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NDLEA Busts Katsina Wedding Drug Party, Arrests Groom, 25 Others

Operatives swooped on the suspects while they were busy taking turns abusing different illicit substances including a mixture of drugs mixed in a plastic bucket.

Twenty-five youths have been arrested by operatives of the the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at a pre-wedding drug abuse competition in Katsina State.

According to a statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi, the occasion was part of activities lined up to mark a wedding ceremony.

Babafemi said NDLEA officers acting on intelligence disrupted a pre-wedding ceremony drug abuse competition in a community popularly known as Shola Quarters, Katsina and arrested 25 youths participating in the drug party. 

He said operatives swooped on the suspects while they were busy taking turns abusing all sorts of illicit substances including a mixture of multiple drugs mixed in a plastic bucket. 

He added that though the groom, Musa Gwandi who organized the drug party along with his friends was not at the venue at the time the 25 others were arrested, he was however nabbed on Sunday 3rd December following a manhunt for him.

Babafemi said on the same day, operatives in Anambra state intercepted a truck marked BEN 302 YS (Edo) and after a search, 5,612 bottles of codeine-based syrup; 57,800 capsules of tramadol and 5,100 ampoules of pentazocine injection, among others were recovered. 

He noted that the driver, Ambrose Oyamedan, conductors – Samuel Otejere and Obey Jonathan as well as the truck were taken into custody for further investigation, adding that two women, Chiemenam Akusoba, 25, and Chidinma Ibenwa, 28, were also arrested last Saturday with 15.8503kg of Cocaine,  Heroin, Methamphetamine and  Cannabis sativa in Umuogbu, Nnobi and Onitsha respectively.

Babafemi also said at least, three suspects: Monday John, 50; Maryam Adang, 48; and Mohammed Musa, 36, were arrested in different parts of Kaduna state. While John was arrested with 28.4k kilogrammes cannabis last Thursday, Maryam was nabbed with 18.6 kilogrammes of same substance last Saturday, same day Musa, an indigene of Damagaran, Niger Republic was arrested with 34 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa along Abuja- Kaduna highway while he was on his way to Niger Republic with the substance.

In Kogi state, a 20-year-old Adamu Nuhu was arrested last Monday along Okene- Lokoja- Abuja expressway while coming from Onitsha, Anambra enroute Kaduna with 2,700 ampoules of pentazocine injection; 11,900 pills of tramadol 225mg and 100mg as well as 124,000 tablets of diazepam.

In Borno state, NDLEA operatives recovered a total of 81,975 pills of tramadol from three suspects: Mohammed Abubakar, 25; and Hassan Mohammed, 25, both in Response Area, Bayo town while Suleman Hamidu, 27, was nabbed by soldiers on a follow up operation in Mubi town, Adamawa state.

While Taye Ali, 43, and Okon Peter, 60 were arrested with 97 kilogrammes cannabis at Kanisuru, Ipele area of Ondo state last Saturday, Nnabuke Christian, 29, was nabbed with 46,000 tabs of diazepam, 4,900 pills of tramadol and 6,000 ampoules of pentazocine injection at Gwagwalada area of the FCT Abuja. The suspect was said to have admitted that the consignment was for onward supply to illegal miners at Sabongarin Doguwa in Kano State.

Meanwhile, the operatives of the anti-narcotics agency have intercepted at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, AIIA, Enugu, 12 consignments of cocaine belonging to members of a Drug Trafficking Organisation.

Babafemi revealed that a businessman, Augustine Emeka, 44, who claims he deals in copper wire was arrested on Saturday at the airport upon his arrival from Douala, Cameroon via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Ethiopia airline with the 12 consignments consisting of seven hundred and ninety-seven (797) pellets of cocaine weighing 17.6 kilogrammes. 

He said during preliminary interrogation, the suspect admitted the cocaine consignments were for delivery to 12 different persons in the country.

In a related development, NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos last Friday arrested a fleeing suspect, Onyejiuwa Ifeanyi, who has gone into hiding since 8th September following the seizure of a United Kingdom bound 20 kilogrammes cannabis consignment concealed in tomato pastes tins at the SAHCO shed linked to him.

The operatives of the Seaports Operations of the agency last Monday arrested a 45-year-old Beninoise, Jamila Fatiu at Ebute Ero Jetty in Lagos Island with 398 bottles of codeine cough syrup on her way to Seme border via a boat service.

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. Some of them include: WADA town hall sensitization lecture by Zone N command in conjunction with the Rivers State command of NDLEA for principals of secondary schools in Rivers State; WADA sensitisation lecture at Community Basic School, Abojupa Idi Igba Ilora, Oyo state; WADA advocacy lecture for students of Obalaoye Junior and Senior Secondary School, Ede, Osun;  students of Government Secondary School, Michika, Adamawa;  WADA sensitisation town hall meeting with principals of secondary schools in Cross River;  WADA sensitization lecture at Government Girls Day Secondary School, Gusau, Zamfara and same  lecture for traders at Cow Market, Awka, Anambra state.

While commending the officers and men of the AIIA, MMIA, Katsina, Anambra, Kaduna, Kogi, Borno, Ondo, and FCT Commands as well as those of Seaports Operations 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 maintain the offensive action tempo while creating a balance with their drug demand reduction efforts.

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

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