Chairman/CEO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Brig.Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) on Tuesday gave details of how the agency busted two methamphetamine laboratories in Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lekki, Lagos and Nise community, Anambra.
Addressing reporters at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, Marwa said that following seven months of intelligence gathering, the agency recorded breakthrough on July 30 by busting two methamphetamine manufacturing facilities called Meth Laboratories.
He said, “The first one, located in Victoria Garden City (VGC) Estate of Lekki, Lagos, is owned by a baron, Chris Emeka Nzewi, while the second, in Nise Community of Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State was owned by Paul Ozoemenam. The owners of these two illicit meth laboratories were successfully arrested alongside Sunday Ukah from Aba, Abia State, the cook or chemist that produced the drugs for them.
“The laboratory in Lagos was set up inside the Boys’ Quarter building of a four-bedroom duplex. From there, we recovered a total of 258.74 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and various precursor chemicals used for the production of the toxic drug. The complete paraphernalia Laboratory equipment such as gas cylinders, giant gas burners, industrial face masks, industrial gloves, tubes and flat-bottomed conical flasks, among others were also found.”
Marwa said the owner of the laboratory in VGC put his family and neighbours at risk by producing the toxic drug in the house where his family lives. He added that the siting of the lab close to the kitchen of the main house meant that the waste from the lab was channelled into the septic tank and soakaway in the compound, with a high risk of contamination of the water table of the entire neighbourhood.
Nzewi was arrested in a hotel at the Admiralty Way Lekki Phase I. Ukah, Marwa said, produced for both labs.
He noted that on average, the lab produced 50 kilos of methamphetamine every week with plans underway to increase the capacity of production to at least 100kg per week. In recent times, the drug went for as high as $500,000 per kilo in the international market.
“On this note, I’ll like to renew the call to members of society to work in partnership with us to safeguard their health. With society working with us, we are confident of cleaning this Augean stable of illicit drugs,” Marwa said.