The governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, has commended the federal government for the release of N18 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria in support of state governments.
Mr Ortom made the commendation on Friday during an interaction with journalists at the Benue Peoples Government House in Makurdi.
The governor, who clarified that the money was not a grant but a loan, said it would assist most states in tackling some fundamental challenges of development.
He said the Benue executive council would soon meet to prioritise the utilisation of the funds.
Mr Ortom disclosed that for a state that had been running a deficit budget, the money would support in critical areas like payment of salary arrears and tackling infrastructure deficit.
“We will ensure that the utilisation of the money has a direct impact on the lives of our people,” he assured.
Mr Ortom regretted the recent killing of a priest and others at Tor Donga village in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the state and assured that those behind the act would be apprehended.
He said his administration would continue to collaborate with security agencies in the state to protect the lives and property of all citizens.
Spain-based man excretes 96 pellets of cocaine in Abuja: NDLEA
A 44-year-old man, Gabriel Anthony, egested 96 pellets of cocaine after he was intercepted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi says.
The suspect, who was arrested during an outward clearance of Turkish Airlines en route Abuja-Istanbul-Madrid, excreted the drug pellets while in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Babafemi said.
The spokesman noted that Mr Anthony, who hails from Enugu State, was arrested on Friday, November 26.
According to him, the suspect had travelled to Germany in 1996 for two years on asylum after which he relocated to Spain in 1999.
“Spain is where he currently holds a residence permit and works as a driver in a food manufacturing company.
“He claimed he came into Nigeria on November 17 to sell clothes and car spare parts he shipped to Lagos earlier.
“He, however, said he could not sell his consignments which cost him €4,000 excluding the cost of shipment because they were priced below the cost price at Ladipo market in Lagos.
“He needed to travel back to Spain to resume work after the expiration of his annual leave,” he said.
Mr Babafemi added that the suspect confessed to having accepted the offer to traffic the drug for which he would be paid €1,500 when he successfully delivers the consignment to someone in Spain.
Mr Babafemi said the suspect claimed he left Lagos for Enugu to see his family members and then travelled on November 25 to Onitsha in Anambra.
“He was picked up from Upper Iweka park at night and taken to a house where he was given the 96 pellets of cocaine.
“Thereby ingesting before leaving for Abuja to board his flight to Madrid the following day,” he added.
Police sergeant nabbed after shooting driver to death in Osogbo
A police sergeant suspected of shooting to death a driver at Kobogbogboe-Ota-efun Area of Osogbo on Friday has been arrested.
“The Osun police command has arrested and detained the police officer, Sergeant Moses Samuel, who shot at one Mallam Kabiru Babai, 33, on Friday, December 3, around Kobogbogboe-Ota-efun Area, Osogbo.
“Investigation and disciplinary actions have commenced and the suspect will be arraigned in court after completion of the ‘Orderly Room’ trial.
“This we hope will serve as a deterrent to other officers of his like.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode, is using this medium to express his condolence to the victim’s family, colleagues at work and friends.
“Olokode also prayed to God to put an end to this kind of unfortunate incident.
“He also assures members of the public that justice will be served.” the command’s spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, said in a statement issued on Sunday.
Septuagenarian, AUN, UNIMAID undergraduates, others arrested in NDLEA week-long drug bust
A 72-year-old man and five undergraduate students are among the suspects arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in a week-long operation to seize hard drugs and arrest offenders.
The raids, which was carried out across nine states and at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, yielded 5,721.92 kilogrammes of Indian hemp and other drugs.
The 72-year-old man, Emmanuel Akanbi, was arrested at Odofin Camp, Uso, Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State with 2,050 kilogrammes of Indian hemp.
The varsity students belong to the American University of Nigeria, (AUN) Yola, and the University of Maiduguri.
NDLEA’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, said in a statement issued on Sunday that one Okorie Onyeribe was arrested at the MMIA on December 3.
He was attempting to export 21.85 kilogrammes of Indian hemp concealed in foodstuffs to London.
Mr Babafemi stated that two students, Emmanuel Thlama and Jonah Joshua were arrested with 16.750 kilogrammes of Indian hemp on November 30 when NDLEA operatives raided a settlement opposite Gate Four of the University of Maiduguri.
He added that the three other students, Ekene Asher, Daniel Alkali and Emmanuel Smooth are undergraduates of AUN. They were arrested on December 2.
Mr Babafemi explained that their arrest followed their receipt of “Loud,” a very strong variant of Indian hemp, ordered by Mr Asher.
“Equally, ThankGod Danladi, who completed a jail term in October, was arrested on Wednesday, December 1 with 67 kilogrammes of Indian hemp in a raid in Taraba.
Also on December 2, NDLEA operatives intercepted a motorised concrete mixer truck used to conceal 2000.6 kilogrammes of Indian hemp loaded at Ogbese, Ondo State.
Two suspects arrested with the drugs, Matthew Donuwe and Friday Nborgwu, claimed they had spent one month on the road from Ondo State en-route Mubi, Adamawa before they were arrested at Girei also in Adamawa.
“In Oyo State, operatives intercepted 608.40 kilogrammes of Indian hemp concealed in a black Toyota Sequoia SUV parked at the toll gate area on Ibadan-Ife expressway on December 3.
“The following day, operatives equally seized 85.90 kilogrammes of Indian hemp from the boot of a Nissan Primera car in an apartment at Adegbayi area in Ibadan.
“Those arrested in connection with the seizure include Benson Uzoka, 46; Kafayat Uzoka, 40; Ndidi Uzoka, 39 and Christopher Uzoka, 42,” Mr Babafemi stated.
He added that one Praise Emmanuel and Aminu Aliyu were also arrested with 228 kilogrammes of Indian hemp in Kano.
Also in Taraba, operatives evacuated 364 kilogrammes of Indian hemp from farms in Changso Village, Kurmi Local Government Area, located on the mountains between Nigeria and Cameroon and set the farms on fire.
“In Niger State, operatives intercepted a commercial bus on Mokwa-Jebba Road laden with 215 kilogrammes of Indian hemp concealed in a false bottom case and side door of the bus.
“Two suspects, the driver and his conductor claimed they loaded the consignment at Ogere, Ogun State and were heading to Sokoto.
“In Delta, a lady, Tina Ujene, was arrested in Ibusa with 1.1 kilogrammes of Indian hemp. A follow-up raid on her supplier’s home led to the recovery of 54.7 kilogrammes of the same substance,” Mr Babafemi stated.
The NDLEA spokesperson said different quantities of Indian hemp, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, diazepam and Exol-5 were also seized in raids at different areas in Port Harcourt.
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