NDLEA arrests ex-Boko Haram fighter, traditional ruler for drug trafficking

THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a rehabilitated ex-fighter of the Boko Haram terror group, Alayi Madu, and the traditional ruler of Kajola, a border community between Ondo and Edo states, Akinola Adebayo, for drug trafficking.

The agency, in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, on Sunday, March 12, said the arrest was part of ongoing operations to mop up illicit drugs across the country ahead of the next round of elections.

The NDLEA said the arrests are among 37 persons arrested over 2.2 tons of illicit drugs seized by operatives of the Agency at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos and in raids across 12 states in the past week.

“As part of ongoing operations to mop up illicit drugs across the country ahead of the next round of elections, NDLEA officers in the early hours of Friday 10th March, stormed Kajola forest in Kajola community, a border town between Edo and Ondo state where they destroyed three cannabis farms measuring 39.801546 hectares.

“The owner of the farms who claims to be the Ba’ale of Kajola, Akinola Adebayo, 35, was arrested on the farm at 2:30 a.m., while two other suspects believed to be his workers: Arikuyeri Abdulrahman, 23 and Habibu Ologun, 25, were also nabbed in a hut near the farms.

Ba'ale of Kajola, Akinola Adebayo
Ba’ale of Kajola, Akinola Adebayo

“In the same vein, a 26-year-old Alayi Madu, who was a Boko Haram fighter for 15 years before he surrendered to the Nigerian military in 2021, was intercepted by NDLEA operatives on Thursday 9th March along Abuja-Kaduna express road with 10 kilograms of skunk, which he said he bought in Ibadan, Oyo state and was taking the consignment concealed in a sack to Maiduguri, Borno state,” the NDLEA said in the statement.

According to the NDLEA, Madu is from Banki town, Borno State and joined the notorious terrorist organisation in 2006 when he was nine years old.

The anti-narcotic agency further disclosed Madu repented and surrendered to the military in 2021, after which he underwent rehabilitation and de-radicalisation processes at Umaru Shehu rehabilitation centre, Maiduguri and Malam Sidi de-radicalisation centre, Gombe before he was discharged after spending six months.

Ex- Boko Haram fighter, Alayi Madu
Ex- Boko Haram fighter, Alayi Madu. Photo credit: NDLEA

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Thereafter, he travelled to Ibadan, Oyo State, where he worked as a commercial motorcycle rider (Okada rider) before going into drug trafficking and his eventual arrest along Abuja-Kaduna express road.

Also at the Lagos airport in Ikeja, the NDLEA said its operatives acting on intelligence intercepted a consignment of 11.90 kilograms of heroin and 500grams of skunk concealed in deep freezers, which were part of a cargo that arrived from South Africa on Tuesday, March 7,  onboard Ethiopian airline via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



    “The agency’s sniffer dogs were deployed to locate where the illicit drugs were hidden in the cargo, and in no time, they identified the cartons packed in the deep freezers.

    “A total of four suspects that played active roles in the movement of the drugs and a truck driver have been arrested so far in connection with the seizure. They include: Dairo Quam; Oluwaseun Ogunmene; Adeleke Abdulrasaq; Bamidele Adewale and Oluwafemi Ogunmeru,” the NDLEA added.

    Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives attached to the Gate C departure hall of the MMIA on Thursday, March 9, intercepted a passenger, Aigbedion Philomena, heading to Italy via Addis Ababa on an Ethiopian Airline flight.

    Aigbedion PhilomenaPhoto credit: NDLEA
    Aigbedion Philomena
    Photo credit: NDLEA

    According to the NDLEA, when her bags containing body cream, hair attachments, drinks, and some food items were searched, a total of 1.20kg tramadol capsules concealed inside gift wrapping sheets and covered with old daily newspapers were discovered.

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