Secunda drug dealers sentenced


14 Months of intense investigation, dedicated detective work and even receiving death threats, finally paid off on Wednesday 5 April when six drug manufacturers and dealers were sentenced to prison.
The Mpumalanga Hawks and the Crime Intelligence Unite operated Project 24 from the Secunda Hawks offices.
They investigated the syndicate and gathered information using “unconventional methods” said Capt Lucy Sekgotodi, provincial spokesperson for the Hawks.
The clamp down came on 18 and 19 August last year during which the Hawks arrested five Nigerians an a South African, and confiscated five vehicles that had been used in drug transactions. Another Nigerian citizen was arrested later.
The Secunda District Court sentenced Chibuzor Paul Ezekware, Samuel Okafor and Goodwin Addo Abunne to 36 years’ imprisonment each.
They were also ordered to pay back R11 500, R4 800 and R7 000 respectively to the state.
Henry Ulangu Ukaegby and Innocent Akuziele were each sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment and were also ordered to pay back R2 600 and R1 800 to the state.
The sixth man sentenced on Wednesday, is Junior Okafor who received an 18 month-sentence. On the day of his arrest, Junior Okafor told The Bulletin he is “a good person”.
He pleaded his innocence that day while sitting in a driveway with his hands cuffed behind his back.
The seventh suspect’s case will go on trial at the Evander Regional Court on Wednesday, 10 May.
The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza welcomed the sentence and said the Hawks do not aim to arrest only but to secure convictions and ensure that justice is served.
“We are clamping down on drugs and all other serious crimes and criminals must be warned that we will send them to jail for a very long time”, said Lieutenant General Ntlemeza.
Two syndicate members who gave the cops the slip on 19 August are still at large.
Mpumalanga Hawks are still searching for Emmanuel Omyekanna (nicknamed 50c), and Chukwuemeka Kingsley Ezenwa (nicknamed Alex).
The latter phoned the investigating officers during the trial and threatened them and their families.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Omyekanna and Ezenwa must phone W/O Ras on 017 634 7007.