By Ibironke Ariyo, Abuja.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted over 2.3 million tablets of illicit pharmaceutical opioids and other psychoactive substances, meant for distribution in seven northern states.
The Director of Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, named the states as Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe and Nasarawa.
He also said that the agency had series of interdiction operations in the past week.
Babafemi said that a total of 2,325,553 tablets and capsules of Tramadol, Pregabalin, Hypnox, Diazepam and Exol-5 were seized in all.
He also said that the illicit drugs included 7,353 bottles of a new psychoactive substance locally called “Akuskura”, meant for the seven states. which were seized at locations across Kaduna, Kogi, Sokoto states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said that in Kaduna, a drug dealer, Umar Sanusi, was arrested on Aug. 12 during a follow-up operation in Kano.
“He was brought back to Kaduna where his consignment of 50 cartons of pregabalin 300mg., containing 750,000 capsules, weighing 375 kilograms, earlier seized along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, was counted and weighed in his presence.
“Same day, operatives also intercepted along Abuja-Kaduna express road 7,068 bottles of a new dangerous substance of abuse called ‘Akuskura’ meant for Kaduna, Zamfara, Gombe, Kano and Borno.
“The recipients in Kaduna and Zamfara had been arrested during follow-up operations,” he said.
Babafemi said that on Aug. 13, 285 bottles of ‘NPS’ were seized from a dealer, Abubakar Ahmad, in Kaduna state.
He said that no fewer than 696,000 tablets of Tramadol and Exol-5, among others, were also seized.
“They were loaded into a truck at Onitsha, Anambra State and heading to Maiduguri, Borno State, only to be seized along the Okene-Abuja expressway on Friday.”
Babafemi said that NDLEA operatives had also confiscated 300,000 tablets of Diazepam from a suspect, Faruku Bello, 30, in Sokoto State on Wednesday.
“Anti-narcotic officers of the agency in Abuja, FCT, equally at the weekend intercepted a bus loaded with 323,200 tablets of Tramadol 225mg. and others at Onitsha, Anambra State, heading to Nasarawa state.
“Driver of the vehicle, Osita Nwobodo, 45, who made fruitless bids to compromise the operatives is now in custody,” he said.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman of NDLEA, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, as commending the officers and men of the Kaduna, Kogi, Sokoto, and FCT commands for the arrests and seizures.
Marwa urged them and their compatriots across the country to intensify their drug supply and demand reduction efforts.