An 80-year-old woman, Mary Adebayo; her 19-year-old granddaughter, Funmilola Adebayo, and two other ladies have been arrested in Akure, the Ondo state capital, by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for selling assorted illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, tramadol, swinol and skuchies.
The agency said following intelligence-based raids and follow up operations on their locations on Sunday, May 2, 2021, over 192 kilogrammes of cocaine and other psychoactive substances were seized from the suspects.
The spokesman for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said in a statement on Wednesday that the octogenarian, her granddaughter and two other ladies, Tessy Matthew and Blessing Adesida, were arrested.
As a result, the Chairman/Chief Executive, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.), directed the acting NDLEA Commander in Ondo State, Callys Alumona, to launch a manhunt for other members of the drug cartel currently on the run.
Babafemi said Mary and her granddaughter were arrested around 6.30am on Sunday on Ayeyemi Street, Akure South Local Government Area of the state.
Among the items recovered from the suspects during the early morning raid were 149kg of skuchies; cocaine, 11 grammes; methamphetamine, 17 grammes; heroin, three grammes; cannabis sativa, 4.914kg; swinol, eight grammes; and tramadol, 49 grammes.
Also recovered from them were two deep freezers and a TVS motorcycle.
On the same date around 1.30pm, a raid carried out on the Rate Hotel, Care Street, Akure South LGA, led to the arrest of 25-year-old Tessy Matthew, from whom 33 kilogrammes of skuchies were seized.
Following preliminary interrogation, a follow-up operation was immediately carried out, leading to the arrest of 25-year-old Blessing Adesida in the Oshinle area of Akure South LGA from whom three kilogrammes of skuchies and seven grammes of cannabis were seized.
Alumona said other members of the two drug cartels were on the agency’s watch list and efforts were ongoing to arrest them.
In a related development, operatives of the Adamawa Command of the NDLEA have arrested 58-year-old Victor Chinedu Anwanya and 47-year-old Femi Abiodun with 80 blocks of compressed cannabis sativa weighing 76 kilogrammes concealed in three white sacks tucked in the booth of a Toyota Avalon car with number plate Lagos DC 997 FST.
The state Commander of NDLEA, Idris Bello, said the suspects were arrested on Monday, May 3, 2021, around 6am in Mayo Belwa town, Mayo Belwa Local Government Area of the state.
“They took off from Auchi in Edo State. Also recovered from them was a fake police warrant card bearing the name of Chinedu Anwanya with the rank of a DSP,” Bello stated.
Reacting to the development, Marwa commended officers and men of the Ondo and Adamawa State commands of the agency for their vigilance and commitment to work.
He charged them and their counterparts in other commands to continue the nationwide offensive against the illicit trade.
Marwa was quoted as saying, “I recognise and commend the great work that our officers and men in Ondo and Adamawa states have done in these operations. However, I still want to encourage them and their counterparts across the country that we must raise the ante in fighting drug criminalities in Nigeria.
“We must now go beyond seizures and arrests, and dismantle the cartels, because there are cartels behind each of the drugs, be it cocaine, heroin, tramadol or cannabis; there are cartels behind each of these drugs and we must identify them and rein them in; that is the next phase of this war as we continue with our maxim of offensive action.”