By Deborah Coker
Benin – The Edo Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested a graduate of Geophysics with about 82 bags of dried weeds suspected to be cannabis sativa weighing 762 Kilogrammes.
The Commander, Mr Buba Wakawa, disclosed this on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin.
Wakawa said that the seizure was the second of drugs hidden inside ceiling within one week.
He said the suspected substance was discovered inside the ceiling of the suspect’s house at Ohiomah Street, Iyeu Otuo in Owan East Local Government Area of the state.
He said the suspect in his statement said that he bought the drugs for sale in order to get enough money to sponsor his master’s degree programme.
The commander said the suspect who gave his name as Iredia Austine, was arrested at his residence in Otuo based on intelligence report.
He explained that during a search operation, officers discovered 82 bags of suspected cannabis sativa concealed inside the ceiling of his house with a total weight of 762kg.
“This is a criminal act that is punishable by the NDLEA Act.
“It is unjustifiable to engage in the criminal act under any pretext,” the commander said.
During interrogation, the suspect claimed ownership of the drugs, stating that this is the largest quantity of drugs he had purchased in a single transaction.
“I studied Geophysics at Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, and completed my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in January 2018.
“I started selling cannabis in 2011 when I gained admission into the University and this was because I have no one to help me financially.
“After my graduation, I stopped selling cannabis but the temptation arose when I purchased form for my master’s degree programme at the University of Port Harcourt.
“It was circumstances that made me to be selling it and this is the largest quantity of cannabis I have bought at a time,” he said.
The commander said that preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect bought the drugs during harvest season and stored it in the ceiling for sale during peak season.
He said that investigation would soon be concluded for the suspect to be arraigned in court.
In a related development, Wakawa told NAN that the command had discovered another two clandestine warehouses in the State.
He said that about 5,650 kilo grammes of dried weeds suspected to be cannabis sativa were found in the warehouses.
” The first warehouse contained 4,200 kilo grammes of cannabis while the second warehouse contained 1,45kilo grammes of suspected cannabis,“he said.
He also said that an arrest of a 64-year-old grandfather was made in connection with one of the warehouses.
“This major seizure is coming barely few weeks after the command publicly destroyed 136,844 kilo grammes of various narcotic drugs mainly cannabis,“he said.
Wakawa also disclosed that the seizures were made based on intelligence report received by the command.
“The first warehouse is a residential house located behind Tipper Garage, Ehor inEgor Local Government Area, while the second warehouse was located at Ugwella-Gidi village, Ovia South West Local Government Area.
The commander, promised to arrest other members connected with the warehouses.
He appealed to members of the public to provide the agency with useful information that could lead to the recovery of drugs and arrest of traffickers.
He said that the suspect would soon be charged to court. (NAN)