At least three hundred and forty-five suspected drug dealers have been arrested by the Katsina State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The suspects comprising three hundred and thirty-nine (339) males and six (6) females were arrested from January to May 2022 as part of the command’s efforts to balance the drug demand and supply reduction in the State.
The Commander of Narcotics and State Commander of the NDLEA, Mohammed Bashir Ibrahim, disclosed this on Monday in a press briefing held at the Command Headquarters as part of activities lined up to commemorate the UN Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking.
Ibrahim said without the period under review, three hundred and eighty-eight (388) substance abuse persons were counseled and rehabilitated, adding that presently, the Command has Nineteen (19) clients undergoing rehabilitation at the Command’s Rehabilitation Centre.
He further stated that the command also secured fifteen (15) convictions within the period under review but expressed sadness that over 90% of arrested suspects and counseled clients are between 15-40 years.
The theme for this year is “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises”.
Activities lined up by the command to commemorate the day include:
1. Monday 20th June 2022: Press briefing/quiz competition among Secondary Schools in the three senatorial zones.
2. Tuesday 21st June 2022: Sensitization/Awareness program in some selected Secondary Schools in the State.
3. Wednesday 22nd June 2022: The quiz final in Katsina.
4. Thursday 23rd June 2022: One ( 1) day Seminar for Law Enforcement Officers.
5. Friday 24th June 2022: Jumu’at Prayer.
6. Saturday 25th June 2022: Sports Competition.
7. Sunday 26th June 2022: Church Service.
8. Monday 27th June 2022: Grand Finale: Lecture, Presentation of Gifts, Special Guest of honor: His Excellency.
The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a bail application filed by an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Bawa James, who is a co-defendant in the drug trafficking case preferred against suspended DCP Abba Kyari and others.
In a ruling, Justice Emeka Nwite holds that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has succeeded in proving its argument beyond doubt why the court should not admit Mister James to a bail.
Justice Nwite further aligned with the argument of counsel for NDLEA, Joseph Sunday, that James is a flight risk and that he might jump bail.
Operatives of National Drug Law Enforcement (NDLEA) have seized 4.1 kilograms of cocaine wrapped in tea bags as well as arrested four traffickers at the Lagos and Abuja airports.
The spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, said this in a statement issued on Sunday, explaining that the cocaine was intercepted from a Brazil-based cartel.
“At least, four traffickers involved in the attempts to import and export illicit drugs through the country in the last week are now in the custody of the agency,” the statement read.
“One of them is 33-year-old Pascal Ekene Okolo, an indigene of Ihe in Ogwu Local Government Area of Enugu State, who was arrested during an inward clearance of Qatar Airways flight from Sao Paulo via Doha at the arrival hall of the NAIA on Sunday 17th April.
“Okolo, who claimed to be into wine business in Brazil, was arrested with a travelling bag containing different medicinal tea bags, which were used to conceal 4.1 kilograms of cocaine.”
According to the anti-drug agency, a Canada-based Nigerian, Anigo Christian Godspower, was intercepted at the D-Arrival Hall of the MMIA during an inward clearance of passengers on Qatar Airways from Sao Paolo via Doha to Lagos. This happened last Sunday.
Two blocks of cocaine weighing 2.10kg were discovered when his luggage was searched. But the suspect, 52, and a native of Udi local council area of Enugu State, claimed he ran an unregistered Bureau De Change business before taking up the illicit drug trade.
“The bid by another cartel to export 950 grams of Heroin concealed in the soles of lady’s footwear through the MMIA cargo shed was equally foiled by anti-narcotic officers who have so far arrested two suspects linked to the crime,” it added.
“Those arrested between 16th and 17th April in connection with an attempt to export the drug to Monrovia, Liberia include Idokoja Solomon Chukwurah and Patrick John Tochukwu.”
This is just as a suspected fake security agent was arrested on Saturday 23rd April in Abuja while moving 23.8kg of cannabis from Lagos to Maiduguri, Borno State.
In his reaction to the feats, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa also commended the operatives of the affected commands.
Actor Johnny Depp was grilled about his drug and alcohol use and coarse text messages as he took the witness stand on Thursday for a third day at his defamation case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
Heard’s lawyer Ben Rottenborn spent more than five hours seeking to undermine the credibility of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star before the seven-person jury hearing the suit in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
The 58-year-old Depp was asked about his trashing of hotel rooms and the circumstances of an incident in Australia in which the tip of the middle finger on his right hand was severed.
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in a major operation that lasted seven days, have destroyed a total of 255 hectares of cannabis farms spread across five local government areas of Ondo state.
