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NDLEA busts Cocaine warehouse seizes N194bn worth of crack in Lagos

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NDLEA Seizes Cannabis, Tramadol in Katsina

Crack seized in Lagos by the NDLEA operatives.

… Intercepts 18 pump-action guns, 2, 300 cartridges in Kogi***

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says its operatives have busted a major warehouse in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, where over N194 billion worth of crack were seized.

Its Director, of Media and Advocacy, Mr. Femi Babafemi, made this known in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Also read: NDLEA impounds 18 pump action guns, 2,300 cartridges in Kogi

An online publication, Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team, described Cocaine as “a powerful stimulant drug that can make you feel extremely happy and energized. Some healthcare providers use it as an anesthetic before surgery.

“In most cases, though, Cocaine is considered an illegal drug.

“Street dealers often mix powdered cocaine with water and baking soda and boil the mixture into a solid, rock-like substance called ‘crack Cocaine’ or just ‘crack.”

Babafemi said that the illicit drugs, which were 1.8 tons (1,855 kilogrammes) worth more than Two Hundred and Seventy-Eight Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($278, 250,000).

He said that it was the equivalent of about One Hundred and Ninety-Four Billion, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Five Million (N194, 775,000,000) Naira in street value.

The NDLEA spokesperson said that the seizures appeared to be “the biggest singular Cocaine seizure in the history of Nigeria’s premier anti-narcotic agency”.

According to him, at least, four drug barons, including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager have been arrested.

“This was done in a well-coordinated and intelligence-led operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos State,”

“Kingpins of the Cocaine cartel in custody.

“They are all members of an international drug syndicate that the agency has been trailing since 2018,” Babafemi said.

He said that the warehouse, raided by the NDLEA operatives on Sept.18, was located in Solebo Estate, Ikorodu.

The NDLEA spokesperson said that the barons were picked from their hotels and hideouts in different parts of Lagos, between Sunday night and Monday morning.

“Preliminary investigation reveals the class ‘A’ drugs were warehoused in the residential estate, from where the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.

“They were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums,” he said.

Babafemi quoted the NDLEA Chairman, Retired, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, as commending all the officers and men of the agency involved in the extensive investigation.

This, Marwa said included those of the American Drug Enforcement Administration, (US-DEA).

He said the bust was a historical blow to the drug cartels and a strong warning.

“They will all go down if they failed to realize that the game had changed,” Marwa warned.

In the same vein, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has intercepted 18 pump-action guns and 2, 300 cartridges in Kogi.

Mr Abdulkadir Abdullahi-Fakai, Kogi NDLEA Commander, announced this in Lokoja on Monday while handing over the arms and ammunition to the Kogi Police Command in the agency’s command.

Also handed over to the police were the four suspects, including a 65-year-old man, who was arrested in Abuja on Saturday, when he attempted to collect 1, 000 cartridges belonging to him from one of the suspects.

Abdullahi-Fakai said, “today, you are witnessing the handing over of four suspects, Chukwudi Adoni “M” 51-year-old (driver) and Shuaibu Gambo “M” 37-year-old (conductor) who were intercepted with 18 pump-action guns and 1, 300 cartridges on Okene-Lokoja-Abuja expressway on Sept. 17 in a bus.

“Also handed over is the 65-year-old suspect, John Ifechukwu and Anthony Agada “M” 37-year-old (conductor) who was also intercepted along the Okene-Lokoja-Abuja expressway the same day, Sept. 17 in a luxury bus conveying, 1,000 live cartridges belonging to Ifechukwu.

“You could recall that earlier in the month, One Sagir Ishaya “M” 40-year-old, a driver of a similar white bus was arrested with 12 pump-action guns and 374 cartridges, which we did hand over to the police without any delay,” he said.

The NDLEA Commander said that between July and Sept 19, the agency made some giant strides as part of the command’s determination and commitment to War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) in Kogi.

He noted that during the period, the agency seized assorted drugs totaling 561,621.78 kg and arrested 56 suspects both males and females.

According to him, the command has successfully convicted seven suspects out of 11 cases filed along with other cases still pending at Federal High Court, Lokoja.

While stating that the drug war was a fight for everyone with no exception, the commander enjoined all stakeholders to continue to support the agency all times.

“Our personnel are committed to ensuring drastic reduction to the barest minimum, the prevalence of drug abuse and trafficking in our society, more so that a drug-free society can be achieved.

“Let me conclude by thanking the Governor of Kogi, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, for the continuous support of the state government to us in the fight against drug abuse in the state,” he said.

