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FCTA Busts Illicit Drugs Colony in Asokoro

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

In a major crackdown, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has launched a raid to dismantle a notorious den harboring illicit drugs and put an end to various environmental nuisances plaguing the Asokoro District. The targeted areas, including the bustling AYA roundabout and its surroundings, witnessed the dislodgement of illegal markets, refuse littering, auto mechanic workshops, motor parks, and other illicit drug-related activities.

A joint task force comprising officials from the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) – also known as the Vehicles Inspection Office (VIO) – along with a team of security personnel, provided unwavering support to this operation.

Not stopping there, the team successfully eliminated environmental disturbances in other locations, such as the Court of Appeal junction, the Federal Secretariat complex, Eagle Square, and the Nicon Junction area along Shehu Shagari Way.

Secretary of FCTA Command and Control, Olumuji Peter, shed light on the objective behind this exercise, emphasizing the administration’s unwavering commitment to maintaining a safe city for all residents. In no uncertain terms, he warned individuals with criminal inclinations that the FCTA will not tolerate their presence and advised them to either change their ways or seek refuge elsewhere. The enforcement efforts will persist, ensuring an inhospitable environment for criminal elements.

During the operation, a criminal hideout notorious for illicit drugs was exposed, based on credible intelligence from security agencies. The authorities successfully confiscated narcotics while dislodging criminals who preyed on people passing through the area, particularly during nighttime hours. Peter expressed satisfaction, stating, “We have successfully uprooted their usual abode, resulting in a significant reduction in criminal activities, especially for those traversing this area at night. We aim to sustain this achievement.”

Regarding arrests made during the raid, he revealed, “As of now, we were unable to apprehend anyone, as most of them had managed to escape upon our arrival.”

Deputy Director of Monitoring and Enforcement at AEPB, TPL Kaka Bello, highlighted the shared goal of maintaining a clean and secure city for its inhabitants. However, he expressed concern about the escalating daily nuisances, leading to the formulation of a comprehensive strategy in collaboration with other relevant agencies. Bello emphasized, “AYA is notorious for presenting numerous challenges during our cleaning exercises, due to the high prevalence of nuisances. Thanks to the joint effort and the involvement of NDLEA officers, we were able to apprehend offenders engaged in illicit drug-related activities. All these issues are intertwined, and our collaboration with other agencies remains steadfast as we strive to eliminate these nuisances daily and ensure the city remains clean.”

Deputy Director of Operations at DRTS, Deborah Osho, hailed the operation as a resounding success. She revealed that eleven vehicles were impounded and towed away from illegal parking lots and mechanic workshops, while seven tricycles were confiscated for violating designated routes.

“Our determination to cleanse and secure the city will remain unwavering, so that the Federal Capital Territory can truly live up to its prestigious name,” she asserted.

CRIME

Emirship: Kano Police Command Assures Adequate Security

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The Police Command in Kano State on Monday assured the people of Kano State of adequate security in the face of the tussle over the Emirship seat.

Its Commissioner, Mr Usaini Gumel, gave the assurance during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano.

“We are battle ready to deal with any person or group of people tampering with the peaceful atmosphere our state is known for.

“We have the ability and capacity to provide required security measures in our areas of supervision, ’’ he told NAN.

He warned individuals, who intend to bring thugs into Kano from other parts of the country, to have a rethink, saying that the command would deal decisively with the situation.

He reminded the public that the Constitution of Nigeria was clear about the responsibility of the police in providing internal security for Nigerians.

“The police will not condone any act that can lead to chaos or violence in Kano State.

“Adequate security personnel have been deployed to arrest anyone who attempts to disrupt the peace or break the law in the state,’’ Gumel said.

He reminded the residents of the state that no one was permitted to carry dangerous weapons around the Emir’s palace and Nasarawa, the Emir’s residence.

“Rigorous stop-and-search and patrols are being conducted across all parts of the dissolved five Emirates,’’ he said.

He urged residents to provide credible information to assist the police to respond swiftly to any situation that could breach peace in the state. (NAN)

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Education

UniAbuja Internal Council Voices Concern Over VC’s Election Plans

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The University of Abuja’s internal governing council has expressed concern over an alleged plan by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rasheed Na’Allah to conduct an election of the council against the University laws.

The council therefore, said it has taken a legal action against the Vice Chancellor to get clarification.

It would be recalled that President Bola Tinubu’s administration had in June 2023 dissolved all the governing councils in federal universities in the country.

However, the federal government, few days ago announced the constitution of council members of Federal tertiary institutions.

Following the announcement, the University of Abuja’s Internal Governing Council has intensified its stance, asserting that the planned election of new internal members violates established laws of the University.

The University, unlike other Federal Universities in Nigeria operates under a governance framework comprising both external and internal governing council members. 

While the external council members typically consist of individuals appointed by the federal government, the internal governing council members are typically drawn from within the university community, including faculty members, administrative staff, and student representatives through an election.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in Abuja, a member of the internal Council of the University, Pof. Edmund J.C Nwana blamed the vice Chancellor for planning an election while their tenure has not expired 

“We were elected 12th of July 2022, there was a contest in senate and we emerged winners. We were subsequently inaugurated on the 15th of July 2021 for a four year term.

“When the new administration came on board, we were about council assignments until we got information that Council was suspended.

“So, we waited thinking it will be resolved in may be another week, but it has lingered for now almost going into a year. 

“As we were watching and listening to know what next government wants to do, the rumours started flying and they are quite serious that our administration here, lead by the Vice Chancellor was planning to call for another election on his own understanding that Council has gone.

“So, we got wind of it and decided that, we don’t have time for any physical engagement or argument so we decided to seek the interpretation of the law, because it is in the art of the University of Abuja.

“So, we sought a legal explanation through the Federal High Court in Abuja a few days ago. So that’s where we are today, he has been served notice of a case that is pending,” he added.

According to him, other federal universities where tenures are not ended for internal council members, the Institutions are not going about hitting up the polity, but the members are going to return and complete their tenures.

Also speaking, Barrister Maxwell Opara, a council to the members urged the VC not to hand himself out as somebody who doesn’t obey the rule of law. 

“So, we are calling on the Minister of education, executive secretary of NUC, the Anthoney General of the Federation and the president to call the VC to order. 

Contributing, the Chairman of ASUU, University of Abuja branch, Dr. Sylvanus Ugoh said it is fully behind the council members for the right thing to be done.

“Our internal council members here in university of Abuja got the wind that the University administration led by the Vice Chancellor are planning seriously to conduct another council election, which we know is not in accordance with the law.

“Internal council members were elected for a tenure of four years and they have not exhausted the four years and because of what the University administration is doing, the members went to court to seek interpretation and ASUU being a union of intellectuals, we come to be in solidarity with our members because we respect the rule of law and want them to pursue it.”

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NEWS

FG Postpones Inauguration of Vasities’ Governing Council 

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The Federal Governmanet has  announced the postponement of the inauguration and retreat for Pro-Chancellors, Chairmen and Members of Governing Councils of federal tertiary institutions.

This is contained in a statement in Abuja on Monday by the Director, Press and Public Relations in the Ministry  of Education, Mrs Folasade Boriowo.

Reports says that the federal government had earlier announced the constitution of the governing councils while their inauguration was also scheduled for Thursday and  Friday.

Boriowo said the postponement was as a result of the Presidential directive, as conveyed by the State House Press Release dated May 23, for a comprehensive review of the membership of the governing councils.

“We regret any inconveniences this may cause. Further updates will be communicated in due course,” she said. (NAN)

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