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Two Nigerian Qatar-based drug lords arrested as NDLEA intercepts consignment at Lagos Airport

Also 30.9 hectares of cannabis farms were destroyed in Delta, Edo and Ondo in the past week.

Two Qatar-based drug kingpins, Eyah Nnamdi, alias Murphy and Ugwuoke Oluchukwu have been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) following the interception of their methamphetamine consignment at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

A press statement signed by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi said Ugwuoke was the first to be arrested on 9th June during the outward clearance of Qatar Airways passengers at the departure point, Terminal 2 of the Lagos airport.

Babafemi disclosed that NDLEA officers discovered that the suspect was travelling to Doha with an Ivorian international passport with the name Hien Narcisse, noting that a  further scrutiny of his black carry-on luggage led to the discovery of a false bottom concealment of two parcels of crystalline substance that tested positive to methamphetamine weighing 1 kilogramme.

He added that preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is a Nigerian who had gone to obtain an Ivorian passport for his travels, stressing that the suspect confessed that he travelled to Qatar in August 2022 and returned from the Arab nation about two months ago to perfect arrangement for the movement of the drug consignment.

The spokesman said a further probe led operatives to discover that his Qatar-based senior partner in the trade simply identified as Murphy was lurking around in Eziani, his home town in Nsukka local government area of Enugu State, Ugwuoke claimed he holds a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Federal Polytechnic Oko.

Babafemi said a prompt deployment of NDLEA operatives on 10th June to Eziani community of Nsukka local government area of Enugu State, led to the arrest of ‘Murphy’ whose true identity was later discovered to be Eyah Nnamdi, who had lived in Indonesia for some years before relocating to Doha, Qatar.

Anti-narcotic officers have also arrested a female pharmacist, Ikwebe Ori in Kaduna following her attempts to use forged documents to purchase and distribute six cartons of pentazocine injection with 2,000 ampules.

She was said to have confessed she used fake documents of a Kaduna hospital to order the drug, which she planned to distribute in Kaduna, Abuja and Sokoto.

The consignment was initially intercepted at the local wing of the Lagos airport while being sent to Kaduna by a freight agent.

In another clampdown by NDLEA operatives in Niger state, a total of 1,072 kilogrammes of cannabis in two raids were seized first last Thursday, 726 kilogrammes of the illicit substance was recovered at Oyoyo filling station along Kaduna – Abuja express road where four suspects: Aminu Mohammed, 50; Nasiru Mohammed, 30; Rabiu Haruna, 29, and Hamza Abubakar, 18 were arrested.

The following day, the operatives intercepted a Mercedes 1422 truck marked MKD 116ZM on its way from Umunede, Delta state with gallons of palm oil to be delivered at Garki market in Abuja.

Babafemi disclosed that the truck driver, Jekwe Udenze, 38, along with his two assistants: Gabriel Nzekwube, 43, and Chima Uzoma, 42, stopped over at Uromi, Edo State and loaded 19 jumbo bags of cannabis weighing 346 kilogrammes to be delivered at Dumez Luxury Park along Kaduna road, Suleja to Ignatius Mokwe, 47. Both the driver and his two assistants as well as the owner of the illicit consignment, Ignatius Mokwe have been arrested.

A total of 30.9 hectares of cannabis farms were destroyed in Delta, Edo and Ondo in the past week. In Delta, 18 hectares of cannabis farms were destroyed last Monday in Umuchime village, Ogume, Ndokwa West local government area by NDLEA operatives supported by soldiers. Four suspects arrested on the farms include two men and the same number of women: Kingsley Atuola, 40; Okikiolu Adekunle, 44; Osai Doris, 40, and Ublenu Joy, 28. 

In Edo state, operatives last Wednesday stormed Awakpa forest in Owan West local government area, where they arrested Malachy Amaechi; Nanmua Peter; Ojo Momoh; Afam Luke and John Danladi who were apprehended inside a hut located on 2.5 hectares of cannabis farm, which was destroyed and 102 kilogrammes of the substance already harvested recovered. Another farm measuring about 1.3 hectares was also destroyed with the three farms razed totalling about 4 hectares.

In another operations, operatives last on Saturday raided the house of a dealer, Godwin Ejiro, 45, at Uyiwnendi community, Ikpoba Oka local government area, where quantities of illicit drugs including cocaine, heroin, meth, swinol and cannabis were recovered. In Ondo state, John Emmanuel, 30, was arrested at Ofosu, with 81 kilogrammes cannabis last Thursday while operatives on same day nabbed Gideon Akoh at Ala forest where a total of nine hectares of farm were destroyed and 12 kilogrammes harvested substance recovered. 

While 93.7 kilogrammes of the psychoactive substance was evacuated from a shop in Enugu metropolis last Saturday, a wanted notorious dealer, Kwada Vendi, 37, was arrested with 30.6 kilogrammes cannabis at Maimari, Maiduguri, in Borno state last Tuesday. In Bauchi state, 87,000 pills of tramadol and exol-5 were recovered from a suspect, Tony Ogbonna, 40, by NDLEA operatives at Yelwa, Bauchi town last Saturday.

A total of 13,800 pills tramadol consignment abandoned by a suspect going to Geidam, Yobe State was recovered at Yankaba Park, Kano last  Wednesday, while same day in Benue state, a suspect, Chidera Gabriel was arrested with 22,100 pills of the same pharmaceutical opioid at an NDLEA check point in Vandeikya.

Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended the officers and men of MMIA, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Kano, Niger, Borno, Benue, Bauchi and Enugu Commands of the agency for their vigilance and professionalism in the discharge of their responsibilities. He also charged them and their colleagues across the country not to rest on their oars.

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

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