The Joint Task Force (JTF) popularly referred to as “Operation Restore Order” in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, has arrested a cleric, Pastor Moses Edon, for allegedly being in possession of 124 bags containing substance suspected to be Indian hemp.
Pastor Edon was arrested at the premises of a Celestial Church of Christ in Maiduguri.
It was learnt that the church was abandoned last year as its members fled due to the insecurity perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Lt- Col. Sagir Musa, the JTF said: “Based on information and intelligence, the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Restore Order at about 9.30am on July 10, 2013 raided the premises of a Celestial Church of Christ at House of Assembly Quarters Pompomari area of Maiduguri metropolis.
“The raid led to the discovery and seizure of 124 bags of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp parked in three rooms at the premises of the church.
“The suspect, who is a pastor of the church, one Moses Edon, admitted knowledge of the content of the bags and confessed that the Indian hemp was brought to his church from Ondo State for safe keeping by a member, one Mr. Segun Oni”.
The JTF said preliminary investigation revealed that the church had not been active for some time now.
The JTF said the church had been used for safe haven for Indian hemp business from where some unidentified “partners in business” distribute the products to their customers in Maiduguri and its environs.
It said: JTF wishes to remind members of the public that there is a correlation between illicit drugs and crimes in the state. Hence, all citizens are requested to report the presence and dealers of such products in our midst to security agencies.”