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N585M Payment into Private Account: NEFGAD Asks for Suspension and Investigation of Beta Edu

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N585M Payment into Private Account: NEFGAD Asks for Suspension and Investigation of Beta Edu

By: Michael Mike

Network for the Actualisation of Social Growth and Viable Decelopment (NEFGAD) a public procurement advocacy group has urged President Bola Tinubu to be impatial in the face of massive corruption allegations rocking the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), insisting that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Beta Edu should equally be suspended and investigated just as NSIP CEO, Mrs Halima Shehu was treated.

A section of the media has reported how the Minister of Humanitarian Affiars and Poverty Alleviation through a memo dated 20th December, 2023 with reference number fmhapa/hq/ohm/s.208 directed the Accountant General of the Federation to make payments of N585,189,500 into a private UBA account 2003682151 belonging to one Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.

In a statement signed and released to the press in Abuja on Saturday through its head of office, Mr Akingunola Omoniyi, NEFGAD said ‘’the recent development in the Humanitarian office has provided president Tinubu a golden opportunity to tell Nigerians and the whole world that he is ready and willing to tackle corruption in a fair, just and impartial manner by also applying same disciplinary measure (suspension) metted on NSIP CEO, Mrs Halima Shehu on the Minister for Humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Mrs Beta Edu’’

Akingunola noted that ‘’apart from the fact that Dr. Edu and Mrs. Halima Shehu are from different geographical divide of the country, the tendency and pattern of the allegations involving the duo are too identical and should not have attracted diffrent approaches and measures in dealing with them by the president.

‘’Directing payment of public fund into private account by a public officer is a serious procurent and fiscal malfeasance that attracts serious penalty under extant laws, regulations and rules including the public procurement, Fiscal Responsibility, Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences (ICPC), Code of Conduct Acts and the Anti-mobey Laundering (prevention and prohibition) Act.

Akingunola further stated that the Minister has serious questions to answer by Instructing payment of public fund into private accounts other than that of a legal entity who have duly participated in a competitive selection process and or are direct beneficiaries of a conditional grant scheme (in the case of vulnerable people as captured in the Ministry’s mandate).

The act depicts pure nepotism, favouritism, undue advantage conferment and criminal diversion, he averred. Hence, the group implored president Bola Tinubu to direct the suspension of the Dr. Beta Edu for thorough investigation by relevant anticorruption agencies with immediate effect failure which may call for massive advocacy and court action.

N585M Payment into Private Account: NEFGAD Asks for Suspension and Investigation of Beta Edu

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Unending Search for a Common Ground: Understanding the Dynamics of Human and Wildlife Conflict

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Unending Search for a Common Ground: Understanding the Dynamics of Human and Wildlife Conflict

