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School leaver, accounting graduate nabbed with drugs at Abuja, Kano Airports

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have foiled attempts by a 23-year-old secondary school leaver, Iwuyi Princewill Chukwuka and an Europe based Nigerian, Peter Mkwo to export nine kilograms of skunk and methamphetamine through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja to Turkey and Belgium respectively.

Peter Mkwo, 37, was arrested on Friday, May 28, 2021, while trying to board an Ethiopian Airline 910 en route Abuja-Addis Ababa- Brussels, Belgium. When searched, 3kg of methamphetamine was discovered stuffed in the lining of a false bottom of his luggage. Under interrogation, Peter claimed he has lived in Belgium for 15 years and worked as a forklift driver in an automobile company, where he earned One Thousand Seven Hundred (1,700) Euro per month.

He said he came into Nigeria on 26th April, for the burial of his father who died in August 2019 but buried on 30th April in Awka, Anambra State. He said after spending two weeks in Awka, he traveled to Uyo for another week to see his sister and later to Lagos to see his girlfriend. He claimed he Lodged in a hotel at Amuwo Odofin in Lagos where he met two men while hanging at the bar by the hotel’s swimming pool where they made a proposal to him to carry the drug for onward delivery to Belgium.

He said the bag containing the drug was brought to him in the hotel by the two men on Friday 28th May before he took off to Abuja where he was to take his flight to Brussels. He said he was promised Three Thousand (3,000) Euro on successful delivery to one Ishmael, in Belgium.

He claimed he accepted the offer to deliver the drug to raise some fund to pay back the money he borrowed from friends during the burial of his father. A statement by Femo Babafemi, Director Media and Advocac said, “In the same vein, the 23-year-old Iwuyi Princewill Chukwuka, was arrested with 6.3kg skunk concealed in cray fish and stuffed inside Golden Morn packs during an outward clearance of Turkish airline flight at the departure hall of the Abuja airport. “During interrogation, he claimed he was travelling for a Diploma study in Tourism and Hotel Management at University of Mediterranean, Karpasia, North Cyprus. “In a related development, a 27-year-old graduate of Accountancy, Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Zakaru Baba has been arrested at the local wing of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano with 6kg of cannabis sativa.

“The consignment was flown from Lagos to Kano on Saturday, 29th May via Max Air. The suspect who turned up to claim the packaged drug was arrested and has since confessed ownership of the exhibit.

“This is the first time the Command has apprehended a suspect via the domestic wing of the Airport, as most arrests and seizures are usually made at the international wing. “In his reaction, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the NAIA Commander, Kabir Sani Tsakuwa, and his MAKIA counterpart, Mohammed Ajiya, as well as the officers and men of the two Commands for their vigilance and commitment to the task of ridding the country of illicit substances. “He charged them not to rest on their oars as the Agency intensifies the war against drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria.”

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FG to begin rehabilitation work on part of Enugu-Onitsha Expressway

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The Federal Controller of Works in Enugu State, Olufemi Oyekanmi, has said the ministry will soon begin the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Ugwu-Onyeama portion of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

Mr Oyekanmi said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Friday, saying the project would ease the plight of motorists plying the road.

He said the ministry had awarded to RCC Nigeria Ltd, the contract for the rehabilitation of the 15km stretch of the expressway from 9th Mile to Enugu.

He said the contract also included the construction of a state-of-the-art bypass to take care of the perennial traffic gridlock at 9th Mile during Yuletide.

The remedial work at Ugwu-Onyeama would start on June 21 and run to the end of the year, while the second contract would begin after the rains in October, Mr Oyekanmi said.

He said he had informed the leadership of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Petroleum Tanker Drivers and other interested groups in the area about the federal government’s plan to fix the road.

He said he had informed the leadership of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Petroleum Tanker Drivers and other interested groups in the area about the federal government’s plan to fix the road.

