The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, arrested two women and six men in connection with attempts to import hundreds of cocaine pellets into Nigeria and export thousands of Tramadol 255mg tablets, among other illicit drugs, to Europe via the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja; the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, AIIA, Enugu; and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos.
“The streaks of arrests and seizures began on Sunday 17th July when a 52-year-old father of three, Okwo Paul Okechukwu, was arrested upon his arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia via an Ethiopian airline flight at the Abuja airport for ingesting 76 pellets of cocaine,” said Femi Babafemi, Director of Media and Advocacy.
“During a first interrogation, Okechukwu, who is from Enugu Ezike, Igbo Eze LGA, Enugu state, said that he used to sell women’s wigs and hair attachments before being involved in the drug trade.”
“He has subsequently excreted all 76 wraps of the medicine he consumed while under observation at the Agency’s Abuja facility.”
Similarly, another father of three, Lawrence Chijioke, 42, was apprehended at the Abuja airport the same day as part of an operational collaboration between the NDLEA and the Nigeria Customs Service at the NAIA.
Chijioke, from Umuahia in Umuahia LGA, Abia state, was apprehended during an inbound clearance of an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft from Addis Abeba with 529 pellets of cocaine weighing 11.70kg hidden in his backpack.
In his testimony to anti-narcotics officials, he said he was given N2 million, which he intended to utilize to expand his company, if the cocaine shipment was successfully delivered in Abuja.
On the same day, NDLEA agents detained Ms. Onuorah Caritas Onyinye, 29, at the Enugu airport when she arrived on an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft from Addis Abeba.
A check of her baggage revealed 2.192 kg of cocaine hidden in two fashionable ladies purses with phony linings.
Attempts by drug traffickers to export various illegal narcotics via the NAHCO export shed at the Lagos airport to Europe and the United Arab Emirates were also thwarted by Agency officials and personnel.
On Monday, July 18th, agents detected some illegal narcotics contained in a consolidated shipment bound for Dubai, UAE.
Aside from 24 packages of Loud, a cannabis variation produced mostly in the United States and Canada, additional items found from the consignment include BMK glycidic acid, a precursor for methamphetamine; pills of designer drug MDMA; and another five parcels of cannabis.
Four freight agents were detained in connection with the seizure. Balogun Adesola Olamilekan, Sulaimon Kaosarat Yetunde, Benjamin Christopher Joel, and Omoniyi Ibukun Abraham are among them.
On the same day, Monday 18th July, an attempt by an Italy-bound passenger, Tony Osas, to export 10, 250 Tramadol 255mg tablets to Europe via the Lagos airport was thwarted by NDLEA operatives who intercepted him at gate B departure hall during outward clearance of passengers on a Turkish Airlines flight to Milan.
During a check of his baggage, Osas, who is from Ovia South – West Local Government Area in Edo State, was discovered with the unlawful material weighing 5.70kg hidden within gari, a local cassava preparation, nestled inside his black purse.
On the 17th of July, a motorist named Jamilu Lawal was apprehended along the Abuja-Kaduna express route in Kaduna carrying 157,000 Diazepam pills totaling 37.5kg. A follow-up operation the same day resulted in the arrest of the consignment’s true owner, Abubakar Isiyaku, in Katsina.
Another suspect, Isah Mohammed, was apprehended the same day in Kano as part of a follow-up operation after the seizure of his cargo, 2,500kg of rubber solution (solvent) known locally as Shalisha in Kaduna.
Four people were detained in Abuja for 345.4kg cannabis seizures in the FCT. While Mohammed Auwal, 37, Godspower John, 34, and Chukwuma Odeh, 35, were arrested in Jabi Park on Monday 18th July over a 77.7kg drug consignment, Isah Yusuf, 25, of Kaura Namoda LGA, Zamfara State, was apprehended with 267.7kg cannabis when operatives raided the DeiDei area of the FCT on Saturday 23rd July.
In Sokoto, agents conducting a stop and search operation along the Gusau-Sokoto route apprehended one Tochukwu Joseph Oranusi, who was carrying 20,100 Rohypnol tablets aboard a commercial bus traveling from Onitsha, Anambra state.
The car also contained 15.2 litres of Codeine Syrup and 400grams of Rohypnol tablets, the owner of which, Buhari Sambo, was subsequently detained.
In Anambra, suspect Azubuike Ogbanu was nabbed on Thursday 21st July with 76 cups of Arizona, 172 sachets of skunk, 82 pinches of methamphetamine, 20 sachets of Loud, and 10 wraps of Colorado when his base, Loren hostel, Ifite, Awka, was searched by agents.
While commending the officers and men of the MMIA, NAIA, AIIA, Kaduna, Sokoto, FCT, and Anambra Commands for the arrests, seizures, and tenacity, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), urged them and their colleagues across the country to remain steadfast in pursuit of the Agency’s goal of ridding all parts of Nigeria of illicit