Connect with us

News and Report

NDLEA Arraigns Manager Of Nigerian Private Aviation Handling Company, SAHCO, 7 Other Workers For Drug Trafficking

Published

on

An Assistant General Manager of Skyway Handling Company (SAHCO), Olajide Ahmed Kafidipe, and seven staff members of the company, were on Tuesday arraigned on charges of unlawful dealing in prohibited drugs.

Olajide was arraigned alongside seven others by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) before Justice Dehinde Isaac Dipeolu on three counts bordering on conspiracy, unlawful importation and possession of 1,440.90km of Tramadol.

 

The seven workers of the company arraigned alongside Olajide were Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele; Musa Mutalib Opeyemi; Sanamo Alla Daniel; Anuge Evans Isibor; Mahmud Agboola Musa; Udeh Felix and Obinna Henry.

 

Counsel for the prosecution, Abu Ibrahim, while arraigning the SAHCO staff members, told the court that all the defendants conspired with the trio of Mubarak Sarki Salami, Abdullahi Aliyu, aka Aboki and Anwal Monday, who is also a staff member of the company but now at large, to commit the offences on or about October 25, 2023.

 

The prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim further told the court that the Assistant General Manager of SAHCO, Olajide and other staff members of the company, conspired amongst themselves to transport 1, 440.90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, a narcotic from SAHCO Import Shed.

 

The prosecutor also told the court that the SAHCO’s Assistant General Manager, Olajide, conspired with Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele, and hired one Lawal Itunu Temitope, to transport the prohibited substance from SAHCO Import Shed in a Mercedes Benz Bus with Registration Number LAGOS MUS 269 YC, belonging to Platinum Pacific International Limited.

He further informed the court that another staff member of SAHCO, Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele, unlawfully possessed the said 1,440.90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, a narcotic analgesic.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the defendants contravened sections 14 (b), 21 (2)(d) and 20 (1)(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. He said they are punishable under sections 11 (b) and 20 (2)(b) of the same Act.

 

All the defendants denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

 

Following their not-guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date and also urged the court to remand them in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till the hearing and determination of the charge.

 

However, lawyers of the defendants told the court that they had filed their clients’ bail applications except that of the Assistant General Manager, Kafidipe Ahmed Olajide and Obinna Henry.

 

The lawyer therefore asked the court for a short date to enable them to file the bail applications for the duo.

With the development, the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, urged the court to remand all the defendants in NCoS’ custody till when the court hears their bail applications.

 

But the trial judge, Justice Dipeolu, in his reasoning, ordered the operatives of the NDLEA to call their Airport Commander, to allow the defendants to be remanded in their custody till Wednesday, January 17, when their bail applications will be heard and determined.

 

Upon compliance with the court’s directive, which was granted by the Commander, the court ordered the remand of all the defendants in NDLEA till Wednesday, and adjourned the matter to January 24, 2024, for the commencement of their trial.

 

The amended charge reads, “That you 1. Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele 2. Kafidipe Olajide a.k.a Kafidipe Ahmed Olajide 3. Musa Mutalib Opeyemi 4. Sanamo Alla Daniel 5. Anuge Evans Isibor 6. Mahmud Agboola Musa and 7. Udeh Felix 8. Obinna Henry males, adults with (Mubarak Sarki Salami and Abdullahi Aliyu a.k.a Aboki and Anwal Monday all of whom are now at large) being staff of Skyway Handling Company (SAHCO), NAHCO premises Ikeja-Lagos on or about the 25th October 2023 conspired amongst yourself to transport from SAHCO Import Shed 1, 440.90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, a Narcotic Analgesic and you all thereby committed an act which is an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14 (b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“Count II: That you 1. Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele and 2. Kafidipe Olajide a.k.a Kafidipe Ahmed Olajide both male, adults being staff of Skyway Handling Company (SAHCO), NAHCO premises Ikeja-Lagos on or about the 25th October 2023 procured one Lawal Itunu Temitope to transport from SAHCO Import Shed 1,440.90 kilograms of Mercedes Benz Bus with Registration Number LAGOS MUS 269 YC being the property of PLATINUM PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED and you thereby committed an act which is an offence contrary to section 21 (2) (d) and punishable under section 11 (b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“Count III: That you Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele male, adult being a staff of Skyway Handling Company (SAHCO), NAHCO premises Ikeja-Lagos on or about the 25th October 2023at NAHCO Exit Gate, Ikeja-Lagos without lawful possessed 1, 440. 90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, a Narcotic Analgesic and you all thereby committed an act which is an offence contrary to section 20 (1) (c) and punishable under section 20 (2) (b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

 

In November 2023, SaharaReporters exclusively reported that the NDLEA had busted a drug syndicate using the SAHCO shed of the Lagos airport.

 

The NDLEA said it had arrested six members of a syndicate using their official cover to facilitate the smuggling of illicit drugs through the Skyway Aviation Handling Company warehouse at the Lagos airport into the country have been arrested.

However, sources told SaharaReporters exclusively that one of the people involved identified as Jide was the cargo manager for SAHCO. But his name was left out in the statement.

According to the sources, Jide’s personal vehicle – a Mercedes Benz car – was used to carry drugs.

“He took it to the SAHCO Courier shed.

“A gate to the tarmac locked by customs and SAHCO was used and they didn’t break the lock, which means that they had access. This place is the airside

 

 

 

“SAHCO left theirs open and customs also claimed they forgot to lock theirs. They allowed them to go,” one of the sources said.

The sources expressed disappointment that other major agencies like the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and NDLEA do not have access to lock the gate.

 

One of the sources said, “These guys were obviously able to get to customs and SAHCO. Meanwhile, Jide’s vehicle has been impounded by NDLEA and the vehicle is still with us,” one of the sources said.

 

“How could an individual like Jide use his private vehicle to gain access to the airside,” one of the sources asked.

 

“Even FAAN doesn’t have access to the control/gate to the airside. And why does NDLEA not have the key to the gates that lead to the tarmac?

 

“It’s surprising that NDLEA which is doing major operations when it comes to drugs in Nigeria does not have access to the gate.

 

“We (NDLEA) should be able to have people from our agency stationed at the tarmac gate. The security of the gate should be inclusive of every security agency but it’s just customs and a private company, SAHCO that have access to the gate with their two locks.

 

“The gates including the one they used are usually manned by FAAN and other security agencies from 9 am so that’s when they should open the gate.

 

“But when the cartel carried out their operation, they opened the gate from 7 pm to 7 am before the operatives of FAAN and other agencies resumed at the gate. They used their SAHCO access because they have their own key to the padlock and customs claim they forgot to lock their own padlock.

 

“This is the second time SAHCO has been involved in a major drug incident.

 

“Sometime last year, we intercepted them. A full Coaster bus was loaded with drugs and SAHCO staff members were involved. The drugs recovered were worth billions of naira.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

News and Report

NASRE Advises FG On Food Crisis, Forex Shortage Amid Calls To Suspend Import Ban

Published

on

By

 

As Nigeria finds itself at a critical crossroads, grappling with simultaneous challenges of a food crisis and a foreign exchange (forex) shortage.

 

This is even as the nation seeks solutions to mitigate these pressing issues, the debate over whether to open its borders for importation has intensified.

 

The food crisis gripping Nigeria has raised concerns about food security and access to essential nutrition for millions of citizens.

 

Adverse weather conditions, supply chain disruptions, and other factors have contributed to dwindling food supplies and soaring prices, placing a significant strain on households and exacerbating the vulnerability of already marginalized communities.

 

Meanwhile, the forex shortage has hampered Nigeria’s ability to import essential goods and raw materials, further exacerbating supply chain disruptions and exacerbating inflationary pressures.

