Troops arrest traffickers moving drugs from Ghana to Nigeria

TROOPS of 192 Battalion of the Nigerian Army have intercepted an international drug syndicate smuggling a truckload of substance suspected to be cannabis sativa (marijuana) to Sango Otta in Ogun State.

A statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu on Wednesday, July 19, disclosed that the troops, who operate in 81 Division Area of Responsibility, made the arrest on Tuesday, July 18, following credible intelligence.

“Responding to actionable intelligence, troops conducted stop and search operations along Ajilete Road in Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, during which they intercepted and impounded the suspected truck without Registration number, loaded with 397 wraps of substance suspected to be marijuana.”

Preliminary investigations by the troops revealed that the illicit substance concealed in the truck were being transported from Ghana through Benin Republic via Igholo-Idiroko to Sango Otta.

“The suspects conveying the illegal drugs have been identified as Mr Matthew Edegbe, a Benin Republic national and Mr Joshua Dansu of Idiroko, who are currently assisting in ongoing investigations.

“Items recovered from the suspects include the truck’s Registration Number identified as (T 1826 LA Lagos), which was detached and concealed in the vehicle to prevent identification, an Infinix and Itel phone, one iphone, a Benin Republic National Identification card and a driver’s license belonging to one George Benyagbe, as well as the sum of N7000,” the Army spokesman added.

According to the statement, the two suspects, vehicle and exhibits will soon be transferred to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Lagos State Command, for prosecution.

The Chief of Army Staff Major General Taoreed Lagbaja commended the troops for their commitment and vigilance, urging them to sustain the momentum to rid the country of criminality.

On Saturday, July 15, troops of the Battalion also intercepted a truck with of over 20,000 cartridges of ammunition heading to Anambra State.

The troops, who acted on actionable intelligence conducted a meticulous and rigorous Stop-and-Search operation along Ajilete-Owode Road in Yewa North LGA of Ogun State.

The soldiers uncovered the illegal ammunition in a truck with Registration Number ENU 697 XY, loaded with 720 packets of Red Star Cartridges of 12 Calibre, containing 25 cartridges per packet, totalling 18, 000 cartridges and an additional 250 packets of live (black) cartridges containing 10 packets each, totalling 2500 cartridges of same calibre.

    According to the Nigerian Army spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu, “The suspects, identified as Mr. Eric Seworvor, a Ghanaian national, and the driver, Mr Lukman Sani, have been taken into custody and are helping with ongoing investigations.”

    “Information gathered during preliminary investigation revealed that the ammunition, which were surreptitiously concealed in a supposed empty truck were imported from Mali, via Idiroko International Border, where the criminals had successfully beaten several other checkpoints en-route their final destination in Onitsha, Anambra State, where they intended to deliver the illegal ammunition.

    “Timely intervention by the vigilant troops however thwarted the chaos that such volume of ammunition would have unleashed on innocent members of the public, if the criminals had succeeded.”

    The Nigerian Army therefore appealed to all law-abiding citizens to continue to support the troops and other security agencies with credible and actionable information, as they combat security challenges across the country.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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