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Governors’ Wives Urge Federal, State Governments To Declare State Of Emergency Over Drug Abuse

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The Nigeria Governors’ Spouses Forum (NGS) has urged the federal and state governments to declare a state of emergency in Nigeria to mobilise resources to combat the pandemic.

The call was one of the resolutions in a communique signed by the Forum’s Chairperson and First Lady of Kwara State, Ambassador Olufolake Abdulrasaq, and issued on Tuesday after a two-day Drug Prevention Treatment and Care, DPTC, training organised by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for wives of state governors in Abuja.

The Governors’ wife, while acknowledging “the urgent need to take control and reinvigorate the State Drug Control Committees (SDCC) for optimal functioning for the States that have one, and encourage States that do not have to constitute one, to increase rehabilitation programmes that focus on holistic recovery, addressing the both physical and mental health of drug addiction as well as harm reduction,” emphasised the need for “the Federal Government and state governors to

Other resolutions in the communique include “the need to foster good parenting through parent-teacher associations, community outreach programmes, and to support the NDLEA Drug Integrity Testing Policy for early detection of drug users and timely intervention to prevent the progression to addiction/dependency.”
“Agrees to work as a body and facilitator to strengthen collaboration and cooperation between state governments, the NDLEA, and other security agencies in the fight against drug use and trafficking;
“Agrees to support the construction of at least three standard drug rehabilitation centres, one in each senatorial zone of the State, to cater for drug users within the states and reduce the challenges of costs, access, and stigma to drug treatment;
“Furthermore, agree to use their good offices to liaise with State Governors to facilitate the establishment and strengthening of States Drug Control Committees (SDC), and to appoint first ladies of States as chairs of the committees, with the NDLEA State Commander as Secretary, for effective action against drug use prevalence, treatment, and care.
“Adopts the Drug Abuse Prevention Treatment and Care (DPTC) programmes in States as a Forum project, chaired by the first ladies of the States, to help curb the menace of drug use and foster greater access to treatment for women who use drugs by reducing stigma and cultural pushback to the bare minimum;
“Adopts projects and policies that foster cooperation with the private sector and civil society organisations in the development of standardised treatment centres across the States of the Federation;
“Fosters active collaboration with, and provides support to, NDLEA Commands in States to embed DPTC in all of their anti-drug intervention programmes; and recognises the need to create skill acquisition centres and employment opportunities for young people to reduce their vulnerability to drug use and trafficking.”

The First Ladies stated that their resolutions were based on their understanding of “the nexus between drug use and the heightened level of criminality, the increasing number of school dropouts, social and health issues, family problems, including violent extremism, kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism, and its consequent impact on food security, the safety of lives and properties, foreign direct investment, the economy, and national security,” among other things.

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While praising the efforts of the NDLEA and its leadership, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), “In recent years, against drug use and trafficking with resounding successes in the areas of arrests and seizures, prosecutions and convictions, awareness raising, counseling and rehabilitation, among others,” the governors’ wives assured the agency that they were ready to take the knowledge gained during the training to their states for future action.

Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd), Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, commended the First Ladies for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend the DPTC training for two days. He urged them not to let the lessons they had learned end at the venue, but to take them back to their respective states for implementation.

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CRIME

Marwa Insists Drug Law Enforcement Must Keep Up With Dynamics Of Crime

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Marwa

Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, has stated that the illicit drug landscape was rapidly changing, and modern drug law enforcement needed to keep up with the dynamic.

He delivered the verdict at a journalist training session organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to increase the fight against drug trafficking and wildlife crimes in Nigeria.

Marwa stated that the media, as a critical partner, must be well-informed about these shifting trends.

Marwa stated at the training, which was organised by the two agencies in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, that “there have been recent calls for training of journalists in various activities aimed at combating the abuse and trafficking of illicit substances.

“This also implies that such training should not only strengthen the capacity of anti-drug organisations. It should also reform its systems and processes, instilling the essence of best practices.

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He stated: “At NDLEA, we yearn for training, and UNODC has been forthcoming, providing various capacity development training over the last three years.”

While emphasising the importance of journalists understanding key issues of public impact and reporting them in the proper context for data interpretation, UNODC Country Representative Oliver Stolpe stated that data is critical to understanding the prevalence and frequency of scientific issues of concern.

Stolpe, while lamenting the impact of organised wildlife crime, said, “I would like to draw your attention to a much less cited study on cannabis cultivation in Nigeria. It covered six states, was published about two years ago, and established, among other things, that there is a direct link between deforestation and drug cultivation.

“We need to improve our reporting on wildlife and forest crime. I am very pleased to see so much interest in the subject.

“This is a critical issue for Nigeria. It is a much larger challenge than I believe we were aware of, even a few years ago when no one was talking about wildlife and forest crime.

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Stolpe stated that UNODC’s primary collaboration with the media has been to ensure effective information dissemination through meaningful press releases, interviews, and other media events.

He stated, “We have always made it clear that we distinguish between drug trafficking crimes and the issue of drug use, which we consider to be primarily a health issue and should be addressed as such.

“Addiction is a medical condition; it is not an option. As a result, people who are addicted to drugs may have them.

“They should be treated primarily as patients, with access to the treatment and counselling services they require to overcome their respective drug use condition,” he stated.

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Why NDLEA Hunts A Couple After Arresting 4 Cartel Members Over Cocaine Seizures

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NDLEA operatives

Wanted couple

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has explained why it declared a couple, Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade (alias Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun) and Rashidat Ayinke Owoalade (alias Bolarinwa Rashidat Ayinke), wanted.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by the anti-narcotics agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, the married couple was declared wanted following the arrest of four members of their syndicate in Lagos, where a Sports Utility Vehicle was recovered and two houses traced to them were sealed for forfeiture to the Federal Government.

According to Babafemi, two members of the syndicate, Imran Olalekan and Ishola Olalekan, were arrested on April 3, 2024, after attempting to export 3.4 kilogrammes of cocaine on a Qatar Airlines flight to Oman via Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

He claimed that while Imran was the courier transporting the drug consignment to Oman, Ishola recruited him for the cartel’s leader, Alhaji Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade, whose Indian residence permit bears the name Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun who is based in India.

He revealed that efforts to dismantle his network in Nigeria paid off after five weeks of surveillance and follow-up operations, when another member of the syndicate, Hamed Saheed, who works directly with the baron, was apprehended last Tuesday in Lagos’ Abule Egba area. He went on to say that it was Saheed who put Imran in a hotel the day before his aborted trip to Oman and dropped him and Ishola off at the Lagos airport the day they were arrested.

He revealed that during a search of Saheed’s home, NDLEA agents discovered 900 grammes of phenacetine, a cocaine-cutting agent. He admitted that the recovered substance was the remainder of Imran’s consignment to Oman on the day he was arrested.

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Saeed’s arrest prompted a follow-up operation at the Owoalade couple’s home at 20 Eyiaro Street, Ogudu Orioke, Lagos, where another suspect was arrested and a new model Toyota RAV4 SUV marked FKJ-773 JJ belonging to Rashidat and an additional 400 grammes of cocaine were recovered, in addition to already prepared suitcases to be used for illicit drug concealment, digital weighing scales, and other paraphernalia;

He added that last Wednesday, NDLEA officers from the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations (DOGI) attached to a courier firm in Lagos intercepted two parcels containing cocaine and amphetamine concealed in steel bolts and shea butter. While the cocaine weighed 587 grammes and was concealed in eight steel bolt screws going to China, the amphetamine
A shipment packed in vape pens and hidden in shea butter was destined for the United Kingdom.

He said that Emeka Nwadiaro (a.k.a Mega) attempted to export 3.6 kilogrammes. Loud, a strain of cannabis concealed in 36 water flasks bound for Dubai, UAE, was also intercepted at a logistics company in Port Harcourt, Rivers state last Thursday, while a quick follow-up operation resulted in the arrest of the consignment’s owner, Emeka Nwadiaro, in Onitsha, Anambra state the same day.

He stated that NDLEA agents in Lagos intercepted a Mercedes Benz bus loaded with 840 kilogrammes of cannabis and arrested the driver, Samuel Henry, in Olojo, Ojo LGA, Lagos. Another suspect, Lawal Adam, was apprehended last Friday along Otukpo road, Aliade, Benue state, with 75,000 opioid pills, including tramadol and exol-5. Olisa Etisi, 32, and Jonathan Umeh, 25, were arrested on the Owerri-Onitsha road in Imo state after NDLEA agents discovered a large gas cylinder used to conceal six blocks of Loud, a strain of cannabis weighing 3.85 kilogrammes.

In Borno state, 70-year-old Adamu Mohammed was arrested last Thursday at Mbulamel, Biu local government area, with 2 kilogrammes of cannabis and 33.55 grammes of diazepam, while 27-year-old Gaddafi Sani was arrested with 30 kilogrammes of cannabis along the Abuja-Kaduna road in Kaduna.

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In Yobe state, NDLEA officers discovered a consignment of 91.1 kilogrammes of opioids and 13 kilogrammes of cannabis on the Potiskum-Damaturu road and arrested the driver, Ismaila Ali.

