Multi-billion naira worth of illicit drugs have been seized at a warehouse tucked in the midst of popular International Trade Fair Complex, Alaba, Ojo area of Lagos by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi in a statement on Sunday revealed that the seizure was made on Saturday.
He said recovered from the warehouse owned by a wanted billionaire drug baron, include: 1.4 million pills of tramadol 225mg weighing 826 kilogrammes; 3.2 million pills of codeine with gross weight of 3,360 kilogrammes; and 2,841 cartons of codeine syrup containing 284,100 bottles with 28,410 litres of the psychoactive substance, with a combined street value of over N4.8 billion.
He added that during the operation that lasted hours, a suspect, Paulinus Ojukwu, who is Chief Security Officer to the wanted drug baron that parades as automobile spare parts dealer, was arrested and now assisting ongoing investigation.
He noted that the latest drug warehouse bust is coming on the heels of the arrest of a drug baroness, Faith Nwankwo who was nabbed on 9th August with 2,750,000 pills of tramaking, a brand of tramadol 225mg and 250mg 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.
He also revealed that NDLEA operatives last Friday intercepted $20 million suspected to be counterfeit during a stop and search operation along Abaji – Lokoja road, within the Federal Capital Territory.
He said 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, last Thursday, Jude Ndubuisi, 52, was arrested with 2.2 kilogrammes of methamphetamine during a raid operation at Kabusa village, FCT.
He noted that the suspect was initially arrested with 20.75 kilogrammes cannabis on 7th July 2022 and was on court bail following his ongoing prosecution when he was nabbed for yet another drug crime.
He said another raid of two notorious drug joints within the FCT: Dei Dei and Tora-Bora Hills led to the recovery of 82.8 kilogrammes skunk, 1.8 kilogrammes rohypnol and 1.2 kilogrammes diazepam last Wednesday.
In Osun, NDLEA operatives in the early hours of Saturday destroyed clusters of cannabis farms measuring about 3.49 hectares (over 7.5 tons) at Mopatedo in Ifedayo local government area of the State. Two suspects: Sunday Otogbo, 40, and Peter Makra, 35, were arrested inside the cannabis farms. Additional 30 kilogrammes cannabis weeds and 16.9 kilogrammes of cannabis seeds were also recovered from the farms.
He disclosed that at least, three suspects: Ndubuisi Okorie, 44; Ebilima Emmanuel, 38, and Okechukwu Smart, 40, were arrested in connection with the seizure of 168 kilogrammes cannabis consignment from them when their vehicle was intercepted along Owerri-Onitsha expressway, Imo state on Saturday 19th August. 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 13th August while a follow-up operation in Oyigbo area of Port Harcourt, Rivers state led to the arrest of the owner of the consignment, Remigius Ogechukwu, 33.
He said while a teenager, Boniface Odinakachukwu, 19, was apprehended with 99.4 kilogrammes skunk at Isikwe Road, Achi in Oji-River local government area, Enugu state last, a wanted teenage bandit, Aliyu Mohammed Altine, 19, was arrested by NDLEA operatives along Illela- Sokoto road with some wraps of skunk last Thursday, with the suspect who is on the wanted list of the police since been transferred to the police in Sokoto state for further investigation.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) 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, charged operatives of the Lagos command to ensure that the fleeing baron is smoked out from his hiding to face charges.
He also urged them and their colleagues across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja