ABEOKUTA: The Ogun State Area Command, Nigeria Customs Service, says it has intercepted a Toyota Coaster bus laden with neatly concealed wraps of Indian hemp, along Imeko Afon area of the Idiroko border. The bus reportedly belongs to the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. The Controller of the command, Sani Madugu, disclosed the seizure on Tuesday at the command’s headquarters in Abeokuta, adding that the driver of the vehicle, Abolade Bolaji, had been arrested. He said customs operatives, who were on patrol on Saturday, August 12, intercepted the vehicle and subsequently apprehended the driver of the bus with number plate, FUNAAB 50 B-100 FG. Madugu said 211 parcels of cannabis were discovered in the bus.
Madugu, who was accompanied by the state Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Bala Fagge, said, “The suspect, Abolade Bolaji, was caught in the Imeko border town while conveying the illegal drug into the country. “He concealed parcels of Indian hemp (cannabis) under the bags of rice he was conveying with the vehicle to Abeokuta, when nemesis caught up with him. “Our operatives on patrol stopped the vehicle and searched it, only to discover the illicit drug.” Madugu later handed over the narcotic to the NDLEA for further investigation. Fagge, while receiving both the suspect and the exhibits, commended the NCS for the feat. He noted that Indian hemp was now being cultivated in neighbouring countries, with market in Nigeria, adding that the cannabis recovered from the suspect weighed 295 kilorammes. Reacting to the interception of the school bus, FUNAAB said it would not interfere in the investigation of the matter, describing it as unfortunate. The institution’s Head of the Public Relations Directorate, Mrs. Emi Alawode, in a statement, said as a law abiding institution, necessary machinery had been put in place to carry out thorough investigation of the incident.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the university has been drawn to an unfortunate incident that was said to have occurred on Saturday, August 12, 2017, in which one of its drivers, using the university’s official vehicle in his possession, was said to have been apprehended along Olorunda, Ogun State, by law enforcement agents, for allegedly being in possession of substances suspected to have been smuggled. “Already, the university has put the necessary machinery in place to carry out proper investigations to ascertain what actually transpired on the said date on one hand, while law enforcement agents on the other hand would be allowed and supported to perform their statutory duties in the overall interest of all citizens.”