The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has recovered N134.3 billion and 121 million dollars, among others, from proceeds of crime between January and October 2022.
The EFCC Chairman, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, disclosed this weekend in Abuja, while featuring in the 62nd session of State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team.
Bawa said that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that the recovered funds be deployed to critical projects across the country.
“Moving forward to statistics of what we have been able to do particularly from January to date. In terms of monetary recovery for the year under review, from January 1 to October 31st, we have recovered N134.3 billion; we have equally recovered 121 million dollars, pounds, euros, Japanese Yen, among others.
“For the non-cash assets, there are some of the recoveries we have made – 52 automobiles, electronics, motorcycles, clothing, real estate.
“These are forfeited assets not cases that are under watch or investigation; and these are figures that are more or less direct recoveries from January to October, 2022.” Bawa said.
Bawa said that in November, the commission recorded some achievements in terms of indirect recoveries.
He said that the EFCC had made recoveries for Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“In November 2022, we recovered 354 million dollars for Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) in terms of royalty that one of the oil companies has not paid; our investigation led to that recovery.
“For the recoveries we are making for the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) for instance, between now and probably next week, we are going to transfer to them about N30 billion (about 30 million dollars).
“These are recoveries we have made for refusing to pay the three per cent statutory payment to NDDC.
“And we have recovered billions of Naira from fraudulent contractual engagements that the NDDC has done over the years.
“You remember the forensic audit, the EFCC was given the mandate to carry out criminal investigation in that regard,’’ he further stated.
The EFCC boss said that the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) mandated that all relevant agencies must open an account in Naira and foreign currencies.
He said that the Act further provided that all finally forfeited funds that belonged to the Federal Government should go into that account.
Bawa said that prior to POCA, such funds were paid into a designated federal government account.
“And we have to carry out an audit from our EFCC recovery account; and we paid into that account N120 billion and N29 million dollars, about 6.6 million Euros as well as about I.1 million pounds.
“The president has sanctioned that those monies should be utilised for the provision of critical infrastructure in this country.
“So, the funds are going to be used for the completion of the Abuja-Kano expressway, as well as the second Niger Bridge and the Lagos-Ibadan expressway,’’ he said.
Effect Of Drug Abuse: What Police Need To Do To OSPAC
According to the BlacksLaw Dictionary (Nith Edition), in its page 572, Drug Abuse was said to mean “The detrimental state produced by the repeated consumption of a narcotic or other potentially dangerous drugs, other than as prescribed by a doctor to treat an illness or other medical condition”.
Google also described drug abuse as “The use of illegal drugs or the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used, or in excessive amounts”.
Drug abuse as it was learnt, may lead to social, physical, emotional, job-related problem. Today, the menace of drug abuse is so obvious in the society in that it has caused a lot of havoc in both families and the entire society.
This bring to mind the rate at which crime is committed nowadays among young people. They do many things with ease including crime commission and execution. Then it was unheard of that someone was beheaded after being killed.
But now, young people especially the cultists and crime predators among them, blame and scold any of their pals who succeeded in ‘ killing a perceived enemy without beheading same. To show his worth and to get the class approval he needed, he must kill and dismember the enemy just to spite him even at death.
Drug has been written about in many languages and by many people over the centuries. Many of these works are very useful in treatment for addiction, but few have the same impact as the Holy Bible. According to the Scriptures in Ist Peter chapter 5:8, it generally condemned intoxication, which also include drug abuse.
It read thus: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil propels like a roaring lion looking for some to devour”, .It was also gathered that substance abuse or alcohol addiction dulls the mind. It makes it a fertile soil for destructive behaviour which leads to various level of crime participation and commission.
Some addicts may start from petty stealing just to afford money for drug. That is why the Holy Scriptures pointed out in Ephesians chapter 5 in the 18th verse thusly: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the spirit”.
Also, the Quran in its chapter 2 : 219 said thus” They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and yet, some benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit”. And they ask you what they should spend. Say, “The excess beyond needs”.
No meaningful human environment has ever welcomed the idea of drug abuse. In some climes, abusers are often treated as lepers wherein even their family members and friends distance them. They are treated that way so they can retrace their steps and do the needful.
I was shocked to the marrow when I was told the items or substance that could be abused and lead to serious intoxication. Many have failed in this aspect and have permanently injured their brain. Some abuse even the human feaces in the name of getting high.
Today, in our society there are many promising youths who have ran mad or suffering other sorts of brain disease due to drug abuse. Some started as a result of one night stand with friends. From there, they became addicts.
These are the ones that are very gruesome in action. They maim, kill and leave their victims in horrible state. They are no more humans because their sense of responsibility has left them.They reason from the anus instead of the brain given that the brain has been lost to drug abuse.
In no distance time, families and the society generally may not boast of producing quality people and good brains. In a chat with one Primary School teacher in one of our rural areas in the state, I was drenched in my own tears when he told me that five male siblings of same parents are now psychiatric patients due to drug abuse.
Now, if this is the case, in the next decade more families in that community may suffer same fate. Another family very well known to me , shared in the fate with that ‘teachers community’, wherein two hefty male adults of same parents are now visitor to the psychiatric hospital due to drug abuse. If the government do not act fast in this direction, the fate of the future generation will be in serious jeopardy.
The most shocking aspect of the development is that girls are not spared in the ugly trend. While growing up, ladies were hardly sipping beer in the open. They were tutored to see such life style as masculine. They maintained a high level of decorum and were given the required protection and respect by their male counterparts who saw them as the ‘Weaker Vessels’, as the Scriptures made us to believe.
But currently, there is a keen rivalry between the males and females as to who should be adjudged to be the highest abusers of drug or substances. Many young ladies now roam the streets as a result of drug abuse. Night Clubs operators are, to my mind, the major sponsors of this venture, because some of them as I reliably gathered, provide the ladies with free drugs and other substances.
