By Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has declared an Abuja drug lord, Ibrahim Momoh, popular as ‘Ibrahim Bendel’ wanted.
Operatives of the NDLEA had stormed the warehouse of the notorious drug lord and ex-convict, where 81 jumbo bags of cannabis weighed 1,278kgs.
The drug lord had escaped from prison custody to return to his criminal trade.
Though the fleeing drug dealer is still at large and is wanted by the Agency, his warehouse keeper, 55-year-old Ghanaian, Richard Forson Gordon was arrested.
Ibrahim Momoh was first detained on 27th November 2014 with the same substance weighing 385.1kgs, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on 22nd of April, 2020 but escaped from jail after three months.
During its operation, the NDLEA also arrested a 60-year-old grandmother and a pregnant woman among those busted during interdiction operations.
Spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi said, “During the operations 5,527.15 kilograms of methamphetamine and cannabis sativa, as well as 132,090 tablets of tramadol and 2,000 bottles of codeine were seized by the NDLEA across five states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in the past week”.
“The grandma, Mrs. Ibinosun Sandra Esther was arrested in Ibadan, Oyo state in a follow-up operation following the seizure of 5.5kg Loud variant of cannabis imported into the country from South Africa.
“The consignment, which she claimed was sent to her by her daughter was concealed in two giant Speakers as part of a consolidated cargo that arrived at the NAHCO import shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos on board an Airpeace Airline flight”
In a related development, NDLEA operatives also on Saturday 26th November intercepted 1.4 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed inside custard tins packed among cosmetics and foodstuffs going to Brazil via Doha on a Qatar Airways flight.
A cargo agent, Salako Omolara Fausat who brought the bag containing the illicit drug to the airport, and an intending passenger to Brazil, Anyanwu Christian who was to travel with the consignment were promptly arrested.
Another attempt by a freight agent, Adebisi Aina Hafsat to export 3,000 tablets of tramadol concealed in motor spare parts to Banjul, Gambia through the NAHCO export shed was equally thwarted by operatives who seized the consignment and arrested her on Monday 28th Nov, while a follow-up operation to Ebute-Meta area of Lagos the following day, Tuesday 29th Nov led to the arrest of the actual owner, Afam Chibuke Stanley, who is a spare parts seller.
This was followed by the seizure of 100,000 tablets of Royal brand of Tramadol 200mg with a gross weight of 68.90 kilograms imported from Karachi, Pakistan on Ethiopian Airlines at the SAHCO import shed.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 2,000 bottles of codeine-based syrup, were seized in a commercial bus by operatives on Friday 2nd December along Lokoja – Abuja expressway.
In Rivers state, operatives on Saturday 3rd Dec arrested a 29-year-old pregnant woman, Kate Ibinabo with 34.4kgs cannabis sativa in Okrika area of the state.
The Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has however directed that she be granted administrative bail pending when she’s delivered her baby and thereafter return for her prosecution because, at the time of her arrest, she’s in her ninth month of pregnancy.
In Ondo state, 241 bags of the psychoactive substance with a gross weight of 3,133kg were recovered from a building at Ilale Cashew, Ehinogbe, Owo, on Tuesday 29th Nov.
At least, 507.9kgs of cannabis were also seized during a raid at the hideout of a fleeing drug dealer in Mushin area of Lagos on Thursday 1st Dec.
In Cross River, 53 jumbo bags of C/S weighing 567.05kgs were seized from three suspects: Bassey Boniface Eyibio, 38; Effiong Akiba Etim, 30, and Ngbong Raymond, 45 at Mpara junction, Odukpani LGA on Thursday 1st Dec while conveying the consignment in a bus marked CKK 74 AA.
Operatives equally arrested another suspect, Ali Mohammed along Potiskum – Damaturu road after they found 29,090 tablets of tramadol in his personal Honda car marked ABC 914 RW coming from Gombe to Damaturu, Yobe state.
While commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Rivers, Ondo, Lagos, Cross River and Yobe Commands of the Agency for the arrests and seizures, Gen. Marwa charged them and their counterparts across other formations to continue to step up their offensives against drug cartels.