Multi-billion naira worth of illicit drugs were again seized at a warehouse tucked in the midst of the popular International Trade Fair Complex in Alaba, Ojo area of Lagos, by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, on Saturday, August 19.
According to a statement by NDLEA, signed by Femi Babafemi, Director of Medi and Advocacy, the drugs were recovered from the warehouse owned by a wanted billionaire drug baron and include: 1.4 million (1,400,000) pills of tramadol 225mg weighing 826 kg; 3.2 million (3,200,000) pills of codeine with a gross weight of 3,360 kg; and 2,841 cartons of codeine syrup containing 284,100 bottles with 28,410 liters of the psychoactive substance, with a combined street value of Four Billion Eight Hundred and Twenty Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N4,820,500,000) only. During the operation that lasted hours, a suspect, Paulinus Ojukwu, who is Chief Security Officer to the wanted drug baron who parades as an automobile spare parts dealer, was arrested and is now assisting the ongoing investigation.
The latest drug warehouse bust is coming on the heels of the arrest of a drug baroness, Faith Ebele Nwankwo, who was nabbed on Wednesday, August 9th, with 2,750,000 pills of tramaking, a brand of tramadol 225mg and 250 mg, recovered from her residence at House 6, C Close, 3rd Avenue, Festac area of Lagos, and a warehouse located at Plot 3432 Sola Akinsola Street, Divine Estate, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives intercepted $20 million in US dollars suspected to be counterfeit on Friday, August 18th, during a stop and search operation along the Abaji-LLokoja road within the Federal Capital Territory. The suspected fake money was recovered from a bus coming from Lagos to Abuja, while the 53-year-old driver of the vehicle, Onyebuchi Nlededin, was arrested. The previous day, Thursday, August 17th, Jude Ndubuisi, 52, was arrested with 2.2 kilograms of methamphetamine during a raid operation at Kabusa village, FCT. The suspect was initially arrested with 20.75 kg of cannabis on July 7, 2022, and was on court bail following his ongoing prosecution when he was nabbed for yet another drug crime. Another raid of two notorious drug joints within the FCT, Dei Dei and Tora-Bora Hills, led to the recovery of 82.8 kg of skunk, 1.8 kg of rohypnol, and 1.2 kg of diazepam on Wednesday, August 16.
In Osun, NDLEA operatives in the early hours of Saturday 19th August destroyed clusters of cannabis farms measuring about 3.49000 hectares (over 7.5 tons) at Mopatedo in Ifedayo local government area of the State. Two suspects, Sunday Otogbo, 40, and Peter Andel Makra, 35, were arrested inside the cannabis farms. An additional 30 kg of cannabis weed and 16.9kg of cannabis seeds were also recovered from the farms.
At least three suspects, Ndubuisi Okorie, 44; Ebilima Emmanuel, 38; and Okechukwu Anthony Smart, 40, were arrested in connection with the seizure of a 168kg cannabis consignment from them when their vehicle was intercepted along the Owerri-Onitsha expressway in Imo State on Saturday, August 19th. Another shipment of controlled drugs containing 6,000 capsules of tramadol, 1,200 tablets of swinol, 155 bottles of codeine syrup, and 20 tabs of Molly was equally seized on the same road on Sunday, August 13th, while a follow-up operation in the Oyigbo area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, led to the arrest of the owner of the consignment, Remigius Ogechukwu, 33.
While a teenager, Boniface Odinakachukwu, 19, was apprehended with 99.4 kg of skunk at Isikwe Road, Achi, in Oji-River LGA, Enugu State, on Friday, August 18, a wanted teenage bandit, Aliyu Mohammed Altine, 19, was arrested by NDLEA operatives along Illela-Sokoto Road with some wraps of skunk on Thursday, August 17. The suspect, who is on the wanted list of the police, has since been transferred to the police in Sokoto state for further investigation.
While expressing his satisfaction with the professional conduct of the officers and men involved in the Lagos, FCT, Sokoto, Osun, Imo, and Enugu operations as well as the results of the raids, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), charged operatives of the Lagos command to ensure that the fleeing baron is smoked out of his hiding place to face charges. He urged them and their colleagues across the country to intensify the fight against drug cartels.