NDLEA Destroys 1.8 Tons Of Cocaine Seized In Lagos

The 1.8 tons of hard drugs burnt in Ikorodu area of Lagos State on September 27, 2022. Credit: NDLEA

 

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has destroyed 1, 828 blocks of seized cocaine in Lagos State.

The illicit substance was part of the 1.8 tons of cocaine consignment seized by the officers of the agency last week in a warehouse in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.

According to the agency, the remnant will be secured for purpose of prosecution of the suspects.

READ ALSO: NDLEA Busts Cocaine Warehouse In Lagos, Seizes N193b Worth Of Crack

The Director of Prosecution and Legal Services of the NDLEA, Sunday Mbona, explained that the agency is proceeding with the trial of the suspects arrested.

See photos below:

75-Year-Old Grandpa, 21 Others Arrested Over Tons Of Illicit Drugs Seized

 

A 75-year-old grandpa, Usman Bokina Bajama (alias Clemen) tops the list of 22 suspects arrested in operations across seven states by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), during which over one million capsules of banned new psychoactive substances were seized.

In a statement on Sunday, NDLEA spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi, disclosed that one million one thousand three hundred and eighty-seven (1,001,387) bottles/capsules of banned the psychoactive substance, Akuskura and tramadol as well as 2,536 kilograms of cannabis were taken hold of.

He added that over 10 hectares of farms where these substances were being cultivated have been destroyed in Edo and Adamawa.

The septuagenarian was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday 20th September at Anguwan Sate, Mararraban Tola, Mayo Belwa council area of Adamawa where he had a cannabis plantation from where 49kg of the illicit substance was recovered.


READ ALSO: NDLEA Busts Cocaine Warehouse In Lagos, Seizes N193b Worth Of Crack


Meanwhile, in Kwara, at least 19,878 bottles of the banned new psychoactive substance, Akuskura were intercepted by NDLEA operatives along Ilorin-Jebba highway on Wednesday 21st September and two suspects: Oladokun Oluwaseun, 49, and Ibrahim Jimoh,27, arrested.

They claimed the consignment packed in 35 jumbo sacks was loaded in Ibadan, Oyo state, and meant for distribution in Jos, Plateau state. Earlier, two suspects: Ukoro Ifeanyi, 46, and Idowu Toyosi, 20, were arrested with 2,290 capsules of tramadol and 100 bottles of codeine-based syrup at Mararaba park, Ilorin.

According to the NDLEA spokesman, the drugs were brought in from Onitsha, Anambra state.

 

In a similar vein, NDLEA operatives in Lagos while acting on credible intelligence intercepted a Volvo truck loaded with 2,146 kilograms of cannabis at Sangotedo area of Ajah.

Three suspects, Abdulazeez Rasheed; Afeez Raheem and Moshood Suleiman, were arrested.

 

At least, 979,119 capsules of expired pregabalin weighing 733kg were recovered from Musbahu Ya’u, 28, and five others at Dansarai area of Kano, while in Enugu, 197.8kg cannabis was recovered in a store at new market, Enugu on Tuesday 20th Sept.

In the same vein, 117.7kg of the psychoactive substance was intercepted along Okene-Abuja expressway in a truck coming from Lagos to Abuja.

 

Furthermore, the statement disclosed that in Edo State, six cannabis farmers were arrested when NDLEA operatives stormed their farms at Chigbite, Utese forest in Ovia North East LGA and Ekudo forest, Uhunmonde LGA, where over 10 hectares of cannabis plantation were destroyed and more than 193kg of the processed illicit substance seized.

Those arrested include: David Hanson; Ufuoma Progress; Marvelous Armstrong; Marvelous Efe; Joshua Abubakar and Elijah Abubakar.

 

In another development, anti-narcotic officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos have arrested two freight agents over attempts to smuggle 26.20kg cannabis concealed in cereal packs through the SAHCO shed for export to Dubai, UAE. The consignment was abandoned at the shed before the airport security transferred it to NDLEA.

Further investigation by the agency led to the arrest of Olatunbosun Damilola Abimbola, 34, who works at Ashadox Logistics Services, a cargo company on Friday 23rd Sept.

He confessed to the crime but stated that he acted on the instructions of his Managing Director, Oloyede Shakiru Abiola, who was promptly arrested. The 40-year-old indigene of Ibadan West Local Government Area of Oyo State stated that due to the strict security measures put in place by the NDLEA, he was forced to abandon the cargo to avoid being detected.



Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of Adamawa, Kwara, Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Kogi, Edo and the MMIA Commands for their resilience.

Gen Marwa charged them and others across the country to remain vigilant and committed to the collective goal of saving Nigeria from the drug scourge.

You Must Work Hard And Smart To Compete Globally, Masari Charges ICT Students 

 

The Katsina State Government on Thursday restated its total commitment to boosting the Information and Communication Technology sector and other ICT-related activities in the state.

The State Commissioner of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Alhaji Mustapha Kanti, stated this during the 6th matriculation ceremony for the 2021/2022 academic session of the Katsina State Institute of Technology and Management.

The commissioner represented at the occasion by the Director ICT in the State Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Alhaji Tukur Danjuma explained that a series of commitments could be seen in the manner in which the state government is budgeting huge resources on the ICT sector.

He, however, charged ICT students in the state to work hard and smart for them to attend the promising land and compete with the global community.

READ ALSO: [PHOTOS] Another Building Collapses In Lagos

According to him, the state government has been making efforts on ICT staff welfare as well as investment in the infrastructure.

On his part, the Rector of the Institute, Dr. Babangida Abubakar Albaba, while delivering his matriculation address, urged the newly admitted students to face their studies with all seriousness and avoid any form of ill vices such as cultism, hooliganism, theft, disrespect, indecent dressing, smoking, public nuisance among others.

“All these forms of immoral acts are not welcomed and strictly prohibited in the institute,” he said.

He announced that the institute is witnessing rapid development in various capacities with the ongoing efforts towards mounting additional programmes in the institute which are yielding results.

The Institute, he explained, had received approval from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for the commencement of four additional National Innovation Diploma (NID) programmes which include: NID Business informatics, NID Computer Hardware Technology, NID Security Management Technology, and NID Islamic Finance, effective from 2022/2023 academic
session.

He added that the Institute is also waiting for the NBTE resource visitation team for the National Diploma programmes in Accounting, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering as well as Library and Information Science, which if approved the Institute will have a dual status of Polytechnic and Innovation Enterprises Institute and will also qualify for TETFUND intervention.

A total of 255 matriculating students took the oath of allegiance from Barr. Muhammad Mukhtar Lawal of the Katsina State High Court where the students pledged to abide by the laid down rules and regulations governing the Institute.

The students were drawn from four different departments of Banking Operations, Computer Software Engineering, Multimedia Technology as well as the department of Networking and Systems Security.

Lecturers were offered by the representative of the Katsina Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on the “Dangers of Drug Abuse”.

NDLEA Busts Cocaine Warehouse In Lagos, Seizes N193b Worth Of Crack

NDLEA-lagos-cocaine-warehouse
NDLEA says the seizure is one of the biggest in Nigeria’s history.

 

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have busted a cocaine warehouse in Lagos State, seizing N193 billion worth of crack. 

NDLEA’s spokesman Femi Babafemi described the development as one of “the biggest singular cocaine seizures” in the agency’s history.

He said the officials busted the “warehouse in a secluded estate in Ikorodu area of Lagos where 1.8 tons (1,855 kilograms) of the illicit drug worth more than two hundred and seventy-eight million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($278, 250,000) equivalent of about one hundred and ninety-four billion, seven hundred and seventy-five million (N194, 775,000,000) naira in street value were seized”.

READ ALSO: NDLEA Arrests Ex-Convict In Lagos Airport, Intercepts 18 Guns

“At least, four drug barons including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager have been arrested in the well coordinated and intelligence-led operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos State,” Babafemi added in a statement Monday.

“Kingpins of the cocaine cartel in custody include Messrs Soji Jibril, 69, an indigene of Ibadan, Oyo State; Emmanuel Chukwu, 65, who hails from Ekwulobia, Anambra State; Wasiu Akinade, 53, from Ibadan, Oyo State; Sunday Oguntelure, 53, from Okitipupa, Ondo State, and Kelvin Smith, 42, a native of Kingston, Jamaica.

“They are all members of an international drug syndicate that the Agency has been trailing since 2018.”

The warehouse, located at NO. 6 Olukuola Crescent, Solebo Estate, Ikorodu, was raided on Sunday and the barons were arrested in their hideouts in different parts of Lagos, the agency said.

