A drug syndicate which specialises in packaging Indian hemp in boxes that are branded Holy Bible and Holy Quran to fool security operatives has been smashed in Lagos.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, paraded before newsmen in Lagos yesterday, Deji Odeyemi, Deji Amosun and Seriki Sodiq, as the suspects arrested in connection with the crime.
Mr Imohimi disclosed that the suspects were in possession of 183 wraps “pawpaw” (a kind of drug smoked like Indian hemp), 129 pack of Indian hemp shaped as Holy Bible and Holy Quran and assorted hard drugs concealed inside bottles.
He said: “On February 18, about 12:40p.m., information reached SARS commander that a group of cultists gathered at the Akala Idi-Oro area of Mushin, planning to unleash terror on the innocent citizens.
“Without delay, the SARS commander led a team of operatives to the scene, where the three aforesaid suspects were arrested.
“A search warrant was conducted in their ghetto wooden shop, where the exhibits were recovered.”
However, the suspects have vehemently denied all allegations levelled against them.
One of the suspects, Mr Seriki, 25, who claimed to be a graduate of Osun State University and currently a Masters’ student at the University of Lagos, said he was implicated.
He said: “The truth is that we are being implicated in a crime we know nothing about. Police know those involved in this matter. I’ve never used any sort of hard drugs. I’m just a victim of circumstance. I was at the wrong place, at the wrong time.
“The police had been looking for whom to pin the crime on. We were just unfortunate. We were not given the chance to say anything.
“We were denied access to speak to our families, who came to look for us. I still attended lectures that Saturday morning before I was arrested about 2p.m. along with my friends.”
However, Mr Amosun, who is from Badagry, Lagos State, residing at Ikorodu, also gave an account that they were preparing for their friend (Seun)’s child naming ceremony when they were arrested.
He said: “I came to visit my friend in Mushin. We had a naming ceremony to attend, so we went to a boutique to get the clothes we would wear for the ceremony.
“That was where we were arrested by the police that raided the area. We asked them why we were arrested, but we were not told anything. We were not even allowed to see or speak with our relatives.”
Another suspect, Odeyemi, 25, also denied knowing anything about the items.
He said: “We are not the owners of these packs of Indian hemp. We were arrested because police couldn’t find the real culprits. The real culprits are out there.
“If only they could give us a chance to speak with the commissioner of police, I know he will hear us out. But we were denied access to virtually everybody.”