A 45-year-old man, Sheu Ibrahim, and his son, Farooq, 22, have been arrested for allegedly selling Tramadol and Tramol to primary and secondary school pupils in the Itire area of Lagos State.
The suspects were picked up on Friday by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command after some officials of the state’s Office of Education and Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, reportedly alerted the police to the use of drug in schools.
It was learnt that the suspects had a kiosk at Adedeji bus stop, Itire, where they sold the stimulants to the pupils.
It was said that the officials, while on routine monitoring of schools around the area, got a report on the strange behaviour of some pupils.
Investigations reportedly led to the arrest of the dealers.
Seventy two pieces of Tramadol capsules, 28 tablets of Tramol and some other capsules were recovered from the suspects.
They were paraded on Monday at the command headquarters in Ikeja by the state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi.
Ibrahim, who hails from Kebbi State, owned up to peddling the drugs, but denied selling them to schoolchildren.
He said, “I don’t sell drugs to pupils. I have a shop at Adedeji bus stop, Itire. It is adults I sell to. I don’t take the drugs to schools. I sell six packs of Tramadol every day.”
His son, Farooq, stated that a primary school pupil had once come to the shop to buy Tramadol, but said he did not sell it to him.
He said, “My father usually sells the drugs to adults. A primary school pupil came to our shop to buy Tramadol, but I didn’t sell it to him. I don’t know whether my father sold to the boy when I was not around.”
The CP urged parents and school authorities to be more vigilant and always observe behavioural change in pupils.
He advised parents to identify with their children in order to notice change of behaviour, including slurred speech and withdrawal syndrome, which were effects of drugs.
He said, “Based on information received that pupils of some primary and secondary schools in Lagos are suspected to be indulging in hard drugs, decoy operatives from the RRS of the command, in collaboration with the government ministry, located the schools and interviewed the pupils.
“This led to the arrest of Farooq Ibrahim and Sheu Ibrahim, who have been selling Tramadol – a highly addictive stimulant – to the underage pupils. The suspects will be charged to court and diligently prosecuted.”
The Punch reports that CP Imohimi also paraded some suspected armed robbers who allegedly specialised in snatching cars.
The gang, according to the police boss, comprised members from Lagos and Kaduna states.
They allegedly took cars stolen in Lagos to Kaduna for sales.
Detectives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad were said to have started trailing the suspects after one Saheed Aminu of Awolowo Road, Ikorodu, Lagos, reported to the police on November 19, 2017 that his Toyota Camry, with the number plate, ER 468 KRD, was stolen in front of his house.
“Intelligence gathered revealed that the vehicle was in the workshop of an auto mechanic, Opeyemi Ogundokun. He was arrested and interrogated and made some startling revelations which led the detectives to Rigassa in Kaduna State.
“At Rigassa, two suspects, namely, Qudus Abdulkareem, 42, and Abdulwaheed Abdulkareem, 28, were arrested. Their role in the syndicate was to either steal a car from where it was parked or snatch it at gunpoint from the owner.
“The duo led the detectives to one Sheu Shittu, 42, Nurudeen Abdulrahman, 38, and Musiliu Abdulwahab, 40. They were identified as receivers of all cars stolen by Qudus and Abdulwaheed, whose area of operations is Lagos State,” Imohimi added.
The CP said after the stolen Toyota Camry was recovered, the police conducted a search on the base of the receivers in Rigassa.
He said one English pistol, 118 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, military camouflage, one hand grenade, a Nissan Versa, marked KRD 538 AZ, one RAV 4 with the number plate, EKY 720 BS, another Toyota Camry, with the number plate, EC 192 KRD, and a Honda CRV marked EKY 17 AR, were also recovered during the search.
“The suspects confessed that they were based in Kaduna, but came to Lagos when they wanted to steal or snatch vehicles at gunpoint. They were all arrested between February 24 and 28, 2018. Investigation into the case is in progress.
“Meanwhile, the first suspect, Opeyemi Ogundokun, has been charged to court and was remanded in prison custody,” the CP said.
Abdulwaheed said he was a car dealer and that he bought two cars from Sheu after he (Sheu) showed him “original documents” of the vehicles.
“So, there was no way I could suspect that the cars were stolen. It was when we were arrested that I knew I had been dealing with armed robbers. I knew him through one electrician. The pistol and the military camouflage belong to a soldier who was living with me,” he added.
Qudus and Abdulrahman said they had bought a Toyota Camry car respectively from one Lukman, who is at large, claiming that they did not know the cars were stolen.
Abdulwahab said his offence was that he introduced Lukman to his brother who also bought a Camry car from the fleeing suspect.