In a series of successful operations, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized a total of 4,560 kilograms of skunk, a potent strain of cannabis, across multiple states in Nigeria. The interdiction efforts targeted drug traffickers and syndicates involved in the illicit drug trade.
The operations took place in Lagos, Adamawa, Osun, and Ogun, leading to significant seizures and arrests. In Ogun, NDLEA operatives raided a skucchies factory, where they arrested four members of a drug syndicate. Shockingly, among the apprehended individuals were two church officials associated with the Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministries, located in Warri, Delta state. The arrested church officials were identified as Adewale Abayomi Ayeni, 39, and Ebipakebina Appeal, 41. Ayeni was allegedly managing the prayer call center of the church, while Appeal was responsible for escorting international guests from the airport to the church.
The NDLEA’s crackdown on drug trafficking also led to the arrest of two female accomplices in Warri: Naomi David, a 28-year-old staff member of United Parcel Services (UPS), and Stacy Njideka, also known as Nkiruka, a 27-year-old business associate of Ayeni. These individuals were believed to be involved in facilitating the movement and distribution of illicit drugs.
The recent bust of a fentanyl cartel operating from Warri, Delta state, is particularly significant. Just a month ago, two members of another drug syndicate, Odoh Collins Oguejiofor and Oliver Chigozie Uzoma, were apprehended in Anambra State. The intelligence-led investigation into these syndicates revealed their involvement in trafficking fentanyl, a highly lethal opioid that is approximately 100 times more potent than heroin. Fentanyl has been responsible for over 70% of overdose deaths and is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States.
In addition to the fentanyl-related arrests, the NDLEA’s operations yielded significant seizures in other parts of the country. In Adamawa State, a Toyota Hilux vehicle was intercepted along the Ngurore-Mayo Belwa road. A search of the vehicle uncovered 544 blocks of compressed cannabis sativa, weighing 408 kilograms, concealed in a false compartment. The drugs were intended for distribution in Yola, Mubi, and Gombe.
In Lagos, a suspect named Segun Odeyemi was apprehended while transporting 89 jumbo bags of skunk weighing 3,842 kilograms. The arrest took place in the Eleganza area of Ajah, Lekki. Additionally, in Osun State, an abandoned J5 Peugeot bus was discovered along the Akure-Ilesa expressway. The bus contained 25 bags of cannabis sativa, weighing 300.5 kilograms, which had been cleverly concealed among bags of fresh peppers.
Further highlighting the success of the operations, NDLEA operatives conducted a raid on a skucchies factory in Ajaka Sagamu, Ogun State. Adekunle Adekola, a suspect involved in the production of the illicit drug, was arrested during the raid. The premises yielded substantial evidence, including 10 kilograms of cannabis, 1,356 liters of skucchies, 20 liters of codeine, seven deep freezers, a set of Firman generator, and two gas cylinders, among other items.
Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, expressed his commendation for the successful operations. He praised the efforts of the NDLEA officers involved in tracking the fentanyl opioid syndicate and applauded the arrests and seizures made in Adamawa, Lagos, Osun, and Ogun. Gen. Marwa urged NDLEA officers nationwide to remain dedicated to the goal of eradicating substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.