The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has said it did not lose any of its officers during last Wednesday evening’s clash with some drug barons during a special raid of a notorious drug cartel joint at Idi-Oro, Mushin Local Government Area, of the state.
However, three suspected members of the drug cartel, two males, Saheed Sholola, who hails from Ogun State and Suleiman Shehu, from Akoko Edo, Edo State, including a lady, whose names were withheld, were arrested during the raid.
Meanwhile, the kingpin of the cartel, simply identified as Temo, who narrowly escaped during the operation has been declared wanted by NDLEA, in connection with illicit drugs-related deals.
Subsequently, other suspects who were still at large after the raid, took to social media to celebrate their feat for killing invading officers during the raid, displaying pictures of two corpses they claimed to be NDLEA officers.
NDLEA Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, when contacted on Friday, debunked the claim of losing officers during the raid, describing it as “fake news.”
Recall that a clash occurred in the Mushin area of Lagos last Wednesday night as officers from NDLEA, conducted a raid to apprehend suspects involved in illegal drug activities. Reports later emerged that during the operation, two individuals reportedly died in the confrontation with anti-narcotics officers of the agency.
The raid, which was targeted at apprehending suspected drug barons in the Idi Oro vicinity, upon arrival, met with resistance from the local residents who resorted to attacking and pelting stones at NDLEA operatives..
Unfortunately, the tense confrontation escalated and resulted in a cross-fire between the men of the agency and the fleeing suspects, as two unidentified men who happened to be in the area at the time were hit by bullets and reportedly died.
Babafemi, while reacting to the claim, said, “Our men last Wednesday night, went to Mushin to arrest baron behind shipments of drugs that have been coming from Ghana.
“After the arrest of some of the wanted suspects and recovery of drugs and their vehicles, our men came under attack from their boys who had locked all the exit gates in the community and our officers had to defend themselves to come out of the area alive.
“We have no information if our assailants suffered any casualty. Meanwhile, we are on the track of the kingpin, called, Temo who narrowly escaped from the scene during the raid. The long arm of the law will soon catch up with him.
“We arrested two males, Saheed Sholola, who hails from Ogun State and Suleiman Shehu, from Akoko Edo, Edo State and a lady (name withheld). Also, bags of Cannabis Sativa, popularly called Indian Hemp, weighing 2,26 kilogram, as well as eight different brands of vehicles were impounded in the process.”
Vanguard gathered that the Idi-Oro drug market is a den, notorious for dealing in all brands of hard drugs and on which NDLEA often carry out raids. According to sources, sometimes, after each operation, normal drug deals return to life as if nothing ever happened, as drug peddlers and buyers continue to have field days.
One of the eyewitnesses, who simply identified himself as Bayo, narrated, “Yesterday, on Wednesday 26 July 2023, the ghetto drug market was raided around 10 pm, it was a serious one as the NDLEA operatives were moving from one shop to the other to carry out the raid as usual and they were confronted by the boys on the street, as the NDLEA was shooting sporadically at the boys leading, to counter shooting by the boys.
“It was like a battle on a war front, the NDLEA was shooting directly at the boys as they were rounded up because the NDLEA came into the community from a different exit and the boys were also not giving up on countering them.
“As the shooting was on, two young boys who live around the community were killed and it was reliably gathered that one of the NDLEA officers was hit by the boys’ bullet but this can not be confirmed if he was dead or not, the source said as one of them was hit, they started advancing to leave the scene.
“We are not happy with what is going on in the Odi-olowo community in Mushin most especially the Idi-Oro area here, everywhere is a drug market and our young ones can not live freely without being harassed or pressured into drug abuse, to raise a child in the community and believe he will turn out well is a 50/50 chance but there is nothing we can do.
“The NDLEA operatives who normally come to raid are not sincere in their operation because the most time when we heard that one drug dealer has been arrested within the next couple of days, he’s outside again to continue, even grow bigger.
“Even sometimes, the NDLEA sells the raided drugs to other drug dealers, this is not hear-say, we have seen it right in this market, so what is the fight for? to clean the street or for their gain.
“Also, the NDLEA are not professional in their raid, you are coming to a residential area and you started shooting sporadically, know full well the nature of the drug market that there is always a confrontation from the boys, can they develop a more sophisticated technique to enter the drug market without innocent souls affected.
Another resident, a woman called Iya Bose, in tears, said, “The NDLEA are doing their job but the shedding of innocent blood is too much, each time they come someone who knows nothing will die.
“Do you know that because of the heavy gunshot, I have developed hypertension even a woman has died in the process of running for her dear life when they come, many innocent souls have died oh, our government should please help us find a better way not this one to fight drug abuse in Idi-Oro.”