The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a billionaire drug baron behind the N3billion Tramadol deal involving the embattled suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari-led Intelligence Response Team, Chief Afam Mallinson Emmanuel Ukatu.
The anti-narcotic agency said Ukatu arrest followed months of surveillance and evasion of arrest. Ukatu, who is Chairman of Mallinson Group of Companies, was arrested onboard a flight to Abuja at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja on Wednesday 13th April.
The NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement on Monday, titled, ‘NDLEA arrests drug baron behind N3billion Tramadol linked to Abba Kyaris team’.
Babafemi said investigations revealed that the suspect is a major importer of large consignments of different brands and high dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride.
According to him, the Tramadol ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg and 250mg are illicit. He added that Ukatu owns pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies, which he used as a cover to import illicit drugs into Nigeria.
The statement read, “This is in addition to operating 103 bank accounts, most of which are used to launder money.
“Ukatu came under watch last year after five cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized from his staff on 4th May 2021 when he sent them to sell to undercover police officers (unknown to Ukatu) from the then Kyari-led IRT of the Nigeria Police, Ikeja Lagos. The price of a carton of Tramadol was negotiated at N17million each as against the then black market value that ranged between N18million and N20million a carton in Lagos.
“After the arrest of Ukatu’s staff: Pius Enidom and Sunday Ibekwete, Kyari’s men were then led by the suspects to Mallinson’s warehouse at Ojota in Lagos where 197 additional Cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized by the IRT Team. The monetary value of the 202 cartons of Tramadol seized from Mallinson in one day was over N3billion.
“Three weeks after the seizure, the Kyari’s IRT team transferred only 12 Cartons of the Tramadol with one truck and a suspect to the Lagos Command of the NDLEA, leaving 190 cartons unaccounted for.
“After over eight months of following the lead, anti-narcotic officers of the Agency eventually arrested Ukatu at the Lagos airport on 13th April 2022. Kyari and four top members of his team are already facing trial for a different but similar offence at a Federal High Court in Abuja.”
NDLEA Recovers N8bn Tramadol In Lagos
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has busted a mansion in the Lekki area of Lagos State where Tramadol was stored.
NDLEA Spokesman, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Monday, said the pills recovered from the mansion were no less than 13,451,466 and worth N8.8bn in street value.
He said the mansion belonged to a billionaire drug baron, *Ugochukwu* *Nsofor* *Chukwukadibia* , who was now in custody.
The statement read in part, “The arrest of Ugochukwu, who is the Chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd, is coming barely two months after NDLEA uncovered at least 258.7kg of crystal methamphetamine in a clandestine laboratory in the residence of another drug kingpin in the estate, Chris Emeka Nzewi, who was arrested alongside a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who cooked the illicit drug for him, on September 30.
Following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday 30th September stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin. A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contains 13, 451, 466 pills of the drug while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day
“Before his arrest, Ugochukwu who hails from Ihiala local government area of Anambra state has been on the Agency’s watchlist as one of those behind the Tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.
“Preliminary investigation shows that he has about six mansions within the VGC, one of which he uses to warehouse the Tramadol consignment, while he lives in the one at Plot Z-130 Road 67 and another as his office.
“Five exotic vehicles have also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs including a bullet proof jeep have been successfully removed to the Agency’s facility.
“Reacting to the latest drug haul, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd.) commended the officers and men involved in the operation for their diligence while also appreciating Nigerians for supporting the Agency in its arduous task of ridding the country of the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
Dangote Cement Allegedly ForgedTax Receipt To Deceive Kogi Getovernment
The Kogi State Government through its agency Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) has accused Dangote Cement Plc Obajana of forging its tax receipt.
The acting Chairman of KGIRS, Salisu Enehe, disclosed this during the ongoing investigative hearing by the State House of Assembly ad hoc Committee on revenue at the Assembly Complex in Lokoja.
Enehe was responding to the claim by the committee that the company had paid over 14 billion tax to the Agency between 2016 till date.
According to the state revenue boss, most of the figures the company claimed to have paid are totally incorrect, urging the company to check its record.
He said despite the billions of naira that company is making from the state monthly, it has failed to pay taxes that are due the state and Lokoja Local Government Area.
Enehe said instead of doing the needful, the Dangote company approached the court to stale payment of taxes that are legally passed by the state assembly and assented to by the governor.
He noted that the lack of tax payment has slowed down the development of the state.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Gabriel Olofu, said Dangote company has refused to pay for business premises in the last two years.
Olusegun Ogunbanjo, the Head of Accounts of the Company told the committee that the company had paid N14billion tax from 2016 till date.
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