Sokoto Village Head, 10 Others Arrested In Connection With Illicit Drugs
By Bukar Bolori
The village head of Gidan Abba in Bodinga local government area of Sokoto state, Abubakar Ibrahim, was among those arrested in connection with drug offices by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the past.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi revealed that Ibrahim was among 11 suspects arrested in interdiction operations by men of the anti-narcotics agency where 991,320 pills of pharmaceutical opioids and 1,251 kilogrammes of cannabis and khat as well as 46.637 kilogrammes of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin were recovered across seven states.
Babafemi said at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, NDLEA operatives attached to the SAHCO import shed last Wednesday intercepted a total of 15 cartons containing 802,000 pills of tramadol imported from Dubai, UAE and Karachi, Pakistan.
He added that while 10 cartons of tramadol 225mg came in from Dubai on Ethiopian Airlines flight, four cartons of 100mg and a carton of 225mg tramadol came from Karachi, Pakistan on another Ethiopian Airlines flight.
Babafemi also said on the same day, operatives at the SAHCO export shed intercepted cans of tomato paste going to the United Kingdom, adding that a thorough search of the consignment revealed that the tomato cans were used to conceal 36 pellets of cannabis with a gross weight of 21.3 kilogrammes, noting that a cargo agent, Sodehinde Akinwale has been arrested in connection with the seizure.
He said two days after on Friday, operatives attached to the NAHCO import shed of the Lagos airport seized five cartons of dried khat leaves, weighing 107.7 kilogrammes that came in from Bangkok, Thailand through Dubai on an Emirates Airline flight.
The spokesman said a follow up operation on the seizure of 11.9 kilogrammes Meth concealed in the heads of dried fish going to Dubai, UAE on 5th August has led to the arrest of a 30-year-old bricklayer, Babatunde Mamowora last Thursday in Sango Ota area of Ogun state, arrest which was made in collaboration with men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in the area.
He also revealed that a 27-year-old Madu Chukwuemeka has been arrested by operatives at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on arrival last Wednesday from Nairobi, Kenya via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He said a search of his three bags revealed 76 foreign bathing soaps made with cocaine in one of the bags while another has two plastic bottles containing cream like liquid, which tested positive to cocaine, noting that the cocaine bars weighed 10.650 kilogrammes while the liquid cocaine weighed 2.496 kilogrammes, bringing the total weight to 13.146 kilogrammes.
In Kogi state, according to the spokesman, NDLEA operatives on stop and search operation along Okene-Abuja highway
last Thursday intercepted a Chisco branded bus coming from Lagos to Abuja with a consignment of 32.9 kilogrammes Meth packaged as tubers of yam; 376 grammes of cocaine and 215 grammes of heroin. He added that the bus driver, Chief Pascal Nmaram was promptly arrested, while a follow up operation in Abuja same day led to the arrest of the recipient of the illicit cargo, Mr. Ikenna Akunne who confessed he was detailed to travel with the consignment to Spain the following day, Friday through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
In another clampdown, operatives of the state command of the agency have destroyed five hectares of cannabis farms at Agbonkete, Iyaya Camp, Igalamela/Odolu local government area, where a suspect, Augustine Agbenyo, 34, was arrested with three sacks of both fresh and dried leaves and stems of the illicit substance.
Operatives have also seized 146,000 pills of tramadol 225mg in a buy and bust operation in Oshodi area of Lagos state last Tuesday, and the village head of Gidan Abba village, in Bodinga local government area of Sokoto State, Abubakar Ibrahim, 38, was arrested in Bodinga town same day with 3 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa and 4,000 tablets of exol-5.
In the FCT, operatives on patrol along Kwali-Abuja highway on Monday 24th Oct intercepted a truck with 915.8 kilogrammes of cannabis and arrested three suspects: Kabiru Ibrahim, 40; Muhammad Muawiyya, 30, and Adamu Adamu, 24.
In Adamawa state, operatives arrested two trans-border traffickers, Abdullahi Mamuda (aka Mama) and Aliyu Abdullahi (aka Garga) at Skylight Hotel in Jambutu, Yola North. A search of their vehicle, an ash coloured Toyota Corolla car with registration number JMT 146 TE (Adamawa), revealed 39,320 tablets of tramadol 225mg concealed in different compartments of the doors of the car.
Babafemi said preliminary investigation showed the trans-border traffickers took off from Onitsha in Anambra State and travelled to Jimeta, Adamawa State where they lodged in the hotel before heading to Belel, a town along the Nigerian – Cameroon border where they planned to repackage the drugs as ordinary consumables and ferry across the river to Garoa in Cameroon.
Operatives in Ondo state last Friday stormed a two-bedroom building in Uso town, where they arrested one Okon Etim, 45, with 12 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 207 kilogrammes.
Meanwhile, while reacting to the strings of arrests and seizures in the past week across Kogi, Lagos, Sokoto, Adamawa, Ondo and the FCT as well as the MMIA and AIIA Commands of the agency, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the officers and men of the various commands for their unrelenting commitment to the presidential mandate to clear Nigerian forests and communities of illicit drugs in whatever form. He however charged them to remain steadfast and upright at all times.