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95 Pilgrims Register For 2024 Hajj In Benue- ES Muslim Board 

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi 

The Executive Secretary of Benue State Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Alhassan Ahmadu, has said not more than 95 intending pilgrims from the State have registered for this year’s pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Alhaji Ahmadu who disclosed this during interaction with journalists in his office in Makurdi, maintained that the intending pilgrims were all registered under self-sponsored.

He said State Governor, Rev.

Fr. Hyacinth Alia is yet to answer the board regarding release funds and sponsorship of government pilgrims from the State.

Alhaji Ahmadu further stated that, despite government’s adamant posture towards the spiritual journey, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had scheduled May 25th and 26th 2024 for Benue intending pilgrims to be airlifted to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj operation.

According to him, government has not release a dime to the board for preparation and taking off of the journey.

“Not more than 95 pilgrims from Benue State registered for this year’s pilgrimage in Mecca. The board has put all necessary arrangements in place. 

“The people going for this year’s pilgrimage are self-sponsored. There is no government sponsored candidate(s) yet as at today. We have been making frantic efforts to see the governor and brief him about the progress made so far towards the exercise. 

“The other day, we were in his private residence from 10am to 3am the next day but we couldn’t meet with him. Today, I have just been called to government house. So, am going there to see what will happen.

“But despite this challenge, Benue Pilgrims have been scheduled for airlift by NAHCON on May 25th to 26th, 2024”, Ahmadu stated .

It would be recalled that National Hajj Commission of Nigerian, on March 24,:2024, announced additional increase of N1.9 million to the registration of pilgrims.

Before the increase, the commission had asked intending pilgrims for the 2024 Hajj to pay a total of N4.9 million. The latest increase thus raised the new amount to N6.8 million for those who have been making deposits in installments.

NAHCON on March 24, 2024 announced that fresh depositors from the north would have to cough out N8.2 million, while their counterparts will pay N8.4 million.

The deadline for all the payments, according to NAHCON was Thursday March 28, 2024. 

Consequently, the Executive Secretary of Benue State Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Alhassan Ahmadu could not confirm to the Journalists on whether the 95 intending Pilgrims from the State have all met the condition set by NAHCON.

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Rivers Assembly Screens, Confirms Eight Commissioner Designates

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The Victor Oko-Jumbo-led faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly, on Tuesday screened and confirmed eight nominees for possible appointment as commissioners in the state.

Reports says that the screening took place at the temporary legislative chambers located within the state Government House.

The Oko-Jumbo-led three-member legislature is loyal to the state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The commissioner designates are to fill some of the vacancies created by the recent resignation of nine commissioners loyal to the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike.

During the sitting, Oko-Jumbo read the correspondence from the governor, requesting the screening and confirmation of the nominees.

He expressed the assembly’s commitment towards supporting the governor to provide democracy dividends to Rivers people.

The factional speaker said that the screening was part of the assembly’s responsibility in the governance of the state

Responding, the House Leader, Mr Sokari Good-boy and Deputy Speaker, Adolphus Timothy, unanimously adopted the request.

They said that most of the nominees had previously served the state at various capacities without blemish.

The commissioner designates include, Mr Charles Bakee, Mr Collins Onunwo, Dr Peter Medee and Mr Elloka Amadi,

Others are, Mr Basoene Benibo, Mr Sydney Gbara, Dr Ovy Chukwuma and Mr Solomon Eke.(NAN)

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Police Arrest Suspect for Allegedly Defrauding Thai Citizen of $216,000, N30m

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Police in Lagos State have arrested a suspect, Chimereze Chinedu, for allegedly defrauding a citizen of Thailand of $216,000 (₦317,725,271) and N30 million.

Police spokesman in the state, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest in a post he shared on his X (formerly Twitter) handle @benHundeyin on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect was arrested by detectives of the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID).

“Chinedu defrauded his victim under the pretense of selling 37 tricycles to her.

“He further expanded his fraudulent activity by forging letters of SCID, Lagos, showing that the tricycles were seized by the police and further extorted N30 million from the victim to purportedly secure the release of the tricycles,” he said.

The image maker said that the suspect was arrested on May 10 in Enugu State following weeks of diligent investigation and technical support from the International Criminal Police Organization, (INTERPOL)

The spokesman said that the suspect was currently in detention, as investigations continued to uncover details towards identifying and apprehending his accomplices.

According to Hundeyin, the Lagos State Command remains steadfast in its commitment to combating internet fraud and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice. (NAN)

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Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers not Proven Effective, Says UNODC

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that the move by the Nigerian Senate to impose death penalty for drug trafficking offenders would not yield the desired result.

UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, said this at a two-day Media Personnel Training organised in collaboration with NDLEA and other partners on Tuesday in Abuja.

Reports says that the training is centered on Anti -Corruption, Police Accountability, Wildlife Crime and Sensitisation on Drugs Prevention, Treatment and Care, (DPTC).

“Our stance as UN is clear on the death penalty we are principally and categorically against it. And from a very practical viewpoint, I have to say, it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Stolpe maintained that the UN had always advocated for clear distinction between crimes of drug trafficking as opposed to the issue of drug use.

He said that it was always considered primarily to be a health issue saying that it should be dealt with as such.

According to him, addiction is a health condition, it is not a choice.”

On the need for an updated drug data for Nigerians, Stolpe observed that the current national drug survey for Nigeria was last done six years ago, (2018), and therefore does not reflect the current situation for Nigeria.

He said “the drug use survey of 2018 remains as far as I can tell the most cited study in the media.

“This data is outdated and I think a very critical question that media could ask at that point is really well, how can we still refer to 2018 data to describe today’s levels of drug use?

Stolpe enjoined the media to keep the good work while ensuring that information were disseminated efficiently and effectively. NAN)

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