NDLEA intercepts UK-bound N.5bn worth illicit drugs, arrests suspects

OPERATIVES of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have confiscated a substantial shipment of methamphetamine at the export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja Lagos.

The illicit substance was concealed within powdered custard containers, forming part of a combined cargo destined for London, United Kingdom (UK).

According to the agency’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, in a statement released on Sunday, May 21, the illicit drug consignment weighing 30.10 kilograms with a street value of N567 million  was detected and seized by operatives at the airport on Tuesday, May 16.

The follow-up operations led to the arrest of a freight agent, Nwobodo Chidiebere, a female suspect, Chioma Lucy Akuta and ultimately the mastermind behind the shipment, Charles Chinedu Ezeh, who was arrested at Sotel Suites, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos on Thursday, May 18.

”Ezeh claims he’s a businessman and deals in articles in Onitsha, Anambra State but investigations reveal he lived with his wife and children in London until 10th December 2022 when he fled to Nigeria after his involvement in a drug related offense in the UK.

“Though he claimed to have been living in hotels since his return to Nigeria last December, operatives were however able to locate his mansion at No. 1 Hawawu Abikan Street, Lekki, on Friday 19th May, where a search was conducted and his travel and property documents among others were recovered.”

The agency’s operatives in Adamawa on Monday, May 15, also arrested a 32-year-old notorious drug dealer, Prince Ikechukwu Uzoma, in Mubi area of the state with 1kg of skunk. Ikechukwu had twice been arrested in the past, and convicted for the same offence.

He was in 2017 sentenced to six months imprisonment and in 2019 he was again sent to two years in jail.

In the same vein, a trans-border trafficker, Faisal Mohammed, 27, was on Wednesday, May 17, arrested in Mubi following the interception of a truck from Onitsha, Anambra State, where a total of 2,376 sachets of tramadol comprising 23,760 pills were found concealed in three blue rubber jerrycans which were hidden underneath the body part of the trailer.

The suspect admitted the opioid was to be taken to Cameroon. 

In Oyo State, two suspects: Osas Susan, 35, and Thomas Biodun, 23, were arrested at Igbon, Gambari in Ogbomoso North LGA with 2.13kg cannabis while Idris Muhammed, 55, was nabbed with 4,500 pills of tramadol when a commercial bus conveying him and other passengers was stopped and searched along Lagos-Ibadan expressway. 

Similarly, Bulus Mikah, 63, was arrested at Kafanchan, Kaduna state with over 5kg opioids including tramadol, diazepam, rohypnol and exol-5, just as a total of 965kg cannabis was seized from Shehu Muhammadu Dandare, 25, at Maraban Jos, in Igabi local government area of the state.

While 552kg cannabis was recovered from a warehouse in a bush when operatives stormed and destroyed 1.5 hectares of cannabis farm in Uhodoua forest, Esan South East LGA, Edo state, 10 suspects were arrested with a total of 5.587kg cannabis sativa, 144.4grams of methamphetamine and 48, 260 capsules of tramadol in different parts of Onitsha, Anambra state on Friday, May 19.






     

     

    In Kwara, two suspects: Mohammed Isa, 47 and Mohammed Haman, 36, were arrested on Friday, May 19, along Ilorin/Lagos road in a commercial bus on their way to Maiduguri, Borno state with 6kg cannabis, 50grams of methamphetamine and 20 pieces of military camouflage caps and uniforms.

    The same day, operatives in Jigawa state nabbed one Ibrahim Abdullahi, 53, with 120kg cannabis at Sara town in Gwaram LGA.

    Not less than 628 bottles of new psychoactive substance, skuchies when operatives raided a drug joint at Idanre where four suspects were arrested. They include: Olamide Olusola, 26; Abiodun Tijjani, 21; Fatope Temidayo, 29; Agba Obi, 30 and Olafisoye Festus, 26.

    In the same vein, a suspect, Kayode Hakeem, 22, was arrested at Hawan Dawaki, Kano with 293 blocks of cannabis weighing 211.6kg.

    Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in society. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.

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