Suspected killer of NDLEA Officials arrested in Ondo

• Six officials injured, 14.3 tons Cannabis destroyed

The Ondo State Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA), on Tuesday, said a notorious drug dealer, Ohimai Ayodele, who masterminded the killing of four agency officers last February had been arrested.

The state Commander of the NDLEA, Mr Haruna Gagara, who disclosed this while addressing newsmen at the command headquarters, Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital, said the suspect was arrested during intelligence-driven Operation Thunder Strike IV carried out by security agencies in the state.

According to him, the 51-year-old suspect was arrested at Uzebba, in Owan West Local Government, Edo State, after engaging the NDLEA officials in a gun duel, leaving six officials of the NDLEA officers injured during the shoot-out.

He said the men were able to overpower the drug baron and his gang after hours of gun battle to resist arrest.

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He said Ayodele was arrested during the raid on Uzebba and Ihkin villages in the same local government following intelligence gathering by the command, saying the team moved further into the Ivbiodeohen forest where about five warehouses filled with Cannabis Sativa were discovered.

Haruna said, “Uzebba and Ihkin, two communities in Owan West Local Government, Edo State, bordering Ondo State which are notorious for the cultivation of Cannabis Sativa were the first place to be visited by the team.

“One Ohimai Ayodele, ‘M’ 51-year-old titleholder in Uzebba, a notable cannabis merchant suspected to be the mastermind of the killing of NDLEA personnel earlier in the year was apprehended during the operation.

“In an attempt to resist arrest, his gang opened fire, injuring some of our operatives.

“After a reinforcement, we carried the campaign further to Ivbiodeohen forest in Uzebba where five different warehouses were raided with at least two tons of cannabis destroyed.

“One Ojeagbese Asabiya ‘M’ 66 years was arrested in a deserted locality where several cannabis nurseries and transplant farms were discovered and destroyed.”

He, however, said the six officers of the command who sustained gunshot injuries during the operation were rushed to a hospital in Ondo State for medical attention.

The NDLEA boss also said about 1, 225 bags of Cannabis Sativa, weighing 12, 250 kg were discovered and set ablaze in Ute community near Ifon in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State, in another 20-hour operation.

He disclosed that eight locally-made guns, several live cartridges, six locally fabricated cannabis compressing machines were recovered during the operation.

The NDLEA boss noted that the operations carried by the team would affect the supply of the illicit drug during the Yuletide because “about 80 per cent of cannabis markets across the country obtain their cannabis supply from the states touched by this operation.”

He assured that the agency would sustain the tempo, saying the agency is still awaiting drug merchants on the road to intercept cannabis smuggled into the market.

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