Campaign for the eradication of illicit drugs from Lagos State is yielding positive results as Operatives of the Lagos State command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) impounds a Hilux vehicle belonging to the Ondo State Government allegedly used in conveying 316.65kg of dried weeds found to be cannabis. A group of female believed to be the brain behind cannabis trafficking and two male drivers with the Ondo State government had been smashed. The suspects last week met their waterloo when they were arrested along Lagos Ibadan expressway on their way from Owo in Ondo State.
NDLEA Lagos State Commander Aliyu Sule gave the names of the suspects as Mr. Olasupo Taofeeq Olabode, 31 years, a driver with the Ondo State government; Mrs Rose Ossai, 39 years, sells kerosene and drinks and Mrs. Grace Adejo, 40 years, a trader who used to sell clothes. According to the commander, the suspects smuggle cannabis from Owo in Ondo State and distribute in Lagos.
“This group made up of women cannabis merchants and two drivers specialise in inter-State distribution of cannabis. They operate cleverly and smoothly using official vehicles as a cover. We got the information and have been working hard to arrest them. We must work hard in making Lagos drug free” Aliyu stated. He added that one driver and two women who are members of the group but currently at large are being hunted by officials of the command.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Ahmadu Giade noted that the use of official vehicle belonging to the State government is an indication of the desperation of drug barons. According to the NDLEA boss, “this is worrisome because these are mothers with children distributing cannabis to other children. I urge members of the public to report suspected cases of drug trafficking to the Agency. The consequences of these drugs on the society are grave. Drug barons are constantly looking for who they will engage in their illicit trade and it is wisdom not to yield to their deception”.
The suspects have made confessional statements on their involvement in the criminal act and investigation is still ongoing. Mr. Olasupo Taofeeq Olabode, a driver with the Ondo State government explained that one Ogidan Kayode the official driver of the vehicle used in smuggling the cannabis was responsible for his involvement. “My daughter was sick and I needed six thousand naira for her treatment. I met my colleague Ogidan Kayode for help and he promised to assist. He later drove his official vehicle to my house in Akure and told me to convey cannabis from Owo to Lagos. That was how I got involved. All I wanted was to take care of my sick child but unfortunately, we were arrested” Olasupo stated. He hails from Akure, Ondo State.
One of the female suspects, Rose Ossai, a 39 year old divorcee residing in Lagos said that this was her very first time in the criminal trade. “I was told that there is much profit in hemp sales. I entered into the trade because I wanted to pay for my rent. I am a divorcee with four children. I sell kerosene and drinks and I beg for pardon in the interest of my children and this is my very first time” Rose stated. He hails from Ndokwa West Area of Delta State.
Another female suspect who is also allegedly involved in cannabis sales in Lagos is Grace Adejo, a widow with two children. She pleaded for mercy adding that she regrets her action. “I am a widow with two children. This is my second trip to Owo to buy cannabis. I have realised my mistake and pray for mercy because of my children. I used to sell clothes in Jos to sustain my family after the death of my husband. Unfortunately, I lost my shop and everything to the Jos crisis and I relocated to Lagos where I was lured into cannabis trade” she stated.
All suspects will soon be charged to court.