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Buhari Advised to Sell Over 7,000 Seized Vehicles



Muhammadu Buhari
  • Buhari Advised to Sell Over 7,000 Seized Vehicles

President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to reconstitute the dissolved auction committee to sell over 7, 000 seized vehicles and containers kept in government warehouses in Lagos, Seme, Abeokuta and other formations of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) across the country.

The vehicles and the containers, it was gathered, were seized by the officials of the NCS and kept in government warehouses.

A senior Customs officer, who craved anonymity, said some of the vehicles had been in the warehouses for over three years and rusting.

Huge money, the official said, would have been realised if the public was allowed to buy them.

Importers are seeking the help of President Buhari, the Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun and the Customs Comptroller-General (CCG) Col. Hameed Ali to get the goods released or auctioned.

The importers believe that there is no better time than now to auction the goods.

This, to them, was the surest way to fight corruption, and also do justice. They argue that the auction proceeds could be used for development.

Among the seized items are trailers, Toyota Camry, Avensis, Corolla, Highlander Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV), Audi, Lexus SUVs, Altima, Jetta, Mazda, Primera, Peugeot, Hummer SUV, and buses.

Others are containers with various types of goods, including teak wood and other prohibited items.

Other items in the containers, the source said, are lace fabric, used clothes, second-hand shoes, bags, truck heads, iron rods, angle bar, wood, pipes, gas trucks, rice, furniture, light and other household items.

It was discovered that some of the vehicles were seized from smugglers, others were impounded from their owners on the road because the importers alleged failure to pay Customs duty.

Sources said the goods might not be auctioned soon because the Customs’commands are not making such request.

Some of the goods, the source said, were cleared from the ports but were seized by men of the Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ for false declaration, undeclaration and evasion of duty.

Most of the exotic cars, the source said, were seized because the owners bought them from smugglers or importers who evaded duty.

The President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, blamed some corrupt Customs officials, importers and some clearing agents for the woes.

For years, Shittu said, Customs has operated without a benchmark for used vehicles. The agency, according to him, fixes duty at will, depending on who is importing..

“It takes two to tangle. Customs officers are paid and remunerated to ensure that nobody short-change the system, but there are people who also offer them opportunities to short change the government and you find them among Customs officers, importers and some clearing agents.

“There are immediate steps the CG needs to take now to nip corruption in the bud. One of the first things he needs to do is to ensure that there is a bench mark on used vehicles. The bench mark being used by Customs gives room for corruption because it is not publicised. For instance, if you want to buy a vehicle from abroad and you already know how much you are paying, it is better you pay everything to government without giving anybody bribe to get the vehicle out of the ports,” Shittu said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Oyo State Budgets N330M Monthly To Support Community Policing In LGAs



Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

Oyo State Governor, Seye Makinde has said that the state has set aside a monthly budget of N330 million to be spent on security across the 33 local governments in the state.

The governor who disclosed this in Ibadan said each local government in the state is expected to spend N10 million to support the security of lives and property in their domain.

He said part of the measures was the instruction to local government chairmen to involve traditional rulers as well as other voluntary residents in policing their areas.

Each local government is to spend N10 million monthly on this security arrangement.

Makinde explained that the initiative amounts to spending N330 million in the 33 local government areas, besides other efforts the state government had put in place to tighten security.

“We said each local government should set up a security committee, which should include traditional rulers and voluntary people willing to police their areas.

“I encouraged them to budget N10 million to service the committee every month. For the entire state, that’s N330 million per month by all local governments, excluding what we are doing generally at the state level,” the governor told a group on a visit to him during the recent Muslim festival.

“On security, most of the data in the past months shows that things are now improving. The Igangan incident, some days ago, was only falsified by some people who were saying that Fulani herdsmen had invaded Igangan again. The truth is actually about the NCS and smugglers. They know each other.

“Customs officials were accused to have entered Igangan, which is not a border town. But we are working with Federal authorities and they have arrested most of them.

“The gun that was collected is still with us. I said I won’t release it until I get the attention of the Federal authorities.

