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Nigeria’s drug barons shift to seaport

 By Sunday Oyinloye

Nigeria’s drug barons may have shifted to Apapa seaport following constant arrests by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) at the nation’s airports

Barely three weeks after 32.9kg of cocaine was intercepted on vessel, MV Chayanee Naree Singapore at Apapa seaport and 12 persons detained over the illicit drug, fresh consignments of cocaine and heroin with a combined weight of 16.85 kilograms worth over N4.9 billion in street value have been seized at the same seaport and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, both in Lagos by operatives of NDLEA.

Four persons are currently being investigated for the 13.65kg Cocaine seized on board a ship, MV Karteria that came into the Apapa port from Santos, Brazil.

For some time, drug barons in the country and their foreign collaborators have been trafficking through the nation’s airports with most of them caught by the operatives of NDLEA.

Meanwhile, in well-coordinated follow up operations, no fewer than five persons have been arrested in different parts of Lagos and Delta state by operatives of NDLEA in connection to the seizure of 3.200kg Heroin found on a passenger, Christian Osondu at the E- Arrival hall of the MMIA, on Friday 5th November, during the inward clearance of Air Peace flight passengers from South Africa.

 A swift follow up operation same day led to the arrest of one Ude Onyeka Victor, at Mafoluku area of Oshodi, Lagos. According to Director Media & Advocacy of NDLEA, Femi, Babafemi, Ude Onyeka confessed that his elder brother, Ikenna Ude, who is based in South Africa, had instructed him to collect the bag containing the drug and hand over to another person who was supposed to come from Delta State.

“A second follow up operation led to the arrest of Abanjo Innocent who came to Lagos from Delta State to pick the bag containing the drug around Cele Bus stop, Okota, on Saturday 6th November. He also confessed that he was contracted by one Oseki Chinedu, who is based in South Africa to travel to Lagos to collect the bag and bring it to Agbor junction, Delta State. The third follow up operation led to the arrest of Ihator Theophilus Isioma at Agbor Junction, Delta State on Sunday 7th November” he said

In Bayelsa State, NDLEA operatives yesterday arrested one Obeluo Emeka from Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State with 600 grams of Heroin. The suspect who is a motor spare parts dealer based in Douala, Cameroon had arrived Yenagoa by waterway to waybill the substance to an undisclosed address in Lagos.

In a related development not less than four suspects were arrested and different quantities of cocaine, cannabis, tramadol and Methamphetamine seized from them during weekend raids at Rumuokoro, Elelenwo and Omagwa/Elele communities in Rivers state. Those arrested include; Elizabeth Iniama; Sir King Emmanuel; Godgift King; and Amadi Bright.

A total of 18.51kg of assorted illicit drugs were also  recovered yesterday  when operatives raided a neighbourhood of Bayan Gari, and Sir Ahmadu Bello Way, Bauchi town, Bauchi state where two suspects; Mr. Gabriel Iwagbunan and Ms. Cecilia Ezena were arrested.

23-year-old Hadiza Ibrahim was arrested also arrested along Okene-Lokoja highway with 54kg of cannabis and one Sunday Nnam was nabbed in Emene area of Enugu with 45kg of same substance. In the same vein, one Umar Muhammad was arrested with 25,700 capsules of Tramadol weighing 15.1kg in Tudun Hatsi area of Gombe.

It is the same story in Ogun and Kwara states.  Following credible intelligence, two suspects; David Oduku, and Ifeanyi Raphael, were intercepted along Ore- Shagamu expressway with 364.98kg of cannabis being conveyed in a blue Toyota sienna bus, while two suspects; Buhari Jamiu and Ajibola Jimoh were arrested in the early hours of today with 189kg of cannabis at Olorunlagba, Bode Saadu area of Kwara state.

While commending the officers and men of Apapa Port Command and MMIA as well as their counterparts in Bayelsa, Rivers, Bauchi, Kogi, Enugu, Gombe, Ogun, and Kwara states for sustaining the maxim of offensive action against drug cartels in the country, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) charged them and their colleagues in other Commands to remain vigilant at all times.

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