Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, #NDLEA, has frustrated the bid by a Brazilian-based Nigerian to smuggle into Nigeria 5 Kkilograms of pure Cocaine from Brazil. Ibeh Augustine Chukwuma had arrived the airport via Ethiopian Airline, with a maximum ECOLAC bag which was found to contain the illicit drug consignment.
Chukwuma, aged 36, has been a resident of Sao Palo, Brazil where he worked in a construction company since 2011.
According to him, he had approached another Nigerian living in Brazil for financial support for his forthcoming traditional marriage in Nigeria and was promised the sum of N500, 000 if he could deliver the drug consignment to an unknown person who will receive him at the airport in Abuja.
Chukwuma, a primary school leaver, who said his two parents are aged admitted that he was fully aware of the content of the bag but offered to carry it because of the pressing financial need.
“His name is Emmanuel Paul. He deals in food stuff along with operating a restaurant. He is my friend. I asked him for financial assistance for my marriage and he said he cannot give me the money until I carry the cocaine. He actually told me that it is drug but I have no choice”. (Gistmania)
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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed a grand plot by some elements to foist a Fulani and Islamic agenda on Nigeria and other West African countries, just as he called for global action against terrorism and other organised crimes.
Obasanjo, a one-time military Head of State and two-term civilian president expected to be privy to local and global intelligence on terrorism, said lack of education and employment for the youths could no longer be advanced as the reason Boko Haram insurgency still festered.
“It is no longer an issue of lack of education and lack of employment for our youths in Nigeria which it began as.
“It is now West African Fulanisation, African Islamisation and global organised crimes of human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, illegal mining and regime change,” he said.
The former president made the revelation on Saturday while speaking on the topic Mobilising Nigeria’s Human and Natural Resources for National Development and Stability, at the second session of the Synod of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, held at the Cathedral of Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, Oleh in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State.
He knocked the Federal Government for allowing the Boko Haram and herdsmen’s attacks to fester by treating the matter with kid gloves, urging President Muhamamdu Buhari to rally local and global stakeholders in seeking solution to the fight against terrorism.
The former president tasked Buhari to take the issue of insecurity seriously at all levels and address it at once “without favouritism or cuddling.”
“Both Boko Haram and herdsmen’s acts of violence were not treated as they should at the beginning. They have both incubated and developed beyond what Nigeria can handle alone. They are now combined and internationalised with ISIS in control.
“Yet, we could have dealt with both earlier and nip them in the bud, but Boko Haram boys were seen as rascals not requiring serious attention in administering holistic measures of stick and carrot.
“And when we woke up to the reality, it was turned to industry for all and sundry to supply materials and equipment that were already outdated and that were not fit for active military purpose.
“Soldiers were poorly trained for the unusual mission, poorly equipped, poorly motivated, poorly led and made to engage in propaganda rather than achieving results.
“Intelligence was poor and governments embarked on games of denials while paying ransoms which strengthened the insurgents and yet governments denied payments of ransoms.
“Today, the insecurity issue has gone beyond the wit and capacity of Nigerian government or even West African governments.
“Government must appreciate where we are, summon each group that should make contributions one by one and subsequently collectively seek the way forward for all hands on deck and with the holistic approach of stick and carrot.
“There should be no sacred cow. Some of the groups that I will suggest to be contacted are: Traditional rulers, past heads of Service Chiefs (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of paramilitary or organisations, private sector and civil society.
“Others are community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of States, past Intelligence Chiefs, past heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of the opposition and nay groups that may be deemed relevant,” he said.
On the poor state of the economy, Obasanjo advised the Buhari-led government to wriggle itself out of the temptation of excessive borrowing and the attendant devaluation trap.
“What have we gained from moving Nigerian currency value from one naira to almost two dollar to N360 to one dollar in one generation’s impoverishment?” he asked.
Meanwhile, speaking on the theme for the Synod Work, Night Comes taken from John chapter 9 verses 4 and 5, the Bishop of Ughelli Diocese, Right Reverend John Aruakpo, urged the congregation to serve God while they’re still alive, stressing that, “no one knows where, how and when death will meet him/her.”
The cleric, who acknowledged the presence of dignitaries, commended former President Obasanjo for honouring the church’s invitation to attend the 2019 synod. (Tribune)
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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to immediately intervene in the case of Zainab Aliyu, the student detained by the Saudi Arabia authorities over drug-related charges.
Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested by Saudi authorities on December 26, 2018, for allegedly traveling with luggage containing unlawful substance believed to be tramadol.
Zainab had traveled through the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) for lesser Hajj with her mother, Maryam, and sister, Hajara.
A petition filed by Aliyu’s family later led the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to uncover a cartel at MAKIA which specialized in planting illicit drugs in travelers’ luggage.
The arrest of seven members of the cartel led to the discovery that the tramadol-bearing luggage was planted on Aliyu without her knowledge.
“Based on the investigation carried out, it has been revealed that the said Zainab Habibu Aliyu was not the owner of the second luggage tagged in her name,” an NDLEA report read.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed that Buhari gave the directive two weeks ago when the matter was brought to his attention.
In a statement Abdur-Rahman Balogun, media aide to Dabiri-Erewa, quoted the presidential aide as saying: “President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive immediately the matter was brought to his attention about two weeks ago.
“My office has been working with the AGF as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in that regard.”
She assured that progress was being made in Zainab’s case along with two others in similar circumstances in Saudi Arabia.
Dabiri Erewa said that Zainab, though detained, had not been put on trial by the Saudi Arabia government. And with the hard evidence that those who implicated her had been arrested, a strong legal case was being made to the Saudi authorities
Mr. Habib Aliyu, the father of the alleged drug courier, Zainab Aliyu, had appealed to the Federal government, the Saudi authorities and the international community as well as well-meaning individuals to intervene in her daughter’s case and save the ‘innocent’ lady from being executed wrongly.
Aliyu, who is not happy that his daughter is cooling off in a Saudi Prison despite the recent discovery that she was framed up by some drug cartel, explained that the allegations of Zainab entering the country with tramadol, was absolute falsehood as recent events and arrests had confirmed the girl’s innocence. (The Sun)
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Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said execution of a Nigerian woman by Saudi Arabia Government over drug-related matters was pathetic and tragic.
Dabiri-Erewa said in a statement by her Media aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, on Tuesday in Abuja, that the news of the tragedy was painful.
According to her, it is regrettable that in spite of wise counsel for Nigerians travelling to Saudi Arabia by relevant government agencies to obey the countrys laws, some Nigerians still go and foul the law.
Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora (ElitesNigeria)
This particular execution is very worrisome, especially when over eight Nigerians have been killed in the past few years over the same issue in Saudi Arabia, she said.
The presidents aide disclosed that no fewer than 20 Nigerians were currently on death row in Saudi Arabia and that many were in prisons serving various jail terms.
Our major concern, however,is whether the trial was fair to the convicts as it was not open and some of them were said to be implicated without a defence counsel.
Dabiri-Erewa said that Nigerian government had made pleas on behalf of some Nigerians, to the Saudi Arabia government, to temper justice with mercy, but that it had not yielded positive results.
We are not saying our citizens in Saudi Arabia should be committing crimes, but we want Saudi Arabia to temper justice with mercy especially on offences that carry capital punishment.
We are appealing again to our citizens to avoid crime and criminality in Saudi Arabia and other countries and be good ambassadors to Nigeria anywhere they go, she said.
Saudi Arabias Interior Ministry had said that four persons, including one woman, were executed on Monday for drug trafficking, bringing to 53 the number of persons put to death for offences with capital punishment this year.
Two Pakistani men, a Yemeni man and a Nigerian woman were executed in the holy city of Makkah, the ministry said ina statement.
In 2018, Saudi Arabia carried out death sentences on 120 persons for dealing in illicit drugs and some other related offences. (NAN)
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President Donald Trump travelled to New Hampshire Monday to unveil a new plan to combat the opioid crisis in the U.S., including seeking the death penalty for major drug traffickers.
“If you break the law and illegally peddle these deadly poisons, we will find you, we will arrest you and we will hold you accountable,” Trump said in Manchester Monday afternoon.
There are three prongs to Trump’s new plan: reduce demand and over-prescription, cut off the supply of illegal drugs, and support treatment and recovery for those struggling with addiction. The most controversial of his proposals concerns law enforcement— Trump officially announced Monday, after weeks of floating the idea, that he wants the Justice Department to seek the death penalty against drug traffickers.
“If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers, we’re wasting our time,” Trump said onstage in New Hampshire. “That toughness includes the death penalty.”
