By Femi Babafemi
Desperate efforts to bring into Nigeria 126.95 kilograms of cocaine and skunk concealed in herbal tea packs and imported vehicles by drug cartels from Brazil and Canada have again been thwarted by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and the Tincan seaport in Lagos.
At the Enugu airport, an Ethiopian Airline male passenger, Eze Christian Ikenna, 42, coming from Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was intercepted on arrival at the airport at about 12:30pm on Friday 20th January.
A search of his two bags revealed 19 big sachets which he claimed to contain herbal tea but were later found to be cocaine weighing 16.20 kilograms.
In the same vein, a joint examination carried out on a container marked TCLU 7799237 from Montreal, Canada at Sifax Okota Bonded Terminal by NDLEA operatives attached to Tincan Command of the Agency on Wednesday 18th January led to the discovery of 110.75 kilograms of cannabis Indica concealed in two of the four vehicles in the container: a 2011 Toyota Sienna and a 2011 Honda Pilot SUV.
Deliberate efforts to cut access to illicit opioids by the Agency again paid off on Tuesday when a consignment of Tramadol NDLEA operatives have been tracking for some months was eventually traced to a warehouse at Greenfield estate, Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos.
When the store was opened, a total of One Million Six Hundred and Forty Five Thousand Five Hundred and Sixty (1,645,560) pills of Tramadol 100 milligrams, 200 milligrams and 225 milligrams were recovered.
Another 60,000 pills of Tramadol 250 milligrams were equally recovered from a wanted drug dealer, Diugwu Alphonsus in Bariga area of the state same day while raids carried out in Akala area of Mushin on Wednesday 18th and Friday 20th January led to the recovery of 781.7 kilograms of cannabis.
In Osun state, NDLEA officers on Friday 20th January took into custody a blind 67-year-old grandpa, Aliyu Adebiyi, in whose house they found 234 kilograms of cannabis at Sokoto village, Owena Ijesa, Atakumosa East Local Government Area. In his statement, he said a drug dealer kept the consignment with him for a fee of 6,000 naira per month and paid for three months upfront.
Similarly, a leper notorious for drug dealing, Haruna Abdullahi, 45, was arrested at Garko town, Kano on Thursday 19th January while 2.2 kilograms of cannabis and various quantities of Diazepam and Exol were recovered from him.
No less than 370 kilograms of cannabis were recovered from a sawmill at Ilale, Owo in Ondo State when operatives stormed the industrial plant following credible intelligence.
In Edo state, 261 kilograms of the illicit substance were seized from a suspect, Uche Monday at Uneme-Osu, Ososo Road in Akoko Edo area of the state with another 74 kilograms evacuated from a bush at Okpela fertiliser community in Etsako East Local Government Area.
In Abuja, NDLEA operatives on Monday 16th January raided Lugbe area of the FCT based on credible intelligence that a dealer was operating in a batcher on the outskirt of the town.
A search of the batcher led to the recovery of 42.9 kilograms cannabis, 15 grams cocaine, 137 grams Methamphetamine, and a cash of Two Million, One Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (2,148,500 naira) only, believed to be proceeds of the criminal trade.
While reacting to the seizures and arrests by the Lagos, AIIA, Tincan, Osun, Kano, Ondo, Edo and FCT Commands in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) CON, OFR, DSS commended all the officers involved in the operations and charged them and their compatriots across the country to remain steadfast and focused on winning the war against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.
@views exclusive rights: Femi Babafemi, Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja, Sunday 22nd January 2023.