Four persons wanted in connection with over 16,000 kilogrammes (16 tonnes) of illicit drugs intercepted in Lagos, Abuja and Netherlands top the list of arrests by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in parts of the country in the past week.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said in Lagos, anti-narcotics officers who have been on the trail of 48-year-old Aro Aderinde for weeks arrested him on Sunday, October 16, 2022 over his involvement in the export of 3,149 kilogrammes cannabis sativa concealed in coconut fibres via container number MSKU 1820587.
In the same vein, two women — Hauwawu Bashiru and Basirat Yahaya — linked with the attempt to export 90 kilogrammes of methamphetamine through Pastor Anietie Effiong of Promise of Zion Church, Oron, Akwa Ibom State, were also arrested in Lagos and moved to Uyo to face charges along with the clergyman.
Babafemi also revealed that a notorious drug dealer in the Mushin-Isolo axis of Lagos, Monday Michael, 45, was arrested last Monday while conveying 365.7 kilogrammes of cannabis in two Toyota Sienna space buses marked FST 189 FD and FST 273 GF.
He said another drug lord, Abdulkadir Mohammed, 47, wanted over the seizure of 5,640 kilogrammes cannabis at a warehouse in Chukuku area of Kuje, Abuja, was nabbed on Sunday, October 16, following the arrest of his wife, Saadatu Abdullahi, 35, who was found at the store when it was raided.
He said in Edo, at least 10 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure of 4,870.2 kilogrammes cannabis in parts of the state, adding that last Wednesday, NDLEA operatives stormed Ohusu forest boundary, Ovia South West Local Government Area where they recovered a total of 3,159.7 kilogrammes cannabis and arrested three suspects: Effiong Udo, Daniel Ebong and Asuquo Effiong.
Similarly, last Saturday, the operatives intercepted a Toyota Sienna space bus conveying 49 bags of cannabis weighing 638.5 kilogrammes along Uwenusi road in Uhunmonde Local Government Area, while 36 kilogrammes of the same substance stored in the bush along Uromi/Ubiaja road were equally recovered.
In another operation, three suspects — John Paul, Liberty Rolland, and Aboki Stephen — were arrested at Okpe in Akoko Edo with 55 kilogrammes of cannabis.
He said no less than 127 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa were seized and a suspect, Pius John, arrested, while 854 kilogrammes of the same substance were recovered when operatives raided Okpe forest where some cannabis farms were destroyed, even as three suspects — David Obada, Blessing Okechukwu and Odoh Sunday — were caught with 854 kilogrammes cannabis sativa.
In Ondo State, the operatives stormed the Aponmu forest in Idanre Local Government Area where 52 bags of cannabis sativa that weighed 676 kilogrammes and the truck being used to load the consignment were recovered on Sunday 16th October, while the trio of Christopher Amuzoga, Chikogu Samuel and Ijeoma Okenna were arrested with 690 kilogrammes of cannabis at Ipele forest last Tuesday.
In Kano, operatives arrested Isah Mohammed and Sandra Okafor at Dakata area on Friday 21st October after they were caught with 538 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 391.2 kilogrammes; 259,000 tablets of tramadol; 100 bottles of codeine-based syrup, and 150,000 tablets of pregabalin.
Babafemi said this followed the arrest of Abel John and Helen James with 328.7 kilogrammes cannabis sativa at Gonin gora area of Kaduna, while 5,000 tablets of tramadol and 25,000 tablets of Exol-5 were recovered along Abuja-Kaduna express road.
Also, a suspect, Yahaya Musa, was arrested on Sunday 16th October at Tashar Yari, Kaduna, with over 30,000 tablets of tramadol, diazepam and exol-5.
In Bauchi, a suspect, Ogbonna Ikechukwu, was arrested at Gadar Maiwa, Ningi Local Government Area, with 67,960 tablets of various types of psychotropic substances, while in Akwa Ibom State, operatives raided the Marina market, Eket, where quantities of illicit substances along with
N1,193.060 cash and N849,000.00 fake currency were recovered from fleeing suspects.
Meanwhile, while commending the officers and men of Lagos, Ondo, Edo, FCT, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Kaduna, and Apapa Port Commands of the anti-narcotics agency for the arrests and seizures, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), said the arrest of the fleeing drug kingpins is a warning signal to those still in the criminal illicit drug trade that the long arm of the law will soon catch up with them.
He however charged officers and men across all commands to intensify the heat on the drug cartels until they are dismantled.