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I took no part in Kwara agency fraud, says ex- First Lady

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A former First Lady of Kwara State has denied a media report she took part in the N2bn fraud in the Kwara State Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Directorate (SMED) fund.

The Nation had reported on Tuesday she may be arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for diverting part of the loot to her foundation.

The anti-graft commission also alleged she declined an invitation for investigation over the case, accusing her of feigning an undisclosed illness.

But the former First Lady declared the EFCC’s position was an attempt to align her, stating the foundation merely took a loan of N16milllion from SMED for which it has started repayment.

A statement by Executive Director Leah Group, Lanre Bello maintained the innocence of the former First Lady.

The foundation said: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication in The Nation Newspaper of 13th August 2019 in respect of the N2 billion Kwara State Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Directorate (SMED) fund where it was insinuated that our founder received part of the money.

“The insinuation suggested in the write up is absolutely untrue and a brazen attempt to malign our founder.

“While neither our organisation nor our founder was directly mentioned, the publication contained innuendo fully suggesting that our Founder was being targeted as reference was made to our mission statement.

“Our position is that in our quest to continue to serve the good people of Kwara State in pursuit of our mission to provide intervention in the Health sector, particularly the fight against breast and cervical cancers that is daily killing women, we approached the Kwara State SMED for a N16 million loan to develop a medical facility.

“The application was duly processed and approved. So far, the organisation has repaid N3 million and is currently working on paying the balance.

“At no time was any money paid into the accounts of our founder by the SMED neither has she received any cash from the scheme.

“Therefore, the insinuation that our founder has been evading EFCC invitation or is on the run is totally false. No invitation has been extended to her.

“For the records, we state emphatically that the insinuation that our founder directly received the money is not true.”

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Crime

Airport Staff Arrested While Loading Cocaine Into Aircraft At Murtala Mohd Intl Airport

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An airport worker has been arrested and handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for drug trafficking at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The suspect, whose identity has not been made public, was said to have been intercepted by aviation security officials at about 12am on Saturday while attempting to courier the drugs.

The suspect, alleged to be a driver in one of the aviation agencies, was said to have concealed the drugs in a carton loaded inside a vehicle before he was caught at the airside of the airport.

He was later handed over to the NDLEA, where he was said to have confessed to the crime.

According to airport sources, a few other people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

An NDLEA source confirmed the incident, but stated that investigations were still ongoing and the findings would be made public upon completion.

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Crime

SUG President Says He Was Charmed To Secret Cult Initiation Ground

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The Students Union President of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, Adegboye Olatunji has denied membership of any secret cult, saying he was charmed and taken for the initiation.

Olatunji was arrested during a cult meeting, putting on the regalia of the secret cult, Neo Black Axe Movement, by the police allegedly following a tip off from the public.

After his arrest, the institution suspended him and the Students’ Representative Council of the institution also suspended him from office.

Parading the SUG president and 77 suspected criminals, at the Police headquarters, the state Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson disclosed that Olatunji confessed to involvement in cultism, saying “He was apprehended with his regalia and we have refused to let him pull it off so that he doesn’t deny, and you can see it for yourself.”

Speaking with journalists, Olatunji said, “I never confessed any of such thing to him (referring to the Police Commissioner).

Explaining how he got to the bush, the day he was arrested, he said, “I don’t know how I got into the bush. I was charmed, I don’t know how it happened.

“Before I knew what was happening, they have started beating me. What I heard was that ‘I know how to fight on behalf of students that house rent is high,’ that’s what I heard and they tore my clothes, put me inside the boot and took me to school.

“I was going to the church around 7 am on Sunday, I left the school’s hostel. When I was leaving, I greeted the security man and told him that I will be back probably at 3 pm, that my brother called me to come for the service and I want to rush there.

“I sent a message to the choir coordinator of my church that I am going to Judah parish, in llaro, my Rector is also going to that church and he hates anything cultism.”

“They didn’t fight for me because they didn’t make their proper findings. If I was shot dead there, that’s how they will say that the SU president has gone.”

Questioning the other suspect arrested alongside Olatunji, he said, “I am not a cultist, I didn’t see him (SUG President) before we were brought here, I swear to God who made me, I don’t know how I got to the bush.”

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Akwa Ibom: Police uncover babies’ factory

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The Police in Akwa Ibom State have busted child trafficking and theft syndicate who take possession of pregnant girls until delivery and sell out the babies reportedly at the rate of N400,000 and N300,000 for male and female respectively. in Oruk Anam council of the oil rich state.

The suspects are one Ndukeabasi Ndianabasi Okon, f, of Nung Ukim village Uyo and her husband one Ndianaabasi Okon, who is now at large. Police Public Relations Officer, Frederick N-Nudam , Chief Superintendent of Police, who made the disclosure, said the Police acted on a tip-off , immediately swooped on the ‘’babies factory’’, rescuing two pregnant teenage victims, one Peace Okon Sunday, 17, from Eka Ediene Village with seven pregnancy and Esther Victor Jeremiah 15, of Ikot Inyang Village.

According to him, the female suspect during interrogations confessed that she and her husband now at large have been in the illicit business since 2016, adding that they normally sell male and female children at the rate of N400,000 and N300,000 respectively. CSP N-nudam also disclosed that a combined team of Itu Division and Anti-Child Theft equally intercepted an 18-seater a bus with registration number YEN 709 XA, conveying six under age children and that during investigation, the suspects, one Esther Asuquo Akpan, 42, and Otobong Solomon Akpan21, confessed that they were taken the victims to Osun State for child labour.

The victims included, Elisha Joseph Akpan, 12, Emmanuel Peter Edim, 14, Elijah Victor Michael, 15, Saviour Etete Amos, 16, Effanga Asuquo Etim, 16, , David Sunday Akpan, 16, all male of Akpabuyo, Cross River and that . He said the Command had transferred the children to Ministry of Women Affairs for custody, while the suspects were charged to court. Meanwhile, the Police have also arrested one Peace Bassey Okon who allegedly abducted one Joy Effiong Ekpeima, 16, and Peace Effiong Ekpeima, 17, in November, 2019 and taken them to her sister house in Ogun State, denying them access to contact their parents even as she subjected them to forced labour and exploitation .

He said, ‘’During questioning, suspect admitted sending the victims to her sister without their parents or guardians consent. ‘’Investigation revealed that the suspect took advantage of the victims being dropped out of school occasioned by their parents inability to pay their school fees and abducted them for forced labour ‘’In view of the above, operatives proceeded to Ogun State and arrested the suspect’s sister one Sandra Bassey who took custody of the victims. Suspects have been charged to court.’’

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