From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has intercepted about one million, five hundred thousand tablets and capsules of pharmaceutical opioids such as Tramadol, Exol-5 and Diazepam in Edo State.
The banned substances were loaded in Onitsha, Anambra State, heading to Yauri, Kebbi State.
This is even as a total of 425,000 Diazepam tablets were recovered at Segemu, Kano.
In addition, a total of N1,413,344 was seized along with firearms and ammunition from a suspected bandit and a drug kingpin in Plateau State, while over 137.754 kilogrammes of assorted illicit drugs were recovered during interdiction operations across seven states in the past week.
A statement by the director of media and advocacy, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said operatives of the agency in Edo, acting on credible intelligence, intercepted a trailer from Onitsha going to Yauri on January 14.
A thorough search of the truck led to the discovery of psychotropic substances concealed under legitimate goods. The drugs seized included: 394,480 capsules and 3,000 tablets of Tramadol weighing 83.707kg; Exol-5: 647,500 tablets weighing 203.315kg; Diazepam: 12,500 tablets weighing 2.05kg; Bromazepam: 1,500 tablets weighing 0.45kg; Codeine based syrup: 999 bottles weighing 134.865kg; Pentazocine injections: 4,000 ampoules weighing 16.64kg.
The driver of the truck, Bashir Lawali, 30, was arrested along with Abubakar Sani, 30, and Ali Abubakar, 19, while the exhibits in Kano were seized from one Sa’idu Yahya, 31.
“Attempts by drug traffickers to export 73 parcels of cannabis (34.05kg) concealed in foodstuff plastic containers to the United Kingdom through the NAHCO export shed of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport(MMIA), Ikeja,Lagos, were frustrated by operatives on January 8, same way another 50 parcels of cannabis consignment, 27.25kg, meant for the United States was also intercepted at the export shed of the airport on Tuesday January 11Jan and at least three suspects so far arrested.
“In reverse bid, moves by illicit drug merchants to bring into Nigeria 94 parcels of cannabis indica (Colorado) weighing 43.4kg through the Tincan seaport in Lagos were crushed on January 13, when operatives intercepted the drug inside a 40ft container from Canada. The exhibit was concealed inside a Toyota Camry car. This came on the heels of a similar seizure on January 11, of 59 parcels of Colorado (17.3kg), concealed in a Mercedes Benz vehicle imported from Canada.
“In Plateau state, a fake security agent, Babagana Maaji has been arrested through a controlled delivery of 5.6kg cannabis from Lagos. The suspect based in Damaturu, Yobe state, was nabbed following the interception of a commercial bus bringing the consignment from Lagos to Gombe in Mararaban Jos on January 8.
“On Tuesday, January 11, operatives of the Plateau command of the agency also arrested a suspected bandit, Abdullahi Usman Ahmad, 28, at Hwolshe with one Beretta pistol; seven rounds of live ammunition; two empty shells; 12 grammes of cannabis sativa; a pair of handcuffs and N1, 136,344, suspected to be ransom money as well as an Opel car with registration number ZAR 35 LQ.
“In the same vein, leader of a cocaine distribution ring in Plateau, Chibueze Okoro John, 42, has been arrested along Zaria road, Jos, with quantities of cocaine and Tramadol recovered from him as well as a Sienna Bus (BWR 584 AL), Toyota Camry car (RBC 461 BF) and N 277, 000, which the suspect offered to the narcotic officers as bribe but was rejected.
“In Delta state, the bid by 38-year-old Ejike Obiora, to smuggle different quantities of cocaine and heroin into the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South local government area , was foiled on January 8, when he was discovered to have concealed the drugs in foodstuffs meant for an inmate.
“This is even as 598kg cannabis was recovered during a raid in Owo area of Ondo state with the two owners: Arataye Raimi, 41, and Tope Osinnuwa, 36, eventually arrested in follow up operations.
“While one Abdullahi Mohammed was arrested in connection with the seizure of 48.5 blocks of cannabis in Potiskum, Yobe state, another fake security agent, Dike Davison was nabbed at Aliade, Benue state with 50grams of cannabis and 29 rounds of live ammunition of 7.62mm caliber.
“In Abuja, FCT, a buy and bust operation on Friday January, 14, led to the arrest of Habib Yusif, 41, with a total of 28.2kg cannabis recovered from him, while in Osun state, the trio of Samuel Joseph; Francis Ujor and Sola Johnson were arrested in Onikoko village Area 5, Ile-Ife, with 100 bags of cannabis weighing 1,530 kilograms recovered from them on Thursday January 13.
“While commending the officers and men of the various commands for their remarkable efforts, Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Marwa (Retd) assured them that their sacrifices, dedication to duty and exceptional feats would not go without commensurate commendation and rewards.