The Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation, Qatar Chapter (NIDO-Qatar) on Friday urged the international community and the Federal Government to step-up strategy to combat trafficking in persons.
The President of NIDO-Qatar, Mr Victor Ikoli, gave the advice at the online webinar organised by National Agency for Protection of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP) under the leadership of Mrs Julie Okah-Donli.
The webinar was organised by the NAPTIP to comemorate the 2020 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons celebrated globally on July 30, to promote and protect rights of victims of trafficking in persons.
The theme of this year’s World Day Against Trafficking was focused on first responders to trafficking in persons.
Ikoli said the first responders were those who worked in different fields, such as identifying, supporting, advising and working to provide justice to victims of trafficking.
He said, “We hope that trafficking in persons will end soon, adding, as a result of the coronavirus restriction, victims are still trapped with traffickers.
“We want to partner with the relevant agencies and fight this crime from all fronts.
“We call on government to step up its strategy and be ahead of the traffickers and urge our members to report any case of trafficking, and to put an end to this human exploitation.
“Traffickers target major event destinations and the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar is already a target, hands must be on deck to stop these criminals.
Ikoli commended Okah-Donli’s efforts in the fight against human trafficking in the country.
He said that NAPTIP led by Okah-Donli had achieved a great feat of convicting 428 traffickers since 2013, rescuing 17,000 victims and arresting more than 7,000 perpetrators.
He also commended the recent joint operation which brought about safe return of 158 Nigerian migrants from Niger Republic.
Ikoli said that she had made NAPTIP a force to reckon with globally in the fight against trafficking in persons.
He said that the UN defined reasons people were trafficked to be for exploitation, forced marriage, begging, labour, sexual exploitation, organs removal, selling children and child soldiers.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Security Challenges: You must rejig security strategy, Buhari tells Security Chiefs
President Muhammadu Buhari has again challenged the nation security agencies to rejig their strategies in the ongoing battle against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes in some parts of the country.
The National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, retired Maj-Gen. Babagana Mongonu, revealed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the National Security Council meeting, presided over by President Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said: “Mr President has also directed that we must rejig our strategy that is both in terms of operation and intelligence we must rejig our strategy to prevent further catastrophe.
“We must bear in mind that we owe a duty to the people that elected his government, our government and at the end of the day without securing the nation all other things cannot be addressed such as revamping the economy and also fighting corruption.’’
According to the NSA, his office presented a memo to the Security Council on the danger of drug abuse in the society as well as the need to urgently address the problem
He revealed that between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed while an increasing activities of illegal cultivators of `Canabis’ were also recorded.
He said criminals had resulted to the use of illegal substances and dangerous drugs like Tramadol to unleash violence on innocent citizens in the society.
“I presented two memos. The first had to do with drug trafficking as well as drug addiction in Nigeria, and the widespread use of these substances and the dangerous impact on our social, economic situation.
“Basically, what I told council was that this has taken on a worrisome dimension. Nigeria’s perception on the drug trafficking index has changed from the status from a transit hub to a production centre.
“Between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed. That is a large number.
“At the same we have had increasing activities of illegal cultivators of Canabis in Nigeria.
“These people basically use extremely large space of arable land to cultivate this illegal substance, employing militia men to protect their farms and also their storage facilities.
“When you look at drugs, our main concern as security operatives is the ultimate destruction to the social fabric and economy of the nation.
“There is hardly any violence crime today in Nigeria that is not propelled by the use of these hard substances. And these hard substances have been coming in from all nooks and crannies,’’ he said.
Monguno believed that the reckless use of these dangerous substances had direct link to the insecurity being experienced across the country.
He, therefore, stressed the need for a collective, concerted effort to deal with the menace of dangerous drugs in circulation to safeguard the country from the bottomless pit of self-destruction.
The NSA boss disclosed that he later updated the Council on the security situation in the northwest and the north central, “in terms of looking at the issue of kidnapping, banditry and killing of innocent people.’’
“The Chief of Defence Staff, army chief, inspector general of Police, heads of the various intelligence agencies also gave synopsis each of the current security situation and what their various organizations and agencies are doing about these situations,’’ he added.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Alleged $3m bribe: Appeal Court dismisses Farouk Lawan’s no-case -submission
The Cpurt of Appeal on Tuesday in Abuja court dismissed the application filed by former lawmaker, Farouk Lawan seeking to terminate the three million dollars bribery charges filed by the Federal Government.
Lawan had approached the appellate court to set aside the decision of Justice Angela Otaluka of an Abuja High Court and free him from the charges.
Delivering judgment in the appeal filed against the ruling of Otaluka which held that Lawan had a case to answer ,Justice Olabisi Ige who headed the panel held that the decision of the lower court was well founded.
The appellate court in a unanimous decision held that a prima facie case was well established against Lawan that warranted him to enter his defense in the three counts charges brought against him since 2013.
Justice Ige held that contrary to the argument of Lawan, the prosecution evidence at the lower court was not in anyway discredited, hence the rejection of his no-case submission.
The appellate court also held that the language of the trial judge, Justice Otaluka which Lawan complained about, did not place the defendant in any disadvantage position or was in anyway inimical to his trial.
The judge, who quoted the records of proceedings of the FCTHigh Court, especially the testimonies of the five witnesses called by the federal government.
The panel upheld the findings of Justice Otaluka that there were sufficient evidence linking Lawan to the offences.
“I am of the firm view and I have no doubt that the oral and documentary evidence presented by the prosecution sufficiently linked the appellant to the charges against him and to warrant his being called upon to make his defense.
“Prosecution evidence was not slanted in favour of the prosecution. In all, all the four issues raised in this appeal are hereby resolved against the appellant. His appeal, being un-meritorios is hereby dismissed”, he held .
Justice Otaluka had sometimes last year dismissed the no-case-submission filed by Lawan who was then Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Oil and Gas in his alleged 3 million dollars bribery trial.
The prosecution closed its case after calling five witnesses, Lawan, through his counsel, Mike Ozekhome SAN, had filed a no-case submission on the grounds that the evidence and testimonies did not link Lawan to the crime.
Ozekhome said the prosecution’s witnesses gave conflicting statements about the amount Lawan was alleged to have collected from the fifth prosecution witness, Mr Femi Otedola, who offered the alleged bribe to Lawan.
Ozekhome in addition argued that the video evidence showing how Lawan collected bribe from Otedola was blurry and does not necessarily prove that the content of the envelope Otedola gave to Lawan was money but could have been anything else.
He further submitted that if the Department of State Services (DSS) had any evidence they would have arrested Lawan immediately at the scene of the bribery which they claimed they set up.
Responding, prosecution lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the no-case submission and ordered the defendant to enter his defense.
He added that, because the prosecution had established sufficient evidence through video and oral testimonies which linked Lawan to the alleged offences.
NAN reports that Justice Otaluka agreed with the submission of Awomolo and ordered Lawan to open his defense.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Pa Fasanmi buried as Fayemi, Akeredolu,Tinubu pay tributes
Eminent Nigerians on Tuesday paid tributes to the late Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Fasanmi, as his remains were interred in his country home in Iye Ekiti, Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti.
Fasanmi, a Second Republic Senator, died on July 29 at the age of 94.
Fayemi said Fasanmi’s contributions to the development of democracy was immeasurable, particularly his role in the formation and operation of the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that fought the military.
The governor disclosed that his government was already constructing a secondary school to honour the deceased for his contributions to the state before his death.
” My only regret is that he has left us before the school will be officially inaugurated for academic activities when schools finally reopen,” Fayemi said.
Fayemi, in his tribute entitled, “‘Tribute to a Man of Integrity,” said what attracted him to the deceased was his integrity.
“His death has, therefore, robbed me of a godfather, counsellor, an advocate and a father. A good man has left us.
