Over four tons of illicit and controlled drugs including consignments of nitrous oxide popularly known as laughing gas, skunk, codeine syrup, methamphetamine and tramadol have been intercepted by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, during interdiction operations in the last one week in Lagos, Kogi, FCT, Jigawa, Kaduna, Sokoto and Edo states.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi also said no fewer than 1,194 cylinders of laughing gas with a total weight of 2,547.2 kilogrammes loaded in two Toyota Sienna buses were last Friday intercepted by NDLEA operatives along Okene-Lokoja-Abuja expressway.
He said two suspects: Onyebuchi Ikpozu and Kenneth Igwe who were taking the consignments to the nation’s capital, Abuja for distribution have been arrested and taken into custody.
Babafemi said while one of the Toyota Sienna buses marked KTU 582 HV was conveying 99 cartons containing 594 cylinders weighing 1,267.2 kilogrammes, the second bus with registration number FKJ 329 YA was conveying 100 cartons of the substance with 600 cylinders weighing 1,280 kilogrammes.
He also said a 48-year-old woman, Mrs. Ugo Eluba was also arrested in Abuja in a follow up operation after 2,400 ampules of pentazocine injection and 100,000 tablets of Exol-5 intercepted in Kogi state were traced to her.
In the FCT, operatives intercepted 977 kilogrammes of skunk last Wednesday in a trailer marked LSR 343 XW, bearing cartons of maggi. The spokesman said the skunk consignment was loaded into the truck at Ipele junction in Ondo state. While 959 kilogrammes of the substance were meant for distribution in Sokoto state, the rest was to be dropped off at Gwagwalada. Two suspects: Auwal Mohammed and Abdullahi Abubakar have been arrested in connection with the seizure, while two other suspects: Mutari Abdulazeez, 31, and Ayuba Madaki, 28, were also arrested last Saturday at Zuba area of the FCT with different quantities of
methamphetamine, cannabis and 13,930 pills of tramadol.
Babafemi also revealed that Shuaibu Yusif, 27, and Abubakar Hussaini, 20, were last Saturday nabbed with 89.1 kilogrammes of skunk along Kano -Hadejia road, Jigawa state during a stop and search patrol by NDLEA operatives.
He disclosed that no fewer than 6,000 ampules of pentazocine injection were recovered from a suspect, Usman Sidi, 35, last Monday along Abuja – Forest road, Kaduna while on his way to Bauchi state.
He said a follow up operation in Bauchi led to the arrest of the actual owner of the consignment, Dominic Chukwuma, 35, last Tuesday with at least 2.58 kilogrammes of diazepam and 36.55 kilogrammes of pentazocine injection recovered from his home.
Two other suspects: Inuwa Nuhu and Isiyaku Sani were also arrested same Tuesday in connection with the seizure of 49 blocks of cannabis sativa concealed in a black sack weighing 26 kilogrammes in a commercial vehicle coming from Ogere, Ogun state to Kano.
Babafemi said a total of 183kgs of Ghana Loud, a strain of cannabis, were recovered from body compartments of a J5 bus intercepted in Lagos last Wednesday, operatives in Sokoto, last Tuesday arrested one Charles Okeke, 44, with 473 bottles of codeine syrup at Unguwar Kosai area of Sokoto.
In Edo state, 365 blocks of compressed cannabis sativa weighing 258 kilogrammes were recovered from a Toyota Camry car marked KTU 886 EZ at Igarra, Akoko Edo local government area.
He said in a massive operation between Monday 11th and Wednesday 13th September, NDLEA operatives stormed thick forests in Ijesha Isu-Ekiti, Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti state, where they destroyed 40 tons (40,000 kilogrammes) of cannabis plants covering 16 hectares of farmland.
Meanwhile, across the country, NDLEA Commands continued their War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, sensitization lectures and advocacy visits to worship centres, schools, workplaces, palaces of traditional rulers and communities all through the week. Instances include: WADA sensitization lecture at Madarasatu Tarbiyyatil Aulad Islamiyyah Izala Mosque, Sabon Gari Wudil, Wudil local government area of Kano State; WADA sensitisation town hall meeting with principals of secondary schools in Kaduna north and south local government areas organized by the Zone J command of the agency; WADA advocacy visit to the palace of Igwe Emmanuel Ugwu, traditional ruler of Ibagwa Nike, Enugu state and WADA sensitisation lecture for students of the Oyo State College of Science and Health Technology, Ibadan, among others.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) while commending the officers and men of the Lagos, FCT, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kogi, Sokoto and Edo Commands of the agency for the arrests and seizures of the past week, also applauded their compatriots in all the commands across the country for intensifying the WADA sensitization lectures and advocacy messages to every part of their areas of responsibility.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja