Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have intercepted illicit drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis weighing 37.3kilograms and arrested seven persons.
The drugs were seized in five different operations at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, according to a statement by agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, yesterday.
The statement reads, “The first attempt to bring into Nigeria 76 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.150kg was made by Agudozie Peter Ihie on 25th May, 2021, but was arrested during inward security clearance of passengers on Qatar airline from Kenya, at the E-arrival hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
“At the point of arrest, he was found in possession 36 pellets of cocaine concealed in his pants. While under observation, he excreted additional 40 pellets. During preliminary interrogation, he confessed to have swallowed the drugs in Nairobi but became pressed during the transit period in Doha and excreted some wraps onboard the aircraft en route Lagos.
“Barely two hours after the arrest of Agudozie Peter Ihie for cocaine ingestion, NDLEA operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport also intercepted 4.2 kilograms of heroin bound for Italy.
“Two freight forwarders have been arrested in connection to the seizure. During preliminary interview, one of the suspects stated that the consignment belongs to one of his customers based in Italy, and that it was sent to him from Benin, Edo state through a transport company.
“On the 26th May, 2021, during inward security clearance of passengers on Qatar airline from Doha, NDLEA operatives at the E-arrival hall of the airport also arrested one Nnakaihe Ikechukwu (a.k.a Peprah Livinus) with 600 grams of cocaine. The illicit drug was cleverly concealed inside Ankara dress buttons.
“The suspect who hails from Imo state however fraudulently obtained a Ghanaian passport using Peprah Livinus as his name. He is suspected to be a member of some of the illicit drug trafficking groups with multiple passports bearing different names in order to evade detection by security agencies.
“On the same date, NDLEA operatives at the NAHCO export shed of MMIA intercepted 30.150 kg of Cannabis Sativa heading to Manchester in the United Kingdom via British Airways and arrested one Anyanwu Chika who is a cargo bag stitcher in connection to the bid. The drug was neatly concealed inside 30 pieces of bankus palm nut cream tin (banga soup) after emptying the real content.
“In his confessional statement, he admitted to have been contracted by one of his customers based in Manchester and had negotiated with him for the sum of one million naira but was paid only seven hundred thousand naira.
“On Thursday, 3rd of June, 2021, operatives equally intercepted 11 parcels of heroin weighing 1.2kg concealed in eleven packs of Indomie noodles at SAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport. The drug was to go with Ethiopian Airline to Malaysia via Addis-Ababa. A freight agent and an errand boy for the owner of the exhibit have been arrested in connection to the foiled bid.”
Boxing: Joshua Facing Toughest Test In Usyk?
Boxing champion, Anthony Joshua could face his toughest test yet when he fights Oleksandr Usyk in London on Saturday, says ex-world champion George Groves.
Joshua, 31, puts his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles on the line against Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight world champion.
The 34-year-old Ukrainian has won all 18 professional fights, beating Tony Bellew and Derek Chisora on that run.
“Technically, Usyk is brilliant,” said Groves . “He showed that in unifying the cruiserweight division in great fights and I believe he could be Joshua’s toughest test to date. This is the first fight when I wouldn’t be surprised if Joshua got beaten.
“Joshua has fought [Wladimir] Klitschko and been in with Joseph Parker and also been beaten [by Andy Ruiz] and the only question mark for Usyk Is he big enough to compete with AJ?
“If Usyk keeps a high pace and makes Joshua miss with a lot of shots, that will work to Usyk’s advantage as he has probably got a better engine.
“Joshua is a phenomenal athlete with tremendous punching power and strength but has a tendency to tire out if the pace is uncomfortable for him.”
A crowd of more than 60,000 is expected and it will be the largest attendance Joshua has fought in front of since his win over Alexander Povetkin with 80,000 at Wembley Stadium in September, 2018.
Since then, Joshua has lost to Ruiz in New York before winning the rematch in Saudi Arabia and gained a ninth-round victory over Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena last December, with only 1,000 fans attending because of Coronavirus restrictions.
Both Joshua and Usyk won gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, at super-heavyweight and heavyweight respectively, with the Briton going on to win 24 of his 25 professional fights, including 22 inside the distance.
Meanwhile, Dillian Whyte, who lost to Joshua in 2015 and is pushing for a rematch with him or a shot at WBC champion, Tyson Fury, believes the key to beating Usyk on Saturday is to adopt an attacking strategy.
“I think it’s a great fight and Joshua will stop him in the first six or seven rounds,” Whyte told Tidesports source.
“Usyk will start fast and Joshua should be cagey as Usyk is a bit lighter. Joshua can sometimes lack confidence but hopefully he goes back to the old him, starts pressing, being the bigger, stronger guy and gets the job done early.
“If Joshua sets the pace, he can get an early knockout and if he is strong, confident and walks him down, then I don’t see Usyk’s punches troubling Joshua.”
Groves, who held the WBA Super-Middleweight belt in 2017 and 2018, added: “If I was Joshua, I would take control of the ring and try to dominate and bully off the front foot.
“Usyk will want to be off the back foot for the first couple of rounds, then try to pepper Joshua.
“If I was in the Joshua camp, I would say: You want to keep this guy in his box. You don’t want Usyk having any confidence, so hit him hard and early.
“In the first three rounds, you want to land something big on him.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn also suggested Joshua could get an early victory.
Hearn said: “I’m always nervous for an Anthony Joshua fight, especially when you’re fighting someone that really believes he is going to win”.
2022 AFCON: ‘Cameroon On Track’
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Patrice Motsepe, has said that Cameroon is “on track” to successfully host the Africa Cup of Nations early next year after visiting Olembe Stadium in Yaounde last weekend.
The venue will host the opening match and final of the AFCON in January and February of 2022.
A CAF delegation, including President Motsepe and General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba, were joined by Cameroon’s Sports Minister, Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi in inspecting progress made at the Olembe Stadium and various other facilities in the capital city.
“I’m very satisfied with the briefing I got and what I saw. I saw the Olembe Stadium and it is world class; we should all be proud as people of Cameroon and as Africans,” said Motsepe, as quoted by CAF’s website.
“We must applaud Cameroon [for] building such infrastructure. In partnership with the Government, the Minister of Sports, LOC, FECAFOOT President and CAF administration under Veron [Mosengo-Omba], I’m certain that in January next year, the rest of the world will be impressed. I’m very satisfied with what I have seen. We are on track.”
Motsepe continued: “The quality of football that will be played here will once again show the world that Africa has the quality to one day win the FIFA World Cup, that is the ultimate goal. The AFCON is special and I think it is important for us to set the tone in Cameroon.”
Mosengo-Omba also heaped praises on Olembe Stadium: “The infrastructure and architecture of the stadium is world class and can be compared to many other famous stadiums globally. In Cameroon, we have six beautiful match venues. Our job now is to ensure that we are ready with everything else.”
FIFA To Hold Summit On International Calendar
FIFA will hold an online summit with its member associations on September 30 to discuss the international men’s and women’s calendar.
A World Cup every two years rather than four is part of FIFA’s plans.
The current match calendar for the women’s game runs to the end of 2023, while the men’s expires in 2024.
“There is a broad consensus within the game that the international match calendar should be reformed and improved,” said FIFA.
“This is one of several opportunities to establish a constructive and open debate, at a global and regional level, over the coming months and FIFA is looking forward to it.”
World football’s governing body said Arsene Wenger,FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, and former United States women’s team manager, Jill Ellis were heading technical advisory groups looking at the men’s and women’s calendars.
European governing body, UEFA, South American confederation, Conmebol and Europe’s major leagues have declared their opposition to plans for a biennial World Cup.
England women’s head coach, Sarina Wiegman is also against the idea.
“I wouldn’t do it. I don’t think it’s very good for the players and their welfare,” she said.
“It’s Europe, it’s very well organised with good competitions. We have the Euros, then the Olympics, then the World Cup which are major tournaments for us from Europe.
“When you have all these tournaments every year, when are the players going to have some rest? When are they going to recover from a very intense football every year in a row? Players are not robots. I don’t think it’s a very good idea.”
Additionally, the Alliance of European Football Coaches’ Associations (Aefca) has written to UEFA to support its stance on the issue.
“The FIFA proposal leads to a considerable increase in the workload for all parties involved, but the already tight timetable does not offer any space for this,” wrote Aefca president Walter Gagg and secretary general Jurgen Pforr.
“This proposal to hold the World Cup every two years has a purely commercial background and is the continuation of a whole series of unsuitable Fifa proposals from recent years.”
According to a survey commissioned by FIFA, a majority of fans would support a men’s World Cup more frequently than every four years, although the most popular answer across all age groups was to maintain the status quo.
Wenger wants to reduce the number of mid-season international breaks, potentially from four to a single extended one lasting throughout October, which former Brazil defender Roberto Carlos feels would be a good idea.
“This idea reduces the number of trips as you would have the qualifying stages done in one month,” he said in a FIFA video.
“So, you would have the time to train, play well, rest and get back to your club. There are too many consecutive matches. When you add the travel and the fatigue, it’s very complex. I think that football will improve a lot once this problem gets sorted.”
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