” We will sorely miss him but we are consoled that he was dedicated to selfless service,” he said.
Fayemi added that Fasanmi belonged in the class of the youths of the 1950s when the nationalist movement was at its feverish peak.
He noted that the deceased got indoctrinated into nationalism struggle through the writings of Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and his contemporaries.
“He proved his political mettle in 1964 when he was elected as a member of the Federal House of Representatives before 1966 and he got imprisoned in Agodi Prison and was later released.
“He offered to serve as governor of the old Ondo state in 1978 and slugged it out with Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin who defeated him in the primary.
“One legacy for which Baba would be fondly remembered was his credential of incorruptibility. He was a man of tall integrity and honesty.
“It would be recalled that he was the first to start the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Committee in 1973 under Col. Oluwole Rotimi of the Western Region.
“Chief Ayo Fasanmi has come, he has seen and conquered. He conquered human cravings, vanity of power, ostentation, greed and malice,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Southwest Governors, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, said the news of the passage of the icon was a loss to the Yoruba and Nigeria at large.
“Baba living long for 94 years was not what we are celebrating, but we are celebrating how many lives he had impacted on. He lived an impactful life.
“He was not petty but he spoke truth, lived a remarkable life and was one politician who became senator and came home to rest,” he said.
The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Special Adviser on Civic Engagements, Aderemi Adebowale, said Fasanmi’s influence became more pronounced by his incorruptible nature.
The All Progressives Congress National leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented by former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Abiodun Ogunleye, said Nigerians must learn from the late politician who lived a modest and spartan lifestyle.
Tinubu described Fasanmi as a revolutionary and a politician of outstanding mien, civility and character who was worthy of being emulated .
In his sermon, the Bishop of Ekiti Oke, Anglican Communion, Peter Olubowale, said Fasanmi was not a noise maker and trouble maker during his time.
The cleric urged the people to continually do good to humanity the way Fasanmi did to his family, political associates , friends and companions.
“We need to be available to ourselves and committed to God. Nigerians are number one people in the world that are easy to govern with patience, zeal and endurance.
“Baba has told us that all these monies you are spending and the one you are keeping inside bullion vans and the ones being stashed in banks accounts are all vanity.
” Use the position you are occupying very well to develop humanity. This is the only way you can gain eternity because materialism will lead you to hell fire,” he said.
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Police nab 3 over alleged culpable homicide, 2 for kidnapping in Niger
The Police Command in Niger has arrested three suspects over alleged culpable homicide in Chanchaga Local Government Area of the state.
The police also announced the arrest 2 suspects over alleged kidnapping in Shiroro Local Government Area.
Abiodun, said that based on information received at about 10:30 hours on July 26, that two teenagers were found lying dead behind M.I Wushishi Housing Estate.
On receipt of the information, police detectives attached to Chanchaga division, swung into action and arrested three suspects in connection with the case, all of Kpapi village in Chanchaga, Minna.
“During interrogation, the suspects confessed to have conspired and fired a Dane gun at the deceased persons, who they claimed to have encroached and damaged their farmland through illegal mining.
“The suspects will be charge to court after investigation,” Abiodun said.
Similarly, the command has arrested two suspects over alleged kidnapping in Shiroro local government area of the state.
Abiodun said on July 28 at about 09:00 hours, information was received that unknown gunmen numbering about 14, invaded Nakudna village via Erena in Shiroro and kidnapped one Jambo Salihu of the same address to unknown destination.
On receipt of the information, Police detectives attached to Erena division swung into action and arrested two suspects, both of Nakudna and Kusasu villages in Shiroro local government area in connection with the case.
During interrogation, the suspects confessed to be indigenes of the community but conspired with their armed gang members now at large, and acted as pointers and informants to the bandits.
The victim was rescued unhurt while efforts to arrest the fleeing suspects was ongoing.
He said that the case was under investigation and the suspects would be charged to court after investigations.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)