Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested a Lekki-based artistes’ manager and his Ikoyi business accomplice who specialize in distributing illicit drugs to fun seekers at VIP night clubs and lounges in Lekki and Island axis of Lagos state.
Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi said their arrest followed an intelligence about a shipment of Colorado, a synthetic strong strain of cannabis coming for them from Los Angeles, United States.
“Oseni Abdulraheem Ayodeji Babatunde (aka Papalampa) was the first to be arrested in his house at No. 3 Ope Daniel Taiwo Street, off Chisco Bus-Stop, Lekki area of Lagos when the consignment arrived on Sunday, 23rd July.
“During preliminary interview with the suspect, he confessed he started the illicit trade three years ago and has been selling to patrons of clubs and lounges in Lekki and Lagos Island, some of which he identified as Quilox, Silver Fox, DNA and Hot box.
“Oseni said beside the drug business, he also organizes shows for artistes around Lagos and outside Nigeria.
“A total of ten (10) parcels of Colorado weighing 2.50kg concealed inside large tins of coffee and duvets linked to Oseni were intercepted by NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja.
“During a follow up search of his residence, operatives recovered some quantities of the same substance, a digital weighing scale and other paraphernalia.
“An Ikoyi based businessman, Nnadi Kingsley Ikenna, also linked to the shipment was away in South Africa when the consignment arrived.
“While operatives maintained surveillance around his 18 Okotie Eboh Close, Ikoyi residence, they also set their dragnet for him at the airport.
“He eventually arrived into the waiting arms of NDLEA officers on Thursday 27th July when he returned to the country on a Kenya Airlines flight at the Lagos airport.
“Kingsley, in his statement accepted ownership of a part of the consignment”.
In the same vein, NDLEA operatives attached to the NAHCO export shed of the MMIA intercepted a cargo going to Nairobi, Kenya.
A search of the consignment revealed that various quantities of MDMA (Ecstasy) popularly known as ‘Molly’ and Rohypnol were concealed in a bag consisting of foodstuff.
An agent, Onydem Chinwe Florence, who presented, it for export was arrested.
Also, an attempt by another suspect, Igboma Ifeanyi to export quantities of Loud, a variant of Cannabis, Tramadol and Rohypnol, all weighing 7.8kg concealed in 66 bottles of skin lightening lotion, was thwarted by vigilant operatives who intercepted him while preparing to board an Ethiopian airline flight to Muscat, Oman at the Lagos airport.
Another suspect, Ekpenisi Wisdom Pious, was equally arrested while trying to board an Ethiopian airline flight to Oman with 6.00kg skunk hidden in a bag of food stuff.
A follow up operation led to the arrest of a staff of Toprano Hotel, Ikeja, Ibigbami Temitope Oluwatobi, who was fingered in the drug trafficking scheme.
A consignment of 5.70kg codeine syrup going to the United Kingdom was on Thursday 27th July seized from a 51-year-old widow, Adewunmi Taiwo Atinuke, by NDLEA operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the MMIA Ikeja.
Equally, a consignment of 8.5kg skunk, well concealed in a vehicle engine block going to Dubai, UAE, was on Tuesday 18th July, intercepted by NDLEA officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation, DOGI, attached to courier companies in Lagos.
At the Apapa seaport in Lagos, another container load of nitrous oxide popularly known as laughing gas, linked to a 30-year-old businessman, Stephen Eze, was seized on Tuesday 25th July.
Two containers of the same substance imported from China by the suspect was earlier seized on 13th July at the Apapa port.
The third shipment was intercepted during a joint examination of the container marked SUDU7431605 containing 8,336 cannisters of Nitrous Oxide and pressure release Nozzles.
In Ondo state, two suspects: Francis Diamond, 26, and Adekunle Damilola, 26, were arrested in Ita Ogbolu forest with 247.5kg cannabis while a Golf Car conveying the same substance weighing 308kg was intercepted at Airport Junction along Akure-Ogbese Road on Wednesday 26th July with a suspect Farouk Umar, 38, arrested. A 32-year-old suspect,
Chukwuma Nnaji was also arrested with 47kg skunk in a warehouse at Onuogba Eke, Ishielu LGA, Enugu state on Saturday 29th July, while 12kg of the same substance was recovered from a lock up shop during the raid.
A grandpa, Boniface Ogwurlobi, 62, and Chimezie Onyenjuru were arrested at Uli town Ihila LGA, Anambra state with a total of 49.415kg cannabis sativa, 127.7grams of methamphetamine and 15grams of cocaine during a raid operation on Friday 28th July.
Also, men of 9th Brigade, Nigerian Army transferred three suspects: Olasande Olutosin, Oleh Chiagozie and Obamuro Baiyeri arrested with 2,608.3kg cannabis sativa and the truck conveying the substance to the Lagos state Command of NDLEA on Tuesday 25th July.
NEDC Distributes Palliatives To People With Disabilities In Borno
The North East Development Commission (NEDC) has commenced distribution of palliatives to people living with disability in Borno State.
