The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said that an ongoing investigation of a suspected drug baron, (name withheld) has led to the discovery of more than N22billion worth of tramadol.
This is contained in a statement by NDLEA Director Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the investigation led to how the suspect in October 2019 imported into Nigeria two containers, containing 1,284 cartons of Tramadol with a market value of over N22billion.
He said that the statement was to counter insinuations by some hirelings that NDLEA had no evidence to pin a crime on the suspect, widely believed to be the chair of a group of firms.
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According to him, after months of surveillance, the suspect was eventually arrested on board a flight to Abuja at the MM2 Terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja, on Wednesday, April 13.
The agency noted, “Investigations revealed that he has been a major importer of large consignments of different brands and high dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg and 250mg, all of which are illicit.
“He (withheld) owns pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies, which he used as a cover to import illicit drugs into Nigeria.”
The agency said in the course of investigating the N3billion Tramadol saga between the suspect and the Abba Kyari’s IRT team, its operatives have unearthed more evidence.
According to Babafemi, the suspect has been importing large quantities of Tramadol far above the approved threshold allowed into Nigeria.
Release Nnamdi Kanu As Christmas Gift To S’East, HURIWA Urges Buhari
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Sunday, tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to free the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, as a 2022 Christmas gift to the South-East geopolitical zone.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, challenged the president to be a man of his words by leaving the judiciary to decide on Kanu’s fate without any political interference or vendetta. The group asked Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to comply with the appellate court’s judgement of freeing Kanu from the Department of State Services (DSS) before Christmas.
HURIWA believes that the release of Kanu would restore peace and stability to the South-East of Nigeria and restore economic growth of the zone. HURIWA expressed disappointment and consternation at the nonchalant attitudes of the governors of the South East of Nigeria towards mounting pressure on President Buhari to free Kanu from detention.
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In May, Buhari, at a meeting with Ebonyi State Stakeholders’ Forum at the Government House in Abakaliki, said a political solution to Kanu’s travails was impossible and insisted that only the court would decide his fate.
“I have listened carefully to the various appeals from the elders to the traditional leaders regarding a wide range of options and as I have said previously, this matter remains in the full purview of the court where it will be properly adjudicated,” Buhari had promised.
However, about 18 months since his unwarranted detention at the DSS custody in Abuja, the IPOB leader has not tasted freedom despite the judgement of the Appeal Court granting him freedom and awarding billions of naira as damages against the Federal Government for his extraordinary rendition from Kenya mid-2021.
At the moment, the major presidential candidates for the 2023 general elections including Labour Party’s Peter Obi, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party have opined that they would explore dialogue to end secessionist agitations in the South-East and restore the economy of the Igbo people which has been marred with untold violence and activities of unknown gunmen.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “As though a norm, all the major presidential candidates for the 2023 presidential election have adopted negotiated settlement to end agitations by IPOB and other secessionist groups like that of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho.
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NDLEA nabs wanted kingpin, Saudi-bound trafficker with cocaine in sandals
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Sunday confirmed the arrest of a 56-year-old cocaine trafficker, Lawal Oyenuga, who was on a mission to deliver 400grams of the class A drug concealed in a pair of palm sandals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The agency’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, in a statement, also said a wanted notorious kingpin, Wasiu Gbolahan, aka Teacher, who recruits mules for the cartel, was also arrested.
Babafemi said, “The NDLEA operatives attached to the screening point of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, had on Thursday, November 24, intercepted Lawal 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.
“A thorough examination of the sandals revealed they were used to conceal two parcels of cocaine weighing 400 grams. This is barely a week after a 56-year-old widow and mother of four, Ajisegiri Sidika, was arrested at the airport over her attempt to traffic 400 grams of cocaine concealed in her footwear to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, on board a Qatar Airways flight.
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“In his statement, Oyenuga claimed he was recruited to traffic the drug by Wasiu Gbolahan, popularly known as Teacher, adding that he was first given some pellets of cocaine to swallow but when he couldn’t do that, then 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.”
Babafemi said the agency’s database revealed that Gbolahan had been linked to some previous attempts to traffic cocaine to Saudi Arabia and Dubai, UAE, adding that he was earlier named as the one who recruited a BRT driver, Bolajoko Babalola, for Lagos socialite and owner of Adekaz Hotels, Alhaji Ademola Kazeem, aka Alhaji Abdallah Kazeem Muhammed, to traffic drugs to Dubai.
“Bolajoko was arrested on June 27 while taking 900 grams of cocaine to Dubai while Ademola Kazeem was nabbed on Thursday November 10, barely 10 days after he was declared wanted by the NDLEA. A follow up operation in the early hours of Friday, November 25, led to the arrest of the kingpin, (Gbolahan) Teacher, who specialises in recruiting mules for drug barons in Lagos and its environs at his residence located in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.”
In another follow up operation to the seizure of 1.10kg cannabis concealed in bottles of body cream going to Dubai on September 9, Babafemi said the actual owner of the consignment, Wordul Chukwuemeka, who runs a boutique business in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was arrested on Thursday, November 24.
Babafemi also confirmed arrests of two freight agents, Nwazuru Georgewill and Saheed Muritala; a Brazilian returnee, Iroegbute Francis; and a notorious cripple, Ibrahim Yusuf, one Uzoma Kingsley, for drug related offences.
He also said Ismaila Abubakar, Sunday Mathias, Onyebuchi Chime, Richard Ebong and Nze Abraham, Adebayo Rahmat, Muhsin Abdullahi, Lawal Rabe, Basiru Muhammadu, and Saidu Yusuf, among others, were arrested for similar offense. Punch
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