By Michael Olugbode
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted over 2,060 kilogrammes of assorted drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, cannabis, tramadol and rohypnol.
The interceptions were made in operations at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, as well as Ondo, Edo, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau States and some courier companies.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said two consignments of heroin weighing 4.4 kilogrammes and 550 grammes were intercepted on October 6 and 15 respectively at the cargo shed of the MMIA, Ikeja.
The 4.4 kilogrammes were seized at the SAHCO import shed of the airport when it was discovered inside bags of granulated sugar and flour from Johannesburg, South Africa via Addis Ababa to Lagos on an Ethiopian Airlines flight.
Two suspects — Chukwuemeka Ugochukwu, a freight agent that cleared the consignment and one Kabiru Aminu, a stock keeper that was to collect the cargo for onward distribution to recipients — were arrested for further investigation.
Babafemi said in a follow-up operation on 9th October, one Adeoya Joy, who was to collect the luggage from Kabiru Aminu was arrested at Ajao Estate, while Enahoro Annointing, who was also assigned to collect the consignment, was nabbed in Abule Egba area of Lagos, both arrested suspected were believed to be acting on instructions from their partners in South Africa.
The second consignment of 550 grammes, discovered at the SAHCO export shed and concealed in walls of 10 cartons laced with tailoring materials, was heading to Malaysia via Addis Ababa on Ethiopian cargo airline, while a freight forwarding agent, Ekpe Samson, was arrested in connection with the illegal export.
Attempts by another freight agent, Okoye Onwukwe, to export two consignments of cannabis to the United Kingdom have been foiled by NDLEA operatives.
Babafemi said the first attempt was made on October 15, when Okoye Onwukwe presented a carton of 16.55 kilogrammes of cannabis for export to UK at the NAHCO export shed, where he was promptly arrested, but curiously, another consignment of 15.85 kilogrammes of cannabis also heading to UK and intercepted on 20th October, was traced to Onwukwe as the owner even while still undergoing investigation in custody.
In Ondo State, two persons — Uchenna Obodo, 22, and Tochukwu Eno, 20 — were arrested with 302 kilogrammes of cannabis when operatives raided a warehouse in Emure forest, Owo Local Government Area on Friday 22nd October.
In Kano, a 45-year-old driver, Mohammed Haruna, was arrested with 10,161 sachets of Tramadol and Rohypnol tablets and capsules, while conveying the illicit drugs in a bus for distribution.
Likewise in Kaduna, another suspected fake soldier, Abiodun Ademoya, from Akure South Local Government Area in Ondo State was arrested in Zaria with 11.6 kilogrammes of cannabis.
In Plateau State, operatives intercepted a Yola bound mass transit bus, with registration number FKY 341 ZA belonging to Gombe Express coming from Lagos, along the Jos-Abuja Road, within Riyom Local Government Area.
One of the passengers, Ahmad Musa, 32, was found in possession of 22 pellets of compressed Cannabis Sativa with a total weight of 15 kilogrammes concealed inside a black bag.
According to Babafemi, in a most audacious move, a nursing mother, 35-year-old Mariam Drissu, was arrested at the Edo State Command headquarters of the agency on Thursday 21st October while trying to smuggle drugs into the cell for a suspect in custody, officers on duty had while searching the food brought by Mariam for her relation in custody discovered two cups of “Loud” cannabis weighing 13 grammes buried inside the food (akpu) meant for the suspect in custody.
In the same vein, officers of the Edo State Command also on Thursday raided a Cannabis farm measuring 3.2 hectares, in Ayegunle forest, Akoko Edo area of the state, destroyed the plantation and evacuated 100 bags of harvested cannabis weighing 1,639 kilogrammes, while a suspect, Samuel Ochonogor, was arrested in the forest with 66.7 kilogrammes of cannabis.
Babafemi said at some courier companies in Lagos, over 4.5 kilogrammes of Methamphetamine concealed in palm fruit tins, artwork, bottles of cashew nuts, auto spare parts, and picture frame going to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Qatar were intercepted by operatives of the Directorate of Operation and General Investigations (DOGI) of the agency.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), while commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Ondo, Edo, Kano, Kaduna and Plateau Commands as well as DOGI, for their resilience and tenacity, urged them and others across the country to continue to keep their eyes on the goal until all the drug cartels in the country are totally dismantled.