By MUSDAPHA ILO
The police in Borno State have intercepted a truckload of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp in Maiduguri, the state capital.
The Indian hemp was being transported to an unknown destination by a man who had reportedly beaten numerous checkpoints across many states before he was finally apprehended in Maiduguri.
The suspect, Kole Aladejobi, who was paraded before journalists in Maiduguri on Tuesday, was said to have been coming from Akure, capital of Ondo State, a distance of 1,257 kilometres
The public relations officer of the police in Borno State Police, Gideon Jubrin, who showed the suspect to newsmen said he was arrested by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.
However, while speaking to journalists, the suspect denied transporting illicit drugs, claiming that he did not know the content at the back of the truck.
Aladejobi, 35, said he is a mechanic and that he was hired to fix the truck when it broke down in Kogi State and then asked follow it to Maiduguri in case it broke down on the way again.
“Im an auto-mechanic in Akure in Ondo State. I don’t know anything about the Indian Hemp. The people who own the lorry just call me to repair the lorry in Kogi and I went. They asked me to follow them to Maiduguri in case the lorry develop fault again,” he said.
He could not explain the whereabouts of the driver and insisted that he was hired for N10,000 for the trip but only as a mechanic.
However, Jubrin, refuted the claims made by the suspect, dismissing them as “a bunch of lies.” He said that the suspect was the only person in the truck when he was apprehended.
“Our men acted on a tip off by a good spirited Nigerian that they suspect a lorry that took off from Akure in Ondo State may be carrying dried weeds suspected to be Indian Hemp. So we followed the lead until we intercepted him here in Maiduguri,” Jubrin stated.
He disclosed that 248 compressed packages of the weeds were carefully concealed in the second compartment of the green coloured Mercedes Benz truck with registration number KW 886 XA.
The police spokesman further explained that Aladejobi also carefully sealed off the packages of Indian hemp and loaded bags of cheese balls on top of it conceal the illicit substance.
It is not known if the intercepted illicit cargo has anything to do with the terrorism that has gripped the North east, with Maiduguri and neighbouring towns at the centre, but security agents have observed in the past that members of the Boko Haram terrorist group usually indulge heavily in smoking Marijuana before carrying out attacks.