Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted a large consignment of methamphetamine concealed in powdered custard containers as part of a consolidated cargo going to London, United Kingdom at the SAHCO export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos.
A statement by the agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi said the illicit drug consignment weighing 30.10 kilograms with a street value of N567million was detected and seized by NDLEA operatives at the airport on Tuesday 16th May.
He said this was swiftly followed by series of follow-up operations that led to the arrest of a freight agent, Nwobodo Chidiebere; a female suspect, Chioma Lucy Akuta and ultimately the drug lord behind the shipment, Charles Chinedu Ezeh, who was arrested at Sotel Suites, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos on Thursday 18th May.
The Agency said Ezeh claims he’s a businessman and deals in articles in Onitsha, Anambra State but investigations revealed he lived with his wife and children in London until 10th December 2022 when he fled to Nigeria after his involvement in a drug related offence in the UK.
Babafemi said, “Though he claimed to have been living in hotels since his return to Nigeria last December, operatives were however able to locate his mansion at No. 1 Hawawu Abikan Street, Lekki, on Friday 19th May, where a search was conducted and his travel and property documents among others were recovered.
“Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives in Adamawa on Monday 15th May arrested a 32-year-old notorious drug dealer, Prince Ikechukwu Uzoma, in Mubi area of the state with 1kg of skunk. Ikechukwu had twice been arrested in the past, and convicted for the same offence.
“He was in 2017 sentenced to six months imprisonment and in 2019 he was again sent to two years in jail. In the same vein, a trans-border trafficker, Faisal Mohammed, 27, was on Wednesday 17th May arrested in Mubi following the interception of a truck from Onitsha, Anambra State, where a total of 2,376 sachets of tramadol comprising 23,760 pills were found concealed in three blue rubber Jerrycans which were hidden underneath the body part of the trailer. The suspect admitted the opioid was to be taken to Cameroon.
“In Oyo state, two suspects: Osas Susan, 35, and Thomas Biodun, 23, were arrested at Igbon, Gambari in Ogbomoso North LGA with 2.13kg cannabis while Idris Muhammed, 55, was nabbed with 4,500 pills of tramadol when a commercial bus conveying him and other passengers was stopped and searched along Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
“While 552kg cannabis was recovered from a warehouse in a bush when operatives stormed and destroyed 1.5 hectares of cannabis farm in Uhodoua forest, Esan South East LGA, Edo state, 10 suspects were arrested with a total of 5.587kg cannabis sativa, 144.4grams of methamphetamine and 48, 260 capsules of tramadol in different parts of Onitsha, Anambra state on Friday 19th May.
“In Kwara, two suspects: Mohammed Isa, 47 and Mohammed Haman, 36, were arrested on Friday 19th May along Ilorin/Lagos road in a commercial bus on their way to Maiduguri, Borno state with 6kg cannabis, 50grams of methamphetamine and 20 pieces of military camouflage caps and uniforms. The same day, operatives in Jigawa state nabbed one Ibrahim Abdullahi, 53, with 120kg cannabis at Sara town in Gwaram LGA.
“Not less than 628 bottles of new psychoactive substance, skuchies when operatives raided a drug joint at Idanre where four suspects were arrested. They include: Olamide Olusola, 26; Abiodun Tijjani, 21; Fatope Temidayo, 29; Agba Obi, 30 and Olafisoye Festus, 26. In the same vein, a suspect, Kayode Hakeem, 22, was arrested at Hawan Dawaki, Kano with 293 blocks of cannabis weighing 211.6kg.
“Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended the officers and men of MMIA command for their professionalism and speed with which they were able to track and arrest another drug kingpin, Ezeh Chinedu Charles. He charged them and their colleagues in Adamawa, Oyo, Kaduna, Edo, Kwara, Jigawa, Ondo and Kano as well as those in other commands and formations across the country not to rest on their oars.”