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Another Nigerian arrested in Saudi for alleged drug trafficking

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Another Nigerian has been arrested in Jeddah airport, Saudi Arabia for allegedly smuggling about 1,138g of cocaine, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said on Friday.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa in an interview with journalists in Abuja expressed disappointment that this was coming shortly after a Nigerian lady was executed in the same country for a related offence.

“The sad thing is that in the midst of talking of about 20 Nigerians on death roll, even as eight had been executed, just yesterday another Nigerian, Wahid Somade, was arrested at Jeddah airport with about 1.138g of cocaine.

“The latest one would be added to those that could be executed.

”We keep appealing to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure the trial is fair,” Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said.

On the execution of a Nigerian for drug-related offences on Monday, the presidential aide appealed to Nigerians to obey the laws of countries they go.

“After informing her family, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially released the name of the lady that was executed in Saudi Arabia a few days ago and her name is Kudirat Afolabi, a widow and a mother of two.

“We pay our condolence to the family and keep begging Nigerians to obey the laws of other countries and Saudi has replied us officially, saying their law is their law.

“However, diplomatic engagement will continue at the highest level.

“It does not matter where you come from, you hold a green passport. Do not let a few people denigrate every one of us,” she said.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, however, stressed on the need to celebrate the success stories of Nigerians in the diaspora.

“We have Nigerians doing great things all over the world; we are going to focus on them,” she said.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa also called on concerted efforts on compulsory baggage identification at airports as well as more security surveillance and cameras at screening points at the airports.

Meanwhile, a statement from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja clarified that all legal and judicial procedures were followed regarding the accused person.

The embassy stated that death sentence is only carried out after all proofs and legal evidence have been exhausted regarding the accused.

Specifically on Ms Afolabi, the Saudi Embassy reaffirmed that all legal and judicial procedures were followed regarding the accused person and she was accorded every legal right before the death sentence was carried out on her.

“The death sentence is only carried out in the Kingdom after all proofs and legal evidence have been exhausted regarding the accused, and the process goes through various legal stages until the allegations against the detained persons have been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

“Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs was always in consultation with foreign embassies and consulates in the kingdom and facilitated visits from nationals of detainees,” the statement read in part.

The embassy also reiterated that the penalty for drug trafficking is death sentence and applied on all persons convicted without any exceptions.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not neglect the enforcement of penalties in terms of matters of drug trafficking and is determined to apply the law on any person against whom evidence is established in order to combat drug trafficking and protect its citizens from this dangerous menace.”

(NAN)

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Crime

How printer was allegedly nabbed with N20bn counterfeit money – DSS

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An operative of the Department of State Security Services (DSS), Mr Folusho Rotimi, has revealed to the Federal High Court, Lagos, how specimens of fake Nigerian currency was recovered from Parkview, Ikoyi’s home of a businessman, John Elem.

Elem is standing trial before Justice Saliu Saidu on the charge bordering on counterfeiting of about N20 billion Nigeria’s currency preferred against him by the DSS.

The offences according to the prosecuting counsel, Mr. E.K. Ugwu, violated the Counterfeit Currency Offences Act, 2004.

Though, the defendant had denied the allegations and he is currently on bail.

At the resumed hearing of the charge on Tuesday, the DSS operative, Rotimi, who is the second prosecution witness, informed the court that upon conducting a search on the defendant’s home, a roll of paper with an imprint of N1, 000 note was found on a machine, which was been used for printing fake currency.

He said on December 9, 2016, during a search of defendant’s house the agency made the recovery of some items which included some machines and his team wrote a report on the machine.

“My office now wrote a letter to the Nigerian Printing Press for the analysis of the machine.”

Upon tendering of the letter written by the DSS to Nigerian Printing Press, which was admitted and marked as ‘Exhibit JE 27’, the prosecution witness concluded his evidence-in-chief.

However, the witness while being cross-examined by the defendant’s lawyer, Idris Faro, told the court that as at the time the search was conducted at the defendant’s house, no one was seeing printing money. But he said: “We found a roll of paper on the machine with N1,000 printed on the back of the paper.

“On the role of the paper, I remembered that at the last sitting of the court, I told the court that the paper on the machine wasn’t this one met on the day of search and that the one on the machine has the imprint of N1000 note at the back of the paper roll which was video recorded.”

When asked why they did not produce the roll of the paper with N1,000 printed at the back as an exhibit, the witness said they took a sample of the paper.

When asked how men of the DSS gained entry to the defendant’s workshop, Rotimi said the agency obtained a search warrant on December 8, 2016, and that on December 9, 2016, they went to the defendant’s workshop for a search.

