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Ex-LG Boss Arrested With Cocaine At MMIA, N145m Seized

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested a former Vice-Chairman of the Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area, Sakiru Asekun, who was caught with a kilogramme of cocaine concealed in five pairs of palm slippers inside his suitcase.

According to a statement on Wednesday by the agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, the suspect, who had been on the NDLEA’s wanted list, was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on May 7, 2021, while trying to board a Virgin Atlantic flight to London, United Kingdom.

The statement was titled: ‘NDLEA nabs Lagos drug baron, seizes cocaine, millions of naira’.

Asekun was said to have been on the wanted list of the NDLEA in connection with a case involving a certain Azeez Ibrahim, who was arrested with 6.45kg of cocaine in December 2020.

The statement read in part, “A notorious drug baron and former Vice-Chairman of the Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area, Asekun Kehinde Sakiru, has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

“Asekun had been on the wanted list of the agency following the recent arrest of some traffickers and drug seizures linked to him. The long arm of the law, however, caught up with the wanted baron around 9.40pm on Friday, May 7, 2021, while trying to board a Virgin Atlantic flight to London, United Kingdom at the Lagos airport.

“At the point of his arrest, Asekun was caught with a kilogramme of cocaine concealed in five pairs of palm slippers packed inside his suitcase. He had been on the wanted list of the MMIA Command of the agency in connection with a case involving one Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim, who was arrested with 6.45kg of cocaine in December 2020.

“During preliminary investigation, it was gathered that the London-based baron is a seasoned politician. He was at different times between 2004 and 2014 the Vice-Chairman of the Lagos Island East LCDA. He had also contested and lost elections for House of Representatives in 2007 and the Lagos State House of Assembly in 2015.

“Although, he claims to be an international businessman, who deals in automobiles, investigation has yet to confirm that to be the source of his acquired wealth.”

Babafemi added that in the course of tracking the suspect, N131m was seized from his account and another N14m also blocked in the account of one of his traffickers, Azeez Ibrahim, bringing the total sum recovered from him to N145m.

He also quoted the Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.), as commending the officers and men of the MMIA Command for their resilience and dedication to duty.

Marwa said with the support of all stakeholders, the problem of drug trafficking and abuse in Nigeria would be drastically reduced very soon.

“This arrest is yet another message and red alert to those still in this criminal trade, whether as barons or traffickers, that they will soon enter the dragnet of the agency, which is daily being spread across the country, if they fail to back out, especially now that we are moving all out for the barons and the big cartels, while we continue to reign in the traffickers,” Marwa was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Marwa has directed detectives at the agency’s Directorate of Intelligence to track and apprehend fraudsters behind scam messages being sent to jobseekers in the name of the NDLEA.

Babafemi disclosed this in another statement on Wednesday titled: ‘NDLEA disclaims messages demanding payment from jobseekers’.

Babefemi said the fraudsters, who were pretending to be representatives of the agency, were demanding money from unsuspecting members of the public to smuggle their names onto the employment list of the NDLEA.

“The Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd.), has directed the agency’s Directorate of Intelligence to track and apprehend the fraudsters behind the scam messages,” the statement read in part.

It advised candidates scheduled for screening as narcotic officers and assistants in Abuja and Jos next week and other jobseekers not to fall for the scammers.

The statement added, “Our attention has been drawn to some messages being sent round to some shortlisted candidates and other jobseekers to make payment into some phony bank accounts to secure them employment slots.

“Of particular interest is a message that reads: ‘You are to come with a medical certificate of fitness, guarantor form, credentials, registration slip and writing materials to the NDLEA Academy, Katon Rikkos, Lamingo Road, Jos, Plateau State. Name Ali Imran Musa/Acct No 2191549625 Bank Name U.B.A Bank/Phone No 07084068948.’

“Shortlisted candidates, other jobseekers and the general public should please note that the NDLEA will not ask for payment from anyone seeking to work in the agency and are therefore urged to discountenance this fraudulent message and similar ones.”

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