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N90bn Corruption Allegation: Osinbajo Vows to Relinquish Immunity

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VP Professor Yemi Osinbajo
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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared his readiness to waive his constitutional immunity to “enable the most robust adjudication” of several baseless allegations, insinuation and falsehoods against his person and office.

The Vice President made this declaration in a tweet he personally authored on Wednesday afternoon.

Osinbajo twitted: “In the past few days, a spate of reckless and malicious falsehoods have been peddled in the media against me by a group of malicious individuals.

“The defamatory and misleading assertions invented by this clique had mostly been making the social media rounds anonymously.

 

“I have today instructed the commencement of legal action against two individuals, one Timi Frank and another Katch Ononuju, who have put their names to these odious falsehoods.

“I will waive my constitutional immunity to enable the most robust adjudication of these claims of libel and malicious falsehood.”

His lawyer Femi Falana had in a letter to one of the National dailies, demanded for a retraction of what he described as “malicious against his client, threading to sue the paper if the demand is not met within twenty-four hours.

Meanwhile, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had in a statement on Monday by its spokesman Wahab Gbadamosi, denied the allegations describing it as “malicious, wicked and an attempt to smear the image of the FIRS and that of the Vice President

The statement reads: “The entire allegation being spread by one Frank Timi that the Federal Inland Revenue Service spent N90billion to fund the last election is mendacious, wicked, malicious and a calculated attempt to smear the image of the Service and that of his Excellency, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.”

Business News

CGC Raises Concerns, as Customs Intercepts Cannabis, Codeine Worth N4.1b

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From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, has warned of the severe and devastating effects of the growing misuse and abuse of drugs on the youth and the society at large, as the agency intercepted cannabis indica and codeine worth N4.

1 billion.

Adeniyi spoke in Lagos over the weekend while showcasing the unwholesome imports comprising 1x40ft container of regulated, unregistered pharmaceuticals and another 1x40ft container of illicit psychotropic substances intercepted by the Tin Can Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

He disclosed that one of the 1x40ft containers No. GAOU 669921/5 imported from Canada, with approximate street value of N3.

216 billion, concealed three plastic drums with several packets of cannabis indica and 46bags of 2,144 packets of cannabis indica – all weighing 1,072kg.

The other contained 877 cartons of Barcadin cough syrup with codeine (200 bottles of 100ml per carton), and 82 cartons of Really Extra Diclofenac Sodium 50mg tablets (600 packs per carton) from India. The approximate street value of the cough syrup is N964.340 million.

According to him, the agency has made concerted efforts to prevent illegal entry and exit through diverse routes and means of conveyances, leading to a number of successfully executed interceptions and seizures of illicit drugs, arms and ammunition, illegal wildlife and petroleum products at various locations in recent months.

However, “these interceptions have brought to light a concerning trend wherein criminal networks engage in collaborative attempts to subvert the competency of the agencies tasked with mitigating the trafficking of such illicit substances,” he noted.

 “The misuse and abuse of drugs, particularly cannabis indica and codeine, pose severe dangers to our society. Codeine, a restricted drug in Nigeria, has been widely abused, leading to devastating effects on our youth.

 “This substance not only impairs the health and well-being of individuals but also contributes to the rise in criminal activities.  Cannabis indica, similarly, has become a significant concern, with its abuse leading to mental health issues, addiction, and social problems.

 “Unchecked activities involving restricted items serve multiple purposes for criminal elements. These drugs, for instance, are used as stimulants by criminals, further fueling societal unrest and instability.

 “Additionally, the proceeds from the illicit drug trade are often used to finance disruptions by non-state actors, posing a significant threat to our national security and economic stability.”

Nevertheless, Adeniyi noted that within its mandate of obstructing harmful and illegal substances from Nigerian communities, the NCS “will continue to work closely with relevant national and international agencies to conduct operations that lead to the interception of illegal goods and the disruption of criminal networks.

He disclosed that investigations were ongoing to bring perpetrators to book, while warning those engaging in illicit activities of the NCS’ unwavering vigilance and dedication to protecting the society and ensuring that all Nigerians benefit from a stable and prosperous economy.

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CRIME

Military Kill Bandit Leader While Attempting to Rustle Cows

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From Dan Amasingha,  Minna 

Gallant  Military personnel have repelled an attempt by some  bandits  to rustle  cows and  neutralized the criminal  gang leader .

Two of the Military Personnel who participated in the operation however, sustained gun shot injuries.

 

DAILY ASSET  gathered that, the incident  happened at the early  hours of Monday  at a military base in Tegina, Rafi local government area of Niger state.

During the early hours fire fight between the security personnel and the  criminals,  one of the bandits suspected to be their leader was killed in the process when they came under superior  fire power.

It was reliably gathered that the said criminals were allegedly crossing towards Mashegu and Wushishi local government areas of the state to rustle a targeted groups of cattle in those areas.

The Chairman of Rafi local government council, Alhaji Ayuba Usman Katako confirmed this in a telephone interview in Minna.

He said the two soldiers shot were responding to treatment at IBB Specialized Hospital Minna while one of the bandits suspected to be their leader was neutralized.

Ayuba Katako further revealed that the military, police and vigilantes are trying their best in ensuring peace and security of lives and properties in the state and deserved to be commended.

He decried the continuous  attacks on security personnel,  but called  on citizens for patience, support and prayers to overcome the menace of insecurity bedeviling the state and Nigeria at large.

The Niger state military cantonment in  Minna could not be reached at the time of filing in the report.

Niger East Senatorial District has been  bedeviled by  insecurity with bandits  targeting schools,  vulnerable farming communities and public institutions  in the last seven years. 

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CRIME

Police Arrest 31,912 Suspects over Criminal Offences in One Year

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The Nigeria Police arrested 31,912 suspects over armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, unlawful possession of fire arms, cultism, murder and other criminal offences in one year nationwide.

The Force Public Relations Officers, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said this during a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said 4,826 of the suspects were arrested over armed robbery, 3,078, kidnapping, 2,479, rape, 1,243, unlawful possession of fire arms, 3,523 cultism, 3,381, murder and 13, 402, other criminal offences.

Adejobi said the force rescued 1,750 kidnap victims, recovered 2,566 firearms, 19,510 rounds of ammunition and 1,475 vehicles/motorcycles nationwide within the period under review.

According to him, the force, also, prosecuted 29,152 criminal cases across the country, with 17,679 of the cases being conclusively dispensed while 11,576 are still ongoing during the period.

He said 51 of the cases were currently under appeal at the respective appellate courts.

“Out of the dispensed cases, an impressive 16,200 have led to the conviction of suspects who have been handed various forms of punishments for their criminal acts,” he said.

Adejobi said operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police had recently arrested 19 suspects over criminal activities across the country.

He said five AK-47 rifles; five pump action rifles, 150 live cartridges, one bullet proof jacket, one night vision telescope and vigilante uniforms were recovered from the suspects.

Adejobi added that one torch light, one boot, one AA ammunition, six magazines and 142 AK-47 live ammunition were also recovered from the suspects.

The police spokesman said two of the suspects were arrested over kidnapping through coordinated efforts of IRT operatives and local vigilante groups in Asawa village in Kogi.

According to him, the suspects had received N1 million ransom from their first and second operations, N300,000 from the third and N2 million from the fourth.

He said the suspects were responsible for the series of robberies and kidnappings along Abuja-Okene-Benin road.

The police spokesman said the suspects had been involved in kidnapping for over four years and had orchestrated four successful kidnappings.

He said the criminal activities of the duo came to an end following a fierce gun battle with police operatives, where they were captured after exhausting their ammunition.

Adejobi said AK-47 rifles and magazines were recovered from the suspects.

He said two suspects with over 22 years of “one chance” robbery experience were also arrested by police operatives.

Adejobi said the suspects had demonstrated a mastery of deceptive tactics used in the criminal activities, adding that the duo was identified as persons of interest following interrogations of previous ‘one chance’ suspects.

He said the suspects were arrested in Suleja, Niger by diligent operatives of the IRT.

Adejobi said the suspects would be charged to court upon conclusion of investigation into the cases.

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