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NAFDAC woos traditional, religious leaders to support fight against drug abuse

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The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Christianah Adeyeye, has called on traditional, religious and community leaders to support the fight against drug abuse and drug misuse to a stand-still in the country.

She made the call during a sensitization campaign in Nnewi in Anambra state on Wednesday.

Represented by the Director of Narcotics and Control Substances of the agency, Dr. Musa Umar, the NAFDAC Director General warned that drug abuse, drug misuse and self medication are injurious to public health.

She noted that food and drug safety and security is an integral part of the national security architecture of the country, insisting that “drug security, unwholesome medicines, drug abuse, diversion of narcotics and psychotropic substances that are originally meant for medicinal use that are illegally diverted to illicit channels is injurious to public health and also injurious to national security.”

Prof. Adeyeye argued that kidnapping, arm banditry, terrorism, armed robbery and all sorts of crime are being fueled by drug abuse.

She explained that NAFDAC has been working closely with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in order to tackle the huge problem of drug abuse and drug misuse.

“This is why it is part of the strategic campaign that we are carrying out to the grassroot level.

“This time around, we are engaging the traditional institution, community and religious leaders to build a partnership since NAFDAC cannot do it alone.

“It is a clarion call. All hands should join us to fight this menace to finish. That is why we are moving from door to door with this campaign which involves road shows into communities and villages.

“All the societal social influencers like the traditional rulers, community leaders and parents should join NAFDAC in this campaign to eradicate and rid the country of the menace of drug abuse.

“We are also advising parents to watch their children in the school. You need to ask valid questions and when children come back from school, check their bags and also observe the peer group or friends of your children, it is very important,” Prof. Adeyeye said.

While noting that NAFDAC will not relent in its enforcement effort, she disclosed that in the last four years, the agency has been fighting the war against Tramadol.

“We have destroyed several containers worth hundreds of millions of naira of Tramadol that are shipped into the country and are being diverted.

“Most of the nefarious activities being committed by criminal elements, drug abuse is at the heart of it. That is why we are fighting it frontally.”

The NAFDAC Director General recalled that the national survey that was conducted by UNODC in partnership with some stakeholders including NDLEA and NAFDAC, revealed that Nigeria has almost triple the world average of the prevalence of drug abuse.

According to her, while the global average is within 5.6 per cent, Nigeria alone is around 14.4 per cent, almost triple.

This, she stressed showed that there is a critical problem of drug abuse in Nigeria, saying that is the reason NAFDAC is intensifying its campaign against drug abuse as a very key element of the campaign that is ongoing from community to community.

“Apart from fueling the insecurity problem in the country, drug abuse is also trying to decimate the very vital protective segment of the population which is the youth.

“Even house wives are not left out. That is why it is becoming cancerous. All hands must be on deck to combat this hydra headed problem and wrestle it to the ground. It is a total war that must be won,” she stressed.

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Ifeanyi Ubah seeks court permission to visit Nnamdi Kanu in DSS facility

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Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, who represents Anambra South in the Senate, has taken the bull by the horn with a motion on notice before a Federal High Court in Abuja to Visit Nnamdi Kanu

The motion he filed seeking an order to allow him access to the Department of State Services (DSS) detention facility to visit the detained leader of Indigenous People’s of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu.

Senator Ubah, accompanied by his defence counsel, Maxwell Opara, said the visit to Nnamdi was part of his oversight legislative function.

Kanu was arrested and brought into Nigeria in June to face treason trial.

Since he was brought into Nigeria, he had been detained at the detention facility of the DSS pending his trial.

Briefing newsmen after filing the suit, Ubah said he was denied access to the IPOB leader and was directed to approach the court to obtain permission before he could be allowed access to Kanu.

He said his visit was to ameliorate and fashion a meeting point or creating a discussion table aimed at reducing tension and quelling the agitation and killings in the South East.

The lawmaker said since the arrest and detention of Kanu, there had been serious agitation aimed at pressing home his release and this had degenerated into proclamation of sit-at-home orders in the South East; a situation which is crippling the economy of the South East.

He said, “The Sit-At-Home orders are a medium of expression of solidarity to the detained Defendant and same has been hijacked by unknown criminal elements who are now terrorizing the South East and engaging in wanton killings, assassinations and burning of valuable properties.

