By Bukar Bolori
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Tuesday declared wanted a Lagos socialite and owner of Adekaz Hotels, Alhaji Ademola Afolabi Kazeem (a.k.a Alhaji Abdallah Kazeem Muhammed) over offences bordering on exportation and trafficking of illicit drugs as well as money laundering.
According to the statement by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi, the decision to declare the suspect wanted followed his failure to honour NDLEA invitations and an order granted to the agency by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday 17th October 2022.
He revealed that “the wanted drug kingpin was uncovered as the sponsor of some traffickers arrested by the anti-narcotics agency in their recent attempt to export cocaine to Dubai, UAE and other destinations outside Nigeria.”
Babafemi said soon after the arrest of one of his mules, Bolujoko Muyiwa Babalola, a Lagos BRT driver on 27th June at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Kazeem who is also the Chairman of Adekaz Global Integrated Services, went underground.
He noted that but following his failure to honour invitations sent to him, the agency approached a Federal High Court in Lagos with three prayers: to attach and seal his identified properties in Lagos and Ibadan; declare him wanted and block his bank account with a cash balance of N217 million, all of which were granted.
Babafemi, having had their prayers answered, NDLEA operatives last Wednesday sealed six of the identified properties of Kazeem located on Lagos Island, which include: 105 Tokunbo street off Broad street, Lagos Island; 1 Abibu Oki street off Marina, Lagos Island; 3 Abibu Oki street off Marina, Lagos Island; 54 Palm Church street, Lagos Island; 26 Agarawu street, Lagos Island; and 41 Foresythe street, Lagos Island, with the other one located at 1 Irepodun zone, Adepoju bus stop, Ajoda Ayedun, Ibadan, Oyo state.
In a related development, the agency last Friday arrested another drug baron, Udemezue William at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on his return from Brazil.
The NDLEA Spokesman said his arrest was with the support of the Nigeria Immigration Service which followed the earlier arrest of some drug couriers linked to him as their sponsor.
Those earlier arrested include two mules: Messrs Adolphus Okeke and Anayo Nnanna.
Babafemi said the 52-year-old father of four children who claimed to be a businessman, Okeke Anayochukwu was arrested at the Abuja airport by NDLEA operatives with 20.75 kilogrammes of black liquid cocaine on Tuesday 15th March upon his arrival onboard Qatar Airways flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil through Doha, Qatar to Abuja.
He added that the liquid was discovered upon search of his luggage stuffed with six smaller bags containing 32-makeup mascara, which tested positive to cocaine.
On the other hand, a Brazilian returnee Nnanna Michael, 39, was arrested at the Port Harcourt International Airport, during the inward screening of passengers on board Qatar Airline flight QR1433 from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Doha to Port Harcourt on Tuesday, 29th March. Nnanna was arrested with 73 sachets weighing 8.15 kilogrammes of cocaine, which is the largest seizure of such at the airport, since it began international flight operations years ago.
Babafemi said further investigations of the two traffickers revealed Udemezue William as the drug baron behind the cocaine cartel, and as a result, he was watch-listed and arrested upon his return from Brazil last Friday
Meanwhile in his reaction, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd), has commended the officers and men of the agency involved in the clinical investigation that led to the unmasking of the two barons.
He said gone are the days when drug kingpins can hide behind traffickers and remain faceless, warning that the new NDLEA will continue to unravel them one after the other if they fail to back out of the criminal trade.