Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy, Badagry, Lagos State, on Friday handed over nine and half sacks of seized cannabis sativa,worth N15.2million, to the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) in Badagry.
Lt. Empire Okorie, the Base Intelligence Officer, representing FOB Commanding, Navy Capt. Aiwuyor Adams-Aliu, said operatives seized the cannabis on Thursday at Moba community in Badagry.
He said that the navy acted after an intelligence tip-off about suspected smuggling activities within its area of operation.
“The intelligence indicated that a boat was sighted offloading the items, suspected to be cannabis sativa,at Moba riverine community in Badagry,
“Consequently, the Base Quick Response Team, led by Lt Cdr Kelly Umoru, the Base Operations Officer, and myself, proceeded to the scene of the crime for investigation and possible arrest.
“The team conducted a cordon and search operation, and a total of nine and half sacks of cannabis, valued at N15,200,000, were recovered.
“The adjoining communities were also searched,but no other items or suspects were found,” he said.
He said investigation is ongoing, in conjunction with other security agencies, to identify the drug trafficking syndicate with a view to arresting and prosecuting them.
According to him, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla,is committed to building a naval force capable of defending Nigeria’s maritime space.
“Similarly, the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan ,on Nov.9, launched Operation Water Guard.
“This operation is aimed at denying smugglers and others criminal element freedom of action within Badagry general area in order to ensure security and economic stability in the area.
“Accordingly, these efforts are all geared towards complying with the CNS Strategic Directive 2023-6, to ensure a safe and secure maritime environment in Nigeria and Gulf of Guinea,” he added .
Adams-Aliu said the handing over of the seized cannabis was in line with FOB’s Harmonised Standard Operating Procedures for Arrest, Detention and Prosecution of Persons,2016.
Receiving the sacks, Mrs Ogomegbunem Nwadui, Deputy Commander,Narcotics, who represented Mr Owen Dinneys, the Area Commander, Seme Special Command of NDLEA, promised that an investigation would commence to unravel those behind the seized Items.