Michael Olugbode in Abuja
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted 62.3 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa at the Lagos Airport that was about being transported to United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US). Also, an attempt to smuggle illicit drugs into the country through the Lagos seaport was foiled.
These were among the successes recorded by the anti-narcotics agency in the last one week, according to the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi.
In a statement yesterday, Babafemi said attempts by drug traffickers to export 73 parcels of cannabis (34.05 kilogrammes) concealed in foodstuff plastic containers to the UK through the NAHCO export shed of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, were frustrated by operatives on January 8, same way another 50 parcels of cannabis consignment (27.25 kilogrammes) meant for the United States was also intercepted at the export shed of the airport on Tuesday, January 11, adding that at least three suspects have so far been arrested.
He also said moves by illicit drug merchants to bring into Nigeria 94 parcels of cannabis indica (Colorado) weighing 43.4 kilogrammes through the Tincan Island seaport in Lagos were crushed on January 13, when operatives intercepted the drug inside a 40ft container from Canada.
He disclosed that the exhibit was concealed inside a Toyota Camry car.
This came on the heels of a similar seizure on January 11, of 59 parcels of Colorado (17.3 kilogrammes) concealed in a Mercedes Benz vehicle imported from Canada. In terms of interceptions within the country, Babafemi disclosed that about 1.5 million tablets and capsules of pharmaceutical opioids such as Tramadol, Exol-5 and Diazepam loaded in Onitsha, Anambra State and heading to Yauri, Kebbi State, were intercepted in Edo State by operatives last Friday, same day 425,000 Diazepam tablets were recovered at Segemu, Kano.
He said in addition, over N1.4 million was seized along with arms and ammunition from a suspected bandit and a drug kingpin in Plateau state, while over 137.8 kilogrammes of assorted illicit drugs were recovered during interdiction operations across seven states in the past week.
Furthermore, he said acting on credible intelligence, operatives in Edo state last Friday, intercepted a trailer coming from Onitsha and going to Yauri in Kebbi State, adding that during a thorough search some psychotropic substances which were concealed under legitimate goods were discovered.
He also disclosed that, “the drugs seized include: 394,480 capsules and 3,000 tablets of Tramadol weighing 83.7 kilogrammes; Exol-5: 647,500 tablets weighing 203.3 kilogrammes; Diazepam: 12,500 tablets weighing 2.1 kilogrammes; Bromazepam: 1,500 tablets weighing 0.5 kilogrammes m; Codeine based Syrup: 999 bottles weighing 134.9 kilogrammes; Pentazocine injections: 4,000 ampoules weighing 16.6 kilogrammes.”
According to the NDLEA spokesman, the driver of the truck, Bashir Lawali, 30 years, was arrested along with Abubakar Sani, 30 years, and Ali Abubakar, 19 years, while the exhibits in Kano were seized from one Sa’idu Yahya, 31 years.
According to him, in Plateau state, a fake security agent, Babagana Ma’aji was arrested through a controlled delivery of 5.6 kilogrammes cannabis from Lagos. The suspect based in Damaturu, Yobe state, was nabbed following the interception of a commercial bus bringing the consignment from Lagos to Gombe in Mararaban Jos on 8th January.
In Plateau State also, “Last Tuesday operatives of the Plateau command of the agency arrested a suspected bandit, Abdullahi Usman Ahmad, 28years at Hwolshe with One Beretta pistol; seven rounds of live ammunition; two empty shells; 12 grammes of cannabis sativa; a pair of handcuffs and N1.1 million suspected to be ransom money as well as an Opel car with registration number ZAR 35 LQ.”
He said, “still in Plateau State, leader of a cocaine distribution ring in the state, Chibueze Okoro John, 42 years was arrested along Zaria road, Jos, with quantities of cocaine and Tramadol recovered from him as well as a Sienna Bus (BWR 584 AL), Toyota Camry car (RBC 461 BF) and the sum of N 277,000 which the suspect offered to the narcotic officers as bribe but was rejected.”
Babafemi said in Delta state, the bid by 38-year-old Ejike Obiora, to smuggle different quantities of cocaine and heroin into the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South local government area was foiled on 8th January, when he was discovered to have concealed the drugs in foodstuffs meant for an inmate, while 598 kilogrammes cannabis was recovered during a raid in Owo area of Ondo state with the two owners: Arataye Raimi, 41 years, and Tope Osinnuwa, 36 years, eventually arrested in follow up operations.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd), while commending the officers and men of the various commands for their remarkable efforts, was quoted to have assured them that their sacrifices, dedication to duty and exceptional feats would not go without commensurate commendation and rewards.