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PDP Reacts To Onitsha Tanker Explosion, Attacks Anambra Govt

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Onitsha tanker explosion

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Anambra chapter, has slammed Governor Willie Obiano’s administration for “paying lip service” to issues of public safety in the state after a petrol tanker caused fire disaster in Onitsha, the state’s commercial hub on Wednesday.

No official casualty figure has been released following the tanker explosion, but eyewitness said the incident claimed the lives of a mother and her child, and destroyed properties around the area

Reacting to the incident through its spokesperson, Nnamdi Nwangwu, the Anambra PDP described the incident as unfortunate.

The party regretted that the Anambra State Fire Service was handicapped and had to rely on help from firefighters from neighbouring Delta state to help victims of the disasters.

The PDP, while warning the Obiano-led administration against playing politics with the lives of Anambra citizens, recalled that the governor had recently commissioned a fleet of fire fighting vehicles in the state.

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“Not long ago, a fleet of fire fighting vehicles were allegedly commissioned by the state government but it’s worrisome that whenever there is incidence of fire outbreak, the vehicles would not be seen anywhere around the scene.

“When a fire incident happened in front of Dennis Memorial grammar School (DMGS) in the same Onitsha few months ago, it was the same Delta State fire fighters that rose to the occasion.

“The same thing repeated itself in Wednesday’s tanker fire, a very big market and many other private investments were consumed.

“This is totally ridiculous and unacceptable, the primary responsibility of any responsible government is protection of lives and properties of her citizens, any government that fails in this regard cannot be said to be working,” said the party.

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Inside Nigeria

BREAKING: Court Finds Olisa Metuh, Firm Guilty Of First Count In N400m Fraud Trial

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Olisa Metuh

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, convicted a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, and his firm, Destra Investments Limited, of the first of the seven counts instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Ruling on the first count in his judgement, Justice Okon Abang ruled that a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, unlawfully transferred the sum of N400 million to the defendants in November 2014.

The judge ruled that Metuh and his firm reasonably ought to have known that the sum of N400 million paid to them formed part of the proceeds of the unlawful activity of the ex-NSA because they had no form of a contractual relationship with the ONSA.

According to the judge, Dasuki transferred the money to the defendants “in breach of public trust”.

He dismissed the contention of the defence who argued that the defendants could not be convicted for the money laundering offence because Dasuki, who is currently being prosecuted, had yet to be convicted for the predicate offence of breach of trust and corruption.

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The judge said, contrary to the argument, “the predicate offence and the money laundering offence are intertwined”.

“The success or failure of the predicate offence does not determine the success or failures of the money laundering offence,” the judge added.

 

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Inside Nigeria

‘How Boko Haram Threw Child Into Burning Vehicle’

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Ex-military governor of Lagos State, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (retd.), says he was informed that Boko Haram fighters threw a child into a burning vehicle during their attack on Auno, Borno State, two weeks ago.

The hoodlums reportedly burnt to death at least 30 people.

Marwa, who is the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse, said this on Channels TV’s programme Sunrise Daily on Monday.

The ex-Borno State military governor said only persons under the influence of hard drugs could have done that.

He said, “Last week someone in Auno near Maiduguri mentioned to me that there was a woman in one of the buses burnt.

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“She threw her child out, so that at least the child would survive, but the insurgents picked up the child and flung him back into the bus.

“What kind of depravity could that be unless somebody was completely out of his senses?

“So this is the root cause of most of our problems, including security, and must be tackled.”

Marwa said raids on terrorist hideouts had shown the insurgency was being fuelled mainly by hard drugs.

According to the retired general, Nigeria will have a lot of problems if it doesn’t tackle drug abuse effectively.

The committee, constituted in December 2018, submitted its report to the President in October 2019.

But the report has not been implemented as it is being reviewed by a second committee chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

According to Marwa, the second committee is expected to meet later this week and he will be “surprised” if its implementation does not “start in another month.”

He said, “The drug control scourge in Nigeria, unless it is tackled, we are finished.

“Whether it is Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping, they (hoodlums) all use drugs.”

Among the recommendations of the committee are the declaration of emergency on drug abuse and the establishment of a new agency – the National Drug Control Commission.

When asked why the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency couldn’t be expanded, Marwa said the agency would be “moved to work in partnership” because it “faces supply reduction”.

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DSS Allegedly Gives ‘Anti-Kidnapping Manual’ To VIPs

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has ignited a new round of controversy after allegedly giving an anti-kidnapping manual to Very Important Personalities (VIPs).

Daily Trust reported that the manual which provided tips against kidnapping, was conveyed to the Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele through a letter dated January 17, 2020, and acknowledged on January 20, 2020.

The handbook titled: ‘Kidnapping, why me and my family’, was also reportedly sent to top government functionaries, including heads of government agencies, departments, boards and parastatals.

The Forward of the anti-kidnapping book which was signed by Ahmed Salisu on behalf of the Director-General of DSS, partly reads:

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“Following in-depth assessment of kidnapping trend across the states of the federation in recent years, and the seeming lack of awareness of basic preventive tips and guidelines among the populace, the Service as part of its proactive measure against the crime has produced a handbook, aimed at sensitizing Very Important Personalities (VIPs)…”

The introductory note in the 19-page handbook reads;

“Given the pecuniary motive driving kidnapping activities, the affluent in the society become easy targets of attack. However, with the appropriate application of relevant security tips and guidelines, the vulnerability of Very Important Personalities (VIPs) to attacks can be reduced to its barest minimum. This handbook is therefore designed to specifically acquaint VIPs of important tips that would enhance their personal security and that of their family members.”

Some of the tips given in the book include;

“The following if not well managed could expose you to dangers of kidnapping: Your appearance and disposition; your level of popularity; occupying sensitive and important positions in the society; raving flippant and unguided aides; engaging inadequately vetted household employees; inordinate business transactions involving one’s bank accounts without adequate knowledge about intentions; entrusting confidential and personal matters into others; inappropriate disclosure of one’s itinerary, and living a flamboyant lifestyle and inappropriate display of wealth.”

“Recognize your self-worth; assess the threat level of your environment, and the perception of others about you in any given location.”

“Your security aides are there to secure you and your household. They are also to educate you and your household on security-related issues. Ensure you obtain intelligence relating to the security situation of places you intend visiting for public functions or personal purposes.

“Be humble enough to see things from your security aide’s perspective when you are advised not to visit an area. Your aides are your buffer against danger, take care of them. Vigilance keeps you at alert when others are not. It entails being conscious of every activity/happening around you and your family…”

VIPs who got the book were also advised to install Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV), maintain a moderate lifestyle and also avoid phone calls that discuss financial issues in the public among others.

The handbook has however generated concern as some Nigerians accused the DSS of neglecting ordinary citizens who are most vulnerable to the crime.

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