Muwowo calls for urgent action amid rising land and material costs
By Adedapo Adesanya
A suspected drug trafficker has been arrested by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officers for concealing 22 blocks of heroin weighing 23.55 kilograms in baby food packets at Murtala Muhammed International Airport ( MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
According to a statement issued by the agency on Sunday, the shipment with a market value of over 4.5 billion naira originated from Johannesburg, South Africa, on board a South African Airways flight on Wednesday, June 29. as part of a consolidated cargo arriving at the Lagos Airport SAHCO import hangar.
After a series of follow-up operations that led to the arrest of two cargo agents, the actual recipient of the drug shipment, Mr. Chike Okeke Eweni, who is allegedly distributing the substance for his partner based in South Africa , was arrested the following day, Thursday June 30 at a logistics warehouse in Ajao Estate, Ikeja.
Mr. Chike, from Anaocha LGA, Anambra State, said in an introductory interview that he is also involved in fish farming.
Prior to his arrest, NDLEA officers at the airport arrested a former driver of a public transportation company, BRT, Mr. Muyiwa Babalola Bolujoko, on Monday June 27 for ingesting 90 cocaine pellets. He was stopped at the checkpoint before boarding a Qatar Airways flight en route from Doha to Sharjah, with his journey due to end in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The 39-year-old man from Ijebu South LGA, Ogun State was placed under observation for excretion after body scan results confirmed drug ingestion. While in custody, the suspect excreted the 90 pellets in four excretions.
He claimed he quit his 60,000 naira a month job as a BRT driver in February and decided to work as a drug courier to raise money to buy a commonly known shuttle. Koropé in Lagos to continue its transport activity.
Also on Thursday, June 30, officers intercepted an inbound shipment of khat leaves, which arrived at the NAHCO import hangar at Lagos airport on a Royal Air Maroc flight from the Middle East. A total of 71 cartons of dried khat leaves with a gross weight of 2,434.3 kg were discovered in the cargo.
In a similar vein, the Agency’s anti-narcotics officers also seized last Thursday 36 packages of Colorado, a cannabis variant with a total weight of 19.30 kg which arrived at the NAHCO import hangar. from Los Angeles, USA on a Delta Airlines flight.
After a series of follow-up operations in which four people were arrested, the alleged owner of the drug shipment, Mr. Abibu Afis Sola, was finally apprehended on Friday July 1 in the Gbagada area of Lagos.
Meanwhile, in Rivers State, NDLEA officers on Wednesday June 29 arrested a 68-year-old woman, Mrs. Celina Ekeke, in Obunku community, Oyigbo LGA, with 231.2 kg of cannabis, while a Mr. Shedrack Eze was arrested the following day Thursday, June. 30 in Yankarfe, Zaria, Kaduna State with 250,000 tablets of Exol 5, weighing 75 kg.
In Borno State, Mr. Usman Haruna, 27, was arrested at the BCG checkpoint in Biu on Saturday July 2 with 19.7 kg of cannabis.
In his remarks, the Chairman/CEO of the NDLEA, Mr. Mohamed Buba Marwa expressed satisfaction with the exemplary performance of the officers and men of the MMIA Command over the past week while congratulating those of Rivers, Kaduna and Borno for their vigilance.
He accused them and others across the country of staying one step ahead of the wiles of desperate drug cartels.