Edo NDLEA nabs 20 suspected drug traffickers

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Alexander Okere, Benin

The Edo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested 20 persons for alleged drug trafficking in the state.

The agency said the suspects were apprehended by personnel of the command during an operation last month.

In a statement by the State Commander, NDLEA, Mr Buba Wakawa, the agency noted that 11,986.77 kilograms of cannabis were recovered.

It also stated that it had secured the conviction of seven drug dealers at the Federal High Court in Benin for unlawful possession and cultivation of cannabis.

“Those arrested are 18 males and two females. The command equally discovered nine cannabis farms measuring 8.5 hectares within the month under review,” Wakawa said.

Meanwhile, a 38-year-old man has been arrested by narcotic officers of the agency for allegedly farming in cannabis in Ukpeje village, Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State.

The suspect, identified as Godwin Ijewemen, was alleged to have been found in possession of 168kg of dried weed suspected to be cannabis, while his farm, measuring 2.102 hectares, was destroyed by the NDLEA operatives.

Ijewemen blamed his involvement in the business on poverty and the need to cater for his two wives and four children.

“I did not go further in my education after completing primary school. Prior to farming cannabis, l learnt driving, but due to unemployment, I resorted to the cannabis trade to take care of my family,” he said.

While confirming the arrest, Wakawa stated that the suspect, who had confessed to have been engaged in cannabis farming for the past five years, was still under investigation.

The NDLEA commander assured members of the public that efforts were ongoing to reduce the problem of drug cultivation, trafficking and abuse in the state.

He said, “The command is not unmindful of the implication of drug use and criminality, particularly, the various clashes among rival cult groups.

“The seizure made within the month is encouraging and we are working very hard to reduce the problem to the barest minimum.”

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