By Sunday Oyinloye
It is often said that there is ability in disability, but a 53 year-year old, physically challenged man, Ehiarimwiam Osaromo Emannuel has proved this in a negative way.
Ehiarimwiam was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Nigeria by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on his way to Italy, via Doha on a Qatar Airways flight. He was found to have concealed 5,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg in his luggage.
According to a the Director, Media & Advocacy of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, “preliminary investigation reveals that the suspect is a frequent traveller who often travels with lots of bags containing mainly food items, body cream, hair attachment and drinks”
The suspect was said to have presented his usual large consignment to NDLEA operatives for search but held on to some packages, which were retrieved from him and properly searched during which the drugs were discovered.
In another development, troops of 81 Division of the Nigerian Army have handed over to the Lagos Command of NDLEA 792 blocks of cannabis sativa smuggled from the Volta Region of Ghana into Ogun State but intercepted at a checkpoint along the Ilaro-Benin Republic border.
On other operations carried out by NDLEA during the week, Babafemi disclosed further “As part of ongoing efforts to demobilise and dismantle all organised criminal groups behind the production and distribution of crystal methamphetamine across the country, NDLEA operatives raided a suspected clandestine laboratory at Opic estate, Agbara, Lagos.
“Clues from the property led operatives to another in the vicinity where one Peter James was apprehended with some quantity of the substance. A follow up operation within the estate also led to the arrest of a meth dealer, Mathew Bobby Imonitie, who was caught with 4.033kilograms of the illicit substance.
“A raid at a rented apartment in Raji Rasaki First estate in Festac town, Lagos also led to the seizure of 412,780 tablets of Tramadol and the arrest of one of the suspects involved, Kingsley Duru.
“In Niger state, NDLEA operatives on Thursday intercepted a truck conveying animal feeds from Lagos to Kaduna with 449 compressed blocks and 111 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 1,531kg belonging to a dealer in Zaria.
“The drug consignment was said to have been loaded into the truck in Akure, Ondo state. The truck driver, Yahaya Sani, his assistant Samaila Rabiu, his motor boy Bilal Ibrahim, representative of the cannabis owner, Awolu Isyaku and a passenger Mustapha Abdulrahman were all arrested.
“In Gombe State, operatives intercepted 811,000 tablets of Tramadol, Diazepam and Exol 5 weighing 150kg in a vehicle loaded in Onitsha, Anambra state at Ahmadu-Kafi area of Gombe.
“Also in Ondo, NDLEA operatives combing the Ala forest in Akure North LGA for a drug lord have intercepted eight suspected bandits terrorising farmers in the area. Those arrested include: Austin Dickson, 47, who is the gang leader; Sunday Adekunle, 31; Kayode Oluwaseun, 29; Kolawole Kazeem, 33; Oladimeji Makinde, 37; Emeka Charles, 46; Ojo Oluwadare, 40; and Lanre Oluwajana, 44.
“Recovered from them include twenty five (25) bags of cannabis sativa weighing 296kgs; Six (6) explosive devices; 6 cartridges; 4 motorcycles and assorted charms used in terrorising farmers in the forest.
“In Sokoto, operatives intercepted a commercial bus from which two five CD loader players were recovered along Sokoto-Bodinga road. Upon search, 5.5kgs of cannabis were discovered inside the CD players and the owner, Nasiru Ibrahim arrested while in another bus, a suspected bandit Sani Ibrahim, 37 was arrested with some ammunition and cannabis sativa along Kware road.
“An Abuja businesswoman, Onyinye Nwoke, 38, was arrested following an intelligence-led raid at her residence, House 56 Aldenco Estate, Galadimawa where operatives uprooted fresh stems of cannabis plants grown at the backyard of the house. The uprooted plants weighed 18.4kgs while 800grams of cannabis seeds were also recovered from the house”.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Lagos, Niger, Sokoto, Ondo, FCT and Gombe Commands for the arrests and seizures. He charged them and their compatriots across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels in Nigeria while balancing their efforts on supply reduction with drug demand reduction activities.