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NDLEA arrests couple, recovers N2.1b drug worth in Lagos

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), has arrested a couple, Mmadu Agbakoba and Ijeoma Agbakoba as well as their associate, for trafficking in cocaine worth N2.1 billion.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi in Abuja, yesterday.

Babafemi said they were arrested during a raid of the Lagos base of a high profile cocaine syndicate led by the couple and their associate, Ifeoma Okoye.

The director said that large consignments of the class A drug meant for export and local distribution were recovered from the suspects

He said that the raid was carried out by a special operations unit of the agency following months of intelligence gathering and surveillance on the syndicate.

The spokesperson also said that they were notorious for packaging, distributing and trafficking of cocaine within and outside Nigeria.

He added that the 54-year-old Mmadu Agbakoba was arrested at Ago palace way, Okota Lagos.

He also added that his wife, Ijeoma Agbakoba, 39, and their associate, Ifeoma Okoye, 31, who doubled as their stash keeper, were nabbed at Plot 2205 Eugene Ndubisi close, Lilly Estate, Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos.

“Seven parcels of cocaine with a total weight of 7.652 kilograms were recovered from Mmadu at Ago palace way.

“Not less than 122 compressed pellets of the same drug weighing 2.42kg were seized from the duo of Ijeoma and Ifeoma at Lilly Estate.

“This brings to the total seizure to 10.1 kilograms valued at over N2.1 billion in street value, “he said.

In the same vein, NDLEA operatives in Benue state on Thursday July 4, intercepted a consignment of 350 grams of cocaine at a check point along Enugu road, Otukpo.

Babafemi said that the illicit drug was concealed in an MP3 speaker sent as a waybill parcel.

“A swift follow up operation at Flight motor park in Otukpo led to the arrest of the owner, 25-year-old Odeh Anthony, “he said.

Meanwhile, NDLEA officers on a stop and search operation along Ngurore – Yola road in Adamawa state on Wednesday July 3 arrested a Chadian, Yves Ahmat Gali in a commercial bus coming from Kano to Yola.

Babafemi said that the suspect was found with a loud speaker used to conceal 20 compressed blocks, and nine plastic containers of Loud, a strong strain of cannabis weighing 5.200kg.

Also, in Kano, operatives on Wednesday July 3 arrested a youth corps member, Yusuf Abdulrahman, 25, at Corpers Lodge, Sumaila area of the city with 1.250kg of Loud.

Babafemi said that the head of Akarabata community in Ile-Ife, Osun, Ba’ale Ige Babatunde, 50, was on Friday, July 5 arrested with fresh cannabis plants that weighed 5kg.

In another development, two suspects: Monday Ali, 49, and Jimoh Alewi, 37, were arrested when NDLEA operatives raided Ikota forest in Ifedore LGA, Ondo state.

Babafemi said that a total of 42,500kg cannabis was destroyed on 17 hectares of farmland while 73.5kg of same substance was recovered for the prosecution of the suspects during a five-day operation that ended on Monday July 1.

Meanwhile, in Abuja, the FCT, NDLEA operatives on July 6, arrested the duo of Sanusi Mamman, 28, and Usaini Ibrahim, 20, in a vehicle along Abaji- Gwagwalada.

Babafemi said that the suspects were with 1,132 bottles of codeine syrup; 13, 540 pills of tramadol; 50,000 pills of diazepam and 59 pills of rophynol.

“The suspects claimed they were bringing the opioids from Onitsha, Anambra state,”he said.

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15 States Risk Severe Flooding This Month -FG

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The Federal Government has issued a warning about potential severe flooding in 15 States due to heavy rains expected later this month.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, through its spokesperson, Haruna Ibrahim, announced that these States should brace for significant rainfall from July 21 to July 25, 2024, which could lead to widespread flooding.
According to the release, the states are, Adamawa State, Benue State, Jigawa State, Borno State, Kebbi State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Zamfara State
Steps for Effective Flood Preparedness
1. Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and heed local alerts. Use trusted sources like government websites, local news stations, or radio for real-time updates.
2. Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, extra batteries, and crucial documents. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access.
3. Elevate Electrical Units: Lift electrical systems and appliances above expected flood levels. Disconnect them during heavy flooding to avoid electrical hazards.
4. Use Sandbags: Deploy sandbags to shield your home. Arrange them effectively to redirect water away from critical areas.
5. Secure Loose Items: Fasten down outdoor items such as patio furniture and garbage bins to prevent them from becoming hazardous in strong winds.
6. Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and plan accordingly. Determine safe locations or higher grounds for refuge.
7. Flood Insurance: If you reside in a flood-prone zone, consider getting flood insurance since typical homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
8. Communication Plan: Set up a reliable way to stay in contact with family during a crisis. Make sure everyone knows the emergency plan.
9. First Aid Skills: Acquire basic first aid knowledge to help yourself and others in emergencies.
10. Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk or drive through floodwaters. They can be unexpectedly deep and forceful, presenting severe dangers.

