NDLEA declares alleged Lagos drug baron wanted

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has declared wanted the owner of Adekaz Hotels, Ademola Kazeem, over offences bordering on alleged drug trafficking and money laundering.

The agency declared the Lagos socialite wanted as a result of his failure to honour its invitations following an order of a Federal High Court in Lagos on October 17, 2022.

The anti-drug agency said Kazeem was fingered after the arrest of some drug traffickers attempting to export cocaine to the United Arab Emirates and other destinations outside Nigeria.

In a statement signed by its Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Tuesday, the NDLEA also said it sealed seven properties of the wanted suspect — six in Lagos and one in Oyo State — and blocked his bank account with a balance of N217 million.

The statement partly read, “The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has declared wanted Lagos socialite and owner of Adekaz Hotels, Alhaji Ademola Afolabi Kazeem (a.k.a Alhaji Abdallah Kazeem Muhammed) over offences bordering on exportation and trafficking of illicit drugs as well as money laundering.

“The decision to declare the suspect wanted followed his failure to honour NDLEA invitations and an order granted the Agency by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday 17th October 2022. The wanted drug kingpin was uncovered as the sponsor of some traffickers arrested by the anti-narcotics agency in their recent attempt to export cocaine to Dubai, UAE and other destinations outside Nigeria.

“Soon after the arrest of one of his mules, Bolujoko Muyiwa Babalola, a Lagos BRT driver, on 27th June at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Alhaji Ademola Kazeem who is also the Chairman of Adekaz Global Integrated Services, went underground. Following his failure to honour invitations sent to him, the Agency approached a Federal High Court in Lagos with three prayers: to attach and seal his identified properties in Lagos and Ibadan; declare him wanted and block his bank account with a cash balance of Two Hundred and Seventeen Million Naira (N217,000,000.00), all of which were granted.

“As a result, NDLEA operatives on Wednesday 26th October 2022 sealed six of the identified properties located on Lagos Island. They include: 105 Tokunbo street off Broad street, Lagos Island; 1 Abibu Oki street off Marina, Lagos Island; 3 Abibu Oki street off Marina, Lagos Island; 54 Palm Church street, Lagos Island; 26 Agarawu street, Lagos Island; and 41 Foresythe street, Lagos Island. The other one is located at 1 Irepodun zone, Adepoju bus stop, Ajoda Ayedun, Ibadan, Oyo state.”

In another development, as stated by the agency, another suspected drug baron, Udemezue William, was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on his return from Brazil on Friday, October 28, 2022.

The NDLEA stated that William’s arrest was with the support of the Nigeria Immigration Service, and followed the earlier arrest of some drug couriers linked to him as their sponsor.

The statement added, “In a related development, the Agency on Friday 28th October arrested another drug baron, Udemezue Obunike William at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on his return from Brazil. His arrest with the support of the Nigeria Immigration Service followed the earlier arrest of some drug couriers linked to Udemezue as their sponsor. They include two mules: Messrs Adolphus Anayochukwu Okeke and Anayo Michael Nnanna. The 52-year-old father of four children who claimed to be a businessman, Okeke Adolphus Anayochukwu was arrested at the Abuja airport by NDLEA operatives with 20.75 kilograms of black liquid cocaine on Tuesday 15th March upon his arrival onboard Qatar Airways flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil through Doha, Qatar to Abuja. The liquid was discovered upon search of his luggage stuffed with six smaller bags containing 32-makeup mascara, which tested positive to cocaine.

“On the other hand, a Brazilian returnee Nnanna Anayo Michael, 39, was arrested at the Port Harcourt International Airport, PHIA, during the inward screening of passengers on board Qatar Airline flight QR1433 from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Doha to Port Harcourt on Tuesday, 29th March. Nnanna was arrested with 73 sachets weighing 8.15 kilograms of cocaine, which is the largest seizure of such at the airport, since it began international flight operations years ago.

“Further investigations of the two traffickers revealed Udemezue Obunike William as the drug baron behind the cocaine cartel. As a result, he was watch-listed and arrested upon his return from Brazil on Friday 28th October.”

It further stated, “In his reaction, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), CON, OFR, commended the officers and men of the Agency involved in the clinical investigation that led to the unmasking of the two barons. He said gone are the days when drug kingpins can hide behind traffickers and remain faceless, warning that the new NDLEA will continue to unravel them one after the other if they fail to back out of the criminal trade.”

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