By Ibironke Ariyo, Abuja.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has disrupted the operations of a major cocaine syndicate in Lagos with the arrest of a 56-year-old trafficker, Lawal Oyenuga.
NDLEA’s spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi, said in a statement in Abuja on Sunday that the suspect was on a mission to deliver 400 grams of the “Class A’’ drug when he was nabbed.
Babafemi said that the drug was concealed in a pair of black palm sandals, packed in a luggage en-route Jeddah via an Ethiopian Airways flight.
A thorough examination of the sandals revealed they were used to conceal two parcels of cocaine weighing 400 grams.
He added that there was also a swift follow-up arrest at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Nov. 24 of a wanted notorious kingpin, Wasiu Sanni. popularly known as “Teacher’’.
Sanni allegedly recruits mules for the Lagos drug cartel.
“This is barely a week after a 56-year-old widow and mother of four, Mrs Sidika Ajisegiri, was arrested at the Lagos airport, while attempting to traffic 400 grams of cocaine to Saudi Arabia.
“She was scheduled to board a Qatar Airways flight with the drugs concealed in her footwear,’’ Babafemi stated.
According to him, the suspect claimed she was recruited to traffic the drug by Sanni, popularly known as “Teacher’’.
“She claimed that she was first given some pellets of cocaine to swallow but when she couldn’t do that, she was given the choice of concealing those found in the palm sandals.
“She said she resorted to the criminal trade to raise money to pay an examination fee for her daughter in Senior Secondary School Class 3,’’ he stated.
Babafemi said that NDLEA’s database showed that Sanni had been linked to some previous attempts to traffic cocaine to Saudi Arabia and to Dubai.
He also said that Sanni was earlier named as the one who recruited a BRT driver, Bolajoko Babalola, for a Lagos socialite and hotel owner, Alhaji Ademola Kazeem (a.k.a Alhaji Abdallah Kazeem) to traffic drugs to Dubai.
“Babalola was arrested on June 27 while taking 900 grams of cocaine to Dubai, while Kazeem was nabbed on Thursday, Nov. 10 — 10 days after he was declared wanted by the NDLEA.
“A follow-up operation in the early hours of Nov. 25 led to the arrest of the kingpin, “Teacher’’, at his residence in Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
“`Teacher’ specialises in recruiting mules for drug barons in Lagos and its environs.
“The 64-year-old Sanni is a housing and property agent, with seven children and four wives, one of whom is now deceased,’’ he said.
Besides, Babafemi said that in another follow up operation, Hopewell Chukwuemeka, owner of seized 1.1 kilograms of Indian hemp, concealed in bottles of body cream headed for Dubai, was arrested in Port Harcourt.
Chukwuemeka, who was arrested on Nov. 24 runs a boutique business in Port Harcourt, he added.