BREAKING: 3 NDLEA Officers Injured After Heavy Gun Battle With Drug Dealers In Edo [PHOTOS]


Three operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have been injured, and one is set to undergo brain surgery after a fierce gun battle with armed hoodlums.

In a statement released on Thursday by the agency, the suspected hoodlums attempted to block their access to a drug warehouse hidden deep within the Opuje forest in the Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State.

“The NDLEA operatives were able to exit the area after over two hours of gun fight with the armed hoodlums,” the statement said.

The incident occurred on Monday, December 4, 2023. According to the statement, NDLEA officers, acting on credible intelligence, stormed the forest to destroy the warehouse containing tons of processed psychoactive substances believed to be destined for distribution across the country during the upcoming festive season.

This operation comes just 11 months after a similar raid on the same community led to the arrest of four suspects and the destruction of a massive cannabis warehouse storing over 317 tons of the illicit drug on Wednesday 18th January 2023.

“At least, three suspects: Omoruan Theophilus, 37; Aigberuan Jacob, 42; Ekeinde Anthony Zaza, 53, and Naomi Patience Ohiewere, 42, were arrested in connection with the drugs then,” the statement said.

It added: “The Opuje community is notorious for cannabis cultivation, where the cartels invest huge resources, cutting down economic trees of the forest reserves and cultivating cannabis on a large scale, running into hundreds of hectares. After harvest, they build warehouses inside the forest reserves and employ the services of armed youths to protect the warehouses 24/7.”

“Following credible intelligence that the drug cartels had again stocked their warehouses in the forest to start distribution of the psychoactive substance to various parts of the country ahead of the yuletide season, teams of NDLEA officers were mobilized to enter the Edo forests and block the distribution of the illicit drug by destroying their warehouses. Some of the warehouses containing about 6,000kgs of cannabis were first taken down in Ujiogba forest in Esan West LGA last weekend.”

“The NDLEA teams however came under gunfire attack in the early hours of Monday 4th December when they approached the Opuje forest after the armed hoodlums had blocked all access roads in the community.”

Reacting to the attack, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd.), warned those sponsoring violence against the agency’s operatives, saying the agency would not relent in its efforts to bring these individuals to justice and dismantle their criminal networks.

More to follow…


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