By Femi Babafemi
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested a businessman, Kingsley Celestino at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos over 9.40 kilograms of heroin concealed in false bottoms of his two travelling bags.
Kingsley, a business class passenger on Qatar Airline flight was arrested at Terminal 2 of the MMIA on Saturday 4th March on his way to India. Though a native of Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, the 49-year-old was travelling with a Guinean international passport.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect frequently travels to India on business class tickets. He claimed he deals in clothing business between Nigeria and India. It was further established that he obtained the Guinean international passport in Guinea Bissau, where he said his mother came from.
In the same vein, a 24-year-old passenger travelling to Oman, Etounu Monday, was intercepted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Monday 27th February during the outward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight ET 950 while attempting to export 1.924kg of skunk concealed in cream tubes.
At the Tincan seaport, Lagos, NDLEA operatives on Friday 3rd March, recovered 244 parcels of Canadian Loud weighing 79 kilograms concealed in medium size wooden sound system speakers packed inside two out of four used vehicles in a container marked CRSU9258348 coming from Toronto via Montreal, Canada. The imported vehicles used as cover for the drugs are a 2009 Jeep Wrangler and a 2009 Honda Ridgeline.
Similarly, NDLEA officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation, DOGI, attached to courier firms in Lagos intercepted a consignment of nine parcels of methamphetamine concealed in native black soap, Dudu Osun, heading to Europe.
No fewer than 778,190 pills of pharmaceutical opioids including tramadol and a drum of 270kg Methylene Chloride were recovered by operatives from a suspect, Eric Pepe Yohanna, 33, in Jalingo, Taraba state on Monday 27th February following credible intelligence. Also seized from him is a Daylong tricycle used in distributing the illicit substances.
In Adamawa state, the house of a wanted notorious drug dealer, Mamudu Njobdi at Sebore, Gyalla road Dougada ward, Mubi was raided in the early hours of Monday 27th February where he was arrested and drug exhibits recovered.
The 31-year-old suspect was earlier arrested on Wednesday 22nd February at his drug joint in Kolere water board but mobilized thugs to attack NDLEA officers and in the process escaped with exhibits.
While a suspect, Geoffrey Okpani, 31, was arrested at Bukuru area of Jos, Plateau state with 27.45kg of cannabis, Ajayi Tope, 30, was arrested on Saturday 4th March at Area 5 Ile-Ife, in Ife south local government area of Osun state with 18kg of same substance.
In Lagos, NDLEA operatives on Friday 3rd March raided De-Niche Hotel & Suites, Omole estate, Ojodu Ikeja where 24 suspects were arrested and different quantities of illicit drugs recovered from them.
Reacting to the arrests and seizures of the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) commended the officers, men and women of MMIA, NAIA, Tincan, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Osun and Lagos Commands as well as DOGI for their efforts.
He charged them and their counterparts across the country to intensify the ongoing mop up operations to deny political thugs access to illicit substances ahead of the Governorship and House of Assembly elections this weekend.
@views exclusive rights: Femi Babafemi
Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja, Sunday 5th March 2023.