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I was told Indian hemp was Holy Bible – Suspect

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…as AIG Hassan parades two men over musical instrument

By OKOSUN OKHUELEIGBE

It was a case of gnashing of teeth and expression of innocence on Monday at the Headquarters, Zone 2 Command when four men were paraded for various crimes by the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Bala Hassan.

Two of the criminals, Ismaila Aliyu and Igwe Edwin, were caught with 20 bags of “Ghana Must Go” bags loaded with Indian hemp while some were packaged and labelled as CD and ferried into the country from Republic of Togo via Ghana. They were arrested by the Border Patrol at Boglo sea beach between Seme and Badagry led by CSP Parick Ejedawe under the Force Headquarters Abuja.

According to AIG Hassan, one Benson Odefila (67yrs) and Amaechi Enemuou (43 yrs) were arrested by the police for diverting 140ft container loaded with musical instruments valued for N19. 5m, but through diligence surveillance aided by technological ingenuity, Benson was arrested at Ajangbadi and later led the crack team to arrest the receiver of the goods, Amaaechi Ememmuou at Agbado-Ijaiye axis.

Musical instruments recovered from them include: 218 cartons of guitar; 26 pieces of guitar without carton; 29 cartons of drum sets; one drum set without carton; 111 cartons of amplifier; two pieces of amplifier without carton; 20 speakers; five cartons of guitar stand and one guitar stand without carton.

Confessing to what he knew about the business, Benson Odefila said he directed the buyer of the instrument to the driver that brought the musical instruments. “I called Amaechi to buy the goods from a driver who has absconded and the money was paid to his boy named Victor Amas. I don’t know the owner of the goods. The driver told me he wanted to sell it and I helped him to contact a buyer, Mr Amaechi and he paid N600, 000.”

Asked if he knew that the instruments were stolen, he feigned innocence adding that “I didn’t find out from him who owes the goods, I only introduced the buyer to him and I left there. After buying it, the buyer (Amaechi) gave me ten cartons of the musical instrument. It was a full container of musical equipment. I was still with the cartoons before I was arrested by the police and I returned them, he reiterated.

He said the driver was not arrested by the police noting that while at the police station, “I spoke with him on phone and the police was hesitant to go and arrest him. I have known the driver for over 15 years. I am a transporter too. What happened was that they usually give the goods to him to deliver but in the process, he will divert and sold it. I gave the N600, 000 to Victor Amas to deliver to the driver,” he added.

On his part, the receiver if the goods who originally is a motorcycle dealer paid N600, 000 for the instruments as he was said to have been attracted to it by the profit margin he was going to make from the business. Amacehi Enemmuou, (43 yrs) from Abakpa Nike, Enugu state and married with three children said “I was arrested because this man (Benson) sold musical instrument to me for N600, 000. After he sold it, he also brought the police to arrest me. He told me that he brought it from Apapa and I found out that the money was less than the market value. He did not tell me that it was stolen. I got to know that they were stolen when the police came to arrest me.”

Asked why he bought a full container load of musical instrument for paltry N600, 000 he reiterated that “I bought them because they were cheap and I have never bought stolen goods before. I advise people not to buy stolen goods and should always find out the source of the goods before buying them,” he added.

Also paraded were the trans-border drugs syndicate Ismaila Aliyu, (28) from Badagry-Seme. He said he was innocent as he was only carrying out his job helping people to cross their goods across border legitimately. “Igwe told me he had fairly used clothes (okirika). I sent my boys to carry it. Unfortunately, when they got there, they realised that it was not clothes but Indian hemp. When the police wanted to arrest them, they ran away and they traced me.

“I was asked to come that there was a problem. When I got there, I realised that the police wanted to arrest the boys that work with me. I was told that it was Holy Bible that was inside not knowing that it was Indian hemp. I started making calls to locate the owner, I realised that the load belongs to Igwe Edwin. I don’t know anything about the hemp. I helped people to cross their goods for a fee. I used truck, and machine at the border to cross turkey, rice, and groundnut oil,” he added.

Igwe Aliyu who wept profusely said he was a loader at the border for people. He said he was sent to deliver N480, 000 to Aliyu by one Mrs Jennifer, a Ghanaian who has the Indian hemp. “I was not given any goods but money, N480, 000 to the man that crosses the load. I load all kinds of goods for a living. We loaded the goods into the vehicle at Togo. There were shoes and second hand clothes.  The Anambra born suspect added that he is based in Afiao in Ghana were hustle to irk a living. He further explained that he was not involved in carrying the weeds but only given money to deliver to the man that assisted in carrying the goods.

AIG Hassan while explaining various strategies to counter criminals acts with a view to having seamless yuletide period pointed out that “We have broadened our patrols to cover all the nooks and crannies, the Safer Highway are everywhere. Our focus is to see drastic decline in robbery incidences as the Christmas and New Year draw nearer. We have also requested for Police Helicopter from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to monitor criminal activities. Robbery in the land has decreased tremendously and we are making plans to have more gun boats to police the waterways.

“We are also partnering with the navy in the area of water patrol. The IGP has strengthened the legal department also to ensure that when we are prosecuting cases of robbers arrested, we would use our lawyers. We must prosecute beyond reasonable doubt within the ambits of the law to make sure these criminals are jailed.”

The police boss used the opportunity of the parade to call on all and sundry to assist the police with useful information that would lead to cracking down of criminals. He added that with the influx of Boko Haram elements sneaked into Western part of the country, people should be security conscious and report any suspicious movement within their environment to the police for prompt attention. “We are going to launch what we call “Police Is Your Friend” that will provide robust motorised patrol very soon,” AIG Hassan reiterated.

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