The suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Abba Kyari, who is facing drug trafficking charge, yesterday, begged the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to release him on bail, alleging a threat to his life.
Kyari, through his team of lawyers led by Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, told the court that he is feeling unsafe at the Kuje Correctional Centre where he said he was being remanded with hardened criminals.
Ikpeazu said the fresh application for the court to reconsider the request his client earlier made for bail pending the determination of the charge against him, became necessary, considering the nature of assignments he undertook while performing his duties as a police officer.
According to the defence lawyer, some of the inmates on remand at the Kuje Correctional Centre, were people that Kyari’s team at the Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, made their arrest possible.
Aside from DCP Kyari, three other police officers that are equally on trial over the alleged offence- ACP Sunday J. Ubia, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu- also begged the court to okay their release on bail on safety grounds.
However, the 3rd defendant in the matter, Bawa James, who is an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, did not join them in the application.
Meanwhile, counsel for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Mr. Sunday Joseph, urged the court to refuse the bail request by the defendants.
The prosecution counsel maintained that the matter was originally slated for the review of facts of the case relating to two self-confessed drug traffickers, Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwane, who were linked to the suspended DCP, Kyari.
Both Umeibe and Ezenwanne, who were cited as 6th and 7th defendants in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022, were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu while attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country.
They had on March 7, when they were arraigned alongside Kyari, pleaded guilty to the drug trafficking charge.
Kyari, who pleaded innocence to the charge against him, had contended that reviewing facts of the case or sentencing Umeibe and Ezenwanne, while his trial is still ongoing, would be prejudicial to him.
He further drew attention of the court to the fact that both Umeibe and Ezenwanne were also mentioned in some counts in the charge that involved him, and the other accused police officers.
The court had in a ruling it delivered on April 28, dismissed Kyari’s objections and held that it would go ahead to review facts of the case against Umeibe and Ezenwanne.
Nevertheless, at the resumed proceedings on the matter, yesterday, Kyari and his police co-defendants, said they have gone to the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling.
They further filed a motion for the court to temporarily halt the trial to await the outcome of the appeal, an application that was opposed by the prosecution which accused the defendants of attempting to stay proceeding in a criminal matter.
Meantime, trial Justice EmekaNwite adjourned the case till June 14 to hear the defendants’ fresh application for bail.
The NDLEA had alleged that Kyari and his men, unlawfully tampered with 21.25kilogrammes worth of cocaine that they seized from the two apprehended drug traffickers, even as it also accused them of dealing in cocaine worth 17.55kg.
It alleged that the police officers committed the offence between January 19 and 25, 2022, at the office of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) IRT, Abuja, in connivance with one ASP John Umoru (now at large), contrary to Section 14(b) of the NDLEA Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Besides, Kyari, was said to have attempted to bribe a senior officer of the NDLEA with $61, 400. 00 at a restaurant in Abuja to prevent the testing of part of the cocaine that was seized from the two arrested drug pushers.
On the other hand, the agency, alleged that Umeibe and Ezenwanne, conspired with one IK that is currently at large, to import 21.35kg of cocaine into the country without lawful authority and knowingly possessed same, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11(d) of the NDLEA Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The court earlier denied the defendants bail on the premise that they not posed “flight risk”, but also have “tremendous influence in the Nigeria Police” and the capacity to interfere with the prosecution witnesses.
While Kyari and his men were remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre, Umeibe and Ezenwanne were remanded at the Suleja Correctional Centre.
Your Resilience Has Kept You Afloat, PHALGA Boss Tells RSNC … Says The Tide Remains Long-Term Partner
The Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local Government Council, Sir Alwell Ihunda, has praised the giant strides and resilience of Rivers State Newspaper Corporation (RSNC), publishers of The Tide Newspapers more than 50 years after its establishment by the Rivers State Government.
Ihunda, who said this during a courtesy call by the management of RSNC, said the council was elated that The Tide has consistently remained on the newsstands for more than 50 years, adding that the council was looking forward to joining in the celebration of the golden jubilee anniversary of the corporation.
The mayor, who was represented by the council Secretary, Barrister Chile Kay Owuru, said The Tide has continued to deliver on its mandate and serve the Government and people of Rivers State in spite of obvious challenges.
He also praised the newspaper for standing behind the council during the recent struggle to ensure that the provisions of the Constitution were no longer brazenly breached by the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, which had been conducting marriages at illegal Marriage Registries across the country.
Ihunda also said the council would work to ensure that all commercial transport vehicles operating between #1 to 10, Ikwerre Road and under all parts of the Abali Flyover relocate to the main Abali Motor Park, which has been renovated and upgraded by the council to accommodate more vehicles.
He regretted that the commercial transport and illegal business activities taking place around the area have facilitated the operations of criminal elements who have been terrorising unsuspecting members of the public, and assured that the council was synergising with relevant authorities to restore sanity to the area.
The mayor also assured that the public health issues associated with the huge refuse dumpsite at Njemanze Street in Rumuwoji (Mile One) area would be addressed.
Ihunwo further promised to work out partnership strategies that would enable both the corporation and the council mutually leverage the opportunities that abound in the RSNC’s Business Development portfolio, especially in the area of commercial printing jobs, among others.
