The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Sunday said it will arraign Anietie Okon Effiong, a pastor at Promise of Zion Church, Akwa Ibom, for his alleged connection to a drug smuggling ring.
The anti-drug agency said it has arrested two women, Hauwawu Bashiru and Basirat Adebisi Yahaya linked to the pastor.
According to the NDLEA, the duo, arrested in Lagos, have been taken to Uyo, Akwa Ibom capital, to face charges alongside Effiong.
The NDLEA in a statement said the women are “linked to the attempt to export 90 kilograms of methamphetamine through Pastor Anietie Okon Effing of Promise of Zion Church, Oron, Akwa Ibom state, were equally arrested in Lagos and moved to Uyo to face charges along with the clergyman”.
The pastor was arrested on August 6 in connection to three drums of crystal methamphetamine believed to have been imported from India.
The NDLEA said the consignment, weighing 90 kilograms and loaded into a commercial bus with registration number RSH 691XC at Ojuelegba in Lagos, was intercepted during a stop and search operation along Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene highway.
According to the agency, the drugs were meant for onward delivery to Cameroon.
Meanwhile, the agency in its weekly update on arrests and drug busts, said it has nabbed a “notorious drug dealer”, identified as Monday Michael, in the Mushin-Isolo axis of Lagos, while conveying 365.7kgs of cannabis in two Toyota Sienna space buses marked FST 189 FD and FST 273 GF.
The agency said its operatives also arrested two drug peddlers identified as Isah Mohammed and Sandra Okafor in the Dakata area in Kano on Friday, October 21, “after they were caught with 538 blocks of C/S weighing 391.2kgs; 259,000 tablets of tramadol; 100 bottles of codeine-based syrup, and 150,000 tablets of pregabalin”.
Two more persons were said to have been arrested in Kaduna, identified as Abel John and Helen James. At the same time, 5000 tablets of tramadol and 25,000 tablets of Exol-5 were recovered along Abuja-Kaduna express road.
“In Lagos, anti-narcotics officers who have been on the trail of 48-year-old Aro Aderinde for weeks arrested him on Sunday 16th October over his involvement in the export of 3,149kgs cannabis sativa concealed in coconut fibres via container number MSKU 1820587,” the NDLEA said.
“In the same vein, a suspect, Yahaya Musa, was arrested on Sunday 16th October at Tashar Yari, Kaduna, with over 30,000 tablets of tramadol, diazepam, and exol-5.
“In Bauchi, a suspect, Ogbonna Ikechukwu, was arrested at Gadar Maiwa, Ningi LGA, with 67, 960 tablets of various types of psychotropic substances while in Akwa Ibom state, operatives raided the Marina market, Eket, where quantities of illicit substances along with one million one hundred and ninety three thousand and sixty naira(N1,193.060) cash and eight hundred and forty nine thousand (N849,000.00) fake currency were recovered from fleeing suspects.”
The agency said it nabbed Abdulkadir Mohammed, another drug lord, for possessing 5,640kgs cannabis at a warehouse in the Chukuku area of Kuje, Abuja following the arrest of his wife, Saadatu Abdullahi, who was found at the store when it was raided.
While commending the operatives for the seizures, Buba Marwa, NDLEA chairman, said the arrest of the drug kingpins is a warning sign to those still involved in the illicit trade.
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