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Lagos Customs hands over seized drugs to NDLEA

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…As NDLEA commends synergy with security agencies

The Lagos Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has handed over seized illicit drugs to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Tincan Seaport yesterday.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the synergy between the two law enforcement agencies, saying the collaboration is a strong warning to drug cartels that theyll continue to lose their investments in the criminal trade.

In his remarks, Marwa who was represented at the ceremony by the Agencys Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, said the “handing over of seized illicit drugs in custody of the Nigeria Customs Service is a development that speaks volumes about the hard work and diligence of security agencies tasked with securing the territory of our country. The seizure is a testament that, just like the airports, the sea ports are also secured.”

That we are here today doing this is a testament to the cooperation we received from the Nigeria Customs Service. This level of cooperation between NDLEA and Customs, as well as other security agencies and port stakeholders, is a strong signal to drug cartels that our ports and indeed Nigeria, will not be a haven for their criminal business. The synergy between Customs and NDLEA would further ensure the closing of other loopholes that criminal elements may have capitalised on in the past years to smuggle illicit items into our country.

He expressed appreciation to the leadership, men and officers of the Customs for the collaboration between the Service and NDLEA, not only at Tincan Port but across all areas of responsibilities where the two agencies partner to promote the interest of the country.

According to him, “I will also seize this opportunity to commend the officers and men of the Tin Can Command of NDLEA and other special units, including our K-9 unit, involved in the processes leading to these seizures, for their steadfastness since we received intelligence weeks ago from our international partners on the containers from which these drugs were recovered as they departed the port of loading.

“The command and other units had diligently tracked the movement of the containers up to the time of their landing in our port. In the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, NDLEA never hesitated to share intelligence with the Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service and also requested that the command ensure the containers were pinned down for 100 percent examination.”

Marwa assured that NDLEA, Nigeria Customs and other security organisations remain committed to ensuring that the countrys territorial integrity is protected.

In his remarks, the CG Customs said the collaborative efforts with the NDLEA have proven effective in pooling resources and intelligence to safeguard the nation’s borders. In his words, In recognition of the threats and the collaborative nature of criminal activities, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has steadfastly prioritized strategic partnerships with stakeholders over the past seven months.

This deliberate focus aims to harness the specialised expertise of our partners in a manner that enhances our capability to fulfil our core mandates. Just as criminals find strength in collaboration, government agencies must equally appreciate the advantages of working collectively to fulfil their statutory responsibilities. It is within this context that the ongoing collaborative efforts between the NCS and the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have consistently yielded positive results. This collaborative synergy exemplifies the effectiveness of pooling resources and intelligence, reinforcing the commitment of both agencies to safeguarding the nation’s borders and protecting its citizens from the threats posed by illegal substances.

The items handed over include: 65 packets of Colorado, a strain of cannabis weighing 32.5kg seized from 1X40FT Container No. UACU 534833/6 imported from Canada; 17 parcels of cocaine weighing 16.690kg; 151 parcels of Colorado weighing 107kg; some precursor chemicals among others seized from 1x40ft Container No. MSCU 458177/0 imported from Durban South Africa; 40 packets of cocaine weighing 39.7kg; 1026 packets of Colorado weighing 688.2kg seized from 40ft container No. THRU 796807/1 imported from Durban South Africa and 226 packets of Colorado weighing 128kg seized from 40ft container No. MEDU 785276/3 imported from Durban South Africa.

Crime

Alleged $9.6bn P&ID scam: Hearing in EFCC’s suit against fleeing Briton stalled

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Hearing in two separate money laundering suits filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against British national, James Nolan, could not proceed on Wednesday at a Federal High Court, Abuja.

The matter, which was scheduled for adoption of final written addresses of parties by Justice Donatus Okorowo, suffered setback due to failure of Nolan’s counsel, Michael Ajara, to file and serve his processes on the EFCC”s lawyer, Bala Sanga.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Okorowo had, on Nov. 20, 2023, fixed today for adoption of the final addresses after Nolan, who jumped bail and fled Nigeria in the alleged 9.6 billion dollars Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Ltd scandal, opened his defence in absentia without calling any witness.

Ajara had told the judge that he did not intend to call any witness upon resumed hearing in the matter in the last adjourned date.

He said after his evaluation of the EFCC’s evidence, he would rely on the case of the prosecution and Sanga did not object, upon which the matter was fixed for today.

When the matter was called on Wednesday, Ajara had not filed their final written address.

The lawyer prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him do the needful.

The anti-graft agency’s lawyer, Christie Makar, who held Sanga’s brief, did not oppose the oral application.

Justice Okorowo consequently adjourned the matter until May 6 for adoption of final written addresses.

