The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Sunday confirmed the arrest of a 56-year-old cocaine trafficker, Lawal Oyenuga, who was on a mission to deliver 400grams of the class A drug concealed in a pair of palm sandals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The agency’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, in a statement, also said a wanted notorious kingpin, Wasiu Gbolahan, aka Teacher, who recruits mules for the cartel, was also arrested.
Babafemi said, “The NDLEA operatives attached to the screening point of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, had on Thursday, November 24, intercepted Lawal Oyenuga with a pair of black palm sandals packed in the luggage he was going with to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia via Addis Ababa on an Ethiopian Airways flight.
“A thorough examination of the sandals revealed they were used to conceal two parcels of cocaine weighing 400 grams. This is barely a week after a 56-year-old widow and mother of four, Ajisegiri Sidika, was arrested at the airport over her attempt to traffic 400 grams of cocaine concealed in her footwear to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, on board a Qatar Airways flight.
“In his statement, Oyenuga claimed he was recruited to traffic the drug by Wasiu Gbolahan, popularly known as Teacher, adding that he was first given some pellets of cocaine to swallow but when he couldn’t do that, then he was given the ones concealed in the palm sandals. He said he resorted to the criminal trade to raise money to pay an examination fee for his daughter who is in Senior Secondary School class 3.”
Babafemi said the agency’s database revealed that Gbolahan had been linked to some previous attempts to traffic cocaine to Saudi Arabia and Dubai, UAE.
He added that he was earlier named as the one who recruited a BRT driver, Bolajoko Babalola, for Lagos socialite and owner of Adekaz Hotels, Alhaji Ademola Kazeem, aka Alhaji Abdallah Kazeem Muhammed, to traffic drugs to Dubai.
“Bolajoko was arrested on June 27 while taking 900 grams of cocaine to Dubai while Ademola Kazeem was nabbed on Thursday November 10, barely 10 days after he was declared wanted by the NDLEA.
A follow up operation in the early hours of Friday, November 25, led to the arrest of the kingpin, (Gbolahan) aka Teacher, who specialises in recruiting mules for drug barons in Lagos and its environs at his residence located in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.”
In another follow up operation to the seizure of 1.10kg cannabis concealed in bottles of body cream going to Dubai on September 9, Babafemi said the actual owner of the consignment, Wordul Chukwuemeka, who runs a boutique business in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was arrested on Thursday, November 24.
Babafemi also confirmed arrests of two freight agents, Nwazuru Georgewill and Saheed Muritala; a Brazilian returnee, Iroegbute Francis; and a notorious cripple, Ibrahim Yusuf, one Uzoma Kingsley, for drug related offences.
He also said Ismaila Abubakar, Sunday Mathias, Onyebuchi Chime, Richard Ebong and Nze Abraham, Adebayo Rahmat, Muhsin Abdullahi, Lawal Rabe, Basiru Muhammadu, and Saidu Yusuf, among others, were arrested for similar offense.
The also seized 5.8 tonnes of cannabis from dealers across five states, the agency’s spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi, said on Sunday in Abuja.
Babafemi said among those arrested was a cripple, Ibrahim Yusuf, 45, in possession of 4kg of the psychotropic substance.
He said that the cripple drug dealer was arrested on Nov. 21 at Gasline, Ifo in Ogun State.
The spokesman also said that a total of 36 bags weighing 570kg of the same substance were recovered in a raid at a forest in Ogunmakin, Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, the NDLEA operatives on Nov. 22, evacuated 141 bags of Cannabis Sativa with a gross weight of 1,884 kg stored in a warehouse in Okpe forest, Akoko Edo LGA in Edo.
Drugs intercepted by the NDLEA operatives
“On Thursday Nov. 24, NDLEA officers arrested Ismaila Abubakar, 50, at Okada junction, Ovia South West LGA with 22 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 216.5kg. .
“A day after, operatives also seized 112 bags of cannabis sativa stored in Obi Camp forest, Ovia South West LGA weighing 1, 512kg.
“This was also followed by another seizure of 45 bags that weighed 529.5kg, while officers equally intercepted a Toyota Sienna bus with Reg. No. BDG 598 FZ (Lagos) loaded with 566.5kg cannabis.
“The bus was going to Onitsha, Anambra, and a suspect, Sunday Mathias, 30, arrested with the seizure,” he said.
Babafemi said that NDLEA operatives also stormed Oke-Ogun forest on Nov. 25, where one Onyebuchi Chime was arrested with 88kg cannabis, a gun and some ammunition in Ondo State.
He added that the NDLEA operatives also recovered 149.5kg of the substance at Ipele forest.
“Not less than 12.42 hectares of cannabis farms were destroyed and 195kg processed weeds of the substance recovered at Efon Alaye, Ekiti State.
“Two drug dealers: Richard Ebong and Nze Abraham were arrested on Saturday Nov. 26 during the raid,” he said.
The NDLEA spokesman said that 27-year-old Mrs Rahmat Adebayo was arrested on Nov. 24 at Sabo-Ilupeju, Atiba LGA of Oyo State with 136.3kg cannabis.
Babafemi said that no fewer than 84,000 pills of Tramadol tablets were recovered from a suspect, Muhsin Abdullahi in Bodinga area of Sokoto state on Thursday.
He added that 16,000 pills of Exol-5 and D5 concealed in palm oil were seized from one Lawal Rabe, 24, on Friday at Kokami village, Danja LGA, Katsina State.
Also, 54,500 tablets of Tramadol and Exol-5 were seized from the duo of Basiru Muhammadu and Saidu Yusuf in the same area on Saturday. (NAN)