In determined bid to rid the nation of all businesses involving illicit drugs, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended 42 drug barons and one drug baroness in the last 42 months.
The latest of these arrests was billionaire Idumota trader, Nwaoha Anayo, who was nabbed at Onitire, Aguda area of Surulere, and 12, 700, 000 pills of tramadol recovered from him on the 31st October.
Africa Today News, New York recalls that earlier in the same October, operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) took into custody two wanted heads of transnational criminal organisations with multi-billion-naira worth of illicit drugs and assets seized from them after weeks of intelligence-led operations across the country and outside Nigeria.
Following the NDLEA operatives’ discovery of cargo of cocaine and heroin hidden in the stomachs of two traffickers travelling to Doha, Qatar, and Paris, France, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the wanted drug lords were apprehended.
Operatives at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday October 10, succeeded in taking into custody Hakeem Babatunde Salami, the arrowhead of ‘Tajudeen Babatunde Abioye Transnational Criminal Organisation’.
The drug cartel is said to be involved in illicit trade of several narcotics, including Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine and Ephedrine between Nigeria, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique and Europe.
He fled Nigeria to South Africa upon the arrest of a member of his syndicate, Suleiman Babatunde Oba, at Lagos airport on August 25 over an attempt to export 25.10kgs of ephedrine to South Africa.
Head of another cartel, Okafor Ikechukwu Williams (aka Jantu), and his wife, Okafor Ifeyinwa Grace, were also taken into custody on Thursday October 5 when NDLEA operatives raided their hideout at 9 Awa Street, Ago Palace, Okota area of Lagos where they recovered 27.566 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in a blue box and two sacks, ready for export to Europe and Asia.
On October 1, the NDLEA announced the arrest of drug baroness, Faith Ebele Nwankwo, after three major illicit drug syndicates were taken down.
Africa Today News, New York investigations showed that the agency seized over seven million kilograms of drugs in the period under review, while over 852.142 hectares of cannabis farms have been destroyed and three clandestine methamphetamine laboratories dismantled.
In June 2023, NDLEA chairman, Brig.Gen. Mohamed Marwa, said about 31,675 drug offenders were arrested in 29 months.
Our investigations showed however that the number has risen to about 32,000 offenders in 42 months.
About 5,147 of them prosecuted and convicted, while over 7million kilograms of assorted drugs were seized within the same period.
Also, the agency has destroyed drugs worth over N202 billion, with the highest destruction happening in September 2022 when it destroyed drugs valued at N195 billion in a single day in Badagry, Lagos.
Marwa had also stated that over 11,000 other cases still pending in court, while 23,725 drug users had been counselled and rehabilitated, majority of them through brief interventions.