There is an ongoing social media conspiracy theory in regard of the September 19, 2022 drums of cocaine, weighing over 2.1 tons and valued at more than 200 billion naira in street value, seized by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA in a residential estate in Ikorodu area of Lagos.
One cannot but be troubled at times seeing the rate at which misinformation and disinformation spread on the internet.
I came across some series of social media post ranging from attempts to link persons who are not suspects in the drug bust to outright falsehood that all the drug exhibits seized had been burnt by the Agency purportedly to destroy evidence needed to prosecute the case.
My simple search on google indeed put a lie to all of those narratives and the only conclusion I could draw was that indeed there must have been some deliberate attempt by the netizens to spew those lies obviously for political reasons.
One would expect that at any given instance, a social media user that is neither representing nor quoting any credible source or a known media house would at the minimal least carry out some sort of basic research on “Google,” and what is there to find on the internet’s super highway storage cloud: tons of information, sequentially arranged to give a kindergarten pupil clear and precise history on what happened, how it happened and where to verify any missing link.
On this matter, a google search reveals that on September 18, 2022 in Lagos State, the NDLEA officers carried out a two day simultaneous operation in a concluding part of a four years drug dealing investigations with part intelligence provided by the US-DEA, which led to a cocaine warehouse bust in the Ikorodu area.
The operations according to media reports recorded the arrest of five suspects with one from Ondo, two from Oyo, one from Anambra State and one from Kingston, Jamaica, all arrested from various hideouts including a hotel. A seizure of 1,852 blocks of cocaine weighing 2.1 tons was reported to have been made. Reports showed that NDLEA charged the suspects to court soon after.
But prior to the arraignment, the Agency on September 23, 2022 secured an order from Justice D.E. Osiagor of the Federal High Court in Lagos to publicly burn and destroy 1,828 slabs of the cocaine. However, it was recorded that publicly tested samples of the cocaine substance were taken from the 1,852 slabs of cocaine and burnt publicly, keeping 27kg of the cocaine for the prosecution of the case as directed by Justice Osiagor.
Present at the public destruction in Badagry were key public figures and other stakeholders in the case, including the representative of the Lagos State Governor, the Federal High Court officials, Oba Akran of Badagry , Nigerian Customs, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police , the five arrested suspects and some members of the UK’s National Crime Agency and US-DEA. The matter is still in court with hearings ongoing.