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NAFDAC impounds counterfeit wines at Apongbon market in Lagos

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Officers of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have seized counterfeit alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines valued at N8,000,000 in Lagos state.

Speaking with NAN, Anita Dabor, NAFDAC’s head of public relations, said the drinks were intercepted following a raid of the popular Apongbon market in Lagos.

She said the operation was part of the agency’s efforts to eradicate fake, unwholesome, and counterfeit alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines and drinks from circulation.

Dabor added that many of the counterfeit products were sold by merchants underneath the Apongbon bridge.

“They were mopped up and include very popular brands of wines and spirits,” she said.

“During the mop-up operation, a transport vehicle containing an array of drinks including JAPATA (a herbal drink that failed laboratory tests) was found hidden in the vehicle.

“The offending products were confiscated and evacuated.

“Attempts to apprehend the supplier of the Japata in the market proved abortive.

“The products mopped up from the market are valued at N8,000,000. However, the investigation is ongoing.”

Dabor said NAFDAC is fully alive to its responsibilities of ensuring the safety, wholesomeness, and quality of foods and other regulated products offered for sale to the public.

Crime

N5.2bn fraud: Ex-JAMB registrar, Jimoh Olabisi, used me to divert FG funds, witness tells court

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Jimoh Olabisi, former deputy director, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), says Dibu Ojerinde, ex-JAMB registrar, used him to divert federal government funds.

Olabisi said this on Wednesday when he stood as a witness of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), at the federal high court, Abuja.

The ICPC arraigned Ojerinde on July 6, 2021, in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/97/2021, on an 18-count charge bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of N5.2 billion.

The commission alleged that the former registrar committed multiple frauds while heading JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO).

Ojerinde pleaded not guilty to the allegations and was granted bail in the sum of N200 million.

Olabisi told the court on Wednesday, that he was in charge of opening accounts for JAMB and admitted to opening an account in the name of JAMB/J.O. Olabisi in a commercial bank on the instruction of Ojerinde.

He said it was through this account that funds were moved from the government’s coffers.

“The authority to open the account — the letter to the bank — was jointly signed by Ojerinde and the then director of finance and accounts (DFA), Mallam Umar Yakubu, with specific mandate that I should be the operator of that account,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“I explained in one of my appearances here that the account was opened following an agreement between the defendant (Ojerinde) and myself as a way of deviating from what we were using in National Examinations Council (NECO) to divert public funds.

“So, the defendant subsequently discussed the issue with the DFA, hence the letter.”

The witness said the account was opened without approval from Jonah Otunla, the then accountant-general of the federation.

“However, the registrar convinced the then DFA. He told him that he had gotten approval of the AGF who happens to come from the same zone with the defendant,” he said.

Olabisi also said Ojerinde owned a microfinance bank, Osanta Microfinance Bank Ltd, while serving in government.

He also admitted being a director at the bank.

“I was put there to ease the movement of government money to the bank. The defendant is the chairman, board of directors of the bank,” he said.

The witness also said the ex-JAMB registrar used his position to award contracts to his private companies through the Zenith Bank account number, 1012411301, of JAMB.

Obiora Egwuatu, the judge, adjourned the matter until Thursday for continuation of trial after a motion by Ebenezer Shogunle, the ICPC lawyer.

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NDLEA nabs blind grandpa, leper for drug trafficking

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a blind 67-year-old grandpa, Aliyu Adebiyi, and a leper, Haruna Abdullahi, for drug trafficking.

The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Sunday, said Adebiyi was caught with 234 kilogrammes of cannabis.

The statement read in part, “In Osun State, NDLEA officers on Friday took into custody a blind 67-year-old grandpa, Aliyu Adebiyi, in whose house they found 234kg of cannabis at Sokoto village, Owena Ijesa, Atakumosa East LGA. In his statement, he said a drug dealer kept the consignment with him for a fee of N6,000 per month and paid for three months upfront.”

He noted that 45-year-old Abdullahi, notorious for drug dealing, was arrested at Garko town, Kano, on Thursday, while 2.2kg of cannabis and various quantities of diazepam and exol were recovered from him.

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Fake police inspector arrested as NDLEA razes cannabis warehouses in Edo forest

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have razed over 317,417 kilograms of cannabis stored in warehouses across forests in Opuje, Edo state.

Femi Babafemi, the agency’s spokesperson, announced this in a statement on Saturday.

Opuje is a community in Owan West LGA in Edo.

The agency said on January 18, hundreds of its men stormed the forests in Opuje community, in a two-day operation to destroy cannabis warehouses.

It added that during the operation, Omoruan Theophilus, a 37-year-old man, who parades himself as a police inspector, alongside three others, were arrested.

“At least, a police impersonator, Omoruan Theophilus, 37, who parades as a police inspector to convey the drugs from the forests to the cities and three others: Aigberuan Jacob, 42; Ekeinde Anthony Zaza, 53, and Naomi Patience Ohiewere, 42, were arrested in connection with the drugs,” the statement reads.

The agency also said its officials “were ambushed with a bonfire by armed youths on their way out of the community the following day but were able to successfully leave the area without any casualty, except the heavy investment losses inflicted on the cartels”.

In a similar operation, the NDLEA in collaboration with operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), busted a criminal syndicate involved in the trafficking of fake dollars in Lagos.

According to the statement, the operation, which took place on January 19, followed intelligence from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the United States.

“During a combined operation carried out by NDLEA operatives with their EFCC colleagues, a total of $269,000 counterfeit US dollars were recovered from the syndicate at Oniru Shoprite area of Lekki, Lagos, where three suspects were arrested,” reads the statement.

The NDLEA commended the efforts of the officers involved in the two special operations.

Buba Marwa, chairman and chief executive officer of NDLEA, has directed the transfer of the fake dollars and arrested suspects to the EFCC for prosecution.

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