“Preliminary investigation reveals the class A drugs were warehoused in the residential estate from where the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world,” the spokesman noted. “They were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums.”

The feat, which was achieved after extensive investigation with American Drug Enforcement Administration, (US-DEA), drew commendation from the NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, he said.

NDLEA Arrests Ex-Convict In Lagos Airport, Intercepts 18 Guns

A photo combination of suspected drug dealers and NDLEA operative.

 

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested an ex-convict, Onyeka Charles Madukolu at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos.

NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, saying that the 44-year-old man was nabbed for importing 5.90 kilograms of cocaine concealed in cans of deodorants and ladies’ lip gloss into Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Fake Soldier, Notorious Bandit Arrested In Zamfara

“Onyeka who was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in Ethiopia for drug trafficking offences and released from prison in 2020, was again arrested on Friday 16th September 2022 at the Lagos airport on his return from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa on an Ethiopian Airlines flight,” Babafemi said.

“A search of his luggage revealed he had concealed 5.90kg cocaine inside cans of deodorants and female lip gloss. During the preliminary interview, he claimed to have gone into the drug business to raise fresh capital to start a legitimate business after his release from Ethiopian prison in 2020.”

According to the anti-narcotic agency, the suspect – a father of two kids, one each from a Nigerian woman and a Brazilian lady – said he was in the motor spare parts business before going into the criminal trade.

Charles, an indigene of Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, told NDLEA officials that he was expecting to be paid an N2 million on the successful delivery of the illicit drug in Nigeria.

Similarly, another suspected trafficker, Chukwu Kingsley was apprehended on Tuesday, September 15 on his way to Rome, Italy via an Asky Airline flight.

The 49-year-old suspect, who hails from Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State, was said to have concealed among food condiments 11,460 tablets of tramadol 225mg with a gross weight of 5.7kg and 39 bottles of codeine syrup.

Also at the Lagos airport, a freight agent, Lawal Adeyemi was arrested the same day for attempting to export some sachets of lexotan among other non-controlled drugs to Liberia, while operatives equally seized 593.90 kilograms of khat leaf at the NAHCO import shed of the airport on Thursday 15th Sept. after a joint examination of the cargo by a combined team of security agencies.

Meanwhile, a notable producer of new psychoactive substance, popularly called Akuskura, Qasim Ademola has been arrested by anti-narcotic officers who intercepted 26, 600 bottles of the illicit substance meant for distribution across Northern states. The consignment was seized on Thursday 15th Sept. along Zaria-Kano road, Gadar Tamburawa, Kano while the 39-year-old proprietor from Akinyele LGA, Oyo state and three of his distributors were arrested in follow-up operations.

In a related development,  NDLEA operatives on patrol along Okene-Abuja Expressway intercepted a J5 vehicle in Kogi state on Saturday, September 17.

The vehicle which was coming from Onitsha enroute Kaduna-Zaria was intercepted with 18 pieces of pump action rifles and 1,300 cartridges, while the two suspects conveying the arms and ammunition, Chukwudi Aronu, 51, and Shuaibu Gambo, 23, were arrested.

Another suspect, Anthony Agada, 37, conveying 1,000 cartridges, was equally nabbed in a bus coming from Onitsha to Abuja the same day, while 1,404 bottles of codeine syrup and 2,040 ampoules of pentazocine injection were seized from another vehicle coming from Onitsha enroute Sokoto, with the receiver, Stanley Raymond, 39, and the sender, Shadrack Ifediora, 46,  arrested in follow up operations in Sokoto and Anambra respectively.

In Kaduna, a drug dealer, Mohammed Mustapha Dalhatu a.k.a Dawa, was arrested at Sabon Gari Zaria with eight bags of Cannabis Sativa weighing 67kg, and another, Maikudi Hassan, was arrested at Gubuci village of Ikara LGA with five bags of cannabis weighing 54.2kg. On Thursday 15th Sept, operatives also arrested Mary Ugwu and Hawwa Idi, at Anchau town, Kubau LGA with 721 ampoules of pentazocine injection; 37,000 tablets of exol-5 and nine ampoules of diazepam injection as well as 6.8kg of rubber solution.

