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Labour Faces Calls To Keep Keith Vaz Out Of Party Politics

Labour faces calls to keep Keith Vaz out of party politics

Labour is facing calls to stop Keith Vaz, the former Labour minister reprimanded last week for “sustained and unpleasant bullying”, from being involved in the party.

The demands follow disclosures that he was expected to speak at a conference fringe meeting alongside shadow ministers and has taken up a new party role in Leicester.

The ex-MP for Leicester East was scheduled to speak at a Hindus for Labour event on Wednesday. Other guests, according to the party’s fringe listings, include Preet Gill, the shadow international development secretary, and Steve Reed, the shadow communities secretary.

Several Leicester party members have told the Guardian that Vaz should no longer be involved in the party.

Helen Lentell, a local party member at the conference, said: “Keith Vaz should not be involved with the party, full stop. He has been shown to be a bully. The party should exclude him from the party. He should not be able or allowed to represent the party, hold office in the party, or speak at party events. The party should keep him out of party politics, because he has damaged the party’s reputation and standing.”

Andrew Bridgen, the Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, said: “Why is Keith Vaz still a member of the Labour party after his litany of much publicised transgressions?”

Labour sources confirmed that Vaz had also taken up a role on the party’s local government committee in his home city of Leicester, provoking anger among some local activists.

Last week, an independent expert panel said Vaz was guilty of “sustained and unpleasant bullying, with a real and enduring psychological impact” that had ended the career of a parliamentary staff member, Jenny McCullough.

“[Vaz’s] conduct to the complainant was hostile, sustained, harmful and unworthy of a member of parliament. He should be ashamed of his behaviour,” said the panel chair, Sir Stephen Irwin.

Vaz, 64, a former Europe minister, who was in the Commons for more than 30 years, declined to cooperate with the investigation, saying he was too ill.

Vaz stood down from parliament at the 2019 election, having been handed a six-month suspension from the Commons after he was caught offering to buy class A drugs for male sex workers.

Sources confirmed that Vaz was elected in August to Labour’s local government committee in Leicester as a union representative. The 36-strong body scrutinises the work of Leicester council.

One witness said: “It was a big shock to see him back in the Labour fold, given his previous behaviour.”

Eyebrows were raised in the city over the weekend when a leaflet distributed among Leicester East constituents by a campaign against boundary changes included a large photo and quote from Vaz. The leaflet also included a letter written by Vaz calling for a halt to road changes.

The MP who succeeded him in Leicester East, Claudia Webbe, is due to face trial for harassment on Monday, a charge she vehemently denies. Webbe was a Labour MP but is now independent after having the whip withdrawn. Speculation is rife that Vaz would consider standing in the seat again if she were to face a recall petition.

Asked to comment, Vaz said he would not consider standing as an MP in future elections but defended his right to still be involved in local campaigns.

“I and family members have lived in Leicester for 34 years. As a private citizen I am happy to support local and national causes I feel passionate about. My various interests are well known. I write letters. I sign petitions. I have retired, I am not dead.

“I have recently been hospitalised and diagnosed with Bell’s palsy and I am undergoing treatment for this and other conditions. I try not to be bothered by what is said by others about me it does not help my recovery.”

Vaz wrote to say he did not plan to speak at a fringe event. “I am not speaking at any fringe meeting anywhere and have not done so for several years,” he said.

Labour has been approached for a comment.

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NDLEA declares couple wanted, arrests 4 cartel members over cocaine seizures

.…Intercepts China, UK-bound drug consignments concealed in steel bolts, shea butter; recovers 2,025 explosives in Niger, Kano, Sokoto

A couple, Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade (alias Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun) and Rashidat Ayinke Owoalade (alias Bolarinwa Rashidat Ayinke), who runs a cocaine cartel from India has been declared wanted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.

This followed the arrest of four members of the syndicate in Lagos where a Sports Utility Vehicle was recovered and two houses already traced to them sealed for forfeiture to the Federal Government.

NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babfemi disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Two members of the syndicate: Imran Taofeek Olalekan and Ishola Isiaka Olalekan were arrested on April 3, 2024 following their bid to export 3.40kg cocaine on a Qatar Airlines flight going to Oman through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos.