He stated that four suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure of 2,025 pieces of improvised explosive devices (IED) materials intercepted by NDLEA officers on the Agaie-Lapai road in Niger state. While Abdulrauf Adeyemi, 46, and Asmiyu Rahim, 45, who were transporting the IED materials, were apprehended on the spot, follow-up operations resulted in the arrests of Husaini Abdullahi, 25, at Sokoto main market, Sokoto, and Nazifi Abdullahi, 37, at Naibawa Motor Park, Kano, last Friday.

Meanwhile, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (Retd), Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, has ordered that all four suspects and the explosive materials be transferred to the appropriate security agency for further investigation. Muhammad Lawal, 42, was arrested at Central Market Motor Park in Katsina State with 1,000 ampoules of pentazocine injection.

Last Friday, NDLEA officers raided a house in the Obola community, Owan West local government area, Edo state, and recovered 105 kilogrammes of cannabis. A suspect, Gloria Oris, was arrested. Two suspects in Kwara state, Abdulganiyu Karaman, 55, and Sunday Abel, 37, were arrested on Saturday, May 18th, with 83 kilogrammes of cannabis and tramadol in Boriya, Baruten local government area, and Offa, respectively.

He noted that the various Agency commands across the country continued the War Against Drug Abuse, or WADA, advocacy campaign with the same vigour in the previous week.

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While congratulating the officers and men of the MMIA, Rivers, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Borno, Niger, Benue, Kwara, Imo, and Edo Commands of the Agency, as well as those of DOGI, on their outstanding feats in the past week, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) stated that the efforts have further affirmed the NDLEA’s central role in the country’s security architecture. He also praised their counterparts in all commands across the country for stepping up their WADA advocacy lectures to strike a balance between drug supply and demand reduction activities.

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CRIME

JUST IN: NDLEA Intercepts 3 Trailer Loads Of Opioids, Seizes 3.5Million Pills, 344,000 Codeine Bottles

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Seized drugs

*Arrests 75-Year-Old Grandpa, 70-Year-Old Grandma Over Dealing In Illicit Drugs

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) intercepted three trailer loads of opioids in Lagos State, containing 3,450,000 pills and 344,000 bottles of codeine syrup.

According to an anti-narcotics agency spokesman, Femi Babafemi, in a statement issued on Sunday, the trucks were intercepted at Abule Ado in the state’s Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, where three suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.

He revealed that the multi-billion-naira consignments were loaded into two 40-ft container trucks and another 20-ft truck at the AML bonded terminal in Abule-Osun, near the International Trade Fair Complex, before being transported to a large warehouse in Abule-Ado, where NDLEA officers arrested the suspects and recovered the opioid consignments last Thursday.

Babafemi said those arrested were the warehouse agent, Cosmas Obiajulu, 51; Ridwan Balogun, 25, and Banjo Tayo, 30, both drivers of two trucks; and the third driver, who jumped off to avoid arrest.

He also revealed that NDLEA agents arrested a suspect, Nwankwo Ejike, on Tuesday in the Coker area of Lagos, and recovered 100 litres of codeine syrup from him, while Clinton Akinye was apprehended in the same area the same day.

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He added that 37.5 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa loaded in a Toyota Camry car were recovered from another suspect, Adegbola Segun, 47 when the car was intercepted at Mile 12 in Lagos last Monday.

Another opioid shipment containing 59,106 tramadol pills as well as various quantities of codeine syrup and Rohypnol was intercepted by NDLEA officers last Monday along Adamawa state’s Mubi-Yola road.

He revealed that two suspects linked to the drugs, Abubakar Auwal, 39, and Adamu Abubakar (a.k.a Bamanga), 25, a trans-border trafficker who was supposed to transport the shipment from Mubi to Cameroon, were apprehended immediately.

In Edo state, NDLEA agents raided the Iguiye forest in the Ovia North East local government area on Saturday, destroying a total of 11,636.185 kilogrammes of cannabis on three farms measuring 4.654474 hectares, recovering an additional 188 kilogrammes of the same psychoactive substance and arresting a suspect, Itah Nyong, during the overnight operation.

According to Babafemi, a 75-year-old grandfather, Jibril Audu, was arrested last Friday with 7.5 kilogrammes of cannabis at Oke-Asa village, Ijero-Ekiti, Ekiti state, during a raid operation, while a 70-year-old grandmother, Tikwase Nytor, was apprehended with 15.6 kilogrammes of the same substance last Thursday during a raid operation at Achusa and International Market road, Makurdi, Benue state.

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He stated that NDLEA commands across the country balanced drug supply reduction operations with War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy campaigns in schools, markets, religious centres, and communities.

Meanwhile, while commending the agency’s Lagos, Edo, Ekiti, Benue, and Adamawa commands for their efforts over the past week, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) assured that officers and men will continue to work with local and international partners to ensure that the scourge of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria is reduced to a bare minimum.

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