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Senator Bamidele denies taking any loan From Oceanic, Sterling Banks

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Senator Bamidele denies taking any loan From Oceanic, Sterling Banks

Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, has denied taking any loan from either defunct Oceanic Bank or Sterling Bank as being insinuated in a section of the media.

The senator who represents Ekiti Central on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) made the clarification on Thursday in a statement issued by his media office.

Bamidele said the matter is currently pending before a court of competent jurisdiction as he described the media report “as contemptuous of the court”.

He maintained that the whole development was “sponsored, politically motivated and maliciously aimed at maligning my image”

He disclosed that he had joined Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) in the pending suit, in his bid to prove that the banks are the ones owing him instead.

“To set the record straight, Sen. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (M. O.B.) never borrowed money or took any conventional loan from either Oceanic Bank, Sterling Bank or any Bank whatsoever which has become a subject of court litigation as insinuated.

“Neither does he have any large fund with Sterling Bank which a court ordered not to be released to him as maliciously reported.

“He maintained two accounts with Sterling Bank with balances of N25,000 and N7,000 each and both accounts have been dormant for over ten years”

“It is important to clarify that the case is in respect of a financial transaction way back since 2007 (thirteen years ago) between Sen. Bamidele and Oceanic Bank, which deceived him and many other innocent investors to invest their monies in shares to be managed by the Bank through its subsidiary company called Oceanic Capital.

“The Bank eventually mismanaged the invested funds as well as customers deposits, which, in fact, led to the collapse of the Bank while the shares equally lost value.

“In fact, it is public knowledge that the management of Oceanic Bank faced prosecution for mismanaging investors’ money.

“Contrary to the attempt by some political gladiators and pseudo online reporters to portray Sen.Bamidele as a debtor, he is proudly joining issues with AMCON in court, through his counter claim, to show that it is Oceanic Bank and its promoters who are owing him money as a good faith investor in the capital market through the mergin facility syndicated by the Bank,” he added.

According to him, the whole scenario is not far-fetched from those masquerading to malign his reputation ahead of the 2022 Ekiti Governorship Election and 2023 Presidential Elections.

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Nigeria rallies Global support against drug trafficking, terrorism

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Nigeria rallies Global support against drug trafficking, terrorism  

In its bit to tackle the links between drug trafficking and all forms of organised crime like terrorism,the Nigerian Government has called for a well-coordinated international cooperation
This was one of Nigerias demands at the ongoing 64th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, CND, holding in Vienna, Austria, presented before the global audience on Monday by the Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd).
This was contained in a statement that was issued by the Director, Media and Advocacy of he NDLEA Femi Babafemi
The statement reads,
“Nigeria calls for robust international cooperation to address the links between drug trafficking and terrorism, illicit financial flows, smuggling of migrants and other forms of organised crime, Marwa stated.

“We underscore the importance of technical assistance by UNODC, which has greatly assisted practitioners of beneficiary countries and positively impacted global efforts to counter and address the world drug problem, and urge for their continuation.

He explained that Nigeria has continued to adopt her drug control policies and strategies to respond to emerging and evolving realities.
The NDLEA boss said despite the implementation of the country’s  framework and strategic action plan, trafficking and abuse of controlled substances persist. 
“First, the cultivation and high traffic of Cannabis and its abuse has been on the increase.”

According to him, our National Drug Use Survey, 2019 revealed that over 10 million persons abused cannabis in one year.  In similar pattern, the 2019 and 2020 World Drug Reports identified cannabis as the most abused substance with its threat to security, health and wellbeing of the global population. 
Secondly, he said the trafficking and non-medical use of synthetic and pharmaceuticals opioids, especially Tramadol, remains a challenge.

“This is in spite of our domestic control efforts as well as two tripartite meetings, facilitated by UNODC, involving Nigeria, Ghana and India held in New Delhi and Lagos in 2019, to address the Tramadol crisis.  Nigeria, therefore, reiterated that legalisation of the illicit use of cannabis is a violation of the Drug Control Treaties while highlighting the urgent need for change in the control measures for Tramadol and other pharmaceuticals.”
Gen. Marwa added that Nigeria has decentralized the storage of finished narcotic drugs to ensure their access, availability and affordability for medical and scientific use. He said as a result, we are now able to optimize data collection and improve statutory submission of annual requirement to the INCB (International Narcotics Control Board) with the launch, in 2020, of our national quantification/estimation survey, conducted in 2017 and 2019 respectively. 
‘We are also on course to start local manufacturing of narcotic medicines fromWHO-prequalified pharmaceutical manufacturers to ensure availability and meet national needs”

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Nassarawa grants pardon to 47 inmates

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Nassarawa grants pardon to 47 inmates

By Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

47 inmates awaiting trial in four federal custodian centers in Nassarawa State have been granted pardon.

The newly confirmed Chief Judge of the state, Justice Aisha Bashir made the disclosure in Wamba local government area of the state on Thursday.
She indicated that the visit was in compliance with the presidential directive to decongest custodian facilities as part of measure to contain further spread of COVID-19 in the state.

According to her, “About 47 inmates awaiting trial in four federal custodian centres in the state have been discharged.”

Justice Aisha, who was confirmed recently by the National Judicial Commission (NJC), was appointed the acting CJ on December 31, 2020 after the retirement of Justice Sulieman Dikko, former CJ from service.

She, however, gave the breakdown of the number released from every custodian centre to include, 30 inmates from the Lafia Custodian Centre, 6 from Nasarawa Custodian center, 8 from Keffi Custodian Centre and 3 from Wamba Custodian Centre respectively.

Justice Aisha said that under her watch, the judiciary in the state would work assiduously towards ensuring speedy administration of justice as well as tackle the menace of justice stagnation.

The CJ maintained that the Criminal Justice Committee in the state would soon come up with modalities to ensure that those whose cases were stagnated for so many years without progress get their cases concluded and justice delivered.

“I have also asked that names of inmates that had stayed for five years and above be compiled for onward submission to the Executive Governor of the state for pardon,” she added.

The first female Chief Judge of Nassarawa state said, “We recommend to the governor to grant them pardon as part of efforts to ensure justice is served as well as decongest custodian facilities.”

She, therefore, applauded the authorities of the Custodian Centres for teaching the inmates various skills and enrolling those interested in education at the Open University.

Justice Aisha said such steps by the authorities would truly rehabilitate the inmates and make them useful after serving their jail terms.

The CJ also admonished those released to work hard to convince the society that they are changed to make the society trust them again and assimilate them.

The CJ was accompanied on the visit by judges, Legal Aids Council of Nigeria. Human Rights Commission, among others.

The CJ’s tour of the custodian centres was the first since she assumed office in December 2020.

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NDLEA wants end to duplication of its functions amongst Sister Agencies

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NDLEA wants end to duplication of its functions amongst Sister Agencies

*Proposes NDLEA attache’s for foreign Missions

By Sunday Joseph


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is seeking exclusive legislative powers to be the lone government institution when it comes to dealing with offences relating to illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.

The agency has also proposed for legal backing that will enable it to appoint drug attaches from amongst its staff to serve in Nigerian foreign missions.

This followed the ongoing NDLEA Amendment Bill, SB.288 of 2021 under consideration at the Senate, which was sponsored by Senator Hezekiah Ayuba Dimka (Plateau Central) on the enforcement and execution of NDLEA Act Cap N30.

The Chairman of the agency, Brigadier-general Mohamed Buba Marwa made this know in his presentation at a public hearing on the bill Thursday in National Assembly.

Marwa who was represented by the Director General of NDLEA, Shedrach Haruna, noted that new amendment seeks to address four basic in the principal Act of the NDLEA, which includes: Establishment of additional scientific laboratories; replacement of the word ‘heroine’ to ‘heroin’; restriction of sentencing discretion of judges and increase in amount of fine for punishment of obstruction.

However the areas of amendment proposed for consideration by the NDLEA in Section 3, subsection (2) seeks to ensure that “All drugs units under existing institutions dealing with offenders or offences concerned with or relating to illicit traffic in narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances shall relate and be responsible to the Agency (NDLEA) in performance of their duties and function and transfer all seized substances and persons arrested in pursuant to this Act to the Agency for Prosecution”.

He said this will enhance local coordination by the Agency for the purpose of international reporting and cooperation. Marwa further hinted that this will grant the Agency the power to operate in all Nigerian entry and exit points and ports without hindrance or legal encumbrance.

The Agency has also proposed the amendment of Section 45 where it may in “consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appoint a drug attache from amongst its staff to serve in any Nigerian diplomatic mission abroad”.
However, Senate Committee chairman on health Yahaya Oloriegbe faulted the demand for drug attache in foreign mission saying, “I saw where you are proposing the appointment of drug attachés in every mission or as may be necessary which is not there before. “Do you know the cost implication of that vis a vis the load of work and then the relevance of that in all our missions abroad?
“Now, even the staff that we have who are the core staff, there are challenges in terms of payments. What you are trying to do is to create another corps that would be on drug desks in other countries and what kind or work will they be doing on a day by day basis and they will be a drain on national resources.
“I have concerns on this and unless you are able to convince us when we are taking up we will look at that.”

Haruna, who represented the Chairman of the Agency, Mohammed Buba Marwa, in his response said: “We find that some country really requires the assistance of our drug attachés. We have seen that even Section 45 of the NDLEA law as presently couched grants the Agency powers to request for information of competent Nigerians abroad to enable us follow up with investigation at home. “However, we felt that just like we have liaison magistrates of foreign countries in Nigeria giving us assistance in other areas we also need to do that because we have had requests from so many countries saying that drug attachés from Nigeria will be needed to ensure that they have a comprehensive approach to investigations in their own countries.

“There is a need for drug attachés to support the investigations of Nigerians committing drug crimes abroad. We have so many Nigerians in some countries abroad that the drug agencies in those countries will actually require the assistance of Nigerians particularly in language issues.”

Senate President Ahmad Lawan represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe

“We have severally demonstrated that we cannot allow the degeneration ofnour values through drugs and other substances considering our concerted quest for growth.

“The bill before us is yet another attempt at strengthening the regulatory mechanism on drug abuse following identified loopholes in the extant law.
This amendment also flows from the regular trend of reviewing or updating laws after operational experiences as a step towards perfection.”

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Senator Hezekiah Ayuba Dimka:

“There is no doubt that the NDLEA Act Cap L90 is now overdue for amendment as the agency has experienced and learnt some lessons in the course of operating Nd enforcing the Act.

“It is therefore hoped that the this time around, the process of the amendment will be far reaching, all embracing and concluded n order to bring the amendment Act into force.”

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