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DRUG TRAFFICKING: Court denies Nigeria’s suspended ‘super-cop’, Abba Kyari, fingered by FBI, bail

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The ordeal of Nigeria’s ex-super cop, Abba Kyari continues as Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday refused to grant bail to the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Mr. Kyari and six others have been arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over alleged drug trafficking offences after the agency released video evidences of Mr. Kyari attempting to sell seized drugs and attempting to bribe an official of the anti-drug agency in February.

The Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) indicted the highly decorated officer making an arrest at the request of fraudster – Ramon Abbas, who has pleaded guilty to money laundering, according to the US Justice Department.

Since the FBI’s revelation, the possibility of having Kyari extradited to the United States to face charges has been a subject of controversy with Nigeria’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami caught in the middle of the controversy with confusing and inconsistent stands.

At the court hearing today, the NDLEA argued that it was inappropriate to grant bail to the applicant because of the facts and circumstances of the case. NDLEA believes that the medical challenges which the applicant (Kyari) based his bail request on were not beyond the capacity of the agency’s medical personnel.

The anti-narcotic agency described Kyari as “a flight risk”, arguing that if granted bail, the suspended DCP might escape and interfere with the evidence if granted bail, urging the court to dismiss Kyari’s bail plea.

The judge, in the ruling, aligned with NDLEA’s arguments and dismissed the request. He also ordered the transfer of Kyari and his co-defendants to Kuje Prison in Abuja.

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Zambia ranks 8th in Africa for highest food inflation

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Zambia has been ranked as the eighth African country with the highest food inflation as of May 2024, with a rate of 16.2 percent.

The ranking which was made by the World Bank in its latest Food Security Update report for June 2024, however, revealed that the country’s food inflation rate had decreased to 15.2 percent.

The World Bank’s Food Security Update placed Zambia behind Malawi and Nigeria, which jointly lead the continent with food inflation rates of 40.7 percent.

“Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (particularly its eastern provinces), Myanmar, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Yemen are also identified as hotspots of very high concern,” the report said.

“These regions face significant levels of acute food insecurity exacerbated by worsening factors such as conflict, displacement, and economic instability.

“Recent additions to the list include the Central African Republic, Lebanon, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Zambia, while Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, Somalia, and Zimbabwe continue to face acute hunger,” the report highlighted.

According to the report, domestic food price inflation remains high, with data from the latest month between February and May 2024 showing high inflation in many low-and middle-income countries.

It added that Zambia’s inflation was higher than five percent in 59.1 percent of low-income countries, 63.0 percent of lower-middle-income countries, 36.0 percent of upper-middle-income countries and 10.9 percent of high-income countries.

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Nigerians thrown into mourning as 22 die, 150 injured in school building collapse

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Nigerians have been thrown into mourning following the death of 22 victims including young school children and their teachers after a classroom building collapsed on Friday in the city of Jos, Plateau State, in North-Central Nigeria.

The tragic incident, which occurred after a two-storey school building caved in at Saints Academy, a secondary school in the Busa-Buji neighbourhood of Jos North Local Government Area of the state, also injured over 150 people who were lucky to be rescued.

According to eyewitnesses, the building collapsed on around 8:30 am when many of the students and teachers were already in classes writing their end of term examinations.

The State Government, in a statement confirming the tragedy, confirmed 22 deaths and 150 injured persons from the Jos collapsed school building.

In the statement, Commissioner for Information, Mr. Musa Ashoms, the Commissioner for Information, said six of the injured were in critical condition while those injured were receiving treatment in various tertiary health facilities in the state, just as the bodies of the deceased had been deposited in the mortuaries.

The State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, in a statewide broadcast, described the incident as a tragic and a monumental loss to the state.

The Governor, while sympathizing with the families of the affected victims, stated that the incident was heart-wrenching and unfortunate.

“This is tragic, unfortunate, heart-wrenching and a gloomy situation,” he said.

“We appreciate the timely intervention of the search and rescue team, as well as members of the public, who rushed to the school premises to assist in evacuating some of the surviving students and staff.

“I have directed the relevant government agencies, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and Plateau State Emergency Management Agency, to provide necessary support to survivors.

“Words cannot fully comfort the grieving families over their immense loss, so we pray that God will continue to console and uphold them during this difficult period,” Mutfwang said.

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