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NDLEA Intercepts Cocaine, Heroin Consignments At Lagos Seaport, Airport, Others

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Fresh consignments of cocaine and heroin with a combined weight of 16.85 kilograms worth over N4.9 billion in street value have been seized at the Apapa seaport and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, both in Lagos by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

This was announced in a statement issued by Femi Babafemi, NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, on Sunday.

According to the anti-narcotic agency, four persons are currently being investigated for the 13.65kg Cocaine seized onboard a ship, MV Karteria that came into the Apapa port from Santos, Brazil, on 7 November, barely three weeks after 32.9kg of Cocaine was intercepted at the port on another vessel, MV Chayanee Naree, also from Santos, Brazil.

In well-coordinated follow-up operations, no fewer than five persons have been arrested in different parts of Lagos and Delta state in connection to the seizure of 3.200kg heroin found on a passenger, Christian Osondu at the E- Arrival hall of the MMIA, on 5 November during the inward clearance of Air Peace flight passengers from South Africa, the NDLEA said.

A swift follow-up operation the same day, according to the agency, led to the arrest of one Ude Onyeka Victor, at the Mafoluku area of Oshodi, Lagos.

The NDLEA said Ude Onyeka confessed that his elder brother, Ikenna Ude, who is based in South Africa, had instructed him to collect the bag containing the drug and hand it over to another person, who was supposed to come from Delta State. A second follow-up operation led to the arrest of Abanjo Innocent, who came to Lagos from Delta State to pick the bag containing the drug around Cele Bus stop, Okota, on 6 November.

He also confessed that he was contracted by one Oseki Chinedu, who is based in South Africa to travel to Lagos to collect the bag and bring it to Agbor junction, Delta State. The third follow up operation led to the arrest of Ihator Theophilus Isioma at Agbor Junction, Delta State on 7 November.

In Bayelsa state, NDLEA operatives, on 13 November, arrested one Obeluo Emeka from Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State with 600 grams of Heroin. The suspect who is a motor spare parts dealer based in Douala, Cameroon had arrived at Yenagoa by waterway to waybill the substance to an undisclosed address in Lagos.

No less than four suspects were arrested and different quantities of cocaine, cannabis, tramadol and methamphetamine were seized from them during weekend raids at Rumuokoro, Elelenwo and Omagwa/Elele communities in Rivers state. Those arrested include Elizabeth Iniama; Sir King Emmanuel; Godgift King; and
Amadi Bright.

A total of 18.51kg of assorted illicit drugs were recovered on Saturday 13th November when operatives raided a neighbourhood of Bayan Gari, and Sir Ahmadu Bello Way, Bauchi town, Bauchi state where two suspects; Mr. Gabriel Iwagbunan and Ms. Cecilia Ezena were arrested.

While 23-year-old Hadiza Ibrahim was arrested on Saturday 12th November along Okene-Lokoja highway with 54kg of cannabis, one Sunday Nnam, a.k.a Idowu, was nabbed the same day in Emene area of Enugu with 45kg of the same substance. In the same vein, one Umar Muhammad was arrested with 25,700 capsules of Tramadol weighing 15.1kg in the Tudun Hatsi area of Gombe State.

In Ogun state, following credible intelligence, two suspects; David Oduku, and Ifeanyi Raphael, were intercepted along the Ore- Shagamu expressway with 364.98kg of cannabis being conveyed in a blue Toyota Sienna bus, while two suspects: Buhari Jamiu and Ajibola Jimoh, were arrested in the early hours of Sunday, 14 November, with 189kg of cannabis at Olorunlagba, in the Bode Saadu area of Kwara State.

While commending the officers and men of Apapa port command and MMIA, as well as their counterparts in Bayelsa, Rivers, Bauchi, Kogi, Enugu, Gombe, Ogun, and Kwara states for sustaining the action against drug cartels in the country, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brigadier-General Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd.), charged them and their colleagues in other commands to remain vigilant at all times.

