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NDLEA Arrests Teacher for Recruiting Mules for Drug Cartel

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Drug Dealers NDLEA

By Adedapo Adesanya

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), at the weekend, disrupted the activities of a major cocaine syndicate in Lagos following the arrest of a 56-year-old man, Mr Lawal Lateef Oyenuga, who was caught on a mission to deliver 400 grams of class A drug concealed in a pair of palm sandals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

This led to the swift follow-up arrest of a wanted suspect, Mr Wasiu Sanni Gbolahan, popularly known as Teacher, who the authority says recruits mules for the cartel.

NDLEA operatives attached to the screening point of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos had on Thursday, November 24 intercepted Mr Oyenuga with a pair of black palm sandals packed in the luggage he was going with to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, via Addis Ababa on an Ethiopian Airways flight.

A thorough examination of the sandals revealed they were used to conceal two parcels of cocaine weighing 400 grams. This is barely a week after a 56-year-old widow and mother of four, Mrs Ajisegiri Kehinde Sidika, was arrested at the airport over her attempt to traffic 400 grams of cocaine concealed in her footwear to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, on board a Qatar Airways flight.

In his statement, Mr Oyenuga claimed he was recruited to traffic the drug by Teacher, adding that he was first given some pellets of cocaine to swallow, but when he couldn’t do that, then he was given the ones concealed in the palm sandals.

He said he resorted to the criminal trade to raise money to pay an examination fee for his daughter in Senior Secondary School class 3.

The agency’s database reveals Teacher has been linked to previous attempts to traffic cocaine to Saudi Arabia and Dubai, UAE.

He was earlier named as the one who recruited a BRT driver, Mr Bolajoko Muyiwa Babalola, for Lagos socialite and owner of Adekaz Hotels, Mr Ademola Afolabi Kazeem (a.k.a Alhaji Abdallah Kazeem Muhammed) to traffic drugs to Dubai. Mr Bolajoko was arrested on June 27 while taking 900 grams of cocaine to Dubai while Ademola Kazeem was nabbed on Thursday, November 10, barely 10 days after he was declared wanted by NDLEA.

A follow-up operation in the early hours of Friday, November 25, led to the arrest of the kingpin, Teacher, who specialises in recruiting mules for drug barons in Lagos and its environs at his residence located in the Ikorodu area of Lagos. The 64-year-old man is a housing and property agent with seven children and four wives, one of whom is now late.

In another follow-up operation to the seizure of 1.10kg cannabis concealed in bottles of body cream going to Dubai on September 9, the actual owner of the consignment, Mr Wordu Hopewell Chukwuemeka, who runs a boutique business in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was arrested in the Garden City on Thursday, November 24.

Similarly, operatives attached to the NAHCO import shed of the Lagos airport on Tuesday, November 24, intercepted a consolidated cargo from Johannesburg, South Africa, via an Airpeace Airline flight.

The cargo contained different items, including cloths, cereals, baby toys, drinks, and a set of two big black speakers, which were used to conceal 25 parcels of Loud variant of cannabis, with a gross weight of 5.5kg.

In a similar vein, operatives attached to the SAHCO export shed of the airport the same Tuesday intercepted a carton of food items used to conceal 500 grams of cannabis going to Dubai, UAE, while the owner, Uzoma Kingsley, was promptly arrested.

In a related development, an attempt by an organised criminal group to traffic 131kg of Ephedrine, a dominant precursor chemical for the production of Methamphetamine, to Congo Kinshasa through the SAHCO export shed of the airport was foiled on Monday, November 21, by NDLEA operatives in conjunction with Aviation Security (AVSEC) officers of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). Two freight agents, namely Mr Nwazuru Georgewill and Mr Saheed Muritala, linked to the bid, were promptly arrested.

Meanwhile, an attempt by a suspected drug trafficker, Mr Udogwu James Johnson, facing multiple charges of drug offences, to flee the country after he jumped bail has been thwarted by NDLEA operatives at the Port Harcourt International Airport, where he was arrested on Friday, November 25.

The 51-year-old suspect was already facing trial at a Federal High Court in Lagos before he was arrested again on Saturday, April 9, in Port Harcourt for importing 5.48kg cocaine concealed in lotion plastic bottles sealed with candle wax.

He was granted bail by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, November 23, over his latest offence while the Lagos court had issued a warrant of arrest against him for jumping bail over his case in Lagos.

At the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, the move by a Brazilian returnee, Iroegbute Ejike Francis, 46, to smuggle 4kg cocaine soaked in towels stuffed in his hand luggage into the country was foiled on Thursday, November 24, by NDLEA officers who arrested him, upon his arrival on a Qatar Airlines flight from Brazil -Doha-Abuja.

No fewer than 5,851.3 kilograms (5.8 tons) of cannabis Sativa were seized from dealers across five states in the past week, including a notorious cripple, Ibrahim Yusuf, 45, who was arrested on Monday 21st Nov. at Gasline, Ifo, Ogun state with 4kg of the psychotropic substance, while a total of 36 bags weighing 570kg of the same substance were recovered in another raid at a forest in Ogunmakin town, Obafemi Owode LGA.

In Edo, operatives on Tuesday, November 22, evacuated 141 bags of Cannabis Sativa with a gross weight of 1,884 kg (1.884 tons) stored in a warehouse in Okpe forest, Akoko Edo LGA, while on Thursday, November 24, NDLEA officers arrested Ismaila Abubakar, 50, at Okada junction, Ovia South West LGA with 22 bags of C/S weighing 216.5kg. A day after, operatives also seized 112 bags of C/S stored in Obi Camp forest, Ovia South West LGA weighing 1,512kg.

