Attempts by drug syndicates to smuggle illicit substances such as methamphetamine and opioids concealed in the hems of new jeans trousers, dolls, buttons, local soap, and beverage tins to Europe, the United Arab Emirates, and Asia have been foiled by NDLEA operatives at some courier firms in Lagos.
According to a statement issued by the anti-narcotics agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, some of the consignments intercepted by NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation (DOGI) at courier houses in Lagos include tramadol 225mg concealed in the hems of new jeans trousers bound for Cyprus; a shipment of cannabis sativa concealed in the heads of dolls bound for Dubai, UAE.
He said a shipment of another illicit substance coming from Florida, USA was equally intercepted at a courier firm while the recipient, Daniel Ogi was tracked by NDLEA officers and arrested at 5 Akeem Shittu Street, Ajao Estate Lagos on Friday 24th November 2023.
Babafemi also said operatives in Lagos last Friday arrested a drug kingpin, Okechukwu Ogala, 56, who specialises in exploiting and recruiting young persons to export meth to Asian countries. He was arrested at Blue Moon Hotel in the Okota area of Lagos with 60 wraps of methamphetamine weighing 1.009 kilogrammes
In another operation in Lagos, operatives last Friday recovered 393 kilogrammes of cannabis in a shop at Akala, Mushin while a suspect, Justin Enuonye, who deals in Canadian Loud was arrested by the police at Victoria Island and transferred to Lagos Command of NDLEA this same day with 154 parcels weighing 92 kilogrammes.
Babafemi also said a team of NDLEA operatives also intercepted a vehicle at the Oyingbo area of Lagos and recovered 108 kilogrammes of cannabis from it, while 675 kilogrammes of the same substance were recovered from the store of a wanted dealer, Wahab Olota at Adedoja area of Mushin, Lagos State.
In Edo, NDLEA operatives last Wednesday stormed the Ujiogba forest, Esan West local government area where they recovered 5,988 kilogrammes of cannabis already processed and ready for distribution while a 22-year-old, Mason Bunde, (a.k.a Tete Peter Joseph) found in a hut on the cannabis farm was arrested.
He said no less than 120,000 capsules of tramadol concealed in new sound systems packed in a Jos, Plateau state-bound bus were seized by NDLEA officers acting on intelligence along Onitsha-Awka road, Anambra state last Monday, while 123 blocks of cannabis weighing 73 kilogrammes were recovered from a suspect, Abdullahi Bello along Gombe-Bauchi road, Gombe state last Wednesday, operatives in Abuja seized 168 blocks of a same psychoactive substance with a total weight of 101 kilogrammes from the store of a fleeing drug dealer in Kabusa area of the FCT.
The NDLEA spokesman said no fewer than 8,000 bottles of codeine syrup were recovered by NDLEA operatives last Friday when they intercepted a vehicle transporting the opioid along Abuja- Kaduna road, with the driver, Shamsu Isiyaku and his conductor, Muhammad Maina arrested. The same day, operatives also arrested Ernest Esechie, 30, with 44.4 kilogrammes of compressed cannabis sativa along Gwantu- Sanga road, Kaduna.
In Kogi, NDLEA officers arrested Ahmad Umar, 18, with 46.4 kilogrammes of cannabis at a checkpoint in Kabba, while Jamilu Zakari, 32, was nabbed at Kofar Idi, Kandahar, Bauchi town, Bauchi state with 125 blocks of the same substance that weighed 146 kilogrammes.
At least, 542.3 kilogrammes of cannabis were recovered from a suspect, Festus Egeogoli, 32, when his base at Jakpa road, Warri, Delta state was raided by NDLEA operatives last Wednesday, while 125.9 kilogrammes of the same substance were also seized from a store in the same area.
He said the various commands of the Agency across the country continued with the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy campaign in the past week. Some of them include WADA sensitisation lectures for students of Phrankstars School, Awka, Anambra; students of Taskar Alkairi Primary and Secondary Schools, Goburawa, Dala LGA, as well as Natsugune Primary and Secondary Schools, Ungogo LGA, Kano; students of Kevqueen College, Itanla, Ondo West LGA, Ondo; students of Unibek Group of Schools, Port Harcourt, Rivers; students of The Apostolic High School, Ilesa, Osun, and students of Usman Jidda Shuwa Memorial Secondary School, Gamboru, Borno state.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) while commending the officers and men of the Lagos, Edo, Anambra, Gombe, FCT, Kaduna, Kogi, Bauchi and Delta commands of the agency as well as DOGI for their outstanding feats in the past week, applauded their counterparts in all the commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures thus creating parity between their drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction activities.
