By Kingsley Omonobi— ABUJA
The Joint Task Force, JTF, Operation Unit of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested a drug baron, Mr. Chidi Olife, who escaped arrest for unlawful importation of 5.250kg of heroin concealed in books from Karachi, Pakistan, to Lagos in June 2010.
Olife’s arrest in Lagos came just as operatives of the anti-drug agency in Adamawa State nabbed an illicit drug dealer, Rabiu Imam on Friday, February 19, with 225mg Tramadol tablets, weighing 45.4kg.
The Adamawa State Commander of the NDLEA, Idris Bello, while briefing the Chairman/Chief Executive of the agency, Brig. General Buba Marwa (retd) on Saturday, said other illicit drugs recovered from Imam include Tramadol capsules (100mg) weighing 550grms; Diazepam tablet 850grms.
He said the drug trafficker was arrested in a house at Unguwan Madina, Mubi North Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
He put the estimated street value of the seized drugs at over N50 million.
“It’s a trans-border business because the illicit drugs were moved from Onitsha, Anambra State, through Yola to Mubi and heading to Cameroon and Chad,” Mr. Bello added.
10 years ago…
On Olife’s arrest, a statement by the agency noted that in June 2010, following vital intelligence on the drug source, flight details, date and place of arrival, weight and mode of concealment, name, phone number and address of the recipient of the consignment, a planned controlled delivery operation was coordinated and led by the Commander NDLEA’s JTF, DCN Adeniyi Olumuyiwa.
It added that the careful execution of the operation led to the arrest of Oladimeji Oladotun and Alhaji Danjuma Idris, while processing the documents for clearing the consignment.
Both were the clearing agents hired by Chidi Olife, the owner of the drug.
Upon being arrested, Alhaji Danjuma was used to effect the arrest of Oke Ningo, who Chidi contacted to receive the consignment from the agents on his behalf.
Unfortunately, he escaped arrest at the point of receiving the drug as he suspected the person with the clearing agent to be an NDLEA officer.
Subsequently, the house of Chidi Olife was traced to a street in Ajao Estate area of Lagos. But before the JTF team could get there he had escaped with all members of his household.
The undaunted JTF team of officers placed surveillance on him. Their resilience yielded fruit 10 years after.
Olife was eventually arrested and is currently cooling off in NDLEA’s custody, while a manhunt for Oke Ningo, his associate continues.