 

Industries reliant on imported inputs, including agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare, have been particularly hard hit, impeding economic growth and development.

 

In response to these challenges, some stakeholders advocate for opening Nigeria’s borders to facilitate the importation of food and other essential commodities.

 

Proponents argue that increased importation could help alleviate immediate food shortages, stabilize prices, and provide relief to vulnerable populations facing hunger and malnutrition.

 

However, others caution against the potential risks of opening borders amid a forex shortage. Critics raise concerns about the impact on domestic production and self-sufficiency, as well as the long-term consequences of relying heavily on imported goods. They emphasize the need to prioritize investments in domestic agriculture and infrastructure to build resilience against future crises.

 

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the government faces the daunting task of balancing short-term relief efforts with long-term strategies for sustainable development and economic resilience.

 

Proffering suggestion on how the government can address the unending inflationary pressures, Forex shortages, food prices hike and revitalise the nation’s economy, the Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors (NASRE), has advised the Nigerian government to adopt collaborative efforts involving policymakers, industry stakeholders, civil society organizations, and international partners to identify holistic solutions that address both immediate needs and underlying structural challenges.

 

On the debate over whether Nigeria should open its borders for importation amid the food crisis and forex shortage, the President of the advocacy group, Mr Femi Oyewale, underscores the urgency of coordinated action and innovative thinking.

 

According to him, now more than ever, solidarity, cooperation, and forward-thinking policies are needed to ensure the well-being and prosperity of all Nigerians.

 

“The question of whether Nigerian borders should be opened for food importation in the face of a food crisis is complex and multifaceted. However, there are factors to consider, which basically, Domestic Agricultural Capacity. Because opening borders for food importation could undermine domestic agricultural production by flooding the market with cheaper imported goods.

 

“However, if domestic production is insufficient to meet demand, importing food may be necessary to avoid shortages,” he said.

 

On the economic implications of borders opening, the President of NASRE, Oyewale, said: “Importing food can have economic ramifications, both positive and negative. On one hand, it can provide access to a wider variety of foods and potentially lower prices for consumers. On the other hand, it may negatively impact local farmers and exacerbate trade imbalances.”

 

The resourceful editors, while commenting on Food Security, pointed out that relying heavily on imported food leaves a country vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and price fluctuations in the global market. Therefore, it urged the federal government to develop a robust domestic agricultural sector, which is crucial for long-term food security.

 

According to Oyewale, the Nigerian government must consider its broader economic and agricultural policies when making decisions about food importation. This includes evaluating subsidies, tariffs, and investment in agricultural infrastructure.

 

“Importing food often involves long-distance transportation, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. Promoting local production can help reduce the carbon footprint associated with food consumption.

 

“Food is not just a commodity; it is essential for human well-being. Government policies should prioritize ensuring access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food for all citizens, particularly those most vulnerable to food insecurity,” he added.

 

The Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors, NASRE, therefore, noted that the decision to open Nigerian borders for food importation during a food crisis should be approached cautiously, taking into account the country’s domestic agricultural capacity, economic implications, food security goals, environmental concerns, and social welfare considerations.

 

“A balanced approach that supports both domestic production and responsible trade practices may be necessary to address immediate food shortages while also promoting long-term food security and sustainability,” the Association stated.

Continue Reading

News and Report

Lagos State Government to prosecute 11 suspects for extortion

Published

on

By

The Lagos State Government said 11 suspects arrested at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state will be prosecuted to serve as deterrents to others extorting residents and motorists in the state.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Olawale Musa, disclosed this while addressing journalists on Wednesday.

He added that the suspects parade themselves as enforcement officers to extort unsuspecting motorists and residents in the state.

Musa said, “Lagos State Government has declared zero tolerance for extortion of unsuspecting residents, especially motorists, by miscreants parading themselves as enforcement officers at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state.

“We have announced severally that nobody is allowed to collect money for the local government on the street of Lagos, and the government has set up a team to ensure that anybody that does that is picked up and from that Lekki axis.

“They will be charged to court to explain themselves, and I want to sound a note of warning to others that do the same thing that we will not relent; the government is all out for them.”

He noted that it is unlawful for any local government area within the state to place personnel to conduct such operations on the highways.

“If you have any issues, you call us, and we will come and address them, but when you have people coming on the road on the guise that you want to have revenue at this hard time, collecting money from motorists on the road is not fair, and it is illegal in Lagos State to resist it.

“It is illegal for any local government area in the state to deploy people on the roads as it negates the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, Section 18, 2018, which empowers only the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority to carry out such operations on the roads,” he added.

In March 2023, The PUNCH reported that the Lagos State Government arrested four suspected hoodlums in some parts of the state over extortion.

The suspects were arrested in the Amuwo-Odofin area of the state while attempting to extort motorists.

 

Continue Reading

News and Report

N10bn fraud: EFCC to arraign Abdulfattah Ahmed, ex-Kwara Governor Friday

Published

on

By

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will arraign the immediate-past governor of Kwara State, Abdulfattah Ahmed, for alleged N10bn fraud on Friday, The PUNCH has learnt.

Credible sources in the anti-graft agency said the ex-governor would be dragged before the Federal High Court in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

“He is going to be arraigned on Friday at the Federal High Court in Ilorin for diversion of funds, amounting to N10bn,” the source told our correspondent.

The ex-governor has been detained by the EFCC since Monday when he honoured an invitation for interrogation.

His Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji AbdulWahab Oba, confirmed his principal’s visit to the EFCC office on Monday, stating that it was only “procedural and routine”.

“Dr Ahmed’s visit to the EFCC is procedural and routine. He was invited and he honoured them as he’s always done. He’s always ready to respond to any query or question regarding his tenure as a governor of the state.”

On Tuesday night, Oba lamented that the EFCC was still holding on to Ahmed, saying he was given stringent bail conditions.

“Yes, he is still with the EFCC and we are now in a dilemma over the issue because they keep changing the goalpost during the match. The case is taking a new dimension, which we don’t really understand for now.

“Initially they said they wanted him to produce two sureties who are federal directors. The sureties came and were asked to provide landed properties in Abuja. We see this as a contradiction. The case was initially handled by the EFCC office in Abuja before it was transferred to Ilorin over the issue of jurisdiction. Additionally, he has been denied access to his doctors, medication and direct access to his cook,” Oba said.

Meanwhile, members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest to the EFCC zonal office in Ilorin, where Ahmed was being detained.

The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, expressed displeasure over Ahmed’s detention.

Led by the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olusegun Adewara, the party members alleged that the All Progressives Congress in the state was behind Ahmed’s troubles.

Some of the inscriptions on their placards read: “EFCC should stop being a tool in the hands of Abdulrazaq led-APC”, “Governor Ahmed was very transparent”, “EFCC is not a department in the APC, EFCC, stop the harassment”, “The opposition cannot be silenced”, “Maigida will not join the APC no matter the persecution”, “EFCC, don’t instigate political crisis in Kwara State”, “No to illegal detention. Respect the rule of law”, among others.

But addressing the protesters, the zonal commander of the EFCC, Michael Nzekwe, said Ahmed had been given an administration bail but he could not meet the conditions.

“We’re wrapping up. Once we wrap up, the law will take its course. The anti-graft agency, being a creation of law, would not go contrary to law.

“Everything we’ve done is within the ambit of the law. The former governor is cooperating with us and we’re making good progress following rules of law. As I speak, he’s with his lawyer, a SAN; he attends to everyone who comes to see him, and he has a doctor who has attended to him. He eats what he wants to eat. I urge us to allow the law take its course. We’re not partisan nor prompted by anybody. This body is solely sponsored by the Federal Government,” Nzekwe said.

 

Continue Reading

Trending