NDLEA intercepts 69.65kg of hard drugs, others, baron napped

A high profile drug baron has been arrested at a church Sunday in Ojodu, Ikeja, Lagos state, for attempting to export 69.65 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, and cannabis to the United Kingdom through the NAHCO export shed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos.

NDLEA officials tracked down the drug dealer, Stephen Afam Ikeanyionwu, to a popular Pentecostal church on Mike Ajari street in Ojodu Berger, where he was apprehended shortly after stepping out of the church service.

He was arrested following the interception of a consignment of illicit substances weighing 69.65kg en route to the United Kingdom via the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The illicit baggage had been sent to the airport by a freight forwarding company, which then dispatched a driver to transport it to the NAHCO export facility.

Following the driver’s arrest, additional operations and investigations established the true name of the consignment’s true owner, Stephen Afam Ikeanyionwu, who was caught three days later in a sting operation.

In addition, during the external clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airways flight to Italy via Addis-Ababa, NDLEA operatives detained Abibu Miminu, an Italy-bound passenger, for ingesting illicit narcotics. The trafficker voided 68 wraps of heroin in three excretions totaling 800 grams while under observation at the Agency’s facilities on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th August 2021.

Similarly, narcotic officers from the Directorate of Operation and General Investigation intercepted at two courier companies in Lagos 840 grams of methamphetamine bound for Australia and concealed in bolts; 340 grams of meth concealed in locally made footwear bound for Australia; and 1 kilogram of cocaine bound for the United Kingdom and concealed in four local guitars.

Another 480grams of Meth, concealed in footwear and bound for Australia, was also recovered from one of the courier companies.

Meanwhile, a South African returnee, Obi Chigozie Samuel, was caught last Sunday at the Lagos airport during Ethiopian Airlines’ inward clearance from Addis-Abeba, for bringing 58 grams of skunk into Nigeria. During the preliminary interview, he admitted to owning cannabis and claiming to be a cannabis smoker.

In strings of operations in Edo, Ondo, Kaduna, Kano and Kogi states, at least 2,504.8 kilograms of diverse illicit drugs were seized from multiple suspects in the past week. In Kogi, 60-year-old Mrs Comfort Uzor was arrested with 62.1kg cannabis on Tuesday, 17th August, 2021 in Lokoja, where one Dayyabu Usman was also caught with 8kg of same substance. While Uzor sourced hers from Bolorunduro in Ondo state and was heading to Abuja, Usman got his from Lagos and was taking it to Kano for sale.

In Kaduna state, operatives of the Birnin Gwari Area Command of the Agency raided the home of one Mr Joseph Sunday at Ungwa Pama, Kaduna where they recovered 48.3kg of cannabis from his room following credible intelligence.

In Edo state, NDLEA officers on Tuesday 17th August stormed the Ugbuwe forest in Ovia North East LGA, where they seized146 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 2,044 kilograms, while in Kano state, one Ikechukwu Aleke was arrested with 30,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg and 99 bottles of Codeine syrup, in addition to the arrest of one Muktar Muhammad, with 370 bottles of Codeine cough syrup, weighing 60.4kg, as well as 900 tablets of Rohypnol. Also arrested in Kano was Sufiyanu Abubakar, 24, with 400 plastic bottles of Codeine cough syrup weighing 52kg as well as one Mutta Hassan Wada, who specializes in using courier firms to send drugs to a recipient in China, using cooking spices bottles for concealment.

In Ondo state, over 77.5kilograms of cannabis and monkey tail were intercepted on Saturday 21st August at Odigbo town in Odigbo LGA, where operatives arrested one Basiru Ijiniga. Also arrested on Saturday was Ibrahim Umaru in Sabo area of Akure South LGA. Recovered from him include different quantities of psychotropic substances like Diazepam, Tramadol, Swinol and Rophynol.

Reacting to the strings of arrests and seizures in the past week across some states and the MMIA, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the various commands for their unrelenting commitment to the presidential mandate to clear Nigerian forests and communities of illicit drugs in whatever form.

“We have all laid our hands on the plough, there’s no looking back, no retreat or surrender and as such I urge all our officers and men to intensify the ongoing offensive action until the last gram of illicit drug is taken away from merchants of death”, Gen. Marwa stated on Sunday.

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