In Edo, operatives recovered 285kg of cannabis in two raids at Okpuje, Owan West LGA, on Friday 16th Sept, while in Lagos, 972.5kg of the same substance was recovered from an electronic shop at Alaba Int’l market and one of the suspects, Mrs. Ebere Aja, 38, arrested. No less than 335.1kg of cannabis was also seized in a raid at Kwanar Kundum area of Bauchi town, with two suspects: Usman Garba and Najib Ibrahim, arrested.

Reacting to the arrests and seizures, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the command as well as their counterparts in MMIA, Kano, Kaduna, Edo, Lagos, and Bauchi, for their vigilance and resilience.

He directed the Kogi State command to immediately hand over the arms and ammunition seized to the police for further investigation, charging anti-narcotics operatives across the country to remain focused as they daily discharge their responsibilities.

Forfeited Properties: Two Underpriced Lagos Buildings Sold In 2001 – NDLEA

 

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has said that two buildings, in Adeniyi Jones Ikeja and Ikoyi areas of Lagos forfeited in drug prosecution cases but sold at underpriced amounts were indeed disposed in 2001.

According a statement by NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, the buildings were not sold in 2021 as being erroneously reported by some media platforms.

He said some media platforms had reported a press briefing by the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN on the decision of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, to demand from buyers of the two buildings the appropriate prices as at the 2001 when they were sold as against the underpriced amounts.

However, some media channels have erroneously reported that the buildings were sold in 2021.

Mr Babafemi said the clarification is to correct the wrong impression following calls by concerned members of the public who have been calling top officials of the Agency to clarify the mix up in the year of sale of the properties in reference.

For clarity purpose, the spokesman noted that the NDLEA did not auction any property in 2021 neither has any such activity been held in 2022.

Brazilian Returnee Excretes 92 Wraps Of Cocaine At Abuja Airport

 

A Brazilian returnee and father of two, Okolie Paulinus Nwabueze has been arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, for importing Ninety Two (92) wraps of cocaine, which he ingested and eventually excreted after days under observation in the Agency’s facility.

The 53-year-old trafficker who hails from Mmaku village, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State was arrested on Friday 2nd September upon his arrival on Qatar Airline flight enroute Brazil-Doha-Abuja. He claimed to have left Nigeria to Mozambique in 2004 and finally relocated to Brazil in 2017, where he obtained a residence permit before deciding to import the illicit substance for a $4,000 fee.


READ ALSO: $30 Million Fraud: Chidozie Collins Obasi Indicted, Wanted By FBI


In the same vein, a 42-year-old man, Aliyu Bello Kwasare, has been arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, MAKIA, Kano, for attempting to export a consignment of new psychoactive substance, Akuskura, to Saudi Arabia.

The indigene of Kware LGA, Sokoto, who lives in Goron Dutse area of Kano, was arrested on Monday 5th Sept. during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airline flight to Riyadh.

At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos, no fewer than One Million and Ninety Nine Thousand (1,099,000) tablets of Tramadol 225mg have been seized through inter-agency collaboration between NDLEA and the Nigerian Customs.

The pharmaceutical opioids packed in 50 cartons weighing 2,058.90kg, were imported from Pakistan via Addis-Ababa on Ethiopian Airways. The consignment was concealed among other non-controlled pharmaceuticals.

Also, a freight agent, Aliyu Abubakar was on Friday 9th Sept. arrested at the NAHCO export shed of the airport over attempt to export a consignment of cannabis concealed inside bottles of Caro white body lotion.

Meanwhile, attempts by drug cartels to export 7.805 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine to the United States and Australia have been thwarted by NDLEA operatives attached to some courier companies in Lagos. The meth consignments were concealed in the linings of local fabric, wooden statutes, printer cartridges, handle of travel bag and cassava flakes.

From other parts of the country, a 25-year-old pregnant woman, Haruna Favour, was arrested in Auchi, Edo state on Friday 9th Sept with 82 pinches of methamphetamine as well as various quantities of Loud, Arizona, Colorado variants of cannabis and codeine based cough syrup.

In Gombe, One Hundred and Nineteen Thousand (119,000) tablets and capsules of tramadol, D5 and Exol5 were recovered from two drug dealers, Nasiru Abubakar, 22, and Umaru Bayero a.k.a Hadiza when NDLEA operatives raided their stores at the Gombe main market on Tuesday 6th Sept.

