A suspected Indian hemp farmer, Clement Akor, has begged the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to take his life instead of destroying his 10-hectare cannabis plantation.
Akor, a 42-year-old father of six from Enabo village in the Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, and his accomplice, David Ameh, were arrested by the Kogi State Command of the NDLEA.
Akor, who claimed to have invested so much in the business and could not afford to lose everything, said he learnt dealing in Indian hemp from Owo, Ondo State.
The suspect, who cried profusely and attempted to stop the men of the NDLEA, led by the commander, Alfred Adewumi, from destroying his farm in Oketepe, Okula community, about 10 kilometres from Ejule, said he preferred to die than watch the officers destroy what he worked hard for in the last one year.
He noted that he was aware of the ban on the sale of Indian hemp, but insisted that it was a risky business.
Akor stated, “I am the owner of this farm. I learnt it in Yorubaland. When I cultivated the produce last year, it was stolen. So, this year, I bought the seed from Yorubaland and planted it before I was caught.
“The Indian hemp business is by luck. In this farm, I can get many bags. I do sell one bag for N20,000, depending on the area where I am selling it to. It can be me more. I spent N12,000 on cultivating this farm. It is better for you people to kill me than destroy this farm.”
“This is my business. I spent a lot to allow this plant to grow up to this level. In the next two weeks, I am supposed to harvest it. Now, you people have come here to destroy it. Just kill me so that I won’t see you people destroying what I have laboured for. I am looking for money because I am illiterate. I don’t want to engage in armed robbery or kidnapping, that is why I am into this business of Indian hemp cultivation and sale.”
Adewumi, however, calmed him down but insisted that the war against illicit drug use was on course in the state.
Addressing journalists shortly after the destruction of the farm, Adewumi lamented the increasing wave of cultivation illicit and use of cannabis sativa in the state.
He stated that the two suspects were arrested through intelligent gathering by officers of his command.
The commander noted that the latest breakthrough came three days after the command arrested Endurance Samson and Abah Sunday for alleged possession of 36.2 kilograms of Indian hemp.
Adewumi stated, “What you are seeing today is certainly more than three football fields put together. Just look around that is a huge expanse of cultivated cannabis land. We just left the first farm, which is equally a huge cannabis plantation.
“This is very unfortunate. I am worried about this unfortunate development. I have thought that Kogi State will not descend to this point. As things stand today, it will be self denial to begin to say that Kogi State is not planting cannabis sativa, because the evidence itself suggests the fact that there is high rate of cannabis sativa cultivation in the state.”
He added that the suspects would be charged as soon as investigation was concluded into the case.
Pastor Lands in Jail for Lying Against Colleague in Ondo
The Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, on Thursday sentenced a pastor, John Abiodun, to two years’ imprisonment for false allegation against a church founder.
Abiodun was arrested in 2019 for lying against the founder of Promiseland Prophetic Ministry, Akure, Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi, that seven placentas were planted on the church’s altar.
The church is located in the Shasha area of Akure.
The convict, who was a former member of the church, swore an affidavit before the commissioner for oaths on the matter.
Abiodun and a lecturer of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Prof. Lanre Olu-Adeyemi, were later arraigned on eight counts bordering on conspiracy, publication of false information, perjury, impersonation, threatening violence, among others.
The second defendant (Olu-Adeyemi) was the admin of a WhatsApp group on which the false accusation was published.
During a series of court proceedings on the matter, witnesses were called by both the prosecutor and the defence counsel.
The trial judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe, found Abiodun guilty of count five of the charge.
He said the convict contradicted himself while giving evidence in the allegation against him, which included the use of different church WhatsApp platforms and other social media to malign, carry out false publication and wrongly accuse the founder of the church.
The court said Abiodun was guilty of perjury, an offence punishable under Section 118 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ondo State.
The judge also held that in law, anybody found guilty of perjury was liable to life or 14 years’ imprisonment, but due to the plea by the defence counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Adesanmi, he would reduce the jail term to two years.
“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to two years’ imprisonment,” the judge ruled.
The second defendant was discharged and acquitted as the court said the investigation conducted by the police on his involvement in the matter was shoddy.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Kayode Dare, expressed satisfaction with the judgement, saying the court had vindicated Akinbiyi and other members of his church.
Accident in Katsina Claims 13 Lives, 70 Injured
Thirteen people died while 70 others sustained injuries in a motor accident along Kaita/Dankama Highway, Katsina State on Thursday night.
Although details of the circumstances surrounding the accident were still sketchy by Friday morning, it was learnt that a majority of the passengers inside the truck were from the neighbouring Niger Republic.
The witnesses added that 70 sheep were also killed in the accident.
The PUNCH learnt that those who sustained injuries have been taken to the Federal Medical centre, Katsina General hospital and Amadi Rimi Orthopaedic Hospital, all in Katsina, for treatment.
However, the Katsina State Government sent a delegation to attend the funeral prayers and burial of the deceased on Thursday night at Dantakum graveyard located within Katsina metropolis.
The delegation included Commissioners of Local Governments, Alhaji Ya’u -Umar Gwajo-Gwajo and that of Sports and Social Development, Alhaji Sani Danlami, as well as Governor Aminu Masari’s Senior Special Assistant on Restoration Alhaji Sabo Musa and Head of Kaita Local Government Administration among others.
The government delegation also visited the injured at the hospitals on Thursday night.
The spokesman for the Katsina police command, SP Gambo Isah, was yet to react to the accident as of the time of filing this report.
Katsina VP Pays Student N300-N500 to Have Sex with Her, Arrested
The Vice-Principal of the Kadandani Community School in the Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State, Ibrahim Tukur, who allegedly raped and impregnated a student of the school, has explained the circumstances surrounding the development.
He made the explanation in Hausa language to journalists at the police headquarters in Katsina, where he and other suspects were paraded on Wednesday.
Tukur stated, “I am being accused of committing rape and it’s true I committed the crime. I have been having affairs with the girl for eight months ago now. I used to take her to my house and offer her the sum of N300 of N500; some other times, I would give her N200 to have sex with her.
“Information reaching me right now is that the girl has been delivered of a baby boy for me. I have three wives.”
Tukur and the other suspects were arrested between January 9 and 14, 2021.
The spokesman for the command, SP Gambo Isah, told journalists during the parade that the vice-principal was arrested on January 9, 2021 following a formal report at the Rimi Divisional Police Headquarters by one Ibrahim Sani.
Isah said Tukur took advantage of the victim to impregnate her.
“The vice-principal, who is married to three wives, used to take the girl from the school to his house, where he had serial sex with her. As a result, he got the girl pregnant and she was delivered of a baby through caesarean section.”
Other suspects paraded included Auwal Hamzat and Sulaiman Abubakar, who were alleged to have sodomised three boys, who were children of their neighbours.
The neighbours reported the incident to the police, leading to the suspects’ arrest.
One Ishiaku Sani, 25, was also paraded for a similar offence.
Sani was alleged to have also sodomised the six-year-old son of his neighbour, who reported the incident to the police on January 10.
Also paraded was a 61-year-old man, Lawan Sani, who was alleged to have molested a six-year-old girl, whose mother reported the incident at the Central Police Station, Katsina, on January 14.
Similarly, one Jamilu Salisu was paraded for the alleged molestation of a five-year-old girl in Funtua on January 11.