A former Vice Chairman of Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area, Asekun Kehinde Sakiru has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
He was intercepted on Friday, 7 May 2021, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos with cocaine.
This was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Director, Media and Advocacy of the agency, Femi Babafemi.
He said: “The suspect has been on its wanted list following the recent arrest of some traffickers and drug seizures linked to him.
“The long arm of the law, however, caught up with the wanted baron at about 9:40 pm on Friday, 7 May 2021, while trying to board a Virgin Atlantic airline flight to London, the United Kingdom at the Lagos airport,” the statement partly read.
“At the point of his arrest, Asekun was caught with a kilogramme of cocaine concealed in five pairs of palm slippers packed inside his suitcase.
“He has been on the wanted list of the MMIA Command of the Agency in connection to a case involving one Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim, who was arrested with 6.45kg of cocaine in December 2020”.
According to the agency, preliminary investigation revealed that the London-based suspected drug baron is a seasoned politician.
He was at different times between 2004 and 2014 the vice-chairman of Lagos Island East LCDA. He had also contested and lost elections for the House of Representatives in 2007 and Lagos State House of Assembly in 2015.
“Although he claims to be an international businessman who deals in automobiles, the investigation is yet to confirm that to be the source of his acquired wealth.
“In the course of tracking him, the sum of N131 million was seized from his account and another N14 million also blocked in the account of one of his traffickers, Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim, bringing the total sum so far recovered from him to N145 million,” Babafemi added.
Reacting to the arrest, NDLEA Chairman, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA Command of the agency for resilience and dedication to duty.
He expressed confidence that with the support of all stakeholders, the problem of drug trafficking and abuse in Nigeria will be drastically reduced very soon.
He said: “This arrest is yet another message and red alert to those still in this criminal trade whether as barons or traffickers that they will soon enter the dragnet of the Agency, daily being spread across the country”.
“If they fail to back out especially now that we are moving all out for the barons and the big cartels, we will continue to reign in the traffickers”, he added.