In Kogi, a suspect, Paul Ali, 47, was arrested along Okene-Abuja highway with 1,404 bottles of Codeine based syrup weighing 190.94kg and 2,040 ampoules of pentazocine injection coming from Onitsha to Sokoto. A follow up operation in Sokoto has also led to the arrest of the receiver of the consignment on Tuesday 6th Sept.

A raid at the cannabis plantation camp in Emure forest, Owo LGA, Ondo State has led to the arrest of Monday Onoja, 20; Daniel Kehinde, 25; and Obinna Okechukwu, 35, where sixteen (16) bags of the illicit substance weighing 179.5kg were seized from them.

Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) in his reaction to the arrests and seizures, commended the officers and men of the NAIA, MMIA, DOGI, MAKIA, Kano, Kogi, Edo, Ondo and Gombe Commands for their resilience. He charged them and their compatriots in other commands to remain focussed and vigilant in their areas of responsibility.

NDLEA Operatives Arrest 8 Suspected Bandits In Ondo Forest

A file photo of an official of the NDLEA backing the camera.

 

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Ondo State, have intercepted eight suspected bandits terrorizing farmers within the Ala forest in Akure North LGA. 

While going after a drug lord within the region, the operatives found the suspects with a huge stash of illegal substances and some arms.

Those arrested include: Austin Dickson, 47, who is the gang leader; Sunday Adekunle, 31; Kayode Oluwaseun, 29; Kolawole Kazeem, 33; Oladimeji Makinde, 37; Emeka Charles, 46; Ojo Oluwadare, 40; and Lanre Oluwajana, 44.


READ ALSO: Physically Challenged Man Arrested At Lagos Airport For Drug Trafficking


The suspected bandits were nabbed on Friday, 2nd September 2022. Recovered from them include twenty five (25) bags of cannabis sativa weighing 296kgs; Six (6) explosive devices; six (6) cartridges; four (4) motorcycles and assorted charms used in terrorising farmers in the forest.

Meanwhile, in Sokoto, operatives on Saturday 3rd Sept intercepted a commercial bus from which two five CD loader players were recovered along Sokoto-Bodinga road.

Upon search, 5.5kgs of cannabis were discovered inside the CD players and the owner, Nasiru Ibrahim arrested while in another bus, a suspected bandit Sani Ibrahim, 37 was arrested with some ammunition and cannabis sativa along Kware road.

An Abuja businesswoman, Onyinye Nwoke, 38, has been arrested following an intelligence-led raid at her residence, House 56 Aldenco Estate, Galadimawa where operatives uprooted fresh stems of cannabis plants grown at the backyard of the house.

The uprooted plants weighed 18.4kgs while 800grams of cannabis seeds were also recovered from the house.

Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Lagos, Niger, Sokoto, Ondo, FCT and Gombe Commands for the arrests and seizures.

He charged them and their compatriots across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels in Nigeria while balancing their efforts on supply reduction with drug demand reduction activities.

Physically Challenged Man Arrested At Lagos Airport For Drug Trafficking

The suspect, Ehiarimwiam Osaromo Emmanuel.

 

A physically challenged man, Ehiarimwiam Osaromo Emmanuel, has been arrested in Lagos State for drug trafficking.

The 53-year-old suspect was nabbed by anti-narcotics operatives on Sunday at the departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Ikeja.

Spokesman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement, saying that Emmanuel is an indigene of Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State.

The suspect is said to have concealed 5,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg in his luggage on his way to Italy, via Doha on a Qatar Airways flight.

READ ALSO: Unkempt Man Found On Parked Aircraft, Arrested In Lagos Airport

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the suspect is a frequent traveller who often travels with lots of bags containing mainly food items, body cream, hair attachment and drinks,” Babafemi read.

“The suspect was said to have presented his usual large consignment to NDLEA operatives for search but held on to some packages, which were retrieved from him and properly searched during which the drugs were discovered.”

Similarly, NDLEA operatives on Monday, August 29 raided a suspected clandestine crystal methamphetamine laboratory at Opic Estate, Agbara, Lagos.

Investigation led operatives to another in the vicinity where one Peter James was apprehended with some quantity of the substance.

A follow-up operation within the estate also led to the arrest of a meth dealer, Mathew Bobby Imonitie, who was caught with 4.033kgs of the illicit substance.