According to him, major repair work will start on the most critical areas of the road on Monday. “As a matter of fact, we will start moving equipment and materials to that place.

“The planned palliative will solve the problem of accidents that are not related to recklessness around Ugwu-Onyeama.

Reacting to the development, the Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Depot Community, Chinedu Anyaso, thanked the Federal Government for its “timely intervention” on the road.

The Enugu depot community is in-charge of Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states.

Mr Anyaso said his leadership had a meeting with Mr Oyekanmi who assured them that remedial work would soon begin on the Enugu-bound lane of the dual carriageway.

He expressed the hope that the repairs would bring relief to oil marketers and petroleum tanker drivers in the South-east.

According to him, oil marketers and tanker drivers have suffered huge financial losses as a result of road accidents on the road.

He said since the beginning of the year, over 20 product-laden tankers had fallen on the road, resulting in spill, fire and vehicle damage.

Mr Anyaso said the association was planning a protest to show its bitterness over the situation before it learnt about the federal government’s planned intervention.

“You know we rely on other depots for supply because Enugu depot has not functioned for about 15 years.

“So, good roads are important to us because it will reduce our business risks and save the lives of millions of people,” the IPMAN chairman said.

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I sold about N70,000 bread daily to bandits when Kaduna students were abducted – Baker

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Hassan Magaji, a baker in the Galadimawa area of Kaduna State, has confessed to supplying bread to bandits.

Magagi, who was recently arrested by the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector-General of Police, said he sold bread worth N70,000 to the bandits during the time that some university students were abducted.

It is not clear if he was referring to students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, who spent over a month in captivity.

“I observed that whenever they kidnapped many people, like during the kidnap of those university students, the quantity of bread that they bought increased. During that period I delivered up to N70,000 worth of bread everyday until recently when it dropped to N50,000 again.”

“I have not benefitted much except that I married a new wife and I was able to save money to take care of two wives. To stop banditry, government should recruit more security men. We prefer police because they know the job.”

Bandits have been terrorising residents of Kaduna and its environs.

On Saturday, angry residents blocked the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna highway to protest incessant attacks.

Despite repeated assurances from government, armed gangs have been making life a hell for people.

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FG kicks as Kwara, Bayelsa fail to implement homegrown school programme

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Federal  Government has Kwara and Bayelsa states among other states of the federation, over non-implementation of its National Home Grown School Programme in their respective states.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya U Farouk, said this on Friday in Ilorin, Kwara State, during a courtesy visit to the state Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi.

Alabi who represented  the governor urged the Federal Governemnt to be patient with the state, agreeing that the advantages inherent in the programme are phenomenal.

He said that the programme would increase enrolment of pupils in schools, boost the economy of the state and generate employment.

The minister,Hajia Farouk had hinged the state’s delay in the enrolment on initial non compliance with the programme’s guidelines and Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister said that “with the relaxation of lockdown caused by COVID-19 and resumption of schools, the state will soon be there.”

Represented by Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National and Social Investment Programme Dr Nasir Mahmud, the minister said that the state recently expressed its preparedness to come on board the programme.

Hajia Farouk said that based on the data available from the state no fewer than 96,000 pupils in public schools from primary one to three would benefit from the programme, adding that over 1500 schools would also be enrolled.

She added that primary one to three pupils are the targets of the school feeding programme in the country.

Said she: “Recently, the state communicated to the ministry that it is ready and we are here to assess the status of the preparedness and if there is any support we need to give, the ministry will give it to make the state come on board.

“So far, we are very happy with what we saw. We just debriefed the state Deputy Governor about our findings. There are very few gaps here and there and we believe together with the national and state governments will soon address them to make sure they state begins the programme. In a matter of weeks I am confident that the programme will commence in the state.”

She said the programme had steadied enrolment of pupils in public schools in the federation.

“We have seen tremendous improvement in schools enrolment in the country. The other objective of the programme is to make sure students stay in schools resulting in learning improvement,” the minister added.

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