ON Monday, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it arrested Afam Mallinson Emmanuel Ukatu over an alleged N3 billion Tramadol deal involving the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari.
According to the Agency, Ukatu was apprehended after months of surveillance, during which he evaded arrest before he was arrested on board a flight to Abuja at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja, on April 13.
In a statement on Monday, a spokesperson for NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said Ukatu owned 103 bank accounts, most of which are used to launder money.
Babafemi added that Ukatu is a major importer of large consignments of different brands and high dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg and 250mg, all of which are illicit.
Industrialist or Drug Baron, who is Ukatu?
The allegations levelled against Ukatu contradict the public profile he has built in the past as an industrialist.
Born on May 8, 1964, Ukatu holds an Honours degree in Philosophy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MBA from Crawford University, Ogun State.
He is the founder of the Mallison Group of companies consisting of Nispo Porcelain Company Limited, Nispo Pharmaceuticals Limited, Nispo Oil and Gas Services, and Nispo Plastics & Metals Limited.
Besides his ownership of Mallison Companies, Ukatu is a Director in several companies in Nigeria.
He is a Director of the Urban Space Services, Alor Microfinance Bank Limited, and Hammer Guards and Safety Solution Limited.
He is also reported to be a Director in Cowry Assets and Management, a Director at Master Energy Oil & Gas Limited, and Alor Microfinance Bank Limited.
Ukatu is a Fellow of the Rotary Club International, a Fellow of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), a member of the Certified Institute of Cost Management of Nigeria (CICM), and a certified member of the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria.
Ukatu was named the ‘Industralist of the Year’ by Sun Newspaper in 2020, but his businesses have been alleged to be a front for the illicit drug business.