NDLEA arrests wanted drug kingpin after nine-year manhunt, declares another wanted
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Tuesday, said it has arrested one suspected drug kingpin who allegedly conducted illicit drug deliveries in the South-East and South-South parts of Nigeria.
The NDLEA’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said the suspect, Onyeaghalachi Stephen Nwagwugwu, is involved in the criminal activity with his elder brother, Eze Kaleb Stephen, who narrowly escaped during the overnight operation.
The agency said the two brothers began a career in the illicit drug business in the late 90s when they started as pocket dealers before they later established smoking joints/bunks in their community, Ntigha Okpuola and subsequently grew to become barons.
NDLEA noted that it has been on the brother’s trail since 2013 when they organized a mob attack on some of its operatives who attempted to apprehend them during a raid.
“At least, one of the officers attacked then is still bedridden to date. The two drug lords equally own armed militia guarding their houses and drug stores, where they deal in assorted illicit substances like Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine (Mpuru-miri), Loud/Arizona and all sorts,” NDLEA said.
“A fresh bid to bring the duo to book and end their criminal trade was launched four months ago, the NDLEA explained, leading to a simultaneous raid operation on their locations on Saturday, November 26, 2022.”
The agency noted that the younger brother, who lives in Umuahia, Abia State, was successfully arrested, while his elder sibling “narrowly escaped” when his Ntigha Okpuola community home was stormed by operatives backed by men of the Nigerian Army.
It added that in the course of the operation, one of their militiamen, Eberechi Kingsley Monday was also arrested.
NDLEA stated that during the manhunt quantities of cocaine and variants of cannabis were recovered from the siblings’ houses
The agency added that it has sealed the culprit two hotels, one eatery, and two mansions linked to them and has recovered three exotic vehicles from their homes.
It added that efforts are ongoing to trace more of their bank accounts and properties.
NDLEA’s chairman, Mohamed Buba Marwa commended the agency officers involved in the operation as well as the men of the military who supported them.
Buba Marwa urges the elder brother, Eze Kaleb Stephen to turn himself in before the Agency smokes him out, adding that there would be no hiding place for him.