Receiving the suspects, the arms and ammunition, Kogi Deputy Commissioner of Police Aniefiok Wilson commended the efforts of the NDLEA at intercepting such arms and ammunition.

Wilson said that the handling was the height of the expected synergy among military and paramilitary organizations to fight and checkmate crimes and criminality within the country.

He assured the Commander of the readiness of the police command under the leadership of CP Edward Egbuka, to thoroughly investigate the matters for eventual prosecution to serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements.

 

 

Health and Safety

INCESSANT TRUCK ACCIDENTS: LASG Warns Truck Drivers, Owners Against Recklessness

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INCESSANT TRUCK ACCIDENTS: LASG Warns Truck Drivers, Owners Against Recklessness

… Vows To prosecute anyone found culpable***

The Lagos State Government has again condemned in strong terms, the incessant truck accidents happening within the State and read the riot act, warning owners and drivers of articulated vehicles against recklessness, and saying any driver or owner found to be complicit in any truck accident will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the State Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.

A statement released by the Ministry of Transportation noted that the warning becomes necessary, following recent truck accidents at Ojuelegba and Ikotun area which claimed lives of innocent citizens and leaving scores of people injured, also at Abule-Egba road, and Odoyalaro (Maryland) Bridge which fortunately were without casualties.

According to the Statement, investigation reveals that the accidents happen most times, due to negligence and recklessness on the part of the drivers, reiterating that the State Government has resolved not to tolerate unabated truck accidents caused by large containers falling off trucks that injure or kill citizens, who are going about their daily activities.

Having carried out a critical forensic investigation on the causes of these accidents, the State Government has resolved to evoke the full wrath of the laws stipulated in its Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018, on liability of owners for safety.

The law clearly stated that a person who drives a commercial vehicle whose condition does not conform with the provisions of the law commits an offense and is liable on conviction to the penalty stated in Section 18 (2) and in situations where the driver of the vehicle is not the owner, the owner will also be liable in line with Section 18 (3).

The Statement further read that enforcement strategies to checkmate the operations and activities of articulated vehicles plying the State Roads is sacrosanct and will be enforced.

The State Government having registered its displeasure and position on the current situation sought the full cooperation of all relevant Stakeholders in the implementation of the exercise/enforcement in a bid to erase needless deaths, enhance movement without fear on our roads and safety of lives and property.

The Statement further commiserates with families who lost their loved ones in the recent accidents assuring them that justice will be served.

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Health and Safety

Nigeria records 244 confirmed cases of Lassa fever, 37 deaths in 16 states and FCT

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Nigeria records 244 confirmed cases of Lassa fever, 37 deaths in 16 states and FCT

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) registered 244 confirmed cases of Lassa Fever in 16 states and the FCT as of Jan. 22.

Director-General, NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, indicated this on Monday in Abuja, adding that the centre also recorded 37 deaths, a case fatality rate of 15.1 per cent.

The Lassa fever infections were recorded in Ondo State (90), Edo (89), Bauchi (13), Taraba (10), Benue (9), Ebonyi (9), Nasarawa (7) and Plateau (5).

Others are Kogi (4), Anambra (2), Delta (1), Oyo (1), Adamawa (1), Enugu (1), Imo (1), and the FCT (1).

He said among five health workers confirmed infected in the line of duty, one of them died.

Dr Adetifa said the centre activated a national multi-sectorial Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) on Jan. 20 to coordinate and strengthen ongoing response activities.

The centre is powered by officials of the NCDC and those of relevant ministries, departments, and agencies, other stakeholders and major partners.

“The outcome of the risk assessment placed Nigeria at a very high risk as increased transmission has been recorded compared to previous years, just as the number of states infected has risen.

“Healthcare workers have also been shown to be at increased risk of infection and death,’’ he said.

Adetifa also told NAN that the EOC would coordinate the national response, especially across affected states to interrupt disease transmission, reduce impact by reducing suffering and death.

He appealed to states of the federation to support the NCDC as lead agency in the development and implementation of evidence-driven outbreak response plans for their territories.

He said that prior to the activation of EOC, the NCDC had deployed national rapid response teams to hotspot states to support contact tracing, case management, risk communication and community engagement, among others.

It also developed a national Incident Action Plan to ensure coordinated response at all levels and planned the deployment of surge staff for Lassa fever case management to high-burden states.

He explained that healthcare workers at most risk were those who clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces, materials, and supplies without adequate protective gear.

Laboratory workers who handle blood samples of suspected Lassa fever patients without appropriate precautions are also at high risk, he added.