Also in Lagos, 412,780 tablets of Tramadol were seized during a raid at a rented apartment in Raji Rasaki First Estate in Festac town, on Saturday, August 27. One of the suspects involved, Kingsley Duru was arrested.

In the same vein, troops of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army handed over to the Lagos Command of NDLEA 792 blocks of cannabis Sativa smuggled from the Volta region of Ghana into Ogun State but intercepted at a checkpoint along the Ilaro-Benin Republic border.

In Niger State, NDLEA operatives on Thursday, September 1, intercepted a truck conveying animal feeds from Lagos to Kaduna with 449 compressed blocks and 111 bags of Cannabis Sativa weighing 1,531kgs belonging to a dealer in Zaria.

The drug consignment was said to have been loaded into the truck in Akure, Ondo State.

Akuskura: The New Deadly Psychoactive Substance In Town – NDLEA

 

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has warned Nigerians regarding the surfacing of a new deadly psychoactive substance which has made its way into various parts of Nigeria. 

According to an article by the Special Assistant to the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Mahmud Isa Yola, the substance called Akuskura is of different varieties, and is used in both liquid and powdered form by people who are mostly seeking to raise their levels of psychological or nervous activity in the body.

In his piece, Mr Yola explains that Akuskura represents a serious threat to public health and poses a challenge for drug policy.

Below is the full article as put out by the NDLEA.


READ ALSO: NDLEA Operatives Arrest Lagos Airport Cleaner Who Leads Drug Syndicate


AKUSKURA: The New Deadly Psychoactive Substance in Town
By Mahmud Isa Yola

Recently, there has been a rapid emergence of a dangerous new psychoactive substance known as Akuskura/Kuskura, which is made of herbs laced with tobacco and cannabis and which is rapidly replacing controlled psychoactive substances, dominantly in the northern and south-west parts of Nigeria. When taken, the substance sometimes causes sudden, violent, irregular movement of the body and contraction of muscles.

The name Akuskura, sometimes known as kuskura or akurkura, is derived from the Hausa word “kuskura” noun, which can be used interchangeably to mean gargling and rinsing.

The substance, which is of different varieties, is used in both liquid and powdered form by people who mostly seek to raise their levels of psychological or nervous activity in the body, or put it in simple terms, get high.

Akuskura came into the front-line on social and conventional media when the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, intercepted over seven thousand bottles of the illicit substance along the Abuja-Kaduna express road, slated for distribution across seven northern states of Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe and Nasarawa. Although the seizure is the biggest made so far, there were several arrests and seizures made by the agency in different parts of the country.

Following the record-breaking seizure, the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, in a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja on August 19th, made the announcement of the official ban of the psychoactive substance.

She said the agency received a number of reports of the use of a herbal preparation known as “Kurkura,” particularly in the country’s South West and Northern axis.The agency swung into action and carried out intelligence and enforcement actions.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, New Psychoactive Substances are “substances of abuse, either in a pure form or a preparation, that are not controlled by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs or the 1971 Convention on Psychoactive Substances but which may pose a public health threat”.

The term “new” does not necessarily refer to new inventions—several NPS were first synthesized decades ago—but to substances that have recently become available on the market.

As a new psychoactive substance, Akuskura represents a serious threat to public health and poses a challenge for drug policy.

The negative health impacts and social harms of NPS are frequently largely unexplored, which makes prevention and counseling extremely difficult.

It is difficult to analyze and identify the many different chemicals that are simultaneously present in the drug.

The above facts place people who take new psychoactive substances such as Akuskura at a high risk. According to the UNODC, the use of NPS is often linked to health problems.

In general, side effects of NPS range from seizures to agitation, aggression, and acute psychosis, as well as potential development of dependence. NPS users have frequently been hospitalized with severe intoxications.

Many NPS have no or very limited safety data on their toxicity and carcinogenic potential, and information on long-term adverse effects or risks is still largely unknown.

The purity and composition of products containing NPS are often unknown, which places users at high risk, as evidenced by hospital emergency admissions and deaths associated with NPS, often including cases of poly-substance use.

Akuskura is largely distributed under the guise of herbs. They are mostly retailed by local herbalists and Islamic chemists, to mention but a few.

Akuskura wholesaler in Zaria city explained that the substance is originally meant for the treatment of headaches and catarrh and serves as a poster remedy against jinns and evil spirits.

He says kuskura is also used as a sex enhancer among men. However, there is no scientific explanation for whether the substances are safe or can cure any form of sickness.

This therefore drives home the fact that the substance has no established medicinal value. Despite its unsafe nature, Akuskura is patronized by thousands of people in Nigeria.

Maikudi Shaga, a 31-year-old Zaria-based mechanic, confessed in a newspaper interview that he is addicted to the substance, adding that he uses the liquid substance at least seven times a day and said it gives him the energy to work efficiently without being subjected to physical fatigue.

Another user, Malam Adamu Mohammed, who spoke in a media interview, said that he does not see Akuskura as an illicit substance and that is the notion held by many other users. He said he has been using it for more than a year now and it cures malaria, typhoid, pile headaches and increases his performance in bed.

The spread of Akuskura is undoubtedly aided by the fact that the substance is largely and ignorantly misconstrued as a medicine. A whole-seller in Zaria was quoted to have said he sells more than 300 bottles of Akuskura in a day.

Another factor that aids the prevalence of Kuskura is its affordable price. The substance is readily available in Islamic chemists’ and other local herbal centers at a very cheap price. With a bottle sold at the cost of N100 and sometimes a drip for N50, the Akuskura is affordable even to a low-income earner.

Thirdly, the substance gives both hallucinogenic and stimulant effects to its users. Hence, it is filling the void of controlled substances, which are now very scarce due to the surge of arrests and seizures by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). With a bottle of codeine sold between N7,000 And N25,000 and beyond, Akuskura offers substance abusers an easy alternative with just N100 or even less.

However, the adverse effect of Akuskura remains disturbing. Like all other illicit substances, Akuskura gives a euphoric effect of being “high” for a certain period of time.

However, there are health-threatening short and long time effects such as dissociation, violent episodes, psychotic episodes, compulsive desire to commit crime, aggression, perceptual distortion, hallucination and many others.

The Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd) OFR, during a brief interview with the British Broadcasting Cooperation, BBC Hausa, said that the agency will continue to dismantle the clandestine factories behind the production of the illicit substance, adding that the recent seizure of over 7,000 bottles by the agency sends a warning to the peddlers of the illicit drug that the NDLEA will continue to deal with them within the ambit of the law.

This should serve as a desist warning to the users and traffickers.

Court Denies Abba Kyari Bail, Fixes October 19 For Trial

Mr Abba Kyari was arraigned in an Abuja court on March 7, 2022 over drug trafficking related offences. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
Mr Abba Kyari was arraigned in an Abuja court on March 7, 2022, over drug trafficking-related offences. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed October 19, 20 and 21st as the trial dates for the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and four others.

Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the trial dates in his ruling on Tuesday in the nation’s capital.

He equally declined to grant bail to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and four others.

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They are being prosecuted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on allegations bordering on a cocaine deal.

Kyari was arraigned alongside four suspended police officers including ACP Sunday Ubia, ASP James, Inspector Simon Agirigba and Inspector John Nuhu as 2nd to 5th defendants respectively.

Ruling on the bail application, Justice Emeka Nwite said the applicants failed to present sufficient materials and evidence to warrant the granting of the fresh application.

Justice Nwite, therefore, reaffirmed his earlier ruling of March 28, 2022, ordering an accelerated hearing.

According to the judge, Kyari and his other co-applicants did not show exceptional circumstances to warrant them being granted bail.

This is the second time the court would reject Kyari and others’ bail applications, having earlier turned down a similar request in April this year.

Meanwhile, the suspects are to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, pending the commencement of their trial in October.

 

NDLEA Operatives Arrest Lagos Airport Cleaner Who Leads Drug Syndicate

 

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested a cleaner at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos, Ohiagu Sunday, who leads a drug syndicate at the international wing of the airport.

NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi in a statement on Sunday, said the suspect was nabbed on Tuesday 23rd August following the arrest of an intending passenger on Airpeace flight to Dubai, UAE, Obinna Jacob Osita who was arrested with three bags, two of which contained eight blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 4.25kg concealed in cassava product, garri and crayfish.

One other member of the airport syndicate who works with Ohiagu has also been arrested while operatives are after another suspect.

Investigations revealed that a Dubai-based drug dealer recruited Obinna, a 42-year-old native of Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State to traffic the drugs and equally contracted Ohiagu, a 34-year-old airport cleaner from Orlu West Local Government Area of Imo State to create access for the unhindered passage of the trafficker.


