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Drug war: Assets confiscation will weaken cartels – Marwa

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Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd) has charged other Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies in Africa to consider targeting the assets of drug cartels as a veritable tool that will weaken criminal narcotics networks.

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He gave the charge while delivering Nigeria’s statement at the virtual extraordinary session for Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies to share experiences and best practices in efforts to address and counter the world drug problem, on Tuesday, September 21.  

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According to him, the disruption of the traditional criminal trafficking routes means that law enforcement personnel must be familiar with new technologies, techniques and strategies employed by organised criminal groups and traffickers. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

In order to proactively deal with these new challenges, there is therefore, an urgent need to strengthen international cooperation in identifying and managing evolving challenges in drug trafficking. 

“We must continue to weaken criminal drug networks through effective asset tracing and confiscation.” Marwa said.

The NDLEA boss added, “We should therefore, deepen international cooperation to address the increasing links between transnational organised crime, corruption, illicit financial flows, trafficking in drugs and related crimes. Let us not spare any effort in eliminating barriers to effective collaboration as we demonstrate commitment to our shared responsibilities.”

While stating that Nigeria has remained dynamic in her counter narcotic operations in line with the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire by drug trafficking cartels to explore new markets and routes in furtherance of their criminal activities, Gen. Marwa told the global audience that;

“We are taking steps to tackle the online distribution of narcotic drugs, which has become prevalent among organised drug trafficking criminal groups, particularly since the global shut down last year. “In the last eight months, Nigeria has made over 8,634 arrests with 1,630 convictions.  Over two million kilograms of drugs seized with over N100billion in cash and seized drugs.” He said.

He listed other proactive steps taken by Nigeria to address and counter the various aspects of the drug problem. “We have developed the 4th edition of our National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) 2021-2025, with four strategic pillars namely: Supply reduction, Demand reduction, Access to Controlled Medicines for medical purposes, Governance and Coordination. 

“As part of our control programmes, the country recently launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) to further amplify the national drive on both drug supply and drug demand reduction. As a result, we are collaborating with all levels of government, civil-society groups, Non-governmental Organizations, schools and relevant institutions, he added.

He emphasized the importance of strengthening international cooperation in addressing drug trafficking and other forms of transnational organised crimes, especially on the African continent. “Nigeria is committed to strong regional alliances which in the short term could be fostered through Memoranda of Understanding between our different agencies in the African Continent and beyond. 

A good example was the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed between the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Drug Law Enforcement Agency of the Gambia (DLEA), he assured his counterparts.

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Ortom’s Aide Threatens N2bn Lawsuit Against Senate Aspirant Spokesman For Defamation

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Yemi Itodo
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The Senior Special Assistant on New Media to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, Prince Yemi Itodo has threatened to file a N2 billion lawsuit against the spokesperson of Hon. Hassan Saleh Campaign Organization, Cletus Agada for defamation.

The threat was contained in a demand letter by his legal team, Pathfind Attorneys, dated 8th April, 2022 and addressed to Cletus Agada.

In the letter which was signed by the Senior Partner, Precious Aire, Esq, the law firm cited how Agada defamed their client in a widely published write up on Facebook Friday, 8th April, 2022.

The letter read inter alia: “In the aforesaid write up bearing the photograph of our client, you made false and unsubstantiated defamatory statements against his person in the following words:

“From Hon. Prince Onuh to Gov. Samuel Ortom and Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo, Prince Yemi Itodo is a criminal and serial blackmailer and cyber thug that has elevated blackmail to a trade and even have apprentice in his “workshop”.

“Unfortunately for him this time, Hon. Hassan Anthony Saleh whom he’s trying to open an office on his head, has no intention of inviting him for “settlement” or patronage”.

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“But for the fact that he’s shameless, I would have said it will be a big shame if Yemi does not resign his membership of the PDP when Hon. Saleh is cleared for the primaries”.

The law firm submitted that Agada’s “false, libellous, malicious, and defamatory statements” have and continue to damage the hard-earned reputation of their client who had already built a sound reputation over the years as a successful investigative journalist, businessman cum politician.

It therefore, demanded a retraction of the defamatory statements published on Facebook, in addition to an unreserved written apology to their client through the law firm’s office and publication of same in three National Newspapers to wit; The Nation, Leadership and Blueprint.

It added that failure of the defamer to comply with the demands within 72 hours will leave them with no choice than to seek legal redress in court “where we shall be claiming damages in the sum of N2,000,000,000 (Two Billion Naira) on behalf of our client”.

Meanwhile, Comrade Yemi Itodo has opened up on why he threatened to go legal on the defamatory comments made against him by Cletus Agada of the Hassan Anthony Saleh Campaign Organization.

Itodo in a statement in Abuja Saturday, said the defamer elated to malign his person and ascribed “unprintable names” to him.

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“In the said publication made via the instrumentality of social media, which is regarded as agent of multimedia as captioned in section 22 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended; the Media Aide and official spokesman of Hon. Saleh, an aspirant for Senate of Benue South under the PDP, labeled me as a “criminal”, “serial blackmailer” and “cyber thug”, he stated.

He pointed out that “there was no prior acrimony between me and the said Media Aide to Hon. Hassan Saleh, saved for the trending discourse on the social space, wherefore, his Principal posted his resignation letter as an SLA to the Speaker of House of Representatives. The former 2 terms Reps Member’s post got public attention and the youth and PDP members in Benue South started asking if it was right for him to have held unto an appointment with an APC government, only for him to have resigned one month to PDP primaries, to seek a senatorial ticket of the umbrella party.

