National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested four Nigerians and a Malian in connection with illegal sales of 4,580 kilograms of psychotropic drugs in Kano State. The seized drugs comprising 2,592kgs of codeine cough syrups and 1,988kgs of tramadol were recovered from five secret warehouses by officers of the Kano State command.
The suspects Ikechukwu Ukwuoma was arrested with 2,010kgs of codeine cough syrups; Nura Ibrahim, 30, caught with 886kgs of tramadol, and Zakari Muhammadi, a Malian, found with 850kgs of tramadol, Ernest Asogwa, 34, caught with 582kgs of codeine syrup and Ikenna Osuizugba, 34, found in possession of 252kgs of tramado.
Mr. Ukwuoma, 34, a suspected major distributor of Codeine cough syrups in Kano has told the anti-drug agency that he ventured into the business because of the high profit margin. He said Codeine business in the state sells fast and that he was only interested in the profit, the NDLEA said in a statement Friday, August 5th.
“A bottle of codeine in Kano is twice the cost price in the east,” said Mr. Ukwuoma, who hails from Imo State and is married with three children. I did not know how the officers discovered my warehouse where the drugs were kept. I regret my action” xxThe NDLEA said the arrests and seizures were made following intelligence report on the illicit drug activities of the suspects.
“The abuse of psychotropic drugs like codeine cough syrups and tramadol is prevalent among young people and married women in the State,” said Hamza Umar, NDLEA Kano State Commander. “It is common to see iced bottles of codeine cough syrup instead of beverage drinks in a gathering of young people.”
Ibrahim, who hails from Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano State, Asogwa and Osuizugba all told officials that they decided to sell the drugs because of the profit involved. Muhammad Abdallah, Chairman of the NDLEA, said the agency has intensified its sensitization efforts in the state with the aim of reducing the demand and supply of the drugs.