Mr Peter Ogar, Head of Operations and Intelligence in the command, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Monday.
Ogar said the suspects, comprised of 88 males and 15 females, were arrested between July and September in various parts of the state.
He explained that more than 4,000 kilograms of suspected Indian hemp was seized within the period while 14 farmlands of about 10 hectares cultivated with the plant, were destroyed.
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Ogar however said that the command had rehabilitated 79 drug addicts who had reunited with their families, while two are still undergoing intensive rehabilitation.
“It is peak period for traffickers because it is the harvest season,” he noted, adding that this has led to upsurge in arrest of suspects and seizures by the agency.
The Assistant Commander disclosed that the NDLEA had filed 18 cases in courts within the period, while several others are pending.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Bayelsa State Command, has apprehended 64 suspected drug traffickers in the state.
NDLEA also said it impounded 38 kilogrammes of illicit drugs in the state.
The State Commander, NDLEA, Mrs. Josephine Obi, said while 45 of the suspects were males, 19 others were females.
She said the suspects were arrested during the first quarter of this year for offences like trafficking in cocaine, heroin, cannabis and other psychotropic drugs.
Obi said that during the arrest of some of the suspects that the NDLEA operatives recovered one locally-made pistol, a revolver pistol, one hand grenade, five rounds of ammunition and a handcuff from one of the suspects.
The state Commander said the suspects were arrested in separate locations in Ogbia, Yenagoa, East/West road and Kaiama areas of the state.
Obi also said the command impounded a Toyota Sport Utility Vehicle used for conveying drugs from one of the drug barons, adding that the command was still combing the nooks and crannies of Bayelsa for big barons.
She equally said over 239 persons had been counselled on the dangers of using hard drugs, insisting that drugs don’t do any good to the community, individuals and the country.
She stated, “Smoking or using of drugs is not good for the body and the country, but rather influences individual to commit crimes. May I therefore appeal to parents and guardians to warn their children and wards to desist from drugs.
“Drug is not alcohol; it has negative effects on the individuals. Talk to your neighbours and friends to shun taking narcotic drugs.”
According to Obi, a drug user is not primarily a criminal, but usage of drugs can push one to commit crimes.
She lamented that since the beginning of this year, the command had not been able to prosecute any case in court because of the closure of the Federal High Court in the state.
It will be recalled that the Federal High Court in Bayelsa has not sat for more than six months due to the alleged corruption probe of the presiding judge of the court.
Obi said the development was affecting the operations of the command as its cells were congested with inmates.
She said the 64 suspects would be prosecuted accordingly as soon as the judge of the Federal High Court in Yenagoa resumed sitting.
Obi said drugs recovered from the suspects comprised cannabis sativa, cocaine, heroin and psychotropic substances.
She said the agency was committed to extending its operations to all the nooks and crannies of the state including the riverine communities.
Obi, however, appealed to the Bayelsa State Government and other public-spirited individuals to assist the command with logistics to enable the agency to carry out its operations seamlessly in the state.
The commander, who solicited the support of stakeholders and members of the public in terms of volunteering information, said the agency was moving from reactive to proactive organisation.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Saturday said it had apprehended a woman, Dorothy Onyekasi, for allegedly faking pregnancy at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos, with 86 pellets of a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine tied to her belly.
The NDLEA said the cocaine weighed 1.720kg with an estimated street value of N20.6m.
Onyekasi, a 41-year-old mother of three who hails from Enugu State, is a Junior Secondary School certificate holder.
According to the information obtained from the Head of Public Affairs, NDLEA, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, the anti-narcotics agency intercepted the drug during the inward screening of passengers on an Emirates airline flight from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd.), described recent drug seizures at the Lagos airport as capable of forcing drug cartels to a retreat.
He said, “In the past few days, the NDLEA has recorded numerous arrests and drug seizures at the Lagos airport. The drug cartels have also suffered huge losses from these operations. This particular suspect feigned pregnancy with wraps of cocaine but she was caught by vigilant narcotic agents.
“Some of the suspects recently apprehended concealed drugs in their socks and luggage, while others ingested wraps of cocaine in disregard of the danger to their health. In spite of their craftiness, we are daily stopping them from perpetrating their criminal act and forcing them to a retreat.”
The Commander, NDLEA, MMIA, Mr. Ahmadu Garba, said the wraps of cocaine would have been easily mistaken for pregnancy.
“It was discovered that the suspect kept 86 wraps of cocaine inside a waist bag, which was tied to her stomach. Fortunately, the drug was detected by NDLEA officers on her arrival from Dubai. The drug was immediately packed and weighed in her presence. It had a gross weight of 1.720kgs,” he said.
The suspect, said to be an importer of female bags and shoes from Dubai, was quoted as saying her involvement in drug trafficking was a mistake.
“I am a business woman living in Lagos. I am separated from my husband who left me with three children. I used to import female bags and shoes from Dubai. My involvement in drug trafficking is a mistake and I take responsibility for my action.
“I travelled to Dubai to buy my goods. While I was preparing to return, I met a man in Dubai who gave me the drug and promised to give me enough money to expand my business. He also told me that when I get to Nigeria, he will call his partner to collect the drug and give me my money.
“When I got here, the drug was detected at the airport and I was arrested. It is my entire fault. If only I was contented with the profit from the sales of my goods, I would not have been in this problem,” Onyekasi was quoted as saying.
The NDLEA said she would be charged to court soon.
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has discovered a methamphetamine laboratory run by Mexicans and dislodged a major drug trafficking organisation in the country.
Officials of the Special Enforcement Team NDLEA discovered the illicit methamphetamine production laboratory in Asaba, Delta State.
According to the Head, Public Affairs, NDLEA, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, the “super” methamphetamine laboratory, which is similar to the ones found in Mexico, is the first to be discovered in Nigeria.
Ofoyeju quoted the the Chairman/Chief Executive, NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, as saying the laboratory has a capacity of producing between 3,000kg to 4,000kg of methamphetamine per production cycle.
He said, “A significant feature of this laboratory is that the production process is more technical and sophisticated because it uses the synthesis method of methamphetamine production.
“All the principal actors linked to this illicit act were apprehended in a simultaneous raid on members of the drug syndicate in Lagos, Obosi in Anambra State, and at the laboratory in Asaba, Delta state.”
Those arrested include four Nigerians suspected to be joint owners of the laboratory and four Mexicans who are methamphetamine production experts allegedly hired as technical partners into the country.
The suspects are Chibi Aruh, William Ejike Agusi, Umolu Kosisochukwu and Umolu Ckukwemeka.
Others are Cervantos Madrid Jose Bruno, Rivas Ruiz Pastiano, Castillo Barraza Cristobal and Partida Gonzalez Pedro.
Abdallah described the operation as a technical undercover assignment leading to the dismantling of a drug trafficking organisation.
He said, “In a technical undercover operation, four Mexicans were arrested in active production exercise inside the super laboratory. The cartel first brought two Mexican methamphetamine experts, Cervantos Madrid Jose Bruno and Rivas Ruiz Pastiano to Nigeria but because of the size of the laboratory coupled with the volume of work, two additional Mexicans, Castillo Barraza Cristobal and Partida Gonzalez Pedro were added.
“Our investigations showed that a successful test production was done at the laboratory in February 2016.”
The laboratory was raided while the second production cycle was ongoing, according to the NDLEA.
Items recovered at the laboratory included 1.5kg of finished methamphetamine and 750 liters of liquid methamphetamine.
Other items found in the laboratory included industrial pressure pots, gas cylinders, gas burners, facial masks and numerous chemicals.
Also recovered in the operation were a Toyota Tundra, a Mercedes Benz Jeep ML and a Toyota Corolla car.
The anti-narcotics agency warned that unless drastic measures were taken against the trend, the rise of “super” laboratories would put Nigeria on the global spotlight in methamphetamine production.
“This is because the laboratory operates at an industrial scale with a high yield of 3,000kg to 4,000kgs of methamphetamine per production cycle.
“Nigeria methamphetamine is now competing with others in Asia and South Africa markets. The super laboratory does not need ephedrine because it uses the synthesis method.
