The case of Mr Igan Eghosa who is presently languishing in the NDLEA detention centre in Ikoyi is a sad one. Our investigations revealed that Igan has been in detention for close to one month now. They have refused to charge him to court for any offence, they have refused to hand him over to the police as the law stipulates, they have gotten no detention order to keep him; he is simply being held illegally.

Mr Igan Eghosa is a Nigerian businessman from Edo State who is based in Vienna, Austria. He usually travels to Nigeria, buy goods like foodstuffs and travel back to Vienna to sell. Most times traders in Nigeria give him these goods on credit and when he sells, he returns to Nigeria, pays them and collect more goods. He is also a member of an Association of Nigerians in Austria who is into this business. most times they send one of the members of this Association to carry out this business for a handful of others.

On the 21st of January, 2018, Mr Igan was arrested by men of the NDLEA at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport on his way back from Austria. Men of the NDLEA prevented him from declaring the cash he was carrying with him to Customs as required by law and took him to their unit at the airport. They searched him and saw arranged in about 24 envelopes different amount of Euros which Igan told them were meant for different Nigeria traders.

These monies were sent by Nigerians living in Austria and doing the same kind of business with Igan. These envelopes even had the names of the recipients written on them. They counted the monies and found out the total sum was about 260, 000 Euros. Men of the NDLEA demanded for a bribe of 20, 000 Euros before they will release him. Mr Igan told them he does not have that kind of money; that as they can see the monies in the envelopes belong to different persons.

Mr Igan was locked up because he refused to bribe the men of the NDLEA. They refused to charge him, they refused to hand him over to the police, EFCC or Customs. They just locked him up and exerting pressure on him to give them a bribe. The NDLEA has no business arresting people who come into the country with cash. That is not their job.

Our investigations also reveal that the Chairman of NDLEA is directly involved in this. Mr Igan’s lawyers applied for his administrative bail sometime last week and they were asked to provide two sureties which they did, but just at the verge of his being released, the Chairman ordered that he should not be released. Our source said that the order not to release him is borne out of the fact that top officers of the NDLEA want a portion of that money at all cost. They have vowed not to release Mr Igan unless he parts with a portion of that money.

When President Buhari appointed Col Mohammad Mustapha Abdallah, Rtd to head the NDLEA, most Nigerians thought he will bring the famed military discipline and adherence to rules the military is known for to the agency. Sadly, this was not to be. The issues of corruption and incompetence that heralded the ascendancy of the Chairman into office have simply refused to go away. The Agency is fast becoming a tool for oppressing and extorting Nigerians, especially those in Nigeria who are coming into the country.

Source: New Telegraph News
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