A former Nigerian pharmaceuticals executive who was implicated in a BBC investigation into the illegal sale of addictive opioids has been arrested.
Chukwunonye Madubuike was detained west of Lagos, close to the border with Benin, police said.
He went on the run in May after he was filmed illegally selling codeine syrup to an undercover BBC reporter.
Police said he told them he thought he was selling to a genuine businessman and regretted not checking his ID.
The BBC documentary exposed the extent of addiction to the codeine-based cough mixture among Nigeria’s youth.
Codeine is a painkiller, which is highly addictive and if taken to excess can cause organ failure and trigger schizophrenia.
The Africa Eye film also exposed the black market practice of selling the medicine to people without a doctor’s prescription or a pharmaceutical licence.
Chukwunonye Madubuike was a business development executive with Emzor pharmaceuticals, who sacked him after the film was aired.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police Imohimi Edgal said the arrest was made in the border town of Idiroko in Ogun State. He had been heading to Cotonou in Benin.
He said Emzor had reported Mr Madubuike in May on suspicion of having “knowingly supplied the controlled drugs to persons who were not supposed to have access to them contrary to” Nigerian law.
Mr Edgal went on to say Mr Madubuike, in his statement, said he was “was only trying to meet his sales target”, acknowledged he should have carried out greater checks to verify the identity of the person he was dealing with and “regretted selling controlled substances to unauthorised persons”.
Since the documentary was aired, more than 2.4 million codeine syrup bottles have been recalled and a number of pharmacists and small-time dealers have been arrested. Hundreds of people turned up to public screenings of the documentary, and it has helped raise awareness of the problem in other African countries.
Codeine cough syrup – the scale of the problem
Codeine is a pain killer but also an addictive opioid. Taken in excess, it can cause schizophrenia and organ failure
Codeine syrup is commonly mixed with soft drinks and often consumed by students
The codeine is imported, but the syrup is made in Nigeria by more than 20 pharmaceutical companies
Nigeria’s drug enforcement agency is fighting this epidemic. In a recent raid, it seized 24,000 bottles of codeine syrup from a single lorry in Katsina
Codeine syrup addiction is a problem across Africa, with reports of addiction in Kenya, Ghana, Niger, and Chad
In 2016, India banned multiple brands of codeine cough syrup following reports of addition
Khalid Al-Makura, a son of the executive governor of Nasarawa state in Nigeria, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, has crushed six persons with his car in Mararaba Ankunza area of Lafia, Nasarawa State.
Khalid, who is alleged to be a habitual hit and run driver – was said to be coming from a local Hausa club ”Lancika hotel” when as a result of over speeding he crashed into six persons which led to amputating three-persons legs and hands who are all receiving treatment in Chida Crescent Hospital, Abuja.
The traditional ruler of the area, Ibrahim Mohammed, who confirmed the accident, said about three persons sustained serious injuries, but there was no record of death.
According to him, aside those whose hands and legs were amputated, other only have minor injuries and are currently receiving treatment in National Hospital, Abuja.
He further explained that when the accident happened, he was called upon to intervene, because, “Some youths wanted to kill the driver, but I insisted and asked the vigilante guards to take him away, which they did before they later hand him over to the Police, while those injured were rushed to specialists Hospital. And the Governor immediately ordered that they should all be taken to Abuja,” he stated.
“In fact, if we were not there nobody knows what the youth could have done, because they were angry and ready for jungle justice as they noticed the driver was drunk,” he added.
Khalid is currently in hiding to avoid any negative action from his father.
Head coach of Nigeria’s Super Falcons, Thomas Dennerby has named a provisional squad as part of preparations for the 11th edition of the Africa Women Cup of Nations without former captain Evelyn Nwabouku.
The Swedish gaffer invited 29 home-based and 19 foreign-based players, without former captain Evelyn Nwabouku who led them to African glory at Namibia 2014 and has been in fine form for Rivers Angels this season.
Despite an abysmal U20 Women’s World Cup performance in France, Rasheedat Ajibade, Glory Ogbonna, Anam Imo, Chiamaka Nnadozie, Glory Ogbonna were promoted to the team to take part in the first phase of preparations.
All the invited players are to report at the Jubilee Chalets, Chalet Road, off Obafemi Awolowo Road, Epe Town on Thursday as the Super Falcons begin to fine tune for the biannual tournament billed for November 17 – December 1, 2018.
Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (Rivers Angels); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Confluence Queens); Alaba Jonathan (Bayelsa Queens); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels); Onyinyechukwu Okeke (Edo Queens)
The execution-style killings of two Muslim midwives in north-eastern Nigeria have raised fears that the Islamist insurgency is far from over.
The Islamic State (IS) group and the political tensions ahead of elections in Africa’s most-populous nation are being blamed for the upsurge in violence this year.
Hauwa Liman and Saifura Ahmed Khorsa both worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) when they were kidnapped along with another female aid worker from the town of Rann in March.
Fighters from a Boko Haram faction loyal to IS – known as the Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) – were behind their abduction.
Ms Khorsa, 25, was shot dead in September and a month later Ms Liman, her 24-year-old colleague, was also murdered.
Local journalists who have seen the two videos released by the jihadists after the killings say the women, wearing white hijabs, were forced to kneel down with their hands tied.
They were then shot from behind at close range.
Schoolgirl in captivity
It is not clear what demands the militants were making – but whatever they were the group says the government ignored them.
Iswap, which is believed to receive instructions from IS headquarters, has raised its profile this year and was behind the kidnapping of 110 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi in February.
Most of the girls were released after a month, except for a 15-year-old who has reportedly refused to convert to Islam and remains in captivity.
Iswap appears to be the dominant Boko Haram faction since a split in the leadership of the group emerged in August 2016.
More on life amid Boko Haram:
Boko Haram launched its insurgency nearly nine years ago taking over large swathes of land in north-eastern Nigeria where it declared an Islamic caliphate.
Its leader, Abubakar Shekau, gained worldwide notoriety five years later after kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok.
In the wake of this, Shekau’s fighters joined IS, but it appears to have been a fractious relationship.
IS sacked him two years ago replacing him with Abu Musab al-Barnawi.
Many analysts believe Shekau – who is now rumoured to be ill – was removed because of the tactics he used, often sending child suicide bombers to launch indiscriminate attacks on civilians that included targeting places of worship.
Over the last five years, most areas under the militants’ control have been recaptured, though the two factions have continued to carry out attacks.
But IS’ influence is becoming more visible – and security analyst Abdullahi Yalwa believes some of Iswap’s insurgents are possibly being trained at IS camps outside the country.
Iswap has been behind several daring and deadly attacks against the military in the last four months.
They brazenly drive in convoy in gun-mounted trucks to target soldiers in an apparent attempt to acquire more weapons and armoured vehicles.
The reticent military has not commented much on the attacks, except to say they were “fierce”.
Many observers believe the authorities are cautious about revealing the actual death toll for fear of demoralising soldiers fighting the insurgents.
It also puts in doubt a key campaign promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari when he came to power in 2015 that he would defeat Boko Haram.
And there are now growing concerns about security in Nigeria ahead of elections due in February when Mr Buhari will be seeking a second term in office.
Mr Yalwa says Boko Haram attacks are motivated by three factors:
Business – those involved using it as means of earning a living
Ideological – militants participating because of religious indoctrination
Political – militants who are allegedly paid to fuel violence by some politicians in an attempt to discredit those in power.
He adds that with thousands of people displaced by the conflict yet to return to their communities, security is increasingly becoming a key campaign issue.
‘Soft commander killed’
The two factions operate in different parts of the north-east.
Shekau’s group is active mainly around Sambisa Forest – where some of the Chibok girls were mainly thought to be held – and other areas bordering Cameroon.
Iswap is based around the Nigerian border with Niger, although they both move around the Lake Chad area.
After the split, there were reportedly deadly clashes between the factions, which has helped the military’s cause.
Within Iswap there are also reported tensions.
It is believed a top commander in that group, Mamman Nur, was killed by his close lieutenants in the wake of the release of the Dapchi girls.
There is a suspicion that he unilaterally ordered the release of some of schoolgirls without any ransom payment.
According to the respected Daily Trust newspaper, this “soft approach” could not be tolerated and he was killed on 21 August.
If he is dead, it could explain the group’s more hard-line approach in the last two months – and the murders of aid workers, reminiscent of IS tactics in the Middle East.
Mr Yalwa says the involvement of IS makes the insurgency more tactical, technical and complicated.
“Extra military intelligence and experience” is needed to make the security forces more proactive, he says.
Defence Minister Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali is more upbeat, saying the recruitment of more soldiers – 10,000 are being trained every year – and better equipment will win the day in the end.
Both the UK and US are giving military support – and the government hopes to start taking delivery of 12 Super Tucano jets from the US next year, he says.
But for the communities in the north-east it is like deja-vu – with the vicious cycle of violence unlikely to end any time soon as both the militants and the army step up their operations ahead of the election.
Boko Haram militants have killed a female aid worker held by the group since March, the Nigerian government has confirmed.
In September, the jihadist group killed a midwife taken at the same time.
The militants have also been holding a 15-year-old schoolgirl and another medical worker.
On Sunday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed for their lives to be spared as a deadline issued by the militants approached.
Nigerian Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed said on Monday the government was “deeply pained” by news of the killing, but added it would “keep the negotiations open and continue to work to free the innocent women who remain in the custody of their abductors”.
Medical workers Hauwa Mohammed Liman and Alice Loksha were kidnapped alongside midwife Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa in March while working in the town of Rann with the ICRC.
A schoolgirl who is also being held was among 110 girls kidnapped from a school in the town of Dapchi in February. Most of the other students were freed but the girl, who refused to convert to Islam, remains in captivity.
Ms Khorsa was killed last month and the faction holding her – known as the Islamic State’s West Africa Province – threatened to kill another hostage by Monday if their demands were not met.
An ICRC spokeswoman told Reuters on Monday: “We are hearing devastating reports that Hauwa has been executed. At this stage, we have no confirmation that this is true. We desperately hope not. This situation is heartbreaking and our thoughts remain with the family.”
Libya coach Adel Amrouche has resigned just four days before the Mediterranean Knights play Nigeria in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Libyan Football Federation (LFF) confirmed his departure and added that his assistant Omar Al-Maryami will take over in an interim capacity.
The LFF also added it is looking to take action against Amrouche over his sudden departure.
BBC Sport understands that one of his main complaints was unpaid wages.
While Amrouche told the Reuters news agency he was frustrated by working conditions with the team.
The 50-year-old, who was born in Algeria, was only appointed in May and his first match in charge last month saw Libya force a 0-0 draw in South Africa.
Forced to play all their home qualifiers at a neutral venue because of the tenuous security situation in the North African country, Libya travel to face Nigeria on Friday and then play them again in the return in Sfax, Tunisia on Monday.
Libya have four points from their first two games in their bid to qualify for the 2019 finals in Cameroon, ahead of South Africa on goal difference with Nigeria one point behind.
The Seychelles are last in the group without any points with only the top two teams qualifying for the finals next June.
MTN Group Ltd. is facing mounting pressure to transfer $8.1 billion to Nigeria after the country’s central bank argued the wireless carrier should pay interest on the disputed repatriation of dividends until it surrenders the full amount.
The stock dropped the most in a month.
The telecommunications company should pay 15 percent annualized interest until the courts rule on the conflict, the Central Bank of Nigeria argued in documents filed with the Federal High Court in Lagos in the past week and seen by Bloomberg News on Thursday. MTN shouldn’t be given an injunction that would let it wait for a ruling before transferring the amount, the central bank argued.
