By Sunday Oyinloye
Just like year 2021, the new year might not be an easy one for drug traffickers in Nigeria as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) intercepts 1.5million Tramadol tablets going to Kebbi and Kano States with other drugs seized at Lagos airport and seaport, even as the operatives of the Agency also seized cash, arms, ammunition, and 137.754kg narcotics in some states
NDLEA’s Director, Media & Advocacy Femi Babafemi in a Press Statement made available to Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable said about one million, five hundred thousand tablets and capsules of pharmaceutical opioids such as Tramadol, Exol-5 and Diazepam loaded in Onitsha, Anambra State and heading to Yauri, Kebbi State was intercepted in Edo state by operatives of the NDLEA, on Friday with 425,000 Diazepam tablets recovered at Segemu, Kano State, same day
His words “In addition, a total of One Million Four Hundred and Thirteen Thousand, Three Hundred and Forty Four Naira (N1, 413,344) was seized along with arms and ammunition from a suspected bandit and a drug kingpin in Plateau state while over 137.754 kilograms of assorted illicit drugs were recovered during interdiction operations across seven states in the past week.
“Acting on credible intelligence, operatives in Edo state on Friday 14th January 2022, intercepted a trailer coming from Onitsha and going to Yauri in Kebbi State.
“A thorough search of the truck led to the discovery of psychotropic substances concealed under legitimate goods. The drugs seized include: 394,480 capsules and 3,000 tablets of Tramadol weighing 83.707kg; Exol-5: 647,500 tablets weighing 203.315kg; Diazepam: 12,500 tablets weighing 2.05kg; Bromazepam: 1,500 tablets weighing 0.45kg; Codeine based Syrup: 999 bottles weighing 134.865kg; Pentazocine injections: 4,000 ampoules weighing 16.64kg.
“The driver of the truck, Bashir Lawali, 30, was arrested along with Abubakar Sani, 30, and Ali Abubakar, 19, while the exhibits in Kano were seized from one Sa’idu Yahya, 31.”
Babafemi also disclosed that attempts by drug traffickers to export 73 parcels of cannabis (34.05kg) concealed in foodstuff plastic containers to the United Kingdom through the NAHCO export shed of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos were frustrated by operatives on 8th January, same way another 50 parcels of cannabis consignment (27.25kg) meant for the United States was also intercepted at the export shed of the airport on Tuesday 11th January and at least three suspects so far arrested.
According to him, moves by illicit drug merchants to bring into Nigeria 94 parcels of cannabis indica (Colorado) weighing 43.4kg through the Tincan seaport in Lagos were crushed on 13th January, when operatives intercepted the drug inside a 40ft container from Canada.
He disclosed that the exhibit was concealed inside a Toyota Camry car adding “this came on the heels of a similar seizure on 11th Jan. of 59 parcels of Colorado (17.3kg) concealed in a Mercedes Benz vehicle imported from Canada”.
Babafemi revealed other seizures and arrests made by NDLEA
“In Plateau state, a fake security agent, Babagana Ma’aji has been arrested through a controlled delivery of 5.6kg cannabis from Lagos. The suspect based in Damaturu, Yobe state, was nabbed following the interception of a commercial bus bringing the consignment from Lagos to Gombe in Mararaban Jos on 8th Jan.
“On Tuesday 11th January, operatives of the Plateau command of the Agency also arrested a suspected bandit, Abdullahi Usman Ahmad, 28, at Hwolshe with One Beretta pistol; seven rounds of live ammunition; two empty shells; 12 grams of cannabis sativa; a pair of handcuffs and One Million One Hundred and Thirty Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Forty Four Naira only (N1, 136,344), suspected to be ransom money as well as an Opel car with registration number ZAR35LQ.
“In the same vein, leader of a cocaine distribution ring in Plateau, Chibueze Okoro John, 42, has been arrested along Zaria road, Jos, with quantities of cocaine and Tramadol recovered from him as well as a Sienna Bus (BWR 584 AL), Toyota Camry car (RBC 461 BF) and the sum of Two Hundred and Seventy Seven Thousand Naira only (N 277, 000), which the suspect offered to the narcotic officers as bribe but was rejected.
“In Delta State, the bid by 38-year-old Ejike Obiora, to smuggle different quantities of Cocaine and Heroin into the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South LGA, was foiled on 8th Jan, when he was discovered to have concealed the drugs in foodstuffs meant for an inmate.
“598kg cannabis was recovered during a raid in Owo area of Ondo State with the two owners: Arataye Raimi, 41, and Tope Osinnuwa, 36, eventually arrested in follow up operations. While one Abdullahi Mohammed was arrested in connection with the seizure of 48.5 blocks of cannabis in Potiskum, Yobe state, another fake security agent, Dike Davison was nabbed at Aliade, Benue state with 50grams of cannabis and 29 rounds of live ammunition of 7.62mm caliber.
“In Abuja, FCT, a buy and bust operation on Friday 14th January, led to the arrest of one Habib Yusif, 41, with a total of 28.2kg cannabis recovered from him, while in Osun state, the trio of Samuel Joseph; Francis Ujor and Sola Johnson were arrested in Onikoko village Area 5, Ile-Ife, with 100 bags of cannabis weighing 1,530 kilograms recovered from them on Thursday “
The Director quoted the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) as commending the officers and men of the various commands for their remarkable efforts, assuring them that their sacrifices, dedication to duty and exceptional feats will not go without commensurate commendation and rewards.