The witness also said they met the defendant who said he was not with the key to the workshop, but gave them permission to search the place after they had made themselves available for search before gaining entrance.

Rotimi said that due to lack of key to the workshop and the permission given by the defendant to force the place open, the workshop was forced open.

Earlier, the first prosecution witness, Peter Uche, had informed the court that the DSS acted on a tip-off which led to the arrest of Elem.

Ugwu, said the DSS received a petition against Edem signed by Mr Francis Okowa. He said the petition was delivered to him in his office on December 7, 2016, at about 4 pm by “Mr Grant” from the law firm of Mr Rickey Tarfa (SAN).

He said Okowa, Tarfa’s client, alleged that Edem was plotting to print naira notes worth N20 billion.
“Based on the petition, I went to my director and immediately a team was constituted to identify and arrest the defendant.

“The following day, around 2 pm, we were able to apprehend the suspect along Governor’s Drive, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi. “The team was split into two: one to go and search his house while the other was to search his company.

“I led the team that went to his house on Banana Island in the evening of the same day.
“We met someone in his house; so, we tendered a search warrant and subjected ourselves to body search by the defendant and the person in his house.

“We went into the house and recovered items that we believe support the petition.

“Some of the items were 92 pieces of golden colour holograms, a textbook and handbooks on how to print currencies. We also recovered a manual numbering machine.”
He said he took two statements from Edem on December 9 and 11, 2016, adding that although the defendant denied the allegation, the items recovered from his house supported the charge.

Justice Saidu admitted in evidence the 92 pieces of golden-colour holograms, which the witness said were recovered from the closet in Edem’s master bedroom.

Further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till October 16 and 17.

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Crime

Internet Fraudster Forfeits N230.6m, $80.59 To FG

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Justice Saliu Saidu of a  Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, June 25, 2019,ordered the final forfeiture of  the sums of N210, 287, 697.45; N5, 320, 373.40; N15, 008,809.79 and $80.59about (Two hundred and Thirty Million Naira) belonging  to one Dehinbo Oluwatobi Reuben, an internet fraudster, to the Federal Government.

Justice Saidu had, on May 16, 2019, ordered an interim forfeiture of the various sums of money, following an ex-parte application filed and agued by EFCC’s counsel Mohammed Idriss .

In granting the application, Justice Saidu had ordered the applicant, the EFCC, to publish the interim forfeiture order in any national newspaper for the respondent, Reuben, or anyone who was interested in the sums of money to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

In compliance with the order of the court, the Commission had published the interim forfeiture order in The Nation newspaper and subsequently filed a motion on notice dated June 19, 2019.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, the judge, upon hearing the applicant’s motion on notice, supporting affidavit and written address, ordered the final forfeiture of the various sums of money found by the Commission in the various accounts of the respondent domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The respondent, a member of a syndicate of fraudsters who specialize in identity theft, wire fraud and mail fraud, had been arrested following intelligence report received by the Commission.

Investigation revealed that the syndicate obtained the stolen Personal Identification Information of over 250,000 individuals in the US and used the details to file a fraudulent Federal and State tax returns.

It was further revealed that the syndicate obtained monetary value on the fraudulent tax returns, using prepaid cards registered with the stolen information and third party bank accounts.

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Crime

Arole Jesu Who Killed Woman He Met On Facebook, Led Police To Spot He Buried Her

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The video of the fake prophet Dotun Ogunlade aka Woli Arole, who lured a married woman he met through Facebook, from Ilorin in Kwara State down to Oyo State, has surfaced on the internet.

The 25-year-old house wife, Bosede Oguntade, was lured to Igboora in Oyo State with a view to finding a solution to her economic and marital problems by the ‘pastor’ who is also known as ‘Arole Jesu’.

The suspect while speaking to journalists in the video, said he gained church experience from his former boss who happened to be a prophet of Cherubim and Seraphim.

He said,

“Me and the woman have been chatting on Facebook since January, this year. I later invited her to Igboora.

“Meanwhile, Mutiu, a friend had already told me about his challenges in life. He told me he was ready for money rituals. So, I decided to use the woman for money rituals for him.

“When the woman later arrived from Ilorin, I went to pick her to Igbo-Ora, from Iseyin. On her arrival at my house, on 31st of May, this year, I gave her sleeping drugs after she complained about pains in her body, she slept off and I cut off her head, and arms. Her head was later burnt to ashes for money rituals.”

He however led the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State, Mr. Shina Olukolu and other security operatives to the spot where he buried the woman.

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