Officers of the Rivers State Police Command also impounded two tankers and two large trucks used for the illegal storage and transportation of suspected illegally refined petroleum products.
While parading the 18 suspects at the Police Headquarters in Port Harcourt on Monday, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Eboka Friday, warned residents against getting involved in such economic sabotage or risk arrest and prosecution.
There is now an aggressive attempt by the Rivers State Government and the police authorities to tackle the menace of illegal refining of crude oil which is identified as a major contributor to the emission of soot in the state, apart from the economic loss to the nation.
In a New Year broadcast, Governor Nyesom Wike directed chairmen of local council authorities to identify and destroy illegal refining sites in their domain.
In his second broadcast a week later, the governor placed 19 persons on the wanted list for operating artisanal refining sites in parts of Obio/Akpor and Ikwerre Local Government Areas.
He had threatened to reveal more names from other parts of Rivers State if such illegal activities persist. None of those declared wanted has been arrested.
Operatives of the Lagos Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have re-arrested a suspected internet fraudster, Ismailia Mustapha, for laundering funds obtained through unlawful activities and retention of alleged proceeds of crime.
Mustapha, also known as Mompha, was arrested on Monday, January 10, 2022.
According to a statement by the EFCC, the suspect is currently standing trial alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on an amended twenty-two-count charge bordering on cyber fraud and money laundering to the tune of N32.9bn (Thirty-two Billion Nine Hundred Thousand Naira) brought against him by the EFCC.
It will be recalled that Mompha had earlier been arrested on October 18, 2019, at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport while boarding an Emirates Airline flight to Dubai by the staff of the Nigeria Immigration Service, following a watch list by the EFCC.
Mompha is alleged to have used his registered companies to receive illicit funds on behalf of “yahoo yahoo” boys from across the world in return for a commission.
The account of one of his companies, Ismalob Global Investment Limited Bank, a Bureau de Change company, domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc, was allegedly used to launder funds derived from unlawful activities.
The investigation has revealed a fraudulent transfer slip of $92, 412, 75 found in the suspect’s iPhone 8 device. The EFCC says he will soon be charged to court.
Ninety airport staff have been arrested for fake COVID-19 results as well as engaging in other criminal activities.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria disclosed this via a statement issued on Monday, titled ‘Faan Arrests Over 90 Touts; Hands 89 Over To Police.’
FAAN General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, said the suspects were nabbed in both Lagos and Abuja for touting, unauthorised entry, trespass, illegal facilitation, forgery, loitering, Theft, public nuisance and arguments, amongst others.
According to her, some of those arrested are staff of Patovilki Nigeria Limited, Lakewood Services, and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc.
“Of the total arrested, 59 were handed over to the airport police command in Abuja for prosecution, while 30 were handed over to the police force in Lagos for same,” the statement read.
“FAAN will like to use this opportunity to warn those that do not have any legitimate business at the airports, as well as airport staff carrying out illegal duties to desist from such acts, as the Authority will not hesitate to arrest and hand over such individuals for prosecution.”
The police in Ogun State have arrested a 38-year-old man, Daniel Udoh, for stabbing his mistress’ husband to death in the Onipanu area of the state.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this via a statement on Sunday, identifying the victim as Emaka Umonko, a husband to a woman with whom the suspect was allegedly having a secret love affair.
He said the suspect was arrested following a distress call received by the DPO Onipanu Divisional Headquarters.
According to the police spokesman, the deceased had been suspecting that Udoh was going out with his wife and confronted him, leading to a serious fight between the two men.
“While the fight was going on, the suspect, a commercial driver, brought out a knife and used it to stab the deceased severally at his back and chest, following which the deceased collapsed,” the statement read.
“Upon the distress call, the DPO Onipanu Division, CSP Bamidele Job, quickly detailed his men to the scene, where the suspect was promptly arrested, and the knife recovered as an exhibit.”
The victim, a welder, was rushed to State Hospital Ota but was unfortunately pronounced dead by the doctor on duty.
The remains of the victim were subsequently deposited at Ifo General Hospital mortuary for post mortem examination.
On his part, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Lanre Bankole, has directed that the suspect be transferred to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, for further investigation, with the view to charging him to court as soon as investigation is concluded.
A 76-year-old grandfather, Osagie Robert, has been arrested in the Egor, Oredo area of Edo State for importing drug chocolates and cookies from Canada into Nigeria to sell.
Also arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is a suspected fake security agent, Godwin Ilevbare, a.k.a Edwin Agbon.
The septuagenarian, popularly called old soldier, was arrested on January 7, for dealing in Cannabis while Ilevbare was nabbed during a controlled delivery of a consignment shipped into Nigeria through a courier company.
Soon after the suspect signed for the consignment, undercover operatives embedded in the courier firm arrested him at his apartment in Benin city on January 4.
NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, who disclosed the arrest via a statement on Sunday, said the consignment, which emanated from Canada, contains Colorado brand of Cannabis concealed inside chocolates and cookies weighing 6.491 kilograms, while the drug cookies and chocolates weighed 5.566 kg and 0.383 kg respectively.
“In a related development, a 48-year-old Iloduba Augustine, a passenger of Ethiopian airline that arrived Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was on new year eve arrested and placed on observation during which he confessed to having swallowed 58 pellets of cocaine out of which he excreted 48 pellets which were delivered to a Kenyan while on transit in Addis Ababa for a fee of N1million,” the statement read.
“He said he continued his journey to Nigeria with the remaining 10 pellets in his stomach, which according to him, he intended to sell in Lagos. The wraps of cocaine were later excreted at 10:40 am on New Year day, 1st Jan.”
In Niger State, 23-year-old Simon Richard, a 500 level student of the Dept. of Agric Economics and Extension, Federal University of Technology, Minna was arrested at Gidan Kwano Talba road, Minna with different quantities of Loud and Tramadol on Thursday 6th January.
This is even as a 21-year-old lady, Shidoo Ben was arrested with 14 pinches of crack cocaine at Jada Hotel, Otukpo area of Benue State on January Friday 7.
She was said to have travelled from Abuja to sell the drug in Benue. T
In a raid in Jigbele Lota camp, Owo area of Ondo State, NDLEA operatives were led to the recovery of 598kg cannabis and the arrest of Chukwuemeka Azi on January 6.
In Ogun state, two suspects: Ajoke Samuel, 60, and Ogundairo Taye, 37, were arrested in Itaka and Odo Eran areas of Abeokuta North with different quantities of cannabis Sativa, just as Ibrahim Adamu and Yahaya Mohammed were nabbed with 81kg cannabis along Ilorin-Jebba expressway on Tuesday 4th Jan.
“In Plateau state, three siblings: Emmanuel Ngyang Jajoang; Timothy Ngyang Jajoang and Markus Ngyang Jajoang were arrested on Thursday 6th Jan. at Kwakwi village, Riyom LGA with different quantities of cannabis and a locally made pistol.
“At least, two suspects: Sunny Daniel and Joseph Chukwube were arrested in different parts of Rivers state with quantities of Methamphetamine; Heroin; Cannabis Sativa and Cocaine as well as N364, 500 cash on Thursday 6th Jan.
“In Delta state, NDLEA operatives supported by soldiers on Wednesday 5th Jan. raided a warehouse in Abbi town, Ndokwa West LGA, where two variants of cannabis; Loud and skunk weighing 56.5kg believed to be imported from a neighbouring country as well as two suspects: Miss Lillian Echicheli and Collins Uzokwe were seized,” the statement added.
In his remarks, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of Edo, Enugu Airport, Niger, Ogun, Kwara, Plateau, Rivers, Ondo, Benue and Delta commands for the arrests.
He equally hailed officers of the Directorate of Operation and General Investigations, DOGI, for starting the new year with a strong message to drug cartels that the agency will not relent in its determination and efforts against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Navy on Thursday paraded some alleged illicit drug traffickers, foreign rice smugglers and illegal dealers in oil bunkering.
Rear Admiral Bashir Mohammed, the Commander of the NNS BEECROFT, disclosed this while parading the suspects in Lagos.
He warned those he described as economic saboteurs to take their activities off Nigerian waterways.
“We arrested some suspected criminals involved in different kinds of crime. This includes illegal bunkering of petroleum products, movement of cannabis popularly known as Indian hemp, and smuggling of rice,” Mohammed said.
The 413 bags of foreign rice is estimated to be worth over N13 million, while the cannabis bagged in 261 large sacs, is estimated to be worth N100 million.
The suspected oil bunkers, the naval commander stated, were arrested with 125 drums each with 250 litres capacity of the Petroleum Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol.
Real Admiral Mohammed said the petroleum products estimated to take about three tankers could be dangerous to car engines.
“You have a large quantity of foreign rice smuggled into Nigeria using boats. We have over 400 bags. We are very serious about the rice issue because of the Federal Government’s economic policy on the non-importation of rice and we are to produce our own rice. So these are economic saboteurs.
“One of the most disturbing aspects of it is that most of them are foreigners from our neighbouring countries who come into this country and be involved in this heinous crime,” he added.
The naval officer promised to hand over the goods and suspects to the relevant agencies – the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for necessary action.
“NNS BEECROFT will not tolerate any act of crime in our water,” he warned. “Anyone involved will be brought to book.”
All the suspects paraded are said to be arrested during the yuletide.
On his part, NDLEA Commander in the state, Yahaya Aliyu, who received the suspect in Damaturu, said he would be prosecuted after thorough investigations are made.
But addressing journalists, the suspect revealed he started the business in 2019.
“I started the business in 2019. I buy at the cost of N6,000 per pack and sell at N7,000. We have customers that come around our community to buy,” Mohammed said.
“I regret my actions and urge all those who are into the business to stop, or else they would one day be caught.”
In a similar development, the NSCDC also arrested a 75-year-old Bala Yahaya and Mari Modu, a 23-year-old suspect at Geidam town for involvement in land fraud and production of fake naira and dollar currencies.
Yahaya revealed he started the business at the age of 25 years. He was found with some quantity of mercury, sand, white yard cloth supposedly used in the doubling and production of the fake money.
The police in Zamfara State have arrested a 20-year-old notorious bandit, named Sani Mati also known as Mai Yanmata.
Mai Yanmata is known for terrorising three local government areas of Zamfara State – Zurmi, Shinkafi and Birnin Magaji before he met his waterloo.
Police authorities said the suspect was nabbed while trying to block a highway around a community called Koliya with the intent to unleash mayhem on commuters and abduct innocent citizens.
Parading the suspect on Thursday in Gusau, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ayuba Elkanah said the suspect is a member of a notorious bandit kingpin, one Turji but now operating under another gang of a notorious bandit known as Kachalla Sani Black.
Kachalla Black is a known bandit who terrorises communities in Zurmi and Shinkafi axis of Zamfara State.
“On December 26, 2021 at about 0500 hours, police tactical operatives deployed along Zurmi axi while on confidence-building patrol acted on an intelligent operation that led to the arrest of a notorious bandit named Sani Mati also known as Mai Yanmata,” the police commissioner said.
“The attempted bandit who was arrested while trying to block the road and kidnap innocent commuters at a village called Koliya, earlier belonged to a Turji camp but now operating under a notorious bandit kingpin Kachalla Sani Black who operates at Zurmi, Shinkafi axis respectively.”
Items recovered from Mai Yanmata upon arrest are an AK-47 riffle, double Magazines, three rounds of live ammunition and one boxer motorcycle.
The police commissioner noted that the suspect who is currently undergoing discreet investigations, said the State Command will arrest his partners in crime before arraigning him in court for prosecution.