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the suspects apprehended by operatives of the NDLEA.

 

The drug syndicate bust, which is the first drug arrest at the new terminal of the MMIA comes on the heels of the seizure of a consignment of bottles of viju and fearless energy drinks used to conceal skunk for export to Dubai, UAE through the NAHCO export shed on Monday 15th Aug. A freight agent has already been arrested in connection with the seizure.

In the same vein, attempt by a syndicate to export illicit drugs through the Lagos airport on Wednesday 24th Aug was foiled during an outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airline to Oman via Addis Ababa.

A suspect Jonah Chukwuemeka was arrested with a total of 1,995 Tramadol tablets with a gross weight of 900 grams hidden in locust beans in his luggage. The bag containing the illicit substance was handed over to him at the airport by one Olagunju Abbas who was promptly arrested.

Packs of Tramadol 225mg containing 119,500 capsules were Thursday 25th Aug transferred to NDLEA by the Nigeria Customs, cargo wing of MMIA. The consignment had come in through Ethiopian Airline from Pakistan.

Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives on Saturday raided a car shop, Bolak Motors at Ewela bus stop, Oshodi where bags of 615.2kg cannabis were recovered along with nine vehicles. Efforts are ongoing to track the car dealer, Alhaji Ismail who is currently at large.

No fewer than eight suspects were arrested and bags of illicit drugs seized from them when Akerele area of Agege, Shogunle and Mafoluku areas of Oshodi, Fagba area of Ogba, Ipodo area of Ikeja and Iyana Ipaja park were raided in the state.



In Yobe state, two suspected fake security agents taking 14kg cannabis to Maiduguri, Borno state were intercepted along Potiskum- Damaturu road. While Adetula Olarenwaju was arrested with four blocks of the substance on Thursday 25th Aug on his way from Lagos, Sadiq Garba returning from Gombe was nabbed with 22 blocks of the substance on Saturday 27th Aug.

Similarly, in Edo, Abu Segun Sunday was arrested with 48.4kg cannabis at Idk quarter, Ibilo, while Rosemary Afekhuai was caught with 1,130 tramadol caps, among others at Oluma quarters, Otuo, Owan East LGA.

In Delta, Mustapha Isah, was arrested at Oko Market with 9, 800 Tramadol caps weighing 6.4kg while NDLEA operatives in Kaduna also nabbed Chinedu Onnuka, at Narayi Kaduna with 33,000 tablets of Bromazepam.

No fewer than 80 blocks of cannabis sativa were recovered from an abandoned tricycle with reg. no: BAU 70 WL while 25,000 tablets of exol-5 were seized from a dealer, Usman Muhammed who was nabbed along Bauchi-Gombe road.

A raid operation at a market in Mubi, Adamawa state on Wednesday 24th Aug led to the seizure of 62,360 tablets of tramadol, diazepam and exol-5 while two suspects, Sirajo Idris and Anas Abubakar were arrested same day with 107 pallets of cannabis at Kamba, a border town in Kebbi State.

The skunk weighing 90kg was smuggled in from Benin Republic.

In Kano, a drug dealer Lawal Adamu, 31, was arrested along Zaria-Kano road, Kwanar Dangora, with 203 blocks of cannabis weighing 136kg, while another suspect, Taheer Abdullahi was nabbed on Friday 26th Aug. at Gadar Tamburawa, with 3000 ampules of tramadol injection.

A raid operation at Kara Masaka, back of Mararaba market and Zamani estate on Saturday 27th Aug. led to the arrest of 26 suspects, while 25.7kg cannabis, 4.5kg codeine and 300 tablets of rohypnol tablets were seized from the drug joints raided.

Meanwhile, in Sokoto state, the village head of Ruga, Shagari LGA, Alhaji Umaru Mohammed (aka Danbala), a notorious drug dealer who was arrested on Monday 22nd Aug. will be facing charges any moment from now. Before his recent arrest during which 436.381kg cannabis and 1kg diazepam were recovered from his house, an earlier raid on his home on July 20th 2022 had also led to the seizure of 11.5kg cannabis, 2.259kg exol5 and 500grams of diazepam.

Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Edo, Delta and Lagos Commands for the arrests and seizures.

He charged them and their compatriots across the country not to rest on their oars.