From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Operatives of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a notorious drug baron and former Vice Chairman of the Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Asekun Kehinde Sakiru, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
Asekun has been on the wanted list of the Agency following the recent arrest of some traffickers and drug seizures linked to him.
Astatement by NDLEA Director (Media and Advocacy), Femi Babafemi, on Wednesday, said the law caught up with the wanted baron at about 9:40 pm on Friday May 7, while he was trying to board a Virgin Atlantic flight to London at the Lagos airport.
At the point of his arrest, Asekun was caught with a kilogramme of cocaine concealed in five pairs of sandals packed inside his suitcase. He has been on the wanted list of the MMIA Command of the Agency in connection with a case involving one Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim who was arrested with 6.45 kg of cocaine in December 2020.
The London-based drug baron is also a seasoned politician. He was at different times between 2004 and 2014 the Vice Chairman of Lagos Island East LCDA. He had also contested and lost elections for thr House of Representatives in 2007 and Lagos State House of Assembly in 2015.
Although he claims to be an international businessman who deals in automobiles, investigation is yet to confirm that to be the source of his acquired wealth.
In the course of tracking him, the sum of N131 million was seized from his account and another N14 million also blocked in the account of one of his traffickers, Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim, bringing the total sum so far recovered from him to N145 million.
While commending the officers and men of the MMIA Command of the Agency for resilience and dedication to duty, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig-Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) said with the support of all stakeholders the problem of drug trafficking and abuse in Nigeria will be drastically reduced.
‘This arrest is yet another message and red alert to those still in this criminal trade whether as barons or traffickers that they will soon enter the dragnet of the Agency, daily being spread across the country, if they fail to back out especially now that we are moving all out for the barons and the big cartels while we continue to reign in the traffickers,’ Gen Marwa warned in his reaction on Wednesday.