“Drug cartels are now shifting from simple method of methamphetamine production to a more complex process.”
According to him, methamphetamine laboratories pose a serious threat to humanity because of the toxic nature of chemicals used.
He further said methamphetamine dump pollutes the environment because for every one pound of methamphetamine produced, about three to six pounds of toxic waste is created.
He noted that this could contaminate the water table within 500 meters radius from the laboratory.
“Even plants close to the dump were found to be dead. The laboratory contains highly poisonous solvents and gases. Some are pyrophoric in nature capable of explosion; other chemicals are carcinogenic, capable of causing cancer while some are highly combustible and corrosive,” Abdallah stated.
A THIRTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD Lagos-based trader and suspected drug peddler has died of cocaine ingestion at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
The suspect, identified as Ndulue Emmanuel Obiefuna, collapsed at the Departure Hall and was taken to a nearby hospital.
Ndulue was an intending passenger on an Ethiopian airline flight to China enroute Addis Ababa on July 5, 2015.
The NDLEA Commander at the Abuja Airport, Mr. Hamisu Lawan said the suspect confessed to cocaine ingestion at the hospital.
“The deceased collapsed at the Departure Hall and was being attended to by Port Health officials. The collapse triggered our suspicion and a narcotic officer was assigned to monitor the development. When the suspect’s condition stabilised at the hospital, he confessed to cocaine ingestion. At that point, the NDLEA took over the case from the Port Health Services.
“He later died while receiving treatment,” Hamisu stated.
Interim investigation revealed that the deceased hailed from Anambra State. Until his demise, he was a trader living in Lagos. It was gathered that the deceased decided to abort his trip after collecting his boarding pass. This was due to complications arising from the cocaine he ingested. He collapsed immediately he notified the airline officials of his intention to cancel his trip. At the hospital, 55 wraps of substances that tested positive for cocaine with a total weight of 1.20kg was evacuated from his stomach.
The Chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, who described narcotic ingestion as a suicide mission, reiterated his call for a drug-free society.
“Ingesting narcotics is a suicide mission. I sympathise with the family members. Drug trafficking is a serious crime. It is a threat to public health and safety. The current trend of drug ingestion by drug traffickers in disregard of the grave health implication must be condemned by all. People must shun drug trafficking and support the anti-drug campaign. We must collectively intensify counter-narcotics efforts by talking to at least one person daily on the dangers of drugs and benefits of a drug-free society,” Giade stated.
The NDLEA boss also urged members of the public to report any suspected drug dealer to the agency.
The agency has also contacted the father of the deceased.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Monday failed to bring the senator-elect for Ogun-East senatorial district, Mr. Buruji Kashamu, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, for extradition hearing despite a declaration by the agency that he would be produced in court.
The agency, whose operatives had laid siege to Kashamu’s residence in Lagos since Saturday, said on Sunday that it had received a formal extradition request on Kashamu from the United States government and was coming to court to secure an extradition order on Monday.
Though Kashamu’s lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), had come to court early in anticipation of the NDLEA’s declaration, the agency, however, failed to bring Kashamu to court.
Izinyon’s colleague, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, who later came to court and appeared in chambers before Justice Ibrahim Buba with a fresh application, said the NDLEA failed to produce a warrant of arrest it claimed to have secured.
Though Oluyede moved his ex parte application in chambers and did not oblige journalists any copy of it, our correspondent gathered that it was an application to restrain the NDLEA from further laying siege to Kashamu’s house.
It was learnt that Buba, however, refused to make the order but asked Oluyede to put the respondents on notice.
Oluyede, who later addressed journalists, said Buba had ordered the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), and the Chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, to appear in court on Tuesday to explain why they should not be jailed for contempt of court.
Oluyede, who accused Adoke and Giade of illegality, challenged them to produce the US extradition request for Kashamu.
He said Kashamu and himself were ready on Monday and had waited in vain till 12pm for the NDLEA to produce the warrant of arrest and bring it to court, following which he had to come to court himself with a fresh application.
There was no indication that NDLEA had filed any application before the court and the NDLEA’s case against Kashamu was not listed for hearing on Monday before any judge.