While Imran was the courier conveying the drug consignment to Oman, Ishola recruited him for the head of the cartel, which investigation has now revealed to be Alhaji Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade whose Indian residence permit bears Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun based in India.

Efforts to dismantle his network in Nigeria paid off after five weeks of surveillance and follow up operations when another member of the syndicate, Hamed Abimbola Saheed who works directly with the baron was arrested on Tuesday 14th May at Abule Egba area of Lagos.

It was indeed Saheed who lodged Imran in a hotel a day before his aborted trip to Oman and equally dropped him and Ishola at the Lagos airport the day they were arrested.

During a search of Hamed house, NDLEA operatives recovered some phenacetine, a cutting agent for Cocaine, weighing 900 grams.

He confessed that the recovered substance was what was left of the consignment Imran was taking to Oman the day he was arrested.
His arrest led to a follow up operation at the home of the Owoalade couple at 20 Eyiaro street, Ogudu Orioke, Lagos where another suspect was arrested and a new model Toyota RAV4 SUV marked FKJ-773 JJ belonging to Rashidat and additional 400 grams of Cocaine recovered in addition to already prepared suitcases to be used for illicit drug concealment, digital weighing scales and other paraphernalia.

In the same vein, NDLEA officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations, DOGI, attached to a courier firm in Lagos on Wednesday 15th May intercepted two parcels, containing Cocaine and Amphetamine concealed in steel bolts and shea butter. While the cocaine weighing 587 grams, was concealed in eight steel bolt screws going to China, the Amphetamine consignment packed in vape pens and hidden in shea butter was going to the United Kingdom.

Attempt by Emeka Nwadiaro (a.k.a Mega) to export 3.6kg Loud, a strain of cannabis concealed in 36 water flasks to Dubai, UAE was also thwarted at a logistic company in Port Harcourt, Rivers state on Thursday 16th May while a swift follow up operation led to the arrest of the owner of the consignment, Emeka Nwadiaro in Onitsha, Anambra state same day.
While NDLEA operatives in Lagos intercepted a mercedes benz bus loaded with 840kg cannabis and arrested the driver, Samuel Henry, at Olojo in Ojo LGA, Lagos, another suspect, Lawal Adam was nabbed along Otukpo road, Aliade, Benue state on Friday 17th May with 75,000 pills of opioids including tramadol and exol-5. Two suspects: Olisa Etisi, 32, and Jonathan Umeh, 25, were arrested along Owerri – Onitsha road, Imo state following the discovery by NDLEA operatives of a big gas cyclinder used to conceal six blocks of Loud, a strain of cannabis weighing 3.85kg.

 

In Borno state, 70-year-old Adamu Mohammed was arrested at Mbulamel, Biu LGA on Thursday 16th May with 2kg cannabis and 33.55grams of diazepam, while Gaddafi Sani, 27, was arrested with 30 kilograms of cannabis along Abuja-Kaduna road, Kaduna.

In Yobe state, a consignment of 91.1kg opioids and 13kg cannabis going to Maiduguri, Borno state, was recovered from hidden compartments of a petrol tanker along Potiskum-Damaturu road by NDLEA officers who arrested the driver, Ismaila Ali.

No less than four suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure of 2,025 pieces of improvised explosive devices (IED) materials intercepted in a Toyota hummer bus marked AGL 905 XX by NDLEA officers along Agaie – Lapai road, Niger state.

While the duo of Abdulrauf Shitu Adeyemi, 46, and Asmiyu Rahim, 45, conyeying the IED materials were arrested on the spot, follow up operations led to the arrest of Husaini Abdullahi, 25, at Sokoto main market, Sokoto and Nazifi Abdullahi, 37, at Naibawa Motor Park, Kano on Friday 17th May.

The Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has directed that all four suspects and the explosive materials be transferred to the appropriate security agency for further investigation.

In another operation, Muhammad Lawal, 42, was nabbed at Central Market Motor Park, Katsina State with 1,000 Ampoules of Pentazocine injection.

