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174 Nigerians stranded in Libya return home

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… As Buhari swears in new RMAFC Chairman, Muhammed Bello***

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Tuesday received another batch of 174 Nigerians who had been stranded in Libya as they arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

The Acting Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office of the Agency, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, told the newsmen of the development in Lagos.

Farinloye said that the Nigerians arrived at the cargo wing of the airport at 3:45 p.m. aboard a Boeing 737-800 of Al Buraq Air with registration number 5A-DMG.

He said that the returnees were brought back to the country by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) through a voluntary repatriation programme.

The acting coordinator said that the programme was meant for distressed Nigerians who had left the country to seek greener pastures in various European countries but could not afford to return when their journey became frustrating.

Farinloye said that the returnees comprised  75 male adults, 69 female adults, 12 male and five female children, 10 female infants and three male infants.

He said that 23 among the returnees had minor medical cases.

“This year alone, this flight was the 12th recorded in Lagos that brought returnees from Libya,” Farinloye said.

He said that so far, about 2, 044 Nigerian returnees from Libya had been assisted back to the country through Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja in 2022.

The acting coordinator enjoined the returnees to turn a new leaf in looking for opportunities in the country that are enough for everyone to achieve their desired goals.

“We admonished the returnees on the need to realise that there’s no country better than Nigeria.

” Here you have all the freedom to achieve your potential; looking for greener pastures in foreign lands is no longer a reality, those countries are not better off when you consider the challenges you encounter there and here.

” You are encouraged to be positive ambassadors toward advocacy and sensitisation against irregular migration that leave the youths vulnerable to all sorts of abuses and death in extreme cases.

“There are ample opportunities for all of us to thrive and live happily in virtuous and God-fearing manners in Nigeria without unnecessarily exposing ourselves to underserved dangers in foreign lands,” he said.

Farinloye said that the returnees were received by NEMA, along with other sister agencies such as the Immigration Service, Refugee Commission, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Police.

In another development,  President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn-in new Chairman for Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mohammed Shehu.

The newsmen report that the swearing-in of the Chairman was held shortly before the commencement of the weekly virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Newsmen report that Bello’s appointment followed the resignation of the immediate past Chairman, Elias Mbam, who contested for the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primary election in Abia.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the exercise, Bello pledged to work hard to assist the country gain more revenues within the confines of extant laws.

He said: “I can assure the president that the commission as one of the 14 constitutionally recognised ones will do what it takes to assist him to get more revenues before he leaves office next year.

“We will also ensure that we maintain our independence as enshrined in the constitution.’’

According to him, the commission will collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria strengthens its monetary mechanisms.

Bello said: “The task is challenging. So, our task as a revenue mobilization agency is how we can assist Mr. President to get more revenues for the federation and block leakages.

“And also looking at the constitutional responsibility of the commission, which of course are, monitoring of accruals to the Federation Account, disbursement and also mobilsation.

“Also taking care of the salaries of political office holders and judicial officers, as enshrined in the constitution that had not been reviewed since 2008.

And I think there is agitation for that.

“And also, from time to time, come up with a new revenue allocation formula, which the commission successfully did, sometimes I think, in February this year, and we have submitted our report to Mr. President.

“What he stated at that time was that he was waiting to see what the National Assembly will do in terms of looking at the concurrent list and exclusive list as well as a constitutional amendment.”

Bello said if the president was satisfied with what the National Assembly does, he will forward a recommendation and make it an Act so that it becomes a law.

 

 

 

Health and Safety

Police Begin 24-hour Bike Patrol On Third Mainland Bridge 

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Police Begin 24-hour Bike Patrol On Third Mainland Bridge 
…As Troops neutralise 7 insurgents, recover weapons, motorcycles in Kaduna

The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Police Command in Lagos State have begun a 24-hour bike patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

RRS made this known in a post it shared on its official X handle @rrsLagos767 on Monday.

It stated that the Commander of RRS, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, had directed the squad’s motorcycle riders to begin a 24-hour patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge.

“RRS Commander, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi has directed the squad’s Bike Riders to commence a 24-hour patrol of the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos as a way of protecting the infrastructure on the bridge.

“Also to prevent the incidence of harassment of road users by miscreants.

“This is in line with the directives of the State Commissioner of Police, CP Adegoke Fayoade to the squad for the protection of lives, property and public infrastructure on the newly renovated bridge,” it stated.

RRS said that Egbeyemi appealed to motorists and road users to cooperate with the riders so that they could serve them better.

In another development, showing observable security improvement, the 1 Division Nigerian Army, said its troops have neutralised seven insurgents and recovered weapons and motorcycles in Kaduna.

This is contained in a statement issued by Lt-Col. On Monday in Kaduna, Musa Yahaya, the Acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations 1 Division Nigerian Army.

Yahaya said, “Troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army deployed at a blocking position at Udawa carried out a fighting patrol along Udawa – Kurebe road on May 19.

According to him, during the aggressive patrol, troops made contact with insurgents and terrorist elements. They engaged them with a heavy volume of fire leading to the annihilation of five terrorists and violent extremists.

 He disclosed that items recovered during the encounter included,  one pump action gun, six cartridges, one empty AK 47 rifle magazine, one MP3 radio, one phone battery, two Baofeng radios,  two Baofeng radio chargers, four memory cards, two sim cards and four charms.

Some of the weapons recovered by troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army from the terrorists in Kaduna.

He said, “Relatedly, the division deployed at Sabo Birni in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna State intercepted suspected movement of terrorist elements at Baka general area on 19 May 2024.

 Yahaya said the troops swiftly mobilised to the area and engaged the terrorists.

“In the firefight that ensued, the terrorists who could not withstand the superior firepower of the troops cowardly fled to nearby hills in disarray with several degrees of gunshot wounds.

 “The troops exploited the general area and recovered one AK 47 rifle and two motorcycles while blood stains were seen all over the scene of the incident.

He also disclosed that troops of the Division while lying in wait at Kwaga village in Birnin Gwari local government of Kaduna state, made contact with terrorist elements and neutralised two of the criminals.

 “Items recovered included two AK 47 rifles, two magazines and two motorcycles, “Yahaya said.

The spokesperson said Maj-Gen. Mayirenso  Saraso, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division NA and  Commander of Operation, Whirl Punch, commended the troops for their aggressive posture.

He charged them to sustain the tempo and make life unbearable for terrorists, insurgents, violent extremists and their cohorts.

He equally appealed to all law-abiding citizens to report to the NA or nearest security agencies, persons seen with gunshot wounds seeking medical attention.

 Yahaya also appealed to the good people of Kaduna and Niger States to avail the Army and other security agencies with timely and actionable intelligence for prompt action. 

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Health and Safety

ONSLAUGHT: Troops Eliminate 227 Terrorists, Apprehend 529 In 1 Week

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ONSLAUGHT: Troops Eliminate 227 Terrorists, Apprehend 529 In 1 Week

 The Defence Headquarters says troops have within the last week, eliminated no fewer than 227 terrorists, apprehended 529 and rescued 253 kidnapped victims, following ground and air operations across the country.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja on the operations of the Armed Forces.

Buba said the troops recovered 231 assorted weapons and 6,441 assorted ammunition, comprising 89 AK47 rifles, 40 locally fabricated guns, 59 Dane guns, 250kg bombs used by NATO and Eastern Bloc aircraft and one MRAP.

Others according to him are; 4,198 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 841 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 88 rounds of 5.56mm, 16 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm, 99 rounds of 7.62x51mm, 956 rounds of 7.62x54mm, 242 live cartridges, one PKM magazine, 24 magazines among others

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 83 terrorists, arrested 59 suspects and rescued 58 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a large cache of arms.

He said that 219 terrorists comprising 29 adult males, 65 adult females and 125 children surrendered to troops within the theatre of operations between May 8 and 14.

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirle Stroke, neutralised 27 insurgents, arrested 154 violent extremists and rescued 42 kidnapped hostages.

In the North West, he said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, also neutralised 58 terrorists, arrested 125 terrorists and rescued 105 kidnapped hostages.

Buba said the air component had on May 8, bombarded a new terrorist enclave in Faskari area of Katsina State following an intelligence trail and confirmatory ISR on the migration of notorious terrorist elements to the deserted settlement.

