By Bukar Bolori
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested a cleaner at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Sunday Ohiagu, alleged to be the lead of a drug syndicate at the international wing of the airport.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi said Ohiagu was nabbed last Tuesday following the arrest of an intending passenger on Air Peace flight to Dubai, UAE, Obinna Osita who was arrested with three bags, two of which contained eight blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 4.25 kilogrammes concealed in cassava product, gari and crayfish.
Babafemi said one other member of the airport syndicate who works with Ohiagu has also been arrested while operatives are after another suspect.
He said investigations revealed that a Dubai-based drug dealer recruited 42-year old Obinna, to traffic the drugs and equally contracted Ohiagu, a 34-year-old airport cleaner to create access for the unhindered passage of the trafficker.
He said the drug syndicate bust, which is the first drug arrest at the new terminal of the MMIA comes on the heels of the seizure of a consignment of bottles of Viju and Fearless energy drinks used to conceal skunk for export to Dubai, UAE through the NAHCO export shed on Monday 15th August of which a freight agent has already been arrested in connection with the seizure.
The spokesman also revealed that an attempt by a syndicate to export illicit drugs through the Lagos airport last Wednesday was foiled during an outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airline to Oman via Addis Ababa.
He said a suspect Jonah Chukwuemeka was arrested with a total of 1,995 tramadol tablets with a gross weight of 900 grammes hidden in locust beans in his luggage. The bag containing the illicit substance was handed over to him at the airport by one Olagunju Abbas who was promptly arrested.
Also packs of tramadol 225mg containing 119,500 capsules were last Thursday transferred to NDLEA by the Nigeria Customs, cargo wing of MMIA. The consignment had come in through Ethiopian Airline from Pakistan.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives on Saturday raided a car shop, Bolak Motors at Ewela bus stop, Oshodi where bags of 615.2 kilogrammes cannabis were recovered along with nine vehicles. Efforts are ongoing to track the car dealer, Alhaji Ismail who is currently at large.
Babafemi said no fewer than eight suspects were arrested and bags of illicit drugs seized from them when Akerele area of Agege, Shogunle and Mafoluku areas of Oshodi, Fagba area of Ogba, Ipodo area of Ikeja and Iyana Ipaja park were raided in Lagos state.
In Yobe state, two suspected fake security agents taking 14kg cannabis to Maiduguri, Borno state were intercepted along Potiskum- Damaturu road.
While Adetula Olarenwaju was arrested with four blocks of the substance last Thursday on his way from Lagos, Sadiq Garba returning from Gombe was nabbed with 22 blocks of the substance on Saturday.
In Edo, Abu Sunday was arrested with 48.4 kilogrammes cannabis at Idk quarter, Ibilo, while Rosemary Afekhuai was caught with 1,130 tramadol caps, among others at Oluma quarters, Otuo, Owan East local government area.
In Delta, Mustapha Isah, was arrested at Oko Market with 9, 800 tramadol caps weighing 6.4 kilogrammes while NDLEA operatives in Kaduna also nabbed Chinedu Onnuka, at Narayi Kaduna with 33,000 tablets of Bromazepam.
He said no fewer than 80 blocks of cannabis sativa were recovered from an abandoned tricycle with reg. no: BAU 70 WL while 25,000 tablets of exol-5 were seized from a dealer, Usman Muhammed who was nabbed along Bauchi-Gombe road.
He said a raid operation at a market in Mubi, Adamawa state last Wednesday 24th led to the seizure of 62,360 tablets of tramadol, diazepam and exol-5 while two suspects, Sirajo Idris and Anas Abubakar were arrested same day with 107 pallets of cannabis at Kamba, a border town in Kebbi State.
The skunk weighing 90 kilogrammes was smuggled in from Benin Republic.In Kano, a drug dealer Lawal Adamu, 31, was arrested along Zaria-Kano road, Kwanar Dangora, with 203 blocks of cannabis weighing 136 kilogrammes, while another suspect, Taheer Abdullahi was nabbed on Friday 26th Aug. at Gadar Tamburawa, with 3000 ampules of tramadol injection.A raid operation at Kara Masaka, back of Mararaba market and Zamani estate on Saturday 27th August led to the arrest of 26 suspects, while 25.7 kilogrammes cannabis, 4.5kg codeine and 300 tablets of rohypnol tablets were seized from the drug joints raided. In Sokoto state, the village head of Ruga, Shagari local government area, Alhaji Umaru Mohammed (aka Danbala), a notorious drug dealer who was arrested last will be facing charges any moment from now.
He said before his recent arrest during which 436.381 kilogrammes cannabis and 1 kilogramme diazepam were recovered from his house, an earlier raid on his home on July 20th 2022 had led to the seizure of 11.5 kilogrammes cannabis, 2.259 kilogrammes exol5 and 500 grammes of diazepam.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Edo, Delta and Lagos Commands for the arrests and seizures.
He,however,charged them and their compatriots across the country not to rest on their oars.