The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has secured the conviction of a drug baron, Surajo Mohammed, 10 months after the agency arrested him.
The NDLEA described the convict as a notorious drug dealer at the Alaba Rago area of Ojo, Lagos State.
Muhammed was sentenced to seven years by a Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Yellin Dogoro.
In a statement signed by its Director, Media & Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, and mailed to The ICIR on Sunday, the NDLEA said Mohammed was arrested with 941.15 kilogrammes of cannabis on December 20, 2021
In his judgment delivered on Thursday, October 6, Dogoro gave the convict an option of a N7 million fine.
Meanwhile, the NDLEA has intercepted over N2 million worth of tablets of the pharmaceutical opioids 225mg and 250mg weighing 2,356 kilogrammes from a tramadol drug cartel at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
The agency said it seized the drug on Friday, October 7 barely a week after uncovering 13.5 million pills of the same opioid worth over N8.8 billion in one of the mansions of a suspected billionaire drug baron in the highbrow residential estate, the Victoria Garden City, Lekki, Lagos.
The drug has a street value of N1 billion, the agency noted.
It said that following credible intelligence, it had developed an interest in the consignment of 52 cartons that came into Nigeria from Karachi, Pakistan, with six different bills via an Ethiopian Airline flight.
The consignments comprised seven cartons of 250mg of a brand called tamral and 45 cartons of 225mg, branded as tramaking.
“Soon after its arrival at the Lagos airport, the NDLEA called for a joint examination of the consignment with other stakeholders, and after its information was confirmed by all, the 52 cartons of the seized substance, which are above the recommended threshold for medical use and banned in the country, were moved to the agency’s facility,” Babafemi stated.
The agency said it also foiled another bid to export 15 parcels of cannabis and 600grams of tramadol 225mg concealed in a sack of crayfish to Dubai, UAE, through the Lagos airport.
It arrested a freight agent, Osahor Ekwueme, who allegedly presented the substance for export after seizing the consignment.
In yet another operation, the agency said it intercepted 5.20kgs of cannabis concealed in kegs of palm oil going to Dubai at the NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport.
It arrested the suspected brain behind the consignment, Ifeanyi Egbuwaohia, in the Igando area of the state.
“Though Ifeanyi works as a technician at the Computer Village, Ikeja, beneath his known business, he also works with a drug network in Dubai, where he sends illicit drugs to for distribution. A few hours after his arrest, operatives at the airport also intercepted another consignment of 2.60kgs of the same substance sent by him for export to Dubai.
“Another consignment of 1.30kgs of cannabis concealed in reconstructed engine blocks going to Dubai have also been seized at the SAHCO export shed, while two persons – Olatunji Kehinde Temiola and Osemojoye Femi Sunday – have been arrested in connection to the bid.
“Meanwhile, In Kaduna State, a female drug dealer, Peace Ayuba, was on Friday 7th October arrested at Kakau Gonin Gora with seventy-eight (78) bags of cannabis sativa weighing 849.5kgs, while operatives in Sokoto State arrested Onyeka Owo, 28, with 443 bottles of codeine-based syrup.”
While commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Kaduna, Sokoto and Lagos commands for the feats, the chairman/chief executive of the NDLEA, Buba Marwa, a retired brigadier-general, urged them and their compatriots across the country to remain steadfast, resolute and unrelenting until the last gram of illicit drugs is taken away from the nation.