“Permit me to also place emphasis on the fact that, I neither joined in the commentary, nor made any post on my wall in support or against the topic. To my greatest surprise, the boy went and posted one long epistle on Thursday morning, tagging and trying to rubbish the appointment given to me by His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom. I went to his wall and pleaded that he untag me and also leave Governor out of the discourse. He never listened.”

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Itodo added: “Aside the publication, I have also received plenty threats from family members and associates of the aspirant. One Saleh Ododo’s message of threat which he made openly, and other recorded calls are being scrutinized by the agents of State, as we speak.”

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2021 Ethics And Integrity Compliance Scorecard Of MDAs: ICPC Scores Censors Board High

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission(ICPC) has rated the National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB)  high among the outstanding public institutions in the 2021 Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard (EICS) of Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) of the Federal Government by the .

In the 2021 EICS ranking recently released by ICPC, NFVCB, regulator of the nation’s film industry, is standing at 47th position out of the 301 public institutions ranked during the period under review.

The board stands tall at second position among parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and ranks third among the 20 regulatory agencies of the Federal Government assessed under the scorecard.

The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasannoye(SAN), in a letter presenting the scorecard to NFVCB, said : “ Your documents are analysed and the result revealed a score of 70.3% which connotes substantial compliance in EICS and effective status in ACTU Effectiveness Index(AEI).

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“The commission commends management for the structures and processes you have in place which promotes efficiency

The EICS is an evaluation tool by ICPC pursuant to its preventive mandate as contained in Section 6(b-d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

The Scorecard focuses on assessing the compliance adherence of government MDAs based on three Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); Management Culture and Structure (MCS), Financial Management Systems (FMS) and Administrative Systems(AS).

Responding to NFVCB’s position in the EICS ranking for the year 2021, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director/CEO of the board , expressed delight that the development was an indication that his agency’s transparency and commitment to delivery on its mandate was being noted.

He also commended the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture,Alh. Lai Mohammed for his supportive role and guidance which has made it possible for the board to attain this feat.

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In his words: “Our position in the 2021Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard(EICS) is clear indication that the NFVCB as the regulator of the largest film industry in Africa, and the second in the world, is ready to uphold best practices in her operations, especially in compliance with government policies and programs.

“We hope to do more by building on whatever we have done right that earned us this recognition, and focus more on areas where they want us to improve to enable us deliver more prudently on our mandate

“ The NFVCB, under my watch, is poised towards ensuring that the ease-of-doing-business and transparency mantra of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is upheld , and we have demonstrated this in our overall service delivery to the creatives, especially filmmakers.

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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Soroptimist Calls For Sustained Empowerment, Mentorship For Girl Child

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Mrs Stephanie Apel, Charter President, Soroptimist International (SI) Maitama, has called for the continuous empowerment and mentorship of the girl child in order to secure fair, progressive and evenly developed society.

She made the call in an interview with newsmen on the sideline of the official change of insignia and installation of a new president for the association on Saturday evening in Abuja.

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According to Apel, the girl child is a potential wife and mother that must be empowered and supported because her success or failure will reflect on the larger society tomorrow.

She therefore urged Civil Society Groups and government at all levels to give utmost attention to programmes and initiative geared towards the education, empowerment and mentoring of the girl child. push({});

“One thing I always say about empowering the girl child is the fact that when a woman gives birth, as a mother, is that woman that stays with the baby for the first five years.

“So those our big boys that we are expecting to become presidents of Nigeria, if you don’t empower the woman that is going to train them what kind of president are they going to train.

“If we want to have good leaders, we must have good mothers that will train these good leaders because these children are always with us.

“Since the men are not always around, the wives that will always stay with these children must be trained because you can’t give what you don’t have,” she said

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Mrs Stephanie Apel Charter President Soroptimist International, SI and Others at an event in Abuja, Nigeria recently.

Apel, who served as the pioneer president of SI Maitama, said the association in the past two years was committed to providing education and entrepreneurial skills for females in rural communities around the Federal Capital Territory(FCT)

She said the association under her watch, has worked with relevant stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4) of quality education and Gender Equality (SDG5).

She added that the association was also committed to marking relevant UN days such as the International Literacy Day (ILD) with milestone projects that affect the girl child.

“Basically what we do as Soroptimist is empowering women and girls because SI is a women organisation, and we work for the advancement of women and girls.

“I started SI Maitama in 2019, and in spite of the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic our Girls Empowerment Project took us to Senior Secondary School Mpape.

“We gave one year scholarship to 20 girls in their final year who otherwise would have found it difficult graduating, and I am proud to say they are currently writing their senior Secondary Examinations.

“In our bid to provide economic empowerment we also trained rural women in Gaube community in liquid soap making, gave them raw materials to start their businesses, and we have been following them up.

“Within this period, we also embarked on several health sensitisation visits to female schools around the FCT where we distributed sanitary pads to young girls,” she said.

The immediate past president therefore urged her successor and her team to wholeheartedly embrace and pursue the objectives of the association through involvement in projects and initiatives that empower and make life meaningful to women.

Earlier in her remarks, the incoming president of SI Maitama, Ijeoma-Victoria Ogbonna, pledged to build on the successes recorded by the immediate past president by initiating projects that would benefit women and the girl.

“I hereby solicit the support and co-operation of everyone here, including our distinguished quests to make this dream a reality,” she said.

Soroptimist International (SI), founded in 1921 is a worldwide volunteer service organization for women who work for peace, and in particular to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities.

Its membership work on grassroots projects that help women and girls achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in communities worldwide.

Author Profile

Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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