Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on New Year day, Monday 1st January 2024 intercepted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos a consignment of Colorado, a very strong strain of cannabis, concealed in boxing kits imported from the United States of America.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi said a weeklong intelligence-led operation to get the receiver arrested was consummated last Saturday following the successful tracking and arrest of 38-year-old Olorunfunmi Olakunle who distributes the dangerous psychoactive substance to dealers across Lagos state.
Babafemi said the consignment had arrived the country last Monday via Cairo on Egypt Airlines flight marked as boxing kits.
Olakunle during interrogation, disclosed that he has been delivering such consignments to different recipients whenever his childhood friend, US-based Sagir Salami sent them. The latest shipment has a total weight of 1.8 kilogrammes.
Meanwhile, a 28-year-old female supplier of ammunition to bandits, Bilkisu Suleiman came top on the list of 12 other suspects arrested by NDLEA operatives in new year interdiction operations in Kaduna, Lagos, Niger, Kogi, Kano, Borno, and Osun states.
Suleiman, according to the statement, was arrested last Wednesday by NDLEA officers on patrol along Zaria – Kano expressway in possession of 249 rounds of 7.62 mm live ammunition concealed in a black nylon bag kept in her lady’s handbag.
She was on her way to deliver the ammunition to an identified bandit in Kakumi village, Katsina state when she was nabbed after which she was transferred to the Kaduna state command of the Nigeria Police Force for further investigation.
The military authorities at the Bonny camp cantonment in Lagos last Tuesday transferred a suspect, Francis Suru, 37 and 63 jumbo bags of Ghana Loud, a strain of cannabis, weighing 2,104.2 kilogrammes and a truck to the Lagos state command of NDLEA.
Babafemi said the suspect and the drug exhibits were earlier intercepted by NDLEA officers on 12th December 2023 close to the gate of the military cantonment in Bonny Camp, Victoria Island.
According to him, some armed escorts resorted to sporadic shooting to obstruct the operation, a development which attracted soldiers from the cantonment, who eventually intervened and took custody of the consignment and suspect before transferring them to the agency.
In the same vein, NDLEA operatives in Niger state last Thursday during a stop and search operation along Suleja-Kaduna road intercepted a J5 bus coming from Ondo state to Zaria, Kaduna state with 23 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 219.5 kilogrammes. Two suspects: Umar Musa, 26 and Isachiru Abubakar were arrested in connection with the seizure.
Babafemi also disclosed that a female drug trafficker, Queen Onyema, 27, was arrested on Saturday 6th January in a commercial bus enroute Abuja along Okene-Lokoja expressway with 12 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 4.6 kilogrammes and 0.046 kilogrammes designer drugs concealed in an indomie carton, another suspect Mubarak Sani, 20, was nabbed at Gadar Tamburawa area of Kano last Monday with 445.9 kilogrammes of the same psychoactive substance.
In Borno, four suspects: Zanna Alhaji Dala, 32; Musa Umar, 21; Mushe Ibrahim, 23, and Shehu Idris, 19 were arrested at Pomponari bye pass area of the state with 60 kilogrammes cannabis.
Also, in Osun, NDLEA operatives on patrol along Osogbo-Ode Omu road on new year day, intercepted a consignment of illicit drugs sent through waybill from Lagos to Osogbo. A follow-up operation led to the arrest of Ibrahim Olawale, 43. The drugs recovered include: cannabis sativa 10.8 kilogrammes; Loud 150 grammes; Colorado 19 grammes; Molly 5 grammes totalling 10.974 kilogrammes. A digital scale, N18,000 monetary exhibit and customized wrapping papers for Colorado were also seized.
Babafemi said NDLEA Commands across the 36 states and the FCT equally continued their War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, sensitisation lectures in schools, communities, work places and others.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) while commending the arrests and seizures of the past week by officers and men of the MMIA, Lagos, Niger, Kogi, Kano, Borno, and Osun Commands, charged them and their compatriots across all formations of the agency to continue to remain vigilant and double their drug demand reduction as well as drug supply reduction efforts in the new year.