NDLEA arrests grandma, pregnant woman, others over 5,527.15kg Meth, Skunk
•Declares Abuja drug lord, ‘Ibrahim Bendel’ wanted
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a 60-year-old grandmother, a pregnant woman and others for drug related offences.
The suspects were arrested during operations in which 5,527.15 kilogrammes of methamphetamine and Cannabis sativa, as well as 132,090 tablets of tramadol and 2,000 bottles of codeine were recovered across five states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, in the past week.
Spokesperson for the Agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement yesterday, said the grandma, Mrs. Ibinosun Sandra Esther, was arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State in a follow up operation, following the seizure of 5.5kg Loud variant of cannabis imported into the country from South Africa.
The consignment, which she claimed was sent by her daughter was concealed in two giant speakers as part of a consolidated cargo that arrived the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) import shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on board an Airpeace Airline flight.
In a related development, NDLEA operatives on Saturday, November 26, intercepted 1.4 kilogrammes of methamphetamine concealed inside custard tins packed that also has cosmetics and foodstuffs going to Brazil via Doha on a Qatar Airways flight.
A cargo agent, Salako Omolara Fausat, who brought the bag containing the illicit drug to the airport and an intending passenger to Brazil, Anyanwu Christian, who was to travel with the consignment, were promptly arrested.
Another attempt by a freight agent, Adebisi Aina Hafsat, to export 3,000 tablets of tramadol concealed in motor spare parts to Banjul, Gambia through the NAHCO export shed was equally thwarted by operatives who seized the consignment and arrested her on Monday, November 28, while a follow up operation to Ebute Metta area of Lagos the following day, Tuesday, November 29, led to the arrest of the actual owner, Afam Chibuke Stanley, who is a spare parts seller.
This was followed by the seizure of 100,000 tablets of Royal brand of tramadol 200mg with a gross weight of 68.90 kilograms imported from Karachi, Pakistan on Ethiopian Airlines at the SAHCO import shed.
In Abuja, operatives who stormed the warehouse of a notorious drug lord and an ex-convict, Ibrahim Momoh, alias ‘Ibrahim Bendel’, who escaped from prison custody to return to his criminal trade and recovered 81 jumbo bags of Cannabis sativa weighing 1,278kgs.
Though the fleeing drug dealer is still at large and is wanted by the Agency, his warehouse keeper, a 55-year-old Ghanaian, Richard Forson Gordon, was arrested.
Momoh was first arrested on November 27, 2014, with the same substance weighing 385.1kgs, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to seven and a-half- years in prison on April 22, 2020, but escaped from jail after three months. Meanwhile, no fewer than 2,000 bottles of codeine-based syrup were seized in a commercial bus by operatives on Friday, December 2, along Lokoja – Abuja expressway.
In Rivers State, operatives on Saturday, December 3, arrested a 29-year-old pregnant woman, Kate Ibinabo, with 34.4kgs Cannabis sativa in Okrika area of the state.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd) has, however, directed that she be granted administrative bail pending when she’s delivered of her baby, and thereafter, return for her prosecution, because at the time of her arrest, she’s in her ninth month of pregnancy.
In Ondo State, 241 bags of the psychoactive substance with a gross weight of 3,133kg were recovered from a building at Ilale Cashew, Ehinogbe, Owo, on Tuesday, November 29. At least, 507.9kgs of Cannabis sativa were also seized during a raid at the hideout of a fleeing drug dealer in Mushin area of Lagos on Thursday, December 1.
In Cross River, 53 jumbo bags of Cannabis sativa weighing 567.05kgs were seized from three suspects: Bassey Boniface Eyibio, 38; Effiong Akiba Etim, 30 and Ngbong Raymond, 45 at Mpara junction, Odukpani Council on Thursday, December 1, while conveying the consignment in a bus marked CKK 74 AA.
Operatives equally arrested another suspect, Ali Mohammed, along Potiskum- Damaturu road after they found 29,090 tablets of tramadol in his personal Honda car marked ABC 914 RW coming from Gombe to Damaturu, Yobe State.
While commending the officers and men of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Rivers, Ondo, Lagos, Cross River and Yobe Commands of the Agency for the arrests and seizures, Gen. Marwa charged them and their counterparts across other formations to continue to step up their offensives against drug cartels.