Leadership (Abuja)

7 December 2012

Nigeria: Pastor, One Other Arrested With 181 Bags of Indian Hemp in Osun

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Osun has arrested a pastor and a 27 year-old man with 181 bags of cannabis sativa popularly known as Indian hemp.

The sector commander of the Agency, Anthonia Edeh, made this known on Friday while addressing newsmen in Osogbo.

According to Edeh, the 45-year-old pastor, and one other person were arrested at Ikire in Irewole Local Government Area of the state on Dec. 5, with the illicit weed weighing 1,838.4 kilogramme.

"Men of the command swooped into action based on the information received from patriotic Nigerians and arrested the two suspects in a three rooms apartment, where the bags of Indian hemp were stocked," she said.

She added that two of the bags were full with cannabis seeds, which the suspects wanted to keep for the next planting season.

The commander also revealed that three others suspects, including a woman escaped arrest.

She said, "Efforts are on to nab the fleeing culprits, though the pastor is claiming innocence of the crime saying that he was only a co-tenant of the other suspect.

"The agency has no constitutional power to exonerate him, only the court has the power and the two men will be arraigned soon," she said.

Edeh further said that men of the command recovered 68.8 kilogramme of Indian hemp, stocked inside a Volkswagen Vento car marked AW 652 AKR, on Dec. 2, along Ilobu Road in Osogbo.

She said that the owner of the car, who was on the road side waiting for suspected buyer took to his heels when sighted men of the command.

The commander admonished the general public to be conscious of their environment and report the activities of drug peddlers or traffickers to the security operatives.

She reiterated the commitment of the agency to put an end to the cultivation, trafficking and peddling of Indian hemp across the state, and urged the people to cooperate with the agency in the drug war crusade.

She also cautioned commercial drivers to beware of the loads they carry "now that we are at the peak of harvesting period".

NAN

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