In addition, 13 suspects were arrested and 250 kilograms of cannabis seeds as well as 63.85kg cannabis weeds were recovered during the operation deep inside five major forests: Omolowo/Powerline forest; Ipele forest; Ala forest; Ogbese forest; Utte and Okuluse forest that spread across five local council areas of the state.
The exercise codenamed ‘Operation Abub’, which began at Ogbese forest on Tuesday 15th February lasted till Monday, February 21, 2022.
At the Ogbese forest, a suspect, Olatunde Olaoluwa was arrested in his cannabis farm measuring 10 hectares, which was destroyed and burnt along with other cannabis farms spread across the Ogbese riverbank.
The following day, 16th of Feb, the Agency’s Strike Force operatives in their numbers stormed Ipele forest where they arrested Amos Mark; Luke Job; Monday Momoh, and Otunuya Waya while 19 hectares of irrigated cannabis plantations were destroyed. One of the suspects, who escaped during the farm destruction, was later arrested in his house.
The Omolowo community in Ogbese area was next on Wednesday 17th Feb when one Mary Udonije was arrested inside a 10-hectare farm with 16.5kg of cannabis seeds and 4.5 kg of processed cannabis. Also recovered in the farm was an irrigation pumping machine with over 700 metres of hose for watering the illicit weed.
NDLEA’s Media Director, Femi Babafemi, disclosed on Wednesday that not less than 154kg of cannabis seeds was also seized at Ala forest, Akure North Local Government Area with over 30 hectares of irrigation cannabis farms destroyed and burnt. A suspect, John Mike who claimed to be a labourer was also apprehended with 2.5kg of cannabis seeds.
On day four of the operation, 54 hectares of cannabis farm was destroyed at Utte and Okuluse forest, Ose Local Government Area of the state. Also recovered in the farm was 95kg of cannabis seeds, 2.5kg of processed cannabis Sativa and a pumping machine with a long hose.
On the fifth day, one Anthony Agbe, 58, was arrested with 43kg of fresh cannabis inside a farm that was earlier destroyed at Ogbese.
He claimed he was contracted by one Henry Daniel, (a.k.a Calender) who is at large to help gather the destroyed cannabis weeds. On the same day, one Ahmadu Abubakar was arrested with three Dane guns in a hut within a farm where over three hectares were destroyed at Akure North Local Government Area of the state.
On the last day of the operation, February 21, over 50 clusters of cannabis farm spread across 47 hectares were destroyed and 2kg of cannabis seeds seized, while a suspect, Olorunlogo Lekan was apprehended inside a large cannabis farm measuring 10 hectares at Ala forest before it was destroyed and burnt by Strike Force officers drawn across Edo, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states Commands of the anti-narcotic agency.
At least, 72 hectares of other cannabis farms in small clusters close to the identified ones in the five forests were also destroyed in the course of the operation.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the Strike Force corps of the Agency for their sacrifices and commitment to the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that all such cultivation and plantations in the forests must be located and destroyed. He charged them to look out for more of such farms in any part of the country for a similar response.
Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to order the Federal Government to release the detained Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, from the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The judge rather ordered that Kyari put the Federal Government on notice of the existence of the suit he instituted against it.
The suspended DCP had taken the Federal Government before the court, challenging his continued detention by the agency. In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/182/22, Kyari sought an order of the court to immediately release him and in the alternative, the suspended DCP, who is being held by the NDLEA over his alleged involvement in hard drug trafficking, asked the court to admit him to bail in liberal conditions.
In an ex-parte application by his counsel, Cynthia Ikena, Kyari claimed to be suffering from diabetes and hypertension and needs urgent medical attention.
In a brief ruling, Justice Ekwo declined to order his immediate release but ordered him to put the respondent( FG), on notice. The judge ordered him to go and serve all processes he filed on the Federal Government.
Justice Ekwo held that all averments and allegations made against the Federal Government are weighty that the court must give the government the opportunity to hear from it before taking any step. He, thereafter, fixed February 24 for the parties to appear before him.
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted fake $4.7 million cash from Abuja.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said operatives of the agency had in the early hours of Friday, February 18 stopped a consignment sent from Lagos to Abuja at the Abaji area of the Federal Capital Territory.
According to Babafemi, controlled delivery of the parcelled counterfeit notes totaling $4.7m led to the arrest of a principal suspect, 52-year-old Abdulmumini Maikasuwa.
