By Andrew Onyejuruuwa
Following bursting the biggest singular cocaine seizure at Ikorodu area of Lagos State, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced the discovery of another huge Tramadol stored in another location in Lekki also in Lagos.
NDLEA spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi said the pills recovered from the mansion were more than 13.45 million and worth N8.8 billion in street value. The Ikorodu haul of 1.8 tons (1,855 kilograms) of the illicit drug were hidden allegedly for sale in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.
The illicit drug fighting agency said it estimates the street value of the haul at $278.3 million or N194.8 billion.
Babafemi said that the mansion belonged to a billionaire drug baron, Ugochukwu Nsofor Chukwukadibia, who the NDLEA spokesman said is now in custody.
Babafemi said, “The arrest of Ugochukwu, who is the Chairman of Autonation Motors Limited, is coming barely two months after NDLEA uncovered at least 258.7 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in a clandestine laboratory in the residence of another drug kingpin in the estate, Chris Emeka Nzewi, who was arrested alongside a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who cooked the illicit drug for him on September 30.
“Following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday September 30, stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin. A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contains 13,451,466 pills of the drug while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day.
“Before his arrest, Ugochukwu, who hails from Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, has been on the agency’s watch list as one of those behind the tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.
“Preliminary investigation shows that he has about six mansions within the VGC, one of which he uses to warehouse the tramadol consignment, while he lives in the one at Plot Z-130 Road 67, and another as his office. Five exotic vehicles have also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs including a bullet jeep have been successfully removed to the agency’s facility.
“Reacting to the latest drug haul, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd.) commended the officers and men involved in the operation for their diligence while also appreciating Nigerians for supporting the agency in its arduous task of ridding the country of the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking”.