NDLEA arrests wanted drug baron in Nasarawa

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a man it described as “the most wanted drug baron in Nasarawa state, Sami Ashoko,” who spent the Easter season in custody.

The agency said the warehouse of the suspect, which was allegedly filled with skunk, was also raided and 100 bags of the illicit drug weighing 1,095.3kg were seized.

The NDLEA, in a statement by its spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, on Tuesday said members of another cartel were arrested in Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government area of Edo State and their illicit consignment weighing 1,330kg meant for Bauchi State seized.

According to him, both syndicates were busted on Friday while trying to distribute their illegal substances for the Easter sale.

The NDLEA said Ashoko, 39, from Ibilo in the Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, was apprehended in Shinge, Lafia, Nasarawa State, based on actionable intelligence.

A team of operatives had stormed his warehouse in Lafia and recovered 100 bags of cannabis weighing about 1095.3kg.

The Commander, Nasarawa State Command of the NDLEA, Justice Arinze, said, “Sami Ashoko is the most wanted drug baron, who has been on our watch list in Nasarawa State. This seizure has beaten the previous record of 45 bags weighing about half tonne recovered in January 2021 as the highest singular seizure of cannabis since the inception of the command in 1999. The seized consignment was meant for Easter sales, and which he expected to sell out in two weeks.”

The NDLEA also announced that two members of another drug cartel, Adamu Badamasi and Adamu Abba, were also arrested on the same day in Edo State while trying to move 950 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 1,330kg and procured from Uzeba, Owan West Local Government Area of the state meant for Bauchi State for Easter sales.

The NDLEA Commander in Edo State, Buba Wakawa, said the arrest and seizure disrupted the Easter sales plan of the cartel, whose members tried to escape arrest through hinterland routes in their white Peugeot J5 bus with number plate Lagos JJJ 722 XC.

Babafemi said another trafficker, who supplies drugs to some notorious joints in Abuja, was arrested on the Gwagwalada Expressway, Federal Capital Territory, while bringing 46 compressed blocks of cannabis to drug dealers in Mabushi and Banex areas of the capital city.

The NDLEA Commander for the FCT Command, Mohammed Sokoto, said the notorious drug supplier had confessed to being a major supplier of illicit substances to major drug joints in Abuja.

The Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd), in his reaction to the Easter weekend operations, commended officers and men of the Nasarawa, Edo and FCT commands of the agency for their efforts.

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