National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday, said that fresh attempts by Brazil-based drug cartel to smuggled substantial quantities of Cocaine into Nigeria through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, concealing the illicit substance in teabags, have been aborted.
According to the agency, four traffickers involved in an attempt to import and export illicit drugs through the country, last week, were now in their custody.
The agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, made this known, yesterday, in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.
According to the statement, one of the suspects, 33-year-old Pascal Ekene Okolo, an indigene of Ihe, in Ogwu Local Government Area of Enugu State, was arrested during an inward clearance of Qatar Airways flight from Sao Paulo via Doha at the arrival hall of the NAIA on Sunday, April 17.
Okolo, who claimed to be into wine business in Brazil, was arrested with a travelling bag containing different medicinal teabags, which were used to conceal 4.1kilogrammes of Cocaine.
Same day, a Canada-based Nigerian, Anigo Christian Godspower, was intercepted at the D-Arrival Hall of the MMIA, Ikeja, during an inward clearance of passengers on Qatar Airways from Sao Paolo via Doha to Lagos.
When his luggage was searched, two blocks of Cocaine with a total weight of 2.10kg were discovered.
The 52-year-old Anigo, who hails from Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State claimed he operated an unregistered Bureau De Change business before delving into the illicit drug trade.
The bid by another cartel to export 950 grammes of Heroin concealed in the soles of ladies’ foot-wears through the MMIA cargo shed was equally foiled by anti-narcotic officers who have so far arrested two suspects linked to the crime.
Those arrested between April 16 and 17 in connection with attempts to export the drug to Monrovia, Liberia include: Idokoja Solomon Chukwurah and Patrick John Tochukwu.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives who raided Kano, Kaduna, Benue and Akwa Ibom states have seized no less than 88,734 doses of Tramadol, Pentazocine, Diazepam and Swinol.
“In Kano, Aliyu Usman, 28, was arrested at Railway area of the state capital with 47,000 capsules of Tramadol and 2,000 ampules of Pentazocine injection on Tuesday, April 19 while Saminu Usman, 28, was nabbed with 24,710 Tramadol tablets at Gadar Tamburawa area of Kano two days earlier.”
While in Benue, another dealer, Emeka Eze was arrested at an NDLEA checkpoint at Adikpo, Kwande Local Government Area of the state with 10,000 Tramadol capsules and 900 tablets of Swinol, and in Kaduna State, the duo of Raphael Daniel and David Musa were arrested at Mando Park, Kaduna with 1kg of Cocaine on Thursday, April 21.
A week after Muhammad Sani Ibrahim sent 12.1kg of Cannabis from Lagos to Kaduna, operatives were able to trace and arrest him last Thursday, and brought him to Kaduna after his consignment was intercepted.
Another dealer, Kamilu Ibrahim was also arrested same day at Kargi village in Kubau LGA, Kaduna State with 10.6kg Cannabis Sativa, while Bashir Ibrahim was arrested on Friday, April 22 after his four consignments containing Cannabis Sativa weighing 44.6kg were intercepted three days earlier along Abuja-Kaduna express road.
In Akwa Ibom State, operatives arrested two female drug dealers: Eno-Obong Edet, 36, and Hossana Esema Ukpong, 28, with various quantities of Rohypnol, Diazepam, Tramadol and Cannabis, while a suspected fake security agent was arrested on Saturday, April 23 in Abuja while moving 23.8kg Cannabis from Lagos to Maiduguri, Borno State.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
Fubara Set To Create New Cities In Rivers
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has disclosed that arrangements are at advanced stages to achieve the development of new cities in the state that would help to decongest Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
Fubara said that the new cities would end the one city status of Rivers State and attract more investors into the state.
The governor stated this when he inspected the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority’s (GPHCDA) office and project sites in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
Fubara said: “I can assure you that in our time, we might not achieve the dream of that big city in four years, but we will add a few things that would also help us in getting at that target.
“This is because, we are thinking of decongesting the present one city state that we have, which is Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor. We are thinking of developing other parts of the state and our coming here is to see what the agency has been doing, what you have done already and what we can also do to make us achieve more new cities in our state.”
Fubara noted that despite the challenges the agency has been facing, there would be remarkable difference in what it would achieve within his tenure if the agency’s development ideals are aligned with those of the state government.
