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Abuja-Bound Loads Of Nitrous Oxide ‘Laughing Gas’ Consignments Seized On Highway

…As NDLEA destroys 40 tons of cannabis plants in Ekiti; intercepts over 4,000kgs of illicit drugs in Lagos, Kogi, FCT, Kaduna, Sokoto, Edo raids

More than four tons of illicit and controlled drugs including consignments of nitrous oxide popularly known as laughing gas, skunk, codeine syrup, methamphetamine, and tramadol have been intercepted by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, during interdiction operations in Lagos, Kogi, FCT, Jigawa, Kaduna, Sokoto, and Edo states.

In a statement by the Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters Abuja, Femi Babafemi, no fewer than 1,194 cylinders of laughing gas with a total weight of 2,547.2 kilograms loaded in two Toyota Sienna buses were on Friday 22nd September intercepted by NDLEA operatives along the Okene-Lokoja-Abuja expressway. Two suspects: Onyebuchi Ikpozu and Kenneth Igwe who were taking the consignments to the nation’s Federal Capital Territory for distribution have been arrested and taken into custody. 

While one of the Toyota Sienna buses marked KTU 582 HV was conveying 99 cartons containing 594 cylinders weighing 1,267.200kgs, the second bus with registration number FKJ 329 YA was conveying 100 cartons of the substance with 600 cylinders weighing 1,280kgs. A 48-year-old woman, Mrs. Ugo Eluba was also arrested in Abuja in a follow-up operation after 2,400 ampules of pentazocine injection and 100,000 tablets of Exol-5 intercepted in Kogi state were traced to her. 

In the FCT, operatives intercepted 977 kilograms of skunk on Wednesday 20th September in a trailer marked LSR 343 XW, bearing cartons of maggi. The skunk consignment was loaded into the truck at Ipele junction in Ondo state. While 959kgs of the substance were meant for distribution in Sokoto state, the rest was to be dropped off at Gwagwalada. Two suspects: Auwal Mohammed and Abdullahi Abubakar have been arrested in connection with the seizure, while two other suspects: Mutari Abdulazeez, 31, and Ayuba Madaki, 28, were also arrested on Saturday 23rd September at the Zuba area of the FCT with different quantities of methamphetamine, cannabis and 13, 930 pills of tramadol.  

In the same vein, Shuaibu Yusif, 27, and Abubakar Hussaini, 20, were on Saturday 23rd September nabbed with 89.1kgs of skunk along Kano -Hadejia road, Jigawa state during a stop and search patrol by NDLEA operatives. 

No fewer than 6,000 ampules of pentazocine injection were recovered from a suspect, Usman Musa Sidi, 35, on Monday 18th September along Abuja – Forest road, Kaduna while on his way to Bauchi state. A follow-up operation in Bauchi led to the arrest of the actual owner of the consignment, Dominic Chukwuma, 35, on Tuesday 19th September, with at least 2.58kgs of Diazepam and 36.55kgs of pentazocine injection recovered from his home.  Two other suspects: Inuwa Nuhu and Isiyaku Dahiru Sani were also arrested the same Tuesday in connection with the seizure of 49 blocks of cannabis sativa concealed in a black sack weighing 26kgs in a commercial vehicle coming from Ogere, Ogun state to Kano. 

While a total of 183kgs of Ghana Loud, a strain of cannabis, were recovered from body compartments of a J5 bus intercepted in Lagos on Wednesday 20th September, operatives in Sokoto, on Tuesday 19th September arrested one Charles Okeke, 44, with 473 bottles of codeine syrup at Unguwar Kosai area of Sokoto. In Edo state, 365 blocks of compressed cannabis sativa weighing 258kgs were recovered from a Toyota Camry car marked KTU 886 EZ at Igarra, Akoko Edo LGA.

In a massive operation between Monday 11th and Wednesday 13th September, NDLEA operatives stormed thick forests in Ijesha Isu-Ekiti, Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti state, where they destroyed 40 tons (40,000 kilograms) of cannabis plants covering 16 hectares of farmland. 

Meanwhile, across the country, NDLEA Commands continued their War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, sensitization lectures, and advocacy visits to worship centres, schools, workplaces, palaces of traditional rulers, and communities all through the week. Instances include: WADA sensitization lecture at Madarasatu Tarbiyyatil Aulad Islamiyyah Izala Mosque, Sabon Gari Wudil, Wudil LGA, Kano; WADA sensitisation town hall meeting with principals of secondary schools in Kaduna north and south LGAs organized by the Zone J command of the Agency; WADA advocacy visit to the palace of Igwe Emmanuel Ugwu, the traditional ruler of Ibagwa Nike, Enugu state and WADA sensitisation lecture for students of the Oyo State College of Science and Health Technology, Ibadan, among others.

While commending the officers and men of the Lagos, FCT, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kogi, Sokoto and Edo Commands of the Agency for the arrests and seizures of the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) also applauded their compatriots in all the commands across the country for intensifying the WADA sensitization lectures and advocacy messages to every part of their areas of responsibility. 

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