NDLEA arrests suspected drug baron, storms cannabis farms

  1. NDLEA

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has carried out a major operation across the South West and South South and North Central States of Ekiti, Edo, Delta and Kogi. The intelligence-led raid code named Operation Weed Eater led to the arrest of a-36-year-old suspected drug baron, and operational head of a cannabis syndicate known as AKUNNUBAS, Uche Destiny Obi also known as The King Maker along with seven other members of the cartel including two truck drivers. Cannabis weighing a total of 1,514,278kg with an estimated street value of 15.1 billion naira was also intercepted.
During the operation, Cannabis plantations were raided and destroyed at Ise Forest Reserve in Ise/Orun Local Government Area, Ode camp in Gboyin Local government Area both in Ekiti State and Utese Forest Reserve in Edo State. One hundred officers drawn from various State Commands participated in the operation that lasted for twelve days.
Uche Destiny Obi is the Vice Chairman and operational head of the AKUNNUBAS, a group that specializes in cannabis cultivation and distribution. He is called the King Maker because of his overriding influence in determining appointment of other Executive members as well as execution of punishment on erring members and foes. The criminal group is believed to have a growing influence and operational stronghold in South West and South South States of the country.
NDLEA investigation reveals that the Akunnubas is responsible for over eighty percent (80%) of cannabis production in the country. The syndicate hires cheap labour including school age children to work at cannabis farms. They use motorcycles in conveying processed cannabis from the farms to a temporary covert warehouse from where trucks are later used in taking the drug for inter-State distribution.
According to the NDLEA Director of Operations and General Investigations, Mr. Olugbenga Mabo who coordinated the specialized operations, the raid was to eradicate drugs from the country. In his words, “this is a specialized raid operation cutting across different State Commands. The operation which lasted for twelve days led to the seizure of 1,514,278kg of cannabis, and the arrest of a suspected drug kingpin and seven others. In Ekiti State, Cannabis weighing 1,483,200kg was destroyed in two cannabis plantations. In Edo, 9,300kg of cannabis was intercepted, in Delta, 19,675kg was intercepted in a truck while two trucks containing 2,103kg of cannabis was seized in Lokoja, Kogi State. The cases are under investigation”.
He also commended officers that participated in the operation for their tenacity, dexterity and zeal. “The interception of a truck with registration number EKY948XB Lagos, carrying a forty =40= footer container loaded with 19,675kg along Amai road Obiaruku – en route Abbi, Delta State by Delta State Command officers and two trucks containing 2,103kg of cannabis by Kogi State command is impressive” Mabo added.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade described the arrest of Uche Destiny Obi as a reward for painstaking investigation. “The suspected drug kingpin Uche Destiny Obi was placed under investigation by the Agency for several months. This is an era of protracted and diligent investigation that will expose illicit drug activities of suspected drug barons who will soon be caught in the dragnet of the NDLEA. I am delighted with the success of the painstaking surveillance carried out by officers in Operation Weed Eater” Giade stated.
The NDLEA boss stressed that the Agency is poised to dismantle drug trafficking syndicates and put an end to their criminal activities.