Temitope Felix, Abuja
DAILY COURIER – Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA have nabbed the village head of Gidan Abba in Bodinga local government area of Sokoto state, Abubakar Ibrahim, along with eleven suspects in interdiction operations in which Nine Hundred and Ninety One Thousand Three Hundred and Twenty (991,320) pills of pharmaceutical opioids and 1,251kgs of cannabis and khat as well as 46.637 kilograms of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin were recovered across seven states.
In a statement by the Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi Sunday October 30, 2022; listed interdictions which include: At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos, where NDLEA operatives attached to the SAHCO import shed on Wednesday 26th October intercepted a total of 15 cartons containing 802,000 pills of Tramadol imported from Dubai, UAE and Karachi, Pakistan. While 10 cartons of Tramadol 225mg came in from Dubai on Ethiopian Airlines flight, four cartons of 100mg and a carton of 225mg Tramadol came from Karachi, Pakistan on another Ethiopian Airlines flight.
On the same day, operatives at the SAHCO export shed intercepted cans of tomato paste going to the United Kingdom. A thorough search of the consignment revealed that the tomato cans were used to conceal 36 pellets of cannabis with a gross weight of 21.30 kilograms while a cargo agent, Sodehinde Akinwale has been arrested in connection with the seizure.
Two days after, Friday 28th October, operatives attached to the NAHCO import shed of the Lagos airport seized five cartons of dried khat leaves, weighing 107.70kgs that came in from Bangkok, Thailand through Dubai on an Emirates Airline flight.
A follow up operation on the seizure of 11.90kgs Meth concealed in the heads of dried fish going to Dubai, UAE on 5th August has led to the arrest of a 30-year-old bricklayer, Babatunde Quadri Mamowora on Thursday 27th Oct in Sango Ota area of Ogun state in collaboration with men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in the area.
In the same vein, a 27-year-old Madu Chukwuemeka Miracle has been arrested by operatives at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, AIIA, Enugu on arrival from Nairobi, Kenya via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday 26th Oct. A search of his three bags revealed seventy-six (76) foreign bathing soaps made with cocaine in one of the bags while another has two plastic bottles containing cream like liquid, which tested positive to cocaine. The cocaine bars weigh 10.650 kilograms while the liquid cocaine weighs 2.496 kilograms, bringing the total weight to 13.146 kilograms.
In Kogi state, NDLEA operatives on stop and search operation along Okene-Abuja highway on Thursday 27th Oct intercepted a Chisco branded bus coming from Lagos to Abuja with a consignment of 32.9kgs Meth packaged as tubers of yam; 376 grams of cocaine and 215 grams of heroin. While the bus driver, Chief Pascal Chigozie Nmaram was promptly arrested, a follow up operation in Abuja same day led to the arrest of the recipient of the illicit cargo, Mr. Ikenna Jude Akunne who confessed he was detailed to travel with the consignment to Spain the following day, Friday 28th Oct through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja. Meanwhile, operatives of the state command of the Agency have destroyed five hectares of cannabis farms at Agbonkete, Iyaya Camp, Igalamela/Odolu LGA, where a suspect, Augustine Agbenyo, 34, was arrested with three sacks of both fresh and dried leaves and stems of the illicit substance.
While operatives seized 146,000 pills of Tramadol 225mg in a buy and bust operation in Oshodi area of Lagos state on Tuesday 25th Oct, the village head of Gidan Abba village, in Bodinga local government area of Sokoto State, Abubakar Ibrahim, 38, was arrested in Bodinga town same day with 3kgs of cannabis sativa and 4,000 tablets of exol-5.
In the FCT, operatives on patrol along Kwali-Abuja highway on Monday 24th Oct intercepted a truck with 915.8kilograms of cannabis and arrested three suspects: Kabiru Ibrahim, 40; Muhammad Muawiyya, 30, and Adamu Adamu, 24.
In Adamawa state, operatives arrested two trans-border traffickers, Abdullahi Mamuda (aka Mama) and Aliyu Abdullahi (aka Garga) at Skylight Hotel in Jambutu, Yola North. A search of their vehicle, an ash coloured Toyota Corolla car with registration number JMT 146 TE (Adamawa), revealed 39, 320 tablets of Tramadol 225mg concealed in different compartments of the doors of the car.
Preliminary investigation shows the trans-border traffickers took off from Onitsha in Anambra State and travelled to Jimeta, Adamawa State where they lodged in the hotel before heading to Belel, a town along the Nigerian – Cameroon border where they would repackage the drugs as ordinary consumables and ferry across the river to Garoa in Cameroon. Operatives in Ondo state on Friday 28th Oct stormed a 2-bedroom building in Uso town, where they arrested one Okon Etim, 45, with 12 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 207kgs.
Reacting to the strings of arrests and seizures in the past week across Kogi, Lagos, Sokoto, Adamawa, Ondo and the FCT as well as the MMIA and AIIA Commands of the Agency, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), CON, OFR, commended the officers and men of the various commands for their unrelenting commitment to the presidential mandate to clear Nigerian forests and communities of illicit drugs in whatever form. He charged them to remain steadfast and upright at all times.