NDLEA busts snake-guarded shrine used to store illicit drugs, arrests 2 in Edo


NDLEA operatives

By Isa Isawade

A snake-guarded shrine used to store illicit drugs in Igor community, Benin City, Edo State, has been raided by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, who detected a specially constructed large hole storage in a wall covered with wallpapers and fetish objects.

Different quantities of illicit substances such as methamphetamine, Loud, Colorado and Arizona, all strong strains of cannabis with a total weight of 8.743 kilograms, were pulled out from the deep hole dug in the wall of the shrine building.

This was revealed on Sunday by a report of the agency published on its official Facebook page signed by its Director of Media & Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi.

According to the report, at least, two ladies: Sonia Chinonso Ezumezu and Risikatu Tijani were arrested during the intelligence-led operation on Tuesday 18th June 2024 after the big black snake guarding the shrine was demobilized. In the same vein, two suspects: Obi Ferguson,45, and Ernest Abanum, 46, were arrested on Saturday 22nd June when NDLEA operatives raided the Usen forest in Ovia South West LGA, Edo state where 209kg cannabis and a motorcycle were recovered.

“Meanwhile, NDLEA officers in Lagos have intercepted a carefully packaged consignment of 8.2 kilograms of methamphetamine at a motor park in Mazamaza, Ojo area of the state. The highly addictive illicit substance, also called ice or crystal meth was packed in imported Dunkin’ turtle love chocolate wraps and then concealed in the casing of three loud speakers.

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“A 39-year-old suspect, Michael Odiomume who was sending the consignment to Owerri, Imo state was promptly arrested on Wednesday 19th June at the park.

“In Abuja, operatives on Tuesday 18th June intercepted a white Nissan Frontier pick up vehicle with amber lights and fake registration number of a security agency at Kiyi village in Kuje area of the FCT. The vehicle was loaded with 454 compressed blocks of cannabis sativa, weighing 340.8kg procured at Uzeba, Edo state. A 76-year-old grandfather, Mr. Francis Omofa, linked to the consignment was arrested. He claimed to have been in the illicit drug business for 10 years.

“With the same vigour, Commands and formations of the Agency across the country continued their War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, sensitization activities in schools, worship centres, work places and communities among others in the past week.

“These include: WADA enlightenment lecture for students and teachers of St. Peters College, Nibo, Anambra; students and staff of Apostolic Grammar School, Ilesa, Osun state; students and teachers of Immanuel Baptist High School, Oyo town, Oyo state; students and staff of Federal Government Science and Technical College, Otukpa, Benue state, as well as WADA advocacy lecture for Muslim faithful during their juma’at prayer in Umuahia, Abia state and a WADA advocacy visit to the First Lady of Enugu state, Mrs. Nkechinyere Mbah by the state Command of NDLEA,” the report revealed.

While commending the officers and men of Edo, Lagos, and FCT Commands, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) noted the balance in their drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction efforts as well as those of their compatriots across the country.

Marwa charged them to maintain the ongoing offensive action against drug cartels as they continue to intensify their war against drug abuse, WADA, social advocacy campaign.

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