By Michael Olugbode
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has smashed drug syndicates in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasarawa and Edo States in a major clampdown during the Easter.
In Nasarawa State, a notorious and most wanted drug baron, Sami Ashoko, was nabbed during the Easter festive season.
His warehouse filled with skunk was also raided and 100 bags of the illicit drug weighing 1,095.3 kilogrammes seized.
In Edo State, during the same period, members of another cartel were arrested in Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state with their illicit consignment weighing 1,330 kilogrammes planned to be transported to Bauchi State seized.
According to a statement by the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, both syndicates were busted on Friday while trying to distribute their illegal substances for the Easter sales.
Babafemi said in Nasarawa State, Ashoko, 39, who hails from Ibilo in Akoko Edo area of Edo State, was arrested in Shinge, Lafia based on actionable intelligence when a team of operatives stormed his warehouse in Lafia and recovered 100 bags of cannabis weighing about 1.1 tonnes or 1095.3 kilogrammes.
The NDLEA spokesman said the Commander, Nasarawa State Command of the NDLEA, Justice Arinze, said: “Sami Ashoko is the most wanted drug baron who has been on our watch list in Nasarawa State. This seizure has beaten the previous record of 45 bags weighing about half a ton recovered in January 2021 as the highest singular seizure of cannabis since the inception of the Command in 1999. The seized consignment was meant for Easter sales, and which he expects to sell out in two weeks.”
He said in a related development, two members of another drug cartel, Adamu Badamasi and Adamu Abba, were also arrested same day in Edo State, while trying to move 950 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 1,330 kilogrammes procured from Uzeba, Owan West Local Government Area of the state to Bauchi State for Easter sales.
The Commander of the Edo State Command of the anti-drug law enforcement agency, Buba Wakawa, disclosed that the arrest and seizure disrupted the Easter sales plan of the cartel, which tried to escape arrest through hinterland routes in their white colour Peugeot J5 space bus with registration number Lagos JJJ 722 XC.
Babafemi also disclosed that another trafficker who supplied drugs to some notorious drug joints in Abuja was arrested last weekend along Gwagwalada expressway, FCT while bringing 46 compressed blocks of cannabis for drug dealers in Mabushi and Banex areas of the capital city.
Speaking on the seizure, the Commander, FCT Command of the Agency, Mohammed Sokoto, said the notorious drug supplier has confessed being a major supplier of illicit substances to major drug joints in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd), has in his reaction to the Easter weekend operations, commended officers and men of Nasarawa, Edo and FCT Commands of the Agency for their efforts, adding that the skunk seized is certainly less illicit substances available on the streets.