for the protection of our citizens and for the growth and development of our economy”.
The ECOWAS Chairman, also called for continued mobilization of troops for peace keeping in areas where peace is fragile, noted that all is being done to restore democratic governance in Mali and Guinea, where there were undemocratic change of power
Akufo-Addo restated ECOWAS’ resolve to promote good governance in West Africa, through the sustenance of democratic institutions.
“We continue to be faced with security trials in the forms of deadly terrorist and kidnapping attacks, particularly in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, causing numerous casualties amongst civilians and security forces, resulting in a significant number of displaced persons.
“Recent events in Burkina Faso are matters of the greatest concern. Increased coordination, however, on the part of coastal nations, have recently led to an improved maritime security situation in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Let me on behalf of the authority, condemn in the strongest terms, these attacks that continue to plague our region. Significant efforts are being made at both national and regional levels to fight terrorism and extremism.
“We must step up our efforts to deal with these tasks which will be imposed upon us and we must act in such a way that no one will doubt our resolve to protect our peoples and the peace and stability of our countries”, Akufo-Addo said.
He congratulated President Jose Neves of Cape Verde, who was attending the summit for the first time, as well as Adama Barrow of Gambia, who recently got re-elected.
In a goodwill message, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, represented by the Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Annadif Saleh, pledged more support for ECOWAS, as he sued for more cooperation among member States.
Guterres commended Cape Verde and the Gambia, for holding peaceful Presidential elections recently.
In another goodwill message, the African Union represented by its Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Nigeria’s Bankole Adeoye, hailed ECOWAS for sustaining democracy in West Africa.
The AU pledged to continue to work closely with ECOWAS to ensure the promotion of good governance within the region.
The two-day summit was attended by Heads of State and government of all the member States, as well as Former Nigerian leader and ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator to Mali, Goodluck Jonathan, and President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Kassi Brou, among others.
FG urged to re-visit matters of NDDC board
A prominent northern leader, Alhaji Musa Saidu has again called for the urgent inauguration of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, saying the delay was generating tension in the region.
Alhaji Saidu who is the leader of Arewa in the South and former aide to Late Chief Harold Dappa Biriye also lashed at some youths under the aegis of Niger Delta Progressives Movement, NDPM, who poured encomiums on the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio for launching a Strategic Implementation Work Plan for his Ministry, dismissing them as political traders.
Saidu said it was unfortunate that some youths would come out at this time to shower praises on the Minister at a time the region was condemning his delay in constituting aboard for the NDDC.
“I am not sure they are Niger Delta youths. At a time the region is bitter over delay in constituting aboard for the NDDC some youths could come out to shower praises. This is wrong. What we expect now is for all Niger Deltans and youths inclusive to be focused on agitating for a board for the commission and fixing the East-West road. “, he said.
“When these are done, achieved then you can call anyone a Messiah. But for now, these youths that came up with the statement under the name Niger Delta Progressives Movement, NDPM, should bury their heads in shame. “, he said.
He said he had called for the sack of the Minister over the delay in inaugurating aboard for the commission and the deplorable state of the East-West road, adding that he had not changed his mind.
Alhaji Saidu said the Niger Delta is very dear to him because he had been actively involved in driving matters of development in the region, adding that he moved a motion for the north to support the creation of the NDDC at a gathering of prominent northerners at the Arewa House when he was national youth President of Arewa Youth Forum.
Continuing, he said as an aide to the late Harold Dappa Biriye, a Frontline leader of the Niger Delta, he accompanied the late sage to almost all meetings on matters of development of the region.
“And at meetings in the north Chief Biriye will ask me to speak first on matters of the region on many occasions before he would wrap up. So you know and see my passion for the region”, he said.
Alhaji Saidu further called for the implementation of recommendations of the Niger Delta Environmental Survey and several other recommendations on Niger Delta, stressing that sweeping them under the carpet was not a good one for any serious government.
“It is high time federal government visited recommendations on redressing challenges in the Niger Delta. There are several of them. There are the recommendations of the Niger Delta Environmental Survey and many others. They should give them attention so the area can enjoy development “, he said.
On the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Akpabio, he said he was calling again for his sack because of his failure to keep his promise to inaugurate aboard for the NDDC before August this year.
“We heard the Minister when he visited stakeholders in Warri, Delta state that he was going to ensure aboard was in place before the end of July. But this has not come to be since. then. I still call for his sack. The East-West road is in shambles. The dry season is the time.to work but you see the situation. “, he said.
Teni, Jaywon, others thrill fans as Funmi Ayinke launches album “The Journey”
It was a superlative afternoon of kid’s glove reception, music and fun as fans and lovers of music were treated to heartwarming performances from Nigerian singers, Teniola Apata, popularly known as Teni, Iledare Oluwajuwonlo better known as Jaywon and others at Funmi Ayinke’s debut album “The Journey” on Sunday in Ikeja, Lagos.
The event witnessed the presence of some notable personalities like the former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Shina Peller, the publisher of Ovation International, Bashorun Dele Momodu, royal fathers and others who all took part in the launching of the 15-track album titled, The Journey.
The 16-track album features talented and multiple award-winning acts such as Tunde TDot of Styl Plus fame, popular comic act-cum-singer, Klint D Drunk, Magnito, and legendary singer, Chief Ebenezer Obey.
‘The Journey’ album according to the brains behind it features well-written and powerful compositions that are a strong source of motivation and inspiration to listeners, providing needed zest to those in a moment of darkness and hope for the downcast.
FunmiAyinke noted that all the 15 songs were carefully composed and written with the hope that they heal the mind, body, and soul of everyone that listens.
Speaking on the album, the multi-talented Funmi Ayinke, who also doubles as the founder of Funmi Ayinke Records and Funmi Ayinke Humanity Foundation (FHF), said the body of work was inspired by her desire to pass a strong message of hope and motivation to her listeners.
“I decided on the album after taking a deep reflection on how I can impact the larger society aside from what I do at the Funmi Ayinke Humanity Foundation (FHF). Then the inspiration to sing hit me. It was at the time that I decided to write the songs before hitting the studios to pour out my soul on the songs. The album is a mix of inspirational and soulful soft music that was well produced and mastered to delight my listeners,” she said.
On her choice of features on the album, Funmi Ayinke said, “I grew up listening to Chief Ebenezer Obey whose career has lasted multiple decades. It was a dream come through having him on a record that I intend to use to inspire a wider audience. I also featured established characters such as veteran gospel singers: Funmi Aragbaye, TDot, Magnito, and Klint D Drunk on the album.”
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