The revelation of a suspected drug baron has left many in surprise following his arrest by the Kogi State Command of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
The suspect, James Ameh, who is also a herbalist was arrested with a pump action loaded with live cartridges at about 5: 30am on Thursday in Igolijo community, Igalamela/Odolu Local Government Area, where he allegedly maintained 10 hectares of land were Indian hemp is being cultivated.
Ameh was arrested alongside six other suspects, namely, Usman Bello, Eze Stanley, Innocent Ameh, Samuel Idoko, Ojima Ojo and Ekene Ukwueze told journalists that he seized the pump action gun from his friend who was owing him N80,000.
The 54-year-old suspect however denied knowledge of the allegations leveled against him, saying the gun found in his possession serves as collateral and security towards recovering his money.
“I am not the real owner of this pump action gun. It belongs to a friend who owes me N80,000.
“I needed my money back urgently to do something with it.
“I’m sorry, I never knew that having this in my house would put me in trouble.
“As for the issue of dealing in drugs and having hectares of land for cannabis, it is also not true.”
According to reports, about 40 operatives of the NDLEA, alongside officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, left Lokoja in the early hours of Thursday to effect the arrest of the suspected drug kingpin.
The suspect had been on the wanted list of the NDLEA command for several months.
According to the Kogi State Commander of NDLEA, Idris Bello, the arrest of the suspect and his accomplices was made possible through the information gathered by officers of his command.
He said the suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded, adding that items recovered from the suspects — including the pump action gun and seven live cartridges — will be confiscated.