NAN reports that the EFCC is prosecuting Trinity Biotech Nigeria Limited and Nolan in the charged marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/272/2022 as 1st and 2nd defendants in the case.

Also, the commission is also prosecuting the sister case marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/273/2022 filed against Resorts Express Concept Nigeria Ltd, another company, and Corrado Fantoli as 1st and 2nd defendants respectively before Okorowo.

Fantoli, also a foreigner and an associate of Nolan, was one of the suspects behind the alleged $9.6 billion P&ID fraud.

The suspect, said to be at large, alongside the company, was arraigned in absentia on Nov. 25, 2022, on eight-count money laundering charge.

He was not present in court or represented by a lawyer when they were arraigned.

The court also declared him wanted and ordered for his arrest anywhere he is sighted after Sanga made application to the effect.

Fantoli and Giovanna Beccarelli, who had also been declared wanted and an arrest warrant issued against her, were said to be directors and signatories to the company’s Guaranty Trust Bank account number: 0123849451.

Resorts Express Concept Nigeria Ltd and Trinity Biotech Nigeria Limited are two of the over 30 companies associated with the $9.6 billion scam.

NAN reports that other cases linked to the scandal are currently before Justice Ahmed Mohammed, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, Justice Zainab Abubakar of FHC, Abuja, besides other charges at FCT High Courts.

A Business and Property Court in London presided over by Justice Robin Knowles of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales had, in October, quashed the 11 billion dollars awarded against Nigeria in a case filed by the P&ID.

Judge Knowles held that the award was obtained by fraud and that what had happened in the case was contrary to public policy.

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NAF bombs terrorists hideouts in Borno

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The Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai, OPHK, and the Nigerien Air Force on Tuesday eliminated scores of terrorists and destroyed their hideouts in Damasak and Mobbar local government areas of Borno State.

A statement by the Director, Public Relations and Information of NAF, AVM Edward Gabkwet, on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the interdictions were under the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF.

Gabkwet said the terrorists had attempted to attack troops of Sector 4 of the MNJTF at Lada, a border town between Niger Republic and Nigeria, and subsequently fled across the border into Nigeria.

According to him, the fleeing terrorists who were on eight motorcycles were later tracked to two locations in Zarri village, about 28 kilometers east of Damasak and Mala Alide in Mobbar areas of Borno.

He further stated that they were observed hibernating in the village with their motorcycles hidden under trees.

“Subsequently, airstrikes from the Air Component of OPHK and Nigerien Air Force, under the watchful eye of Niger’s Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, struck the terrorists’ locations.

“Real-time ISR footage later confirmed numerous terrorists were eliminated and several structures within the targeted areas destroyed.

“Collaborative efforts of this nature have continued to yield positive outcomes on both sides of the border.

“It has also led to the reduction in terrorism and other forms of cross-border crimes perpetrated by criminals crisis-crossing the borders to evade justice,” he added.

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Sex Scandal: We won’t oppose any sanction against lecturer — ASUU UNN

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that the union would not oppose any sanction against the lecturer allegedly involved in sex scandal in a video trending in the social media.

Chairperson of ASUU, University of Nigeria Nsukka, (UNN), Dr Oyibo Eze said this in Nsukka on Tuesday while reacting to the alleged attempt by a lecturer in UNN to have sex with a female student in his office on Monday.

“ASUU will not oppose any sanction if after investigations, the suspect is found guilty of allegation to have attempted to have sex with a female student in his office.

“We should all know that every action has its consequences,” he said.

He said that ASUU condemned the alleged act by the lecturer identified as Mr. David Udom-Udom of the Social Science Unit, School of General Studies (GS) of the UNN.

“I saw the trending video of the alleged act yesterday and this morning I went  to GS department and confirmed the incident in the viral video on Monday.

“Lecturers should see students as their children by displaying high sense of discipline, morality and avoid asking sex for mark.

“It is condemnable and that is what happens when a dog eats the bone hung on its neck.

“Our job as lecturers is to teach students not to harass them sexually,” he said.

Reacting to the incident, Comrade Enoch Utazi, the President, Students Union Government (SUG) of the UNN, also condemned the alleged act by Udom to have sex with a student for mark.

Utazi said SUG would follow the matter to its logical conclusion to ensure that the affected randy lecturer was punished according to rules and regulations of the university.

“SUG will ensure this randy lecturer is punished to serve as deterrent to others who exploit female students sexually in order to give them mark,” Utazi said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chris Alumona, the Chief Security Officer of UNN, when contacted, confirmed the incident and said that the randy lecturer Udom-Udom had been arrested and handed over to the police.

Alumona said his office acted on tip-off from UNN Department of Students Affairs on what was happening on Monday in Udom’s office

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