MTN fell as much as 11 percent in Johannesburg on Friday, the steepest decline since Sept. 4, and was trading 9.3 percent lower at 79.17 rand at 9:14 a.m.
The central bank alleged in late August that MTN and four of its banks — Standard Chartered Plc, Citigroup Inc., Stanbic IBTC Plc and Diamond Bank Plc — illegally repatriated the money from Nigeria.
MTN sought an injunction in early September to buy itself time and fight the claim in its biggest market, which wiped as much as 36 percent off its market value.
The court filings suggest the regulator is not prepared to back down over its allegations, despite central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele saying last week that the dispute would be resolved soon and that “everyone will be happy.” Okorafor said shortly beforehand the two sides were in talks that could lead to an “equitable resolution.”
“This is contradicting to what the CBN governor said recently and it’s not clear if the filing was made before his statement that they have received new information that they are reviewing,” said Peter Takaendesa, a portfolio manager at Mergence Investment Managers in Cape Town.
A spokesman for the central bank, Isaac Okorafor, didn’t answer calls to his mobile or respond to a text message requesting comment. MTN declined to comment.
The transfers “may have been premeditated and contrived as a scam to make and maximize profits, defraud the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to enjoy unlimited foreign-exchange income perpetually from a single investment without complying with the foreign-exchange laws and regulations of Nigeria,” the central bank said in the documents.
The accusations against MTN — including disputed allegations by the attorney general’s office that it owes $2 billion of back taxes — come as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration faces criticism of its economic management in the run-up to the elections.
Two years ago, MTN negotiated a $5.2 billion fine down to about $1 billion plus a commitment to list its local business in Lagos. That penalty was related to subscribers that weren’t properly registered in the country.
MTN Chief Financial Officer Ralph Mupita has said the spat in Nigeria may cause the carrier to reconsider raising cash through an initial public offering of its local unit in Lagos. Instead, MTN may list the business by way of introduction, which places existing securities on the exchange.
With just three weeks until the Amputee World Cup in Mexico the Nigerian team has turned to a crowd-funding campaign to raise the necessary finances.
The Special Eagles have missed the last three editions of the tournament in 2010, 2012 and 2014 due to a lack of money.
Arsenal Amputee FC’s Michael Ishiguzo noticed their plight and the London-based player has set up an online appeal on GoFundMe to raise almost US$68,000.
“These guys have worked so hard and several times they have missed going to the World Cup because it appears the government, the corporate community don’t care about them,” Ishiguzo told BBC Sport.
“I feel their pains. They have no support whatsoever.
They contribute their own funds to keep the sport, the team and their dream alive while also working hard to fend for themselves and their families.
“Going to the World Cup is a big deal for them because it will bring them to the global place where there are opportunities like I have.”
They hope to raise the necessary funds to cover flights, upkeep and other logistics whilst attending the event which kicks off on 24 October.
A former player of now defunct Stationary Stores of Lagos, Ishiguzo suffered what proved to be a career-ending injury in 1997, had his right leg amputated before turning to Javelin as well as other sports, he switched back to football.
He currently plays for Arsenal in the community amputee football team playing in the EAFA National league.
Special Eagles captain Emmanuel Ibeawuchi, who suffered auto accident at age 22 leading to the amputation of his right leg, is inspired by Ishiguzo and hopes to fulfil a lifelong ambition after sealing another World Cup qualification.
“We are not giving up on our dreams. We know that sports provides hope for physically challenged people,” Ibeawuchi told BBC Sport.
“Our Powerlifters have proved this at at the Paralympics. We also want to show our stuff to the world.
“We believe we are among the best in the world but we have been denied the opportunity of showcasing ourselves for long.
“This time around, we are praying that with public support we can be at the World Cup.”
Angola, Kenya and Ghana represented Africa at the 2014 World Cup in Culiacán, Mexico.
The Angolans finished as runners-up after losing 3-1 to Russia in the final.