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NDLEA arrests 22 foreigners, 12 Lagos dockworkers linked to N9.5 billion seized cocaine

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NDLEA

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has confirmed the arrest of 12 dockworkers at the Apapa Seaport, Lagos linked to the importation of N9.5 billion cocaine.

A vessel, MV Chayanee Naree, was used to import the 32.9 kilograms of cocaine into Nigeria.

The anti-narcotic agency had on October 13 intercepted the ship following intelligence from international partners and support from the navy, customs, SSS and the police.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, on Saturday in Abuja, the NDLEA said a Federal High Court in Lagos had granted it an interim attachment of the vessel.

Besides the attachment order, the court also granted NDLEA’s request to detain the Master of the ship, Tanahan Krilerk.

It also granted NDLEA’s request to detain 21 foreign national crew members as well as the dockworkers arrested in connection with the case.

A thorough search of the ship led to the recovery of 30 parcels containing cocaine, which weighed 32.9kg worth N9.5 billion in street value.

The application in suit no: FHC/L/CS/1518/2021, which was filed by the agency on October 28, was granted on October 29 by Justice A.O. Awogboro.

An application to renew the remand order was also filed on Friday, November 12 because of the volume of evidence coming out from the cooperation of the suspects in custody.

Mr Bababfemi said NDLEA’s clarification became necessary following claims by the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria that some of its members were being detained unlawfully by the agency.

He said that of the total number of 18 dockworkers initially interviewed by operatives, six of them with no sufficient evidence linking them to the crime had been released, while 12 others with significant links were cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

“In line with the intelligence available, there is a syndicate of dockworkers, crew members with apparent international conspirators who work in synergy to traffic in illicit substances,” he stated.

He added that while the substances were concealed in the shipment from the originating port, the dockworkers assisted to pick up the illicit consignment for onward delivery to the Nigerian drug barons.

“In the case of a criminal investigation of this magnitude, it is lawful and expedient to investigate those within the purview of the agency’s reasonable suspicion.

“Already, two dockworkers are now on the run after absconding from their place of work, since the beginning of the investigation.

“All the agency’s actions are guided by international best practices and in line with Global Maritime Standard Operational Procedure on arrest, seizure and detention of vessels and crew members,” Mr Babafemi stated.

(NAN)

National

I can’t handle evil confronting Nigeria alone: Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says the quantum of adversity his regime is confronting can only be surmounted with the assistance of all Nigerians.

Mr Buhari made this assertion while reacting to the gruesome attacks on innocent travellers in Sokoto State.

No fewer than 30 travellers were burnt inside a bus travelling through Sokoto by bandits after they were ambushed Tuesday night.

“I am very distressed at the manner of death visited on these hapless citizens who were undertaking a legitimate journey to another part of the country.

“It shows that the evil this administration is confronting is one that requires the support and involvement of all Nigerians,” Mr Buhari was quoted to have said by his media aide, Femi Adesina, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

The president extended deep condolences to the families of the victims, assuring that security agencies would continue to give their all to bring to an end the operations of the despicable people. 

(NAN)

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Price rally spurs growth at stock market

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Stock Market

Sentiments remained positive in the domestic stock market on Wednesday with a growth of N217 billion arising from price rally recorded by MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN) and 19 other stocks.

Specifically, the market capitalisation inched higher by N217 billion or 0.99 per cent to close at N22.142 trillion from N21.925 trillion on Tuesday.

The All-Share Index rose by 417.14 points or 0.99 per cent to close at 42,435.16 against 42,018.02 recorded on Tuesday.

Consequently, the month-to-date loss moderated to 1.9 per cent, while the year-to-date gain increased by 5.4 per cent.

The market gain was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are: Seplat Energy, MTN (Nigeria), Dangote Sugar Refinery, Lafarge Africa and United Bank for Africa (UBA).

Market breadth was positive with 20 stocks against 11 losers.

LivingTrust Mortgage Bank topped the gainers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.09 per cent to close at 96k per share.

Meyer followed with 7.69 per cent to close at 28k, while AXA Mansard Insurance went up by 7.25 per cent to close at N2.22 per share.

Dangote Sugar Refinery rose by 6.67 per cent to close at N16, while Honeywell Flour Mills appreciated by 6.51 per cent to close at N3.60 per share.

Conversely, Cutix led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.69 per cent to close at N2.61 per share.

Royal Exchange followed with 8.06 per cent loss to close at 57k, while Mutual Benefits Assurance declined by 7.69 per cent to close at 24k per share.

Sovereign Trust Insurance shed 4.17 per cent to close at 23k, while Nigerian Aviation Handling Company depreciated by 2.51 per cent to close at N3.50 per share.

Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings (FBNH) topped the activity chart with 441.93 million shares valued at N5.04 billion.

Sterling Bank followed with 64.43 million shares worth N95.94 million, while Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) traded 20.67 million shares valued at N501.36 million.

UBA sold 14.73 million shares valued at N115.95 million, while Access Bank transacted 12.30 million shares worth N110.59 million.

In all, the total volume of trades increased by 1.6 per cent to 649.77 million units valued at N7.20 billion exchanged in 3,757 deals.

This is against a turnover of 639.44 million shares worth N6.63 billion transacted in 4,564 deals on Tuesday. 

(NAN)

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FCT-IRS rakes in N118 billion, targets more in 2022: Official

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Abdullahi Attah

The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) said it remitted N118 billion into the federal government coffers as of November with a projection of N202 billion in 2022.

Acting Executive Chairman of the service, Haruna Abdullahi, told newsmen on Wednesday that the figure meant the organisation surpassed its target by 108 per cent.

“In spite of the challenges faced by the Service and FCT due to the impact of Covid-19, we were able to achieve and surpass our revenue target of N109 billion by 108 per cent as at the end of November 2021.

“With this, the Service has so far collected and remitted the sum of N118 billion,” Mr Abdullahi stated.

He also said that within the year under review, the Service engaged some consultants to conduct a six-year back duty tax audit of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), enterprises and corporate organisations in the FCT.

Mr Abdullahi said the engagement had started yielding fruits because liabilities have been established and demand notices have been issued in accordance with Section 54 PITA, CAP P8, LFN, 2004 (as amended).

“It is also important to let you know that we are currently meeting with about 250 MDAs for the review and reconciliation of IPPIS/Personal Income Tax/PAYE.

“This is to address issues of wrong remittance, non-remittance and under-remittance of employees of MDAs in the FCT.

“We are carrying out this exercise in collaboration with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and Joint Tax Board.

“Let me use this medium to invite all the MDAs that are yet to come for the exercise to please turn up before the deadline of December 10, 2021,” he said.

The acting chairman said the Service would not rest on its oars until it becomes the highest sub-national revenue-generating agency in the country.

He, therefore, solicited the support of all major stakeholders, including the media, in order to achieve the target.

“Though it is a huge task but with determination and commitment of board members, management, staff and stakeholders like you, we shall achieve the 2022 target,” he said.

He said the Service planned to embark on an aggressive public enlightenment campaign to educate and mobilise prospective taxpayers with a view to boosting the revenue base of the FCT.

The acting chairman explained that since the inception of the service, it had been educating and sensitising the residents and taxpayers to their civic responsibilities.

Mr Abdullahi said that in collaboration with the relevant law enforcement agencies the service would also embark on enforcement of its mandates in 2022.

“This is in accordance with section eight and Part V of the FCT-IRS Act 2015. This resolve has become necessary to address defaulters who insist on shortchanging the FCT Administration,” he said.

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