Hoodlums reportedly opened fire on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA operatives in Opuje community, located in the Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State.
The attack left three of the operatives injured, while one was shot on his head.
The hoodlums were said to have blocked all roads leading to the community, to prevent the anti-narcotic operatives from accessing the forest warehouses where tons of processed psychoactive substances were stored.
This was contained in a statement issued by the NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Thursday.
“The affected officers were rushed to the hospital for treatment while the critically injured one had a major surgery on Wednesday, December 6, to remove the bullets in his brain.
“Following credible intelligence that the drug cartels had again stocked their warehouses in the forest to start distribution of the psychoactive substance to various parts of the country ahead of the yuletide season, teams of NDLEA officers were mobilized to enter the Edo forests and block the distribution of the illicit drug by destroying their warehouses. Some of the warehouses containing about 6,000kgs of cannabis were first taken down in Ujiogba forest in Esan West LGA last weekend.
“The NDLEA teams however came under gunfire attack in the early hours of Monday 4th December when they approached the Opuje forest after the armed hoodlums had blocked all access roads in the community. The NDLEA operatives were able to exit the area after over two hours of gun fight with the armed hoodlums.”
Babafemi said this is coming barely 11 months after armed youths recruited by drug barons ambushed NDLEA officers who stormed the community to destroy warehouses and tents storing over 317,417 kilograms (317.4 metric tons) of cannabis sativa on Wednesday 18th January 2023.