By Bukar Bolori
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested two businessmen at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja with consignments of cocaine and heroin going to Hong Kong and France concealed in their bellies.
A statement on Sunday by spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi read that while 38-year-old ThankGod Emenike was arrested at the boarding gate of the Abuja airport on Friday 20th October during the outward clearance of passengers on Air France flight 818 to Paris, another passenger, 41-year-old Agbo Chidike was taken into NDLEA custody on Saturday 21st October while attempting to board an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 950 to Hong Kong via Addis Ababa.
He said they were both arrested and detained after their body scan revealed they ingested illicit drugs, adding that after days in custody and a number of excretions, Emenike excreted 72 wraps of heroin weighing 1.171 kilogrammes, while Chidike discharged 49 pellets of cocaine with a total weight of 998.53 grammes.
Babafemi said in his statement, Chidike claimed he is a businessman dealing in spare parts at the Alaba International market in Ojo area of Lagos, even as he added that he was to be paid N3.5 million which he intended to use to import goods from Hong Kong.
The spokesman also revealed that NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos last Wednesday intercepted a Qatar Airways flight passenger going to Oman, Agbo Tochukwu with a consignment of 58 parcels of skunk weighing 29.1 kilogrammes while undergoing processes to board his flight at the Terminal 11 of the airport.
Tochukwu, in his statement was said to have claimed he relocated to Oman on 6th May and has been working as hotel attendant there before venturing into drug trafficking.
Babafemi equally disclosed that a total of 2,197 kilogrammes of skunk were recovered in four interdiction operations in parts of Ondo state within four days.
He said while 1,165.5 kilogrammes were seized in Uso, Owo local government area last Wednesday, a consignment of 691 kilogrammes were recovered from Ukugu forest in Ipele the previous day, Tuesday .
He said a suspect, Ifeanyi Abuguja, 32, was arrested with 87 kilogrammes of same substance last Monday at Agula Road, Ogbese, Akure North local government area, while 253.5 kilogrammes were recovered at Ogbese market in Akure North local government area last Thursday.
In Oyo state, two suspects: Ayo Dele, 19, and Olaitan Ahmed, 23, were arrested with 160 grammes of cannabis at a drug joint at Nalende area of Ibadan metropolis on Sunday 22nd October while a follow up operation at their warehouse in the same area led to the recovery of 332 kilogrammes of the same substance.
He said operatives of the Lagos Command of the agency intercepted and recovered a vehicle loaded with 209 kilogrammes of Loud at Okun Ajah area of the state last Monday, their counterparts in Gombe last Saturday recovered an abandoned consignment of 401 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 392 kilogrammes and 21,000 capsules of tramadol at Tumfure area of the state.
In the early hours of today Sunday (yesterday), NDLEA operatives in Edo state stormed the Utese forest in Ovia North East local government area where they evacuated a total of 2,931.3 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa from a warehouse in the forest.
The spokesman said the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy campaign of the agency continued in equal measure in schools, markets, worship places and others across the country in the past week.
He noted that some of them include: WADA town hall sensitization lecture by Zone E command in collaboration with Kano and Jigawa commands of the agency for 108 principals of secondary schools in Dutse Emirate; same lecture for students and teachers of Nkpoghoro community secondary school, Afikpo, Ebonyi state; students and teachers of Government Secondary School and Community Comprehensive School, both in Abua/Odual local government area, Rivers state as well as WADA sensitisation lecture at Durbar Grammar School, Durbar, Oyo state.
Meanwhile, while commending the officers and men of the NAIA, MMIA, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Edo and Gombe Commands for the arrests and seizures of the past week.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) urged them and their compatriots across all formations of the agency to maintain the offensive action tempo and strive to surpass previous records while maintaining a balance with their drug demand reduction efforts.