November 29, (THEWILL) – One of two brothers, who serve as major sources of illicit drug supplies in South East and South-South parts of the country, Onyeaghalachi Stephen Nwagwugwu, has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) after nine years of being on his trail.
The elder brother, Eze Kaleb Stephen, who is also wanted, narrowly escaped during the overnight operation carried out simultaneously in the Umuahia and Ntigha Okpuola communities, in Isiala Ngwa North LGA of Abia state.
A statement by the Director of Media and Advocacy of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, on Tuesday, said the investigation shows the two notorious brothers began a career in the illicit drug business in the late 90s when they started as pocket dealers before they later established smoking joints/bunks in their community, Ntigha Okpuola, and subsequently grew to become barons, owning hotels and houses in choice areas of Abia, Rivers and Imo State, with exotic cars in their homes.
The NDLEA, he said, has been on their trail since 2013, when they organized a mob attack on some of the Agency’s operatives, who attempted to apprehend them during a raid, adding that one of the officers attacked then is still bedridden to date.
The two drug lords equally own armed militia guarding their houses and drug stores, where they deal in assorted illicit substances like Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine (Mpuru-Miri), Loud/Arizona and all sorts.
A fresh bid to bring the duo to book and end their criminal trade was launched four months ago, leading to a simultaneous raid operation on their locations on 26th November 2022. While the younger brother, Onyeaghalachi Stephen Nwagwugwu, who lives in Umuahia, the Abia state capital, was successfully arrested, the elder brother, Eze Kaleb Stephen, narrowly escaped when his Ntigha Okpuola community home was stormed by operatives backed by men of the Nigerian Army.
In the course of the operation, the statement said, one of their militiamen, Eberechi Kingsley Monday, was also arrested and quantities of cocaine and variants of cannabis were recovered from the two houses, while the Agency has so far sealed two hotels, one eatery, two mansions linked to them and recovered three exotic vehicles from their homes as efforts are ongoing to trace more of their bank accounts and properties.
The identified hotels, according to Babafemi are, the Jahlove Hotel, Mbawsi, Isiala Ngwa North LGA; Noicyhl Luxury Hotel, Aba -Port-Harcourt expressway, Aba and Royal Cruise Fast Food, Enugu- Port Harcourt expressway, Isiala Ngwa North LGA, all in Abia State.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig-Gen. Mohamed Marwa (Rtd) commended the officers and men of the Agency involved in the operation as well as men of the military, who supported them for their professionalism.