By Bisi LAWAL
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, made series of seizures and arrests of members of some transnational drug trafficking organisations through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja and courier companies in Lagos.
The suspects attempted to export various quantities of methamphetamine and skunk concealed in different items.
At the Lagos airport, NDLEA operatives on Tuesday 12th September intercepted an intending passenger going to Oman, Ugwu Peter Tochukwu, while trying to board a Qatar Airways flight. Upon a thorough search of his luggage, 7.50 kilograms of skunk were discovered concealed inside crayfish mixed with dry bitter leaf.
Also, NDLEA officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations attached to some courier companies also intercepted Dubai-bound 2.9 kilograms of skunk and 14 grams of methamphetamine concealed in bags of semovita and soles of ladies’ high heel shoes respectively.
In Imo state, operatives on patrol along Aba-Owerri expressway on Wednesday 13th September intercepted five pregnant teenage girls suspected to be victims of child trafficking used as baby factory. They were picked up while being relocated from their hideout in Naze area of Owerri to Ikenegbu area of the state capital.
The victims include: Chioma Emmanuel, 15; Uma Faith, 15; Divine Adimonye, 17; Opara Gift, 15; and Amarachi Mbata, 16. In their statements, they claimed they didn’t know the men who impregnated them. The Imo state command of the Agency has since been directed to hand them over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, for further investigations.
While two suspects: Moses Akowe, 32, and Sunday Gabriel, 31, were arrested with 227.1kgs of cannabis on Tuesday 11th September at Ikebe village, Ankpa LGA, Kogi state, a female suspect, Bilikisu Salako, 35, was nabbed with 108kgs of same substance on Saturday 16th September in Ifo area of Ogun state.
A total of 100 blocks of cannabis weighing 55kgs and 600 bottles of codeine-based syrup seized from the duo of Salisu Murtala and Shafi’u Dahiru on Tuesday 11th September along Abuja road have been traced to two other suspects: Muntari Nasiru and Yusuf Ali who were arrested in follow up operations in Kano.
In FCT Abuja, a 27-year-old Kingsley Chimaobi was arrested with 6,000 bottles of codeine-based syrup along Lokogoma-Abuja Road on Tuesday 11th September.
On Sunday, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the operatives and urged them to intensify their drug control efforts.
Marwa further applauded the commitment of all the commands across the country to work with other stakeholders to take the WADA sensitization lectures and advocacy messages to the communities, schools, worship centres, workplaces and traditional institutions. Marwa charged them not to relent in their efforts.