Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested the Founder and General Overseer of Seraphic and Sabbath Assembly, Lagos, High Priest Nnodu Azuka; a student of Emmanuel College of Theology, Samanta, Ibadan, Udezuka Udoka and their freight agent, Oyoyo Mary Obasi over attempt to export methamphetamine and skunk consignments concealed in kegs of palm oil through the NAHCO export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos to Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
According to a statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi, High Priest Nnodu was arrested last Saturday at his Seraphic and Sabbath Assembly church located at No 1, Sabbath Close, Ijesha area of Lagos following the arrest of two suspects: Oyoyo Obasi and the theology student, Udezuka Udoka last Thursday at the Lagos airport in connection with the seizure of 283 parcels of skunk weighing 14.9 kilogrammes and 204 grammes of methamphetamine concealed in four 25-litre kegs of palm oil for export to Dubai.
Udoka, had in her statement indicted the General Overseer of her new-found church, Nnodu and his son, Chisom Obi, who is now at large as the persons that gave her the consignments for export, alleging that she was compelled to take an oath of secrecy as well as engaged in a sacrifice of chicken in the church while High Priest Nnodu prayed for her for the success of the transaction.
Udoka claimed her church’s GO and son used threats to compel her to take the job after they knew she had known their secrets, adding that High Priest Nnodu was always referring to the illicit drugs as Ice and Bible, (Street names for Methamphetamine and Cannabis) in their telephone text message chats.
The theology student, Udezuka, she said was introduced to her to assist because she was new in the illicit business.
On interrogation, Udezuka said he was paid N2 million for his role and had to do it because he needed the money for his education.
Another attempt to send a consignment of skunk and tramadol 225mg to the UAE by a Dubai-returnee, Nnamani Innocent was also frustrated by the NDLEA operatives following his arrest at Trade Fair complex in Ojo area of Lagos, where he had gone in company of his friend Nwanana Ikechukwu with the cargo to a freight company to process the consignment for export last Tuesday.
In the same vein, NDLEA operatives attached to the SAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport on the same day intercepted a cargo going to London, United Kingdom.
In the consignment containing food items packed in a carton, the four walls of the carton were used to conceal 1.1 kilogrammes of methamphetamine while the freight agent, Agholor Emmanuel, who presented the cargo for export was immediately arrested.
Also, NDLEA operatives last Tuesday intercepted a consignment of 1,340 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa coming from Ogbese, Ondo state in a liquified natural gas truck to Okurikang Okoyong in Odukpani local government area of Cross River State.
Babafemi said following credible intelligence, the movement was monitored for three weeks and upon arrival, 130 bags of cannabis weighing 1.430 tons were recovered from the LNG truck and 13 motorcycles which were hired by the cartel to convey the consignment deep into the forest.
In Kano, four suspects: Ado Shuaibu; Yahaya Shuaibu; Mamman Sani and Umar Yakubu were arrested in connection with the seizure of 229 blocks of skunk weighing 131.1 kilogrammes, while Umar was arrested last Tuesday at Tumfafi village, Kano. The trio of Ado, Yahaya and Mamman were nabbed last Saturday at Garin Balarabe, Maigatari, Jigawa state in a follow up operation.
Another suspect, Aisha Muhammad was arrested in Koki area of Kano with 17 kilogrammes cannabis.
Babafemi said no fewer than four members of a syndicate using dispatch motorcycles to distribute illicit drugs in Lekki area of Lagos were arrested on Sunday 5th February. They include: Tijani Oladapo; Eric Maku; Ahmed Olamide and Adobi Fortune. He said at the time of their arrest, 1.88 kilogrammes of Loud and assorted paraphernalia were recovered from them.
He added that 79.1 kilogrammes skunk were seized during a raid in Patey area of Lagos Island last Tuesday by NDLEA operatives, and a total of 2,370.06 kilogrammes of cannabis and two boats seized at a jetty in Lagos by men of Civil Defence Corps were handed over to the Lagos command of the agency.
Meanwhile, in his reaction to the arrests and seizures of the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers, men and women of the MMIA, Cross River, Kano, and Lagos commands for their commitment and professionalism towards ridding Nigeria of the menace of illicit drugs. He however said the agency will continue to target anyone or group involved in the criminal trade without fear or favour even as he urged all NDLEA officers across the country to remain unrelenting in the pursuit of the corporate goal.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja