By Bukar Bolori
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted 22 blocks of heroin weighing 23.55 kilogrammes concealed in packs of baby food at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
A statement on Sunday by NDLEA’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi said the consignment with a street value of over N4.5 billion came from Johannesburg, South Africa on board South African Airways flight last Wednesday as part of a consolidated cargo that arrived the SAHCO import shed of the Lagos airport.
Babafemi said after series of follow up operations that led to the arrest of two freight agents, the actual receiver of the drug consignment, Chike Eweni who distributes the substance for his South Africa based partner was arrested the following day, last Thursday at a logistics warehouse in Ajao Estate, Ikeja, with Chike claiming during preliminary interrogation that he’ is also into fish farming.
According to him, before the arrest of Chike, NDLEA officers at the airport had last Monday arrested a former driver with a public transport company, BRT, Muyiwa Bolujoko for ingesting 90 pellets of cocaine.
He was arrested at the screening point before boarding a Qatar Airways flight enroute Doha to Sharjah, with his trip expected to terminate in Dubai, UAE.
He said the 39-year-old was placed under excretion observation after body scan result confirmed drug ingestion, and while in custody, the suspect excreted all the 90 pellets in four excretions.
He claimed he left his N60,000 per month job as BRT driver in February and decided to work as drug courier to raise funds to buy a shuttle bus popularly called ‘Korope’ in Lagos to continue his transport business.Operatives also last Thursday intercepted an inbound consignment of khat leaves, which arrived the NAHCO import shed of the Lagos airport on Royal Air Maroc flight from the Middle East.
A total of 71 cartons of dried khat leaves with a gross weight of 2,434.3 kilogrammes were discovered in the cargo.Babafemi also disclosed that anti-narcotic officers of the agency last Thursday seized 36 parcels of Colorado, a variant of cannabis with a total weight of 19.3 kilogrammes which arrived the NAHCO import shed from Los Angeles, US on a Delta Airlines flight.
He said after series of follow up operations in which four persons were arrested, the actual owner of the drug consignment, Abibu Sola was eventually nabbed last Friday in Gbagada area of Lagos.
In Rivers state, NDLEA operatives last Wednesday arrested a 68-year-old woman, Mrs. Celina Ekeke at Obunku community in Oyigbo local government area with 231.2 kilogrammes cannabis, while one Shedrack Eze, was arrested the following day last Thursday at Yankarfe, Zaria, Kaduna state with 250,000 tablets of Exol 5, weighing 75kg. In Borno state, Usman Haruna, 27, was arrested at BCG checkpoint in Biu last Saturday with 19.7 kilogrammes cannabis.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) has expressed satisfaction with the exemplary performance of the officers and men of the MMIA command in the past week while also commending those of Rivers, Kaduna and Borno for being vigilant.
He, however, charged them and others across the country to remain steps ahead of the tricks by the desperate drug cartels.