By Abimbola Ogunnaike
Armed hoodlums suspected to be cultists have freed a drug trafficking kingpin who was arrested by the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Rivers State.
It was gathered that the hoodlums who came in their numbers attacked the NDLEA operatives on Friday evening and successfully freed the drug lord, soon after his arrest around Odunze street axis of Ikwerre road in Mile 3, Diobu, in Port Harcourt.
According to PM News, an eyewitness said the hoodlums, who were armed with guns, knives, broken bottles and other dangerous weapons, attacked the NDLEA officials shortly after they arrested a drug dealer popularly known as ’50’.”
The source said that three of the NDLEA officials dressed in mufti had in an undercover operation successfully entered the Odunze, an area regarded as a den of cultists and illicit drug trafficking at Mile 3, Diobu with the said ’50’ as their prime target.
The NDLEA officials were said to have apprehended “50” and were dragging him to their patrol van stationed at Ikwerre road by Iheoma street, Mile 3, Diobu, when scores of suspected Deygbam cultists mobilized to the scene and confronted them.
The armed cultists launched an attack on the NDLEA officials, but operatives of the agency fired some shots in the air in self defense, and to scare off the hoodlums.
But the rampaging cultists were not deterred as they eventually aided the escape of their ally ’50’ before the NDLEA patrol van arrived at the scene.
Eyewitnesses said some of the NDLEA officials sustained injuries in the attack which caused pandemonium and heavy traffic around the Ikwerre road axis of the city.
It was further learnt taking advantage of the confusion, the hoodlums went on rampage robbing pedestrians and motorists, Police patrol vans are seen patrolling the area.
Emmanuel Ogbumgbada, head of Public Affairs Officer, Media and Advocacy unit of NDLEA in Rivers State has not officially reacted to the incident as at the time of writing this report.