The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arraigned four suspected members of an International drug trafficking syndicate that specializes in smuggling narcotic drugs with fake security escort vehicles with siren.
According to a press release issued on December 1st,2016, all four defendants appeared before Honorable Justice P. I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State on Friday November 11, 2016.
Officers attached to the Edo State command intercepted the convoy of a Ford pickup and a Toyota Tundra while conveying 34.2kg of methamphetamine from Lagos. The substance that tested positive for methamphetamine was concealed in cartons containing computer accessories. The estimated street value of the drug in Europe and Asia is about 24 million dollars.
NDLEA Edo State commander, Buba Wakawa gave the names of the defendants as Kaodilichi Obi Paul, 32 years old and Joseph Iloh, 54 years old as well as two drivers, Eke Cyprian, 55 years old, and Chinonso Maduekesi, 31 years old.
According to the commander:
"This is the largest seizure of methamphetamine by the State command. The arrest was made along Lagos-Benin Bye pass. The drug tested positive for methamphetamine, weighed 34.2kg and all is now set for the defendants to be arraigned in court". The Agency is pressing a four count charge against the defendants. Count one states that without lawful authority, the defendants conspired to deal in 34.2kg of methamphetamine a drug similar to cocaine, heroin and LSD thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11 (c) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. Other charges are unlawful transportation and possession of the narcotic drugs punishable under sections 11b and 19 of the NDLEA Act. If found guilty, the defendants risk minimum of fifteen years in custody.
In his comment, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.) said that the case shall be diligently prosecuted. He also assured that investigation is still ongoing to establish possible links with drug trafficking organization outside the country. According to the Chairman:
"The Agency will diligently pursue this case to a logical end. The success of the Agency in the dismantling of clandestine laboratories for methamphetamine production in the country must transcend shutting down of production cites to judicial victories. We shall also monitor every hint and subject every member of the suspected drug syndicate to justice. Nigeria's capacity and tenacity that resulted in the discovery of eleven methamphetamine production laboratories in the past five years shall be sustained. The triumph over drug trafficking syndicates is a victory for all".
Abdallah reiterated his call for stakeholders to support the Agency in the dismantling of drug trafficking syndicates in the country.