The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it has organized a manhunt for a Lagos socialite and suspected drug baroness wanted in connection with cocaine trafficking.
The suspect, Fumilola Arike Ogbuaya, also known as Arike Fumilola Ogundipe, allegedly was involved in smuggling 1.595kg of cocaine from Murtala Muhammed International Airport to Saudi Arabia in February 2017.
NDLEA spokesman Mitchell Ofoyeju said the agency is also investigating Mrs. Ogbuaya’s multi-billion naira assets, allegedly the proceeds of drug sales.
The anti-narcotics agency commenced investigation into Mrs. Ogbuaya after arresting one Odeyemi Omolara Morayo, also known as Ariyo Monsurat Olabisi, for drug trafficking. Investigation into Mr. Morayo implicated Mrs. Ogbuaya, according to the NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport.
He said that the NDLEA then invited the Lagos socialite in for questioning to no avail. NDLEA officers subsequently stormed her Lagos home, but the alleged drug trafficker was nowhere to be found.
“The agency is therefore investigating several landed properties worth several billions of naira traced to Mrs Fumilola Arike Ogbuaya a.k.a. Arike Fumilola Ogundipe in Lagos, Ogun and Osun States,” he said.
“The assets include Arike Plaza, some plots of land, and buildings in strategic locations. The Lagos socialite, who is a distributor of alcoholic drinks, is needed by the NDLEA in an ongoing investigation. She hails from Ilesa, Osun State.”
Impressed with the level of investigation in the ongoing case, NDLEA Chief Executive Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah has vowed to pursue the case to a logical conclusion and to trace all illicit drug proceeds.
"The agency is building capacity for elaborate investigation and this is a test case of pressing beyond a drug mule to the financiers of drug trafficking. We are determined to dislodge drug trafficking cartels and also trace their ill-gotten wealth which must be forfeited to the federal government,” Mr. Abdallah said.
He called on members of the public with information as to the whereabouts of Mrs. Ogbuaya to report to the nearest NDLEA office.
The NDLEA boss noted that asset forfeiture was an important requirement in the NDLEA Act and assured that no stone would be left unturned in the race for the total incapacitation of drug traffickers.