A rehabilitated ex-fighter of the Boko Haram terrorist group, Alayi Madu; and the traditional ruler of Kajola, a border community between Ondo and Edo State, Akinola Adebayo, are among 37 persons arrested over 2.2 tons of illicit drugs seized by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos and in raids across 12 states of the federation in the past week.

PUNCH Metro reports that as part of ongoing operations to mop up illicit drugs across the country ahead of the next round of elections, NDLEA officers in the early hours of Friday, March 10, stormed Kajola Forest in Kajola community where they destroyed three cannabis farms measuring 39.801546 hectares.

The owner of the farms, Adebayo (35), who claims to be the Baale of Kajola, was arrested on the farm at 2.30am, while two other suspects believed to be his workers Arikuyeri Abdulrahman, 23 and Habibu Ologun, 25, were also nabbed in a hut near the farms.

The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement obtained by our correspondent on Sunday.

In the same vein, 26-year-old Madu, who was said to be a Boko Haram fighter for 15 years before he surrendered to the Nigerian military in 2021, was intercepted by NDLEA operatives on Thursday, March 9 along Abuja-Kaduna Road with 10Kg of skunk, which he said he bought in Ibadan, Oyo State and was taking the consignment concealed in a sack to Maiduguri, Borno state.

Babafemi said, “In his statement, Madu said he is from Banki town, Borno State and joined the notorious terrorist organisation in 2006 when he was nine years old. He said he repented and surrendered to the military in 2021, after which he underwent rehabilitation and de-radicalisation processes at Umaru Shehu Rehabilitation Centre, Maiduguri and Malam Sidi De-radicalisation Centre, Gombe before he was discharged after spending six months.”

“Thereafter, he travelled to Ibadan, Oyo State where he worked as a commercial motorcycle rider before going into drug trafficking, and was eventually arrested along Abuja-Kaduna express road.”

Meanwhile, at the Lagos airport in Ikeja, operatives acting on intelligence intercepted a consignment of 11.90Kg of heroin and 500grams of skunk concealed in deep freezers, which were part of a cargo that arrived from South Africa on Tuesday, March 7 on board Ethiopian Airline via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.Babafemi noted that the anti-narcotics agency’s sniffer dogs were deployed to locate where the illicit drugs were hidden in the cargo and in no time, they identified the cartons packed in the deep freezers.He added, “A total of four suspects that played active roles in the movement of the drugs and a truck driver have been arrested so far in connection with the seizure. They include Dairo Quam, Oluwaseun Ogunmene, Adeleke Abdulrasaq, Bamidele Adewale and Oluwafemi Ogunmeru.”Also, NDLEA operatives attached to the Gate C Departure Hall of the MMIA on Thursday, March 9 intercepted a passenger, Aigbedion Philomena, heading to Italy via Addis Ababa on an Ethiopian Airline flight.When her bags containing body cream, hair attachments, drinks, and some food items were searched, a total of 1.20kg tramadol capsules concealed inside a gift wrapping sheet and covered with old daily newspapers were discovered.On the same day at the Idiroko land border, NDLEA operatives acting on intelligence intercepted a commercial Toyota Camry Salon Car with registration number JJJ 756 HB (Lagos) along Ilase-Akoko Road, Idiroko with 34 compressed jumbo size wraps of imported skunk weighing 17kg and concealed in two cooking gas cylinders.

Two suspects in the car, Benjamin Ajose, 48 and Oluwatobiloba Ajayi, 37, were arrested.The spokesperson for the NDLEA further added that in Akwa Ibom state, Mrs Iniobong David, 42, was arrested with bags of cannabis sativa weighing 1,112kg (1.1 tons) in her house at Ediene Abak in Abak LGA, while operatives in Kogi state on Thursday, March 9 recovered 25 cartons, containing 50,000 ampoules of pentazocine injection weighing 200kg in a Toyota Hiace bus marked LAM 652 LG, Kogi, travelling from Lagos to Abuja.

@ Punch Newspaper

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