The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has declared a Port Harcourt-based prophetess and founder of Christ Power Adoration Ministries, Faith Ugochi, as well as a celebrity couple, Igho Ubiribo and Danielle Allen, wanted for alleged drug trafficking and recruiting teenage girls into the illicit business.
The agency’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
He said the suspects serve as arrowheads of an international syndicate operating from Los Angeles, United States of America.
According to Babafemi, the cartel’s illicit business was exposed when NDLEA operatives at the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc import shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos intercepted a consignment of 32.70Kg of Loud, a strong variant of cannabis concealed in cartons of used wears on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.
He noted that a freight agent, Ifeanyi Oguguo, was immediately arrested while further investigation led to the arrest of four more suspects, Chikodi Favour, Obiyom Chiamaka, Nnochiri Chidinma, and Edward Omatseye (aka Montana).
Babafemi said, “The 15-year-old Favour was the first salesgirl to be arrested at a fuel station in the Ajah area of Lagos. She thereafter led the operatives to a duplex accommodation around the Ikate area of Lekki, which was later discovered to be a rented apartment by the criminal group purposely for four young girls that the syndicate uses for marketing and distribution of illicit drugs.
“Another girl, Shalom, who is a fresh graduate of Agricultural Science from Rivers State University of Science and Technology, was picked from the house alongside Favour.
“During their preliminary interviews, it was learnt that the syndicate rented another building used as drugs warehouse inside Richmond Estate, Lekki. By the time operatives located the house, it was discovered that other members of the syndicate had broken into the store and carted away bags of illicit substances. However, some illicit drugs paraphernalia including sealing machine, bloating machine and packaging bags were recovered from the warehouse.”
He added that a follow-up operation led to the arrest of one Edward Omatseye at his residence around Lekki, adding that Omatseye confessed to working for Igho and his wife, Danielle, who are identified as the overall heads of the criminal group.
Babafemi added, “Investigation was able to establish that Favour and Shalom were recruited as sales girls in the illicit drug trade by Prophetess Faith Ugochi of Christ Power Adoration Ministries, using her church platform to recruit teenage girls brought to her for help, on behalf of the celebrity couple, Igho Ubiribo (aka Tiny) and Danielle Allen (aka Dani), who are the owners of the business, while Edward Omatseye (aka Montana) coordinates the illicit drug trade activities for them in Nigeria, with Nnochiri Chidinma as representative of Ben Cargo Limited, a freight company responsible for the shipment of illicit consignments into the country.
“While Chidinma and Omatseye (aka Montana) have already been charged to court and are currently facing trial at the Federal High Court, Lagos alongside Ben Cargo Limited, a freight company which had been linked to two previous drug seizures and also involved in the current case, several attempts to get Prophetess Faith Ugochi, Igho Ubiribo and Danielle Allen to submit themselves for questioning have proved abortive.
“Curiously, they hurriedly moved all funds traced to their company Lasgidi Backwood Limited, where all proceeds from the sales of illicit drugs were deposited into a private account of one Victor Imagoro. The agency has since blocked the sum of N80m traced to the account and obtained a court order to seize all properties including a fuel station linked to the suspects in Lagos and Port Harcourt.
“The NDLEA has further sought and obtained an order of the Federal High Court Lagos to declare wanted the celebrity couple Ubiribo Igho and Danielle Allen, as the arrowheads of the illicit trade as well as Prophetess Faith Ugochi, who recruits teenage girls as sales representatives for the duo.”