The seizure followed intelligence received by the FCT Command of the agency detailing the movement of the cash and the vehicle conveying it, after which the NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (retired) directed that both the cash and the suspect in custody be transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation.
Meanwhile, a nursing mother, Mrs. Rashidat Adebayo, has again been arrested in Offa, Kwara State with assorted drugs such as Tramadol, Swinol, Diazepam, and Pentazocine injection ampules.
This is coming barely three weeks after NDLEA operatives granted the 38-year-old mother administrative bail following her arrest for dealing in illicit drugs.
Similarly, in Adamawa State, two drug dealers – Sani Isa (aka Bilaz) and Bala Yerima – were nabbed in Hong with 239 blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 209kg, just as operatives of the Bauchi state Command have intercepted a truck marked FFF 422 XB coming from Lagos to Maiduguri, at Azare, Bauchi.
A total of 164.8kg of Cannabis Sativa concealed in peak milk cartons was recovered from the truck.
Reacting to the arrest, Marwa hailed the officers and men of the FCT Command for their vigilance and preventing counterfeit $4.7 million from going into the streets.
He equally admonished them and their counterparts in Adamawa, Kwara, Bauchi, and others across the country not to rest on their oars.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has said that it has no reason to shield anyone who may be indicted in the course of the ongoing investigation of a 25kg cocaine deal involving a gang headed by DCP Abba Kyari.
In a statement on Wednesday, the NDLEA debunked claims suggesting that the drug mules involved in the case contacted its officers.
The agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, asserted that on the contrary, the traffickers, who were apprehended at the airport in Enugu, were in touch with the police team led by Kyari. Mr Babafemi assured that the NDLEA remains committed to the evidence-based investigation and its resolve cannot be weakened by any misrepresentation of facts.
These comments come two days after the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police and former Head of the IRT, was declared wanted and arrested alongside four members of his team over alleged links with drug trafficking.
Speaking on the arrest, spokesman for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said an interim investigation revealed that the two international drug couriers who were arrested at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, had strong ties with some officers of the NDLEA.
According to CSP Adejobi, the narcotics agency had officers in Enugu who were on the drug cartel’s payroll. He further disclosed that the two arrested couriers confirmed that the modus was for the transnational drug barons to conspire with the NDLEA officers on duty and send them their pre-boarding photographs for identification, seamless clearance, and unhindered passage out of the airport with the narcotics being trafficked.
The suspects also confirmed that they have been enjoying this relationship with the NDLEA officers at the Enugu Airport since 2021 and had in this instant case of 19th January 2022, been identified and cleared by the NDLEA officers as customary, having received their pre-departure photographs and other details prior to their arrival in Enugu.
They were on their way out with the narcotics when they were apprehended by the police. Reacting to these claims, the NDLEA in its recent communique quoted from the transcript of Abba Kyari’s recorded conversation with an undercover officer and a portion of ASP James Bawa’s statement, another officer who was arrested in connection with the deal.
NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi explained that, according to the police investigation report, ASP James Bawa in his statement to the police revealed that “he was called by an informant identified as IK from Brazil who told him that a drug courier will be arriving on board Ethiopian Airlines in Enugu”.
Bawa in his confession further explained that “a pointer from IK, the Brazil-based informant met with him at about 1420hrs on 19th January 2022 outside the airport and showed him a picture of the courier. Subsequently, they sighted the suspect as he exited the airport terminal after all arrival clearance formalities, and he was arrested with another associate”.
The NDLEA also disclosed that in his own recorded conversation with an undercover officer, Abba Kyari said, “they are greedy, seriously greedy (referring to his informants), we tried to have them accept 40% but they refused, except 50%; they know the rudiment of the deal very well; they are the ones that do the packing. From Brazil, one of the informants accompanied it to Ethiopia. You understand; one of the informants accompanied the goods to Ethiopia, one of the informants that give us information. He is the boy of the big baron.
“Addis, from Addis it will be given to those to proceed further with it, he will get their snapshots without their knowledge. Yes, he will reveal those that are conveying it further, get snapshots of theirs without their knowledge and send them to us (Abba Kyari’s team). So we already know the goods, picture and the clothes they are wearing, hope you understand, we know your name, he will give us everything. So, automatically my team will just be waiting, they will just see you and arrest you.”
Responding to the NDLEA officer’s question on whether his boys are usually stationed inside or outside the airport, Abba Kyari said, “Yes, yes, some are outside while some are inside. They will just allow you to finish arrival formalities and arrest you the moment you come out.”
