Troops of the Nigerian Army have apprehended an 18-year-old named Michael Atanda and a 58-year-old, Adigun Olatunji, for trying to smuggle a substance believed to be cannabis into the country.
They were arrested after their vehicle was intercepted by the troops along the Balogun border in Ogun State following an intelligence report.
A statement on Sunday by the Director, Army Public Relations, Maj. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said a total of 296 wraps of cannabis concealed in their vehicle were recovered from the suspects.
He said the troops rejected the N12m bribe offered by the syndicate.
The statement partly read, “Troops of 192 Battalion, 81 Division, Nigerian Army, acting on credible intelligence intercepted a suspected transnational drug syndicate operating with a Sienna 2001 Model Space Bus, with registration number Lagos APP 129 EF, loaded with illicit substances, suspected to be Cannabis Sativa. The suspects were intercepted on Sunday 14 January 2024, along the Balogun border in Ogun State.
“Vigilant troops conducted a thorough search on the vehicle and detected layers of compartments packed with 296 wraps of substance suspected to be marijuana.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the wraps of illicit substance were transported from Benin Republic, through Ilara border communities en route Ifo, Ogun State.
It was further revealed that it took the transnational drug traffickers five months to conceal the substance for delivery to their clients. Two suspects were arrested in connection to the crime.
“The suspects, identified as one Mr Adigun Olatunji, age 54 years, and Mr Michael Atanda aged 18 years, both from Ilara Imeko in Afun LGA of Ogun State, reside in Benin Republic. “
The army spokesman added that the suspect had been taken into custody for further necessary actions, “after a failed attempt to bribe troops with the sum of N12,000,000.”
“Other items recovered from the suspects include one Benin Republic National ID Card, one Nigerian National ID card, and two small Itel mobile phones.
“Others include one Benin Republic driver’s licence; a Benin Republic passport, six Benin Republic SIM packs, two Benin Republic SIM cards, one Nigerian driver’s licence, one power bank, and one MP3 player.
“ Additionally, a memory card, local charms, as well as the sum of N52,700 only were recovered from the suspects.”
The troops of the battalion last year recorded a massive operational success when it confiscated a large cache of ammunition and illicit substances across the Nigerian and Benin Republic border on November 12, 2023.