Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Edo State have seized cannabis valued at N1.4bn in Ukpuje Forest, in the Owan West Local Government Area of the State
Seven suspects were also arrested in connection with cannabis weighing 233,778 kilograms reportedly found in four warehouses.
While 2,249kg dried weeds were seized, cannabis weighing 231,529kg was destroyed on the farm.
A statement on Saturday by the state Commander of the agency, Buba Wakawa, noted that the seizure was the largest single concentration of cannabis discovered by the command.
Wakawa ascribed the success of the operation to the enabling environment created by the new Chief Executive of the Agency, Brigadier General Buba Marwa.
He said, “We took delivery of two new Hilux operational vehicles presented to the command last week. This is the first assignment of the vehicles and it turned out to be the best for the command. We are grateful to the chairman, and this is a clear warning that there is no room for drug barons in the state.
“The warehouses are located in the heart of the forest, yet we were able to uncover them based on intelligence gathering. The cannabis warehouses were located at Ukpuje Forest.
“The community is notorious for cannabis cultivation and trafficking as well as attacks on law enforcement officers, but stood still as a combined team of NDLEA and combatant military personnel overran the drug trafficking syndicates due to our superior fire power.”
Marwa identified the suspects as chairman of vigilantes in Ukpuje, Emmanuel Oki, 62; one Chief Odi Sabato, 42; Bright Edegbe, 53; Gowon Ehimigbai, 53; Enodi Ode, 37; Ayo Oni, 30; and Akhime Benjamin, 43..
He added, “The operation lasted from Thursday night through Friday night February 5, 2021. The suspects will be investigated and charged.”