In his summation, Mr Babafemi asserted that the confession from Kyari and his colleague leaves no doubt and emphatically establishes who the cartel was relating with and their modus operandi. The NDLEA spokesman assured that the agency will not deviate from an evidence-based investigation that will spare nobody found complicit.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has trained 2,000 new officers to boost the fight against drug abuse and trafficking in the country.
The agency held a passing out parade for the narcotic assistants on Saturday at the NDLEA Academy in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
Addressing the new officers at the event, NDLEA Chairman and Chief Executive, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, reminded them of the consequences of compromising the agency’s effort and to be mindful of the temptation of inducement.
“It is pertinent that I repeat at this occasion the advice I have given those who went ahead of you: beware of the lure of filthy lucre,” he was quoted in a statement by the agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi. “As you go about your duty, there will be inducement with money and calculated efforts to derail you from doing your duty by drug traffickers, fixers, and barons.
“Never compromise! Do not forget that society needs protection from these bad actors, and any failure in your duty can directly or indirectly jeopardise the society, including your family. Hence, every encounter with the illicit drug underworld should be a moment of strength and not a moment of weakness.”
Marwa, who was represented by his special adviser, Colonel Yakubu Bako, asked the new officers not to forget the series of steps taken in the past 12 months to reposition the agency for effectiveness, saying they were coming on board at the right time.
According to him, the job has become exciting, challenging, and gratifying, and the agency is presently in an era when it has launched an offensive action to put traffickers and barons on the defensive.
A Place To Be
The NDLEA chief added that they have equally launched the war against drug abuse campaign to win over the society as collaborators in the effort to curb illicit drug abuse.
“I must also point out that you are a lucky generation of narcotic officers and men because your employment is coming at a time you will be beneficiaries of an enhanced welfare package that includes life insurance and barracks, for which we have received a green light for its construction starting from this year,” he revealed.
“As the saying goes, to whom much is given, much is expected; NDLEA has raised its standard. The bars of work ethics, discipline, and performance have been raised to make our work dynamics very competitive.
“To this extent, you are coming in at a time the agency has become a place for achievers and not laggards. So, you must know that NDLEA is not a place for indolence. We are a goal-oriented organisation and every officer is to contribute his share to the attainment of organisational goals.
“You can all revel in the fact that we reward performance. With the change process that has taken place since January 2021, you can rest assured that NDLEA is a good place to be, now or in the future and you can look forward to a fulfilling career.”
The set of 2,000 is the last batch of 5,000 newly recruited officers and men to be trained at the academy since last year.
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have raided a relaxation centre, popularly called garden in Abuja, and arrested six persons for selling drug cookies and noodles.
Following credible intelligence, operatives raided the garden at Wuse Zone 5 behind Shoprite, where a lady – Rachael Famiyesun, 29 – who deals in drug cookies, was arrested along with her salesgirl, Stella Sunday, 20.
Besides the cookies, they were also caught selling bottles of black currant drink popularly called Zobo prepared with cannabis.
Another business operator in the garden, Moses Obi, 30, was also arrested with his salesgirl, Aisha Abdulrahman, 19, for selling Indomie noodles prepared with cannabis.
A barman, Ahonye Jonah, 31, who works with the owner of the garden, was equally arrested while one of their customers, 38-year-old Ngozi Justina Emelogu was also picked up during the raid on Wednesday 19th Jan.
Two days earlier, officers of the FCT Command of the Agency equally raided the Zuba Yam Market, where a drug dealer, Haruna Hassan, was arrested with 19.3kg cannabis.
Meanwhile, attempts by drug traffickers to export 1.53 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside hair cream to London and another 880 grams of cocaine concealed inside synthetic hair to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as well as 3 grams of cocaine and 5grms of cannabis to Cyprus packed inside locally made shoes through two major courier companies in Lagos have been foiled by narcotic officers attached to the firms.
In Edo State, operatives on Tuesday 18th Jan. intercepted a Toyota Camry car with Reg. No. FKJ 897 DG (LAGOS) loaded with 360.4kg Cannabis sativa heading to Abuja and arrested the driver, Nurudeen Subaru, 42, in Auchi, Etsako West area of the state.
The following day, the Edo command officers also evacuated 111kg cannabis stored in a bush at Iruekpen, Esan West LGA while 276 compressed blocks of the same substance weighing 248.4kg were recovered from one Austin Okongwu (a.k.a Igwe), 45, at Agenebode, Etsako East while moving the drug in a Lexus saloon car with reg. no. ABC 583 MJ (ABUJA).
