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Shettima in Kebbi to Inaugurate Pilgrims Flight to Saudi Arabia

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Vice-President Kashim Shettima arrived in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday to inaugurate the first flight of the 2024 Hajj.

Reporst says that no fewer than 430 pilgrims from Kebbi are scheduled for the first flight to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

NAN also reports that a total of 65,500 pilgrims registered through the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory Pilgrims Welfare Boards, agencies and commissions, as well as the Tour Operators, expected to perform this year’s Hajj.

On arrival at the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi, Shettima was received by Gov. Nasir Idris of the state, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III and the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Malam Jalal Arabi.

Others were Sen. Ali Ndume, former Gov. Sa’idu Dakingari of Kebbi, Sen. Abubakar Sani, Sen. Bala Na’Allah, Minister of State for Education, Alhaji Yusuf Sununu, among others.

Already, Flynas, a Saudi Arabian designated airline and one of the three air carriers selected to transport the pilgrims, was punctual at the airport, ready to transport pilgrims embarking on the sacred journey.

Arabi was also on ground to inspect the aircraft in company of his three permanent commissioners and the commissioner representing the North West.

He advised the airport management to provide additional boarding stairs for the aircraft’s back door to facilitate quicker boarding.

Also among the entourage were few members of the NAHCON management staff.

The FlyNas team at the inspection was led by Malam Umar Kaila, FlyNas representative in Nigeria.

The flynas aircraft, a modern vessel with436 seats, is scheduled to depart the airport between 12p.m. to 1p.m. depending on when the ceremonial event marking the beginning of the airlift ends.

Three flights are scheduled to depart Nigeria for Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Air Peace is scheduled to depart Abuja with 310 FCT pilgrims and five officials.

While Max Air wil depart with 5,50 Nasarawa pilgrims and 10 officials. Both carriers will take off from Abuja international airport. (NAN)

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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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