No fewer than 4,560 kilogrammes of skunk have been seized in interdiction operations in Lagos, Adamawa and Osun by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in the last few days.
The Operatives also raided a skucchies factory in Ogun and arrested four members of a drug syndicate including two church officials; female staff of a courier company and another lady, involved in trafficking lethal opioid, fentanyl in Delta.
These were parts of the clampdowns in the last one week by the anti-narcotics agency, according to a statement on Sunday by it’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi.
He noted that the bust of the fentanyl cartel operating from Warri, Delta state is coming barely a month after two members of another syndicate: Odoh Oguejiofor and Oliver Uzoma were arrested at Ogbogwu market, Onitsha Head Bridge, Onitsha South local government area, Anambra State following months of intelligence-led investigation of the syndicates behind the dangerous drug, which is 100 times more potent than heroin and currently responsible for over 70% overdose deaths as well as a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States.
Babafemi said two officials of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministries (aka Mercy City Church), Warri, Delta state: Adewale Ayeni, 39, and Ebipakebina Appeal, 41, linked to two intercepted consignments of the illicit drug have been arrested in Warri. He disclosed that while Ayeni is one of those managing the prayer call centre of the church, Ebipakebina is in charge of movement of international guests from the airport to the church.
He said two female accomplices also arrested in Warri in the course of investigating the intercepted shipments include Naomi David, 28, who is a staff of United Parcel Services (UPS), and Stacy Njideka, also known as Nkiruka, 27, who is a business associate of Ayeni.
He added that operatives of the agency last Wednesday intercepted a Toyota Hilux vehicle marked EPE 863 XD along Ngurore-Mayo Belwa road, Adamawa State, and a search of the van with two occupants: Kelvin Efe, 51, and Christian Ogaga, 42, showed that 118 cartons of Indomie Noodles packs were used to conceal 544 blocks of compressed cannabis sativa, weighing 408 kilogrammes hidden in a false compartment and meant for distribution in Yola, Mubi and Gombe.
In Lagos, NDLEA operatives on Saturday 1st July arrested a suspect, Segun Odeyemi conveying 89 jumbo bags of skunk with a total weight of 3,842 kilogrammes in his truck around Eleganza area of Ajah, Lekki, while in Osun state an abandoned J5 Peugeot bus marked AAA 521 SQ with bags of fresh pepper used to conceal 25 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 300.5 kilogrammes was recovered along Akure-Ilesa expressway after its occupants sighted NDLEA officers on patrol last Friday.
Operatives in Ogun state last Thursday raided a skucchies factory at Ajaka Sagamu where a suspect, Adekunle Adekola was arrested. Exhibits recovered from the premises include: 10 kilogrammes cannabis; 1,356 litres of skucchies; 20 litres of codeine; seven deep freezers; a set of generator; and two gas cylinders among others.
Meanwhile, while commending the team of NDLEA officers tracking the fentanyl opioid syndicate in Nigeria for the success of the operations so far, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) also gave thumb up to their counterparts in Adamawa, Lagos, Osun and Ogun for the arrests and seizures of the past week.
He however charged them and their compatriots across the country to continue to set their eyes on the goal of ridding the nation of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking.