The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized 56,782 bottles of codeine and intercepted 8,381,600 capsules and tablets of tramadol in major raids in Lagos.
In a statement released on Sunday, the spokesman of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said desperate bids by drug cartels to push out millions of illicit drug tablets across Lagos and other parts of the country for the festive season had been frustrated by the agency.
He said the NDLEA boss had ordered sustained surveillance on some targets at Satellite Town and Alaba Rago areas of Lagos.
Mr Babafemi said the Satellite Town target was eventually raided on Thursday, December 23, when the drug kingpin, Ezekiel Ibe, was arrested.
According to him, over five tons of high milligrammes of Tramadol; 225mg and 100mg were recovered from his warehouse.
“A breakdown of the seized drug shows 7,991,600 Tramadol tablets and 390,000 capsules of same weighing 5,468.894 kilogrammes,” he said.
In another raid on December 20, one Surajo Mohammed was arrested following surveillance in a notorious neighbourhood at Alaba Rago, Alaba area of Lagos,
Mr Babafemi said the suspect was arrested with 941.14kg cannabis while 56,782 bottles of codeine were seized from the store of another drug lord still at large.
Meanwhile, operatives of the agency have arrested 22-year-old Amaka Ogonachukwu for attempting to smuggle wraps of cocaine concealed in cooked white rice for her boyfriend, Monday Imagbebenikaro, 40, in the custody of the Edo command of NDLEA.
Mr Babafemi said Mr Imagbebenikaro was arrested earlier along airport road, Benin City, Oredo LGA, for dealing in crack cocaine, cannabis sativa and anabolic steroids.
In a related development, an outbound passenger to Italy on a Turkish Airline, Ovire Cyril, has been arrested with 114 wraps of heroin with a gross weight of 1.80kg during a routine search at Gate “C’ Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
Mr Babafemi said the drugs were concealed inside the pockets of four jean trousers, packed in a black suitcase.
He said the suspect who confessed that he was pushed into the crime by hardship after he lost his job, claimed he was promised €5,000 if he successfully delivered the consignment in Italy.
“Same day, during the outward clearance of Ethiopian Airline passengers’ luggage at the same gate, a male passenger, Osakue Evbuomwan, travelling to Milan, Italy, was arrested with 1.55kg of tramadol concealed in a ‘Ghana must go bag,” he said.