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Biden warns Russia against invading Ukraine

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US president Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

Joe Biden has warned that he will not accept “red lines” set by Moscow as fears mount that Russia is planning an imminent invasion of Ukraine.

The US president said he will make it “very, very difficult” for Russia to invade its neighbour.

Meanwhile, US media has reported that intelligence officials fear an invasion could begin in early 2022.

It comes as Ukraine says Russia has boosted its military at the border and amassed some 94,000 troops there.

A video call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mr Biden to ease tensions is expected this week. The US President told reporters he is expecting to have a long discussion with the Russian leader, and warned that he will not “accept anybody’s red lines”.

Russia
Russian President Vladmir Putin

“What I am doing is putting together what I believe to be the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he’s going to do,” Mr Biden said as he left for the presidential retreat at Camp David.

While Mr Biden did not set out what precise actions the US plans to take, American and Ukrainian officials warned again this week that severe economic sanctions are on the table against Russia.

On Thursday Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the US had threatened fresh sanctions after his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Mr Biden’s comments come as the Washington Post reported that US intelligence officials fear the Kremlin is planning a multi-front offensive as soon as early next year involving up to 175,000 troops.

Officials have also reportedly seen an increase in propaganda efforts through the use of proxies and media outlets to denigrate Ukraine and Nato ahead of a potential invasion.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said that he believes the most likely timing of any Russian escalation “will be the end of January”.

This week Britain’s most senior military officer said “we have to be on our guard” about the potential for conflict in the region.

Gen Sir Nick Carter told the BBC that he “distinctly hoped” there would not be a war with Russia, but added that Nato would have to be ready for that eventuality.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are nothing new. In 2014 Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and soon after started to back a separatist insurgency in Ukraine’s east that has seen some 14,000 people killed in periodic fighting.

More recently, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has moved against Russian interests, slapping sanctions on a powerful friend of President Putin and banning broadcasts by three pro-Russian TV stations.

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Omicron variant highly transmissible, detected in 40 countries – WHO

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“We need to be prepared and cautious, not panic,” the WHO’s top scientist Soumya Swaminathan said

The world should not panic about the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 but it should prepare, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

Speaking at a conference on Friday, top WHO scientist Soumya Swaminathan said the situation now was very different to a year ago.

Reports suggest Omicron has been found in close to 40 countries.

It is still unclear if the highly mutated variant is more transmissible or better able to evade vaccines.

Early data reported by scientists in South Africa – where the variant was first detected – suggests Omicron may evade some immunity to Covid-19, although experts caution the analysis is not definitive.

Dr Swaminathan told the Reuters NEXT conference that the variant was “highly transmissible”, citing data from South Africa, and said it could possibly become the dominant strain worldwide – although this is hard to predict. Delta currently accounts for 99% of cases globally, she added.

“How worried should we be? We need to be prepared and cautious, not panic, because we’re in a different situation to a year ago,” she said.

WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan meanwhile said the world currently had “highly effective vaccines” against Covid-19, and the focus should be on distributing them more widely. He said there was no evidence to back changing these jabs to tailor them to the new Omicron variant.

COVID-19 variant Omicron
Omicron is the most heavily mutated version of coronavirus

Countries around the world have announced travel bans against southern African countries in the wake of Omicron’s first detection.

US officials have made it compulsory for all international travellers to the US to take a Covid test no more than one day before travel. It comes after authorities tightened US travel rules in light of the variant.

Omicron has now been detected in at least six US states including Hawaii, where officials said the case had no recent travel history.

India has also reported its first two cases of the Omicron variant. Officials said one of them – a 66-year-old South African national – had travelled from the country and had already left India, while the second – a 46-year-old doctor in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru – had no travel history.

The second wave of Covid infections brought the country’s healthcare system to its knees in April and May this year, with hospitals running out of beds, oxygen and medicines.

The emergence of the new variant comes as European countries are already grappling with a surge in infections.

On Thursday Germany announced major restrictions on the unvaccinated, declaring that only those inoculated or who had recently recovered from the virus will be allowed in restaurants, cinemas and many shops.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also said vaccinations could be mandatory by February. Neighbouring Austria announced compulsory jabs for residents from 1 February, while countries including Belgium and the Netherlands have brought back or tightened measures aimed at tackling the spread of cases.

Health officials in the UK are working on accelerating the rollout of booster jabs. The government has bought 114 million more doses of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs and has announced that all adults will be offered a booster by the end of January.

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Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer roasts Senator Orji Kalu

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Ifeanyi Ejiofor

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Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the lead counsel to Nnamdi Kanu and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Saturday accused the Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Kalu of breaching the Department of State Services (DSS) protocol to see his client in Nigerian secret police custody.

According to Ejiofor, “I make bold to say that the clandestine visit to Onyendu (Kanu) undertaken by Orji Uzor Kalu is no more than an empty positioning for political office come 2023”.

In the press statement shared via his verified Facebook page, Ejiofor also claimed that Kanu ‘does not trust Kalu one bit’.

Read Ejiofor’s full post below:

KEEPING THE RECORD STRAIGHT – REJOINDER TO PUBLISHED GARBAGE
IN RE: ORJI UZOR KALU (OUK):

On/or about 11AM on the 29th of November 2021, I received a phone call from a reliable source. The latter informed me that a certain Orji Uzor Kalu expressed desire to see my client, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The intended visit was ostensibly in further pursuit of the political solution to the unconditional release of my client.

As I had before then resolved not to constitute myself an impediment to the exploration of any such political solution, I welcomed the idea. Consequently, I was constrained to substitute the name of one of the persons already scheduled for the visit for the name of Orji Uzor Kalu.

I then proceeded to submit a fresh list containing the name of the latter to the relevant authorities on/or about 12Noon of the aforementioned date.

When the team of lawyers who were scheduled to visit my client arrived at the Reception Hall of the headquarters of the Department of State Security (DSS), on/or about 1.55PM of the aforementioned date, they were informed that Orji Uzor Kalu, whose name appeared on the list at the 11th hour, would not be allowed to see Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

The reason for this decision was clear. As the name of Orji Uzor Kalu was merely submitted on the day of the intended visit, and not earlier as was the practice, he could not, without permission and/or clearance from superior authority, be granted access to visit my client in the detention facility of the DSS.

Orji Kalu’s hypocritical pretensions was worsened by the fact that he is a politician (and a wily one at that), and he is not related to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu either by affinity or consanguinity.
This position taken by the Detaining Authority did not come as a surprise, or so I thought.

Long before the 29th of November 2021, the DSS consistently and variously denied certain persons of sundry political persuasions, and proven elder statesmen, access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody. A case in point is that of Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State.

The inclusion of the name of Orji Uzor Kalu at the 11th hour in the fresh list submitted to the DSS on the day of the intended visit had the effect of temporarily stultifying the access operatives of the DSS could easily have afforded the lawyers. So I thought honestly.

But there was more to it. The lawyers were kept waiting till on/or about 3.20pm of that day when they were finally cleared to ingress the detention facility. At first, I thought this delay to be inexplicable and unreasonable, but, with hindsight, I concluded that the delay was deliberate. It was occasioned by the fact that Orji Uzor Kalu had earlier arrived at the DSS facility and had gone to visit Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu at the time the lawyers were literally forced to wait for a pretended reason.

I then became convinced that the objection that was taken at the inclusion of the name of Orji Uzor Kalu at the 11th hour in the list of persons scheduled for the visit was a ruse, a smokescreen, and a deceptive ploy, ingeniously but mischievously contrived to hoodwink us. It had that temporary effect. The pretended reason was designed to keep us waiting while Orji Uzor Kalu had his interaction with Onyendu. The delay of about two hours was clearly unjustified.

Orji Uzor Kalu, whose name was on the list of visitors that was submitted and whose name was deceptively objected to by operatives of the DSS, had earlier arrived the DSS facility and had, in a manner that was extremely surreptitious, gained access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in custody! Lawyers that congregated for the visit stared with open mouths when they gained access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and were informed by him that Orji Uzor Kalu had earlier visited him that day.

