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Grandma Nabbed For Cocaine Trafficking

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A 56-year-old grand mother has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja Lagos for allegedly inserting 20 wraps of cocaine in her private parts and ingesting 65 wraps.

The suspect, Abiola Khadijat who resides at Musa Adewokun Street, Ojota Lagos was arrested on October 7, at about 9 pm. She was to travel to Atlanta, United States (U.S.) when she tested positive to drug ingestion during screening of passengers on Delta Airline flight.

Abiola, an international trader said she was indebted and decided to smuggle narcotics. “A man I met in a popular eatery introduced me into the drug trade. I attempted suicide several times but I was encouraged. I used to go to London to buy clothes and jewelleries since 2004 but I lost everything.

I have three daughters; the eldest who is 21 is a single parent like me. Now I am old and cannot work anywhere, no help from anywhere and I got frustrated. They said they will pay me when I get to the US,” she said.

Another suspect, Godday Ugweogbu, 31 was also arrested on his way from Brazil on October 8, with 93 wraps of substances that tested positive for cocaine in his stomach.

Ugweogbu who hails from Orlu in Imo State said: “I excreted three wraps in the flight, but for fear of arrest I washed them and swallowed them again. I have financial problem. I was stranded in Brazil. I decided to smuggle the drugs because I was promised N2.5 million”.

He was caught during the screening of passengers on a South Africa Airline flight.

The agency also intercepted 6.350 kilogrammes of cocaine industrially packed inside 26 pairs of garden shears and 60 trowels on October 13,

The consignment with Airway bill number 176-8457 3576 was imported from Brazil on an Emirate cargo flight by Fuitful Investment Nigeria Limited at the cargo section of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos.

Already, two clearing and forwarding agents, Abdullahi Shaba, 42 and Salau Nurudeen Wale have been arrested in connection with the consignment which was shipped by a Brazilian firm, Absoluta Trading. The value of the seized drugs in Lagos is N80.8 million .

The Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade attributed the recent successes recorded to good foreign collaboration and commitment to the drug war.

“The discovery was made possible through exchange of intelligence with the United Kingdom under the Operation West Bridge. This certainly signifies end of the road to drug barons because we have similar understanding with other countries. We shall continue to detect and seize their drugs notwithstanding the mode of concealment,” Giade said.

He assured that the case will be thoroughly investigated.

Speaking on the arrest, the Acting NDLEA Airport Commander, Alhaji Idris Bello said the drug was factory concealed in the handles of the garden shears and trowels. “The handles were practically broken before the drug was discovered,” he said. The two clearing and forwarding agents arrested are assisting NDLEA operatives in further investigation,” he said.

The agency vowed to dislodge drug cartels in the country following recent discoveries of narcotics imported through the cargo section of the Lagos airport. All the suspects will soon be charged to court.

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FOI Act Implementation Bothers BPST Boss

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The Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Dasuki Arabi, has expressed regrets that the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has remained very low since the law was enacted.
The BPSR boss made the observation during a workshop held on Wednesday in Abuja on the appraisal of Freedom of Information Act.
Arabi said the Act was meant to entrench transparency and openness in governance through improved compliance to annual reporting obligations of public institutions.
“It is also expected to guide and improve compliance of public institutions in proactive disclosure of mandatory publication requirements, as well as empower citizens, the right to access information held by the state.
“Regrettably, since the introduction of the FOI Act, it is evident that the level of compliance among public institutions still remains low.
“While the level of engagement by citizens still remains insignificant and in some cases fraught with misunderstanding between the State and Non-State actors,” he added.
Arabi, therefore, said that the workshop was to resolve some of the grey areas around FOI, as well as foster a harmonious relationship between the State and Non-State actors towards the implementation of the Act.
He said good governance and transparency would only thrive in the country when citizens access to Information is assured.
The DG emphasised that the FOIA provided platform for inclusiveness that sought to hold leaders to account and feed into the decision making process.
Arabi said that the Bureau had worked assiduously towards the implementation of the Act and was making efforts to ensure that it was institutionalized across the public sector.
He said that the interventions were in the areas of training public service workers and development of feedback mechanism through which a portal for application and responses for FOI request were deployed.
Others, he said, are score-card for ranking the performances of websites of public institutions using specific benchmarks, including FOI portal.
“Creating platforms for citizens engagement with Civil Societies Organizations on topical issues of government through the BPSR flagship programmes such as the monthly Lunchtime Seminar series,” he added.
Arabi said that the Bureau had also deployed information technology to provide innovative means to improve record keeping and management using intranet and Electronic Data Management Systems.
He continued that they were working in conjunction with the Nigeria Economic Summit Group to gauge the perception of citizens on public policies.
In her remarks, the National Coordinator, Open Government Partnership (OGP), Nigeria, Dr Gloria Ahmed, said making information open was a hallmark of democracy and a basic human right.
She said that the FOIA has given citizens the opportunity to access information as regards government policies and reforms.

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FCTA Harmonises Mobile Adverts, Haulage System Against Double Taxation

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS), has launched the FCT/State Mobile Advertisement and Haulage permits for 2023 financial year.
Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, while launching the system sought the cooperation of the business owners in the FCT, in order to achieve the objective of the initiative.
Adesola said the move was part of efforts to facilitate the ease of doing business drive in the nation’s capital.
He commended DOAS for the initiative. aimed at improving institutional cooperation and partnerships with the critical stakeholders.
Adesola warned: “FCTA would no longer tolerate acts of thuggery in the collection of taxes, as there are better ways of doing such, which will ensure the attainment of ease of doing business.”
He commended the leadership of Area Councils for resolving to synergise with DOAS to streamline the system.
The Permanent Secretary said the proliferation of collection authorities for mobile advertisements had led to serious loss of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the FCT.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman, Kwali Area Council, Danladi Chiya, said although Area Councils have the constitutional right to collect such advertisements, they have no issue with FCTA over the establishment and mandate of DOAS.

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LASG Begins Vehicle Parking Lanes Demacation

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The Lagos State Parking Authority (LASPA) has revealed it will today commence creating additional Vehicle Parking Lanes in some selected locations across the State.
The Authority stated that all efforts have been geared towards improving the parking system of the State.
Speaking on the planned initiative on Friday in Ikeja, the General Manager of LASPA, Mrs. Adebisi Adelabu, stated that the vehicle parking lane mark exercise, which will begin with designated streets within Surulere, Ikoyi, Lekki, Obalende, Ikeja and Victoria Island axis of the State, is a step towards improving street parking from 2023.
Adelabu noted that the Parking Lane Markings will further guide motorists and pedestrians on appropriate parking regulations and spaces, minimise indiscriminate parking, confusion and uncertainty, while conveying a range of information to residents on parking procedures within each specified environment.
According to her, the lane markings will also include special consideration for people living with disabilities and signposts for parking directives, among other features.
The General Manager, however, solicited the understanding of residents within the locations who might be affected by any inconvenience the process might cause, assuring that the government is working rigorously in regulating and improving the parking culture as part of its Traffic Management and Transportation Agenda to ensure parking is convenient, safe and secure across the state.
Recall that the Authority had recently unveiled plans to begin full implementation of parking policy in the second quarter of 2023 and has continued to sensitise the public on the need to embrace the parking culture.

By; Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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