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Nigeria Newspapers

Hoodlums open fire on NDLEA operatives in Edo, three officers injured

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have repelled an attack from armed hoodlums in Opuje community, located in the Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State.

The hoodlums were said to have blocked all roads leading to the community, aiming to thwart NDLEA operatives’ access to forest warehouses.

These warehouses reportedly house a significant quantity of processed psychoactive substances, intended for nationwide distribution in preparation for the upcoming Christmas and New Year season.

This was contained in a statement by the NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, made available to PUNCH Online on Thursday.

Babafemi said three of the officers were injured in the attack, with one of them shot in the head, while some of the vehicles used for the operation were riddled with bullets.

“The affected officers were rushed to the hospital for treatment while the critically injured one had a major surgery on Wednesday, December 6, to remove the bullets in his brain,” he noted

He said this is coming barely 11 months after armed youths recruited by drug barons ambushed NDLEA officers who stormed the community to destroy warehouses and tents storing over 317,417 kilograms (317.4 metric tons) of cannabis sativa on Wednesday 18th January 2023.

“Following credible intelligence that the drug cartels had again stocked their warehouses in the forest to start distribution of the psychoactive substance to various parts of the country ahead of the yuletide season, teams of NDLEA officers were mobilized to enter the Edo forests and block the distribution of the illicit drug by destroying their warehouses. Some of the warehouses containing about 6,000kgs of cannabis were first taken down in Ujiogba forest in Esan West LGA last weekend.

“The NDLEA teams however came under gunfire attack in the early hours of Monday 4th December when they approached the Opuje forest after the armed hoodlums had blocked all access roads in the community. The NDLEA operatives were able to exit the area after over two hours of gun fight with the armed hoodlums.”

In his reaction to the attack, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) warned that those sponsoring attacks on the operatives would know no rest until they were all brought before the law to face the consequences of their action and their criminal trade terminated.

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