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NDLEA intercepts Qatar-bound drugs, officers reject N5m bribe

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have detained a 35-year-old lady, Chidinma Chinenye-Agbazue, after she was caught attempting to export 20 parcels of Cannabis Sativa weighing 10.70kg to Doha, Qatar through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State.

The illicit drugs were said to have been concealed in African salad popularly called Abacha; and dried vegetables.

The operation was carried out in conjunction with operatives of the Department of State Services.

The anti-narcotics operatives also reportedly rejected a N5m bribe from another suspect in Lagos State.

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The spokesperson for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, revealed the development in a statement on Sunday while detailing arrests and recoveries made by the agency over the past week.

Babafemi said, “Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have detained a 35-year-old lady, Chidinma Chinenye-Agbazue after she was caught attempting to export 20 parcels of cannabis sativa weighing 10.70kg concealed in African salad popularly called Abacha and dried vegetables to Doha, Qatar through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos state.

“NDLEA officers at the Lagos airport working in partnership with men of the Department of State Services had on Thursday, March 28 intercepted Chidinma, an outbound passenger from Lagos to Doha, on Qatar Airways during clearance of passengers at the screening point of Terminal 11 of the MMIA.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that Chidinma was based in Qatar but returned to Nigeria last December for Christmas celebration. She said preparatory to her return to Doha, she was lodged at Club Dice Hotel in Ikotun area of Lagos where the consignment was handed over to her for trafficking to the Arab country,”

Babafemi further noted that two suspects, Monday Okeke and Chigozie Emeka, were on Tuesday, March 26, arrested by NDLEA operatives in Oniwaya, Yaba and Agege area of Lagos, where they recovered from them 842,560 pills of opioids especially tramadol in addition to 15 litres of codeine syrup and 596 grams of Molly.

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He said, “Two suspects; Monday Okeke and Chigozie Emeka were on Tuesday, March 26, arrested by NDLEA operatives in Oniwaya, Yaba and Agege area of Lagos, where they recovered from them 842,560 pills of opioids especially tramadol in addition to 15 litres of codeine syrup and 596 grams of Molly.

“Attempt by Okeke to bribe the NDLEA officers with N5m cash was rebuffed while the money was documented as part of exhibits to prosecute the suspects in court.”

In Bayelsa, the bid by three suspects: Ebuka Eze, 31; Ugochukwu Okoro, 44; and Kingsley Uzim, 27, to smuggle opioids including codeine, molly, tramadol and diazepam weighing a total of 73.425kg to the creeks in Southern Ijaw area of the state was thwarted on Wednesday by NDLEA operatives at Swali jetty, Yenagoa where Eze and Okoro were arrested while Uzim was nabbed at Amasoma in a follow-up operation. The drugs were concealed in jumbo sacks and conveyed to the jetty in a tricycle.

Meanwhile, two suspects: Eniola Muyideen and Bankole Shuaib were arrested with 137 blocks of cannabis weighing 71kg during a raid at Orile Imo, Ogun State on Friday.

NDLEA operatives in Taraba recovered 39,980 pills of tramadol from a suspect, Abubakar Mohammed, 33, in Lankaviri village, and another suspect, Apaji Vincent, 29, arrested in Wukari on Thursday with 131kg cannabis sativa.

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In Abia State, Nwachukwuu Chinedu, 28, was arrested on Friday at Akara Ahuba, Isikwuato LGA by NDLEA officers.

Recovered from him include 46.65kg cannabis and different quantities of tramadol, methamphetamine and rohypnol as well as N71,500 monetary exhibit.

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At least, 127.5kg cannabis loaded in a Volkswagen Vento saloon car marked NTT 215 AA was recovered along Isua/Kabba Road, Idoani area of Ose Local Government Area, Ondo State, while a 30-year-old female suspect, Chinasa Christopher, was arrested with 400 bottles of codeine syrup in Sabon Gari area of Kano.

Babafemi added that, “The owner of a consignment of illicit drugs intercepted along Zaria-Kano Road, Bakura Goni was arrested at Mile 2 market in Lagos on Tuesday in a follow up operation and flown to Kano to face charges. The consignment consisting of cannabis and tramadol weighing 73.8kg was earlier seized in a truck conveying it from Lagos to Kano,”

Meanwhile, 278kg of cannabis going to Idoani in Ondo State was recovered during a raid at Oloma-Okpe forest, Akoko-Edo LGA, Edo State, while not less than 3,065.255kg of the same psychoactive substance was razed on two farms at Amahor waterside forest in Igueben area of the state where three suspects: James Thankgod; Wisdom James and Akpa Festus were arrested on Thursday.

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LAUTECH students seek justice after cop allegedly kills corper

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Some students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, have demanded a probe into the alleged killing of a corp member, Damilola Iyanda, by a trigger-happy policeman on Tuesday.

This is just as the students decried the prolonged brutality allegedly meted out to them by the police officer in a separate interview with Theheute on Tuesday.

Theheute had reported that a trigger-happy policeman allegedly shot a corps member identified as Iyanda Damilola to death in Ogbomoso Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday.

It was gathered that an operative of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force was recognised by the students of the institution for alleged shooting.

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The deceased’s brother, Oluwafemi Iyanda, who graduated from LAUTECH, told our correspondent on Tuesday that he sustained wounds from the bullet shots.

Oluwafemi, a graduate of Accounting and Management Sciences from the institution, narrated that the deceased was his brother who had attended his convocation, after which they headed for an after-party the same day where he was shot dead by the trigger-happy cop.

According to him, the late Damilola was serving in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

He said, “Yesterday was our convocation, and we were at a lounge in the Under-G area for a convocation party around 2 am when we heard that some people were fighting outside. When we discovered that the place was getting rowdy, we stepped out only to see policemen dispersing the crowd and shooting directly at the people.

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“I sustained bullet wounds, but my brother, who came for my convocation, was shot in the head. He was confirmed dead at the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital and was taken to the mortuary this morning.

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“As I speak with you, I am at the clinic for my treatment. The wounds are deep, and I cannot but seek justice for my innocent brother.”

Asked if he could recognise the policemen who came for the operation, Oluwafemi said he was sure of one operative, stressing that the cop led the team that dispersed the crowd.

“I saw him handling the gun; he was shooting with one hand until he shot my brother,” he alleged.

Our correspondent gathered that the incident generated palpable tension among the students who took to the streets to protest but shelved the protest so as not to disrupt the ongoing convocation activities.

An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity, because he was authorised to speak, told Theheute that the students shut the gate of the institution, leading to a temporary delay in starting the grand finale of its 16th convocation ceremony on Tuesday.

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The source said, “What happened was that the celebration at the Under-G area resulted in an argument and this led to a fracas. It was during the altercation that the security agent was invited to settle the matter by the owner of the hotel.

“While attempting to settle the matter, the officer reportedly shot sporadically into the air. It was during this period that a student was allegedly shot, while two others sustained injury.”

Reacting to the incident, a student, Michael Oladipupo, alleged that the trigger-happy policeman was in the habit of brutalising students. He, however, urged relevant authorities to investigate the incident and bring the officer to justice.

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“We are sure that it was a member of the police team who killed the boy because students were present. This is not the first time this particular police officer is involved in brutalising students.

“The school should also join us to demand justice for those who were killed and injured yesterday. We also want the lounge where the incident happened to be probed,” Oladipupo said.

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Another student, Muhiz Alaka, urged the state government to probe the killing, stressing that the death of Damilola could not have been a mistake.

“We want justice for our brother that we lost, we want everyone involved in his death to be brought to book. The Oyo State Government should intervene and prosecute the culprit. The school management has not said anything on the matter yet, but all we want is for the perpetrator to be brought to book.

“An eyewitness said it was not a case of a stray bullet but an intentional act. This officer who is accused by students is known for brutalising students. He visits their hostels and bullies them. He has been constituting a nuisance in the university community for a while now.”

Similarly, another student, Oluwatobiloba Ojediran, also sought the probe and prosecution of the alleged officer if found guilty of the accusation levelled against him.

“One was slain, one was injured, and yesterday was the convocation. Two brothers from one parent are victims of this brutality, it is unfair if we keep mute. Justice must prevail, and the police officer must face the wrath of the law.”

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When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Adewale Osifeso, disclosed that an investigation had begun into the incident.

“Investigation is ongoing. Updates will be provided accordingly, please,” Osifeso said.

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps, Odoba Oche, confirmed that the deceased was a Corp member.

He said, “We have confirmed that the deceased was a Corp member serving in Ibadan North Local Government. He was reportedly invited to his brother’s convocation in LAUTECH where the unfortunate incident happened.”

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Yahaya Bello withdrew $720,000 from Kogi account to pay child’s school fees -EFCC chairman

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

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Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

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Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

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“I said if that is the issue, I’m going to pass you through my own gate, and you will come to my floor. We will accord you that respect. I will invite my operatives; they will interrogate and interview you in my own office. What could be more honourable than that to allay the fear?

“You know what he said: ‘Thank you, sir, but can’t they come to my village? Olukoyede added.

The chairman also highlighted the agency’s achievements during his tenure, stating, “We have recovered close to 120 billion and secured over 1,600 convictions in six months.

“I’m so passionate about the need for us to move forward in this country. We need the EFCC to survive. There are so many victims that we have wiped tears off their eyes, people that have been swindled in their millions. Every day, we keep recovering money for victims.”

Theheute reports that the EFCC chairman, Olukoyede, has vowed to resign from his position if Yahaya Bello is not prosecuted.

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The EFCC is seeking to arraign Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

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Crime

Man, 30, defiles landlady’s 13-year-old daughter in Rivers

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The operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested a 30-year-old man identified as Jeffrey for allegedly defiling the teenage daughter of his landlady in an estate in Abuloma, Port Harcourt Local government Area of the State.

It was learnt that the suspect, who has a tailoring shop at the estate, lured the 13-year-old girl to his business place one evening under the guise of showing her clothes.

But Jeffrey ended up locking the shop, overpowered the girl, and allegedly had his way with the girl.

The suspect was, however, arrested by men of the Trans-Amadi Police Division last Friday when the teenage girl opened up to her mother about what transpired.

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A source who does not want his name in print said, “Already a medical examination conducted on the minor indicated she was defiled.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident, saying the investigation was ongoing.

“She stated, “Yes, I can confirm the arrest of the suspect. The matter has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Port Harcourt, for discreet investigation.”

Iringe-Koko further said the command will ensure that the suspect is prosecuted to deter others.

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