“The Sit-At-Home orders have gravely affected the economy of the South East and had often led to the killing of flouters, arson and assassination of notable persons by a terror group called unknown gunmen.

“As a senator from the South East Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria, I took it upon myself in carrying out my oversight legislative functions to visit the Defendant at the DSS detention facility to ascertain from him if he is involved in any way in what is happening in the South East and to seek way of amicable settlement of the separatist agitation in the South East in the overall interest of Nigeria.”

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Court sentences man to death by hanging for killing 2 women in Kogi

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By Friday Idachaba

A High Court in Lokoja on Wednesday sentenced a middle-aged man, Danladi Ichado to death by hanging for stabbing two women to death.

Delivering judgment, Justice Nicodemus Awulu, held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that the convict was presumed to have intended to kill the women based on the weapon he used.

The judge held that the evidence of Rekiya Rilwan (PW1), who was an eyewitness at the scene of crime had fixed the defendant and demolished his alibi.

Awulu therefore, convicted the defendant and sentenced him to death by hanging.

Earlier in the case, the prosecution led by Inedu Opaluwa, Senior Legal Officer with the state Ministry of Justice had told the court that Danladi Ichado of Odogomu, Ankpa Local Government Area of the state committed the alleged offence on June 6, 2020.

Charged with Culpable Homicide Contrary to Section 221(a) of the Penal Code, Ichado was said to have on 6th of June 2020 at Oko-Ojuwo, Ogaji in Ankpa, caused the death of the women by stabbing them with a short cutlass on the head and in the chest.

Opaluwa called six witnesses and tendered four exhibits while the defendant called one witness and gave evidence in his defence.

The prosecution alleged that the convict attacked Rabiyetu Yusufu and Jemila Yakubu with lethal weapon and therefore, urged the court to hold that he intended to kill the women based on the weapon he used.

He argued that with the weapon, Ichado inflicted injuries on their heads and chest penetrating deep and destroying vital organs, leading to their death.

According to him, the three women – Rabiyetu Yusufu, Jemila Yakubu and Rekiya Rilwan were going to farm on the fateful day when the defendant suddenly appeared from the bush wearing a face mask and pounced on them.

He said that the defendant initially escaped but was later caught and arraigned.

Ichado in his defence tried to establish an alibi that he was at home harvesting palm fruits on the day of the incident and therefore couldn’t have possibly been the one that attacked the women.

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NAFDAC warns bakers against use of potassium bromate to enhance bread

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The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyehe, has again warned bakers in the country to desist from using potassium bromate to enhance bread.

Speaking at a sensitization campaign in Agulu, Anambra state, she warned that Potassium bromate has grave health consequences to humans as it can cause kidney, thyroid, and gastrointestinal cancers.

Represented by the Director of Chemical Evaluation and Research, Pharmacist (Mrs) Ngozi Onuorah, the Director General stressed that potassium bromate is a silent killer, hence, should not be used for human consumption.

“The use of Potassium bromate is a recurring decimal and we have renewed our earlier warning that bakers of bread who are trying to cut corners by using it to enhance the size of their bread should desist from the practice,” she stressed.

Prof. Adeyeye indicated that there are other healthy alternatives that have been introduced to the bakers which are not injurious to public health.
She however, regretted saying, “But it has come to the knowledge of NAFDAC that some bakers are clandestinely still using potassium bromate, especially at the grassroot level where they think they are not within the precinct or the full glare of the NAFDAC regulatory officers.

“We are also asking the law enforcement agencies to also join the crusade so that we can rid the country of such practice.”

On why NAFDAC is paying special attention on bread, the Director General said: “We are laying emphasis on the issue of bread because it is a major stable food on the table of most Nigerians. Almost every family in the country eats bread on a daily basis either for breakfast or other meals.

“We are also appealing to the Nigerian Master Bakers Association to renew their efforts and drive in self- regulating. This is because we have been working closely with the union in ridding the bad elements among them in the past.

“We are again appealing to them to report to the nearest NAFDAC office anybody that is apprehended for using potassium bromate to enhance bread.”

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