“In the Constitution of Nigeria, Oyo State is a federating unit. We are not saying Federal agencies should not carry out their operations here. But they must tell us; they must inform us. They may not disclose the details of the operation to us, but we must know about it.

“If we had known about the operation, we would have pre-informed the security detail in the town and those who died could have been alive. The Amotekun Coordinator that died in Igboora would have still been alive today.

“How can you go operating in an unidentified vehicle in a town where the security tactics have been heightened? As they wanted to enter the town, they were confronted because we have heightened security in all of those places.

“So, we will keep appealing to them and to our people that false information won’t help anybody. Nobody will profit politically from the security issues we are faced with. It is our collective responsibility. The people will play their part and the government will play its own part,” Makinde said.

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Security Operatives Arrest Sunday Igboho in Cotonou, Benin Republic



The security operatives in Cotonou, Benin Republic have arrested Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

An anonymous source privy to the arrest disclosed on Tuesday morning.

According to the source, Sunday Igboho was arrested in Cotonou while trying to travel to Germany from the West African nation.

President Buhari-led administration is now working with the Benin government to repatriate him to Nigeria.

The source said, “Sunday Igboho has been arrested in Cotonou. He was arrested about an hour ago.

“He was supposed to travel to Germany through Cotonou this night. He wanted to leave Africa through Cotonou. He was arrested by security operatives in Cotonou.

“They are planning to bring him back to Nigeria.”

It would be recalled that the Department of State Services had declared Igboho wanted after its operatives carried out a bloody midnight raid on his residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunnaya, had advised Igboho to turn himself in to the nearest security.

“Those cheering and eulogizing him may appeal to or advice him to do the needful,” Afunnaya said. “He should surrender himself to the appropriate authorities. He or anyone can never be above the law.”

Pelumi Olajengbesi, one of the lawyers representing Igboho and others arrested in his House, told SaharaReporters he had not confirmed the news of Igboho’s arrest in Cotonou.

“I will contact Yomi Aliu (SAN) to verify the news,” he said.

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IOM Ethiopia Appeals for USD 40 Million to Assist Additional 1.6 Million People in Northern Ethiopia



Northern Ethiopia - Investors King

Nearly two million people affected by the crisis in northern Ethiopia desperately need life-saving assistance, including water, medicine and shelter, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today as it issued an urgent appeal for USD 40 million to help internally displaced men, women and children, including newborn babies. 

Since the outbreak of the conflict eight months ago in Ethiopia’s Tigray Regional State, millions of people are enduring unimaginable suffering, including forced displacement, hunger, death, and destruction of private and public property.

In Tigray, IOM has been providing support to more than half a million people, including displaced children, women, men, and vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and persons with disabilities. This includes shelter and provision of essential items such as food, water, clothing, medicine and supplies for babies, as well as sanitation and hygiene services.

IOM has also been supporting camp coordination and management efforts, providing mental health care to those in need, and producing Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reports to shed light on the evolving situation.

Nearly USD 70 million (USD 69.3M) is needed to respond to the needs of internally displaced populations in northern Ethiopia but only USD 28.7 million has been received this year. IOM needs an extra USD 40.6 million for the remainder of 2021 to be able to continue and further expand its response to help the displaced.

“The nearly two million people displaced by this crisis continue to live in inhumane and undignified conditions and require critical and urgent support,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia and Representative to the African Union and UNECA. “IOM Director General António Vitorino said it before, and we say it again: we must act without delay to meet the needs of people in the region.”

The situation in Tigray remains volatile. In partnership and coordination with other UN agencies, IOM is committed to delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, to continue reaching people in need. IOM is planning to significantly scale up response programming and increase the deployment of senior IOM staff in the region despite the severe shortage of funding.

IOM’s response is aligned with the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group’s (ICCG) – a cooperative effort among sectors and the Humanitarian Country Team to improve the national response – Northern Ethiopia Response Plan, which estimates that 5.2 million people are in dire need in the worst-case scenario of this escalating humanitarian crisis.

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