NDLEA Foils Massive Opioid Trafficking Operation, Arrests Elderly Couple and Others Across Nigeria

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has successfully intercepted three trailer loads of opioids, consisting of a staggering three million four hundred and fifty thousand pills and three hundred and forty-four thousand bottles of codeine syrup. This significant seizure took place at Abule Ado in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos state. Alongside the interception, three suspects were apprehended in connection with the illicit drug haul.

The multi-billion naira consignments were concealed within two 40-ft container trucks and an additional 20-ft truck at the AML bonded terminal, Abule-Osun, near the International Trade Fair complex. Subsequently, the narcotics were destined for a large warehouse at Abule-Ado, where NDLEA officers executed the arrests and recovered the opioid consignments on Thursday, May 9th, 2024.

Among those apprehended are Cosmas Obiajulu, 51, the warehouse agent, alongside Ridwan Balogun, 25, and Banjo Tayo, 30, who served as drivers for two of the trucks. However, the third driver managed to evade capture.

In a series of coordinated operations, NDLEA operatives made additional significant busts. On May 7th, a suspect named Nwankwo Ejike was arrested in the Coker area of Lagos, where 100 litres of codeine syrup were seized from him. Concurrently, 60 litres of the same substance were confiscated from Clinton Akinye in the same vicinity. Furthermore, on May 6th, 37.5kg of cannabis sativa was intercepted from a suspect named Adegbola Segun in a Toyota Camry car at Mile 12 area of Lagos.

In a separate incident, a consignment of opioids, including 59,106 pills of tramadol, codeine syrup, and rohypnol, destined for Garua, Cameroon, was intercepted by NDLEA officers along the Mubi-Yola road in Adamawa state. Two suspects linked to the drug trafficking, Abubakar Auwal, 39, and Adamu Abubakar, 25, were promptly apprehended.

In Edo state, NDLEA operatives conducted a raid on the Iguiye forest in Ovia North East LGA, where they destroyed a total of 11,636.185kg of cannabis across three farms spanning 4.654474 hectares. During the operation, an additional 188kg of cannabis was recovered, and a suspect named Itah Nyong was arrested.

Furthermore, on May 10th, a 75-year-old man named Jibril Audu was arrested with 7.5 kilograms of cannabis at Oke-asa village, Ijero-Ekiti, Ekiti state. Similarly, on May 9th, a 70-year-old woman named Tikwase Nytor was apprehended with 15.6kg of the same substance during a raid operation at Achusa and International Market road, Makurdi, Benue state.

In addition to these enforcement operations, NDLEA Commands nationwide conducted War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy campaigns in various settings, including schools, markets, worship centers, and communities. These efforts included sensitization lectures, advocacy visits, and engagement with local stakeholders.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the efforts of the Lagos, Edo, Ekiti, Benue, and Adamawa Commands for their successful operations. He reaffirmed the Agency’s commitment to collaborating with local and international partners to combat substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

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