. Says trending video mischievous
The Edo State Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has described as unfounded the claim of large supplies of arms, ammunition, and cannabis allegedly seized by Edo youths in a video trending on social media.
State commander, Mr. Buba Wakawa who disclosed this in Benin City on Thursday said that the video is a mischievous attempt by some criminal-minded individuals to unnecessarily heighten political and ethnic tensions in the state despite the prevailing peace and security.
Similarly, the Edo State Government has described as misleading the video making the rounds on social media with a footnote that a Dangote truck was impounded in Benin City recently by the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), for allegedly conveying arms and ammunition and other contraband materials.
According to the NDLEA commander, “I am shocked by the deceit and false claim because the video being circulated was the seizure of a truck containing Cannabis Sativa that was intercepted by the Edo State command in November 2016. The case was charged to court and the perpetrators duly convicted. Unfortunately, the same video is being used to spread rumours aimed at creating fear and insecurity in the State. It is completely spurious and should be ignored”.
The false video urged Nigerians especially Southerners to be very vigilant because supplies of arms and ammunitions to Benin City have been intercepted by Benin youths at Aduwawa area of the State capital meant for Hausa community.
Wakawa added that in November 2016, the command intercepted a Dangote Truck at Enweh with 7,950kgs of dried cannabis concealed in bags of cement while investigation revealed that the driver, Segiru Amadu collected the sum of N1.3 million to transport the drugs to Maiduguri, Borno state capital.
The Agency he stated got excellent cooperation from the management of Dangote Cement Plc in the said case adding that the driver who fled the scene of seizure was arrested by Dangote Cement Company and charged for breach of contract before a Kogi State Magistrate Court.
He said after serving his jail term in Kogi, he was brought to Edo State for the criminal trial of unlawful transportation of cannabis for which he was also convicted.
Subsequently, Dangote Cement Company was given a clean bill of non-complicity in the case and equally commended for its high level of cooperation.
The commander further clarified that the cannabis seizure in 2016 has nothing to do with firearms or the management of Dangote Company, stressing that the good reputation of Dangote Group of Companies should not be smeared. The Agency maintained that investigation will be conducted to uncover those behind the campaign of calumny and punish them accordingly.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the footnote on the video was incorrect and its content misleading, as “no Dangote Truck was at any time impounded for carrying ammunition in Edo State.”
He noted, “There has been a video circulating on social media with a footnote that a Dangote truck was impounded in Benin City recently by the NDLEA, for allegedly conveying arms and ammunition and other contraband materials.
Osagie noted that the Edo State Government has since reached out to the NDLEA and confirmed that the video is completely misleading.
According to him, “The Commander of NDLEA, Edo State, Buba Wakawa, stated that the truck in the said video was one impounded by his men in 2016, where the driver was found to have connived with some persons to transport cannabis. No arm or ammunition was impounded in that exercise in 2016.
“The driver involved in that incident has since been tried at the High Court in Benin and jailed. The company, Dangote Industries Limited, was found not to have played any role in the crime and the truck has since been returned to the company.”
He added: “The company has also been consistent in issuing warnings that prohibit truck drivers from carrying any product other than Dangote products. Members of the public have also been urged to report erring drivers.
“The general public is hereby advised to disregard the misleading video, even as those behind the promotion of the fake news and misleading message are urged to desist from such mischievous acts.”
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