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NDLEA nabs wanted kingpin, disabled drug dealer, Saudi-bound trafficker with cocaine in sandals

By Bertram Nwannekanma
28 November 2022   |   4:07 am
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have arrested a wanted notorious kingpin, Wasiu Sanni Gbolahan, popularly known as Teacher, who recruits mules for the cartel.

Seized Ilicit drugs

•Recovers 4kg cocaine soaked in towels from Brazilian returnee, over 5.8 tons of skunk
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have arrested a wanted notorious kingpin, Wasiu Sanni Gbolahan, popularly known as Teacher, who recruits mules for the cartel.
   
The operatives also disrupted activities of a major cocaine syndicate in Lagos, following the arrest of a 56-year-old trafficker, Lawal Lateef Oyenuga, who was on a mission to deliver 400 grammes of the class A drug concealed in a pair of palm sandals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
     
The swift follow-up by NDLEA operatives attached to the screening point of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos on Thursday. November 24, also saw the interception of Oyenuga with a pair of black palm sandals packed in the luggage he was going with to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia via Addis Ababa on an Ethiopian Airways flight.
   


Spokesperson for the Agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement, yesterday, said a thorough examination of the sandals revealed that they were used to conceal two parcels of cocaine weighing 400 grammes.
   
This came barely a week after a 56-year-old widow and mother of four, Mrs. Ajisegiri Kehinde Sidika, was arrested at the airport over her attempt to traffic 400 grammes of cocaine concealed in her footwear to Makkah, Saudi Arabia on board a Qatar Airways flight.
     
In his statement, Oyenuga claimed to be recruited by Gbolahan, adding that he was first given some pellets of cocaine to swallow, but when he couldn’t do that, he was given the ones concealed in the palm sandals.
   
He said he resorted to the criminal trade to raise money to pay an examination fee for his daughter, who is in Senior Secondary School class 3.
   
According to Babafemi, the Agency’s database revealed that  Wasiu Sanni (Teacher) has been linked to some previous attempts to traffic cocaine to Saudi Arabia and Dubai, United Arab Emirate (UAE).
   
He was earlier named as the one who recruited a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) driver, Bolajoko Muyiwa Babalola for a Lagos socialite and owner of Adekaz Hotels, Alhaji Ademola Afolabi Kazeem (a.k.a Alhaji Abdallah Kazeem Muhammed) to traffic drugs to Dubai.
 

Rahmat

Bolajoko was arrested on 27th June while taking 900 grammes of cocaine to Dubai while Ademola Kazeem was nabbed on Thursday 10th November, barely 10 days after he was declared wanted by NDLEA.
   
A follow up operation in the early hours of Friday,  November 25, led to the arrest of the kingpin, Teacher, who specialises in recruiting mules for drug barons in Lagos and its environs at his residence located in Ikorodu area of Lagos.
   
Gbolahan is a housing and property agent, with seven children and four wives, one of whom is now late.
   
In another follow up operation to the seizure of 1.10kg Cannabis  sativa concealed in bottles of body cream going to Dubai in September  9, the actual owner of the consignment, Wordu Hopewell Chukwuemeka who runs a boutique business in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was arrested in the Garden City on Thursday, November 24.
     
In the same vein, operatives attached to the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) import shed of the Lagos airport on Tuesday, November 22 intercepted a consolidated cargo from Johannesburg, South Africa via an Airpeace Airline flight. The cargo contained different items, including cloths, cereals, baby toys, drinks, and a set of two big black speakers, which were used to conceal 25 parcels of Loud variant of Cannabis sativa, with a gross weight of 5.5kg
   

Similarly, operatives attached to the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) export shed of the airport same Tuesday intercepted a carton of food items used to conceal 500 grammes of Cannabis sativa going to Dubai, UAE, while the owner, Uzoma Kingsley was promptly arrested.

ALSO, attempt by an organised criminal group to traffic 131kg of Ephedrine, a dominant precursor chemical for the production of Methamphetamine to Congo Kinshasa through the SAHCO export shed of the airport was foiled on Monday, November 21, by NDLEA operatives in conjunction with Aviation Security (AVSEC) officers of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). Two freight agents: Nwazuru Georgewill and Saheed Muritala linked to the bid were promptly arrested.
   
