The National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it destroyed a cannabis sativa farm worth over N1.5 billion in Agbokete community of Igalamela-Adolu local government area in Kogi state.
Speaking with journalists on Wednesday, Alfred Adewumi, NDLEA commander in Kogi, said the farm, spanning over four kilometres, was discovered through intelligence gathering by its operatives.
Adewumi said the command’s assumption was that Kogi served as a transit point for the drug as a result of its strategic location, but lamented that the state has become one of its producers.
“I want to tell you that I am astounded, shocked, and perplexed that something as huge and enormous as this can be discovered in Kogi state,” he said.
“Our assumption is that Kogi state, even though it is surrounded by some states that are notorious for cannabis sativa cultivation, is just simply a transit point because of her strategic location.
“To discover that within Kogi state we can have a plantation of this huge proportion is something that has shocked me to the marrow.
“It is an enormous plantation of cannabis sativa; it is not just one single farmland. All of you have been in my entourage and we have walked within the farm which is over four kilometres and are still within the farm.
“So, to begin to describe what I have seen today is simply to tell you that I am shocked that Kogi state is now being used as a place where cannabis sativa is being cultivated so extensively.
“I must tell you that what we have here is far in excess of the 7.5 hectares of cannabis sativa we discovered sometime in mid-September. If you put all of these farms together, you will see we will be talking of over 35 hectares of cannabis sativa plantation.
“To begin to talk about the market value, to be frank with you we are talking about more than N1.5 billion of cultivated illicit drugs here.”
Adewumi added that Ameh Joseph, the owner of the farm, would be prosecuted as soon as investigations are completed.
He warned those involved in the cultivation of the drug to desist as the agency would not relent in ensuring that Kogi becomes a drug-free state.
The state NDLEA had, in September, destroyed a 10-hectare cannabis plantation in Okula community, Ofu local government area of Kogi.
Clement Akor, the owner of the farm, had pleaded with the NDLEA to rather take his life than destroy his farm. Akor had claimed to have invested so much on the farm and could not afford to lose it.
“This is my business. I spent a lot to allow this plant to grow up to this level. Just kill me so that I won’t watch you people destroying what I have laboured for,” he had pleaded.