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NDLEA takes 201 sacks of cannabis to court as exhibit

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Tuesday, took two Hilux truck and a Toyota Hiace bus loaded with 201 sacks of cannabis sativa as exhibits to the Federal High Court Abuja.

The 201 sacks of cannabis were brought before Justice Evelyn Maha by the NDLEA as exhibits in a count charge filed against one Michael Monday and Abdullahi Iliyasu.

Monday,33, and Iliyasu, 25, both male with no skill or handiwork, are being prosecuted by the NDLEA for aiding in the transportation of cannabis sativa, an illicit drug weighing 2,058.7 kg.

The culprit whom both defendants aided in transporting the 201 sacks of cannabis sativa, one Ugo, was still at large.

Out of the 201 sacks of cannabis carefully concealed in a white sack and packed inside black nylon, three sacks were tendered inside the courtroom and the rest, inside the vehicles.

Justice Maha personally went outside together with the court registry, prosecutors and defence counsels for inspection and confirmation of the remaining number of sacks of cannabis in the vehicles.

The judge admitted the 201 sacks, certificate of test analysis, packing of substance form, request for scientific aid form and other relevant exhibits tendered by the prosecution into evidence.

The defence counsel, Sharon Saakwen made no objection to the entire exhibits tendered by the prosecution.

The prosecution witness, Mr Shehu Mohammed, the NDLEA Exhibit Officer told the court the two defendants were arrested by operatives of the NDLEA on Dec.2, 2018.

Mohammed, being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr Mike Kassa, said both defendants were arrested while in transit in a Mercedes truck along Abaji expressway in transit with reg. No: XB 417 KNR.

He told the court that the two defendants were brought to him with the Mercedes truck loaded with the cannabis sativa.

He further said the results from the laboratory analysis he sent to Lagos showed that it was cannabis sativa, a narcotic drug similar to cocaine and heroin.

The prosecutor prayed the court to convict the two defendants who had pleaded guilty on day of the first arraignment, coupled with the proof of facts.

Kassa said this was in line with section 247(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

Justice Maha adjourned until June 25 for judgment.

The offence, the NDLEA said, is contrary to and punishable under Section 11(b) of the NDLEA Act CAP N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

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Soldier, two NSCDC operatives shot dead in Rivers

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A soldier and two operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were shot dead on Sunday following a gun duel with suspected militants in Rivers.

The security operatives were killed and their weapons carted away while preventing militants from vandalising an oil and gas facility in Gio community, Tai area of Rivers.

Col. Aminu Iliyasu, the spokesman of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, confirmed the killings in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.

“The suspected militants attacked troops of 29 Battalion, 6 Division, with personnel of NSCDC in the early hours of Sunday.

“The team which was guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines (TNP) in Gio community prevented the militants from vandalising 24 and 28 of the TNP.

“Unfortunately, during the ensuing gunfire, one soldier and two personnel of NSCDC lost their lives and their weapons, one AK 47 and two G3 rifles, carted away by the assailants,” he said.

Iliyasu said the army later deployed more troops to the area with intent to apprehend the fleeing militants as well as other criminals in the community.

He said the cordon and search operation led to another gun duel with alleged cultists and an oil bunkering kingpin wanted by security agencies in the state.

The spokesman said Korobe Menele, a prime suspect in the killing of the security operatives, was shot dead in the gun duel with troops.

“At about 9 a.m. on Sunday, troops acting on reliable intelligence sighted a white Toyota Hilux that was without number plate. The vehicle was hastily driven with four occupants.

“Efforts to stop the vehicle by troops at a check point were ignored. However, troops chased the speeding vehicle and caught up with it around Kira Junction, along Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic.

“Sensing danger, the occupants opened fire at troops in a bid to escape. But, troops reacted and incapacitated the militants vehicle.

“Thereafter, they abandoned their vehicle and fled into the bush. However, one of the criminals was gunned down and was later identified as Korob Menele, a notorious cultist and oil bunkering kingpin,” he said.

Iliyasu said troops were currently on the trail of the three other fleeing suspects who had sustained gunshot injuries during the exchange of gunfire with soldiers.

He listed items recovered from the vehicle as one K2 rifle, two magazines with 52 rounds of 5.56mm one number plate, KRK 95DP Rivers, and some personal effects, including documents.

According to him, the body of the suspected cultist and recovered items had been handed over to NSCDC for further action.

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Boko Haram suicide bombing in Konduga kills 17

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A triple suicide bombing by Boko Haram jihadists killed 17 people in the northeastern Nigerian town of Konduga, emergency services said Monday.

Three bombers detonated their explosives outside a location where football fans were watching a match on TV on Sunday evening, they said.

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Buhari urges universities to intensify inventions to assist national development

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged universities to intensify efforts at making discoveries and inventions that can assist the development of the country.

Buhari made the call in Dutsinma, Katsina State, in a goodwill message to the fourth convocation of the Federal University,  Dutsinma (FUDMA).

Represented by Professor Hafiz Abubakar, the former Deputy Governor of Kano State, Buhari said that part of the speech would serve as a wake-up call to the nation’s universities.

“Research, critical thinking, moral dispositions, discoveries and inventions should find natural habitats in our universities, as they do in several other universities in the world.

“Universities are supposed to be strong drivers of the country’s development initiatives for sustainable development,” he said.

He challenged the universities for being slow in aspects of discoveries and inventions.

“It is not heart-warming that in our over 58 years of independence, Nigerian universities are slow in discoveries and inventions,” he said.

He, however, said that his administration would continue to do everything possible to improve structures and facilities in the institutions, and to enhance learning by training the required manpower through various interventions like TETFUND.

Buhari also urged FUDMA to partner with Sokoto River Basin Development Authority to produce improved agricultural varieties and give the required scientific and extension support to the local farmers.

He said that this would enhance the farmers’ productivity and economic viability.

In his remarks, the acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Adamu Baba-Kutigi, said that 430 students were graduating from the institution for the 2017/2018 session.

According to him, the university, whose vision is to be among the top-ranking universities in the world, has seven faculties that run about 40 programmes.

He disclosed that the institution had established micro finance bank, university farm, printing press and a shopping mall to enhance its internally generated revenue.

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