Operatives of Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have destroyed over 14 hectares of cannabis cultivated farms in Edo State.
This is part of continued nationwide ‘offensive action’ against drug traffickers in the past week, by the anti-narcotics agency during which hundreds of kilogrammes of illicit substances were seized at the airports, courier firms, hideouts.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi said Edo, operatives stormed remote forests in Ovia North East area of the state between 8th and 16th Sept, destroyed over 14 hectares of cannabis farms, and recovered 172.6 kilogrammes of cannabis.
He said three female and a male suspects were also arrested in raids across Owan East and Akoko Edo areas of Edo state during which different quantities of cannabis and local mixtures called monkey tail were recovered.
In another clampdown, attempts by a female passenger, Isesele Obehi and one Emmanuel Chibuzor Omebere to export illicit drugs to Europe through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja were thwarted by narcotic officers who arrested them shortly before they boarded their flights.
Babafemi said while Isesele was nabbed on Saturday 11th September, 2021 during outward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight at Gate B departure hall of the Lagos airport on her way to Milan, Italy with 312 sachets of Tramadol, weighing 1.5 kilogrammes, concealed in crayfish and dried vegetables, Chibuzor was caught with 137.45 grammes of the same drug concealed in foodstuff at the Abuja airport on Thursday 2nd Sept during outward clearance of Turkish Airline flight to Istanbul, Turkey.
He also said efforts by desperate traffickers to export varying sizes of consignments containing cocaine, heroin and other illicit drugs through courier firms were also foiled.
Some of the seized drugs include 475 grammes of heroin concealed in food items going to Canada; 202 grammes of cocaine hidden in body cream containers going to Australia; 720 grammes of Cannabis Sativa tucked in computer hard drives heading to United Arab Emirates, UAE and another 2.1 kilogrammes of cannabis hidden in body cream bottles going to Oman, while 60 grammes of cocaine concealed in degree certificates meant for Australia was also seized, all from three courier firms in Lagos.
He revealed that a 38-year-old pregnant woman, Kate Nwuju was arrested on Tuesday 14th Sept at her residence in Rumueme, Mile 4 area of Port Harcourt, Rivers state with 4.5 kilogrammes of cannabis following intelligence that she sells drugs.
Another person, Aliyu Saidu, suspected to be a fake soldier was arrested with 2.3 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa in a commercial bus from Lagos to Makurdi, on Monday 13th of Sept at Aliade checkpoint, Benue State.
In Kano, one Shuaibu Yusuf, was arrested on Friday 17th Sept with 537 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa, concealed among bags of cement in a truck, while in Ogun state, five persons were arrested on Tuesday 14th Sept after their truck conveying 552 kilogrammes cannabis was intercepted at Ogere Remo, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
In a related development, narcotic officers on motorised patrol on Friday 17th Sept, arrested a 21-year-old Law Ubi at Marian Road, Calabar, Cross River state with 67.4 kilogrammes cannabis while a follow up search of his residence the following day, Saturday, led to the recovery of 4.2 grammes of Cocaine from his apartment.
Speaking on the latest arrests and seizures, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd)
commended the officers and men of the Lagos airport, Abuja airport, Benue, Kano, Ogun, Rivers, Cross River and Edo commands as well as those of the Directorate of Operation and General Investigation, DOGI, of the agency for maintaining the heat on drug dealers.
He said their efforts “further reaffirm our determination that those in this criminal trade will always have the new NDLEA to contend with; whether in their homes, on the streets, at the ports and deep in the forests, we’ll chase them with every legitimate force and smoke them out, up to the last man or woman if they fail to repent.”
Michael Olugbode in Abuja