No fewer than 4,560 kilograms of skunk have been seized by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in interdiction operations in Lagos, Adamawa and Osun by operatives who raided a ‘skucchies’ factory in Ogun, ABEG.NG
The anti-narcotic agency also said it arrested four drug syndicate members, including two church officials, female courier company staff, and another lady involved in trafficking the lethal opioid fentanyl in Delta.
The announcement was contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by the NDLEA Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi.
Babafemi said the bust of the fentanyl cartel operating from Warri, Delta State, is coming barely a month after two members of another syndicate: Odoh Collins Oguejiofor and Oliver Chigozie Uzoma, were arrested at Ogbogwu market, Onitsha Head Bridge, Onitsha South LGA, Anambra State, following months of intelligence-led investigation of the syndicates behind the dangerous drug.
According to the statement, two officials of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministries (aka Mercy City Church), Warri, Delta State: Adewale Abayomi Ayeni, 39, and Ebipakebina Appeal, 41, linked to two intercepted consignments of the illicit drug were arrested in Warri.
The statement alleged that Ayeni is one of those managing the prayer call centre of the church, while Ebipakebina is in charge of the movement of international guests from the airport to the church.
Two female accomplices also arrested in the course of investigating the intercepted shipments include Naomi David, 28, who is a staff of United Parcel Services (UPS), and Stacy Njideka, also known as Nkiruka, 27, who is a business associate of Ayeni.
Meanwhile, operatives of the Agency also on Wednesday intercepted a Toyota Hilux vehicle marked EPE 863 XD along Ngurore-Mayo Belwa road, Adamawa State.
Babafemi stated that the arrest followed a search of the van with two occupants: Kelvin Efe, 51, and Christian Ogaga, 42, showed that 118 noodles cartons were used to conceal 544 blocks of compressed cannabis sativa, weighing 408kg hidden in a false compartment and meant for distribution in Yola, Mubi and Gombe.
Also, in Lagos and Osun States, the NDLEA operatives on Saturday arrested a suspect, Segun Odeyemi, conveying 89 jumbo bags of skunk with a total weight of 3,842kg in his truck around the Eleganza area of Ajah, Lekki area of Lagos and an abandoned J5 Peugeot bus marked AAA 521 SQ with bags of fresh pepper used to conceal 25 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 300.5kg was recovered along Akure-Ilesa expressway in Osun after its occupants sighted NDLEA officers on patrol on Friday.
The statement also reported that the agency’s operatives in Ogun State on Thursday raided a ‘skucchies’ factory at Ajaka, Sagamu, where a suspect, Adekunle Adekola, was arrested. Exhibits recovered from the premises include 10kg cannabis; 1,356 litres of ‘skucchies’; 20 litres of codeine; seven deep freezers; a Firman generator; and two gas cylinders, among others.
Commending the team of NDLEA officers tracking the fentanyl opioid syndicate in Nigeria for the success of the operations, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) charged them and their compatriots across the country to continue to set their eyes on the goal of ridding the nation of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking.