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Landlord bags five years imprisonment for allowing storage of warehouse cannabis

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By Sodiq Adelakun

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has sentenced a 51-year-old landlord, Saheed Ojomu, to five-year imprisonment for allowing his tenant to use his shop to warehouse cannabis.

Justice Daniel Osiagor handed down the sentence to the convict after he changed his not-guilty plea to guilty.

The convict was arrested over the banned substance found in one of his shops on March 31, 2017, by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

During his arrest and arraignment, he claimed that the banned substance belonged to one of his tenants, Sakiru (now at large), and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The charge read, “That you, Saheed Ojomu, 46, on or about March 31, 2017, at No. 1, Osho Street, Island, Lagos State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, being occupier and manager of a shop at No.1, Osho Street, Lagos Island, unlawfully permitted same to be used by one Sakiru (now at large) for the purpose of storing and dealing in 372.6 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa, a narcotic drug similar to cocaine, heroin and LSD, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 12 of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap. N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

During trial, the prosecution called two witnesses and tendered some exhibits, which the court admitted.

However, at the resumed trial of the convict on Wednesday, his counsel, Mrs Vivienne Ekwegh, informed the court that her client had decided to change his plea.

The prosecutor, Mrs N. J. Mamza, did not object to the application of the defence.

After listening to both counsel on the new development, Justice Osiagor ordered that the convict retake his plea.

After his plea was retaken, the prosecutor reviewed the facts of the case and urged the court to sentence the shop owner in accordance with relevant laws.

But counsel for the convict, Ekwegh, in her plea for mercy, described her client as a ‘victim of circumstances,’  as he was unaware that his tenant warehoused the banned substance in his shop.

She, therefore, urged the court to award a fine option in lieu of a custodian sentence.

In his judgment, Justice Osiagor sentenced the convict to five-year imprisonment.

However, the judge ordered the convict to pay a fine of N300,000.

In addition to the monetary fine, the judge also ordered the convict to perform three weeks of non-custodian community service.

 

Crime

Goods worth over N1.8bn intercepted between Jan-Feb — NCS

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By Bushrah Adeshina, Ibadan

The Oyo/Ogun Command of the Nigerian Customs Services has reported the interception of smuggled goods, bags of rice, petroleum motor spirit (PMS), used clothes, and Indian hemp, all amounting to N1,890,022,931.00 between January 19th and February 2024.

Moreover, the authorities confiscated counterfeit pharmaceuticals with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1,739,000,000.00 (one billion, seven hundred and thirty-nine million naira) this year, 2024. The interception took place in the Bakatari area of Omi-Adio, Ibadan.

The Area Controller, Ben Oramalugo said, “For the period of 19th January to February, 2024, the command has intercepted and seized the following contraband goods, foreign parboiled rice 345 (50kg) bags, worth N24,218,000.00, Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, 344 (25 litres) kegs, worth N5,728,500.00, Indian Hemp, 4 wraps (4 Kilograms), worth N126, 000.00, Used tyres, 1309 pieces, worth N70, 140,000,00, used clothing and shoes, 45 sacks/, 8 sacks/9 sacks, bales, worth N32,400,000.00/N10, 320, 000,00.

“Fake Pharmaceuticals, Augmentin Tablet, (625mg), 7 sacks, worth N819,000,000,00, Ampiclox, 22 sacks, worth N440,000,000,00, Amoxicillin Capsules, 24 sacks, worth N480,000,000,00, foreign wine, 34 cartons, 5 bottles, worth, N6,231,206,00, foreign vegetable oil, 40 bottles (5 litres), worth, N1,760,000,00, 21 bottles (1 litre), worth N99,225,00, totaling N1,890,022,931.00.”

He, however, reiterated the command’s effort towards the fight against ongoing economic difficulties by supporting the federal government to enhance food security in the country.

“Once again, we would like to reiterate that all borders within the command area of responsibility are still closed due to federal government policy on border closure, and as such, command officers remain vigilant and dedicated to preventing the snuggling of items that could compromise the health and well-being of our citizens,” Oramalugo stated.

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Crime

Man declared wanted for throwing homosexual party

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Due to the occurrence involving the homosexual offense committed, which is illegal in Nigeria, Mr. Dave Anselem Oparah has been declared wanted.

It was reported that he threw a homosexual party at his Lagos home on January 7, 2024; and the event drew other LGBT guests, and as a result of the celebration, a fight broke out amongst neighbourhood vigilantes.

He is currently wanted for prosecution after the community reported the situation to the authorities. Million naira properties were destroyed, and other people were hurt.

This notification acts as a public re-announcement. If someone knows where he is, should they let the community (Satellite Town) leader know.

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Crime

Forex:  Court strikes out charge against 19 BDC operators

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Justice Lewis Allagoa of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, struck out the charge against 19 Bureau De Change (BDC) Operators, following the withdrawal of the case.

The suspects are Ibrahim Jubril, Abdullahi Abubakar, Ibrahim Hassan, Adamu Isiaka, Ibrahim Abdulrahman, Jubril Hassan, Mohammed Isoaka, Mohammed Aminu and Adamu Ibrahim.

Others  are Hassan Amadu, Salisu Hamidu, Mahmoud Mohammed, Murtala Usman, Hassan Yakubu, Abdullahi Kabiru, Ali Sadam. Ahmadu Yusuf, Abdullahi Hussain and Alhaji Sido.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy, unlawfull operation of forex trading as BDC operators without licence from regulatory agencies and deriving various sums of money from such unauthorised trading.

They were said to have committed the offence around Feb. 21, within the Lagos metropolis.

When the case was called, Mr Umaru Bello, from the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Panti announced appearance for the prosecution.

The prosecutor, shortly after his announcement, informed the court that he seeks to withdraw the charge against the defendants.

He told the court that he received a call from his superiors in the office to withdraw the case.

He told the court that he would not be proceeding with the arraignment of the suspects.

Justice Allagoa accordingly, struck out the charge.

The police had earlier said that the offence contravenes the provisions of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020.

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