A multi-million-naira mansion located at K-5A/2 Road 14, Victoria Garden City, VGC, estate, Lekki area of Lagos State, used as clandestine laboratory for the production of methamphetamine by a convicted drug baron, Okenwa Chris Nzewi, has been forfeited to the federal government following his successful prosecution and conviction in court by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
Okenwa was arrested along with his associate, Sunny Okeh Ukah, on July 30, 2022, and subsequently arraigned on four counts in charge number FHC/L/527C/2022 at the Federal High Court, Lagos.
They both pleaded guilty on July 17, 2023, while they were convicted and sentenced to four and three years imprisonment each with an option of fine of N4,000,000, and N3,000,000 respectively in addition to community service for four and three weeks each.
His vehicle marked EKY 496 DJ was equally forfeited to the federal government.
To further deny him of enjoying the proceeds of his criminal activity, the NDLEA filed a civil forfeiture charge against the building used as clandestine laboratory at the Federal High Court Lagos which initially granted an interim forfeiture order that elapsed on December 6, before the final forfeiture on December 7, 2023.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives in Lagos on Friday, December 15, arrested a 75-year-old grandma, Mrs. Sekinat Soremekun for dealing in illicit drugs.
At the time of her arrest in Oshodi area of Lagos, quantities of cannabis and litres of codeine syrup were recovered from her.
She claimed her son, Segun who is now at large supplied her the illicit substances which she retailed.
In Imo, operatives on patrol along Owerri-Onitsha Expressway on Thursday, December 14, intercepted a way-billed consignment containing cocaine weighing 2.287kg.
The shipment coming from Lagos was concealed in cellophane condoms, and heading to Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A suspect, Isaac Okoh, 45, has already been arrested.
No fewer than 10 jumbo bags of cannabis weighing 100kg were recovered from the ceiling of a dealer, Ibrahim Yahaya, 35, when his house was raided in the Tudun Kofa area of Lafia, Nasarawa State on Friday, December 15, while he was also arrested.
At the SAHCO export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos, over 1.5 million pills of tramadol 225mg and rohypnol were intercepted in a cargo going to South Africa by NDLEA operatives in collaboration with personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.
Two suspects – Bada Olanrewaju Akorede, and Amusan Olufela Sharafadeen – have so far been taken into custody in connection with the consignment, which consists: 1,050,000 pills of tramadol 225mg and 510,000 tablets of rohypnol.
At the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, operatives on Friday, December 15, intercepted a consignment of 1, 496 bottles of codeine syrup at A.Y.A. area of the city while a suspect, Ozioma Enoja, 31, was arrested in a follow up operation.
Another consignment of 400 bottles of the same opioid coming from Port Harcourt, Rivers State was also seized along Abaji-Abuja highway on Saturday, December 16, after which a suspect, Bala Ishaq was arrested during a follow up operation at Zuba motor park.
While 17 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 195.8kg stored in a bush at Gbanke Village, Orhionmwon local government area, Edo State, were recovered by NDLEA operatives on Wednesday, December 13, anti-narcotic officers in Ogun State intercepted two suspects – Edun Olowokou and Tunde Elijah – at Alamutu Roundabout area of Abeokuta with bags of same psychoactive substance weighing 279kg.
In Borno state, NDLEA officers on Tuesday, December 12, arrested Bukar Ali, 29, and Abacha Alhaji Fantami, 20, with 171kg of cannabis at Ngamdu, Kaga local government area, while three suspects – Jamilu Haruna, 22; Mohammed Hassan, 23; and Aminu Umar, 50, were nabbed with 57kg cannabis on Wednesday, December 13, at Tsafe Checkpoint, Zamfara State, when they were on their way to Zurumi, a village known as bandits’ enclave.
At least four suspects – Ezekiel Monday Thompson, 56; Hezekiah Ime, 20; Nsikak Okon Jonah, 39; and Chidi Kalu, 44 – were arrested with a total of 121kg cannabis and 5.1grams of methamphetamine in parts of Cross River state on Monday 10th December.
The War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign of the agency continued in equal measure in schools, markets, worship places and others across the country in the past week.
Some of them include WADA advocacy lecture for students of St. Margaret High School, Ilesa, Osun; students of Federal Government Girls College, Shagamu, Ogun; students of Wesley Model Primary and Secondary School, Badagry, Lagos; students and staff of Government Junior Secondary School and Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Yaryasa, Tudun Wada LGA, Kano state.
While commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Lagos, FCT, Imo, Edo, Borno, Ogun, Zamfara, and Cross River Commands for the arrests and seizures of the past week, as well as those of the Directorate of Prosecution and Legal Services for their diligent prosecution of cases in court, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) urged them and their compatriots across all formations of the agency to intensify the offensive action tempo against drug cartels as the yuletide season approaches while maintaining an equal balance with their drug demand reduction efforts.