I must note that DSS operatives at the Reception Hall were not let in on the surreptitious access that was granted to Orji Uzor Kalu. They did not know when the latter arrived at the facility and when he stole in to see Onyendu. It is for Orji Uzor Kalu to explain honestly how he gained access to Onyendu. If Orji Kalu did not go through the proper channel, which starts from the reception, upon the submission of a list containing the names of already scheduled visitors, how then did he gain access to Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu? Why was the extant protocols not followed?

We hereby invite the relevant authorities of the Department of State Security to investigate this.

Further, Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was not informed before hand that Orji Uzor Kalu was at the facility to see him. The information that was given to him, which he conveyed to me, was to the effect that an important personality was at the facility to see him. The identity of the so-called important personality was not disclosed to him. This is deceptive and a breach of the protocol of the DSS.

If the motive for surreptitiously embarking on the visit to Onyendu is pristine, salutary and genuine, why did Orji Uzor Kalu knowingly breach the DSS protocol? Why did he steal in to see Onyendu? Why did he not leave any trace of his identity at the reception hall? If he had no ill motives, why did he conceal his identity from Onyendu before he had access to him and why was he aided in the process by a deceptive DSS operative?

If Orji Uzor Kalu had genuine intentions, why was the deliberation at his visit to Onyendu conducted in the presence of some persons not necessarily supposed to be present at such visit? Orji Uzor Kalu is hereby challenged to explain to the whole world what informed the question he asked Onyendu during his visit as to why he did not stay back at Afaraukwu during the bloody invasion of the homestead of Onyendu on the 14th of September 2017?

Further, I must remind the public that 2023 is around the corner. Desperate politicians, including those of Igbo extraction that have sworn to be perpetual slaves of some primitive overlords, and who offer their deceptive heads, containing their lying mouths and tongues, to be turbanned by their slave masters, are up to sundry devious stunts, schemes, contrivances, chicanery and duplicitous manoeuvres. They shamelessly and unabashedly seize every opportunity available to them to advance their political interests.

Most of them have no honour. They mislead the unwary and unsuspecting members of the public by their hypocritical behaviour and sanctimonious grandstanding. Inside of them are filth, putrefaction, deception and ungodliness. I make bold to say that the clandestine visit to Onyendu undertaken by Orji Uzor Kalu is no more than an empty positioning for political office come 2023.

The whole world knows that Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is an infinitely brilliant man and a good student of history. He has seen through the empty scheme of Orji Uzor Kalu and is not deceived by it. Onyendu does not trust Orji Uzor Kalu one bit. He has said so in no uncertain language.

In 2017, Orji Uzor Kalu exhibited similar inclination. He merely wanted to score a cheap political point. But his attempt failed woefully, and rightly so. Onyendu did not accord him any relevance whatsoever. This time, he initiated similar pretensions. Again, his shenanigan did not produce the desired effect.

Orji Uzor Kalu in his outburst alluded to pecuniary interest in relation to my good self. This is most unfortunate. The truth is that, that allusion applies squarely, wholly and entirely to him. Every Nigerian of full age knows the history and circumstances of this man. His record is public knowledge. Granted that I have made many enemies in the course of my stout, unrelenting and resolute defence of Onyendu, these enemies are really those who want me to compromise or dilute my standard but have met a brick wall in their several attempts.

I make bold to say that in the course of the defense of Onyendu and in all court cases involving members of IPOB, I have remained resolute, solid as the Rock of Gibraltar, unbending, incorruptible, forthright, steadfast, devoted and dedicated. I owe no one, including Orji Uzor Kalu, any apologies whatsoever for remaining defiant and unrelenting in my defence of Onyendu and members of IPOB.

The attempt at smear campaign by Orji Uzor Kalu is infantile, puerile and laughable. Orji Uzor Kalu is hereby advised to first embark on genuine introspection before taking the liberty to cast aspersion on anybody.

Thank you all and remain blessed Umuchineke

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