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UN Condemns Killing of Aid Worker in North-East

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The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria,Mr Edward Kallon, has expressed shock and sadness over the murder of an aid worker by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno.

This is contained in a statement by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), issued on Wednesday in Maiduguri.

Kallon called for unconditional release of other humanitarian workers in insurgents’ captivity.

“My most heartfelt condolences go to his family, friends and colleagues.

“I am appalled and deeply saddened by the news of the horrific execution of an aid worker this morning,” he said.

Kallon also called on the authorities to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to justice.

“I am also extremely concerned about the increasingly dangerous and restrictive operating environment for implementing humanitarian assistance in crisis affected areas.

”Humanitarian aid workers continue to face challenges as they strive to deliver urgent, lifesaving assistance,” he added.

The UN official renewed call for all parties to the conflict to ensure protection of aid workers and respect of international humanitarian law.

Kallon noted that services were being implemented in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, independence and impartiality.

He reiterated that the humanitarian community was working in line with the 2019/2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy, jointly implemented in collaboration with the Federal Government.

According to him, the strategy entails provision of life saving assistance to 6.2 million vulnerable people in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

It will be recalled that the insurgents abducted six aid workers of the Action Against Hunger (AAH), an NGO, in July.

The insurgents on Tuesday, released a video of the alleged execution of one of the abducted aid workers. (NAN)

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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