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Jonathan Urges NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects In N’Delta 

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prioritize the completion of abandoned projects in the region.

He also encouraged state governments within the Niger Delta to collaborate closely with the NDDC, so as to foster efficient synergy to achieve legacy goals.

This is as the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum 2024, at the Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former President commended the Minister and the NDDC board and its management for their effective performance so far and advised them to complete all abandoned projects.

On his part, the Minister of the Niger Delta Development and Chief host, Engr. Momoh, while speaking on the theme, “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the region.

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, highlighted efforts like the Ogoni Clean-up Project and initiatives for cleaner energy such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Momoh stressed the importance of diversifying the Niger Delta’s economy by investing in various sectors and pointed out the region’s untapped potential in tourism and the blue economy.

He assured the audience of the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing recent projects like the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

He said that the summit’s theme was a call to action, aligning it with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and emphasizing the need for collective effort to harness the region’s resources and cultural heritage for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, urging all stakeholders to address the root causes of unrest and conflict.

Momoh advocated for inclusive development that reaches every community, prioritizing the empowerment of women and youth.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the NDDC’s board and management for their commendable work.

He highlighted the stalled East-West Road project, emphasizing the need for strategic project management and continuity.

A former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke called for investments in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and technology to ensure the region’s long-term prosperity.

The event, co-hosted by NDDC Managing Director Samuel Ogbuku and Board Chairman Chiedu Ebie, was graced by former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who represented President Tinubu; Senator Adams Oshiomhole; former Cross Rivers Governor Donald Duke; former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson; and traditional rulers from across the Niger Delta.

Other attendees included Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, HM Ekperikpe Ekpo, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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Expedite action on minimum wage – NAAT tells Tinubu

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The leadership of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has called on President Bola Tinubu to expedite action on the new national minimum wage for workers.

Mr Ibeji Nwokoma, NAAT President said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Nwokoma said the union was worried over the continuous delay by the President in transmitting the new National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly.

“NAAT, as an affiliate of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), stands by the position of the organised labour and call on the federal government to expedite action on the matter to avoid industrial action,” he said.

He said the union condemned in strong terms, the unpatriotic position of State Governors claiming inability to pay even the N62, 000 proposed by federal government, though, rejected by the organised labour.

“The refusal of the Governors Forum to recognise the efforts of workers in creating wealth and prosperity in the states and the country in general, is most unfortunate.

“This undermines the essence and model adopted for national minimum wage. We therefore, demand that the Governors Forum should reconsider the position and toe the path of honour.

“The proposal by the governors to pay minimum wage based on their peculiarities is condemnable and rejected in its entirety,” he said.

He stressed that the constitutional provisions, on issues of minimum wage is contained in the exclusive legislative list.

The NAAT president also called on the federal government, to immediately implement the payment of the withheld salaries of its members and the resolutions of all other outstanding issues.

“NAAT is compelled to issue this press statement as a response to the non-payment of five and half months withheld salaries, non-payment of 25 per cent and 35 per cent salary increment arrears.

“Others issues are, the non-payment of Occupational Hazard and Responsibility Allowance arrears, release of enabling circular for CONTISS 14 and 15.

“Also, the non release of arrears of Earned Allowances as contained in Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) of 2020, 2021 and 2022,” he said.

Nwokoma recalled that the union embarked on a three-day warning strike in March, 2024 and had also met with the Minister of Education, Prof.Tahir Mamman and the
the House Committee on University Education and yet nothing came out of the steps taken

He added that in all the meetings, assurances were given, especially the withheld salaries, but, unfortunately, nothing had been done in that respect by the federal government.

“Having waited this far, the National EXCO at the end of its emergency meeting held at the National Secretariat, University of Abuja, resolved to toe the path of diplomacy and advocacy in actualising its demands.

“However, if this fails, the issue will be referred to the National Executive Council (NEC) at her regular meeting scheduled to hold this July 2024 for next line of actions,” he said.

Nwokoma, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, National Assembly, among others to prevail on government and ensure implementation of all the outstanding issues for a sustainable industrial harmony.

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