NDLEA Recovers Hard Drug In Sabongeri Market
…As Court Sentences Medicine Dealer To Four Years Imprisonment
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Kano State command has discovered large consignment of Tramadol Hydrochloride at the popular Sabongeri market, Kano.
This is just as Justice F. O. Riman of the Federal High Court Kano sentenced a patent medicine dealer, Gerald Ohuruzo, 42, for dealing in Tramadol Hydrochloride.
Tramadol is a prescription drug and pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain but gradually becoming one of the most abused drugs in the north.
The agency also arrested 94 suspected drug traffickers including a patent medicine dealer, who allegedly stockpiled Tramadol in a secret warehouse within the market.
The convict, Gerald Ohuruzo, 42, was arrested when his secret warehouse at the Sabongeri market was discovered by anti-narcotic officers working on intelligence report.
According to the anti narcotic agency, the recovered drugs in his warehouse weighed 1,369kgs.
He pleaded guilty to dealing in psychotropic substances and was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment on Monday December 14, 2015.
Justice Riman however gave Gerald an option of N450, 000 fine.
Sequel to the discovery, the Kano State command of the agency had commenced a holistic operation to drastically reduce cases of drug abuse.
According to the State Commander, Mr. Hamza Umar, NDLEA has started a total cleanup operation geared towards reducing cases of drug abuse to the barest minimum.
“The command raided Sabongeri market where we seized 1,369kgs of Tramadol from one Gerald Ohuruzo, who was convicted this week. The command had earlier detected a warehouse where Tramadol hydrochloride weighing six thousand, two hundred and sixty-four kilograms (6,264kgs) was seized. Our investigators are working towards a safe and drug-free society”.
Hamza disclosed that the command arrested ninety-four (94) suspected drug traffickers in November 2015 with a total of 6,518.399kg and these include 247.715kg of cannabis, 6,270.677kg of psychotropic substances and 6.6grammes of cocaine.
The suspect who hails from Imo State attributed his involvement in prohibited substances to the high demand for the drug in Kano.
“I am a patent medicine dealer and I am married with four children. This is a mistake on my part. Though I began to deal in tramadol due to the high demand for the drug, I should have resisted the temptation to sell such drugs. I have never been arrested and I feel very bad” Gerald stated.
Worried by the large seizures of narcotic drugs in the ancient city of Kano, the Acting Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mrs. Roli Bode-George stated that the agency would conduct series of enlightenment campaign programmes in the North West State of Kano in the New Year.
“The large seizures of Tramadol hydrochloride is very disturbing. We are going to address the situation scientifically by combining drug seizures with drug demand reduction activities in the coming year. We hope to provide anti-drug abuse counseling services and rehabilitation for those with drug abuse problem” Roli stated.
The NDLEA boss also promised to partner with the Kano State government, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and relevant support groups in providing help to members of the public with regards to narcotics.
In her words, “drug control is not the exclusive preserve of NDLEA. It is a collective responsibility where we must complement one another. Our doors are therefore open to stakeholders at all levels as we welcome fresh ideas in tackling the problem of drug cultivation, trafficking and abuse”.
Roli tasked the commander to work very hard to identify and apprehend the owner of the second warehouse where over six metric tons of illicit drugs was recovered.