A 42-year-old cannabis farmer, Clement Akor, has pleaded with officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), not to destroy his plantation, saying it will be due for harvest in two weeks.
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Akor, who was arrested by operatives of Kogi State command of the NDLEA, begged the official to kill him, rather than destroy the 10-hectare farm.
The father of six was arrested alongside his accomplice, David Ameh at Enabo village in Ankpa Local Government Area of the state.
During interrogation, the suspect disclosed that he has invested so much in the farm.
He also stated that he sells a bag of the banned substance for N20,000 or more.
Akor admitted that he is aware of the law banning the sale of cannabis sativa in the country.
He said: ”I am the owner of this farm. I learnt it in Yoruba land. When I cultivated one last year, it was stolen. So it is this year I bought seed from Yoruba land to plant new ones before I was caught.
“Indian hemp business is luck. In this farm, I can get many bags here. I do sell one bag for N20,000 depending on the area am selling it. It could be more. I spent N12,000 for labour in cultivating this farm. It better you people kill me than destroy this farmland.
“This is my business. I spent a lot to allow this plant to grow up to this level. In the next two weeks, I am supposed to harvest it. Now you people have come here to destroy it. Just kill me, so that I won’t see you people destroying what I have laboured for. I am looking for money because I am illiterate. I don’t want to engage in armed robbery or kidnapping that is why I am into this business of Indian hemp”.
Alfred Adewumi, NDLEA commander, who confirmed the arrest, said the suspects were nabbed through intelligence.
“Seeing they say is believing. What you are seeing today is certainly more than three football Field but together. I would make you make your judgment. Just look around, that is the huge expanse. We just left the first farm which is equally a huge cannabis plantation,” he said.
” This is very unfortunate. I am worried about this unfortunate development. I have thought that Kogi State will not descend to this point. As things stand today, it will be direct self-denial to begin to say that Kogi State is not planting Cannabis Sativa because the evidence itself suggests the fact that there is high planting of Cannabis Sativa in Kogi State. Sadly Kogi State can also now begin to rank among those state where you find Cannabis Sativa plantations.
“We will not relent in fighting against illicit use of a drug that is why we took the fight to their doorstep. Kogi State is the gateway to a man other states in the north, south, east and western parts of this country.
“I had promised at the point of my deployment to Kogi State that I won’t give room for anybody to turn Kogi State to a drug cultivation State. And because of that, we have spread out our tentacles, reach out as far as possible with intelligence gathering, this result is why you are seeing today.”
He added that the suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.