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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said Nigeria’s External Reserves is steadily growing and currently stands at 46 billion dollars.

CBN Spokesman, Isaac Okoroafor, said in a statement on Sunday that the reserves grew by about 3.2 billion dollars between February and March 2018.

He said that the reserves at the beginning of 2018 stood at 39.3 billion dollars, then rose to 42.8 dollars in February before hitting the new high of 46 billion dollars.

Okoroafor attributed the continued accretion to the country’s reserves to the Bank’s effort at vigorously discouraging unnecessary importation and reducing the nation’s import bill, inflow from oil and non-oil exports.

He also attributed the increase to the huge inflows through the investors and exporters window of the foreign exchange market, which he said had attracted over 33 billion dollars since April 2017, when it was created.

According to him, “the Bank’s interventions in the foreign exchange window has also helped to moderate the pressure on the foreign exchange reserves by sustaining liquidity in the market and boosting production and trade.

“The CBN policy restricting access to foreign exchange from Nigeria’s foreign exchange market to importers of some 41 items had made a huge impact on the status of Nigeria’s reserves.”

Aside that, he said that the policy had also boosted the supply of local substitutes for imported goods, created jobs at home and enhanced the incomes of farmers and local manufacturers.

BIG STORY

Oshiomhole Collected $50m Each From Different Aspirants During APC Primaries — Timi Frank Alleges

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A former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank, has accused the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, of collecting over $50m from different aspirants during the last primaries of the party.

Frank alleged that a large percentage of the money was paid to Oshiomhole through proxies from Imo, Zamfara, Adamawa and Ogun states.

In a statement on Thursday, Frank threatened to publish the names and the amount of money paid by aspirants to allegedly bribe the former Edo State governor to clear them and substitute the names of duly elected candidates with those that failed.

But dismissing the allegations as “unfounded”, Oshiomhole labelled Frank “a political jobber”.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, he challenged Frank to publish the names of the alleged bribe givers or face legal action.

Ebegbulem said, “He is a political jobber looking for cheap popularity. How on earth would people of questionable character like Frank be questioning the integrity of the National Chairman? I challenge him to publish the names of those that gave the alleged bribes or we won’t hesitate to institute legal action against him.”

Frank alleged that the DSS had presented its report and findings against Oshiomhole to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “I dare say that this singular act of refusing to order the prosecution of Oshiomhole over sundry acts of bribery and corruption he committed as contained in the DSS report, President Buhari has shown that his APC administration is a stinking house of corruption.”

Frank, however, called on the President to act on the recommendations of the DSS by ordering Oshiomhole’s sacking and prosecution, if his government was actually fighting corruption or opposition.

He said, “We are in the know that President Buhari has received the DSS report on Adams Oshiomhole and Nigerians are patiently waiting for the action or inaction of his government, because this is an administration that has claimed fighting corruption as an achievement.

“In the history of party administration in Nigeria, no party chairman has been accused of collecting the jaw-breaking amount of money allegedly collected within a short period in office like Comrade Oshiomhole has allegedly done.

“Instead of Oshiomhole to clear his name, he has taken to a diversionary path, asking the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, to resign. Nigerians are not gullible. We shall wait to see how the acclaimed anti-corruption regime will act on this particular issue.

“This same Oshiomhole has been attacking the Senate President, calling on him to resign on moral grounds. Can Oshiomhole now step aside while investigation into his financial malfeasance is ongoing to justify his much talked about morality.”

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BIG STORY

19-Year-Old Nabbed With Genitals, Fingers, Blood Of Four-Year-Old He Killed For Money Rituals

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A 19-year-old, Sunday Owo, has been apprehended with fresh human parts at a healing home, Centre for Psychic Healing and Administration, Awka, Anambra State.

The body parts recovered from him by the police included the genitals, fingers and a blood-filled bottle of a child suspected to have been killed by him.

The owner of the healing home, Ifeanyichukwu Ilonzo, who squealed on Owo, said he hailed from Ohaukwu in Ebonyi State.

Owo said he was asked by one Blessing to get the human parts and bring them to a natural healing home in Awka for money ritual.

He said he paid Blessing N50,000 for connecting him to the healing home.

He confessed that the victim, whose parts he had, was about four years old and that he killed him in a stream in his town and threw the head and other parts into the stream.

Two said: “She (Blessing) brought me here two days ago and said that madam instructed her to tell me to bring these body parts that I will have money.

“Her name is Blessing.

“She is also from Ebonyi State, but she said we can’t get these parts here, so we went back to Ebonyi State where I got them and brought it here.

“I don’t know where Blessing is now.

“I paid her N50,000 for linking me up.”

Ilonzo, however, said she invited the media and the police on seeing such strange thing.

She said: “I and my staff were on ward-round after morning prayers when we saw the man with the human parts.

“He said he was looking for me as he had brought the items.

“When the content of the black bag was opened, l instructed my staff not to let him go and invited security agencies and the media to witness what we saw.

“One Blessing Eze had come for healing of fibroid and l gave her prescription, after which she left but had not returned.

“Eze’s consultation card bears Ifite-Awka as her address.

“This is some of the suspected frame-ups by people who wish to undo me.

“I had witnessed such attempts in the past, including failed efforts to take my life.”

The spokesman of the Anambra State Police Command, Mohammed Haruna, said investigation had commenced into the incident.

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BIG STORY

NDLEA Uncovers 12 Containers With 340 Million Tramadol Tablets In Lagos

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency says it has uncovered 340 million Tramadol tablets in 12 containers at the Apapa port in Lagos State.

Head of Public Affairs of the agency, Mr Jonah Achema, stated this in a statement on Thursday, in Abuja.

Achema said that the tablets which were in various dosages ranging from 120 milligrams to 250 milligrams were recovered from 12 containers in the ongoing search in Apapa port.

He said the containers were on the watch-list of NDLEA since November, 2017 and were brought to Nigeria Customs Service for search based on the agency’s reasonable suspicion of the containers.

He stated that the NCS on Wednesday dropped 28 of 62 containers slated for search, among which 12 of them were been found to contain tramadol.

“The search is still ongoing.

“Tramadol is a pharmaceutical drug which has been subject of abuse by the populace.

“In one single operation in November last year, the agency intercepted 160 million tablets of tramadol at the Apapa port which ranged from 220 to 250 milligrams.

“They were imported from India using false documents in the name of an unregistered company,” Achema said.

According to Colonel Muhammad Abdallah (retd), Chairman, NDLEA, it is doubtful that this influx of Tramadol is for legitimate use.

“Tramadol, which is a derivative of Opiate is for post-surgery application but even if everybody in Nigeria undergoes surgery every year, we do not need the quantity that enters our country.

“It only suggests their diversion for illicit use,” he said.

(NAN)

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