Reason for the free drug provision by the Club owners for the ladies is to enable them be on fire. When on fire, it was gathered that it will take the ‘help’ , of a male partner who is also on ‘fire’, to quench hers. This, according to sources, brings about business boom in the clubhouses.
Some of the ladies in the nightclubs have testified to the fact that no one can live such life without abusing drugs or other substances. Now if such revelation is anything to go by, why won’t drug abusers abound in the society? People must come together and fight drug abuse. The government and other relevant agencies are more concerned with what will be of immediate benefit to them before they will then consider its pros and cons.
This ugly situation which is gradually becoming the talk-of-the- day is a respecter of no man.Some time last month, it was rumoured that a son of a prominent Nigerian was spotted at the roadside dipping slices of bread in a stagnant water and eating same. When probed into, it was discovered that he was not only a substance abuser, but an addict of the highest order.
The Drug Law operatives have made it clear that they are always ready to partner any group or individual willing to undergo rehabilitation free of charge. At a security summit at Rumuibekwe in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, some time ago, a representative of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, told the guests then how a woman’s head was pounded with a mortar pestle to pieces by a drug addict who was undergoing rehabilitation in their facility in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the addict who was said to be from a rich family was withdrawn by her mother the same night she was killed on the ground that the facility was not befitting for her son. The Drug Law representative revealed that the addict was fast responding to treatment before the forceful withdrawal by mother.
Now the nucleus of this write up is for the Police authority to partner with the NDLEA to fight drug abuse rather than focusing their searchlight on the OSPAC. OSPAC, just like every other human outfit, has its bad eggs. The bad eggs are not free of drug abuse, they could be fished out and made to undergo rehabilitation.
The Police rather than give the OSPAC an undeserving attention, should in a jiffy, come to terms with the NDLEA and flush the system. This will seriously check radicalism and the unwanton behaviour among OSPAC operatives.
From the above narratives and some definitions provided so far, it can then be generally accepted that crime commission is more often than not the result of drug abuse and other substances. If the listed agencies come together to fight against drug abuse, the excesses of the OSPAC will not only be nibbed in the bud, but the entire society will know peace, reason being the fact that the fountain of crime has been attacked and addressed.
History may not be kind to the callers of OSPAC’s neck going by the good they have done.
Let us not throw away the baby alongside with the bath water.
By: King Onunwor
Hoodlums Kill Police Inspector In Aba
A Police Inspector from Ndiegoro Police Station was killed on Tuesday by suspected IPOB/ESN members around Ohanku Road-Iheorji junction in Aba, Abia State.
Two of the attackers were however neutralised by the police in the ensuing gun duel.
Confirming the incident, the Abia Police Public Relations Officer, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna said the incident happened at about 12 : 30 pm on Tuesday.
Ogbonna said some policemen from Ndiegoro Police Station were on patrol around Iheorji when they came under attack by people suspected to be IPOB/ESN members.
“During a gun duel, one of the Policemen paid the supreme price while two of the gunmen were neutralised.
“As they shot the policeman they also collected his Police AK 47 riffle”, he said.
An eye witness told The Tide source in Aba that the Inspector was killed by one of the gang members when he went after the hoodlum as he was escaping.
The witness who gave his name only as Ahanna said that the incident happened about noon on Tuesday.
“We were in the market when we saw these boys, who were inside a tricycle with very powerful guns as they passed us.
“It was not long when they passed us that some policemen on patrol followed them.
“The Policemen engaged them and killed two of them while the others ran away and one ran into the back of a nearby building.
“The Inspector ran after the robber that ran to the back of a nearby building unknown to him that the other robber was waiting for him.
”The robber shot at the Inspector at close range and killed him on the spot”, he narrated.
Ogbonna said that the police were on the trail of the gunmen who escaped and urged residents to volunteer credible information that would help in their arrest.
Church In Court Over Conduct Of Elections, Exams On Saturdays
A member of Seventh Day Adventist Church has dragged the federal government before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, seeking an order to stop the conduct of the 2023 general election and examinations on Saturdays.
An elder of the church, Mr Ugochukwu Uchenwa, told the court that the election fixed for Saturday February 25 infringes on their freedom of worship. Accordingly, he prayed the court to declare the day unconstitutional or in the alternative should be allowed to vote or write examination on any day of the week.
Defendants in the suit are President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Minister of Internal Affairs, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Examinations, National Examination Council, West African Examination Council and National Business and Technical Examination Board.
When the matter came up Monday, Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Benjamin Amaefule, told the court that all the defendants had been served with the court process except NECO.
According to him, he was at a loss as to why the defendants were not in court.
The judge therefore, adjourned the case to March 15, 2023 for hearing.
In the originating summon, the plaintiff is praying the court for a declaration that the schedule of elections in Nigeria by the respondents on Saturdays, the “Sabbath Day” is a violation of fundamental rights of freedom of (a) conscience, profession and free practice of faith and (b) Right to participate freely in the government of the applicant and that of entire members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Nigeria.
A declaration that the actions of the 5th to 8th respondents fixing examinations on Saturdays, a “Sabbath Day Of The Lord” is a violation of the fundamental rights of: (a) freedom of conscience, profession and free practice of Faith of the members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Nigeria and right to freedom of education of the applicant and the members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Nigeria.
An order of this Honourable Court restraining the 4th respondent from further violating the rights of members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church by holding elections on Saturdays or in the alternative order the 4th respondent to mark out a different day for the members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Nigeria to participate in their own election if the 4th respondent cannot schedule and hold the elections on a day other than Saturdays.
By: Akujobi Samuel
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