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Navy Arrest 10 Suspects in A’Ibom Over Rice Smuggling

As Court remands 2 men over alleged hijack of N2m diesel truck-load***

The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, has arrested 10 suspects for allegedly smuggling 956 bags of banned 50kg imported rice in the state.

The Commanding Officer, Capt. Peter Yilme made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Mbo, Akwa Ibom on Monday.

He said that the 10 suspects were arrested in three separate operations by Navy patrol gunboats in February.

According to him, “165 bags of rice and suspects were apprehended on Ikang waterways;  707 bags of rice and suspects were seized offshore Agbani, while  84 bags of rice and suspects were arrested along the Unyenge creek,” he said.

Yilme warned the smugglers against the illegal trade, saying the Navy would not rest on its oars until the trade and its sponsors were crippled.

He said as long as the smugglers refused to quit the illegal activities on the waterways, the base would continually be on their tails to foil their illicit businesses.

Yilme, who was represented by the Base Operation’s Officer, Lt. Cdr. Kabiru Yusuf, handed over the suspects and items to Superintendent Dauda Abubakar of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for further action.

In another development, an Iyaganku Chief Magistrates’ Court in Ibadan also on Monday, ordered that two men who allegedly hijacked a truck loaded with N1. 9 million worth of petroleum product, be remanded in a Correctional Centre.

The police had charged Zakariyau Seriki, 26, and Ogunsola Ayomide, 30, with two counts of conspiracy and robbery.

Chief Magistrate T. B Oyekanmi, who did not take the plea of Seriki and Ayomide, that they be remanded at Agodi Correctional Centre pending legal advice.

Oyekanmi ordered the police to return the case file to the Oyo State Directorate of Public Prosecution.

She adjourned the matter until March 19, for mention.

Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Insp. Sunday Ojeleye, told the court that the defendants and others now at large allegedly conspired and committed the offence.

They were alleged to have attacked one LI HUA, (a Chinese National) and forcibly hijacked one Gen Lyon truck loaded with 9,000 litres of Diesel valued N1,980, 000

He said that they committed the offence on Dec .1, 2019, at about 5. 10 a,m in Ido area of Ibadan.

He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 401 and 403 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State 2000.

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