According to him, battle damage assessment revealed that several terrorists were neutralised and their structures as well as logistics destroyed

He added that troops of Operation Whirl Punch apprehended 68 illegal miners from an illegal mining site in Gwagwalada Area Council of FCT Abuja during the week.

He said that the troops also neutralised 25 terrorists, arrested 97 suspects and rescued 32 kidnapped hostages.

He also said that in the South-South, troops of Operation Delta Safe recovered 1,442,700 litres of stolen crude oil and 154,650 litres of illegally refined AGO.

According to him, troops discovered and destroyed 18 dugout pits, 34 boats, five drums, four receivers, four reservoirs and 97 storage tanks.

”Other items recovered include 198 cooking ovens, nine vehicles, three pumping machines, two speedboats, one baofeng radio, one outboard engine and 57 illegal refining sites.

”Troops also neutralised three extremists and apprehended 16 suspected oil thieves and other violent extremists’’.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised 21 terrorists, arrested 45 violent extremists and rescued 12 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a cache of arms. 

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Health and Safety

Senate Berths Death Penalty For Hard Drugs, Substance Trafficking

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Senate Berths Death Penalty For Hard Drugs, Substance Trafficking

The irresistible attraction for drug pushing is set to wane as the Senate on Thursday, prescribed the death sentence as the penalty for trafficking in hard drugs and other substances in Nigeria.

This followed the passage of the  National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Amendment Bill 2024.

It also prescribed not more than 15 years imprisonment without the option of fine, for conviction on consumption of hard drugs and substances.

This followed the adoption of the Senate Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and Drugs and Narcotics report on the NDLEA Amendment Act at plenary.

The report was presented by the Chairman of the committee, Sen. Mohammed Monguno (APC -Borno).

Monguno in his presentation said the amendment sought to strengthen the operations of the  NDLEA, empower its operations to establish laboratories for forensic review and update the list of dangerous drugs.

He said the amendment was also designed to review penalties and enhance the powers of the NDLEA to prosecute drug-related offences and issue subsidiary legislation.

He said the Senate had on Feb.28, deliberated on the bill, which was transmitted from the House of Representatives for the Senate’s concurrence.

He said it was important to make a general comment on the bill,  especially on the classification of the offences and penalty categorisations of drug-related offences.

He said the categorisations were peculiar and different from other laws because of the sentencing guideline used in determining drug-related offences.

“These guidelines in drug laws are designed to promote fairness, consistency and proportionality in the criminal justice system while considering the broader goals of rehabilitation and public safety.

“It is also important to note that several variables are used to determine the penalties imposed on a suspect.

“This includes type and quantity of controlled substance, defendant’s criminal history, intent behind drug-related activities, aggravating or mitigating circumstance such as organised crime, violence, use of offensive weapon.

“Others like  endangerment of minors can aggravate penalties,  conversely mitigating factors like cooperation with law enforcement or lack of prior criminal record may lessen the severity of punishment.”

Earlier, before the passage of the bill during clause-by-clause consideration, Sen.Ali Ndume (APC Borno), had moved a motion for amendment to clause 11 of the bill, which initially prescribed life imprisonment for drugs and substances trafficking in Nigeria.

Ndume had called for stiffer sanctions and moved a motion for a prescribing death sentence.

The motion was seconded by Sen.Onyekachi Nwaebonyi (APC-Ebonyi), who said that drugs and substance trafficking were doing great harm to the nation and hence,  stiffer penalties should be given to offenders.

When the voice vote for adoption of the motion on the death penalty was put to the vote, the “Yes” had their way as the Deputy President of the Senate, Barau Jubrin (APC- Kano), who was presiding ruled in favour of the “Yes.”

However, the decision did not go well for Sen.Adams Oshiomhole (APC – Edo), who objected to the ruling, saying that he was responsible to his constituents for every law passed in the Senate.

He said issues of life and death should not be passed based on a “Yes or No” response, advocating for a voting by every senator.

Responding, Barau said the best approach for the Edo lawmaker was to have called for a division immediately after the clause on the death sentence was adopted.

Barau said the decision to rule in favour of the “yes” was not the presiding officer’s making but on the members’ voice vote.

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