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Abuja-Based Drug Distributor Recaptured Seven Years After Prison Escape

Also, 52,500 kilogrammes of cannabis covering 21 hectares of farmland was on Saturday, destroyed in Efon Alaye.

while a total of 92 bags of same substance weighing 1,380 kilogrammes were recovered and another 250 bags weighing 3,000 kilogrammes stored in different huts on the farm were also burnt.

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has recaptured a notorious Abuja-based major distributor of illicit substances, Ibrahim Momoh, popularly known as Ibrahim Bendel, seven years after he made a daring escape from prison custody where he was serving term for drug dealing.

Ibrahim, according to the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, was arrested during a raid of Filin Dabo, Dei-Dei area of the FCT, which he has made his fortress.

Babafemi in a statement on Sunday, said Ibrahim Momoh was first arrested on 27th November, 2014 with cannabis sativa weighing 385.1 kilogrammes, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on 22nd July 2015 but while serving his jail term at Kuje, he escaped from prison custody on 16th May, 2016.

The spokesman said following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on 20th November 2022 stormed the warehouse of the fleeing ex-convict, Ibrahim Momoh, and recovered 81 jumbo bags of cannabis weighing 1,278 kilogrammes at a store which was located within his poultry farm in Dei-Dei area of the FCT.

He said though Momoh was not around at the time, his warehouse manager, 55-year-old Ghanaian, Richard Gordon was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to two years in jail, the agency thereafter declared Ibrahim Momoh wanted.

He noted that the manhunt for the drug lord paid off on 5th November 2023 when operatives again raided his hideout at Filin Dabo, Dei-Dei area of Abuja where he was arrested with 56.9 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa and 42.7 grammes of Diazepam.

Babafemi said in another raid in the same area of the FCT last Monday, a suspect Yusufa Ibrahim, 27, was arrested with 75.3 kilogrammes of cannabis.

He said a massive operation in the forest of Efon Alaye in Efon local government area of Ekiti state on Saturday 18th November 2023 has led to the destruction of 52,500 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa covering over 21 hectares of farmland while a total of 92 bags of same substance weighing 1,380 kilogrammes were recovered and another 250 bags weighing 3,000 kilogrammes stored in different huts on the farm were also burnt.

He said no fewer than 15 suspects were arrested on the farm during the operation. They include: Okikiri Julius, 27; Ozoemene Friday Efajemu, 31; Tosin Ibrahim, 18; Israel Samuel, 25; Godwin David, 39; Friday Isaac, 19; Ayomide Igbekele, 18; Joshua Daniel, 27; Emmanuel Nwachukwu, 19; Emeka Onyeama, 31; Ani Augustine, 27; Obasi Ogbu, 32; Orsusue Peter, 23; Daniel Emmanuel, 18; and Yinusa James, 22.

Babafemi said in Ondo state, five persons including another wanted drug kingpin, Christopher Onyebuchi, 40, were arrested at New Bridge Compound, Idoani last Wednesday and a total of 1,945 kilogrammes of cannabis recovered from them. Others include: Olorunda Ojo, 52; Femi Tomoye, 22; Abdurahman Salahu, 29; and Momoh Jimoh, 31. Onyebuchi had earlier been arrested by NDLEA on 25th March 2022 with 89 kilogrammes of same substance but jumped bail after he was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Akure.

He said operatives in the state also on Sunday 12th November raided Upemen village in Owo where they recovered 1,834 kilogrammes of same substance with 273 kilogrammes also seized the previous day, Saturday 11th November at Ipesi Akoko.

Babafemi said while NDLEA officers in Sokoto recovered 290 kilogrammes of cannabis from a female suspect, Fatima Salmanu, 20, at Gangaren Tashar, Illela Sokoto in Sokoto North local government area last Thursday, their colleagues in Edo state evacuated 808 kilogrammes of the same psychoactive substance stored in a forest at Igueben on Monday 13th Nov.

He added that not less than 231 kilogrammes of cannabis were recovered and five suspects arrested in a joint raid between NDLEA operatives and soldiers in Kwande council area of Benue state on Monday 13th November. Those arrested include: Denen Terhemba, 25; Liambee Iorhuna, 36; Iorhuna Sughnen, 20; Aboh Sonter, 23; and Msendoo Tyokaa, 36.

Operatives in Ogun state last Tuesday arrested a suspect, Tony Jonah at Abule Iroko, with cannabis sativa weighing 67 kilogrammes, those in Lagos arrested Chike Agu at Ago Palace way, Isolo with 364.3 kilogrammes of Loud, a variant of cannabis.

In Imo state, NDLEA operatives on patrol along Owerri -Onitsha expressway on Monday 13th November intercepted a truck marked XS 669KRD driven by one Orji Ifeanyi, 33, a search of the truck led to the seizure of 82,320 pills of opioids including tramadol 225mg, and Diazepam as well as 32.5 litres of codeine cough syrup and 100 pieces of Molly weighing 49.62 grammes.

Babafemi said the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy campaign of the agency continued in equal measure in schools, markets, worship places and others across the country in the past week. He stressed that some of them include: WADA advocacy lecture for Muslim faithful at Badagry Central Mosque, Badagry, Lagos; WADA sensitisation lecture for students of Government Science College, Wase, Plateau state; WADA sensitisation lecture for students of Anglican Girls Secondary School, Ogidi, Anambra state; WADA advocacy lecture at St. Thomas Grammar School, Otan Aiyegbaju, Osun; WADA advocacy lecture for students and staff of Government Junior Arabic Secondary School, Maigatari, Jigawa state as well as students and staff of Mainland Technical College, Oron, Akwa Ibom state.

Meanwhile, while commending the officers and men of the FCT, Ekiti, Ondo, Sokoto, Lagos, Edo, Benue, Ogun and Imo Commands for the arrests and seizures of the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) urged them and their compatriots across all formations of the agency to intensify the offensive action tempo against drug cartels as the yuletide season approaches while maintaining a balance with their drug demand reduction efforts.

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

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