1.8 tons of cocaine that were seized by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) from a warehouse in the Ikorodu neighborhood of Lagos have been destroyed.
In a statement, the agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, warned that drug lords and cartels operating in Nigeria would face worse times if they don’t give up their illegal businesses and pursue legal businesses.
He stated that the NDLEA Chairman, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, gave the assurance on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, while leading stakeholders to witness the crushing and setting ablaze the 1.8 tons of cocaine that the Agency had seized just last week from a warehouse in the Ikorodu neighborhood of Lagos.
Last Monday, the NDLEA attacked a covert warehouse at 6 Olukunola Street in the Solebo estate in Ikorodu, where 1.8 tons of cocaine were found and five suspects, including a Jamaican, were apprehended. The intelligence-led operation was well-coordinated.
Following the historical seizure, which is the largest in the Agency’s history, an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos was obtained for the public destruction of the consignment.
Speaking on Tuesday at the site of the public destruction in the Badagry area of Lagos, Gen. Marwa, who was represented by the Agency’s Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, Deputy Commander General of Narcotics, DCGN Sunday Joseph, said the sheer volume of the drug haul, with street value estimated at $278,250,000 ($278, 250,000), equivalent to $194,775 billion, was a “huge haul.”
He added that as a result, Nigerians must support NDLEA in the organization’s ongoing fight against illicit substances.
He said out of the 1.8-ton seizure, 1, 828 blocks of the cocaine will be crushed and set ablaze while the remnant will be secured for purpose of prosecution of the suspects who were brought to witness the procedure and sign the certificate of destruction.
The NDLEA chairman stated that the agency is proceeding to prosecute persons who were apprehended in connection with this consignment.
“On this, the public can rest assured that NDLEA shall pursue the trial to a logical conclusion. Since January 25, 2021, when we commenced our offensive action against drug traffickers, the Agency has secured record convictions. Presently, 2, 904 drug offenders are serving various jail terms, while other cases are ongoing in court, which we are confident will end in positive results too,” he said.
To the drug underworld, he said the bust of the syndicate responsible for the cocaine warehoused in Ikorodu is a message to drug cartels that their investments in the illicit substance business will go up in flames as you are about to witness while they also risk losing their freedom because the present NDLEA is committed to arresting, prosecuting and ensuring the conviction of those involved in illicit drugs. That is not all, we now also go after their assets acquired with the proceeds of the criminal business.
Marwa added that the fact that the Ikorodu operation was carried out expertly without any violence or bloodshed is another evidence of the NDLEA’s development and its new skills as well as a sign that the rules of engagement in the fight against illicit narcotics have changed.
The Nigerian military provided additional firepower during the operation, and he expressed gratitude to the Agency’s international partners, particularly the US-DEA, which supported efforts to bust a cocaine syndicate, as well as other law enforcement agencies that have been supporting efforts to clean up Nigeria of illicit drugs.
While pleading for more support for the Agency’s activities, Marwa stated that everyone in the country has a responsibility to ensure the safety of our society. As such, each citizen must carry out their civic duty by helping the Agency fight drug abuse by participating in the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA).