Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested the duo of Rhoda Agboje, an undergraduate, and Ifeanyi Okonkwo, her boyfriend, for producing and selling drugged cookies to secondary school students and members of the public in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
Femi Babafemi, Director, Media and Advocacy at NDLEA, Nigeria’s agency fighting illicit drug use, disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday, April 20.
According to Babafemi, the suspects were arrested by NDLEA operatives following a complaint on a cookie sold to an unsuspecting secondary school girl by Agboje.
The young girl had acted erratically after eating the cookies, NDLEA said in the statement.
Babafemi said the NDLEA operatives acted based on the complaint and arrested Agboje at the NNPC Cooperative Estate, opposite Gaduwa estate, Abuja.
“Their lid was blown open following the arrest of Rhoda Agboje with four pieces of the drugged cookies on Sunday, April 18, 2021,” he said.
“She was arrested at the NNPC Cooperative Estate, opposite Gaduwa estate, in Abuja based on a complaint that she gave an unsuspecting young girl the cookies to eat.”
“After eating the drug cookies, the girl lost her mind and could not sleep, making incoherent utterances due to the effect of the cookies.”
Agboje had confessed to the crime after a follow-up operation in her boyfriend’s house had led to the discovery of 200 pieces of drugged cookies.
“Under interrogation, the prime suspect, Rhoda confessed she prepares the cookies with a friend and sells each pack of three cookies at N1,500.”
“A follow up at her boyfriend’s house led to the recovery of 200 pieces of the drug cookies.”
Mohammed Magami Somoto, Commander, FCT Command of the NDLEA disclosed that Rhoda’s boyfriend was brought to the office of the NDLEA for further investigation.
He also added that Agboje confessed to selling the cookies at parties, and to school children and unsuspecting members of the public.
“According to the commander, FCT command of the NDLEA, Mohammed Malami Sokoto, the boyfriend, Ifeanyi Okonkwo and all equipment used in the production of the cookies were brought to the office for further investigation.”
Mohammed Marwa, NDLEA Chairman commended the operatives in the FCT command for their efforts in apprehending the suspects, adding that “what the drug syndicate was doing was not only criminal but unconscionable by luring school children into drugs under the cover of selling them biscuits or cookies.”
Narcotics agents with the FCT Command of the NDLEA have launched a manhunt for another member of the “syndicate” responsible for producing cookies containing Arizona, alcohol and Rohypnol among other ingredients.
The sale and use of illicit drugs has become a prevalent problem in Nigeria.
Illicit drug use is often associated with students in tertiary institutions and young adults but there has been an alarming increase in the rate at which secondary school students now use drugs.
A study conducted by African Health Sciences in 2018 had emphasised the need to intensify awareness against substance use amongst school children in Nigeria.
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