By: Bright Olunusi

The term “wild” implies creatures untouched by the direct influence of humanity, preserving their instincts and behaviors. On the other hand, zoological gardens serve as ex-situ conservation sites, showcasing these magnificent animals to the public, albeit in a tamed and controlled environment. Families flock to zoos for leisure and education, seeking to witness the wonders of nature up close. One of the questions bothering the minds of tourists and non-experts from the field is, are these wild animals truly domesticated?
While years of captivity may temper their ferocity to some extent, labeling them as pets would be a grave misjudgment. Instances abound where wild animals, including lions, have lashed out at unsuspecting visitors, reminding us of the untamed essence that lies beneath their captive facade. Such encounters often end in tragedy, as evidenced by the recent incident at the zoological garden of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
Without prejudice to the university’s ongoing inquiry into the remote cause of the death of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, a veterinary technician in the zoological garden of the institution, whom the employer claimed had been tendering the nine-year-old lion from birth. Consider the plight of the zookeeper who, for close to a decade, tended to a lion under the mistaken belief of familiarity and safety. Tragedy often struck when zoo users or the attendants ignored the established protocols for handling wild animals. This unfortunate incident serves as a stark reminder of the inherent dangers posed by human-wildlife interactions within captive settings.
Indeed, human-wildlife conflicts manifest in various forms, ranging from loss of life and property to the transmission of diseases. The OAU Ife Zoo incident epitomizes this perilous nexus, underscoring the need for stringent safety measures and heightened awareness among zoo personnel and visitors alike. There are documented instances of wild animals attacking their caregivers, tourists, or those who cross their paths in their wild moments. For instance, in 2017, a harrowing incident unfolded at the Agodi Zoological Gardens when a lion managed to escape from its enclosure, leading to the devastating loss of a zoo curator’s life. This incident led to the temporary closure of the facility by the Oyo state government as a precautionary measure. In a similar vein, a tragic event unfolded in Texas in 2010 when a man was fatally kicked by his pet deer while trying to feed it, necessitating the deer’s euthanization. In 2011, in Indonesia, seven dogs, starved for two weeks, fatally attacked their owner upon his return. In 2012, a horrifying incident occurred at the Pittsburgh Zoo when a toddler fell into an African-painted dog enclosure and was fatally attacked.
To mitigate such human-wildlife conflict (HWC), especially in conservation areas, several safety precautions must be adhered to. Visitors should supervise their children closely to prevent them from wandering off and should refrain from leaning over cages or attempting to view animals from unsafe distances. It is crucial not to touch or feed the animals and to maintain a safe distance from enclosures. Proper sanitation practices, including thorough handwashing after visits, are essential to prevent the transmission of diseases.
Furthermore, zookeepers must exercise caution. They should avoid becoming overly familiar with the animals and must ensure that enclosures and cages are securely locked before and after feeding times. Regular inspections should be conducted to identify and address any structural weaknesses or faults in facilities.
In conclusion, as a wildlife conservationist who has witnessed firsthand the delicate balance between human presence and animal instincts, I implore greater vigilance and respect for the wild within captive environments. Only through fostering a deeper understanding of wildlife behavior and implementing robust safety protocols can we mitigate the risks inherent in our coexistence with these magnificent creatures.

Bright Olunusi
Boston University, Massachusetts, USA.
brightolunusi@gmail.com

Unending Search for a Common Ground: Understanding the Dynamics of Human and Wildlife Conflict

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NDLEA intercepts Vietnam-bound businessman with cocaine consignment at Abuja airport

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NDLEA intercepts Vietnam-bound businessman with cocaine consignment at Abuja airport

By: Michael Mike

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted a 40-year-old businessman, Ejike Solomon with 1.45 kilogrammes of cocaine concealed in his luggage while attempting to board an Ethiopia Airlines flight number 950 to Vietnam via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

According to a statement by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Ejike was arrested at the Abuja airport on Saturday after NDLEA officers subjected him to a thorough search, and in the process, the illicit substance was discovered concealed, factory fitted, in his bag.

In the statement the suspect gave to NDLEA, he claimed he was on a business trip to Vietnam.

Also, operatives of a special unit of the agency last Friday swooped on members of a syndicate that deals in methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in their hideouts in parts of Lagos.

Babafemi said the operatives assigned for the operation raided the home of Esimone Amachukwu at 14 Arochukwu street, Ejigbo, where 10.012 kilogrammes of methamphetamine was found in possession of his associate, 40-year-old Evelyn Nneka Okem. Esimone is said to be currently at large.

The NDLEA spokesman said while the Ejigbo operation was going on, another set of officers were simultaneously busy in the residence of another member of the syndicate, 45-year-old Ebele Iwuegbunam, located at Plot 1604 Close D, 4th Avenue, Festac town, Lagos where they arrested him and recovered 429.5 grammes of cocaine and 7 kilogrammes of heroin.

