By Stephen Ubanna
Barely one week after Buba Marwa, a retired Brigadier General and former Nigeria Ambassador to South Africa under the present All Progressive Congress, APC, government and now, Chairman, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, busted a cocain syndicate at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, resulting in the arrest of three suspects, another trafficker, Ukaegbu Bright Onyekachi has been nabbed with 3.30 kilograms of the illicit drug.
The suspect was said to have been arrested on Monday, February 1st, 2021 during the inward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian airline at the E Wing arrival hall of the MMIA. The arrest of one Onyejegbu Ifesinachi Jennifer, a 33 year-old Nigerian hair Stylist in Sao Paulo, a major town in the North American country of Brazil with 26.840Kg of cocain at the MMIA, worth about N30 billion on Thursday, January 27, 2021, in an Ethiopian airline at the MMIA, may have forced the NDLEA Personnel at the airport to intensify their search for more drug traffickers that may be used by the drug baron, Ikechukwu Eze to send the illicit drug to Nigeria.
Note that one Emmanul Iyke Anniebonam, no relation of Bonniface Anniebonam, founder , National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, who was to take delivery of the illicit from Jennnifer on the orders of the baron, Eze, was cited by NDLEA Operatives at NAHCO and consequently arrested. Another member of the Eze drug cartel arrested in connection with the Jennifer smuggled 6.840Kg of cocain into the country using the Ethiopian airline was one Onwurah Kelvin. The trios are still in NDLEA detention awaiting to be dragged to Court before finally heading to jail.
Given the mouth watery amount that was paid by the baron to the willing drug traffickers may have given the NDLEA officials at the MMIA at the ammunition that there may be more suspects who may still want to fly the Ethiopian airline, not for carrying illicit rug peddler into the country through the airport.
Take for instance Jennifer was said to have agreed to collect N2 million to do the runs for Eze and successfully landed at the MMIA, with the drugs without being identified at the Sao Paulo Airport, Brazil or Addis Ababa, Capital of Ethiopia, by security Operatives.
This may have informed why one Ukaegbu Onyekachi also agreed to engage in the drug trafficking business to make quick money by flying the Ethiopian airline, now described as having a working agreement with Nigerian drug barons in the high risk country of Brazil.
. He got it wrong. This is because the NDLEA Operatives are all over the airport and at the National cargo Handling , NAHCO and Sachol Cargo Handling , sachol, Shed, meaning that it would be very difficult for any drug trafficker to escape arrest.
Ahmadu Garba, the NDLEA Commander at the airport had who led the team that arrested Jennifer and the two other earlier drugs suspects had said that Onyekachi had arrived MMIA, on board Ethiopian airways from São Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa.
The hard drug was said to have been cleverly concealed in T -shirts stickers but the trafficker could not escape the eagle eyes of the NDLEA Operatives at the airport. With the 6.10 Kg cocain seizure in two days at the MMIA, Marwa , described as a nonsense retired army Brigadier General has sent a signal to Eze and his associates in Brazil and Nigeria that the game is up.
He may have made the Nigerian drug baron to understand that he may have penetrated the ranks of the security Operatives at Sao Paulo, Brazil and Addis Ababa, Ethiopian, airports, but he would find it difficult to have his way in any of the Nigerian International airports, that he may want to use to smuggle in the drugs into the country, particular, MMIA or the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, because of the tight security and the close working relationship of the various security agencies personnel.
While the Commanders at the airports , have tightened up security that it would be difficult for any illicit drug trafficker to escape arrest or losing the Consignment to NDLEA, another set of operatives of the agency were said to have raided a number of drug spots at the FCT, where 14 persons including three men in military uniform suspected to be fake . Hear him. The soldiers who were arrested were found with different quantities of cocaine, codeine, rohypnols and Indian hemp in them.
Some of the drug spots raided at the weekend at the FCT, wre said to be at Wuse Zone 4 and 5; Wuse by Banex plaza and Garki by Torabora. Also raised are Area 1 by Gwagwalada park; Dagwa village and Abattoir in Karu.
Lawan Hammisu, the FCT Commande of the agency , disclosed that “the 14 persons arrested are currently being investigated in connection with the recovery of 34.8kg cannabis sativa.
The Value News learnt ,that three of the arrested persons who were in military camouflage are still being profiled but are suspected to be fake soldiers.” In a related development the Nasarawa Command of the agency was said to have uncovered a cannabis warehouse in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital where 45 bags of the illegal drug weighing 474kg were recovered.
Justice Arinze, the state Comander of the agency said “the recovery of the Cannabis was the biggest singular seizure since the inception of the command in 1999. Hear him. ‘’We’re grateful to our new Chairman, Brig. Gen. Marwa who made the feat possible for us by empowering us with the all the necessary logistics support to go all out and make the seizures’’.
.” He said the command is continuing with its operation “Hana Kwaya”, in collaboration with other security agencies to raid other drug joints and markets in the state. He stated that the first phase of the operation had covered some local government areas in the state already with the arrest of 54 suspects comprising 12 dealers and 42 drug users, while a total of 604 kilogramms of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances have been seized.
Marwa the NDLEA, Chairman, who could not hide his feeling for appreciation good work has commended the men and officers of the MMIA, FCT and Nasarawa commands of the agency for taking the drug war’’ to the doorsteps of traffickers and peddlers in their areas’’.
Recalll that h had told the commanders at their first meeting at the agency agency Abuja Headquarters that their new slogan is’’ offensive action’’ .
It is not surprising why he has given the Commanders a pass mark for following up the strategies outlined for them in the drug war by the Management. I’m glad they are following up on the strategies outlined for them”, the NDLEA boss had said in a statement. Vintage Marwa.
The NDLEA ongoing drug war offensive appears to have thrown confusion in the Camp of the drug barons both within and outside the country including other illicit drug dealers that they were said to have gone under underground for now. Some of them who remain unrepentant despite the billions of naira they have lost in the business over the years to NDLEA, may have gone back to the drawing the board to perfect other tricks of carrying out their nefarious trade in the country.’’ We are waiting for you at the airport and your other locations of transacting the illegal business’’, the NDLEA, retired Brig.General Chairman, had told them in no uncertain terms. Bad news.