The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has intercepted an ex-Boko Haram fighter, a traditional ruler, and others with heroin, skunk in deep freezers, cooking gas cylinders across 12 states in the past week.

This was revealed by Femi Babafemi, the agency’s spokesperson on Sunday in a statement made available to Nairametrics.

Femi also revealed that a total of 37 persons were arrested with over 2.2 tons of illicit drugs seized by the agency.

The arrest and interceptions: among those arrested was Alayi Madu, a rehabilitated ex-fighter of the Boko Haram terror group,

Alayi was intercepted on Thursday, March 9, along Abuja-Kaduna express road with 10 kilograms of skunk, which he claimed to have purchased in Ibadan.

He told the NDLEA that he was taking the consignment which was concealed in a sack to Maiduguri, Borno state.

He had worked in Ibadan in 2021 as a commercial motorcycle rider (Okada rider) before venturing into drug trafficking.

He was apprehended by NDLEA operatives along Abuja-Kaduna express road.

The NDLEA in their statement also said they intercepted a consignment of 11.90 kilograms of heroin and 500grams of skunk concealed in deep freezers, which were part of a cargo that arrived from South Africa on Tuesday 7th March onboard Ethiopian airline via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The consignment was intercepted at the Lagos airport in Ikeja by operatives acting on intelligence.

The Agency’s sniffer dogs were deployed to locate where the illicit drugs were hidden in the cargo of which they identified the cartons packed in the deep freezers.

  • The NDLEA said, “A total of four suspects that played active roles in the movement of the drugs and a truck driver have been arrested so far in connection with the seizure.”

They include Dairo Quam; Oluwaseun Ogunmene; Adeleke Abdulrasaq; Bamidele Adewale and Oluwafemi Ogunmeru.

Other states: The agency said it destroyed 39.8 hectares of cannabis farms in Edo, Ondo.

According to the statement, in the early hours of Friday 10th March, NDLEA officers stormed the Kajola forest in Kajola community, a border town between Edo and Ondo states where they destroyed three cannabis farms measuring 39.801546 hectares.

They said “The owner of the farms who claims to be the Ba’ale of Kajola, Akinola Adebayo, 35, was arrested on the farm at 2:30 am, while two other suspects believed to be his workers: Arikuyeri Abdulrahman, 23 and Habibu Ologun, 25, were also nabbed in a hut near the farms.

  • They also said “NDLEA operatives attached to the Gate C departure hall of the MMIA on Thursday 9th March intercepted a passenger, Aigbedion Philomena heading to Italy via Addis Ababa on an Ethiopian Airline flight. When her bags containing body cream, hair attachments, drinks, and some food items were searched, a total of 1.20kg tramadol capsules concealed inside gift wrapping sheet and covered with old daily newspapers were discovered.
  • “At the Idiroko land border, NDLEA operatives acting on intelligence on Thursday 9th March intercepted a commercial Toyota Camry Salon Car with reg. number JJJ 756 HB (Lagos) along Ilase-Akoko road, Idiroko with 34 compressed jumbo-size wraps of imported skunk weighing 17kg and concealed in two cooking gas cylinders. Two suspects in the car, Benjamin Ajose, 48 and Oluwatobiloba Ajayi, 37, were arrested.
  • “In Akwa Ibom state, Mrs. Hope Iniobong David, 42, was arrested with bags of cannabis sativa weighing 1,112kg (1.1 tons) in her house at Ediene Abak in Abak LGA, while operatives in Kogi state on Thursday 9th March recovered 25 cartons, containing 50,000 ampoules of pentazocine injection weighing 200kg in a Toyota Hiace bus marked LAM 652 LG, Kogi, travelling from Lagos to Abuja.

Also, in Ogun state, operatives arrested a female drug dealer, Bola Egbebi in Ota LGA, with different quantities of Cannabis Sativa, Methamphetamine, Tramadol 225, Skuchies, Molly and Codeine cough syrup, while in Gombe state, another female drug dealer, Fatima Hassan (a.k.a Boss) was arrested on Saturday 11th March in her house at New Mile 3 area of Akko LGA with three and half blocks of skunk weighing 3.245kg. Two other female drug dealers: Folake Ladipo and Adeola Babatunde were arrested with 49.5kg skunk on Friday 10th March in the Mushin area of Lagos state.”

The NDLEA said the raids were part of ongoing operations to mop up illicit drugs across the country ahead of the next round of elections.