By Ifeanyi Okolie
LAGOS — The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, said it had arrested over 82 suspected drug traffickers and recovered 843.002kg of illicit drugs in Lagos State, within the first quarter of 2011.
Vanguard gathered that the arrests were made when operatives of the agency raided drug hideouts in the state.
But the Lagos State Commander of the agency, Alhaji Aliyu Sule, explained that cannabis accounted for over 99 percent of total drugs seized in the past three months with 843.002 kilogrammes. “Between January and March 2011, the Lagos State Command of the NDLEA arrested 82 suspected drug dealers with 843.002kg. Cannabis represents over 99 percent of the drugs seized with 840.324kg. Cocaine is 2.65 while heroin is 27.6 grammes,” Aliyu said.
Meanwhile, a 63-year-old Isaac Orji, who deals on cannabis, among 82 suspects arrested by the anti-narcotic agency, told officials that he was retiring from the criminal trade in narcotics before he was apprehended. The suspect, who was said to be a major cannabis dealer in the state, had been arrested on several occasions by security agents, while treading on cannabis at CMS area of Lagos Island.
He also confessed that he was under pressure from his family to quit the trade in cannabis. According to him, “I am a smooth operator in cannabis distribution. I have lived a comfortable lifestyle through cannabis sales and I have made up my mind to retire from the trade. I have been arrested on many occasions but they hardly get me with drug exhibits.
This is going to be my last arrest because even my son in the University and my wife are on my neck to quit cannabis sales”.
The NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, while reacting to the arrest assured that no effort would be spared in cleaning up the country of narcotics in these days of elections. According to him “Drugs can induce violence and cause havoc.
We shall therefore be on the alert in taking drugs out of illicit circulation. More drug flashpoints in the country will come under heavy attack by the Agency as anything capable of inducing violence these election period will not be spared” Giade stated.