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NDLEA arrests eight persons at three airports for hard drugs

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested, at least, eight illicit drug dealers and seized tons of opioids, rubber solution, skunks, meth and cocaine at the Lagos, Abuja and Enugu airports.

The agency made this known in a statement released by its Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babfemi, on Sunday July 24, 2022.

The agency disclosed in the statement that it arrested two ladies and six men for attempting to import hundreds of cocaine pellets into Nigeria and export thousands of Tramadol 255-milligramme tablets, among other illicit drugs, to Europe through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja; Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA), Enugu; and Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.


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The agency stressed that the series of arrests and seizures began on Sunday July 17, 2022 when a 52-year-old father of three, Okwo Paul Okechukwu, was arrested.

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Okechukwu, who hails from Enugu Ezike, Igbo Eze local government area (LGA), Enugu State, was arrested at the NAIA upon his arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, via an Ethiopian airline flight for ingesting 76 pellets of cocaine.

According to the drug agency, another drug dealer, Lawrence Chijioke, 42, was arrested at the same airport the same day in an operational synergy between the NDLEA and the Nigeria Customs Service. 

Chijioke, who hails from Umuahia, in Umuahia LGA, Abia State, was arrested during an inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight from Addis Ababa with 529 pellets of cocaine weighing 11.70kg, concealed in his bag.

In his statement to anti-narcotic officers, Chijioke state he was promised the sum of N2 million upon the successful delivery of the cocaine consignment in Abuja.

In Enugu State, Onuorah Caritas Onyinye was arrested at the Enugu airport upon arrival on an Ethiopian airline flight from Addis Ababa after 2.192-kilogramme of cocaine was found concealed in her bag on Saturday July 23, 2022.

The NDLEA stated, “No fewer than four freight agents were arrested in connection with the seizure. Those arrested are Balogun Adesola Olamilekan, Sulaimon Kaosarat Yetunde, Benjamin Christopher Joel, and Omoniyi Ibukun Abraham.

“Also the same day, Monday 18th July, the bid by an Italy-bound passenger, Tony Osas, to export 10,250 tablets of Tramadol 255mg to Europe through the Lagos airport was foiled by NDLEA operatives, who intercepted him at the Gate B departure hall during outward clearance of passengers on a Turkish airline flight to Milan.

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“In Kaduna, a driver, Jamilu Lawal, was arrested on Sunday 17th July along the Abuja-Kaduna express road with 157,000 tablets of Diazepam weighing 37.5kg. A follow-up operation the same day led to the arrest of the actual owner of the consignment, Abubakar Isiyaku, in Katsina.

“Another suspect, Isah Mohammed, was equally arrested the same day in Kano during a follow-up operation after the interception of his consignment, 2,500kg rubber solution (solvent), locally called shalisha in Kaduna.”

According to the drug enforcement agency, no fewer than four persons were also arrested over 345.4kg of cannabis in Abuja.

“While Mohammed Auwal, 37; Godspower John, 34; and Chukwuma Odeh, 35, were arrested in Jabi Park over a 77.7kg drug consignment on Monday 18th July; Isah Yusuf, 25, who hails from Kaura Namoda LGA, Zamfara State, was nabbed with 267.7kg cannabis when operatives raided the DeiDei area of the FCT on Saturday 23rd July,” the agency said.

The NDLEA said it also arrested one Tochukwu Joseph in Sokoto State with 20,100 tablets of Rohypnol, and Azubuike Ogbanu with 76 cups of Arizona, 172 sachets of skunk, 82 pinches of Meth and 20 sachets of loud in Anambra state.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier-General (retired) Mohamed Buba Marwa, urged officers to remain steadfast in the pursuit of the agency’s goal of ridding all parts of Nigeria of illicit substances.

 

Author profile
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Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: umustapha@icirnigeria.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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