e024366fc83339fc9c4dbf30783ac11f_MThe National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Saturday in Kogi state destroyed 35 acres of ?of Indian hemp plantations at different locations in ?Ogori-Magongo Local Government Area of the state.

Per Second News gathered that that the operation which lasted from 7:05 am to about 6pm took officers and men of the NDLEA, the Police and NSCDC to among other forests, Ososo mountain tops on the Kogi and Edo states’ borders.

Commander of the NDLEA in the state, Alhaji Idris Bello briefed newsmen at the end of the operation in Overe forest, about five kilometre-trek from the road and one of the plantations’ sites.

He said that the operation marked the the sixth in the last two years and was one of the command’s oustanding breakthroughs in the war against illicit drug cultivation.

Bello said the operation was meant to destroy by burning, the illicit weeds, render them useless and curtail circulation adding that the command had carried out similar operations in Isanlu, Ife-Olukotun, Igalamela, Ibaji and Omala.

The four cannabis plantations destroyed on Saturday according to him, were discovered following intelligent reports processed through months of surveillance.

He said that one Isaac Bello, 28; his aged father, Bello Orovo and junior brother, Moses Bello were arrested on September 7, in connection with the plantations adding that they would be prosecuted on completion of due investigations.

The suspect however told newsmen that he was a yam, cassava and cocoayam farmer and also a hunter but not the owner of the cannabis farms as they belonged to the duo of Karomi and Kobad who were also hunters.

Accoring to him, Karomi and Kobad asked him to tend the farms promising to sell the acres to him after harvesting the cannabis but was surprised that the NDLEA men chose to arrest him.

The command’s men, he said, stormed his house and arrested him along with his father and sybbling who were coincidentally, on a visit.

Ghazali Isogogo, Okene Area Commander of the agency, however said when he and two of his men visited the farm in disguise, the suspect and his cohorts attempted to fire but they managed to escape.

Bello said, ”For us in the NDLEA, we will do all we can to frustrate the efforts of all cannabis growers wherever they may be, no matter how remote and they shall be made to face the full wrath of the law”

Bello noted that most crimes were often perpetrated under the influence of drugs and psychotropic substances.

He solicited support of the State Government, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), traditional rulers and public spirited individuals in ridding the state of illicit drugs saying, ”These, we cannot do alone.

BY BANABAS ATTAH-LOKOJA

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