Court Convicts Comedian De General Of Drug Trafficking

A file photo of De General.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has convicted a comedian and skit maker, Joshua Sunday, popularly called De General, for unlawful possession of 14 grams of Tramadol.

Also convicted alongside the 22-year-old comedian, is Caleb Ojana William, who was accused of unlawful possession of 15 grams of Cannabis Sativa, popularly called Marijuana.

Justice Daniel Osiagor convicted the two men after they pleaded guilty to a count each of unlawful possession of the banned substance, made against them by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

READ ALSO: Court Issues Arrest Warrant Against Ex-Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke

The NDLEA through its prosecutor told the court that the two convicts on January 12 at No 2B, Saula Akinlolu Orchid, Lekki, Lagos State, had in their possession the banned substance without lawful authority.

The prosecutor had told the court that the offences committed by the convicts are contrary to and punishable under section 11 (c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ACT CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The prosecutor also urged the court to sentence the two men as prescribed by section 356(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, having pleaded guilty to the charge.

But in his judgment, Justice Osiagor declined to sentence the convicts. He cautioned them ‘to go and sin no more’.

Lady Bags 15 Years Imprisonment For Drug Trafficking In Edo, Ogun

 

A 25-year-old lady, Chioma Okocha, has been sentenced to 15 years in jail by Justice AC Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Benin, the Edo State capital.

Ms Okocha was convicted for trafficking 200grams of crack cocaine, following her arrest in the Edo State capital on 24 September, 2021, by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The conviction comes on the heels of her arraignment in suit No. FHC/B/136c/2021.

NDLEA in a statement on Wednesday stated that the convict pleaded guilty to one-count when her case came up in court on Monday, November, 15.

The judge, however, granted her the option of paying a N2 million fine or spending 15 years in jail effective from September 24 when she was arrested while trying to deliver 200grams of Crack Cocaine to a customer at an eatery in Benin city.

Similarly, five men: Ndubuisi John, Haruna Aliyu, Saddam Abdullahi, Bashir Usman, and Usman Ibrahim have been sentenced to a total of 126-years imprisonment for trafficking in cocaine and cannabis sativa.

Their sentence was passed at the Federal High Courts sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The five men; Ndubuisi were sentenced by Justice Ogunremi Omowunmi Oguntoyinbo in suit no. FHC/AB/105c/2021.

The convicts were arrested on the 14th of September 2021 along Lagos -Ibadan expressway conveying 46 bags of Cannabis Sativa weighing 552 kilograms in a truck.

They were subsequently charged on three counts of transportation, possession and dealing in the illicit drug.

In her judgment delivered on November 9, Justice Oguntoyinbo, sentenced the 1st, 2nd and 3rd accused persons to 30 years’ imprisonment each while the driver of the truck bagged 21 years and the motor boy/driver’s assistant 15 years in jail.

While Ndubuisi, Haruna and Saddam were sentenced to 10 years on each count, Bashir got seven years on each count and Usman five years on each count.

The jail terms are to run concurrently.

Army Nabs Suspected Drug Traffickers With 50 Bags Of Cannabis

A map of Ondo, a state in southwest Nigeria.

 

Troops of the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army based in Akure, the Ondo State capital have handed over two suspected drug traffickers to officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the state.

The suspects; Ezenwa (55) and Stephen (35) were apprehended at Isua-Akoko military checkpoint on Monday, with substances suspected to be Cannabis Sativa otherwise known as Indian Hemp carefully concealed in 50 bags.

They were said to have been arrested in a white colour Toyota Sienna minibus with registration number RBC 334 BG while on their way from Owo to Abuja.

The suspects were masked and dressed in Nigeria Police uniforms while they replaced the original vehicle number plate with a fake Nigeria police vehicle number NPF 1651D.

On behalf of the Brigade Commander, the officer in charge of the provost company at the 32 Artillery Brigade, Major Emontimi Kontei, handed over the suspects with the seized items to the NDLEA.

Colombia And US Announce New Anti-Drug Trafficking Plan

Handout picture released by Colombia’s presidency press office showing President Ivan Duque (C), US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien (L) and US International Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam Boehler (R) during their visit to the Narino presidential palace, in Bogota on August 17, 2020. (Photo by Handout / Colombian Presidency / AFP)

 

The United States and Colombia on Monday announced the launch of a new joint plan to combat drug trafficking, including investments in areas affected by violence.

Colombian President Ivan Duque and US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien made the joint statement at the presidential palace in Bogota, following a meeting. They did not specify the exact amount of resources allocated to the plan.

O’Brien said the US “will support all of Colombia’s efforts… to ensure security in the country, to combat criminal organizations, some of which are transnational, and in doing so, we will help create the conditions for economic growth” in both nations.

