By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted an alleged drug kingpin, Mr Ibeh Ejike, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja for ingesting 87 wraps of cocaine.
The NDLEA spokesperson, Mr Femi Babafemi, said this in a statement that the 41-year-old suspect was arrested on Wednesday, August 25, upon his arrival on board an Ethiopian Airline flight 911 from Kigali, Rwanda via Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
He said the accused person was taken in for a secondary check during which he tested positive for ingestion of the illicit substances.
“While under observation, he allegedly excreted 87 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.884 kilograms.
“Ibeh, who imports clothes for sale, hails from Owerrizikeala village in Orumba Local Government Area of Anambra State,” Mr Babafemi said.
In the same vein, a Lagos-based man, Mr Eze Okorie, has been arrested following the interception of 4.15 kilograms of methamphetamine consignment going to London, the United Kingdom.
Mr Babafemi said the drug was intercepted at the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, on August 13.
He said the drug was concealed in tins of tomato branded sunripe and packaged for the driver of a freight forwarding company to deliver at the airport export shed for onward movement to the UK.
“Though the freight company’s driver was initially arrested, follow up investigations and subsequent sting operation led to the arrest of the kingpin behind the consignment.
“Okorie was arrested at his Coker, Surulere, Lagos, home on Wednesday, August 25. He hails from Isu village in Onicha LGA, Ebonyi state,” said Mr Babafemi.
Meanwhile, he said the raid of drug joints continued across the states in the last week and that one Anietie Attauba was arrested at Idundu community, Cross River state with 9.9 grams of cocaine.
He added that a 23-year-old Joy Odey was picked up in Nassarawa Bakoko Area of Calabar Municipality LGA on Friday, August 27 with 500 grams of skunk.
“On the same day, one Ugwuanyi Basil was arrested at AK Divine Park, Harbour Road, Calabar with 2.6kg of cannabis; 10.33grams of cocaine and 30ml of swinol,” he said.
The NDLEA spokesperson said operatives of the FCT Command of the agency also intercepted a Hiace bus conveying bags of cannabis and 30 parcels of skunk.
This, he said, was cumulatively weighing 310 kilograms along Abaji-Gwagwalada expressway, where another 32 kilogrammes of tramadol was equally seized on the same day.
“In Anambra State, operatives also raided the Onitsha main market, Marine Line on Thursday, August 26, with the support of soldiers.
“Recovered during the raid were: 50kg of cannabis; 150grams of meth and 27.6grams of cocaine. One of the dealers, Moses Obiahu was arrested,” he said.
EFCC Questions Ex-NDDC Boss Nsima Ekere Over N47bn Fraud
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Nsima Ekere, has been grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The former NDDC boss was at the Lagos office of the agency on Wednesday to honour an invitation to him to answer questions surrounding an alleged fraud to the tune of N47 billion.
In 2016, a year after losing the governorship primary election of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State to Governor Udom Emmanuel, he was appointed as the MD of the commission.
He left office in 2018 to concentrate on his ambition to rule his home state and contested the gubernatorial poll in 2019 under the All Progressives Congress (APC) and lost again to Mr Emmanuel.
In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the NDDC from 2001 to 2019 and the report of the exercise, according to the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godswill Akpabio, said several frauds were uncovered.
The EFCC, reports said, has been trailing Mr Ekere and yesterday, he turned himself in and he was questioned on the allegations of contract inflation and award of fictitious contracts while in office.
This development is coming two days after the anti-money laundering organisation arrested the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, over allegations of diversion of N80 billion.
He was suspended yesterday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainah Ahmed, to enable a transparent investigation into the matter.
Also, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs Patricia Etteh, was apprehended on Tuesday by the agency over allegations of diversion of funds for projects.
IPMAN, EFCC Move Against Oil Theft, Vandalism in N’Delta
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has sought the support and intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in curbing oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of IPMAN, Mr Bello Binna, during a visit to the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Mr Nwanneka Nwokike, in his office.
Mr Binna said that the EFCC was the only agency trusted to give solutions on issues of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, IPMAN was more comfortable with what the EFCC is doing to curb
“We are here to collaborate with the Agency with which we are more comfortable, and we believe that with your support, our jobs will have a headway.
“In the past, our efforts have been wasted, we were advised that the agency that has the mandate to make our job effectively is the EFCC,” he said.
Responding, the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Mr Nwanneka Nwokike, said the EFCC was working tirelessly to put an end to the menace of illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region.
Mr Nwokike also stressed the need to educate youths within the region on the ills of oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.
“I assure you that the EFCC has the desire to reduce, if not bring to an end, the menace of illegal oil bunkering.
“We will educate our youths on the dangers of this, which is part of our mandate, educating our youths on why they must leave these illegalities. We must all come together to see how we can tackle this menace. I want to assure you that we will work together,” he said.
Akinwumi Adesina Turns Down Requests to Become Next Nigerian President
By Adedapo Adesanya
The President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has ruled himself out of the 2023 presidential race in Nigeria.
Mr Adesina made his position known in a statement on Tuesday after months of calls for him to join the contest after a group bought the presidential nomination form of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for him at the cost of N100 million.
In the statement, the banker emphasised that his current desire is to continue to hold the office of the president of the AfDB which he won reelection for last year.
However, he expressed appreciation for those who found him worthy of leading his country at this critical time it is undergoing different challenges ranging from economy, security and others.
“While I am deeply honoured, humbled and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to considered,” the statement read in part.
“I remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all the non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for Africa’s development.
“I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa,” Mr Adesina added.
Less than two weeks ago, a coalition of 28 groups purchased the N100 million APC presidential forms for the former Agriculture Minister.
The coalition consists of groups such as the Youth Arise Movement, Nigerians in Diaspora, One Nigeria Group, Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria, women groups, farmers, and other civil society groups.
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