But the agency’s Head of Public Affairs, Mitchell Ofoyeju, in a statement on Monday afternoon, said the agency could not bring Kashamu to court because he failed to turn himself over to the operatives in his house.
Ofoyeju said, “Senator-elect Buruji Kashamu has failed to appear in court from his house where he is being closely monitored by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
“The agency is working hard to ensure that he submits himself to the due process of the law. His house remained cordoned off by anti-narcotic officers pending his appearance in court.”
But Oluyede claimed that an operative of the NDLEA came to the court registry late Monday afternoon to secure a provisional warrant of arrest.
According to Oluyede, the move was a confirmation that the NDLEA had no extradition request for Kashamu from the US, adding that the move was also a confirmation of Kashamu’s alarm that the NDLEA was doing the bidding of his political enemies.
The lawyer alleged that the embattled senator-elect’s enemies planned to abduct and forcibly take him to the US.
Oluyede said he was told by the leader of the NDLEA operatives manning Kashamu’s house that they were acting under the instruction of Giade, whom he said was only given an oral instruction by Adoke to arrest Kashamu.
The lawyer, in his fresh application, is seeking an order “directing the respondents to immediately release the applicant unconditionally, within two hours of making this order, from any arrest, detention or other restraint whatsoever that the respondents might have instigated or effected upon him.”
Meanwhile, the premises of the Lagos Division of the Federal High on Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi, was on Monday flooded with the loyalists of Kashamu – in anticipation of his appearance in court.
The loyalists bore placards with inscriptions such as, “We want Kashamu here in Nigeria,” “Don’t steal our joy from us,” “Don’t take Kashamu away from his people.” “Kashamu is not a drug baron.” “‘US, mind your business,” “We want due process of law,” “Obj, leave Kashamu alone,” among others.
A former state secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State, who spoke on behalf of the peaceful protesters in court, Yemi Akinwonmi, described the move to extradite Kashamu as “a reckless display of power.”
Akinwonmi, who challenged the NDLEA to present the extradition request it claimed to have received from the US, insisted that the extradition plot against Kashamu was purely political, adding also that the NDLEA had not secured any warrant to arrest Kashamu.
The Katsina State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has set ablaze 6,795.2 kilogrammes of drugs, including Cannabis sativa (popularly called hemp) among other narcotic substances.
The NDLEA Public Relations Officer, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said hemp constituted 5,879kg of the burnt drugs which were valued at N120m, a statement said on Thursday.
The statement read in part, “The agency is encouraged by the huge support of the state government and other stakeholders in drug control. The total weight of the destroyed drug is 6,795.2kg. This is made up of Cannabis sativa, which is commonly referred to as hemp, with a weight of 5,879kg and psychoactive substances that weighed 916.”
The Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Munir Talba, said the state was prepared to strengthen partnership with the NDLEA to prevent the youth from addiction to illicit drugs.
He said, “The problem of insecurity cannot be effectively tackled without addressing the problem of drug abuse. Katsina State will continue to collaborate with the NDLEA. Let me also use this opportunity to charge parents to teach their children to make healthy choices and shun drug trafficking.”
The state NDLEA Commander, Hajia Maryam Sani, promised to continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Information in sensitising the public on the devastating effects of drugs.
The agency’s Chairman, Mr. Ahmadu Giade, in his remarks, identified some negative effects of drugs such as brain damage, addiction, crime and terrorism.
Giade said, “Narcotic drugs are powerful habit forming substances that affect the brain leading to dependence. It jeopardises the cultural, political and socio-economic life of a people. Drug use decreases ethical and personal values. It increases domestic violence, loss of jobs, violence and criminality.
Some people commit crimes in search of money to sustain their drug supply while others kill and terrorise innocent citizens under the influence of drugs.”
FORTY- Four years after, the Civil War , Igbo delegates asked for N2. 6 trillion as reparation and compensation for the devastation Igbo land experienced during the 1967 to 1970 war.
In an amendment to the proposed National Intervention Fund, the South East delegates said the former Eastern region and part of the former Mid-West region which are now in South-East and South-South zones were centres of war, with high level of devastation that brought untold hardship to their citizens.
