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NDLEA busts five-member airport drug syndicate, seizes N19.8m cash

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Wednesday said it launched a string of operations against drug cartels across Nigeria which led to the arrest of a fleeing drug kingpin heading a syndicate operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, and six other members of his gang.

The agency noted that a professional methamphetamine (Mkpuru Mmiri) cook and a lawyer were also arrested in Owerri, Imo State, and Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, respectively.

The drug enforcement agency, in a statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Femi Babafemi, said the operations led to the seizure of drugs and cash from the culprits.

The statement read in part, “The Lagos airport drug syndicate was behind the smuggling of 1,584,000 tablets of tramadol seized on Tuesday, March 15, by NDLEA operatives in collaboration with aviation security and customs service personnel at the airport. The seizure includes 17 cartons of 250mg tramadol branded as ‘Tamra’ weighing 669.70kg, and five cartons of 225mg tramadol under the brand name, ‘Royal’ with a gross weight of 217.15kg.”

The NDLEA noted that the psychotropic substance, which was imported into the country from Pakistan, was smuggled through the airport tarmac and intercepted at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Personnel Yard.

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Two suspects: Ofijeh Mowa, a SAHCO driver, and Nyam Gazu Alex, a security guard with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, were initially arrested in connection with the seizure.

“Further investigations by NDLEA operatives, however, led to the arrest of five other persons involved in the crime, including the ringleader, Yunana Fidelis, who fled Lagos to Kaduna the moment their lid was blown open. Others include Adesanwo Temitope, Owoseni Temidayo, Fasoranti Shola and Bamigbade Jonathan.

“Fidelis, who is also a worker with NACHO, had escaped and fled to Kaduna after depositing N19.8m cash with a BDC operator to be paid later into his bank account.

“After tracking him for days in Kaduna, on Friday, March 25, Fidelis relocated to Abuja where he was eventually arrested by NDLEA operatives at 7pm on Sunday, March 27, while he was trying to collect N1m cash from an undercover agent who posed as a BDC operator.

“In addition to recovering the cash Fidelis deposited with the BDC operator in Lagos, the agency also placed a post-no-debit order on his identified bank accounts,” the statement added.

The methamphetamine (Mkpuru Mmiri) cook, Reuben Bekweri, 34, was said to have been arrested in Owerri while trying to distribute a kilogramme of the illicit drug he cooked and packaged in seven nylon sachets in the Irete area of Imo State on Saturday, March 26.

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Thugs allegedly loyal to Governor Wike attack Rivers PDP presidential campaign boss’ residence, destroy vehicles

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Political thugs allegedly working for the Rivers state governor, Mr Nyesom Wike have invaded the residence of former Rivers South-East Senator, Lee Maeba.

The house located at GRA, Phase 3 axis in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was invaded by thugs on Thursday morning.

Maeba is the chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in the state.

A source said the hoodlums, allegedly loyal to Governor Wike, destroyed many cars, including an SUV, while occupants of the house including Senator Maeba’s relations fled the scene.

It was learnt that the hoodlums also shot indiscriminately and injured some occupants of the building during the attack.

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“About 200 hoodlums loyal to Governor Wike attacked the residence of Senator Lee Maeba this morning. They destroyed vehicles and injured some occupants,” the source said.

Since Governor Wike lost the presidential ticket of the party to the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the party has been factionalised.

This followed allegations made by the governor that the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu manipulated the process to favour Atiku, a fellow northerner.

He subsequently asked Ayu to resign from office but the national chairman has refused to do so amid the attendant crisis in the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The Wike-led Rivers government earlier revoked the ownership of a landed property belonging to Maeba in Port Harcourt.

When contacted, DSP Grace Woyengikuro Iringe-Koko, spokesperson for the state police command said she wasn’t aware of the incident.

SR

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Over 100 injured in Spanish train collision

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At least 150 people have been injured after two trains collided in the Catalonia region of north-eastern Spain, emergency services have said.

The crash, which occurred around 07:50 (06:50 GMT), took place at a station on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Local media reported that the trains had been travelling in the same direction and collided while one was parked at the station.

It is unclear how the accident happened and officials have yet to comment.

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Emergency officials wrote on Twitter that the crash happened at the Montcada i Reixac – Manresa station, about 12km (7 miles) from the city centre.

Writing on Twitter, emergency services said that 150 people were “in a mild condition” and five others had been left with “in a less serious condition”.

They added that three people had been transferred to hospital.

Train traffic was briefly disrupted on several lines due to the accident, the national rail service Renfe said.

One passenger told RAC1, a local radio station, that “train was full and my carriage, which was the last one, was completely full” at the time of the collision.

BBC News
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ICPC Arraigns Rector, others over N6m fraud

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The Rector, Samuel Timi Johnson and the Acting Bursar, Werepere Martins Degbegha of the International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, as well as one Yerikema Tony Tombra have been arraigned for their complicity in a Six Million Naira (N6,000,000) fraud.

The defendants were brought before Honorable Justice M.A Ayemieye of High Court 2, sitting in Yenagoa, by ICPC, on allegations bordering on ‘using office to confer corrupt advantage, conspiracy & making false statement.’

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ICPC, in a 7-count charge, is accusing the Rector and the Acting Bursar of conspiring and using their offices to confer corrupt advantage on themselves when they withdrew the above sum from the confers of the institute under the guise of spending the money on renovations of a viewing centre in Tropani Community while investigation revealed otherwise.

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