-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA)- From Mike SOGBOLO:
DRUGS suspected heading to Boko Haram/Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) enclaves in Borno State have been intercepted by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Lagos.
In the same vein, Operatives of the NDLEA, in the last one week have intercepted 37.3 kilogrammes of hard drugs from being brought into the country or taken out to United Kingdom and Italy through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
A statement on Saturday by the spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi said a total of 34,950 capsules of Tramadol and Diazepam suspected to be heading to insurgents’ camps in Borno state have been intercepted and seized by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in Lagos.
Babafemi said a 25-year-old Mohammed Isah, recruited to move the drugs from Lagos to Borno was arrested on Tuesday 1st June, 2021 at SD Motors park, Agege, Lagos with 12,390 capsules of Tramadol weighing 4.8 kilogrammes and 22,560 tablets of Diazepam with a total weight of 14 kilogrammes, both weights totaling 18.8 kilogrammes.
He said that under interrogation, the suspect who hails from Mandara Mountain, Ashgashia, in Gwoza local government area of Borno State, revealed that he came to Lagos in 2013 and started life with riding commercial motorcycle (Okada), then tricycle (Keke Marwa) and currently drives township bus from Ikeja to Ojota.
According to him, on Friday, 28th May, one Kakali Abubakar who also hails from Mandara Mountain invited him to see him at Ezekiel Street, Ikeja, where he gave him the assignment of transporting the drugs to Maiduguri for a fee of N50,000, which he accepted. He said Kakali advised him to either board a Tanker or Trailer from Lagos to Maiduguri to avoid being caught.
A suggestion which he agreed to, but rather chose to travel in a bus operated by SD Motors from Lagos to Kano and would have taken another vehicle to Maiduguri.
The suspect claims he accepted the offer because of the monetary benefit due to pressure on his finances as his wife and three children displaced by Boko Haram activities are currently in a refugee camp in Maiduguri.
Babafemi said investigations revealed that before Mohammed’s arrest, Kakali the accused owner of the drug had travelled out of Lagos to Maiduguri to await the arrival of the consignment.
Reacting to the clampdown, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the Lagos state Command of the agency for their vigilance and blocking such volume of drugs from getting to Borno state, which is currently the hotbed of insurgents’ activities in the country.
He asked them to remain proactive and committed to the agency’s common goal.
NDLEA intercepts 37.3kg hard drugs at Lagos airport
In a similar development, the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the last one week have intercepted 37.3 kilogrammes of hard drugs from been brought into the country or taken out to United Kingdom and Italy through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi said: “It was another busy week of battle of wits between operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and drug traffickers who tried to either import into Nigeria or export to the United Kingdom and Italy illicit drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis weighing 37.3 kilogrammes ; all of which were intercepted and seized in five different bids while seven persons were arrested.”
He disclosed that the first attempt to bring into Nigeria 76 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.150 kilogrammes was made by Agudozie Ihie on 25th May, 2021, but he was arrested during inward security clearance of passengers on Qatar airline from Kenya, at the E-arrival hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja.
He said at the point of arrest, he was found in possession 36 pellets of cocaine concealed in his pants, and during observation, he excreted additional 40 pellets.
He added that during preliminary interrogation, Ihie confessed to have swallowed the drugs in Nairobi but became pressed during the transit period in Doha and excreted some wraps onboard the aircraft en route Lagos.
Barely two hours after the arrest of Agudozie Ihie for cocaine ingestion, Babafemi said NDLEA operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport also intercepted 4.2 kilogrammes of heroin bound for Italy.
He revealed that two freight forwarders have been arrested in connection to the seizure, adding that during preliminary interview, one of the suspects stated that the consignment belongs to one of his customers based in Italy, and that it was sent to him from Benin, Edo state through a transport company.
Another intercepted was made on the 26th May, 2021, during inward security clearance of passengers on Qatar airline from Doha, according to Babafemi.
He said NDLEA operatives at the E-arrival hall of the airport also arrested one Nnakaihe Ikechukwu (a.k.a Peprah Livinus) with 600 grammes of cocaine, noting that the illicit drug was cleverly concealed inside “Ankara dress buttons.”
He alleged that the suspect who hails from Imo state however fraudulently obtained a Ghanaian passport with the name Peprah Livinus, but suspected to be a member of some of the illicit drug trafficking groups with multiple passports bearing different names in order to evade detection by security agencies.
Babafemi said on the same date, NDLEA operatives at the NAHCO export shed of MMIA intercepted 30.150 kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativa heading to Manchester in the United Kingdom via British Airways and arrested one Anyanwu Chika who is a cargo bag stitcher in connection to the bid.
He said the drug was neatly concealed inside 30 pieces of bankus palm nut cream tin (banga soup) after emptying the real content.
He noted that the suspect, in his confessional statement, admitted to have been contracted by one of his customers based in Manchester and had negotiated with him for the sum of N1 million naira but was paid only N700,000.
The NDLEA Spokesman also said that last Thursday, operatives of the agency equally intercepted 11 parcels of heroin weighing 1.2 kilogrammes concealed in eleven packs of Indomie noodles at SAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport. The drug was to go with Ethiopian Airline to Malaysia via Addis-Ababa.
He disclosed that a freight agent and an errand boy for the owner of the exhibit have been arrested in connection to the foiled bid.
Reacting to the latest arrests and seizures at the MMIA, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the Commander, Ahmadu Garba, officers and men of the airport Command for their tenacity and commitment to the mandate of ridding the nation of illicit drugs.
He however charged them to remain unrelenting and always watch out for the disingenuous modes of concealment traffickers employ to beat detection.