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NDLEA arrests 14 suspected drug dealers in Ekiti

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested 14 suspected illegal drug dealers and users in the Atikankan area of Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

NDLEA Ekiti State Commander, Sunday Aina, stated that the suspects, comprising three illegal drug dealers, were apprehended during a weeklong operation tagged ‘Operation Clean Up Atikankan.’

He stated that the agency had arrested over 50 suspects in the last month alone.

Aina, speaking in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday while parading the 14 suspects, reiterated the agency’s commitment to restoring sanity to the Atikankan area and other drug hotspots across the state, with the aim of making Ekiti and its environs drug-free.

He said, “On assumption of duty in Ekiti State last month, one of my concerns was the dreaded place called Atikankan in Ado Ekiti. I promised to make the place my starting point, hence, we declared a weeklong continuous operation tagged ‘Operation Clean Up Atikankan.’

“It was a successful operation. The outcome is what we are seeing; 14 suspects arrested and they are here. The operation is not targeted at users alone, we have three dealers among them that we are still investigating their cases. If there is no demand, there will be no supply.

“This operation has equally unveiled seven dealers supplying drugs to that place. They are on our watchlist. We are building our intelligence on them. Hunting for them has already started and by the grace of God, we will get them.

“It is an established fact that there is a nexus between drug and crime. Drug is a catalyst to all other criminalities. We are not going to allow some disgruntled elements to take over Ekiti all in the name of being drug barons, drug peddlers and drug users.”

The commander further stated that Cannabis Sativa (Indian Hemp) and methamphetamine (ice) were recovered from the suspects, emphasising, “We will not tolerate this. We have zero tolerance for drug abuse and trafficking, and we will fight it relentlessly.”

Aina stated that those found to be drug users among the suspects would undergo continuous counselling for two months, while the legal unit would handle necessary arrangements for the illegal drug dealers.

He advised parents to increase vigilance, stating, “They (parents) should be interested in the type of friends their children keep. It is through peer groups, under the guise of friendship, that some are lured into drug use, leading to various crimes including robbery and kidnapping.”

Crime

South Africa police arrests 8 Nigerians for attacking officers during drug raid

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The South African police have arrested eight Nigerians for allegedly attacking officers during a drug raid.

In a statement issued on Friday, the police said the suspects were arrested in the Northern Cape province.

The police said the suspects also damaged vehicles and other property.

“At the time of the arrest, police were tracing information of one of the Nigerian nationals being in possession of drugs,” the statement reads.

“While conducting this search, a large group of Nigerians attacked police. Police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

“One suspect was arrested for illegal possession of drugs, and three suspects were arrested for public violence and detained at Kimberley Police Station.

“During processing, the suspects broke windows at the station. Additional charges of malicious damage to property were added.

“Another group of Nigerians later approached the Police Station and threatened to retaliate.

“The Operational Commander warned the group to disperse.

“However, upon dispersing, the group damaged police vehicles. Another four suspects were arrested for malicious damage to property.”

Koliswa Otola, police commissioner for the province, commended officers for the arrest of the suspects.

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Crime

Police arrests driver for cramming 15 children inside car in Lagos

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Operatives of the police Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in Lagos have arrested a driver for allegedly squeezing 15 children into a Volkswagen Passat car.

In a statement on Friday, Benjamin Hundeyin, the command’s spokesperson, confirmed the suspect’s arrest, adding that the vehicle was plying the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge around 8 pm on Sunday when it was spotted and reported by concerned citizens.

“Upon intervention, the police noticed that the driver, who had been contracted to transport the children to a beach, had locked four of the children in the car trunk while 11 others were crammed together,” the statement reads.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that one child had collapsed earlier in the day due to similar transportation conditions but recovered after receiving medical attention.

“The children have since been released to their parents unhurt. Suspects would be charged to court.”

Adegoke Fayoade, Lagos police commissioner, commended residents of the state for swiftly reporting suspicious activities to the authorities.

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Crime

Blood on Chidinma’s dress matched Ataga’s DNA, forensic expert tells court

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Richard Somiari, the 11th prosecution witness in the alleged murder trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, says the DNA blood sample found on her dress matched that of the victim, Usifo Ataga.

Somiari, a director and consultant for the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre, gave his evidence before a Lagos high court at TBS on Tuesday.

Ojukwu, a 300-level student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), is charged with the murder of Ataga, the CEO of Super TV, alongside her sister Chioma Egbuchu and one Adedapo Quadri.

At the resumed hearing, the witness was led in evidence by Adenike Oluwafemi, the deputy director of public prosecutions in Lagos.

Somari told the court that he had practised in forensics for 15 years and had conducted over 500 forensic tests.

The forensic analyst said his office received 21 items as evidence on different days from their DNA centre staff members.

He said the items included a stained red dress, an army green T-shirt, and a DNA sample from Chidinma.

He added that other items received were urine, blood, gastric content and byle which were retained for a toxicology report.

He said the goal was to create an evidence triangle to link the suspect to the crime scene and the victim.

Somiari told the court that the DNA blood sample collected from Chidinma’s red dress matched that of Ataga.

He, however, said that the DNA did not match that of Chidinma and the other suspects, Babalola Disu and Oluwatomi Dada.

Somiari was cross-examined by Onwuka Egwu, the first defendant’s counsel.

The witness narrated how the result of the toxicology report was forwarded to the office of the attorney-general of Lagos, the commissioner of police, and the director of public prosecutions.

He, however, said that not all forensic reports went through such a procedure.

When asked if he questioned the report of the doctor Andrea Nuhu, the witness said: “I have already said that I am not a toxicologist. It is a toxicologist that can do such”.

Egwu requested the video of the crime scene to be played and the court granted it.

While the video was playing, he asked the witness whether the samples of the blood on the cotton, the wall, the duvet, and the white polo the victim was wearing were tested.

The witness answered that the samples were not submitted.

He, however, said that the markers indicated in his report had nothing to do with the video.

He had earlier said that some samples were in storage but not tested.

Babatunde Busari, the second defendant’s counsel, also cross-examined the witness.

Busari asked if any DNA sample was taken from the second defendant, Quadri, and the witness said no.

The counsel also asked the witness if he took part in the toxicology analysis which he answered no.

C. G. Ugochikwu, the third defendant’s counsel, said she had no examination for the witness.

After listening, Yetunde Adesanya, the presiding judge, adjourned the case until May 30 for a continuation of trial.

Chidonma Ojukwu and the two others were arraigned on October 12, 2021, by the Lagos government.

Ojukwu and Quadri are facing the first to eight counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, and stabbing.

Egbuchu, however, is facing the ninth count of stealing an iPhone 7 belonging to the late Ataga.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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