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N450m Diezani Bribe: Ex- Minister, Sarah Ochekpe, Two Others to Spend 6 Years in Prison

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe Zonal Command, on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, secured the conviction of a former Minister of Water Resources in the administration former President Goodluck Jonathan, Sarah Ochekpe. Ochekpe was convicted along with two others, Evan Leo Sunday Jitong and Raymond Dabo, deputy director for Goodluck/Sambo 2015 election campaign and former Acting Chairman of PDP, Plateau State respectively.

The trio were convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment each by Justice H. M. Kurya of the Federal High Court, Jos, Plateau State, on an amended three – count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.

They were alleged to have received the sum of N450million from Fidelity Bank Plc through cash and wire transfer by some oil companies and former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

Investigation had showed that on 26th March, 2015, the sum of N450million were withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, by Fidelity Bank Plc, Jos main branch and it was handed over to the defendants in cash after they signed for collection.

Though the defendants claimed that they handed over the money to late Senator Gyang Pwajok, the Plateau State PDP Governorship candidate in 2015, they however failed to provide any evidence to support the claim.

The defendants were convicted on count one, bordering on conspiracy to accept cash payment above threshold under the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2012 (as amended) and sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment with an option of N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) fine each.

On count two, the defendants were convicted and sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment with an option of N2, 000,000 (Two Million Naira) fine each. The sentences are to run consecutively.

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Crime

Why we raided Abuja hotel – NDLEA

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have raided and sealed Diplomatic Suite Hotel, Asokoro, Abuja in a joint operation with men of the Department of State Services, DSS to stop a cannabis party and the launch of a suspected new psychoactive drink.

About 200 attendees including three young ladies who organised the hemp party are currently being profiled and interviewed while bottles of the new drink have been taken for lab analysis.

The hotel was raided at about 8:18pm on Wednesday 20th April following actionable intelligence that some youths were planning to hold a hemp party at the hotel. Quantities of cannabis sativa were recovered from the pockets and bags of those arrested at the hemp party.

The audacious party no doubt is part of attempts by some elements to create a drug subculture in the Nigerian social space. The NDLEA will however continue to work with other security agencies and relevant stakeholders to ensure abuse of illicit substances is not allowed to get entrenched in the country under any guise.

 

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Crime

FG Approves Procurement Of Lie Detectors, Night Vision Goggles For NDLEA

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The Federal Government has approved the purchase of lie detectors and night vision Goggles for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

This was disclosed by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

“Two memos were presented this afternoon by the federal ministry of justice on behalf of and at the instance of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA),” the minister said.

“One was a memo seeking the approval of the council for the award of contract for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector.

“Our technology has improved to the extent that we have in place technological equipment that has the capacity to detect whether you are indeed speaking the truth or indeed you are lying in the course of investigation.

“So, for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of the NDLEA in exterminating illicit drug trafficking, sales, and consumption, the Federal Government has considered the need and possibility of indeed providing this equipment to NDLEA.

“So, the memo in that respect was presented, it was taken and the contract was approved for Messrs Zettabytes Technologies Limited to procure for the agency this lie detector equipment.

“On that account, the Federal Executive Council approved the award of contract for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector by the NDLEA in favour of Messrs Zettabytes Technologies Limited in the sum of N498,850,000 only, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a completion period of 90 days.

“The second memo sought the approval of the council for the supply of digital night vision goggles. This is intended to support the night operations of NDLEA.”

He said: “The council graciously approved the award of the contract with the supply of digital night vision goggles in favour of Messrs R-SET Integrated Solution Limited in the sum of N570,825,000 only, inclusive of 7.5% value-added tax with a completion period of weeks.”

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Police recover 3 undetonated explosives as Hoodlums attack police station in Imo

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Hoodlums suspected to be members of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, an armed group of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, early hours of Monday, attacked Obowo Police Station in Obowo Local Government Area of Imo state, with petrol bombs and explosive devices, causing damages and injuring some police officers on duty.

The State Police Public Relations Officers, PPRO, Micheal Abattam, confirmed this to newsmen in Owerri.

He said the hoodlums launched the attack from the thick forest around the Police station from the rear side of the police building.

However, the police said the officers on duty responded immediately engaged the hoodlums and chased them away back to the forest.

He said during the chase that some arms and ammunition were recovered including the recovery of three undetonated explosives.

According to the Police, “On the 28th day of March 2022 at about 0200 hours, armed men suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB )/ Eastern Security Network ( ESN ), its militia wing came in their numbers from the rear of the division, which is an ungoverned forest, threw petrol bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices(IED) that fell on the transit camp and a vehicle, shooting sporadically.

“The police operatives of the division and some of the Command’s Tactical Teams responded swiftly, engaging the hoodlums in a fierce gun duel preventing them from gaining entrance to the station and in the process forced the hoodlums into retreating and they escaped back into the forest with various degrees of bullet wounds.

“The police operatives gave them a hot chase and while combing the bush the following items were recovered on the spot: three(3) undetonated Explosives, four(4) expended AK 47 RIFLES ammunition, five(5) live cartridges, thirty-three (33) expended cartridges, two masks, one pump action gun and a motor saw machine.”

“Meanwhile, apart from the minimal damage to the transit camp and a vehicle, no life was lost. However, the police operative who sustained a minor gunshot injury has been treated,” Police said.

 

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