Anti-narcotics: Convicted Baron Forfeits VGC Mansion, Jeep As NDLEA Arrests Septuagenarian

A multi-million-naira mansion located at K-5A/2 Road 14, Victoria Garden City (VGC) estate, Lekki area of Lagos, owned by a convicted drug baron, Okenwa Chris Nzewi, has been forfeited to the Federal Government.

A statement issued on Sunday by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA spokesperson, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said the forfeiture follows Okenwa’s successful prosecution and conviction in court by the anti-narcotics agency.

TheFact Daily recalls that Okenwa, whose mansion was used as a clandestine laboratory for the production of methamphetamine, was arrested along with his associate, Sunny Okeh Ukah on 30th July 2022 and subsequently arraigned on four counts in charge number FHC/L/527C/2022 at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

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They both pleaded guilty on 17th July 2023, while they were convicted and sentenced to four and three years imprisonment each with an option of fine of four million (N4,000,000) naira and three million (N3,000,000) naira respectively, in addition to community service for four and three weeks each.

Okenwa’s vehicle marked EKY 496 DJ was equally forfeited to the Federal Government.

To further deny him of enjoying the proceeds of his criminal activity, the NDLEA filed a civil forfeiture charge against the building used as a clandestine laboratory at the Federal High Court Lagos which initially granted an interim forfeiture order that elapsed on 6th December before the final forfeiture on 7th December 2023.

Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives in Lagos on Friday 15th December arrested a 75-year-old grandmother, Mrs. Sekinat Soremekun, for dealing in illicit drugs. At the time of her arrest in the Oshodi area of Lagos, quantities of cannabis and litres of codeine syrup were recovered from her. Upon interrogation, she claimed her son, Segun, who is now at large, supplied her with the illicit substances which she retailed.

Furthermore, operatives on patrol along Owerri-Onitsha expressway, in Imo State on Thursday 14th December intercepted a way-billed consignment containing cocaine weighing 2.287kg. The shipment coming from Lagos was concealed in cellophane condoms, and heading to Port Harcourt, Rivers State. A suspect, Isaac Okoh, 45, has already been arrested.

At the SAHCO export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos, over 1.5 million pills of tramadol 225mg and rohypnol were intercepted in a cargo going to South Africa by NDLEA operatives in collaboration with personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Two suspects: Bada Olanrewaju Akorede, and Amusan Olufela Sharafadeen have so far been taken into custody in connection with the consignment, which consists of 1,050,000 pills of tramadol 225mg and 510,000 tablets of rohypnol.

At the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja, operatives on Friday 15th December intercepted a consignment of 1, 496 bottles of codeine syrup at A.Y.A area of the city while a suspect, Ozioma Enoja, 31, was arrested in a follow-up operation. Another consignment of 400 bottles of the same opioid coming from Port Harcourt, Rivers state was also seized along the Abaji-Abuja highway on Saturday 16th December after which a suspect, Bala Ishaq was arrested during a follow-up operation at Zuba motor park.

In Edo State, 17 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 195.8kg and stored in a bush at Gbanke village, Orhionmwon LGA, were recovered by NDLEA operatives on Wednesday 13th December, while anti-narcotic officers in Ogun state intercepted two suspects: Edun Olowokou and Tunde Elijah at Alamutu roundabout area of Abeokuta with bags of same psychoactive substance weighing 279kg.

In Borno State, NDLEA officers on Tuesday 12th December arrested Bukar Ali, 29, and Abacha Alhaji Fantami, 20, with 171kg of cannabis at Ngamdu, Kaga LGA, while three suspects: Jamilu Haruna, 22; Mohammed Hassan, 23; and Aminu Umar, 50, were nabbed with 57kg cannabis on Wednesday 13th December at Tsafe checkpoint, Zamfara state, when they were on their way to Zurumi, a village known as bandits’ enclave.

Convicted: Drug baron, Chris Okenwa and his associate, Sunny Okeh Ukah.

In the same vein, at least four suspects: Ezekiel Monday Thompson, 56; Hezekiah Ime, 20; Nsikak Okon Jonah, 39; and Chidi Kalu, 44, were arrested with a total of 121kg cannabis and 5.1grams of methamphetamine in parts of Cross River State on Monday 10th December.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Lagos, FCT, Imo, Edo, Borno, Ogun, Zamfara, and Cross River Commands for the arrests and seizures of the past week, as well as those of the Directorate of Prosecution and Legal Services for their diligent prosecution of cases in court.

He further urged them and their compatriots across all formations of the Agency to intensify the offensive action tempo against drug cartels as the yuletide season approaches while maintaining an equal balance with their drug demand reduction efforts.


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