Also on Wednesday 19th Jan., a raid on a drug joint in the Edo State capital, Benin, led to the arrest of three drug dealers: Kelly Ogbebor, 38; Daniel Oviawe, 35, and Kelly Kenmakonam, 29 with different quantities of cocaine and heroin seized from them.
In Plateau state, an attempt by 29-year-old Ifeoma Godwin Sade, wife of a drug dealer, Ifeanyi Onyeasi, 34, to swallow 12 grams of cocaine found in their house at Agingi, Rukuba Road, Jos, during an arrest operation was scuttled by operatives who retrieved the drug from her throat on Sunday 16th Jan.
Also recovered from them was a monetary exhibit of Two Hundred and Thirty-Four Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty Naira Only (N234, 650).
Different quantities of cannabis, methamphetamine, and tramadol were seized from two suspects; Aliyu Abdullahi and Ishaya Emmanuel, when a commercial bus with reg. number GME711YX bringing them from Lagos to Yola, Adamawa State was intercepted along Abuja road by officers of the Plateau State command on Wednesday 19th Jan.
In Adamawa State, on Wednesday 19th Jan. the long arm of the law eventually caught a notorious drug dealer, Adamu Musa, who has been on the run for nine months.
His 31-year-old elder sister, Mrs. Hannatu Sini, had been arrested on 16th April 2021, at Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa with 14.400kg of cannabis Sativa and admitted keeping the exhibit for her younger brother, Adamu Musa, who was subsequently placed on the wanted list of the command.
This is even as an ex-convict, Mrs. Modinat Lawal, was arrested in Kano on Wednesday 19th Jan with 22kg cannabis Sativa she brought into Nigeria from the Benin Republic. She had earlier been arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for the same offence. The Ogun State-born trafficker claimed then that her name was Bola.
While commending the officers and men of the FCT, Edo, Plateau, Adamawa, Kano, and Directorate of Investigation and General Investigations for the arrests and seizures, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) charged them and their counterparts in other commands to remain vigilant and always proactive.
The Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa has reiterated the agency’s commitment to increase the risk burden of trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances in Nigeria.
Marwa gave the assurance on Wednesday at the handing over ceremony of a provisional detention facility equipped by the UK Border Force to the NDLEA.
Gen. Marwa, who was represented at the occasion by the Agency Secretary, Mr. Shadrach Haruna, noted that the drug war is daily receiving a boost especially with the recent launch of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP 2021-2025), which was funded by the European Union under the supervision of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The NDLEA boss said: “The resources committed to the project clearly demonstrates the commitment of the United Kingdom to fostering international cooperation to fight the enduring problem of drug trafficking in Nigeria”.
He thanked the UK Border Force – which has been rendering assistance to the Agency in the areas of training, mentoring, provision of detection technology, and other key infrastructure – for the facility and promised that the agency will make judicious use of it.
The UK Border Force regional operations manager, (West Africa), Mr. Christopher Hawksfield, who was represented by Ms. Marie Maxwell, assured that the UK government will continue to partner with Nigeria in the fight against illicit drug trafficking across the globe.
He noted that the facility would improve the efficiency of officers and men of NDLEA at the airport and the well-being of suspects before they are charged to court.
Among the facilities handed over are a targeting office, an exhibit room, a legal seat, two temporary detention facilities for males and females, computer sets, and office equipment.
The Commander, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Command of NDLEA, Kabiru Sani Tsakuwa thanked the UK government and the NDLEA management for their support in making the commands work easier.
Present at the occasion were the NDLEA Director of Airport Operations, Mrs. Joyce Titus Awogbuyi; Coordinator, International Affairs, Mrs. Kennechi Nnoruka, representatives from Nigerian Customs Service, Immigration, DSS, and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.
“This is, without a doubt, the largest seizure of drug trafficking money made in the entire history of the country,” prosecutor Javier Caraballo told reporters Thursday.
“The money-counting machines are finding it hard to keep up… some got damaged (from the counting) and had to be replaced.”
The bust was part of a police operation that resulted in the arrest of 57 people this week with suspected links to the Gulf Clan, which has been weakened by the capture in Colombia of its leader and dozens of other members since last month.
The clan controlled about a third of cocaine production in Colombia, the world’s largest exporter of the drug.
The United States is the main consumer.
Those arrested in the Panama operation, including five police officers, are accused of receiving large quantities of drugs from Colombia and hiding it before sending it on to the United States via Central America.
The operation, in which agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration participated, also seized 10 firearms and 38 luxury vehicles belonging to the group.
“We are talking about a big blow to a criminal group where it hurts most, in money,” said Caraballo.