The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Sunday said it has arrested the mastermind of recent multiple attempts at exporting drugs through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos and some courier companies in the nation’s commercial city to London.
A statement by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said the notorious drug dealer, Okoli Ikenna, has been apprehended by operatives of the agency.
Babafemi said the drug dealer has been on court bail following his arrest in November 2020 and subsequent arraignment before a Lagos Federal High Court for attempting to export 15.7 kilogrammes of methamphetamine to Australia.
He said series of investigations into recent multiple attempts to export illicit drugs to the UK led to the arrest of the drug dealer on Tuesday 2nd November, when he was caught with 78 parcels of cannabis, concealed in black soap packs labelled as Dudu Osun, with a total weight of 12.25 kilogrammes heading to United Kingdom.
The NDLEA spokesman said further investigation also revealed that Okoli is the one behind the attempt to export 7.35 kilogrammes of cannabis to the UK on Thursday 21st October, a consignment that was intercepted at NAHCO export shed of the MMIA.
He said curiously, a separate investigation by operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation, DOGI, of the agency, attached to courier companies have equally traced to Okoli, two other attempts to export 47.7 kilogrammes of cannabis to the UK through courier firms after his agents arrested in the course of investigation named him as the owner of the consignments.
In another development, desperate bids by traffickers to export over 2 kilogrammes of cocaine, methamphetamine and cannabis hidden inside containers of body cream, tea bags, vehicle oil and air filters to London, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate and New Zealand through two major courier firms in Lagos have been scuttled by narcotic officers of the NDLEA, Babafemi said.
He also said in Kano, a controlled delivery of an illicit consignment on Friday 5th November led to the arrest of two suspects; Ibrahim Sulaiman and Muhammad Alhassan with 23 kilogrammes of Diazepam tablets; 2 kilogrammes of Codeine syrup and 32kgs of Exol 5 tablets, bringing the total weight to 57 kilogrammes.
Babafemi said earlier on Wednesday 3rd November, operatives of the Kano command of the NDLEA had arrested one Mizambilu Tijjani with 64 kilogrammes of Cannabis sativa and Victor Nsodikwa Chu-chu, with 34 cartons of Pentazocine injection and one carton of Diazepam injection in Sabongari area of the city.
In Kogi state, operatives also seized a consignment containing 28.25 kilogrammes of Exol- 5; 6.6 kilogrammes of Barcadin Codeine Syrup; over 38.532 kilogrammes of Tramadol, bringing the total drugs seized to 73.8 kilogrammes.
In a related development, operatives of the Osun state command have seized 130.5 kilogrammes of cannabis and 18 grammes of cocaine in Modakeke area of Ile-Ife.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd), apparently impressed by the outcome of investigations that led to the dismantling of the drug syndicate led by Okoli in Lagos and all other clampdowns across the country, commended the officers and men of the MMIA command, DOGI and their counterparts in Kano, Kogi and Osun for sustaining the heat on the cartels across the country.
He however urged them and their compatriots in other commands to intensify the offensive action against all “merchants of death in Nigeria”.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja