The recent moves by some stakeholders to push for the legalisation of cannabis in Nigeria will rob the country of the gains so far made in the renewed war against drug abuse and trafficking in the country. Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa has warned.
The NDLEA boss gave the indication in Abuja on Wednesday at a national security summit organised by the House of Representatives.
Director, Media and Advocacy Femi Babafemi in a statement quoted the NDLEA boss to have stated that the present figure of 10.6million Nigerians abusing cannabis is frightening and enough to sound the alarm bell.
He said the strong nexus between drug abuse and the security challenges across the country is incontrovertible.
According to him, “Presently, there is no bigger national issue than the issue of insecurity in Nigeria. It is one of the big challenges, if not the biggest, threatening our dear country. Insecurity is today, a full-blown malady with many manifestations such as insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, murder, robbery, reprisal killing, name it.
“Yet there has never been a government that is more committed to ending this spate of insecurity than the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, the President has matched political willpower with resources, but the scope and frequency of the acts of destabilisation and the audacity displayed by the perpetrators call for a second, critical look at the malaise.
“The persistence of the problem has forced on us the necessity to start to look at likely extraneous factors that might be sustaining the resistance from the criminal elements and in doing so, try to connect the dots.
“The permutations will lead to a list of probable causes, which will not exclude the use and abuse of illicit substances. In the final analysis, drug abuse is indeed one of the factors fueling insecurity.
“The relationship between substance abuse and crime is a fact. What is clear is that no sane human being will rise against society to commit the kind of gross atrocities as we are witnessing in recent years, except such an individual has first hardened his heart with mind-altering substances.
“The use of drugs for perverted purposes is not a new phenomenon, neither is it something that just started in Nigeria. There are precedents in world history.
Continuing he said, beyond speculations and armchair theories, there is ample evidence, from report statistics and from empirical data from the field, to conclude that the use of illicit substances is a contributing factor to the worsening security situation in Nigeria.
“And if this is so, Nigeria should be the last country to consider a law to legalise marijuana in any shape or form.
“Should we have such a law, we will soon become a nation of junkies and criminals. As such, I will like to caution that our lawmakers should not legalise cannabis because it will amount to taking a step forward and ten steps backward. It will no doubt rob the nation of recent gains in the war against illicit drugs. In less than four months, we have been able to mop up over two million kilograms of illicit drugs, with over N90billion worth of illicit substances seized. Imagine if a fraction of this had found its way into our streets. We can’t be holding a national security summit and at the same time considering legalising illicit substances.”
He commended the organisers of the summit, saying it could not have come at a better time. He urged Nigerians to stand up and take ownership of the fight against insecurity in the country.
Respite as two anti Buhari protesters get bail after over 2months in custody
Reprieve came the way oft two President Muhammadu Buhari Must go protesters, Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka who were detained by the Kogi state government April 5th, 2021 have finally been granted bail.
The NationalUpdate recalled that some youths on 4th April had invaded lokoja with the sole aim of rolling out a campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari.
They were alleged to have painted buildings and pasted posters with Buhari Must Go inscription.
The two protesters were, on Friday, granted bail by a magistrate’s court in the state after spending 71 days in unlawful detention.
The court had on Wednesday adjourned ruling on the bail application for the two anti-Buhari protesters till Friday.
The court resumed hearing on Wednesday after strike action by judicial workers was called off.
The court, after listening to both sides, adjourned the date for ruling on the application till Friday, June 18, 2021.
Emmanuel and Udoka, who were detained at the instance of the Kogi State Government since April 5, embarked on a hunger strike at the Kabba Prison as the government turned deaf ears to national and international call for their release.
Appeal court affirms Akeredolu’s victory
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his Deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa have been affirmed as duly elected in the October 10, 2020 election by the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, Ondo State Capital
Led by Justice Theresa Orji-Abadua the five-man panel delivered the judgement after dismissing the appeal of Eyitayo Jegede, candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in the election for lacking in merit.
After the tribunal delivered judgement on April 20, 2021, dismissing his petition challenging the nomination and election of Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa for lacking in merit Jegede approached the appellate court
However, Justice Abadua of the appellate court concluded that the appeal lacked merit even though some of the grounds were meritorious.
The Appeal Court dismissed the case on grounds 3 and 7 and partly allowed ground 6 of Jegede’s appeal.
The court, however, resolved issues 1, 2, 4 and 5 in favour of the appellant.