“Most at risk for Lassa fever are persons who prepare and or handle bodies of deceased Lassa fever cases without appropriate precautions,’’ he stressed.

Adetifa enjoined healthcare workers to always wear gloves and other appropriate personal protective equipment while handling patients or providing care to patients and their relatives.

“Healthcare providers should report all suspected cases of Lassa fever to their local government Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer for immediate access to healthcare.

“This is essential because early identification and treatment of cases appear to be more effective and can save lives,’’ he said.

Adetifa enjoined Nigerians to keep their environment clean always; block all holes in residences to prevent access by rats and other rodents, cover dustbins and dispose of refuse properly.

“Communities should set up dump sites very far from their homes so as not to attract rats and other rodents just as foodstuffs should be kept in containers with tight-fitting lids.

“Avoid drying foodstuffs on roadsides where they will be at risk of contamination. Avoid bush burning which can lead to the displacement of rats from bushes to human dwellings.

“Practice good personal and hand hygiene by frequently washing hands with soap under running water or use of hand sanitisers when appropriate.

“Visit the nearest health facility if you notice any of the signs and symptoms associated with Lassa fever and avoid self-medication,’’ he advised.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. The natural reservoir for the virus is the rat and other rodents.

The virus spreads through direct contact with the urine, faeces, saliva, or blood of infected rats and contact with objects, household items and surfaces contaminated with the urine, faeces, saliva, or blood of infected rats.

Consumption of food or water contaminated with the urine, faeces, saliva, or blood of infected rats; person-to-person contact with blood, urine, faeces and other body fluids of an infected person could also lead to infection.

Lassa fever initially presents like other commonplace illnesses accompanied by a fever such as malaria.

Other symptoms include headache, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pains, chest pain, sore throat, and in severe cases, bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and other body openings.

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Health and Safety

EFCC secures 166 convictions, recovers N1.4bn in Kano; Student docked for alleged threat to life, stabbing another with bottle

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EFCC secures 166 convictions, recovers N1.4bn in Kano

 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kano Zonal Command, said it secured 166 convictions and recovered N1.4 billion in 2022.

The Zonal Commander of EFCC, Mr. Farouk Dogondaji, made the disclosure during a courtesy visit by Head of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) office in Kano State, Aminu Garko, on Thursday in Kano.

“In 2022 the commission investigated, prosecuted, secured 166 convictions and recovered N1.4 billion in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa. We still have pending cases in court.

“The Government of President Muhammadu Buhari has given all Nigerians the opportunity to report cases of economic and financial crime.

“EFCC Chairman, Mr. Abdulrashid Bawa, brought a lot of changes and policies among which is the development of EFCC strategic plan to improve public participation in the fight against corruption.

“Fighting corruption is for all of us Nigerians. We have to put our hands together to push our country forward,” Dogondaji said.

He noted that the issue of corruption in Nigeria was of great concern to all patriotic citizens, and as such various stakeholders must work together to tame it, especially as the country goes into election.

“Citizens have to know what corruption has done to Nigeria so that when they go to cast their votes, they vote for credible Nigerians. Even as citizens, we have a duty to Nigeria,” he said.

He commended NAN for its zeal to partner with the commission to win the war against corruption.

Earlier, the head of the Kano state NAN office said corruption has been the major problem militating against the smooth implementation of government policies and programmes that would impact the well-being of the populace.

“Fighting corruption is like fighting a war among communities, we cannot move forward without fighting corruption,” he said.

Garko called for synergy between NAN and the EFCC in the ongoing fight against corruption in the country. 

In another development, a 26-year-old student, Victor Adegbulugbe, was on Friday docked in an Ogudu Magistrate’s Court in Lagos, for allegedly stabbing another with a broken bottle on the head and back.

The police charged Adegbulugbe, who resides at Kazeem Street, Ojota, Lagos, with count bordering on assault, threat to life, grievous confrontation and breach of peace.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecutor, Insp Donjor Perezi, had told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Jan. 19, 2023, at about 9 a.m. at Muwazani hotel, located on No 22 Ogudu road, Ojota, Lagos State.

Perezi told the court that the defendant stabbed one Akeem Adebare, during an altercation and threatened the lives of Sharon Eunkoroh and Ibrahim Adebare that he would kill them with a gun.

He said that the offences contravened the provisions of Section 175, 56 (1)(a), 168 and 173 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

According to section 173, anyone found guilty of the offence will be liable to three years imprisonment

The Magistrate, Mrs M.O. Tanimola, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000, with two sureties in like sum.

She said that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must show evidence of tax payments to Lagos Government.

Tanimola adjourned the case until Feb. 15 for mention.

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