Wanted Drug Baron Arrested At Lagos Pentecostal Church
By Jennifer Ugwueke
A major drug dealer wanted for attempting to export 69.65 kilogrammes of cocaine, heroin and cannabis to the United Kingdom has been arrested at a Pentecostal Church in Lagos.
Afam Ikeanyionwu, has been on the wanted list of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for trying to traffic large quantity of drug through the NAHCO export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos to the United Kingdom.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi said Ikeanyionwu was tracked on Sunday 15th August, 2021, to a popular pentecostal church at Mike Ajari street, Ojodu Berger, where the operatives of the agency arrested him soon after he stepped out of the church service.
Babafemi revealed that his arrest followed the interception of a consignment of illicit drugs weighing 69.65 kilogrammes going to the UK through the Lagos airport on Thursday, 12th August, 2021.
He said the illegal baggage had been sent to the airport for export through a freight forwarding company, which in turn gave a driver to deliver it at the NAHCO export shed.
He said following the arrest of the driver, follow up operations and investigations later revealed the true identity of the actual owner of the consignment, Afam Ikeanyionwu, who was arrested three days later in a sting operation.
Also at the Lagos airport, NDLEA operatives arrested an Italy-bound passenger, Abibu Miminu, during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airways flight to Italy via Addis-Ababa for ingesting illicit drugs.
Babafemi said while under observation at the agency’s facility between Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th August, 2021, the trafficker excreted 68 wraps of heroin, all weighing 800 grammes in three excretions,.
Also in operations in Lagos, narcotic officers of the Directorate of Operation and General Investigation have intercepted at two courier companies 840 grammes of Methamphetamine going to Australia and concealed in bolts; 340 grammes of Meth hidden in locally made footwears and also going to Australia; 1 kilogramme of cocaine coming from Ghana with UK as destination and concealed in four local guitars.
Equally seized from one of the courier firms, is another 480 grammes of Meth concealed in footwears and going to Australia.
Meanwhile, a South Africa returnee, Chigozie Samuel, was also last Sunday arrested at the Lagos airport during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airlines from Addis-Abbaba, for importing 58 grammes of skunk into Nigeria.
Samuel, during preliminary interview, admitted ownership and claimed to be a cannabis smoker.
In strings of operations in Edo, Ondo, Kaduna, Kano and Kogi states, according to Babafemi, at least 2,504.8 kilogrammes of diverse illicit drugs were seized from multiple suspects in the past week.
In Kogi, 60-year-old Mrs Comfort Uzor was arrested with 62.1 kilogrammes cannabis on Tuesday, 17th August, 2021 in Lokoja, where one Dayyabu Usman was also caught with 8 kilogrammes of same substance.
He said Uzor sourced her illicit drugs from Bolorunduro in Ondo state and was heading to Abuja, while Usman got his from Lagos and was taking it to Kano for sale.
In Kaduna state, operatives of the Birnin Gwari Area Command of the agency raided the home of one Mr Joseph Sunday at Ungwa Pama, Kaduna where they recovered 48.3 kilogrammes of cannabis from his room following credible intelligence.
In Edo state, NDLEA officers on Tuesday 17th August stormed the Ugbuwe forest in Ovia North East local government area where they seized 146 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 2,044 kilogrammes, while in Kano state, one Ikechukwu Aleke was arrested with 30,000 tablets of Tramadol 225 milligrammes and 99 bottles of Codeine syrup, in addition to the arrest of one Muktar Muhammad, with 370 bottles of Codeine cough syrup, weighing 60.4 kilogrammes, as well as 900 tablets of Rohypnol.
Also arrested in Kano was Sufiyanu Abubakar, 24, with 400 plastic bottles of Codeine cough syrup weighing 52 kilogrammes as well as one Hassan Wada, who specializes in using courier firms to send drugs to a recipient in China, using cooking spices bottles for concealment.
In Ondo state, over 77.5 kilogrammes of cannabis and monkey tail were intercepted on Saturday 21st August at Odigbo town in Odigbo local government area, where operatives arrested one Basiru Ijiniga.
Also arrested on Saturday was Ibrahim Umaru in Sabo area of Akure South local government area. Recovered from him include different quantities of psychotropic substances like Diazepam, Tramadol, Swinol and Rophynol.
Reacting to the arrests and seizures in the past week across some states and at the MMIA, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the various commands for their unrelenting commitment to the presidential mandate to clear Nigerian forests and communities of illicit drugs in whatever form.
He said: “We have all laid our hands on the plough, there’s no looking back, no retreat or surrender and as such I urge all our officers and men to intensify the ongoing offensive action until the last grammes of illicit drug is taken away from merchants of death.”