NDLEA recovers N4.8bn worth of opioids in Lagos warehouse

By Sodiq Adelakun

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has announced that its operatives have seized a multi-billion naira illicit drugs warehouse at the International Trade Fair Complex, Lagos.

The anti-narcotic agency disclosed that items recovered from the warehouse, allegedly owned by a wanted billionaire drug baron, include: 1.4 million pills of tramadol 225mg weighing 826kgs; 3.2 million pills of codeine with gross weight of 3,360kgs; and 2,841 cartons of codeine syrup containing 284,100 bottles with 28,410 litres of the psychoactive substance, with a combined street value of N4,820,500,000.

This was announced in a statement yesterday by Femi Babafemi, the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters Abuja.

According to the statement, a suspect, Paulinus Ojukwu, a security aide to the wanted drug baron, was arrested and is now assisting ongoing investigation.

The agency said the latest drug warehouse bust is coming on the heels of the arrest of an alleged drug baroness, Faith Ebele Nwankwo, who was nabbed on Wednesday with 2,750,000 pills of tramaking, a brand of tramadol 225mg and 250mg, recovered from her residence in Lagos.

Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives on Friday also intercepted $20 million suspected to be counterfeit during a stop-and-search operation along Abaji-Lokoja road within the Federal Capital Territory.

The suspected fake money was recovered from a bus coming from Lagos to Abuja, while the 53-year-old driver, Onyebuchi Nlededin, was arrested.

Another suspect, Jude Ndubuisi, 52, was arrested on Thursday with 2.2 kilograms of methamphetamine during a raid at Kabusa village, FCT.

According to the NDLEA, he was initially arrested with 20.75kg of cannabis in July last year and was still on court bail when he was rearrested for yet another drug crime.

Similarly, a raid of two notorious drug joints within the FCT towns of Dei Dei and Tora-Bora Hills led to the recovery of 82.8kg skunk, 1.8kg rohypnol and 1.2kg diazepam on Wednesday by the agency.

Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives on Saturday in Osun State destroyed clusters of cannabis farms measuring about 3.49000 hectares (over 7.5 tons) at Mopatedo in the Ifedayo Local Government Area of the State.

According to the statement by the agency, two suspects: Sunday Otogbo, 40, and Peter Andel Makra, 35, were arrested inside the cannabis farms, with an additional 30kg of cannabis weeds and 16.9kg of cannabis seeds recovered from the farms.

In the same vein, three suspects: Ndubuisi Okorie, 44; Ebilima Emmanuel, 38, and Okechukwu Anthony Smart, 40, were arrested on Saturday in Imo State in connection with the seizure of 168kg cannabis consignment during a stop-and-search operation by the NDLEA along Owerri-Onitsha expressway.

While another shipment of controlled drugs containing 6,000 capsules of tramadol, 1,200 tablets of swinol, 155 bottles of codeine syrup and 20 tabs of Molly was equally seized on the same road on Sunday with a follow-up operation in the Oyigbo area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, leading to the arrest of the owner of the consignment, Remigius Ogechukwu, 33.

An operation by the NDLEA, also within the week, led to the arrest of a teenager, Boniface Odinakachukwu, 19, with 99.4kg skunk at Isikwe Road, Achi in Oji-River LGA, Enugu State. While a wanted bandit, Aliyu Mohammed Altine, 19, was arrested by NDLEA operatives along Illela- Sokoto road with some wraps of skunk on Thursday.

According to the statement, the suspect on the wanted list of the police, has since been transferred to the police in Sokoto State for further investigation.

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