The operatives of the NDLEA intercepted a desperate attempt by drug dealers to smuggle over Two Million Four Hundred and Sixty-Five Thousand (2,465,000) tablets of Tramadol, weighing Two Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Six kilograms (2,356kgs) with an estimated street value of One Billion, Forty Million Naira (N1, 040, 000, 000) into Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos.
The seizure of the drug which happened on Friday 7th October 2022 came barely a week after an estimated quantity 13.5million tablets of Tramadol worth over N8.8billion were recovered by NDLEA operatives from one of the mansions of a billionaire drug baron in the highbrow residential estate of, Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lekki Lagos.
In a statement on Sunday, Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, said the drugs were intercepted by the agency’s operatives at Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Friday.
He said the consignment of 52 cartons arrived in Nigeria from Karachi in Pakistan, adding that the seized substances are against medical use and have been banned in the country.
“Following credible intelligence, the Agency had shown interest in the consignment of 52 cartons that came into Nigeria from Karachi, Pakistan with six different airway bills via Ethiopian Airline flight, comprising seven cartons of 250mg of a brand called tamral and 45 cartons of 225mg, branded as tramaking. Soon after its arrival at the Lagos airport, the NDLEA called for a joint examination of the consignment with other stakeholders and after its information was confirmed by all, the 52 cartons of the seized substance which are above the recommended threshold for medical use and banned in the country, were moved to the agency’s facility.”
In the same vein, another bid to export through the airport 15 parcels of cannabis and 600grams of tramadol 225mg concealed in a sack of crayfish to Dubai, UAE was equally thwarted by operatives who seized the consignment and subsequently arrested a freight agent, Osahor Alex Ekwueme, who presented it for export.
In another development, the operatives nabbed one Ifeanyi Egbuwaohia over his connection with the seizure of 5.20kg of cannabis concealed in kegs of palm oil to be smuggled to Dubai.
“Weeks after NDLEA operatives intercepted 5.20kgs of cannabis concealed in kegs of palm oil going to Dubai at the NAHCO export shed of the airport, the brain behind the consignment, Ifeanyi Egbuwaohia, has been arrested in Igando area of Lagos,” Babafemi said.
“Though Ifeanyi works as a technician at Computer Village, Ikeja but beneath his known business he also works with a drug network in Dubai, where he sends illicit drugs for distribution. Few hours after his arrest, another consignment of 2.60kgs of the same substance sent by him for export to Dubai was also intercepted by operatives at the airport.”
Two suspected drug dealers, identified as Olatunji Kehinde Temiola and Osemojoye Femi Sunday, were also apprehended with 1.30kgs of cannabis concealed in reconstructed engine blocks going to Dubai.
He added that a federal high court in Lagos, on Thursday, sentenced one Surajo Muhammed, a notorious drug dealer, to seven years imprisonment.
“Ten months after his arrest by NDLEA, a notorious drug dealer in Alaba Rago area of Ojo, Lagos, Alhaji Surajo Mohammed has been convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment by a federal high court in Lagos presided over by Justice Yellin Dogoro,” he added.
“Surajo was arrested with 941.15kgs cannabis on Monday 20th December 2021 and arraigned in court in charge number FHC/L/370c/2021. In the judgment delivered on Thursday 6th October 2022, the Judge however gave the convict an option of seven million naira fine.”
“Meanwhile, In Kaduna state, a female drug dealer, Peace Ayuba, was on Friday 7th October arrested at Kakau Gonin Gora with seventy eight (78) bags of cannabis sativa weighing 849.5kgs, while operatives in Sokoto state arrested Onyeka Owo, 28, with 443 bottles of codeine based syrup.”
Buba Marwa, NDLEA chairman, commended the officers for their efforts and urged them to remain “steadfast, resolute and unrelenting until the last gram of illicit drugs is taken away from the streets of Nigeria”.
This is indeed a good time for Nigeria under the leadership of the president Muhammadu Buhari