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Nigerian arrested, deported again quietly over drug links

Sunday March 10 2019

Kelvin Adeshina Akinjiola

Suspected Nigerian drug lord Kelvin Adeshina Akinjiola who was deported last week from Kenya. PHOTO | COURTESY 

NYABOGA KIAGE
By NYABOGA KIAGE
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A suspected Nigerian drug lord who was deported from Kenya last year was this week arrested in Nairobi and quietly deported after making a mysterious return.

It is not clear how Mr Kelvin Adeshina Akinjiola, 33, returned to the country but the Department of Immigration Services confirmed to the Sunday Nation that the suspected drug baron was deported and arrested upon arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria.

POLICE BOSS

Orders to deport Mr Akinjiola were first issued on July 10, 2018, with Interior Cabinet Security Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i saying that the suspected criminal was at the time in police custody “while arrangements for his removal are being undertaken”.

“He should remain in prison custody while arrangements for removal are being undertaken and this order is sufficient warrant to keep the said Mr Akinjiola in custody,” read a statement signed by the CS.

The same order was used to get him out of the country for the second time in a less than one year after being detained at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

 “He was deported on Saturday and arrested upon arrival in Lagos, Nigeria,” Mr Alexandar Muteshi the Director of Immigration services told the Sunday Nation.

However, security sources said that Mr Akinjiola was spotted at JKIA as late as Tuesday. The persistent illegal immigrant was arrested after Kenyan officials informed their Nigerian counterparts that he was engaged in drug trafficking.

Sources said a former powerful police boss unsuccessfully pressured officials to release Mr Akinjiola. It is not known how long the Nigerian was in the country upon his return before he was arrested and deported again.

WADS OF CASH

Last July, despite Dr Matiang’i saying that the suspect was in police custody in July 2018, Mr Akinjiola’s social media posts suggested otherwise three days later. Live videos the suspected drug lord posted online showed him driving around Nairobi in a Mercedes Benz.

“It’s too late for us to fail,” reads the caption accompanying the video.

The suspected drug lord is a well-known figure in the city’s high-end entertainment establishments where he is usually spotted with influential individuals and often dishes out money openly. He is said to have armed bodyguards but does not shy away from posting images of him carrying wads of money and driving expensive cars — suspected proceeds of his drugs trade, according to police.

He has taken numerous videos that he uploads on various social media platforms of him carrying huge amount of cash.

In March last year, he organised a birthday party at a popular club on Kilimani’s Galana Road.

Mr Akinjiola’s case this week is yet another worrying incident of how suspected foreign criminals are making a mockery of Kenya’s deportation system by finding their way back to the country and operating freely.

This is despite being placed on a watch-list and banned from re-entering the country.

FAKE DOLLARS

In recent years, several foreigners from West Africa have been deported from the country but somehow managed to sneak back.

One of the most frequent illegal immigrants whose case even attracted the attention of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is that of Doctta Peter Longa, a Cameroonian national.

Mr Longa, who was married to a Kenyan had been deported in 2017 but made a comeback last year. He would later be arrested and sent back to Cameroon on September 7, 2018 despite mounting a court challenge.

He was arrested and charged with possessing fake US dollars worth more than Sh1 billion and was released on a cash bail of Sh50,000, awaiting trial.

In 2012, three years after he first settled in Kenya, Mr Longa was also arrested after he was found in possession of 30kg of fake gold.

Just like the well-connected Mr Akinjiola, Mr Longa was linked to a Cabinet Secretary who put pressure on the police to release him from Parklands Police Station.

Dr Matiang’i would later intervene and order the Cameroonian deported.