A suspected drug dealer has been arrested in a popular pentecostal church in Lagos.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) disclosed this on Sunday via a statement issued by its spokesman, Femi Babafemi,
He said NDLEA operatives trailed the suspect to Ojodu Berger in the Ikeja area of the state.
Channels Television gathered that the suspect – Stephen Afam Ikeanyionwu – had been on the wanted list of the anti-narcotics agency “for attempting to export 69.65 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, and cannabis to the United Kingdom through the NAHCO export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA)”.
His arrest followed the interception of a consignment of illicit drugs weighing 69.65kg going to the UK through the Lagos airport on August 12.
“The illegal baggage had been sent to the airport for export through a freight forwarding company, which in turn gave a driver to deliver at the NAHCO export shed,” the statement partly read.
“Following the arrest of the driver, follow-up operations and investigations later revealed the true identity of the actual owner of the consignment, Stephen Afam Ikeanyionwu, who was arrested three days later in a sting operation.”
Also at the Lagos airport, NDLEA operatives also arrested an Italy-bound passenger, Abibu Miminu, during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airways flight to Italy via Addis-Ababa for ingesting illicit drugs.
The agency’s spokesman explained that the suspected trafficker excreted 68 wraps of heroin in three excretions, all weighing 800grams while under observation between August 14 and 15.
“In the same vein, narcotic officers of the Directorate of Operation and General Investigation have intercepted at two courier companies in Lagos 840 grams of Methamphetamine going to Australia and concealed in bolts.
“340 grams of Meth hidden in locally made footwear and also going to Australia; 1 kilogram of cocaine coming from Ghana with the UK as destination and concealed in four local guitars. Also seized from one of the courier firms is another 480grams of Meth concealed in footwear and going to Australia,” the statement noted.
Meanwhile, a South Africa returnee, Obi Chigozie Samuel, was also arrested at the Lagos airport last Sunday during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airlines from Addis-Ababa, for importing 58grams of skunk into Nigeria. During a preliminary interview, he admitted ownership and claimed to be a cannabis smoker.”
Similarly, in strings of operations in Edo, Ondo, Kaduna, Kano and Kogi states, at least 2,504.8 kilograms of diverse illicit drugs were seized from multiple suspects in the past week.
In Kogi, the agency nabbed a 60-year-old woman, Comfort Uzor, with 62.1kg cannabis on August 17 in Lokoja, where one Dayyabu Usman was also caught with 8kg of the same substance.
While Uzor was said to have sourced hers from Bolorunduro in Ondo state and was heading to Abuja, Usman purportedly got his from Lagos and was taking it to Kano for sale.
In Kaduna State, NDLEA operatives raided the home of one Joseph Sunday at Ungwa Pama, Birnin Gwari area of the state and recovered 48.3kg of cannabis from his room following credible intelligence.
Following a raid on Ugbuwe forest in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State, 146 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 2,044 kilograms were seized.
This is as one Ikechukwu Aleke was arrested in Kano State with 30,000 tablets of Tramadol, 225mg and 99 bottles of Codeine syrup. One Muktar Muhammad was also arrested with 370 bottles of Codeine cough syrup, weighing 60.4kg, and 900 tablets of Rohypnol
One Sufiyanu Abubakar was arrested in Kano with 400 plastic bottles of Codeine cough syrup weighing 52kg. Mutta Hassan Wada, who allegedly specializes in using courier firms to send drugs to a recipient in China, using cooking spice bottles for concealment, was equally nabbed by the agency’s operatives.
Meanwhile, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended operatives of the agency for strings of arrests and seizures in the past week, urging them to keep up the tempo.
“We have all laid our hands on the plough, there’s no looking back, no retreat or surrender and as such I urge all our officers and men to intensify the ongoing offensive action until the last gram of illicit drug is taken away from merchants of death,” Marwa said.