Meanwhile, an attempt by a drug trafficker, Udogwu James Johnson, facing multiple charges of drug offences to flee the country, after he jumped bail was thwarted by NDLEA operatives at the Port Harcourt International Airport, where he was arrested on Friday, November 25. The 51-year-old suspect was already facing trial at a Federal High Court in Lagos before he was arrested again on Saturday, April 9, in Port Harcourt for importing 5.48kg cocaine concealed in lotion plastic bottles sealed with candle wax
   
He was granted bail in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, November 23, over his latest offence, while the Lagos court had issued a warrant of arrest against him for jumping bail over his case in Lagos.
   
At the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, the move by a Brazilian returnee, Iroegbute Ejike Francis, 46, to smuggle 4kg cocaine soaked in towels stuffed in his hand luggage into the country was foiled on Thursday, November 24 by NDLEA officers who arrested him, upon his arrival on a Qatar Airline flight from Brazil -Doha-Abuja.

Ibrahim

ABOUT 5,851.3 kilogrammes (5.8 tons) of Cannabis sativa were seized from dealers across five states in the past week, including a notorious cripple, Ibrahim Yusuf, 45, who was arrested on Monday, November 21, at Gasline, Ifo, Ogun State with 4kg of the psychotropic substance, while a total of 36 bags weighing 570kg of the same substance were recovered in another raid at a forest in Ogunmakin town, Obafemi Owode Local Council.
   

In Edo, operatives on Tuesday, November 22, evacuated 141 bags of Cannabis Sativa with a gross weight of 1,884 kg (1.884 tons) stored in a warehouse in Okpe forest, Akoko Edo Local Council, while on Thursday, November 24, NDLEA officers arrested Ismaila Abubakar, 50, at Okada junction, Ovia South West Local Council with 22 bags of Cannabis Sativa weighing 216.5kg. A day after, operatives also seized 112 bags of Cannabis Sativa stored in Obi Camp forest, Ovia South West Local Council weighing 1, 512kg.
   
This was also followed by another seizure of 45 bags that weighed 529.5kg, while officers equally intercepted a Toyota Sienna bus with Reg. No. BDG 598 FZ (Lagos) loaded with 566.5kg  Cannabis Sativa going to Onitsha, Anambra State, and a suspect, Sunday Mathias, 30, arrested with the seizure.
   
In Ondo State, NDLEA operatives stormed Oke-Ogun forest on Friday, November 25, where Onyebuchi Chime was arrested with 88kg Cannabis Sativa, a gun and some ammunition, while they also recovered 149.5kg of the substance at Ipele forest. About 12.42 hectares of Cannabis Sativa farms were destroyed and 195kg processed weeds of the substance recovered at Efon Alaye, Ekiti State, where two dealers: Richard Ebong and Nze Abraham were arrested on Saturday, November 26.
   
In Oyo State, operatives arrested a 27-year-old Mrs. Adebayo Rahmat on Thursday, November 24, at Sabo-Ilupeju, Atiba Local Council, with 136.3kg Cannabis Sativa, while about 84,000 pills of tramadol tablets were recovered from a suspect, Muhsin Abdullahi in Bodinga area of Sokoto State same day. In the same vein, 16,000 pills of Exol-5 and D5 concealed in palm oil were seized from Lawal Rabe, 24, on Friday, November 25 at Kokami village, Danta Local Council, Katsina, while a total of 54,500 tablets of tramadol and Exol-5 were seized from the duo of Basiru Muhammadu and Saidu Yusuf in the same area on Saturday, November 26.

MEANWHILE, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd), has commended the officers and men of the MMIA, NAIA, PHIA, Edo, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Sokoto, Katsina and Oyo Commands of the Agency for their professionalism in the discharge of their duties and the remarkable results that followed.
   
He enjoined them and their compatriots across the country not to let down their guards as the nation approaches the festive season.