NDLEA Picks Up Another Wanted Drug Lord in Ondo

*As Italy Based Nigerian Excretes 95 Pellets of Heroin at Abuja airport
*Tons of Tramadol, Cannabis Seized in Edo, Kaduna, Kogi, A/Ibom, Oyo

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested another wanted drug kingpin.

Henry Chukwuneku Okamaru, a.k.a. Lawrence Ik Okamaru, who is said to be the drug lord behind the 2000.6kg of cannabis sativa seized in a concrete mixer truck in Adamawa state on Thursday, December 2, 2021, was arrested in Ondo state after five months of manhunt.

Two suspects, Matthew Donuwe and Friday Nmborgwu, arrested in connection to the consignment last December, had confessed that the concrete mixer truck, with Lagos registration number, SMK 890 XB, was loaded with the illicit drug in Ogbese, Ondo state while they allegedly travelled for two months on the road before arriving Adamawa where they were eventually arrested by NDLEA operatives.

Investigations revealed that Okamaru is one of the leaders of a cannabis cultivation cartel that operates in the Ondo-Ekiti axis, while he shuttles between Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Delta states from where he coordinates supplies of illicit consignments to Northern parts of the country and Lagos state.

The drug lord has also been identified as a member of an international drug trafficking ring, who also shuttles between Nigeria and South Africa where he settled his family. He is said to have a strong control and stake in cannabis cultivation in Ondo, Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo states with large storage facilities in Lagos and Abbi in Delta states from where his consignments are distributed year round.

Meanwhile, a 36-year-old Italy-based Nigerian, Nwakanma Michael Uche, has been arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA Abuja for ingesting pellets of heroin.

Nwakanma, who hails from, Arodizuogu village, Ideato council area of Imo state, was nabbed while trying to board Air France Airline enroute Abuja-Paris-Milan, Italy, on Sunday, May 15, 2022. He was thereafter kept under observation during which he excreted 95 pellets of the illicit drug.

He claimed he came to see his parents in Nigeria after 12 years in Italy and to complete his father’s traditional marriage rites. He added that he was to be paid N1.5million after a successful delivery of the drugs in Milan.

NDLEA operatives intensified their offensive action against drug cartels across five states, including Edo, Kaduna, Kogi, Akwa Ibom and Oyo. In Edo, a pharmacy along Sapele Road, Benin, was raided on Friday, May 27, following intelligence and prolonged surveillance. The owner of the store, Thaddeus Uliagbafusi, 58, was arrested while a total of 130,670 tablets of different controlled drugs, 1,396 ampoules of pentazocine injection and 743 bottles of codeine were recovered from a secret location where the drugs were repackaged. This followed a similar raid of a drug joint operated by Mrs. Christianah Gabriel, 53, at Uromi, Esan North East council area, Edo state. She was arrested with 25kg of cannabis.

While 15, 000 ampoules of pentazocine injection were seized by operatives in Kaduna along Abuja-Kaduna express road, 12,500 tablets of Diazepam were intercepted along Okene-Abuja highway on Thursday, May 26. The drug exhibits were found inside a truck conveying motor spare parts from Onitsha, Anambra to Kaduna.

In Akwa Ibom, a female drug dealer, Irene Emmanuel Bassey was arrested on Saturday, May 28, during a search of her house at Ikpa town, Esit Eket council area, where 30.5kg of cannabis was recovered, while one Muideen Rasaki was nabbed with 90.8kg of cannabis at Elere, Boluwaji area of Ibadan South-East council area of Oyo state.

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