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NDLEA arrests 13 drug suspects in Ondo

By Bertram Nwannekanma
24 February 2022   |   4:05 am
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested13 drug suspects and recovered 250 kilogrammes of cannabis seeds as well as 63.85kg cannabis weeds during a major operation across five Local Councils of Ondo State.

• Destroys 255 hectares of cannabis farms
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested13 drug suspects and recovered 250 kilogrammes of cannabis seeds as well as 63.85kg cannabis weeds during a major operation across five Local Councils of Ondo State.

Spokesperson for the agency, Femi Babafemi in a statement, yesterday, stated that a total of 255 hectares of cannabis farms spread across the councils were destroyed in the operation that lasted seven days.

He stressed that the exercise, codenamed: ‘Operation Abub’, took place inside five major forests, namely; Omolowo/Powerline forest; Ipele forest; Ala forest; Ogbese forest; Utte and Okuluse forest

According to Babafemi, the exercise began at Ogbese forest on Tuesday, February 15, and lasted till Monday, February 21, 2022.

“At the Ogbese forest, a suspect, Olatunde Olaoluwa was arrested in his cannabis farm, measuring 10 hectares, which was destroyed and burnt along with other cannabis farms spread across the Ogbese riverbank.

“The following day, February 16, the agency’s Strike Force operatives in their numbers stormed Ipele forest, where they arrested Amos Mark; Luke Job; Monday Momoh, and Otunuya Waya, while 19 hectares of irrigated cannabis plantations were destroyed.One of the suspects, who escaped during the farm destruction, was later arrested in his house.

“The Omolowo community in Ogbese area was next on Wednesday, February 17, when one Mary Udonije was arrested inside a 10-hectare farm with 16.5kg of cannabis seeds and 4.5 kg of processed cannabis.

“Also recovered in the farm was an irrigation pumping machine with over 700 metres of hose for watering the illicit weed,” he added.

The agency’s spokesperson added that no fewer than 154kg of cannabis seeds was also seized at Ala forest, Akure North Local Council, with over 30 hectares of irrigation cannabis farms destroyed and burnt.

He stressed that a suspect, John Mike, who claimed to be a labourer was also arrested with 2.5kg of cannabis seeds.

Babafemi said  on day four of the operation, 54 hectares of cannabis farm was destroyed at Utte and Okuluse forests in Ose Local Council of the state, while 95kg of cannabis seeds, 2.5kg of processed cannabis sativa and a pumping machine with long hose were also recovered from the same farm.

“On the fifth day, one Anthony Agbe, 58, was arrested with 43kg of fresh cannabis inside a farm that was earlier destroyed at Ogbese.  The suspect claimed that he was contracted by one Henry Daniel, (a.k.a Calender), now at large to help gather the destroyed cannabis weeds.”

“On the same day, one Ahmadu Abubakar, was arrested with three Dane guns in a hut within a farm where over three hectares were destroyed at Akure North Local Council,

“On the last day of the operation, Monday, February 21, over 50 clusters of cannabis farm spread across 47 hectares were destroyed and 2kg of cannabis seeds seized, while a suspect, Olorunlogo Lekan was arrested inside a large cannabis farm measuring 10 hectares at Ala forest, before it was destroyed and burnt by Strike Force officers drawn across Edo, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states Commands of the agency.

“At least, 72 hectares of other cannabis farms in small clusters close to the identified ones in the five forests, were also destroyed in the course of the operation,” the statement added.

MEANWHILE, Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended officers and men of the Strike Force corps of the agency for their sacrifices and commitment to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that all such cultivation and plantations in the forests must be located and destroyed.

The agency boss urged them to look out for such farms in any part of the country for a similar response.