Desperate bids by drug cartels to push out millions of illicit drug tablets across Lagos and other parts of the country for the festive season have been frustrated by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), with the seizure of 8,381,600 capsules and tablets of Tramadol, as well as 56,782 bottles of codeine, among others in major raids.
Ahead of Christmas, the Chairman/Chief Executive, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), ordered sustained surveillance on some targets at Satellite Town and Alaba Rago areas of Lagos.
NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, noted in a statement on Sunday that the Satellite Town target was eventually raided on Thursday and a drug kingpin, Ezekiel Ibe, was arrested.
Over five tons of high milligrams Tramadol – 225mg and 100mg – were recovered from his warehouse. A breakdown of the seized drug shows 7,991,600 Tramadol tablets and 390,000 capsules of the same weighing 5,468.894 kilograms.
In another raid on December 20, following tasking surveillance in a notorious neighbourhood at Alaba Rago, Alaba area of Lagos, one Surajo Mohammed was arrested with 941.14kg cannabis while 56,782 bottles of codeine were seized from the store of another drug lord still at large.
Meanwhile, operatives of the agency have arrested a 22-year-old Amaka Ogonachukwu for attempting to smuggle wraps of cocaine concealed in cooked white rice for her boyfriend, Monday Imagbebenikaro, 40, who was already in the custody of the Edo State Command of NDLEA.
Monday was arrested earlier along Airport Road, Benin City in Oredo Local Government Area for dealing in crack cocaine, Cannabis Sativa, and Danabel (Anabolic steroids).
In a related development, an outbound passenger to Italy on a Turkish Airline, Ovire Cyril, has been arrested with 114 wraps of heroin with a gross weight of 1.80kg during a routine search at Gate “C’ Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos.
The drugs were concealed inside the pockets of four jean trousers, packed in a black suitcase. The suspect who confessed that he was pushed into the crime by hardship after he lost his Job, claimed he was promised €5,000 if he successfully delivers the consignment in Italy.
The same day, during outward clearance of Ethiopian Airline passengers’ luggage at the same gate, a male passenger, Osakue Evbuomwan travelling to Milan, Italy was arrested with 1.55kg of Tramadol concealed in a ‘Ghana must go’ bag.
Marwa, in his reaction, commended the commanders, officers and men of the Lagos, Edo and MMIA commands of the agency for not letting down their guard during the festive season.
He assured them and their counterparts in other commands that his leadership would always reward exemplary performance and asked them to remain focused and always aspire to surpass previous feats.