Members of the House of Representatives are taking seriously allegations that truck drivers are being extorted by terminal security operatives. The lawmakers said they believe the alleged extortion is responsible for the interminable gridlock and traffic challenges at the ports. The said the alleged extortion was responsible for traffic challenges caused by delayed movement of truck drivers who refuse to give grafts.
A lawmaker from Ekiti State, Olusola Fatoba moved a motion at plenary to investigate the alleged activities at the ports. He said truck operators allegedly pay as high as three hundred thousand naira to gain access into the port.
He also said a team of law enforcement agents the includes the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, LASTMA, and others who were assigned to maintain law and order, and control vehicular movement in and out of the port, have now formed a “cartel” to extort money from each truck operator before granting access into the port to load or offload containers. The lawmaker said this has been going on for years.
Fatoba said a truck may spend up to two months before gaining access into the terminal as a result of these activities. He said this causes serious hardships and huge increase in the cost of doing business.
The house has mandated the works and housing committee to investigate the matter and return with a report within four weeks.
Police Extradite Maina From Niger
Police spokesperson, Frank Mba, has confirmed on Thursday that former chairman of the pension reform task team, Abdulrasheed Maina, is now back in Nigeria after his extradition from Niger Republic.
Maina was declared wanted by a court over a 12-count money laundering charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The commission says Maina used his firm to launder two billion naira, some of which he used to acquire properties in Abuja.
In another development, a federal high court in Abuja has given a nod to a request by Maina’s defence counsel, Adeola Adedipe, to withdraw from the case.
Until Thursday, Adedipe represented Maina’s company -common input limited – that is charged as the second defendant in Maina’s money laundering trial.
Nigeria Records 343 New COVID-19 Cases
Nigeria’s coronavirus cases have risen to 68,303 after the Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced 343 new cases of COVID-19 in fourteen states with the federal capital territory recording its highest ever figure of 123 cases.
Lagos hosts 106 cases, Kaduna recorded 72, while Nasarawa and Rivers posted 14, and 5, respectively.
Nine other states shared the rest of the cases.
NCDC Confirms 122 New COVID-19 Cases
The Nigerian Center for Disease Control has confirmed one hundred twenty-two new cases of coronavirus in the country on Wednesday, pushing up the nation’s total confirmed cases to sixty-seven thousand nine hundred sixty. Only four thousand one hundred twenty-one patients are still being treated.
Kaduna reported the highest number of cases at thirty-seven, followed by Lagos with twenty-nine. Plateau held twenty-five while Ekiti hosts nine cases.
Rivers, Ogun, Edo, Kwara, Bayelsa, Bauchi and Kano shared the rest of the infections.
NCDC also reports the fatalities now stand at eleven hundred seventy-seven.