The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Ekiti state on Tuesday said that it had recovered 53 hectares of Indian hemp farmlands and returned them to their legitimate owners.
NDLEA’s Commander in Ekiti state, Mr. Guara Shadow, announced the development in a statement signed by the command’s Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Peter Njoku, in Ado-Ekiti.
According to agency’s commander, the farmlands have been returned to the owners in Ootunja and Odo-Oro communities in Ikole Local Government Area of the state.
The official said that the recovery was made on Saturday, during an emergency raid of farmlands in the two communities.
Shadow said that 14 hectares were recovered from Aofin and Kumapayi families, while another 30 hectares, belonging to the Olori Awo and Ilada families were taken over by the hemp farmers.
The official stated that one hectare was taken from the Ootunja community while another eight hectares were taken by the illegal drug farmers in Odo-Oro community in the state.
The commander said that 16kg Indian hemp was recovered by the agency’s officials from the nursery beds located on the large expanse of land.
Shadow warned land owners not to lease their farmlands for illicit cultivation of drug.
“Ekiti land owners must not lease their farmlands for illicit cultivation of Indian hemp; leasing of farmland for the cultivation of illicit drugs is an offence under the NDLEA Act. Ignorance of the Act will not be an excuse,” the NDLEA commander said.
Shadow, who said that no arrest had been made so far, added that investigation was ongoing to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The statement quoted the traditional ruler of Ootunja-Ekiti, Oba Adelola Fagbemi, as expressing gratitude to the NDLEA for its quick response to their call to recover their farmlands from the invaders.
“Our people can now heave a sigh of relief as our farmlands have been recovered to us by the NDLEA. These lands, I assure you, will be used to cultivate edible crops,” Fagbemi said.