The remaining four Justices on the appeal, H. A Barka, Andenyangtso Ali, J.G Abudanga concurred to the judgement.
The Appeal Panel had two weeks ago reserved judgement in the appeal brought before it by the Jegede of the PDP.
Corruption: CAC staff union drags registrar before code of conduct, petitions presidency
***Raises alarm over threats to sack them
Staff of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) under the auspices of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) have petitioned the National Assembly, the Code of Coduct Bureau (CCB) and the Presidency over allegations of corruption and victimisation against the Registrar-General, Alhaji Garba Abubakar.
The union is appealing to the presidency to prevail on the Registrar General to stop his victimisation of its executives and rescind the threat to transfer them outside the headquarters.
They alleged that he has been witch hunting with outright sack from the commission.
The staff who have already been transferred from the headquarters and likely to be sacked include Suwidi Sani Kabir transferred to Abeokuta, Didam Laraba Joel married woman transferred to Lokoja, Glen Tabak Altine also married woman transferred to Jos and Buba Yusuf Dauda transferred to Enugu, Ibrahim Musa I. Kirfi transferred to Yola. Bello Fanini transferred to P/Harcourt, Abdulkadir Y. Giade transferred to Akure while Sadiq shehu was transferred to Ilorin.
Others include Bivan Stephen transferred to Zamfara,
Labaran Sunday transferred to Damaturu, Egbelo Perpetua Eneh to Kaduna, BABA Tanimu ,
Nasiru B. Dembo and Muhammad Sani Binji to Lagos, Rabe Mai’adua, IBRAHIM Isa and Umar Farouk from Kaduna to Abakaliki, Abuja and Uyo respectively, while Doffi Atoshi to Calabar, Amina B. Mohammed (married woman) from Yola to Abuja, Mohammed Nainna to Umuahia, Haruna Mohammed to Awka, Abbas Abdullahi to Jalingo, Waziri Isa, and Abubakar Sarkin Fulani to Damaturu.
The union in a letter to the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari dated March 5, 2021, titled ” The struggle of AUPCTRE against corrupt practices on public service with a special focus on CAC” was signed by the acting General Secretary, Musa Ukpo.
The AUPCTRE accused the Registrar General of “illegally dissolving the union executive, banning them from operating.
They also accused him of transfering all executives to different parts of the country to weaken the union”
The union consequently prayed “That Alhaji Garba Abubakar be directed to reverse his punitive transfer against CAC workers” and “be directed to respect constituted authorities”
Another petition to the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, dated January 11, 2021 titled “Petition against the Registrar-General, CAC, Alhaji Garba Abubajar on abuse of power, financial impropriety and alleged commercialisation of promotion examination in the commission” was signed by the acting Secretary General, Musa Ukpo.
The petition reads: “It has been discovered that the Registrar general of CAC, has used a front company called the Eminent Konsult of Centage Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, to inflate consultant fees for tax reconciliation on FCT Abuja Payee Tax Liability for 2018 and 2019 at an exorbitant amount of N43,072,046.67 million via PV no. 131817/2595 and PV no. 181818/2596 both dated 13th August, 2020 respectively.
“There is an alleged financial impropriety with regards to training fee of board members to the tune of N63,769,5000 million. The payments were made to Major Academy Ltd of No. 22, Isyaku Avenue, off Liberia street, Kaduna State in two installments. The first was on the 13th July, 2020 with PV no. 111290/2206 where N31,023,000 million was paid while the other payment was made to same company on the 14th July, 2020 with PV no. 120368/2206 to the tune of N32,746,500 million.
“As against the provision of section 13 of the Cide of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, LFN 2004, there are serious cases of abuse of power, some of which include: Breach of section 40 of the constitution, ILO Convention 154 (1981), 29 (1930), and sections 23-25 of Trade Union Act, LFN 2004.
“Unilateral decisions that affect staff welfare such as stagnation, alteration of promotion policies, refusal to pay staff promotion arrears of 2019 despite the availability of funds and budgetary provisions, stoppage of all staff loans schemes, including those of the cooperative societies, coercing of staff to forcefully resign their membership of the union and imposition on them the membership of another union of his choice, stoppage of union monthly deductions”
It was alleged that the promotion examinations for 2019 and 2020 in the commission were commercialized. Vacancies were not declared in Human resources and Finance departments in the appropriation year yet he filled the vacancies with his favourite against the budgetary provision, thus a breach of the appropriation act.
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