By Adedapo Adesanya
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a wanted drug dealer behind the 2000.6kg Cannabis Sativa seized in a concrete mixer truck in Adamawa State on December 2, 2021, Mr Henry Chukwuneku Okamaru (a.k.a. Lawrence Ik Okamaru). He was arrested in Ondo State after five months of search.
Two suspects, Mr Matthew Donuwe and Mr Friday Nmborgwu were earlier arrested in connection to the consignment last December.
They had confessed that the concrete mixer truck with Lagos registration number SMK 890 XB was loaded with the illicit drug in Ogbese, Ondo state while they travelled for two months on the road before arriving in Adamawa where they were eventually arrested by NDLEA operatives.
Investigations reveal that Mr Okamaru is one of the leaders of a cannabis cultivation cartel that operates in the Ondo-Ekiti axis, while he shuttles between Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Delta State from where he coordinates supplies of illicit consignments to Northern parts of the country and Lagos State.
The suspect has also been identified as a member of an international drug trafficking ring, while he shuttles between Nigeria and South Africa where he settles his family.
According to the NDLEA, he has strong control and stake in cannabis cultivation in Ondo, Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo States with large storage facilities in Lagos and Abbi in Delta State from where his consignments are distributed year-round.
In a related development, a 36-year-old Nigerian based in Italy, Nwakanma Michael Uche has been arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA Abuja for ingesting pellets of heroin.
Mr Nwakanma who hails from, Arodizuogu Village, Ideato Local Government Area of Imo State was nabbed while trying to board Air France Airline enroute Abuja-Paris-Milan, Italy on Sunday, May 15, 2022. He was thereafter kept under observation during which he excreted 95 pellets of the illicit drug.
He claimed he came to see his parents in Nigeria after 12 years in Italy and to complete his father’s traditional marriage rites. He added that he was to be paid N1.5 million after the successful delivery of the drugs in Milan.
Across five states of Edo, Kaduna, Kogi, Akwa Ibom and Oyo, NDLEA operatives intensified their offensive action against drug cartels.
In Edo, a pharmacy along Sapele Road, Benin, was raided on Friday 27th May following intelligence and prolonged surveillance.
The owner of the store, Mr Thaddeus Uliagbafusi, 58, was arrested while a total of 130,670 tablets of different controlled drugs, 1,396 ampoules of pentazocine injection and 743 bottles of codeine were recovered from a secret location where the drugs are repackaged.
This followed a similar raid of a drug joint operated by Mrs Christianah Gabriel, 53, at Uromi, Esan North-East LGA, Edo State, who was arrested with 25kg cannabis.
While 15, 000 ampoules of pentazocine injection were seized by operatives in Kaduna along Abuja-Kaduna express road, 12,500 tablets of Diazepam were intercepted along the Okene-Abuja highway on Thursday, May 26. The drug exhibits were found inside a truck conveying motor spare parts from Onitsha, Anambra to Kaduna.
In Akwa Ibom, a female suspected drug dealer, Mrs Irene Emmanuel Bassey was arrested on Saturday, May 28, during a search of her house at Ikpa town, Esit Eket LGA where 30.5kg cannabis was recovered, while one Muideen Rasaki was nabbed with 90.8kg cannabis at Elere, Boluwaji area of Ibadan South-East LGA.