Earlier, the General Manager of the corporation, Chief Ernest Chinwo, said the meeting was initiated with the understanding that the mayor would use his position to facilitate mutually beneficial engagements between the council and the RSNC while also creating value added window to interact with the membership of ALGON in the state with a view to eliciting their support and partnership to boost the corporation’s fortunes.
Chinwo said every Rivers man should be proud of The Tide as the only surviving state-owned newspaper regularly in the newsstands since its founding, noting that the newspaper has continued to wax stronger despite all the challenges since it was established in 1971.
According to him, The Tide was the only surviving paper on South-South and South-East that has been regular on the newsstands, saying that the corporation was not only involved in newspaper publishing but also undertakes all kinds of printing jobs.
The general manager also called on the mayor to look into the health hazard posed by the refuse dumpsite at Njamanze Street, stressing that the site has recently constituted serious threat to the health of the people in the area.
He also called the attention of the mayor to the proliferation of illegal motor parks and markets around the Abali flyover and along the rail line, adding that criminals have used the area as fertile ground for perpetrating all kinds of unwholesome activities.
By: John Bibor
Kick Insensitive APC Govt Out With Your PVCs, PDP Charges Nigerians
As the 2023 elections gather momentum, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged Nigerians to kick the All Progressives Congress (APC) out with their Permanent Voters Card (PVC)
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, stated this, yesterday, during a sensitisation campaign for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Abuja.
The party’s national publicity secretary; National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Effa-Attoe; and National Youth Leader, Mohammed Sulieman; led the campaign around the streets of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Ologunagba said the campaign was to sensitise Nigerians, particularly youths and women on the need to participate actively in the democratic process by collecting permanent voter cards and ensuring that they participate in the 2023 general election.
He said, “Against the backdrop of the fact that we have an APC government that is insensitive, that is rudderless, that completely failed this country, they lied to us in 2015, came to power by fraud and propaganda.”
Ologunagba lamented that the APC-led Federal Government has made life difficult for most Nigerians.
He said, “As the party of the people that believe in the sanctity of life and that our children need the future where on their own, they can achieve their goals and live a life where they can aspire to be anything in Nigeria.
“So, we are urging all youth and women to come out en mass to pick up their PVCs and those who have not registered to take advantage of the window now available by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to come out and register”.
He assured the electorate that their votes will count in 2023, adding that “we have seen how APC has destroyed the country, get your PVC and vote them out”.
Also speaking, the PDP National Youth Leader, Mohammed Suleiman, said the failure of the APC government was enough to motivate Nigerians to kick them out.
“We have seen what is happening in the country, the rate of unemployment, insecurity, students, is at home for over five months and the economy is messed up. So, we believe those comments you’re seeing on social media will turn to vote come 2023.
“We have 36 state youth leaders, we have six zonal leaders, we’re all working together to mobilize Nigerians so that they can vote for the PDP come 2023″.
See IOCs’ Divestments As Blessing, NUPRC Charges IPPG
The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, has urged stakeholders in the petroleum industry, especially the Independent Petroleum Producers in Nigeria (IPPG) to look at the brighter side of the divestments of International Oil Companies (IOCs) as many opportunities for local players abound.
Komolafe gave the charge at the opening dinner of the ongoing Nigerian oil and gas conference holding in Abuja, yesterday.
According to him, local players now have a golden opportunity to prove their mettle by leveraging the local content window in value addition and optimising the development of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources.
He emphasised the need for indigenous players across the value chain to deploy their ingenuity in promoting vibrancy and capacity utilisation in the industry
“As a regulator, the commission is not oblivious of the threat posed to the development of the Nigerian hydrocarbon industry by the divestment of the IOCs.
“The impetus for divestment by the IOC is mainly attributable to the hostile upstream petroleum environment arising from crude oil theft and energy transition as a global response to the advocacy for reduction in carbon emissions.
“Our view as a commission is that IPPG and other prospective indigenous players should perceive the IOCs’ divestment in some of the upstream assets as an opportunity rather than a threat to the development of the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector,” he said.
Speaking further, Komolafe noted that indigenous companies presently contribute about 30percent of the nation’s crude oil and 20percent of the gas production, as well as 40percent and 32percent of oil and gas reserves, respectively.
He also informed that seven indigenous companies are among the top 20 companies with the highest oil reserves in Nigeria.
He further disclosed that 57 fields were offered for awards in 2020 to indigenous operators, resulting in the issuance of 102 Petroleum Prospecting Licenses (PPLs) by the commission on June 28, 2022.
“It is worthy to note that Nigeria has the largest participation of local independents in the domestic oil and gas industry activities of all petroleum-producing countries in Africa arising from the robust local content policy.
“It is estimated that the energy demand across Africa in 2040 would increase by about 30percent compared to the current level. Consequently, the divestment of the IOC away from our onshore and shallow water terrains presents a massive opportunity for new operators of those assets, which the IPPG is better positioned to take advantage of in order to meet the increasing energy demand.
“The commission expects the IPPG to stay competitive, optimise future energy security and be resilient in our oil and gas extractive industry”, Komolafe stated.
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