The Kogi State Command of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a suspected drug baron with one pump action gun loaded with live cartridges.
The agency gave the name of the suspect as James Ameh.
Ameh, who is also a herbalist, was said to have been arrested 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.
It was gathered that 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.
He had been on the wanted list of the command for several months, NDLEA said.
Ameh was arrested alongside six other suspects, namely, Usman Bello, Eze Stanley, Innocent Ameh, Samuel Idoko, Ojima Ojo, and Ekene Ukwueze.
Ameh 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.”
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the arrest of the suspect, NDLEA Kogi State commander, Idris Bello, said 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.