NDLEA Destroys 255 Hectares Of Cannabis Farms, Arrests 13 In Ondo

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In a seven-day operation, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) agents destroyed 255 hectares of cannabis farms scattered over five local government areas in Ondo state.

In addition, 13 suspects were apprehended, and 250 kilograms of cannabis seeds and 63.85 kilograms of cannabis weeds were recovered during the operation, which took place deep within five major forests in the state: Omolowo/Powerline forest, Ipele forest, Ala forest, Ogbese forest, Utte forest, and Okuluse forest.

The drill, dubbed ‘Operation Abub,’ began on Tuesday 15th February at Ogbese woodland and lasted through Monday 21st February 2022. At the Ogbese forest, a suspect, Olatunde Olaoluwa, was apprehended in his 10-hectare cannabis plantation, which was razed and burned along with other cannabis fields scattered around the Ogbese riverbed.

The following day, February 16th, the Agency’s Strike Force operatives attacked Ipele forest, arresting Amos Mark, Luke Job, Monday Momoh, and Otunuya Waya while destroying 19 hectares of irrigated cannabis plantations. One of the individuals who escaped during the farm destruction was apprehended later in his home.

The Omolowo community in Ogbese area was next on Wednesday 17th Feb when one Mary Udonije was arrested inside a 10-hectare farm with 16.5kg of cannabis seeds and 4.5 kg of processed cannabis.  Also recovered in the farm was an irrigation pumping machine with over 700-meter hose for watering the illicit weed.

No less than 154kg of cannabis seeds were also seized in Ala forest, Akure North Local Government Area with over 30 hectares of irrigation cannabis farms destroyed and burnt. A suspect, John, Mike, who claimed to be a laborer was also apprehended with 2.5kg of cannabis seeds.

On day four of the operation, 54 hectares of cannabis farm were destroyed at Utte and Okuluse forest, Ose Local Government Area of the state. Also recovered in the farm was 95kg of cannabis seeds, 2.5kg of processed cannabis sativa and a pumping machine with a long hose

On the fifth day, one Anthony Agbe, 58, was arrested with 43kg of fresh cannabis inside a farm that was earlier destroyed at Ogbese.  He claimed he was contracted by one Henry Daniel, (a.k.a Calendar) who is at large to help gather the destroyed cannabis weeds. On the same day, one Ahmadu Abubakar was arrested with three Dane guns in a hut within a farm where over three hectares were destroyed in Akure North Local Government Area of the state.

On the last day of the operation, Monday 21st Feb, over 50 clusters of cannabis farm spread across 47 hectares were destroyed and 2kg of cannabis seeds seized, while a suspect, Olorunlogo Lekan was apprehended inside a large cannabis farm measuring 10 hectares at Ala forest before it was destroyed and burnt by Strike Force officers drawn across Edo, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states Commands of the anti-narcotic agency. At least, 72 hectares of other cannabis farms in small clusters close to the identified ones in the five forests were also destroyed in the course of the operation.

Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the Strike Force corps of the Agency for their sacrifices and commitment to the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that all such cultivation and plantations in the forests must be located and destroyed. He charged them to look out for more of such farms in any part of the country for a similar response.

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Gbenga Elebiyo

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