NDLEA foils drug trafficking attempt through African salad, rejects bribe

By Innocent Raphael

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have disclosed the agency was making significant strides in combating drug trafficking across various states in Nigeria, culminating in several arrests and seizures of illicit substances.

The law enforcement agency made this known in a statement on Sunday, signed by the Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters Abuja, Femi Babafemi.

On Thursday in Lagos state, the NDLEA intercepted a 35-year-old woman, Chidinma Chinenye Agbazue, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) attempting to export 20 parcels of cannabis sativa disguised in African salad, popularly called “Abacha”.

The joint operation which saw the NDLEA collaborate with the Department of State Security (DSS) intercepted Chidinma, an outbound passenger from Lagos to Doha, on Qatar Airways during clearance of passengers at the screening point of terminal 11 of the airport.

According to the statement, preliminary investigations revealed that Chidinma was based in Qatar but returned to Nigeria last December for Christmas celebration.

The suspect also confessed that in preparation of her return to Doha, she was lodged at Club Dice Hotel in the Ikotun area of Lagos where the consignment was handed over to her for trafficking to the Arab country.

In the same vein, on Tuesday, NDLEA officers apprehended suspected drug dealers Monday Okeke and Chigozie Emeka in the Oniwaya, Yaba, and Agege areas of Lagos, seizing a substantial quantity of opioids including tramadol, codeine syrup, and Molly.

The report also revealed an attempt by Okeke to bribe the NDLEA officers with N5 million cash, which was rebuffed, with the money documented as part of exhibits to prosecute the suspects in court.

Similar operations took place within Tuesday and Friday in Bayelsa, Ogun, Taraba, Abia, Ondo, and Edo states, resulting in the interception of various drug shipments and the arrest of multiple suspects. Additionally, raids and seizures occurred in forests and communities, with significant quantities of cannabis discovered and destroyed.

In conjunction with these enforcement actions, NDLEA intensified its War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy, conducting sensitization lectures across different regions, targeting students, teachers, motorcycle riders, and religious communities.

Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, commended the efforts of officers and commands involved in these operations, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts in combating drug trafficking and abuse nationwide.

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