Trump reasoned that “if you kill one person, you get the death penalty or you go to jail for life,” but drug dealers can kill “thousands” of people through their actions and wouldn’t get the same sentence. He said he wants capital punishment for “the big pushers, the ones that are really killing so many people.”
But some experts in the field are concerned. “We see that policing around drug use is skewed toward black and brown communities,” says Widney Brown of the Drug Policy Alliance, arguing that this policy would be a return to the “War on Drugs” era of the 1970s. “There’s no reason to think that the application of the death penalty would not also be skewed toward targeting people in those communities.”
Trump also walked through the other parts of his plan, including promising increased federal funding for the development of non-addictive painkillers and creating “very, very bad commercials” that show “unsavoury situations” brought on by drugs to scare children off trying them.
New Hampshire is an early primary state, but the president’s trip was billed as a non-political, policy-oriented event. “The opioid crisis is viewed by us at the White House as a nonpartisan problem searching for bipartisan solutions,” counsellor to the president Kellyanne Conway said on a call with reporters Sunday evening.
But Trump swerved into politics during the speech, linking his opioid efforts to building a border wall, sanctuary cities and the fight over DACA in Congress. And he made an explicit nod to a reelection campaign when he said, “I want to win this battle. I don’t want to leave at the end of seven years and have this problem.” Amid the ensuing cheers from the assembled crowd, he joked there were “a lot of voters in this room.”
Trump’s message to New Hampshire, one of the states hardest hit by the crisis, was simple: “I see what you’re going through,” he said.
“We’re pouring a lot of money and a lot of talent into this horrible problem,” he promised. “We’ll be spending the most money ever on the opioid crisis.” (Time)
Police have seized nearly 400 kilos of cocaine from the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires and arrested several members of a drug trafficking gang, Argentina’s security minister announced Thursday.
Patricia Bullrich told a press conference that the drugs discovered in an annexe of the embassy had a street value of around 50 million euros (about $62 million).
“A gang of narco-criminals was trying to use the diplomatic courier service of the Russian embassy” to ship the drugs to Europe, she said.
She told reporters that Russian and Argentine police had decided to mount a sting operation after the Russian ambassador informed them of the drugs found in December 2016.
“The cocaine was replaced by flour and monitoring devices were placed to monitor delivery” of the 16 bags of the drug, Bullrich said. She said the sting had resulted in the arrest of five suspects — two in Argentina and three in Russia.
The drug, of “very high purity,” was destined for Russia and probably also Germany, where the suspected mastermind lives. “We believe the German police will arrest this fugitive,” Bullrich said.
The minister said Russian security service agents “came to Argentina on three occasions to assist in the investigation”, which took more than a year.
One of the two people arrested in Argentina is a naturalized Russian who was a member of the police force in Buenos Aires, said Bullrich.
Investigators believe the cocaine likely originated in Colombia or Peru.
A 59-year-old contractor, Okechukwu Joseph, has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for ingesting heroin, which he was smuggling to New York.
Also arrested is a 41-year-old safety officer, Nnaji Austine, who was exporting Cannabis and Tramadol to Qatar.
According to a statement by the spokesperson of the NDLEA, Mr Mitchell Ofoyeju, Joseph was arrested during the outward screening of passengers on a Turkish airline flight to New York while Austine was arrested as he tried to board an Ethiopian airline flight to Doha.
NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba, was quoted as saying that Okechukwu, who was put under observation, later excreted 1.105kg of heroin.
Austine on the other hand reportedly concealed 11.54kg of cannabis and 490g of Tramadol in his luggage.
The suspects are currently being investigated by a team of narcotic officers.
Joseph, an Imo State indigene living in Surulere, Lagos, said he turned to drug smuggling because he was hugely indebted.
But Austine, an Enugu State indigene, told the NDLEA that the luggage did not belong to him. He said he was helping his friend out.
He said, “l work as a safety officer in Qatar and I came to Nigeria to see my parents and make arrangements for my marriage.
“My friend in Qatar called me and asked me to bring some foodstuff to him. When the bag was given to me at the airport, I almost rejected it because it was too heavy. Unfortunately, it contained drugs which were detected by officers.”
The Chairman of the NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd.), said that the agency had perfected strategies to detect hidden drugs, adding that the suspects would be charged to court soon. (Punchng.com)