A total of 105kg cannabis was on Friday 17th May recovered from a house at Obola community, Owan West LGA, Edo state and a suspect, Gloria Oris arrested when NDLEA officers raided the area.

In Kwara state, two suspects: Abdulganiyu Karaman, 55, and Sunday Abel, 37, were on Saturday 18th May arrested with 83kg cannabis and tramadol at Boriya, Baruten LGA, and Offa respectively.

With the same vigour, the various commands of the Agency across the country continued with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign in the past week. Some of them include: WADA sensitisation lecture for students and teachers of Government Girls Science secondary school, Malumfashi and Government Girls Science Secondary School, Daudawa, Katsina; Government Girls Science College, Tunga Magajiya Rijau LGA, Niger state; students and teachers of St. Theresa’s College Oke-Ado, Ibadan, Oyo state; students of Government Girls Secondary School, Tudun Wada, Kano; students of Dein secondary school, Imobi secondary school and St. Columbas Grammar School, Agbor, Delta State.

While commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Rivers, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Borno, Niger, Benue, Kwara, Imo, and Edo Commands of the Agency as well as those of DOGI for their outstanding feats in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) said the efforts have further affirmed the cardinal role of NDLEA in the security architecture of the country.

He equally applauded their counterparts in all the commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures to create a fair balance between their drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction activities.

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Osun Transport Masterplan to Be Ready Soon-Governor Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke has announced his administration’s plan to release to the public the Osun State Transport Master Plan to facilitate integrated connectivity for the Osun economy.

The Governor made the announcement on Thursday while commissioning the Osun State Computerised Vehicle Inspection Testing Center at Osogbo.

The Governor who narrated a series of ongoing reforms being delivered by his government said “The test center right here is the first of its kind among other interventions of our administration to reposition the State’s Transportation sector

According to the State Governor, “Our government is pursuing reforms across the transport sector. We ensure that Commercial Motorcycle operators across the State are registered under a database with a rider’s jacket and identification card for safety purposes. Mini-buses, popularly known as (Korope) have also been registered and numbered for easy identification and security.

“We have introduced single ticketing to all commercial drivers in the State through the Osun State Transport Management System (OSTMS) to guide against leakage of revenue.

“It is equally my pleasure to inform the public that our administration is working on a Transportation Master plan for Osun state. We are focused on a multimodal plan that will integrate all modes of transportation within the state. It will lay our objectives and strategic agenda for land, air, and water transportation.

“The plan is to regulate, plan, and develop an efficient and well-integrated transport system that will serve the public interest, enhance mobility, and deliver a secure and environmentally friendly Public Transportation System in different areas across Osun.

“The plan is central to our five-point agenda as it focuses on connectivity within and outside the state. Osun is centrally located in the heart of Yorubaland.

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Adeleke speaks on collapse of OAU amphitheatre

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun has promised to pay the medical bills of students injured in the Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU), Ile-Ife, Amphitheatre roof collapse.

The affected students are receiving treatment at the University Health Centre and the Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife.

Adeleke, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Dipo Eluwole, sympathised with the management of the University and parents of the affected students on the unfortunate incident.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, in Ile-Ife on Saturday.

The commissioner was conducted round the scene of the incident by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Simeon Bamire, and other principal officers of the University, and visited the two health facilities where the students are receiving treatment.

He expressed happiness that the affected students are responding to the treatment.

Eluwole lauded the university management for its quick response to the emergency and prompt medical attention given to the students.

Speaking to the four students being treated at the University Health and Medical Centre, the commissioner commended their bravery and wished them quick recovery.

At the Neurological ward of the University Teaching Hospital where two other students are being treated, Eluwole pleaded with their parents to see what happened as a natural occurrence.

He, thereafter, informed the vice chancellor that the Gov. Adeleke pledged to bankroll all medical expenses that may be incurred in the course of the treatment of the students.

Responding, the vice-chancellor thanked the governor for being so kind and loving, stressing that his fatherly role to the students and the good people of Osun is commendable.

A torrential rain on Thursday morning, accompanied with a whirlwind affected a part of the ceiling of the Amphitheatre as it fell off and injured some students.

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