This was also followed by another seizure of 45 bags that weighed 529.5kg, while officers equally intercepted a Toyota Sienna bus with Reg. No. BDG 598 FZ (Lagos) loaded with 566.5kg cannabis going to Onitsha, Anambra State, and a suspect, Mr Sunday Mathias, 30, was arrested with the seizure.

Meanwhile, in Ondo state, NDLEA operatives stormed Oke-Ogun forest on Friday, November 25, where a Mr Onyebuchi Chime was arrested with 88kg cannabis, a gun, and some ammunition while they also recovered 149.5kg of the substance at Ipele forest. Not less than 12.42 hectares of cannabis farms were destroyed, and 195kg of processed weeds of the substance were recovered at Efon Alaye, Ekiti State, where two dealers, Mr Richard Ebong and Mr Nze Abraham, were arrested on Saturday, November 26.

In Oyo state, operatives arrested a 27-year-old Mrs Adebayo Rahmat on Thursday, November 24, at Sabo-Ilupeju, Atiba LGA, with 136.3kg cannabis, while no fewer than 84,000 pills of Tramadol tablets were recovered from a suspect, Mr Muhsin Abdullahi in Bodinga area of Sokoto state same day.

In another development, 16,000 pills of Exol-5 and D5 concealed in palm oil were seized from Lawal Rabe, 24, on Friday, November 25, at Kokami village, Danta LGA, Katsina, while a total of 54,500 tablets of Tramadol and Exol-5 were seized from the duo of Mr Basiru Muhammadu and Mr Saidu Yusuf in the same area on Saturday, November 26.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Violent Protest Erupts in Ibadan Over Naira Scarcity

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protest in Ibadan

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

There are reports of a violent protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, over the scarcity of old and new Naira notes, Business Post has gathered.

It was learned that residents of the ancient city are venting their anger over the hardship caused by the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the federal government.

The central bank redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and asked citizens to return their old banknotes because they would cease to be legal tender.

However, since the introduction of the new currency notes in circulation on December 15, 2022, many Nigerians have not been able to withdraw their money from banks, fuelling anger in the land.

On Friday afternoon, some residents of Ibadan, especially in Iwo Road, took to the streets to express their frustration at the development, which is coming at a time consumers have to queue for petrol.

They had bonfires on the road and disrupted business activities in some areas of the city.

Recall that today, the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, announced the suspension of his campaign activities over the scarcity of Naira and fuel.

Also on Friday, the Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) met with President Muhammadu Buhari to appeal to him to change his mind on the Naira swap policy because of the effect on the people and the 2023 general elections starting later this month.

The President had earlier been asked not to show up in Kano State because of fears of a violent protest over the development. After the deadline was moved forward, the Governor of the state, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said he was safe to visit the ancient city.

However, during his visit to Kano, there were reports of a demonstration, with a chopped stoned by some residents of the state and convoys attacked by angry protesters.

The government claimed the protest was not directed at President Buhari, while the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said otherwise.

protest in Ibadan

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APC Governors Beg Buhari to Allow Use of Old, New Naira Notes

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APC Governors

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to allow the use of old and Naira notes as legal tender in the country until the former is naturally mopped up from the circulation.

This appeal was made on Friday by Governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during a meeting with Mr Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In a brief chat with reporters after the meeting, the Governor of Kano State, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said after the request was made to the President, he promised to look into it.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last month redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes and said the old currency denominations would cease to be legal tender from January 31, 2023.

However, two days before the deadline, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, after a meeting with President Buhari in his hometown in Daura, Katsina State, said the deadline had been shifted to February 10, 2023, noting that Nigerians had a grace period of February 17, 2023, to return the old notes to the bank.

On Tuesday, January 31, he appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the CBN policy to say Nigerians could still take their old notes to banks after the deadline, promising that citizens will not lose their funds.

Today, the APC Governors met with Mr Buhari to discuss the scarcity of Naira in the financial system and also the lingering fuel scarcity.

One of the Governors present at the gathering, Mr Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, had claimed this week that the scarcity of cash and petrol was the handiwork of some elements in the Villa, who do not want the party to succeed in the forthcoming elections.

“We spoke with the President to allow the old and new notes to co-exist until the old notes die a natural death,” Mr Ganduje told newsmen while walking out after the meeting.

“Sir, did you discuss the petrol scarcity with him,” one of the reporters asked the Kano Governor, and he responded, “Yes.”

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Oyo Governor Suspends Campaign Activities Over Fuel, Naira Crisis

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Makinde campaign activities

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Due to the unending fuel and new Naira notes crisis rocking the country, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has suspended his campaign activities.

Mr Makinde is seeking another term in office under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He commenced his campaign activities last month, asking residents of the state to give him another chance to serve them.

But the scarcity of premium petrol spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, and cash has put Nigerians under untold hardship.

Governor Makinde, during the flag-off of the Omi-Adio-Ido Road on Friday, said in solidarity with the people over anti-people economy policies of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government, he would be suspending his campaign.

A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun confirmed this.

In the statement, Mr Makinde, who was in Ido to continue his campaign, directed that all campaign activities be suspended until further notice.

Mr Olatubosun said Governor Makinde noted that the suffering of his people was too much, saying he was elected to protect their interests and well-being.

The Commissioner said his boss, in an emotionally laden voice, directed leaders of the party in Oyo State to suspend the campaign.

“As a mark of honour to citizens and residents of Oyo State, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has directed that all campaign activities of the party at all levels be suspended until further notice,” the statement read.

“Governor Seyi Makinde’s love for his people necessitated this unprecedented move at this time. We urge all residents and citizens of the State to remain calm as we navigate through this difficult period together,” he added.

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