By Adeola Abdullah
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Major General Buba Marwa (Rtd) over the seizure of N193Bn (one hundred and ninety four billion naira) worth of cocaine seized by the operatives of the Agency in Lagos on Sunday.
Buhari called Marwa on telephone from New York, USA where he is attending the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
“I deeply appreciate the work that you have put into the eradication of the drug menace. It gladdens my heart as I continue to follow the successes achieved under your leadership.”
Earlier on Monday, the NDLEA had announced that in what appears to be the biggest singular cocaine seizure in the history of Nigeria’s premier anti-narcotic agency, operatives of the Agency, have busted a major warehouse in a secluded estate in Ikorodu area of Lagos where 1.8tons (1,855 kilograms) of the illicit drug worth more than Two Hundred and Seventy Eight Million Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($278, 250,000) equivalent of about One Hundred and Ninety Four Billion, Seven Hundred and Seventy Five Million (N194, 775,000,000) Naira in street value were seized.
At least, four drug barons including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager have been arrested in the well coordinated and intelligence led operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos state. Kingpins of the cocaine cartel in custody include: Messrs Soji Jibril, 69, an indigene of Ibadan, Oyo state; Emmanuel Chukwu, 65, who hails from Ekwulobia, Anambra state; Wasiu Akinade, 53, from Ibadan, Oyo state; Sunday Oguntelure, 53, from Okitipupa, Ondo state and Kelvin Smith, 42, a native of Kingston, Jamaica. They are all members of an international drug syndicate that the Agency has been trailing since 2018.
Located at 6 Olukuola crescent, Solebo estate, Ikorodu, the warehouse was raided on Sunday 18th September, 2022, while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in different parts of Lagos between Sunday night and Monday 19th September.
Preliminary investigation reveals the class A drugs were warehoused in the residential estate from where the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. They were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums.