By Bukar Bolori
A rehabilitated ex-fighter of Boko Haram terror group, Alayi Madu and the traditional ruler of Kajola, a border community between Ondo and Edo states, Baale Akinola Adebayo are among 37 persons arrested over 2.2 tonnes of illicit drugs seized by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and in raids across 12 states in the past week.A statement by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi on Sunday said as part of ongoing operations to mop up illicit drugs across the country ahead of the next round of elections, NDLEA officers in the early hours of last Friday stormed Kajola forest in Kajola community, a border town between Edo and Ondo states where they destroyed three cannabis farms measuring 39.8 hectares. He said the owner of the farms who claims to be the Ba’ale of Kajola, Akinola Adebayo, 35, was arrested on the farm at 2:30am, while two other suspects believed to be his workers: Arikuyeri Abdulrahman, 23 and Habibu Ologun, 25, were also nabbed in a hut near the farms. Babafemi also revealed that a 26-year-old Alayi Madu, who was a Boko Haram fighter for 15 years before he surrendered to the Nigerian military in 2021 was intercepted by NDLEA operatives last Thursday along Abuja-Kaduna express road with 10 kilogrammes of skunk, which he said he bought in Ibadan, Oyo state and was taking the consignment concealed in a sack to Maiduguri, Borno state. Madu, in his statement, said he is from Banki town, Borno State and joined the notorious terrorist organisation, in 2006 when he was just nine years old, but repented and surrendered to the military in 2021, after which he underwent rehabilitation and de-radicalisation processes at Umaru Shehu rehabilitation centre, Maiduguri and Malam Sidi de-radicalization centre, Gombe. He was subsequently discharged after spending six months and thereafter traveled to Ibadan, Oyo state where he worked as commercial motorcycle rider (Okada rider) before going into drug trafficking and his eventual arrest along Abuja-Kaduna express road.Babafemi said at the Lagos airport in Ikeja, operatives acting on intelligence intercepted a consignment of 11.90 kilogrammes of heroin and 500 grammes of skunk concealed in deep freezers, which were part of a cargo that arrived from South Africa last Tuesday onboard Ethiopian airline via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He said the agency’s sniffer dogs were deployed to locate where the illicit drugs were hidden in the cargo and in no time, identified the cartons packed in the deep freezers.He added that a total of four suspects, Dairo Quam; Oluwaseun Ogunmene; Adeleke Abdulrasaq; Bamidele Adewale and Oluwafemi Ogunmeru. who played active roles in the movement of the drugs and a truck driver have been arrested so far in connection with the seizure.Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives attached to the Gate C departure hall of the MMIA last Thursday intercepted a passenger, Aigbedion Philomena heading to Italy via Addis Ababa on an Ethiopian Airline flight. He said when her bags containing body cream, hair attachments, drinks, and some food items were searched, a total of 1.2 kilogrammes tramadol capsules concealed inside gift wrapping sheet and covered with old daily newspapers were discovered.At the Idiroko land border, NDLEA operatives acting on intelligence last Thursday intercepted a commercial Toyota Camry Salon Car with reg. number JJJ 756 HB (Lagos) along Ilase-Akoko road, Idiroko with 34 compressed jumbo size wraps of imported skunk weighing 17 kilogrammes and concealed in two cooking gas cylinders. Two suspects in the car, Benjamin Ajose, 48 and Oluwatobiloba Ajayi, 37, were arrested. In Akwa Ibom state,Mrs. Hope Iniobong , 42, was arrested with bags of cannabis sativa weighing 1,112 kilogrammes (1.1 tonnes) in her house at Ediene Abak in Abak local government area, while operatives in Kogi state last Thursday recovered 25 cartons, containing 50,000 ampoules of pentazocine injection weighing 200 kilogrammes in a Toyota Hiace bus marked LAM 652 LG, Kogi, travelling from Lagos to Abuja. In Ogun state, operatives arrested a female drug dealer, Bola Egbebi in Ota local government area, with different quantities of cannabis sativa, methamphetamine, tramadol 225, skuchies, molly and codeine cough syrup, while in Gombe state, another female drug dealer, Fatima Hassan (a.k.a Boss) was arrested last Saturday in her house at New Mile 3 area of Akko local government area with three and half blocks of skunk weighing 3.245 kilogrammes, two other female drug dealers: Folake Ladipo and Adeola Babatunde were arrested with 49.5 kilogrammes skunk last Friday in Mushin area of Lagos state.In Kwara, operatives on patrol along Ilorin-Jebba highway last Tuesday arrested two suspects: Ismaila Saidu and Dahiru Abdullahi with 50 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 578 kilogrammes, while in the FCT Abuja, 15 suspects were transferred by the Nigerian Army with 35 bags of cannabis weighing 384.3 kilogrammes.A 56-year-old suspect, Shinayemà Kelenku was arrested at Tse-kelenku village, Logo local government area of Benue State with 36.7 kilogrammes skunk, while in Delta state, operatives intercepted a suspect, Chimeze Ndukaire, 56, conveying psychotropic substances worth over N30 million in a white Toyota Hiace bus with registration number Lagos FST 279 XS coming from Onitsha to Warri. The vehicle was intercepted last Friday at G.S.M junction, Asaba based on a tip-off, and recovered from the bus include 267.3 litres of codeine (2,673 bottles); 25,110 pills of tramadol and other opioids.In Kano state, NDLEA operatives last Saturday raided the Sabon-gari area of Kano where they arrested a suspect, Chukwuebuka Christopher and recovered from him 7,740 bottles of Codeine based syrup, measuring 774 litres, concealed inside 43 sacks of garlic.Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) while commending the officers, men and women of MMIA, Idiroko, Edo, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Kogi, Ogun, Gombe, Lagos, Kwara, FCT, Benue, Delta and Kano Commands of the agency for their diligence and commitment to work, however charged them and their compatriots across other commands not to rest on their oars.