From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
A truck load of substances suspected to be cannabis was yesterday intercepted in Benue State by officials of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NEMA.
The truck was reportedly intercepted along Otukpo- Aliade federal HIGHWAY during patrol by NDA operatives.
While displaying the illicit drugs to newsmen in Makurdi, State Commander of the NDLEA, Mrs. Florence Ezeonye, said the truck was conveying the substances from Edo state heading to Maiduguri, Borno state and on getting to Benue state, it was intercepted by men and officers of the NDLEA Benue command.
Mrs. Ezeonye disclosed that this is the first time Benue state command would be recording such unique and important seizure since the inception of Benue state command in 2003, adding that the quantity is quite alarming and outrageous coupled with the way and manner it was packaged.
“Although the arrest was not accidental but out of intelligence, we got over two weeks ago, we went into action, waiting and watching for such vehicle to pass. We even stopped several vehicles that had such description and after search, nothing was find, and were released to go, but on the 12th Nov, 2017 at about 7:35pm the particular vehicle was apprehended’’.
“The information got to us on 30th October, 2017 about the ilegal goods and at a point, we thought we have lost it because after series of search, we found nothing, not knowing that as we are working on the information available to us,the suspects too were working on our intelligence to know when the officers are on the road, when they are not on the road. So they keep on moving and stopping until we got them’’, Mrs Florence stated.
According to her, when the suspects got to the point of search, they presented their truck as a vehicle carrying building materials because on top of the cannabis sativa, fine building stones were wrapped in small cement bags just to deceive the officers but they were profiled.
She stated that from the interrogation done so far, the driver of the truck said that when they got to Maiduguri, some of the cannabis sativa, left the shore of Nigeria as an export product.
The state commander disclosed that Nigeria remained the highest producer and exporter of cannabis sativa in the world, while the rest of the illicit drugs like cocaine, opium,etc are being exported into the country.
“It is our happiness because each time we made arrest, we believed we have taken drugs out of circulation more also that Xmas is fast approaching where a lot of activities will be going on, so one truck load of drugs taken out of circulation shows that you have saved millions of lives”, she stated.