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NDLEA arrests Abuja businessman over online sales of illicit drugs

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has arrested Managing Director of a pharmaceutical company for allegedly engaging in sales of illicit drugs on the popular e-commerce platform, Jiji.ng.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi on Wednesday in Abuja.

Babafemi said that the suspect, a graduate of Business Administration, University of Abuja, registered the pharmaceutical company on December 16, 2014.

This, he said, was done with the certificate and support of a licensed pharmacist, who later opted out of the deal in 2017.

He said that the suspect continued running the business and enrolled it on Jiji.ng platform in 2019.

According to Babafemi, the suspect came under NDLEA’s radar in October 2021 when he advertised many pharmaceutical products on Jiji.ng.

“The products advertised were Tramadol, Ketamine Hydrochloride injection, Hypnox flunitrazepam tablets among others on the Jiji.ng online marketplace.

“Between October 26, 2021 and August 8, 2022, the team of anti-narcotic officers assigned to investigate the suspect’s drug business activities carried out a successful operation.

“The NDLEA operatives were able to establish the suspect was selling Tramadol 225mg and other illicit/controlled drugs through the e-commerce platform,” he said.

The NDLEA Spokesperson said that the suspect was arrested with some quantities of Tramadol and Swiphnol brand of Rohypnol on Monday August 8 in Jabi area of Abuja.

He said the suspect was arrested where he had gone to make some supplies of orders made through his online channel on Jiji.ng.

In his reaction to the arrest, the Chairman, NDLEA, retired, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa said that the painstaking investigation and process of arresting the businessman was apt.

Marwa said that it should send a strong message to those hiding behind the internet to engage in marketing and selling of illicit and controlled drugs.

The NDLEA boss assured that the agency would ensure that such drug traffickers face the consequences of their action.

Crime

Navy impounds illicit drugs, nabs 3 suspects in A’Ibom

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The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Akwa Ibom, says it has impounded some illicit drugs and arrested three suspected drug dealers in the state.

The Commanding Officer, Capt. Uche Aneke, disclosed this in Ibaka on Thursday while handing over the suspects to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

Aneke said that the suspects were tracked and arrested at about 10.00a.m on Tuesday, following reliable intelligence from a member of the public.
He said that they were caught on a fibre boat carrying about 4,320 ampoules of Pethidine 100mg/2ml injection solution, a controlled synthetic opioid substance with high addiction potential.
”The intended receiver is located in Nigeria. So they wanted to smuggle the substances from Cameroon to Nigeria.
The commanding officer said that the navy was strongly committed to ridding the waterways of all manner of criminal activities.
”We shall continue to deploy advanced technologies to detect criminal activities along the waterways,” he said.
Receiving the suspects, Emmanuel Okon, Chief Superintendent of Narcotics, NDLEA command in Akwa Ibom, said that a thorough investigation would carried out on the matter.
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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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