Wanted drug lord Henry Okamaru (a.k.a. Lawrence Ik Okamaru), was on the run for five months from the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) until he could run no more. He was captured in his hideout in Ondo state after 2000.6 kilogrammes cannabis sativa seized in a concrete mixer truck in Adamawa State last December, were traced to him.
Two suspects, Matthew Donuwe and Friday Nmborgwu who were 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 travelled for two months on the road before arriving Adamawa where they were eventually arrested by NDLEA operatives.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi said investigations have revealed that Okamaru is one of the leaders of a cannabis cultivation cartel that operates in the Ondo-Ekiti axis, and shuttles between Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Delta State from where he coordinates supplies of illicit consignments to Northern parts of the country and Lagos State.
He said the drug lord has also been identified as a member of an international drug trafficking ring, and shuttles between Nigeria and South Africa where he settles his family. The drug lord, it was gathered has 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 State from where his consignments are distributed year round.
Harvest of Arrests
Also, a 36-year-old Nigerian based in Italy, Nwakanma Uche has been arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for ingesting pellets of heroin. Nwakanma journey ended before it started while trying to board Air France Airline enroute Abuja-Paris-Milan, Italy on Sunday 15th May 2022. He was thereafter kept under observation during which he excreted 95 pellets of the illicit drug.
He claimed he was in Nigeria to see his parents after 12 years in Italy and to complete his fathers traditional marriage rites. He added that he was to be paid N1.5million after a successful delivery of the drugs in Milan. Babafemi said across five states of Edo, Kaduna, Kogi, Akwa Ibom and Oyo, NDLEA operatives intensified their offensive action against drug cartels.
In Edo, a pharmacy along Sapele Road, Benin, was raided last Friday 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 are repackaged.
Babafemi said this followed a similar raid of a drug joint operated by Mrs. Christianah Gabriel, 53, at Uromi, Esan North East LGA, Edo state, who was arrested with 25 kilogrammes cannabis.
According to him 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 26th May. 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 Bassey was arrested last Saturday, during a search of her house at Ikpa town, Esit Eket LGA where 30.5 kilogrammes cannabis was recovered, while one Muideen Rasaki was nabbed with 90.8 kilogrammes cannabis at Elere, Boluwaji area of Ibadan South-East LGA.
Meanwhile, while commending the officers and men of the Directorate of Intelligence, NAIA, Edo, Kaduna, Kogi, Akwa Ibom and Oyo state Commands of the agency for the series of arrests and seizures in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) charged them and their compatriots across the country not to relent in their offensive action against drug cartels and their kingpins.