In a significant breakthrough, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended Ibrahim Momoh, a notorious drug kingpin, seven years after his daring escape from prison custody. The arrest, made during a raid at his hideout in Filin Dabo, Dei-Dei area of the Federal Capital Territory, marks the culmination of extensive efforts to bring him to justice.
Ibrahim Momoh, also known as Ibrahim Bendel, initially faced arrest on November 27, 2014, for drug dealing, where he was caught with 385.1kgs of cannabis sativa. Subsequently convicted and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on July 22, 2015, Momoh managed to escape from prison custody on May 16, 2016, while serving his sentence in Kuje.
NDLEA operatives, armed with credible intelligence, raided Momoh’s hideout on November 5, 2023, resulting in his arrest and the discovery of 56.9kgs of cannabis sativa and 42.7 grams of Diazepam. The operation comes after a prior raid on his warehouse at a poultry farm in Dei-Dei, where his warehouse manager, Richard Forson Gordon, was apprehended. Gordon was subsequently prosecuted and sentenced to two years in jail.
The relentless manhunt for Momoh also led to the arrest of Yusufa Ibrahim, another suspect in the same area, with 75.3 kg of cannabis.
In a separate operation, a massive raid in the forest of Efon Alaye in Ekiti State resulted in the destruction of 52,500 kilograms of cannabis sativa across 21 hectares of farmland. The operation led to the arrest of 15 suspects involved in the illicit cultivation of the substance.
The NDLEA’s operations extended to Ondo state, where five individuals, including another wanted drug kingpin, Christopher Onyebuchi, were arrested at New Bridge Compound, Idoani. The arrests were accompanied by the recovery of 1,945 kilograms of cannabis. Onyebuchi had previously been arrested by NDLEA but jumped bail after being arraigned at the Federal High Court, Akure.
NDLEA officers in Sokoto and Edo states also conducted successful operations, recovering 290kgs of cannabis from a female suspect and 808kgs from a forest in Igueben, respectively.
The NDLEA’s commitment to combating drug abuse was highlighted through the “War Against Drug Abuse” (WADA) advocacy campaign, reaching various segments of the society, including schools, markets, and worship places. Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the officers and urged them to intensify efforts against drug cartels as the yuletide season approaches, maintaining a balance with drug demand reduction initiatives.