By Femi Babafemi
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested a 67-year-old trafficker, Chukwuemeka Clement, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja for ingesting 100 wraps of cocaine, a criminal enterprise he claimed he ventured into to raise enough money to marry a new wife and start life afresh after wasting 30 years of his life in Brazil, Ethiopia and Thailand.
Chukwuemeka was arrested on Tuesday 3rd October during the inward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airlines flight 951 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and taken for body scan, which revealed multiple pellets in his stomach. While under observation, he excreted a total of 100 wraps of cocaine weighing 2.195 kilograms in four excretions.
In his statement, he claimed to have spent 30 years in Brazil, Ethiopia and Thailand, while he was once married, but lost his wife and without a child. He added that was why he decided to go into drug trafficking to raise enough money to marry a new wife and start life afresh.
On the same day, Tuesday 3rd October, NDLEA operatives at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, intercepted a 45-year-old woman, Bilkisu Mohammed Bello while preparing to board a Saudia Airlines flight to Saudi Arabia.
While being interviewed, she confessed that pellets of cocaine given to her to swallow before her flight were kept in a house in Farawa area of Kano. When she led NDLEA officers to the house, 52 wraps of the illicit substance with a total weight of 767grams were recovered.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives supported by officers and men of the Nigerian Army, Civil Defence Corps and Amotekun personnel on Tuesday 3rd October stormed James town, in Ogunmakin, Obafemi Owode local government area of Ogun state where they located and destroyed 10.38 tonnes of cannabis sativa covering over 4.152 hectares.
While on their way back from the operation, the team also intercepted a truck marked FS548XN carrying a 40 feet container loaded with logs of wood. A search of the container led to the recovery of two bags of cannabis sativa weighing 20kgs while six suspects: Ahmed Yusuf, Olaniyi Babatunde, Adedeji Babatunde, Richard John, Osolale Olamilekan and Abdulazeez Saied, in the truck were arrested.
In the same vein, operatives on Sunday 1st October raided Obi camp in Owan West Local Government Area, Edo state where 30 sacks of skunk weighing 300kgs and concealed in charcoal were evacuated from an old dilapidated mud house. Similarly, two cannabis farms measuring 1.179065 hectares at Igbanke forest in Orhiomwon local government area of the state were identified and destroyed on Friday 6th October while four suspects: Tersoo Zaria, 28; Ifeanyi Osai, 53; Moses David, 19, and Daniel Gabriel, 20, were arrested.
In Gombe state, a suspect, Auwal Bindow was arrested on Friday 6th October along Bauchi – Gombe road with 50,000 capsules of tramadol, while in Oyo state, NDLEA operatives on patrol along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway nabbed Anuoluwapo Blessing Iyanu, 32, with 52 blocks of compressed pawpaw shaped cannabis sativa weighing 30kgs on Wednesday 4th October.
With the same vigour, the various commands of the Agency across the country continued with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign in the past week. Some of them include: WADA sensitisation lecture for students and teachers of Igbonnibi High School, Ila Orangun, Osun state; WADA sensitisation lecture at Royal Ambassador Secondary School, Makurdi, Benue state; WADA sensitization lecture at Ilora Baptist Grammar School, Ilora, Oyo state and Local Government Area, WADA sensitisation lecture for students of Beth-Root Model Secondary School, Onitsha, Anambra state.
While commending the officers and men of the NAIA, MAKIA, Ogun, Oyo, Edo, and Gombe Commands of the Agency for their outstanding feats in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) equally applauded their counterparts in all the commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures thus creating a fair balance between their drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction activities.
Views exclusive rights: Femi Babafemi
Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja, Sunday 8th October 2023.