By Femi Babafemi
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have stormed Iwe forest in Iwe community, Owan West local government area of Edo state, where they located a large warehouse of skunk, used to store 231 jumbo bags of the psychotropic substance weighing 3,003 kilograms (over 3 tons), which was set ablaze.
The operation involving hundreds of well-armed NDLEA operatives in the early hours of Tuesday 30th May followed intelligence that a wanted drug kingpin had stored tons of the illicit substance in the forest ready for distribution to other parts of the country.
In Borno state, two suspects: Abubakar Usman (aka Alhaji Mai Kero) and Adamu Yusuf were arrested at Bargu village, Shani Local Government Area, on Saturday 3rd June with 165 blocks of skunk weighing 140.7kg. Their arrest was effected deep inside a fluid insurgents environment with military support. A female suspect, Hauwa Ibrahim, 25, was also nabbed in the same village with 6.4kg of the psychoactive substance, while another suspect Alhaji Abubakar, 27, was arrested at Njimtilo checkpoint with 4,200 ampoules of pentazocine injection and different quantities of D5 and exol-5 tablets.
Meanwhile, not less than 76.9 kilograms of Canadian Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis were recovered from four used vehicles in a container marked MSDU6686346 from Canada at the Port Harcourt Ports Complex, Onne, Rivers state between Thursday 1st June and Friday 2nd June during a joint inspection of the shipment with men of the Nigeria Customs Service. The request for 100 percent examination of the shipment followed earlier intelligence received by the Agency on the container.
In Kano state, two suspects: Ma’aruf Rabiu and Abubakar Mustapha were arrested on Tuesday 30th May along Zaria-Kano road with 260 blocks of cannabis weighing 139.4kg, while Auwal Ibrahim was nabbed with 38kg of the same substance the following day Wednesday 31st May along Kaduna-Abuja road, same day 35-year-old female suspect, Bilkisu Isiya, was arrested at Birnin Yero, Kaduna in possession of 5.6kg cannabis.
A 30-year-old suspect, Iroko Wasiu was arrested at a drug joint at Sabo Aba-Owolowo along Oyo-Ogbomoso expressway on Tuesday 30th May and 31.2kg of cannabis recovered from him, while two suspects: Deji Adelabu, 35, and Mutiu Salau, 37, were nabbed the following day Wednesday 31st May in Sabo area along Oyo- Ogbomoso road and Awuro Dada area in Orire local government area of Oyo state with a total of 8kg cannabis recovered from them.
While commending the officers and men of the Edo, Onne Ports, Kano, Kaduna, Borno and Oyo state Commands for their commitment and synergy with other law enforcement agencies in their areas of responsibility, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) urged them and their compatriots across the country to intensify the offensive action against drug cartels while ensuring a balance with drug demand reduction efforts.
Views exclusive rights: Femi Babafemi
Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Headquarters Abuja, Sunday 4th June 2023.