By Press Unit
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested a businessman, Molokwu Nwachukwu, who frelquents China, Dubai, Pakistan, and Vietnam, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos for concealing thirty-six (36) parcels of cocaine in different parts of his check-in bags, hand luggage and two pairs of slippers, while heading to Southeast Asia.
Molokwu was arrested at the screening point of the MMIA Terminal 2 while attempting to board his flight to Vietnam on Wednesday 22nd March.
A total of thirty-six parcels of whitish powdery substance that tested positive to Cocaine with a gross weight of 1.00 kilogram were recovered from the handles of his bags and soles of two pairs of slippers in his luggage.
The suspect claims he travels frequently to China, Dubai, Pakistan and Vietnam, from where he imports baby wears he distributes from his Onitsha, Anambra state base.
In the same vein, NDLEA operatives at the Lagos airport have thwarted attempt by a suspect, Chimezie Innocent Nwafor to export 2.10 kilograms of methamphetamine to Brazil.
Follow up operations led to the arrest of three more suspects linked to the consignment at Oyingbo market, Yaba, Lagos.
They include: Ifeanyi Onu; Simon Nwuzor and Omini ThankGod Peter. The meth consignment was molded into 25 bars of local black soup called Dudu Osun and packaged in a carton for export to Brazil.
A similar attempt to export a cocaine consignment consisting of 300grams of raw cocaine and 200grams of phenacetin, a chemical agent used to adulterate and increase the volume of cocaine, concealed in packs of air freshener, going to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, was also foiled by NDLEA operatives attached to the SAHCO export shed at the Lagos airport on Monday 20th March. A suspect, Onyeze Obiora has already been arrested in connection with the seizure.
Another bid by an intending passenger to Reggio, Italy, Osasere MacDonald, to export 500grams of tramadol 225mg concealed inside a carton of indomie noodles on Tuesday 21st March was equally frustrated by vigilant officers who seized the drugs and arrested him.
On the same day, operatives of the Tincan Port command of the Agency also intercepted 107 kilograms of Cannabis Indica popularly known as Colorado hidden in a container bearing four used vehicles imported from Toronto, Canada.
Few days later, Friday 24th March, Apapa Command of Customs Service was able to apprehend and hand over to NDLEA two suspects: Ademola Adekunle and Dayo Olatunji linked to the consignment.
In Edo, operatives on Friday 24th March intercepted in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area, a DAF trailer marked ZUR 378 XJ (Kebbi) with 69 bags of Cannabis Sativa weighing 700kg concealed under bags of fertiliser. While the bags of fertiliser were to be delivered in Funtua, Katsina state, the cannabis consignment was to be dropped in Kaduna.
Both the driver of the truck, Babangida Mande and his assistant Mandir Abdullahi are already in custody. Another suspect, Ijarekhai Ogbewee was arrested on Thursday 23rd March at Ishokha Quarters, Otuo, Owan East Local Government Area, with 32kg of the same substance.
A female drug dealer, Mrs. Kudirat Bello was nabbed in Igbesa area of Ogun state on Monday 20th March, with different quantities of methamphetamine, cannabis and rophynol along with 119, 600.00 naira monetary exhibit.
In Delta, 96 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 82kg concealed inside jumbo bags of cassava flour were recovered at Basket Market, Asaba, while a total of 164, 750 pills of opioids mainly tramadol were seized from two suspects: Henry Abuchi and Daniel Ugwoke, in parts of Taraba state.
No fewer than 45 blocks of compressed cannabis weighing 23kg were recovered along Okene – Abuja highway from Abubakar Muhammad, in a Toyota Hiace bus coming from Lagos and going to Maiduguri on Tuesday 21st March in Kogi state.
In Lagos, a total of 1,030.6 kilograms of cannabis were recovered from at least three suspects: Bolaji Adesina; Femi Ojo and Jamiu Useni during raid operations in Mushin area of the state.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) has commended the officers and men of MMIA, Tincan, Edo, Ogun, Delta, Taraba, Kogi, and Lagos Commands of the Agency for their vigilance and excellent working relationship with other security agencies in their areas of responsibility.
He charged them and their colleagues across the country not to rest on their oars.
British Govt trains NDLEA marine officers in Nigeria, UK
No fewer than 35 officers of the Marine Command and Seaports Operations of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have undergone diverse trainings organized by the United Kingdom Home Office International Operations, HOIO, in recent weeks.
Of the number, five are currently undergoing a two-week Maritime Patrol and Tactical Coxswain training by the UKs Central Maritime Training Unit based in Southampton.
The trainings, according to the HOIO, are to enhance the border control capabilities of the NDLEA by providing specialised training, mentoring and advanced drug detection equipment.
Key areas covered so far include: boat handling, weapons handling, riverine operations, boarding and vessel search, among many others.
Some of the trainings have been facilitated by the British Military, Nigerian Navy and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP).
The ongoing two-week training of five NDLEA marine officers including their first female coxswain will enable them to plan maritime deployments, pursue, stop and board vessels on the high seas.
While thanking the UK government for its continued support and commitment in helping the NDLEA to enhance its capacity and capabilities to tackle drug trafficking, Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) urged the officers to remain steadfast in their professional calling and ensure they bring to bear the essence of the training on their formations and colleagues.
He assured them that he will continue to prioritise training and retraining for all officers, men and women of the Agency.
Kris Hawksfield, the Home Office International Operations Regional Manager for West Africa in his remark during his visit to the team undergoing training in Southampton stated that HOIO was immensely proud and honoured to work with and support the work of NDLEA.
He added that the UK remains committed to strengthening the mutually beneficial work of the Agency to interdict, seize and destroy illicit substances and drugs which would otherwise harm Nigeria and the UK.
NDLEA applauds Reps members for rejecting cannabis bill
…Insists psychoactive substance remains threat to national security
Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) has commended members and leaders of the House of Representatives for rejecting yet another attempt to push through a bill to decriminalise cannabis cultivation, sale and use in Nigeria on the floor of the Green Chamber of the National Assembly on Thursday 23rd March.
Responding to the development on Friday 24th March, the NDLEA boss said the decision by a majority of the lawmakers to reject the bill will further strengthen the gains so far made in the renewed war against drug abuse and trafficking in the country.
He said the 2018 drug survey figure of 10.6million Nigerians abusing cannabis alone is enough to sound the alarm bell, adding that the strong nexus between drug abuse and the security challenges across the country is incontrovertible.
According to him, Insecurity is today, a full-blown malady with many manifestations such as insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, murder, robbery, reprisal killing, name it. Yet there has never been a government that is more committed to ending this spate of insecurity than the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President has matched political willpower with resources, but the scope and frequency of these acts of destabilisation and the audacity displayed by the perpetrators call for a second, critical look at the malaise.
The persistence of the problem has forced on us the necessity to start to look at likely extraneous factors that might be sustaining the resistance from the criminal elements and in doing so, try to connect the dots.
The permutations will lead to a list of probable causes, which will not exclude the use and abuse of illicit substances. In the final analysis, drug abuse is indeed one of the factors fueling insecurity. As such, Nigeria cannot afford to permit the cultivation, sale and use of the most abused illicit drug under whatever guise.
This is why the decision by the honorable members of the House of Representatives to reject the reintroduction of the cannabis bill is a welcome and cheering news to us in NDLEA and the Nigerian public especially parents who daily and silently contend with the pains of seeing millions of their kids and wards go down under the devastating effects of cannabis abuse.
Marwa said history will never forget those who stand with parents to protect them and their children from any legislation, under any shape or form, that will turn Nigeria to a nation of junkies and criminals, which will amount to taking a step forward and ten steps backward in the prevailing circumstance.
@views exclusive rights: Femi Babafemi,
Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters Abuja, Friday 24th-Sunday 26th March, 2023.