The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized 203, 879 tablets of various pharmaceutical opioids and illicit substances in raids across Abia, Kaduna, Yobe and Kogi state.
The Agency also said it foiled bids by drug cartels to export Tramadol, Ecstasy MDMA and Cannabis to Milan, Italy and Dubai, United Arab Emirates through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos.
Spokesman of the Agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement yesterday, equally said five members of a syndicate, which conducts fake recruitment into security agencies, were arrested in coordinated operations in Zamfara, Kebbi and Bauchi states.
Babafemi said that at the Lagos airport, a female passenger, Odia Emiliana Efe was arrested on May 9 while trying to board a Royal Air Morocco flight from Lagos via Casablanca to Milan, Italy with 1000 tablets of Tramadol 200mg concealed in food items.
He said five days after, on May 13, a freight agent Kareem Ibrahim was arrested at the SAHCO cargo shed of the airport for attempting to export food items in which were hidden blocks of cannabis weighing 6.65kg and 24g of ecstasy drug, MDMA to Dubai in UAE.
The statement reads, “In Abia, three trucks loaded with drugs coming from Lagos and Onitsha were intercepted in Aba, Abia State. When properly searched in the presence of the owners on Wednesday 11th May, 67,100 tablets/capsules of Tramadol and 12,650 ampules of pentazocine, morphine and dopamine were recovered.
“On the same day, NDLEA operatives in Kaduna arrested a notorious drug dealer, Shehu Kabiru a.k.a Dan-Zaira, wanted by the Kastina Command of the Agency for jumping bail. Recovered from him include: 45,000 tablets of Diazepam weighing 41.5kg; 50,000 tablets of Exol, weighing 15.6kg; 1,500 tablets of Rohypnol weighing 700 grams and 300 bottles of codeine weighing 41.5kg.
“In Yobe State, no fewer than 7,029 tablets of Tramadol, D5, and Exol as well as 1.5kg cannabis were recovered from a drug dealer, Ibrahim Yakubu, when his hideout was raided in Unguru town on Sunday 8th May, while in Rivers state, one Chekiri Richard Obomanu was arrested at Eleme area on Wednesday 11th May with 207.2kg cannabis.
“No less than 19,600 tablets of Tramadol coming from Onitsha, Anambra state to Abuja were intercepted and recovered along Okene/Abuja highway on Wednesday 11th May by NDLEA operatives in Kogi State.”
Also, over 3,539 suspects have been arrested and 65,916kg of assorted illicit drugs seized within the first quarter of this year, NDLEA chair Brig.-Gen Buba Marwa (rtd) said.
Marwa was speaking at the Western Naval Command (WNC), Apapa, while receiving two Epenal boats donated to the agency by the Nigerian Navy (NN) to boost its drug war.
Represented by the Director, Seaport Operations of the NDLEA, Mrs. Omolade Faboyade, Marwa said the agency broke its first quarter operational record with the arrests which included that of a “rogue security personnel and a well-known billionaire baron.
Reiterating the agency’s commitment to contain proliferation of drugs in the country, Marwa said security organisations can no longer afford to work in silos, adding that illicit drug trafficking, as a transnational organised crime, required the deployment of intelligence and close-knit with key stakeholders like the navy and other security organisations.
He said: “In our effort to stem the ride of narcotic drugs, we have gone the extra mile and that includes the pursuit of synergy with organisations in the security sector.
“So far, our efforts in one year showed that the strategy is effective. In 2022, we recorded the arrest of more than 12,300 suspected drug offenders, including seven drug barons with 1,400 traffickers jailed.”
“We were able to counsel and rehabilitate 8,000 drug users and in the same period, also, we mopped up over 3.4 million kilograms of assorted drugs. Interestingly, drugs and illicit proceeds of drug crime worth over N130 billion were successfully recovered.”