Abuja bound ‘laughing gas’ consignments seized on highway

Onyebuchi Ikpozu and Kenneth Igwe, some of the suspects

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 National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.

The illicit drugs were seized during interdiction operations in Lagos, Kogi, FCT, Jigawa, Kaduna, Sokoto and Edo states by NDLEA’s operatives.

Onyebuchi Ikpozu, one of the suspects

NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Sunday, said: “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 September 22, intercepted by NDLEA operatives along 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.

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“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 September 20, in a trailer marked LSR 343 XW, bearing cartons of maggi.

Auwal Mohammed and Abdullahi Abubakar, some of the suspects

“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 September 23, at 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 September 23, 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 September 18, along Abuja – Forest road, Kaduna while on his way to Bauchi state.

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“A follow up operation in Bauchi led to the arrest of the actual owner of the consignment, Dominic Chukwuma, 35, on September 19, 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 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.

Auwal Mohammed and Abdullahi Abubakar, some of the suspects

“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 September 20, operatives in Sokoto, on September 19, 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 September 11 and 13, 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,” the statement added.

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