The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kwara State has paraded six suspected drug dealers including a 65-year-old woman, at the state command in Ilorin.
Parading the suspects before journalists, the State Commandant of the Corps, Pedro Ideba, said 44 others have been freed after investigations showed they were not directly connected with the offence.
The NSCDC boss, who said that arrest of the suspects were made possible by information supplied by community residents, and the suspected drug offenders covered the drugs kept in a hole dug inside their shops with lid.
He also said that some of the substance recovered from the suspects included cough syrup, tramadol tablets, codeine, Indian hemp, charms, among others.
He added that the suspects tried to bribe his officers with the sum of 15,000 Naira to escape arrest.
“Before now, we have received series of petitions and complaints from communities at Kulende/Sango area of Ilorin South Local Government claiming hoodlums have taken over part of the community for nefarious activities, ranging from burglary, raping, theft and snatching of bags.
“It has been a concern to the command, the state government and a security threat.
“The suspects sell the drugs with impunity without regard of the law. We arrested the owners of the business, two apprentices and taker of the hard drugs. Though, we arrested some passersby, but we later filtered them down and we now have the six direct culprits of the offence.
“Some of them were arrested as they used the area as a take off point to commit crime, since we couldn’t find any direct incriminating evidence against them, we let them off the hook.
“The shop owners dug the floor to hide the drugs and only sold to those they know are their customers, because they know it’s an offence to sell illicit drugs.
“We plan to hand them over to the NDLEA who has directed mandate to prosecute those involved in contraband drugs or drug trafficking, immediately after this parade and for law to take its course.
Speaking to the two suspects, 18-year-old, Mujeedat Balogun who hails from Ijebu-ode, Ogun state and Abdullateef Oluwa Kayode said they are innocent of the crime, adding that they only sell paracetamol, Panadol and Flagil.
Also, the 65-year-old woman, Olarinke Bello denied any knowledge of dealing in hard drugs, saying she only sell local herbs and cigarette.
“I have been selling Agbo-jedi for about 30 years, I don’t sell hemp or hard drugs”, she said.