The suspects are accused of selling illicit drugs like marijuana (Cannabis sativa), raphynol and some other substances.
Three of the accused men told their stories and they disclosed that settling police officers was one of the tricks of the trade.
Mohammed Abubakar who was identified as the main target, was arrested with 700gm of Indian hemp.
The 29-year old claimed that he started the business in 2013. “Nobody introduced me to the business. The devil pushed me into it. I started the business in 2013 with N2,000 and I sell only Indian hemp. But earlier in 2007 when I was selling cocaine, I was shot in the leg, so I stopped selling cocaine and diverted to Indian hemp.”
On his prices for the Indian hemp, he said, “Each wrap of Indian hemp sells for N50 while the same weight-wrap of another variant called Ghanaian hemp or skonk sells for N500.” But when he was asked the price of cocaine, he feigned ignorance. “I don’t know but in 2007 when I was dealing on cocaine, its was sold for N500 for a small wrap while the bigger wrap was sold between N5,000 and N6,000,” he said later.
Speaking on how he got the drugs, he said, “I used to buy it at Upstair- Karogora, Apo roundabout but I cannot mention the names of the suppliers.
“Only yesterday, I bought from Velvo. He is not from the same state with me. I just met him in Abuja and he told me that he sells drugs, so I started buying from him.
“I don’t know if security agents come to buy because nobody will wear uniform and say that he wants to buy drugs. Police have arrested me like two times before now but this is the first time NDLEA is arresting me. Even now, I have made up my mind not to do the business again. I just came out from my family house in Masaka and my parents don’t know that I sell hard drugs. I told them that I sell provision in Abuja. Sometimes, I will make between N4,000 to N6,000. Sometimes, we will not make anything because police and NDLEA usually disturb us,” he further revealed.
On the allegation that drug dealers make ‘returns’ to security agents, Abubakar said, “I’m not the only person there. The people selling cocaine have a list of police officials that they settle every day. Even when we were arrested yesterday, it’s the policemen that gave NDLEA information. They led NDLEA to where we are selling drugs thereby betraying us more than Judas Iscariot did.”
“They are the ones that betrayed us because police people used to go and collect returns from the cocaine sellers. I don’t give them returns because I don’t stay there and I sell only Indian hemp. I have a man called OC Moral who usually sells the hemps for me,” he further claimed.
He however, accepted that, “sometimes, police used to collect between N300 to N500 everyday from hemp sellers but that of cocaine sellers is higher. If SARS officers come too, we settle them but I don’t know how much they give to them.
On the seized knives, he stressed, “It’s not all of them that were seized from our area. I use my own to slice the Indian hemp. Some were seized from the bunk (cocaine selling point) and other places they raided.”
Another suspect, Jibrilla Mohammed El-Sadiq claimed that he sold fairly used T-shirts beside Area 1 public toilet but he was also arrested at Area 1 old Secretariat market with 15 tablets of raphynol.
When asked when he started selling drugs, he said, “Its just yesterday (the day before his arrest) that I bought them. I bought the drugs because my brothers ran away as a result of the fighting going on in Borno State. They decided to come to me, thinking that I am doing better in Abuja. I told them to go back but they said that they did not have transport money. A boy that was selling the drugs approached me and I accepted to buy the raphynol tablets. I gave him N1,500 for one and a half sachet. My intention was to sell them, and raise money for my brothers but unfortunately I got arrested. I was actually trading on fairly used T-shirts beside Area 1 public toilet.
Raphynol also known as ‘Date Rape Drug’ is said to be used to assist in the execution of drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA). It was the type allegedly used to drug Ms Cynthia Osokogu, before she was killed by her facebook friends.
The 20-year-old who speaks from both sides of the mouth was unaware of his earlier confessional statement on why he purchased the drugs. Asked earlier why he sold the killer drugs, he had said, “I don’t sell raphynol, I drink it. If I drink it, it makes me to eat and sleep very well. Initially I was an Okada rider but FCTA said they don’t want to see Okada riders in Abuja so I started selling clothes. True to God, I drink it and I sell it. I sell each tablet at the cost of N100.
“My brothers requested that I should give them N1000 for transport. I don’t want them to come to Abuja and stay with me because my father is in the village with my junior brother who is a patent medicine dealer. As I went to bring the money for them, I heard siren blaring and that was how NDLEA arrested me. Now they are at Area 1 and we have not been eating for the past two days. Two of them came from Borno and my father also lives in Borno.”
He denied being in possession of one of the knives seized when he claimed, “I don’t have anything to do with a knife. I sell inside the market and I am also a private guard in my area. I do the security work in the night and sell clothes and drugs in the morning.
El-Sadiq who also claimed to be a security guard at Area 1 must have deceived his employer with his innocent looks said, “They don’t know that I sell hard drugs but they see me taking the drugs? I started taking the drugs for the past three years at the age of 17.
“My supplier is a boy that comes from Nasarawa State. He is a student and drinks the drugs too. The day he came, he told me to taste it and when I tasted it, I felt drowsy and was very hungry, so I promised not to take it again,” he stressed.
While Abubakar admitted to selling hemp but that he was pushed into it by the devil, El-Sadiq claimed, “I don’t have money and I don’t know of any business that I can do. I don’t know that the drugs kill. I sell the drugs to my friends that works with AEPB and VIO when I buy from the boy that comes from Nasarawa.
“I have not been arrested by the police before except this one that NDLEA arrested me. I don’t settle anybody because I always carry one card in my pocket. That one card is ‘N1,000 note’, so the money is too small.
For 30-year-old Audu Musa who claimed that he sold provision, he was also arrested with two bottles of cough syrups containing codine and varieties of psychotropic substances like tramadol, raphynol, mogadone and diazeperm among others.
Though Musa claimed that he doesn’t speak English but his native language, he was assisted by his brother Abubakar who interpreted to our reporter in English.
“He sells provision like pure water, malt, mineral, cigarette inside Gwagwalada Park. The drugs do not belong to him, they are for the suspects that ran away except for the cough syrup because he drinks it. Somebody called him to bring Hi-malt and as he was bringing it, he was arrested by NDLEA,” interpreted Abubakar.
On what he was doing with the cough syrup, he said, “I was drinking it because I recently stopped smoking cigarette and cocaine, “I drink the cough syrup because I want to stop smoking cigarette and hemp.
“I have never seen him selling Indian hemp but I’m surprised that he was arrested with these drugs. I never knew that he sells drugs,” Abubakar however,said in defence of Musa.
In a chat with LEADERSHIP Sunday, the NDLEA FCT Commander, Obiefule Dennis said that the suspects were eventually arrested following a report published by LEADERSHIP Sunday, noting that cocaine joints were also destroyed at Area 1, Dabi.
On allegation that security operatives collect returns from the dealers, he said, “Its easy for somebody to say that policemen go there to collect returns, so let somebody who saw them collecting the returns take their pictures instead as an evidence. At times, some of these information are not true.
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