Duque added that the US government “has not only seen the importance of… continuing to effectively combat drug trafficking and terrorism,” but also of “combining those efforts… with quality investment in places that have been affected by violence.”

They both presented the initiative as a new phase of the “Plan Colombia,” an aid package from Washington aimed at combating drug trafficking in the South American country.

The US gave Colombia more than $7 billion between 2000 and 2016 under the Plan Colombia agreement, but the money ended up being used to fight guerillas without eliminating the drug trade.

The announcement comes amid a spike in violence throughout Colombia, resulting in 33 massacres so far this year, according to the UN.

The UN believes that criminal gangs are responsible for nearly 80 percent of massacres in Colombia this year, the vast majority of them occurring in departments with “illegal coca-producing enclaves.”

 

 

-AFP

Police Intercept 40-Foot Container Filled With Tramadol, Codeine In Lagos

The police, Customs and NDLEA on August 6, 2020, inspected an intercepted container discovered to harbour illegal drugs.
The police, Customs, and NDLEA on August 6, 2020, inspected an intercepted container discovered to harbour illegal drugs.

 

The police in Apapa Area Command of Lagos State have intercepted a 40-foot container laden with drugs suspected to be Tramadol and codeine.

The container was intercepted on water and taken to a bonded terminal in Apapa.

A team of officers from Customs and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) joined the Area B Commander, Olasoji Akinbayo, on Thursday for inspection.

The police, Customs, and NDLEA on August 6, 2020, inspected an intercepted container discovered to harbour illegal drugs.
Cartons of scrubbing brushes were included in the illegal container.

 

The Area B Commander has recently intercepted similar imports and has transferred the case and two suspects to government prosecutors.

The police, Customs, and NDLEA on August 6, 2020, inspected an intercepted container discovered to harbour illegal drugs.
Some of the cartons from the illegal container

 

The latest intercepted container is expected to also be handed over to appropriate authorities for further investigation and prosecution.

On Tuesday, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, hinted that drug trafficking was one of the factors fueling insecurity across the country.

The police, Customs, and NDLEA on August 6, 2020, inspected an intercepted container discovered to harbour illegal drugs.
A picture showing cartons stacked inside the illegal container.

 

Drug addiction and trafficking were one of the major issues the Federal Executive Council, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, discussed at its last meeting, according to Monguno.

According to him,  Nigeria has moved from a transit hub to a drug production centre.

He noted that 17 meth labs were recently shut down in the country and called for a wholesome national approach to stopping the drug menace.

Australian Sentenced To Death In China For Drug Trafficking

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud

 

An Australian national has been sentenced to death in China for drug trafficking, in a ruling that could further inflame tensions between Beijing and Canberra.

Australia’s foreign ministry said it was “deeply saddened” by the verdict and reiterated the country’s opposition to capital punishment.

The man, named in Chinese pinyin as “Kamu Jielaisibi” and identified by Australian media as Cam Gillespie, was handed the death penalty by Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court on Wednesday, according to a notice posted on the court website.

The notice revealed no details about the defendant besides his Australian nationality.

According to Chinese local media, the man was arrested at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, northwest of Hong Kong, in December 2013 with more than 7.5 kilograms (16 pounds) of methamphetamine in his checked luggage.

A spokesperson for Australia’s foreign ministry said consular assistance was being provided to the man, but they would not confirm his identity citing privacy obligations.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the verdict made in his case,” the spokesperson said, adding that Australia “opposes the death penalty, in all circumstances for all people.”

“We support the universal abolition of the death penalty and are committed to pursuing this goal through all the avenues available to us.”

China is Australia’s largest trading partner, as well as a major source of lucrative international students and tourists.

But relations have been troubled in recent years and worsened after China reacted furiously to Australia’s call for an independent probe into the origins of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Beijing subsequently imposed tariffs on Australian barley and issued travel warnings to tourists and students over virus-linked racism against ethnic Asians in the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison dismissed the allegations of racist treatment of Chinese as “rubbish” and said his government would “never be intimidated by threats” or “trade our values in response to coercion from wherever it comes”.

Last year, China sentenced two Canadian nationals to death on drug trafficking charges during an escalating diplomatic row with Canada over the arrest of top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Canadian attempts to plead for clemency for Robert Schellenberg and Fan Wei have so far not been successful.

China has also detained two Canadian nationals, including a former diplomat, on spying charges, in a move widely considered to be in retaliation for Meng’s arrest.

AFP

Nigerian Freed Of Drug Trafficking Charges In Saudi Arabia

 

A Nigerian has been discharged by a court in Saudi Arabia after charges of drug trafficking levelled against him were dismissed.

Ibrahim Ibrahim, a native of Zamfara state was arrested in Jedda in 2017 after authorities discovered illegal drugs in his bag allegedly trafficked to the kingdom.

According to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, a delegation from NIDCOM and Zamfara state Government arrived in Jeddah for the trial slated for 18th February 2020 with documentary evidence showing that Ibrahim was set up by some people who have been arrested and confessed to committing the act.

READ ALSO: Reps Condemn Diversion Of Flights To Other African Countries

 

 

The documentary evidence included; “a written statement by NDLEA stating that they have arrested and charged three persons who planned the drugs on the defendant and a certified copy of the two counts sheet from the Federal High Court Kano.

The commission stated that the documents were provided to the Saudi Court, after which they ruled in favour of Ibrahim and discharged him.

Meanwhile, the Chairman/CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, welcomed the news and thanked the delegates sent to Saudi Arabia.

“Great news from Saudi, Ibrahim Ibrahim locked up for 3 years for an offence he didn’t commit, has been released, Head of legal,@nidcom_gov, Barr Bello, two reps from Zamfara, travelled to Saudi, along with our mission and AGs office, made this happen.

Iran Executes ‘The Crocodile’ For Drug Trafficking

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on January 22, 2020 shows President Hassan Rouhani chairing a cabinet meeting in Tehran. HO / Iranian Presidency / AFP
A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on January 22, 2020 shows President Hassan Rouhani chairing a cabinet meeting in Tehran. HO / Iranian Presidency / AFP

 

Iran has dismantled an international drug-trafficking ring and executed its leader nicknamed the “Crocodile of the Persian Gulf” along with an accomplice, semi-official news agency ISNA said Saturday.

“The ‘Crocodile’ was operating under different guises and aliases and was arrested while transferring more than 100 tonnes of drugs over international waters,” Hormozgan province chief prosecutor Ali Salehi was quoted as saying.

“Intelligence operations were ongoing for four to five years to arrest the 36-year-old… he led one of the biggest and most vicious drug-trafficking networks in Iran and the region,” he added.

Salehi only identified the ringleader by the initials “A.Z.” and his accomplice as “M.H.”.

The convicted leader had smuggled more than 400 tonnes of drugs into Iran and laundered 20 trillion rials ($147.3 million) into the country’s real estate sector, the prosecutor said.

“The other members of this trafficking ring were sentenced to a total of 420 years and fined 21 billion rials ($154,753).”

The judiciary’s Mizan Online website said there were 18 other convictions in the case.

Iran does not publish official statistics on the number of people it executes, but Amnesty International says there were at least 253 in 2018.

 

AFP

China Sentences Another Canadian To Death For Drug Trafficking

 

A Chinese court sentenced a second Canadian man to death for drug trafficking on Tuesday, eliciting a rebuke from Canada’s foreign minister, amid diplomatic tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.

The court in southern Guangdong province said the Canadian, Fan Wei, and 10 others — including an American and four Mexicans — had been part of an international narcotics syndicate working out of Taishan city between July and November 2012.

The group produced and sold 63.38 kilos (140 pounds) of methamphetamine and 366 grammes of dimethylamylamine, a drug used for attention deficit-hyperactive disorder, weight loss and improving athletic performance, according to the Jiangmen Intermediate People’s Court.

Fan and a Chinese man who played a key role in operations were sentenced to death, the court said in a statement.

“The number of drugs sold and manufactured was extremely large and the crimes were extremely serious,” the statement said.

The other foreigners were given suspended death sentences which would be reduced to life imprisonment after two years while the rest of the men faced prison terms.

They have 10 days to appeal the sentence.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland reacted to the sentencing, saying the Canadian government is “very concerned.”

“Canada stands firmly opposed to the use of the death penalty, everywhere around the world,” she told reporters. “We think that this is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which should not be used in any country.

“We are obviously, particularly concerned when it is applied to Canadians.”

Fan is the second Canadian to face capital punishment this year.

In January, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was handed the death penalty following a one-day retrial after he appealed an earlier 15-year sentence in a separate drug trafficking case.

China says that he was a key member of an international drug trafficking syndicate but Schellenberg claims that he was visiting as a tourist.

The sentence came amid the backdrop of frosty diplomatic relations between China and Canada, with Beijing furious over the Vancouver arrest of a top executive from telecom giant Huawei on a US extradition request related to Iran sanctions violations.

Chinese authorities later detained two Canadian nationals — a former diplomat and a business consultant — on suspicion of endangering national security, a move seen as retaliation over the Huawei executive’s arrest.

Schellenberg has appealed his sentence and Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is fighting extradition.

AFP

Australian Woman Accused Of Drug Trafficking Pleads Not Guilty

An Australian mother of three escaped the death penalty on Wednesday (December 27), after she was acquitted by a Malaysian court of drug-trafficking.

Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto, 54, was released after spending three years in prison. She was accused of drug trafficking after authorities found 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in her bag at Kuala Lumpur airport in December 2014. She was transiting through the Malaysian capital en route from Shanghai to Melbourne.

Under Malaysian law, anyone found guilty of possessing more than 50 grams of illegal drugs faces a mandatory death penalty by hanging. The law was amended last month to get rid of the mandatory death penalty, allowing judges discretion in sentencing but the changes have not yet come into effect.

Esposto’s lawyers have argued that she was the victim of an internet romance scam. They said she was lured into carrying a bag containing drugs unknowingly by a friend of her online boyfriend, who had claimed to be a U.S. soldier serving in Afghanistan. The judge referred Exposto to the immigration department for deportation.

U.S. Sentences Nephews Of Venezuelan First Lady To 18 Years

A US judge on Thursday sentenced two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady to 18 years in prison for drug trafficking, damning them as “not the most astute drug traffickers that ever existed.”

Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 31, and Francisco Flores de Freitas, 32, were convicted by a New York jury last year after being arrested in a US sting operation Haiti in 2015.

District Judge Paul Crotty imposed the 18-year jail term in a Manhattan federal court on Thursday and fined each cousin $50,000.

US government prosecutors had requested a 30-year sentence, arguing that they believed they could operate with impunity as members of the most powerful family in Venezuela.

Defense lawyers sought the minimum 10-year penalty and the two cousins apologized in court, Flores de Freitas breaking down into tears at the mention of his nine-year-old son and asking the judge for a chance to repair his mistakes.

“If they were not from Venezuela but from the Dominican Republic or the Bronx this would be a 10-year case,” said defense attorney David Rody.

But “they’re not the (Venezuelan) president and they should not bear the brunt of the government’s ire towards Venezuela,” he added.

The judge ruled that the two defendants seemed “more concerned about the impact on the family than on violating the law in the United States.”

He noted that “opportunities for visitation from Venezuela will be very limited” given US travel restrictions imposed on many Venezuelans with ties to President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

Their arrest and trial fanned tensions in already fraught US-Venezuelan relations, with Washington at loggerheads with Maduro and the South American oil giant mired in economic crisis.

The cousins, who are sons of brothers of First Lady Cilia Flores, were convicted of plotting to smuggle 800 kilos (1,760 pounds) of cocaine into the United States, as well as manufacturing and distribution with the intent to import.

The Venezuelan government says they were framed.

Lawyers for both defendants argued that they fell into a trap set by the US Drug Enforcement Administration in a sting operation that offered $20 million for the drugs.

US prosecutors say the men believed they were above the law as relatives of Maduro. Their aunt, Cilia Flores, was speaker of the National Assembly from 2006 to 2011.

AFP

Bayelsa: NDLEA Secures 19 Convictions In 2016

Bayelsa: NDLEA Secures 19 Convictions In 2016The Bayelsa State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says it arrested 215 suspected drug traffickers and seized a total of 219.999kg of various types of illicit drugs in the state in the outgoing 2016.

The command’s Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs, Superintendent Osakwe Ikenna, said that of the 215 suspects, 164 were male and 51 were female.

“The command also successfully secured 19 convictions, while a total of 149 persons who used drugs were counselled”.

The spokesman said, “At present, two residential clients are still undergoing rehabilitation.

“The command equally carried out aggressive and far-reaching public enlightenment through lectures, radio and television programmes, print media, drug free clubs and collaboration with various groups, communities and associations”.

Specifically, “In the last quarter of 2016, the command arrested 39 suspects, out of which 29 were males and 10 were females as well as seizing 52.997kg of various types of illicit drugs from drug traffickers in the state”.

He further stated that during the last quarter, the NDLEA operatives apprehended several drug dealers on the command’s watch list, including a notorious baron, who was arrested on November 12, 2016.

“A total of 20kg of dried weed suspected to be Cannabis Sativa were recovered from his warehouse within Yenagoa metropolis”.

He said the suspected baron’s storekeeper and carrier were also arrested.

He reiterated that the command remains proactive and ever vigilant to frustrate the efforts of unrepentant drug barons, who destroy the lives of unsuspecting youth and foster criminality and insecurity in the society through the distribution and sales of illicit and controlled substances.

The spokesman appealed to communities to support the command by providing relevant and accurate information on drug dealers in their areas.

“We call on residents of the state to celebrate the remaining part of the festivities with due attention to their health and security, and especially, to abstain from all illicit substances.

“We also encourage parents to make themselves available to their wards and children, listen to them and give them moral and psychological support to prevent them from being lured into the use of illicit drugs by their peers,” he concluded.