From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has recorded a major breakthrough in the fight against ilicit and contraband substances with the arrest of the most wanted drug baron in Nasarawa State, Sami Ashoko.
The wanted drug baron not only spent the Easter season in custody, his warehouse filled with skunk was also raided, with 100 bags of the illicit drugs weighing 1,095.3 kg seized.
According to a statement by NDLEA Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, the fate also befell members of another cartel who were arrested in Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, with their illicit consignment weighing 1,330 kg meant for Bauchi State seized. Both syndicates were busted Friday while trying to distribute the illegal substances for Easter sales.
In Nasarawa, Ashoko, 39, who hails from Ibilo in Akoko, Edo State, was arrested in Shinge, Lafia, based on actionable intelligence. A team of operatives had stormed his warehouse in Lafia and recovered 100 bags of cannabis weighing about 1.1 tons or 1095.3 kg.
According to the statement, the Commander, Nasarawa State Command of the NDLEA, Justice Arinze, said Sami Ashoko is the most wanted drug baron who has been on ‘our watch list in Nasarawa state. This seizure has beaten the previous record of 45 bags weighing about half ton recovered in January 2021 as the highest singular seizure of cannabis since the inception of the Command in 1999. The seized consignment was meant for Easter sales and which he expects to sell out in two weeks.
‘In a related development, two members of another drug cartel, Adamu Badamasi and Adamu Abba, were also arrested same day in Edo State while trying to move 950 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 1,330 kg, procured from Uzeba, Owan West Local Government area of the state to Bauchi state for Easter sales.
The Commander of the Edo state Command of the anti-drug law enforcement agency, Buba Wakawa, disclosed that the arrest and seizure disrupted the Easter sales plan of the cartel, which tried to escape arrest through hinterland routes in their white colour Peugeot J5 space bus with registration number Lagos JJJ 722 XC.
Another trafficker who supplies drugs to some notorious drug joints in Abuja was at the weekend arrested along Gwagwalada expressway, FCT, while bringing 46 compressed blocks of cannabis for drug dealers in Mabushi and Banex areas of the capital city. The Commander, FCT Command of the Agency, Mohammed Salami Sokoto, said the notorious drug supplier has confessed being a major supplier of illicit substances to major drug joints in Abuja.
NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig-Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) has in his reaction to the Easter weekend operations commended officers and men of Nasarawa, Edo and FCT Commands of the Agency for their efforts, adding that the skunk seized means less illicit substances available on the streets.