By Henry Okonkwo
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, intercepted a large shipment of methamphetamine hidden in powdered custard containers as part of a consolidated cargo bound for London, United Kingdom, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babafemi, the illicit drug cargo weighing 30.10 kilograms with a street value of N567million was spotted and seized by their agents at the airport on Tuesday, May 16th.
He said the interception was swiftly followed by a series of follow-up operations that led to the arrest of a freight agent, Nwobodo Chidiebere; a female suspect, Chioma Lucy Akuta and ultimately the drug lord behind the shipment, Charles Chinedu Ezeh, who was arrested at Sotel Suites, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos on Thursday 18th May.
“Ezeh claims he’s a businessman and deals in articles in Onitsha, Anambra State but investigations reveal he lived with his wife and children in London until 10th December 2022 when he fled to Nigeria after his involvement in a drug-related offence in the UK”, Babafemi.
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“Though he claimed to have been living in hotels since his return to Nigeria last December, operatives were, however able to locate his mansion at No. 1 Hawawu Abikan Street, Lekki, on Friday 19th May, where a search was conducted and his travel and property documents among others were recovered”.
In another development, NDLEA operatives in Adamawa on Monday 15th May arrested a 32-year-old notorious drug dealer, Prince Ikechukwu Uzoma, in the Mubi area of the state with 1kg of skunk.
“Ikechukwu had twice been arrested in the past, and convicted for the same offence. He was in 2017 sentenced to six months imprisonment and in 2019 he was again sent to two years in jail”, Babafemi said.
In the same vein, a trans-border trafficker, Faisal Mohammed, 27, was on Wednesday 17th May arrested in Mubi following the interception of a truck from Onitsha, Anambra State, where a total of 2,376 sachets of tramadol comprising 23,760 pills were found concealed in three blue rubber Jerrycans which were hidden underneath the body part of the trailer. The suspect admitted the opioid was to be taken to Cameroon.
Meanwhile, in Oyo state, two suspects: Osas Susan, 35, and Thomas Biodun, 23, were arrested at Igbon, Gambari in Ogbomoso North LGA with 2.13kg cannabis while Idris Muhammed, 55, was nabbed with 4,500 pills of tramadol when a commercial bus conveying him and other passengers was stopped and searched along Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
Similarly, Bulus Mikah, 63, was arrested at Kafanchan, Kaduna state with over 5kg opioids including tramadol, diazepam, Rohypnol, and exol-5, just as a total of 965kg cannabis was seized from Shehu Muhammadu Dandare, 25, at Maraban Jos, in Igabi local government area of the state.
While 552kg cannabis was recovered from a warehouse in a bush when operatives stormed and destroyed 1.5 hectares of cannabis farm in Uhodoua forest, Esan South East LGA, Edo state, 10 suspects were arrested with a total of 5.587kg cannabis sativa, 144.4grams of methamphetamine and 48, 260 capsules of tramadol in different parts of Onitsha, Anambra state on Friday 19th May.
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In Kwara, two suspects: Mohammed Isa, 47, and Mohammed Haman, 36, were arrested on Friday 19th May along Ilorin/Lagos road in a commercial bus on their way to Maiduguri, Borno state with 6kg cannabis, 50grams of methamphetamine, and 20 pieces of military camouflage caps and uniforms. On the same day, operatives in Jigawa state nabbed one Ibrahim Abdullahi, 53, with 120kg of cannabis at Sara town in Gwaram LGA.
Then, not less than 628 bottles of new psychoactive substances, and skuchies were seized when operatives raided a drug joint at Idanre where four suspects were arrested.
Some of the suspects arrested include Olamide Olusola, 26; Abiodun Tijjani, 21; Fatope Temidayo, 29; Agba Obi, 30 and Olafisoye Festus, 26.
In the same vein, a suspect, Kayode Hakeem, 22, was arrested at Hawan Dawaki, Kano with 293 blocks of cannabis weighing 211.6kg.