According to a rpeort by The PUNCH, a wanted drug kingpin who is suspected to be behind the 2000.6kg of Cannabis Sativa seized in a concrete mixer truck in Adamawa State on December 2, 2021, Henry Chukwuneku Okamaru, has been arrested in Ondo State after a five-month manhunt by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Also, a 36-year-old Nigerian based in Italy, Nwakanma Michael Uche, was arrested by the NDLEA at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja for ingesting 95 pellets of heroin.
Spokesman of the Agency Femi Babafemi also said in a statement yesterday that two suspects, Matthew Donuwe and Friday Nmborgwu, were arrested in connection with the consignment seized last December.
According to Babafemi, investigations revealed that Okamaru is one of the leaders of a cannabis cultivation cartel that operates in the Ondo-Ekiti axis, while coordinating supplies from Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Delta states to northern parts of the country and Lagos State.
He said, “The drug lord has also been identified as a member of an international drug trafficking ring, while he shuttles between Nigeria and South Africa where he settles his family. He has a strong control and stake in cannabis cultivation in Ondo, Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo States with large storage facilities in Lagos and Abbi in Delta State from where his consignments are distributed year round.
Babafemi said the Italy-based Uche, 36, who hails from Arondizuogu in Ideato council of Imo State, was apprehended while trying to board Air France Airline enroute Abuja-Paris-Milan, Italy on May 15.
“He was thereafter kept under observation during which he excreted 95 pellets of the illicit drug.
He claimed he came to see his parents in Nigeria after 12 years in Italy and to complete his father’s traditional marriage rites. He added that he was to be paid N1.5million after a successful delivery of the drugs in Milan.
“Across five states of Edo, Kaduna, Kogi, Akwa Ibom and Oyo, NDLEA operatives intensified their offensive action against drug cartels.”