The Chairman/Chief Executive, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has warned owners/operators of supermarkets and confectionaries to rid their stores of drug cookies, biscuits and other products laced with illicit substances.
He gave the warning on Friday in Abuja, while receiving further briefing on follow up operations from the Commander, FCT Command of the Agency, Mohammed Malami Sokoto, over the arrest of a 300-level university student, Rhoda Agboje and her boyfriend, Ifeanyi Nwankwo, both of who specialise in producing and selling drug cookies to schoolchildren, clubs and supermarkets in Abuja.
“As part of our preventive measures, we would henceforth go after supermarkets, clubs, confectioneries and other outlets and their owners, selling drug cookies, biscuits, cakes and other products laced with illicit substances under whatever guise.
“We would not shy away from hitting their production spots, supply and sales outlets before getting into the hands of innocent schoolchildren, unsuspecting members of the public and even our vulnerable young men and women. We won’t rest on this until we chase them out of this criminal business.
“This is why I want to warn owners and operators of supermarkets, clubs and other sales outlets to clean their stores of these illicit substances before we get to them,” Marwa said.
The spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, said that the Abuja drug cookies are packaged in designed paper wraps under the name “Function” with its motto as “function right with every bite.”
According to him, at the back of the package is a quote the suspects attribute to God to justify their illicit trade; “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seeds, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.”
He recalled that Narcotic agents with the FCT Command of the NDLEA had last weekend uncovered a syndicate involved in producing the cookies with Arizona, a highly psychoactive variant of cannabis; alcohol and rohypnol among other ingredients.
Their lid was blown open following the arrest of Rhoda Agboje with four pieces of the drug cookies on Sunday, 18th April, 2021.
She was arrested at the NNPC Cooperative estate, opposite Gaduwa estate in Abuja based on a complaint that she gave an unsuspecting young girl the cookies to eat.
After eating the drug cookies, the girl lost her mind and could not sleep, making incoherent utterances due to the effects of the cookies.
Under interrogation, the prime suspect, Rhoda confessed she prepares the cookies with a friend and sells each pack of three pieces at N1,500.
A follow up operation in her boyfriend’s house led to the recovery of over 200 pieces of the drug cookies.
The suspect also said she supplies some supermarkets and clubs in the FCT.
Emir seeks agency’s help over rehab centre
Meanwhile, the Emir of Keffi, Dr. Shehu Chindo-Yamusa III, has asked the NDLEA to come to the aid of his emirate by taking over a rehabilitation centre being constructed in Keffi through community efforts.
The monarch made the plea when he, with other leaders of his emirate, visited to the Marwa on Thursday at the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
While commending Marwa for his outstanding commitment to the fight against drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria, the Emir added, “We have come to plead with you to take over the rehabilitation centre we started as a first class drug treatment facility through private efforts in Keffi.
“We are doing this because we know the damage drugs can do to any nation. With proper funding, the centre can handle the rehabilitation needs of the entire North Central and even most parts of the North.”
The Emir said that if Keffi is at peace, Abuja will be at peace but if Keffi is on fire due to the menace of drug abuse, Abuja will equally be on fire due to its proximity to the FCT.
Responding, Marwa commended the Emir for his support to the crusade against drug abuse and assured him of NDLEA’s preparedness to work with him to rid his emirate of the drug scourge.
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