Assailants Kill Umuoji Community President-General In Anambra
Only a year ago, the President-General of the Obosi community in Anambra State’s Idemili-North Local Government Area was butchered to death by unknown people who have yet to be identified and apprehended by Nigerian police.
Another President-General, this time the President-General of the Umuoji community, Chief Silas Onyima, was assassinated in his bathroom at home on Friday night last week by yet-to-be-identified individuals.
The same fate befell the President-General of the Nimo community, who was shot multiple times before dying in his car. According to a source who requested anonymity, this is the tragic story of PGs who were assassinated or murdered in cold blood while on active duty.
According to the source, Anambra State’s Presidents-General are being slaughtered like chickens because they are always the prime target for assassination. Worse, every time these heinous incidents occurred, the government showed little empathy, let alone condoled with the bereaved family.
The source expressed concern that little or no effort is being made to identify the killers of the affected PGs or those responsible for the killings. That the safety and security of PGs are no longer guaranteed, as evidenced by the way and manner in which they were slaughtered like chickens, and that the perpetrators are free to roam the communities without being caught.
Although Prof. Charles Nwadigwe, the 1st National Vice President of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), believes that insecurity exists throughout the country, he believes that the insecurity of Presidents-General is unique because they are community leaders and public servants.
Nwadigwe, a former President-General of the Ikem Ivite community, stated that the attacks were carried out by those who are upset that criminalities are not permitted to take precedence over civility and the rule of law.
He stated that the heinous murder of Umuoji President-General was one too many and serves as a wake-up call for PGs to take proactive measures to ensure their personal security and safety.
He urged the Anambra State Government and security agencies to respond to the situation and apprehend the killers of PG Umuoji Chief Silas Onyima, adding that the death of the PG has made it critical that the security architecture in the communities be restructured, even as he stated that ASATU will pursue the matter until the Umuoji PG killers are apprehended and brought to justice.
Comrade Bonny Ozo Nkwuaku, the National Laison Officer of ASATU in Anambra-Central Senatorial Zone and President-General emeritus of the Enugwu-Ukwu community in Njikoka Local Government Area, also stated that PGs are like endangered species in Anambra State and urged the government to beef up security around them.
Nkwuaku proposed that even if the PGs were not assigned conventional police, they could be assigned local vigilantes to play special roles in their security. He stated that it was not long ago that the President-General of the Obosi community was assassinated similar to the assassination of Omor and Nanka Presidents-General were still fresh until the very recent gruesome murder of Umuoji PG just last week.
The former Enugwu-Ukwu PG who stated that no arrests were being made when these assassinations occurred, maintained that such heinous crimes were allowed to fly as no arrests or prosecutions were made to bring those involved to justice, adding that it was time the government came to the rescue of Presidents-General.
Nkwuaku explained that PGs render selfless service to the communities and that no PG is being paid by the town union yet they are brutally killed and their families left to suffer untold hardships.
Investigations however revealed that a delegation of ASATU led by the National President Chief Barr. Titus Nnabuike Akpudo, have paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Umuoji PG to commiserate with them over the loss.
This reporter also gathered that ASATU has resolved to get to the root of the matter because the association has lost about five Presidents-General to malicious killings and assassinations.
Katsina Police Command Neutralises Scores Of Bandits, Recover 332 Rustled Animals
The Katsina State Police, in partnership with the Community Watch Corps, have apprehended a suspected known bandit boss and his collaborators, as well as recovered 332 rustled animals.
ASP Abubakar Sadiq Aliyu, the state police command spokesperson, confirmed this in a statement released to journalists in Katsina on Thursday.
According to him, on February 21, 2024, at around 0800hrs, in a coordinated effort to combat the menace of banditry in the state, operatives of the State Police Command attached to Kankara and Malumfashi Divisional Headquarters, in collaboration with members of the Katsina Community Watch Corps (KTCWC), raided the Burdugau bandits camp in Malumfashi LGA, led by one Babayo, a suspected notorious bandits’ kingpin.
According to the statement, the team also recovered 332 suspected rustled livestock and neutralised numerous suspected armed bandits during the collaborative operation.
“Amid these commendable achievements, a member of the Katsina Community Watch Corps (KTCWC) and another member of the vigilante group were unfortunately fatally injured; one police officer was also shot and injured during the raid. However, the injured are currently receiving treatment and responding to medical care”.
CP Aliyu Abubakar Musa, the state police commissioner, praised the operatives’ professionalism and bravery, saying these successful raid operations highlight the command’s commitment to protecting the lives and property of state citizens, reaffirming its resolve to confront and neutralise criminal activities in the state and ensure the safety and security of all residents.
He prayed for the repose of the slain officers’ souls and expressed his heartfelt condolences to their families, emphasising that the bravery, dedication, and sacrifices demonstrated by these officers will be remembered forever.
In a swift reaction, the state Governor, Malam Dikko Umaru Radda saluted the gallantry of Mallam Sanusi Hassan, the Commander of Katsina Community Watch Corps (KCWC) in Kankara Local Government Area, who was killed by the miscreants in the operation.
“Hassan, together with four local vigilantes and two young men from Burdigau paid the supreme price during the gun battle with the terrorists loyal to the notorious bandit kingpins, Dankarami and Barbaru, who had established a new camp in Yar Tepa”.
“The government and people of Katsina State painfully mourn the gallant and fearless local security personnel, described as “true heroes of war“.
According to him, Hassan and the six men who died battling the terrorists deserved to be praised and acknowledged for dying in active service to their beloved country.
He advised the relatives of the deceased not to despair, but rather to take consolation in the fact that their loved ones perished while fighting to restore long-term peace and security in Katsina state.
Radda praised the security personnel for their bravery, which resulted in the deaths of over 100 bandits during the encounter and the rescue of hundreds of rustled cows in four trailers.
“This terrible incident will not dampen our morale to restore peace and security in our troubled state. The Katsina State government shall honour the memories of Hassan and those who died alongside him, by ensuring that terrorists holding the state to ransom are all eliminated, very soon”.
“I wish to pledge that the Katsina State Government, under my leadership, will not abandon the families of the deceased. They will be supported in every way possible, to cushion their hardship in the wake of their loved one’s death,” the Governor assured.
PCRC Honours Zone 13 AIG Aghaulor For Security Gallantry
By Chuks Eke
The Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), has bestowed some special awards on Godwin Ndidi Aghaulor, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG in charge of Zone 13, Ukpo, Anambra State, for his valiant efforts so far in bringing crime to a halt in the zone that controls Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi states.
Agunechemba, Gallant Crime Fighter, Grand Commander, and Community Policing Ambassador were among the medals given.
The committee also conferred an honorary title of Ugosimba and Patroness on the AIG’s wife, Mrs. Salome Chinasa Aghaulor, just as they equally conferred an honorary title of Administrative Expert on the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, ZPPRO, Josephine Ihunwo.
Among the special awards conferred on AIG Aghaulo included Agunechemba (The Lion that guides the zone), Community Policing Ambassador, Grand Commander and Gallant Crime Fighter.
Conferring the awards in the AIG, his wife and the ZPPRO during a security summit/official visit of the AIG to Onitsha at the PCRC Hall, Central Police Station, CPS, Onitsha, the Senior Special Assistant to the National Chairman of PCRC on Interstate Projects (Southeast Zone), Sir Vic Agubisi described Aghaulor as a security giant and a role model to both the police force and humanity for setting standards in crime fighting.
Agubisi explained that the awards were in line with PCRC’s avowed determination to reward whosoever devoted their time and resources in making the law-abiding citizens sleep with their two eyes closed without being molested by hoodlums.
Agubisi who commended the police high command for finding Aghaullor a true son of Igbo-speaking Delta worthy of being trusted with the security of lives and properties of people of Zone 13 which is domiciled in the heart of Igbo land, further explained that Aghaulor deserved his status as AIG because of his quality track records.
Responding, the highly elated AIG Aghaulor commended Agubisi and his team of PCRC members for their initiative and for devoting their time and resources to assisting the police give maximum services in terms of the provision of adequate security of lives and properties of the entire citizenry.
He therefore charged members of the public to always give useful information to the police for effective crime prevention.
“This triple awards would no doubt spur me and my men to fight crime and criminality to a barest minimum, particularly at this present time when insecurity of lives and properties have become the order of the day”, said Aghaulor.
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