He equally pledged to feed the public with vital information recovered from the suspect in a bid to tackle banditry in the North-Western state.
The Imo State Government has said it is aware of what it terms “futile efforts” by some people to whip up public sentiments against it over the arrest of Mr. Uche Nwosu in an Anglican Church.
In a statement signed by Hon. Declan Emelumba, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, the government said it believes that no stone should be spared in the effort to rid Imo of criminality and banditry.
The government further stated that it will not support any form of disrespect for a place of worship by security agencies.
The spokesman noted that Mr Nwosu’s arrest within the church premises could have been avoided and therefore stands condemned.
However, while government regrets the manner the arrest was made, Mr Emelumba stressed that since it was purely a security matter, the full reason such an action was taken will eventually unfold and perhaps guide the public better.
The Imo State Government appealed to those negatively affected by the action to bear with the security agencies, adding that Governor Hope Uzodinma holds the Anglican Communion in very high esteem and will never support any act that will disrespect her reverential status as a place of divine worship.
Hon Emelumba also stated that the government will continue to protect the interest of citizens of the state while not impeding the work of security agencies.
“I have spoken with him and he extended his greetings to all of us out there. While we await police report on why the abduction and arrest, we call on everyone to remain calm and focused because God is in charge of the whole situation,” the statement read.
“The act of desecrating the House of God we all know a direct affront and challenge to God Almighty. We leave God to do his fight because vengeance is of God but to all Christians, does it now mean that the Government has no more respect for God, and does it now mean that the House of God is no more a place one can take refuge? God prove your answers.”
The earlier arrest of Nwosu created panic in the community as it was the outing service of his late mother who was laid to rest on Wednesday 22nd December 2021.
While police authorities did not immediately confirm the incident, they released a statement later to clarify that Nwosu was arrested and not abducted as feared in some quarters.
Four suspected internet fraudsters popularly called Yahoo Boys have been arrested for alleged murder of their colleague in Ogun State.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi who confirmed this in a press statement issued on Wednesday in Abeokuta identified the victim as 20-year-old Alexander Uzoma.
He said the suspects were arrested following the report lodged at the Adigbe Divisional Headquarters by the mother of the victim, Ogechi Alexander, that her son left home on November 20 and did not return.
“She reported further that her son told her that he was going to visit some of his friends whom she didn’t know,” the police spokesman said.
Following the report, the case of a missing person was subsequently lodged at Adigbe division, but when the whereabout of the victim remained a mystery after some days, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Lanre Bankole directed that the case be transferred to State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for discreet investigation.
According to the police spokesman, DSP Nurudeen AbdulGafar of the SCIID embarked on intelligence and technical investigation which led to identification of one Babatunde Owoseni as the person who was last seen with the victim, and he was promptly arrested.
It was gathered that the suspect, Babatunde led policemen to arrest his co-accomplices – Azeez Oyebanji, Ayobami Adesina and Balogun Sulaiman.
Upon interrogation, the suspects confessed that the victim came to their house to learn about internet fraud, and after eating food, they all took a substance known as Colorado which made them to fall asleep.
The police spokesman added, “They confessed further that when they woke up at about 8 pm, they met the victim on the ground already vomited all over his body. When they tried to carry him, they discovered that he is no longer breathing. At that point, Azeez Oyebanji from whom they bought the drug was invited, and he advised that they should throw the corpse away.
“It was then that Ayomide and Gafar arranged for Uber driver to come and when the driver came, Ayomide collected the vehicle from him and used it to carry the corpse to the top of Kuto overhead bridge where it was dumped. The corpse was later removed by the state health workers and buried as unknown corpse.”
The police authorities said preliminary investigation revealed that there was a mark of violence on the head of the deceased as shown in the picture taken by the health workers before it was buried.
In getting to the root of the matter, the police commissioner, Lanre Bankole ordered the investigating team to expedite action on the investigation and charge the suspects to court as soon as possible.