No less than Fourteen Million, Four Hundred and Eighty One Thousand, Five Hundred and Nineteen (14, 481, 519) pills of Tramadol and bottles of codeine syrup worth over Thirteen Billion Naira (N13,000,000,000) in street value have been recovered by operatives of the National Drug Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in three major busts of drug cartels operating in Amuwo Odofin, Idumota and the SAHCO shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos.
Femi Babafemi Director Media and Advocacy NDLEA Headquarters in a statement on Sunday said the three intelligence-led operations began with the raid of House 8/10 Hon. Wahuha Avenue, Divine Estate, Ago Palace area of Amuwo Odofin on Sunday 29th October, where 490,000 pills of tramadol and 81,519 bottles of codeine syrup measuring 4, 510, 000mls were recovered.
He also said in a similar operation on Tuesday 31st October, NDLEA operatives swooped on a secret warehouse operated by a billionaire Idumota trader, Nwaoha Anayo located at Onitire, Aguda area of Surulere where Twelve Million Seven Hundred Thousand (12, 700, 000) pills of tramadol were recovered.
“In the same vein, at least six members of a syndicate using their official cover to facilitate the smuggling of illicit drugs through the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) warehouse at the Lagos airport into the country have been arrested and One Million Two Hundred and Ten Thousand (1, 210, 000) pills of tramadol seized from them in a painstaking operation that lasted for weeks.”
“The six suspects already in NDLEA custody include: Oladele Sanya-Olu; Lawal Itunu Temitope; Sanamo Alla Daniel; Udeh Felix Monday; Musa Mutalib and Unege Evans Icibor, while three other suspects: Sarki Mubarak Salami; Abdullahi Aliyu (aka Aboki); and Monday Anwal, are now on the run and wanted by NDLEA.”
The Director revealed that at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja, NDLEA operatives on Sunday 29th October intercepted yet another businessman, 50-year-old Nwokolo Ifeanyi Anthony during the outward clearance of Air France flight AF 878 to Amsterdam, Netherlands via Paris, France at the boarding gate and was body scanned. The result turned out to be positive for illicit drug ingestion.
“The suspect who travelled from Lagos to board the flight was subsequently kept under observation for some days during which he excreted a total of 86 pellets of heroin weighing 1.330kilograms.”
He similarly said, NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation, DOGI, attached to courier firms on Monday 30th October intercepted 22 parcels of cocaine concealed in the walls of a carton containing sewn local fabrics popularly called Aso Oke, heading to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives have arrested three blind men operating an illicit drug ring between Lagos and Kano, while another blind member of the syndicate is still at large.”
“The lid was blown off the group following the arrest of a blind suspect, Adamu Hassan, 40, along Gwagwalada expressway Abuja with 12kgs of skunk on his way from Lagos to Kano on Saturday 28th October. Investigations however established that he was totally oblivious of the content of the bag handed to him to deliver in Kano.”
According to him, follow up operations then led to the arrest of the arrowhead of the syndicate, Bello Abubakar, 45, who is also blind. In his statement, Bello who is married with five children said he has been living in Lagos for 30 years but started the illicit drug business five years ago.
He explained that another suspect, Muktar Abubakar, 59, who is equally blind has been living in Lagos for 40 years and married to three wives with 14 children. Both Muktar Abubakar and Bello Abubakar are joint owners of the business, while the third suspect, Akilu Amadu, 25, also blind equally contributes money to the criminal trade and was indeed the one who delivered the consignment to Adamu at the motor park in Lagos to deliver in Kano.
He added that another blind suspect who is the expected receiver of the consignment in Kano, Mallam Aminu is currently at large.
Babafemi also noted, while operatives in Osun on Saturday 4th November stormed the Obada sawmill forest in Owena-Ijesa, Oriade LGA where they arrested a suspect, Monday Sylvester, 37, on a 6.01 hectares of cannabis farm which was destroyed and 489.8kgs already processed plant recovered, their colleagues in Edo raided a trans-loading point inside Avbiosi forest, Owan West LGA where 603 kilograms of the illicit substance were seized.
“Also, NDLEA officers in Ogun state on Friday 3rd November recovered a Toyota Sienna bus from a ditch, at Ajebo Area, along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.”
“A search of the vehicle led to the seizure of 460kgs of the same substance, while a total of 116.5kgs of cannabis sativa belonging to a suspect at large were seized at Olagunju, Mushin area of Lagos.”
The Commands and formations of the Agency continued their war against drug abuse, WADA, advocacy lectures across the country. Some of the sensitization lectures in the past week were organized by: Zone N command of NDLEA in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom state command for principals of secondary schools in the state;
Kano state command at Government Science and Technical College, Wudil; Gombe state command for students of Haruna Rasheed College of Health Sciences, Dukku; Anambra state command for students of Community Secondary School, Ezi-Awka; Zone I command in collaboration with Osun command of the Agency and the State Ministry of Education for over 320 secondary school principals in the state; Oyo State command at Anglican Grammar School, Starlight, Ogbomoso with 2,032 students in attendance and Ogun state command for students and staff of Gateway Junior Secondary School, Abeokuta.
While commending the officers and men of the NAIA, MMIA, Lagos, Osun, Edo and FCT Commands as well as those of DOGI for the arrests and seizures of the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) charged them and their compatriots across the country to remain focused as the Agency expands its operations against drug cartels.