… Arrests 4 members of cartel, obtains court order to freeze millions in bank accounts, seize Lagos, Port Harcourt properties linked to leaders of syndicate
. Over 143million pills of opioids, 2tons of C/S seized in Apapa, FCT, 5 states
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has declared a Port Harcourt, Rivers state based popular prophetess and founder of Christ Power Adoration Ministries, Faith Ugochi and a celebrity couple: Igho Ubiribo and Danielle Simba Allen wanted for recruiting teenage girls into drug trafficking while they serve as the arrowheads of an international syndicate operating from Los Angeles, USA.
The lid was blown off the cartel when NDLEA operatives at the NAHCO import shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos intercepted a consignment of 32.70 kilograms of Loud, a strong variant of cannabis concealed in cartons of used wears on Wednesday 16th November 2022. A freight agent, Ukoh Ifeanyi Oguguo was immediately arrested while further investigations led to the arrest of four more suspects: Chikodi Favour; Obiyom Shalom Chiamaka; Nnochiri Chidinma Promise and Edward Omatseye (aka Montana).
The 15-year-old Favour was the first sales girl to be arrested at a fuel station in Ajah area of Lagos. She thereafter led the operatives to a duplex accommodation around Ikate area of Lekki, which was later discovered to be a rented apartment by the criminal group purposely for four young girls that the syndicate uses for marketing and distribution of illicit drugs. Another girl, Shalom who is a fresh graduate of Agricultural Science from Rivers State University of Science and Technology was picked from the house alongside Favour.
During their preliminary interviews, it was learnt that the syndicate rented another building used as drugs warehouse inside Richmond Estate, Lekki. By the time operatives located the house, it was discovered that other members of the syndicate had broken into the store and carted away bags of illicit substances. However, some illicit drugs paraphernalia including sealing machine, bloating machine and packaging bags were recovered from the warehouse. A follow-up operation led to the arrest of Edward Omatseye at his residence around Lekki area. Edward confessed during interview to be working for Igho and his wife, Danielle, who are identified as the overall heads of the criminal group.
Investigation was able to establish that Favour and Shalom were recruited as salesgirls in the illicit drug trade by Prophetess Faith Ugochi of Christ Power Adoration Ministries, using her church platform to recruit teenage girls brought to her for help, on behalf of the celebrity couple: Igho Ubiribo (aka Tiny) and Danielle Simba Allen (aka Dani), who are the owners of the business, while Edward Omatseye (aka Montana) coordinates the illicit drug trade activities for them in Nigeria, with Nnochiri Chidinma Promise as representative of Ben Cargo Ltd, a freight company responsible for the shipment of illicit consignments into the country.
While Nnochiri Chidinma Promise and Edward Omatseye (aka Montana) have already been charged to court and are currently facing trial at the Federal High Court, Lagos alongside Ben Cargo Ltd, a freight company which had been linked to two previous drug seizures and also involved in the current case, several attempts to get Prophetess Faith Ugochi, Igho Ubiribo and Danielle Simba Allen submit themselves for questioning have proved abortive.
A letter of invitation sent to Prophetess Faith Ugochi of Christ Adoration Ministries, No. 27 Anozie Street, Mile 2, Diobu, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on 28th November 2022 was received and acknowledged by her mother, with whom she runs the Church. The letter was followed with a reminder on 9th January, 2023 after a long wait.
In the same vein, letters of invitation were also extended to Igho Ubiribo and Danielle Simba Allen. A reminder was also sent when the couple didn’t show any readiness to respond to the first invitation. While Prophetess Ugochi fled her home and went into hiding but continued her prophetic ministration on Facebook, the duo of Igho and Danielle initially sent a legal representation to ask for another time to honour the invitation, they have since gone incommunicado.
Curiously, they hurriedly moved all funds traced to their company Lasgidi Backwood Ltd where all proceeds from the sales of illicit drugs were deposited into a private account of one Victor Imagoro. The Agency has since blocked the sum of Eighty Million Naira (N80,000,000) traced to the account and obtained a court order to seize all properties including a fuel station linked to the suspects in Lagos and Port Harcourt.
The NDLEA has further sought and obtained an order of the Federal High Court Lagos to declare wanted the celebrity couple: Ubiribo Igho and Danielle Allen, as the
arrowheads of the illicit trade as well as Prophetess Faith Ugochi, who recruits teenage girls as sales representatives for the duo.
Meanwhile, the Agency in collaboration with other stakeholders including the Customs Service on Friday 31st March conducted a joint examination of two containers marked TRHU 4758549 and TRHU 6936803 where One Hundred and Forty-Three Million Eight Hundred Thousand (143,800,000 tablets) pills of Tramadol 225mg were discovered in 720 cartons weighing 10.3tons (10,386kgs). The opioid pills, which were mixed with cartons of sweet were imported from India. The interception followed credible intelligence and cooperation of sister agencies.
In the same vein, officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations, DOGI, have intercepted at a courier firm a cargo of 1.5kg cocaine concealed in a carton declared to contain hair cream, shampoo, hair rollers and burners, going to London, UK.
In Kaduna, operatives on Monday 27th March raided Dan Wata village, Soba LGA where they arrested one Abdurrashid Musa, 33, with 142.8kg cannabis while the principal suspect, Ibro Danwata is still at large, while another suspect, Shamsu Abdullahi (aka Waja), 35, was also arrested the previous day during a follow up operation at Rigasa Kaduna, after he had abandoned 80,000 tablets of Diazepam weighing 13.4kg and escaped arrest earlier.
No less than 63 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 600kg stored in a house at Okpe village in Akoko-Edo LGA were recovered on Friday 31st March when operatives raided the area, while a raid of a warehouse owned by one Shehi Mallam at tomatoes market, Dei Dei Abuja same day led to the seizure of 80 sacks of cannabis sativa weighing 842.4 kilograms. In Cross River, 12,000 pills of Tramadol 225mg were seized from a female passenger, Talatu Sale Adamu, 46, when NDLEA officers intercepted the commercial bus she was travelling in along Ogoja/ Katsina-Ala road on Monday 27th March.
While a suspect, Abraham Alaigwu was arrested at Slaughter, Trans/Amadi area of Port Harcourt, Rivers state with 91.7kg of cannabis on Thursday 30th March, 228kg of same substance was seized from Ayodele Osuya, 35, in a Toyota Camry car around Quarter Guard area of Akure, Ondo state.
While commending the officers and men of MMIA for a painstaking investigation of Prophetess Faith Ugochi and the celebrity couple, Igho Ubiribo and Danielle Simba Allen along with other members of their cartel, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) assured that no effort will be spared to ensure the fleeing suspects are brought to face the consequences of their action. He also expressed his gratitude to operatives of Apapa, DOGI, Edo, Cross River, Rivers, Kaduna, FCT and Ondo Commands of the Agency for their resilience, professionalism and excellent synergy with other security agencies in their areas of responsibility. He charged them and their colleagues across the country to continue to raise the bar in their daily attainments.
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