From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The State Commander, of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency,(NDLEA), Mr. Alfred Adewumi said the command has destroyed over four kilometres stretch of Cannabis Sativa farms worth N1.5 billlion in Igalamela/Odolu Local Government Area of the State.
Mr. Adewumi who disclosed this while speaking with journalists after the destruction of the farms at Kara Forest in Agbokete Community, Akpanya on Wednesday, stated that Kogi state is gradually being turned into a producer of illicit drugs.
He expressed worry over the changing status of Kogi State from a transit point to cultivating illicit drug.
“Our assumption is that Kogi State , even though it is surrounded by some states that are notorious for cannabis Sativa cultivation, is just simply a transit point because of her strategic location, but we are shock how such a cannabis Sativa plantation of this huge proportion could be discovered in the state,” he lamented.
Adewumi told journalists that the startling discovery was as a result of intelligence gathered by the operatives of the command who had placed the suspect on surveillance and was subsequently arrested.
He explained further: “It was actually a community Cannabis Sativa farm business where over four killometres of arable land were dedicated for cultivation of the illicit drug.”
Adewumi commended the Kogi State government for the support given to the NDLEA in Kogi State to embark on this destruction exercise and for being able to achieve this great mileage in combating drug problems in the state.
He pointed out that the suspect, Ameh Joseph, will soon be charged to Court, warning those involved in cannabis sativa to desist as the command would leave no stone unturned towards raiding the state of illicit use and cultivation of drugs.
While responding to questions, the suspect , Ameh Joseph, said that he is the owner of a section of the farms, stressing that he ventured into cannabis sativa business when he had economic crisis .
Joseph pointed out that he had once been employed as farm manager in charge of cannabis Sativa at Ogbese in Ondo State in 1995 with yearly salary of N85, 000 and N100, 000, but regretted venturing into the business.