The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested a 45-year old ex-convict, Okechukwu Amaechi, who just finished serving his jail term in Brazil, and 14 others for drug trafficking in Rivers State.
These 14 others arrested asides Okechukwu were 37-year old Alex Chukwuemeka, 47-year old Ignatius Odikpo, Andrew Chijokwe, Richard Agada, Abubakar Abdullahi, ,Ayuba Isah, Nornu Abanne; Yirakpoa Emmanuel and Dornu Gbarazia, Nura Salis, Bawa Musa, Charity Jacob, Nasiru Musa and Musa Mohammed.
The Brazilian returnee from Anambra State was said to have been arrested with 24 parcels of cocaine weighing 4.56kg concealed in 12 tyres of lawn mowers imported into the country through the Port Harcourt International Airport, PHIA.
He was said to have been apprehended on upon his arrival from Brazil via Doha onboard Qatar Airline flight QR1433.
According to the anti-narcotic agency, investigations revealed that Okechukwu who was arrested and convicted in Brazil for drug offences completed serving his jail sentence in March 2022, after which he decided to return to Nigeria with the recovered drugs.
It stated that each parcel concealed in the tyres of the three lawn mowers bore some unique inscriptions, which were believed to be means of identification of the owners of the drug.
The Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, disclosed that the two parcels in one of the tyres of the first lawn mower bore O LORD and HAVE MERCY and that the parcels in one of the tyres of the second mower had the inscription IN GOD and WE TRUST, while the third mower has IJIOMA and 186.6 inscribed on the two parcels hidden in one of its tyres.
He stated that Okechukwu claimed that one of his church members gave him the lawn mowers to deliver to his brother in Port Harcourt.
The Spokesperson, in a statement released on Sunday, in Abuja, disclosed that in other operations across Zamfara, Kogi, Rivers, Kaduna and Kano state, no fewer than 37, 876 tablets of pharmaceutical opioids especially Tramadol; 10,884 bottles of codeine and 825.016 kilograms of cannabis sativa were recovered during their raids.
According to the statement: “In Zamfara state, a Mercedes Benz truck with reg. no. XB 986 AGB from Onitsha to Sokoto was intercepted in Tsafe area on Friday 20th May. Apart from the driver and his assistant that were arrested, three other persons: Alex Chukwuemeka, 37; Ignatius Mokwe Odikpo, 47 and Andrew Chijokwe, 47 who are owners of the drug exhibits were arrested in a follow up operation at a hotel in Gusau while waiting to receive the consignment for possible movement to Sokoto. Seized from them include: 9,900 bottles of codeine, 599.3kg cannabis and 15,889 tablets of other opioids.
“In Kogi state, a fake security agent, Richard Agada was arrested on Wednesday 18th May while conveying 10 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 116.8kg in a white Nissan van. Various quantities of opioids and cannabis were equally seized in two separate operations the previous Tuesday and Monday in other parts of the state with the arrest of a drug dealer, Ayuba Nda Isah, 32.
“Three suspects: Nornu Abanne; Yirakpoa Emmanuel and Dornu Gbarazia were arrested at Kaani community and Bori with 90kg cannabis and 1.5gram of Cocaine on Wednesday 18th May.
“In Kaduna, three suspects: Nura Salis, Bawa Musa and Charity Jacob were arrested on Tuesday 17th of May at Warri Street within the state capital with 4,900 tablets of Tramadol, 890 ampoules of Diazepam injection, 257 ampoules of pentazocine injection, 1,950 tablets of Nitrazepam and 830 tablets of Carbazapine.
Equally, in Kano state, a drug dealer, Abubakar Abdullahi, 47, with 5,970 capsules and tablets of Tramadol was arrested, while Nasiru Musa and Musa Mohammed were also nabbed with 5,000 caps of the same drug on Tuesday 17th May.”
On his part, the Chairman, NDLEA, Mohammed Marwa commended the officers and men of PHIA, Zamfara, Kogi, Rivers, Kaduna and Kano for the arrests and seizures.
He emphasized that the war against drug abuse and trafficking is one that must be won and that all commands of the Agency must remain on the offensive against the cartels.