He, however, charged the agency to be self-sustaining by attracting investors as outlined by its establishment law.
Also speaking, the Sole Administrator of GPHCDA, Amb Desmond Akawor, said that since its establishment in 2009 by the Greater Port Harcourt Law, the agency has been slowed down in creating more cities because of its operational structure and the nature of the Public-Private Partnership it adopted.
Akawor, who is the Rivers State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), explained that a new legal framework has been fine-tuned by the last GPHDA board, which the current management would present to the governor.
He said: “I am sure that with your directives, we will be able to reschedule some of the projects so that we can move forward with all of our partners, especially in the area of reforming or strengthening the public private partnership arrangements.”
Majority Leader Seeks Immortalisation Of Slain DPO
The Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Edison Ehie, has appealed to the Police High Command to consider the immortalisation of the murdered Divisional Police Officer(DPO) in charge of Ahoada East Divisional Headquarters, SP Bako Angbashim, and commiserated with the State Commissioner of Police, CP Emeka Nwonyi; officers and men of the Police Force; and the family of the deceased over the brutal murder of the DPO.
Ehie, who made the appeal in a statement said the slain DPO deserves to be immortalised as he was a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, adding that the calamitous killing and decapitation of the DPO by Mr Gift David Okpara Okpolowu, alias 2 Baba and his criminal gang is “an unprecedented low which shocked me beyond words and threw my constituents into an endless mourning circle”.
As the Honourable member representing Constituency 2 at the Rivers State House of Assembly and the incumbent Leader of the House, Ehie said he is using this medium to unreservedly condemn the senseless killing and decapitation of the DPO, and also to reiterate the call for the immediate apprehension and prosecution of his killers and everyone associated with the condemnable act.
Describing SP Angbashim as a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, the lawmaker said the slain DPO was the one who single-handedly restored peace and order in Ogoniland.
“Even within the few months he spent in Ahoada East Local Government Area, the results of his gallantry were visible for all to see and appreciate.This is why his killing is not only calamitous and lamentable, but an affront to the government of the day in the State”, he said, adding that no government worths its salt will fold it’s arms and allow criminals and bandits to freely prey on its citizenry in order to make the State ungovernable.
On this score, therefore, Ehie thanked the Governor of the State, Sir SiminalayiFubara for prompt response to the situation which he said has already started yielding wonderful fruits, with some of the criminals associated with the killing of the DPO now under police detention and interrogation.
He also thanked and commend the officers and men of the Police Force as well as operatives of other sister security agencies in the State for their uniquely stellar efforts in fishing out the killers of the DPO.
The Majority Leader, however, called on all Ekpeye people, traditional rulers, chiefs, political elites and the general public to gratuitously assist and work with the police and other security agencies in ensuring that the killers of SP Angbashim are fished out, apprehended and made to face the full weight of the law, saying, “May our State never again witness this type of murderous orgy and life wastage”.
Ehie also appealed to the Police High Command in the State to consider the immortalisation of the slain DPO, while also appealing for meaningful and deserving support to his family and dependants.
While conveying his heart-felt condolences to the Nigerian Police, especially the officers and men of the Rivers State Police Command, the lawmaker prayed the Almighty God to grant them the fortitude to bear the monumental loss. He equally extended his deepest condolences to the family of the DPO, and prayed God to console them and heal their wounds.
Ehie further noted that “the biggest debt we collectively owe SP Bako Angbashim is to redress his killing by arresting his killers and subjecting them to justice.”
Appeal Court Upholds Banigo’s Senatorial Election Victory
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, yesterday, upheld the judgment of the Rivers State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal that declared Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the Rivers West Senatorial District Election held on February 25, 2023.
The Appellant Court, in her judgment, dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senatorial Candidate, Hon. Asita O. Asita as “lacking in merit”.
In her reaction shortly after the verdict at the court premises, the Banigo hailed the judgment, describing it as an “incontrovertible victory of irreversible Senate seat”.
She expressed gratitude to the Almighty God, the leaders/stakeholders of the PDP and the entire members of the Rivers West Senatorial District for their unflinching support.
Banigo assured them of her loyalty and total commitment towards realising the tenets of her Kingdom Mandate.
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