From MAGNUS EZE, Abuja
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has outlined the challenges it faces in prosecuting drug offenders, including the enormity of time and funds spent in procuring forensic experts to testify in court.
The agency said that prosecution of drug cases was expensive, adding that its personnel pass through undue pressure from the public, which has general attitude of sympathy for drug suspects and accused persons.
State Commandant of NDLEA for Enugu, Mr. Anthony Ohanyere, who disclosed this in his book entitled, “Terrorism and Illicit Drugs in Nigeria: My Perspective,” said that the prosecutor and sometimes the agency also come under the accused persons’ threats, intimidations and blackmails when big barons are involved.
The commandant explained that drug cases face congestions in court because they can only be tried in federal high courts, noting the great challenge in securing regular attendance of witnesses, many of who are transferred to distant places while the cases are pending.
Ohanyere also bemoaned what he described as improper exercise of discretion by the judges, such as giving of low sentences and options of fine where the law did not provide for leniency.
The NDLEA 2014 annual report indicated that the agency, in a period of nine years (2005-2014), convicted 15, 447 drug traffickers, while 133 cases where either lost or struck out. This represents over 99 per cent success rate.
CPC: CPC gives Samsung 7-day ultimatum
From WALTER UKAEGBU, Abuja
Following reports of explosion of dozens of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 during charging, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to Samsung Electronics West Africa Limited to provide information on the full status of its compliance with the recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 by Samsung.
CPC’s ultimatum, which came on the heels of recent global recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 by the manufacturers following its defective battery, also demanded Samsung Electronics West Africa Limited to furnish it with other measures the company may have taken to safeguard interest of Nigerian consumers.
The Council, in a letter to the company dated September 14, 2016, signed by its Director General, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, said: “The attention of the Council has been drawn to media reports indicating that the lithium-ion batteries for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are prone to catching fire.
“The said faulty batteries have reportedly caused the phone to explode in 35 separate incidents, sometimes bursting into flames, damaging property and leaking dangerous chemicals. Some Nigerian consumers may already have purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 for personal or other uses.
“You are, therefore, directed to, within seven days of the receipt of this letter, furnish the Council with information on the full status of your compliance with the global directive of Samsung to recall the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 forthwith, including other measures you may have taken to safeguard the safety and interest of Nigerian consumers in this respect.”
Atoki said Nigerian consumers, who may have purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 should, as an interim measure, stop using the phone.
According to her, “while awaiting the response of Samsung Electronics West Africa Limited, in order to determine the number of affected consumers in Nigeria, there is an urgent need to avert whatever dangers that may be associated with the use of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in Nigeria.»
ENVIRONMENT: Minister commends UNIDO on ozone depleting substances
From WALTER UKAEGBU, Abuja
The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, has commended the work, commitment and efforts of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) towards implementing the Montreal Protocol programmes and projects aimed at phasing-out of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in Nigeria.
Speaking during the stakeholders workshop in Lagos, the minister said the distribution of 75 low pressure foaming machines to major operators in the RAMS by UNIDO had gone a long way in helping Nigeria achieve 35 per cent phase-out of hydrorochloroflorocarbons consumption.
According to the minister, who was represented by the Director of Human Resources in the Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Lauren Braide, “the government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Environment, acknowledges with thanks the good work, efforts and partnership of UNIDO in the implementation of the Montreal Protocol programmes and projects, which aims to phase-out the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in Nigeria and also across the world.
“Ozone layer depletion is a global environmental problem, and Nigeria is committed to phasing-out ODS, in line with the Montreal Protocol, which the country is signatory to. UNIDO’s distribution of 75 low pressure foaming machines to the refrigeration and air-conditioning manufacturers in 13 states will have gone a long way in helping Nigeria in its quest towards achieving a complete phase-out of hydrorochlorofluorocarbons by 2040.”
NYSC: NYSC picks October 6 as passing-out date
From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The management of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has picked October 6, 2016 as the passing-out/winding-up of the 2015 Batch ‘B’ corps members’ programme.
In a press release signed by the management, the NYSC, which also fixed the passing-out of 2015 Batch ‘B’ Stream II for November 4, 2016, warned the public that the document scanned in its official letterhead did not emanate from the management, describing it as fake.
According to the statement, “the attention of the NYSC management has been drawn to a fake document with the heading Re: 2015 Batch ‘B’ winding up/passing-out approval,circulated online and purported to be from the NYSC national directorate headquarters in respect of the passing-out of the 2015 Batch ‘B’ Corps members.
“The document, dated September 16, 2016 and made with scanned official letterhead and other portions of an earlier circular of the scheme, dismisses the dates set for the passing-out of the 2015 Batch ‘B’ corps members as contained in that genuine circular in a bid to cause confusion.
“Management wishes to inform the 2015 Batch ‘B’ corps members and the rest of the public that the official passing-out dates are as follows: 2015 Batch ‘B’ Stream I: October 6, 2016, 2015 Batch ‘B’ Stream II: November 4, 2016
“Details of the winding-up/passing-out activities lined up in respect of the two streams have been communicated to all NYSC state secretariats for implementation. Furthermore, serving and prospective corps members and the general public are hereby advised to note that any information from the NYSC national directorate headquarters meant for transmission online can only be so transmitted by the Scheme.”