Igbo-menIn a document titled: “Atrocities and Injustices against Ndigbo: Ohaneze demand for Reparation” which was circulated with the amendment to the proposed National Intervention Fund, the delegates said it was incalculable to put a price on the death of millions of Igbo who were killed in the civil war and other occasions.
They said: “The case of the South-East, which bore the full brunt of the civil war for 30 months, is particularly tragic. Most of it remained a wasteland, despite General (Yakubu) Gowon’s declaration of the three ‘Rs’, Reconstruction, Rahabilitation and Reconciliation.
“The federal government should pay N400 billion each to the five states of the South East as compensation to those who lost loved ones and properties and those still suffering dislocation today in Nigeria. The same amount should also be paid to the government of Delta State for the benefit of Anioma area of the state.”
The motion was sponsored by former Minister of Foreign Affairs and a delegate on the platform of Elder Statesmen, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, and 14 others. The Igbo stressed that the demand became imperative following the “atrocities and injustices committed against Ndigbo in Nigeria over a long period.
They argued: “All fair minded citizens of this country are wont to agree that the former Eastern Region and part of former Mid West Region, which encompass the present day South- East and South- South zones of Nigeria were theatres of the civil war which devastated the two regions and brought untold hardships to their citizens.
The case of the South-East, which bore the full brunt of the civil war for thirty months, is particularly tragic. Most of it has remained a wasteland, despite General Gowon’s declaration of the three “R”, Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation.
Issue of reparation
“Boko Haram insurgency in parts of the country, and especially in the North East Zone, has brought up the issue of reparation and reconstruction in whatever guise, to the fore and the National Conference through its Committee on Devolution of Power has tackled it headlong.
Since what is good for the goose is good for the gander, the Conference cannot afford to ignore the yearnings of our people to rehabilitate and reconstruct the war divested South-South and South-East zones through the proposed National Intervention Fund or through any other integrated platform or plan available to the Federal Government.
“Several panels set up by the Federal Government including the Oputa Panel, had approved reparation for war damages, but till date, this has not been addressed.”
In their prayers they said, “that Since the proposed National Intervention Fund is to address the vexed issues of devastation and upheavals caused by an act of war or by outright war itself, that the South East and the South-South zones be adequately taken care of by the fund in terms of the physical infrastructure, rehabilitation, development and other losses resulting from the civil war. That the Federal Government sets up a body to work out agreed reparation to settle the civil war issue once and for all.
The Igbo who lamented that several panels set up by the federal government, including the Oputa Panel, had approved reparation for war damages but till date this has not been addressed.
In their prayers the South East delegates demanded that “Since the proposed National Intervention Fund is to address the vexed issues of devastation and upheavals caused by an act of war or by outright war itself, that the South-East and South-South be adequately taken care of by the fund in terms of the physical infrastructure, rehabilitation, development and other losses resulting from the civil war.”
– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/07/44years-igbo-demand-n2-6tn-reparation-civil-war/#sthash.TXBgqpL6.dpuf
The Chairman, Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, has warned Nigerians against politicisation of the census saying that previous head counts failed to achieve the desired results because of the way it was handled.
Nigerians preferred to see census as a means of getting higher returns from the national purse instead of seeing it as a way to effectively plan the development of the country.
Aliyu gave the warning in Minna on Wednesday when he received the report of the National Population Commission at the Government House presented by the National Commissioner, Aliyu Datti.
He said, “We need to know the population distribution of the country, which will help in proper planning.”
He advised his colleagues and the local government chairmen in the northern part of the country as well as other stakeholders to commence immediate preparation for the 2016 national census, in order to make a success of the exercise.
The governor said timely preparation for the census was essential, though the Federal Government was yet to indicate its desire to conduct the exercise.
He said, “We don’t want the North to be caught unawares whenever the announcement is eventually made.”
Aliyu noted that because of the landscape covered by the region and its huge population, it was necessary that adequate arrangements and timely preparation be made to ensure that virtually everybody is counted during the head count.
He said, “I want to use this opportunity to call on all the Northern governors to give the National Population Commission the needed support for the 2016 census to be successful.”