During the exercise on Saturday in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, the Managing Director of the Commission, Mr Mohammed Alkali, said the gesture was in line with the commission’s mandate.
Alkali, who was represented by the NEDC Coordinator for Borno, Mr Mohammed Umaru, said the exercise started with the people with disability in Maiduguri metropolitant and would be extended to their members in the 26 LGAs of the state.
“What we are doing here today will also be done in remaining 26 LGAs of Borno.
“It has also commenced or has been done in other north east states as part of measures to ensure that everyone is given a sense of belonging in line with the NEDC mandate”, he said.
Responding, the Chairman of people living with disability in Borno, Mallam Mohammed Abubakar, thanked the commission for the gesture and assured of the leadership’s commitment to ensure fairness in sharing the 50 bags of rice and 50 cartons of spaghetti to its members in the metropolis.
Abubakar urged other organisations to emulate the gesture by the commission in reaching out to vulnerable groups in their support to victims of insurgency at this critical period.
Tribunal Upholds Gov Alia’s Election
The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi on Saturday upheld the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 Governorship Election.
Delivering the judgment, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and PDP.
Karaye, who read the unanimous judgment, stated that only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on pre-election matters.
He further said the petitioners’ case was also an abuse of court processes because the same case was filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.
He said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 4th respondent since they were not members of the 4th respondent.
Justice Karaye further said that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of forgery against the 3rd respondent before the tribunal.
He said the 2nd and 3rd respondents were qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election and therefore, dismissed the case.
The petitioners, Titus Uba and the PDP, had dragged the respondents, INEC, Hyacinth Alia, Dr Sam Ode, and the APC before the tribunal, challenging their declaration by the INEC.
The petitioners argued that the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Gov Alia and Dr Ode, were at the time of contesting the election, not qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election.
They averred that the 4th respondent – the APC – did not follow the provisions of the law in the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates.
They also alleged that the 3rd respondent had presented a forged certificate to the 1st respondent, INEC, therefore, should be disqualified.
They therefore, prayed among other things, for the nullification of their election and declare the petitioners as winners of the election, having scored second highest lawful votes.
They also contended that having not qualified to contest the election, their votes should be declared invalid and certificates earlier issued to them by INEC be withdrawn.
The Tide’s source reports that the petitioners in the suit did not challenge the result of the March 18 Benue Governorship Election but qualifications of the candidates.
However, the respondents in their counter arguments, urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit in its entirety as it was an abuse of court processes.
The respondents stated that the Federal High Court Abuja Division, had before the election, delivered judgment on the same matter which was filed by the petitioners but they did not appeal the judgment till date.
They also said the issues raised were all pre election matter and only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain same.
The 2nd and 3rd respondents clearly stated that since the prayers sought by the petitioners were all pre-election matters, the petitioners case was status bar and should be struck out.
They said the petitioners lacked locus standing to challenge the nomination of candidates of other political parties as they were mere meddlesome interlopers.
PDP Chieftain Makes Case For Culture, Tradition Maintenance
A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Prince Dotun Babayemi, has called on traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders not to allow culture and traditions to go into extinction.
Babayemi gave the advice in Osogbo on Saturday to commemorate the Olojo festival celebration slated to hold between Septwmber 29 and October 2 in Ile-Ife.
The Tide’s source reports that Olojo festival is an ancient festival aimed at celebrating the remembrance of “Ogun”, god of iron, who is believed to be the first son of Oduduwa, progenitor of the Yoruba people.
Babayemi said relevant stakeholders in Yoruba land should rise up to rescue the culture and traditions as well as the language of the race from going into extinction.
“We have to go back to the days of yore because our known valued ethos and mores are fast ebbing.
“Sadly, these are already taking tolls on our value system as reflected in the moral decadence pervading our society today.
“It is sad that gradually our culture is being submerged by modernity/ civilisation and this portends a great danger for the future of the culture and traditions of Yoruba race.
“Unless everyone rises up to rescue this avoidable cultural eclipse, the future of our culture and traditions will be in jeopardy”, he said.
Babayemi, who is also a former PDP governorship aspirant in the state, congratulated the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, sons and daughters of Ile-Ife across the world on the celebration of the Olojo festival.
He said the constant celebration of the festival would not make the coming generations to lose touch with the history of the race, thereby rekindling cultural renaissance.
“I want to sincerely congratulate our highly revered traditional ruler of Ile-Ife, Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, and the good people of the ancient town home and abroad on the celebration of Olojo Festival.
“Sincerely speaking, unless we sustain the tempo of celebrating our culture in Yoruba land in the challenging face of modernity/civilisation, coming generations will lose touch with our history.
“Moreso, we are blessed with relics, artefacts and other cultural events worth celebrating”, he said.
The party stalwart urged custodians of Yoruba cultures and traditions to ensure cultural engagements that would continually ingrain the needed values in the subconscious of the younger generations.
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