Three major illicit drug syndicates were taken down by operatives of a special unit of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in intelligence-led operations across parts of Lagos state, leading to the arrest of a baroness and four other kingpins with multi-billion naira worth of Cocaine, Opioids and Loud recovered from their hideouts.
A female head of one of the syndicates, Faith Ebele Nwankwo was arrested on Wednesday 9th August at her residence, House 6, C close, 3rd Avenue, Festac area of Lagos shortly after she returned from a warehouse at Plot 3432 Sola Akinsola Street, Divine Estate, Amuwo Odofin where she loaded eight cartons of tramadol 225mg into an unmarked white Honda Pilot SUV.
A search of her residence and the warehouse led to the recovery of Two Million Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand (2,750,000) pills of tramaking, a brand of tramadol 225mg and 250mg packed in 39 cartons weighing 1,916 kilograms. The drugs and the SUV were recovered while the suspect was taken into custody.
In another operation targeted at a group of transnational syndicate involved in importation, exportation, distribution, and dealing in Cocaine and Canadian Loud, operatives of the same Special Unit of the Agency on Friday 4th August tracked the drug syndicate to Atlantic Nominee Estate in Lekki- Ajah area of Lagos where a blue Toyota Highlander SUV was loaded with 8.49kg of cocaine and 10.3kg Canadian Loud for distribution by the duo of Urama Chinemelum Precious, 32, and Adelakun Ilelabayo Oluade, 55. A follow-up operation at the residence of Chinemelum at House 7, Road 7, Lagra estate, Eti-Osa, Lagos led to the recovery of additional 18 blocks of Loud weighing 18.5kg.
The following day, Saturday 5th August, operatives of the Special Unit went after another syndicate involved in importation, distribution and diversion of ephedrine hydrochloride, a precursor chemical used for the production of methamphetamine, following intelligence that members of the cartel were planning to divert 25 kilograms of the substance.
Two members of the syndicate: Udeh Vincent Ogbonna, 53, and Okonkwo Ifeanyi Uzozie, 50, were arrested at a commercial bus terminal in Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos where they were attempting to send the concealed substance to the South East. A body search conducted on the two suspects led to the recovery of Three Thousand ($3,000) US Dollars found on Udeh Vincent Ogbonna.
In operations across four other states of Ogun, Ondo, Edo and Nasarawa, NDLEA operatives recovered over 13,391.8 kilograms of skunk. No fewer than 1,955kgs of the illicit substance packed in 139 jumbo bags and stored in the warehouse of a wanted notorious drug dealer, Lekan Jimoh (aka Konmo Konmo) in Ado Odo Ota area of Ogun state were recovered in the early hours of Saturday 12th August in collaboration with officers and men of the Nigerian Army.
In Ondo, Ogbu Paul Odey, 30; Daniel Osidi, 34; John Iyage, 41; Friday Simon, 28; and Friday James, 24, were arrested in connection with the seizure and/or destruction of over 10,325.5kgs of cannabis sativa in Iju and Ala forests, in Akure area of the state between Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th August.
While 22-year-old James Aga was arrested during the raid of an uncompleted building on the outskirts of Utese town in Ovia North East LGA of Edo State on Friday 11th August with 10kg skunk, 976kg of the same substance was recovered from the building in addition to the recovery of four motorcycles. In an earlier operation in Utese forest on Tuesday 8th August, at least 46.545kgs of skunk were recovered and 1.581146 hectares of cannabis farms destroyed while two suspects: Onyelunisue Azuka, 48 and Abraham Ayomide, 30, were arrested.
In Nasarawa state, 49-year-old Umar Abdullahi, was arrested on Friday 11th August with 64.8kgs of cannabis sativa in Doma LGA, while NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation, DOGI, on Wednesday 9th August intercepted a 4.5kg consignment of Loud coming from the United States at a courier firm in Lagos.
In his reaction to the clinical dismantling of the three drug syndicates and arrest of their kingpins, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the Special Unit for being pro-active and pragmatic in the operations. He also applauded their colleagues in Ogun, Ondo, Edo and Nasarawa Commands as well as those of DOGI for their zeal and professionalism. He charged them and their compatriots across the country to remain vigilant and focused.
Director, Media and Advocacy
NDLEA Headquarters Abuja
Sunday 13th August 2023