In Kogi state, NDLEA officers on a stop and search operation along Okene-Lokoja-Abuja expressway last Friday intercepted a commercial bus marked GRM 347XA (Borno) conveying 28 compressed blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 11 kilogrammes; 100 bottles of codeine-based cough syrup and 500 tablets of diazepam, all concealed in three plastic drums covered with cattle fats, heading to Jos Plateau state., while operatives in Ogun state last Thursday recovered 169 kilogrammes consignment of cannabis abandoned in a truck at Sagamu tollgate, their counterparts in Lagos seized 25 cartons of tramadol containing 325,000 pills in Ikeja the previous day Wednesday.

On the same day, a suspect, Abdullahi Khalil, 42, and 2,745,000 capsules of pregabalin recovered from him at Singer market, Sabon Gari area of Kano were handed over to the Kano state command of NDLEA by the Department of State Security, DSS.

In the same vein, the 243 Recce Battalion, Nigerian Army, Badagry on Saturday transferred 27 sacks of cannabis sativa weighing 1,110 kilogrammes recovered at a coastal community, Ajido by soldiers, to the Seme Special Area Command of NDLEA. A suspect, Hassan Muhammad, 34, was on the same day arrested with 44,950 pills of tramadol at Moranti area of Borno state by NDLEA operatives.

In Abia state, NDLEA operatives last Thursday raided a drug joint at Cemetery Barracks, Aba, where Ifeanyi Uche, 37, was arrested with different quantities of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Another raid was carried out at the abandoned Eyimba Hotel, Ogbor Hill, Aba, where illicit substances were seized and suspects arrested last Friday.

Babafemi said with the same zeal, the various commands of the agency across the country continued with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign in the past week.

Meanwhile, while commending the officers and men of the NAIA, Abia, Ogun, Kogi, Lagos, Seme, Borno and Kano commands of the agency as well as those of the Special Unit for their outstanding feats in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) equally applauded them and their counterparts in all the commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures.

NDLEA intercepts Vietnam-bound businessman with cocaine consignment at Abuja airport

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Yobe: Emir of Fika charges Journalists on fair reportage

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Yobe: Emir of Fika charges Journalists on fair reportage

By: Yahaya Wakili

His Royal Highness, the Emir of Fika. Chairman Yobe State Council of Chiefs and the National Convener of the Council of the Traditional Leaders of Africa, Alhaji Dr Muhammadu Ibn Abali Muhammad Idrissa, CFR, have implored the journalists in the state to be fair and just in all their reporting.

His Royal Highness disclosed this in a unique receipt organized by the correspondent chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Yobe State, at his palace in Potiskum.

“We must command journalists in Yobe State and in Nigeria in general, and you are a very important part of this society, and you have been playing your role, which sometimes is very ropey and sometimes is not easy, because you have to be critical of government activities.” he said.

“We are happy with you and your remarkable achievements in Yobe State, in particular, about the reporting of government activities on what is happening.

He charged the journalists to redouble their efforts and also said the truth: be equitable, be fair, so that is not always to be praising the government. When you are supposed to say the truth, say the truth, and he also urged them to be very fair and make remarkable achievements in Yobe State in your activities.

His royal father also implores the journalists to be fair and just in all their reporting so that when the government is wrongly saying it, when they are rightly saying it, I think you have been doing that.

“I think you have been doing well. We need to tell the government that we are living on a time bomb, and if it is exploited, we are all going to suffer. We have to appreciate the youth. 65% of the time, wherever you go, you see youth who are on drugs out of frustration.

Speaking earlier, the chairman of the correspondent’s chapel, Alhaji Ahmed I. Abba, ensured His Royal Highness that we are here to serve this state, and we sacrifice all we have for the state and for the palace.

“This palace has been home for us; we really appreciate your royal highness and the members of the palace; this is a unique reception we have never had anywhere; we will forever live to remember the reception we always have in this palace.” The chairman added.

He also assures his royal father that when he needs our support, we are ready to be available for your royal highness. He also sympathizes with the palace with the recent accident that just happened in Fika, as well as the recent accident that just happened in the same schools within the emirate.

Yobe: Emir of Fika charges Journalists on fair reportage

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