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The Edo State command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested two suspected cannabis barons with a remarkable seizure of eighteen thousand, two hundred and ninety-four kilogrammes (18,294kg) which is 18.2 metric tons of dried weeds that tested positive for cannabis. The estimated street value of the seized drug is over one hundred and eighty-three (183) million naira.
A Bauchi based suspected cannabis baron, Mohammed Lawal Bello Mustapha was apprehended at Uzebba, Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State where he was facilitating the shipment of 7,272kg of cannabis to Bauchi while 3,072kg of cannabis was traced to the warehouse of another suspected baron, Lucky Akele at Uzebba. About 7,950kg of cannabis with few bags of cement as a disguise inside a truck belonging to Dangote Cement Company was intercepted at Enweh also in Owan West. The shipment was destined for Maiduguri, Borno State. The truck driver, Zegiru Amadu is in custody.
Edo State commander, Wakawa Buba said that the 18,294kg of cannabis were seized in three operations. "Two of the seizures took place at Uzebba while one was at Enweh in Owan West LGA. All the cases are under investigation and the suspects will soon be charged to court for unlawful possession and dealing in cannabis. They risk a minimum of fifteen years sentence if found guilty" Wakawa stated.
Dangote's driver in his statement said that the was given one million three hundred thousand naira to transport the drug to Maiduguri, Bornu State. "I am a driver with Dangote cement company. It is greed that made me to carry the cannabis. They paid me one million three hundred thousand naira (N1,300,000,000) to carry the drug. It is because of poverty but l will not do it again if released" Zegiru Amadu stated.
NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.) while commending the arresting officers described the seizure as a panacea for peace and positive step towards eradicating drugs from circulation. "The NDLEA will continue to work assiduously by consolidating on the gains recorded in the fight against insurgency. Over 15 tons of cannabis would have been taken to the north east if not for the timely interception. Several crimes are perpetrated under the influence of drugs like cannabis and the Agency will not rest until the problem of cannabis cultivation, trafficking and use is drastically reduced" Abdallah stated.
The Agency according to the NDLEA boss has declared a total war against cannabis cultivation and promised to deploy adequate resources towards a successful eradication campaign.
The Agency also thanked the management of Dangote group for their assistance in arresting the truck driver after he fled leaving the truck load of cannabis.