The suspect said he ventured into the more profitable trade to raise funds for his father’s burial.
A 29-year-old palm wine tapper and his wife have been arrested for allegedly cultivating Marijuana on 10 hectares of farm land, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, said in Osun State.
The state commander of the agency, Anthonia Ndu, made this known while speaking in Osogbo on Monday.
Mrs. Ndu said the suspects were arrested on the farm situated at Oke Olabede Reserve Forest, near Ikeji-Ile in Oriade Local Government Area of the state on September 11.
She alleged that the suspect’s wife had earlier been convicted and sentenced to two-years in jail in 2011 for trafficking in Indian hemp in Ilesa.
“He has been on our wanted list since that time and the agency through its intelligence gathering, located the 10 hectares of cannabis sativa farm at Oke Olabede reserve forest.
“We met the two suspects on the farm and they were arrested before our men destroyed the Indian hemp farm,’’ she said.
Mrs. Ndu disclosed that another 30 hectares of Indian hemp farm was also destroyed on August 5, at Oloro-Arinkinki Forest Reserve in Isokan Local Government Area of the state.
The commander called on the State Government to monitor all the forest reserves across the state to curb the activities of illegal occupants. She observed that cultivation of Indian hemp has been on the rise in the area because culprits have free access to the forest reserves.
According to her, most of the Indian hemp farms discovered in recent times by the agency are in forest reserves.
She reiterated the commitment of the agency towards ending the activities of the Indian hemp cultivators and traffickers in the state. She solicited the assistance of the public, especially hunters, to feed the agency with information to enable it discharge its duties.
The suspect later said that he ventured into the cultivation of Indian hemp to raise money for the burial ceremony of his father in 2013 in Kwale, Delta State.
“I ventured into Indian hemp cultivation because it is not possible to raise enough money through palm wine tapping and farming,” he said. “I also decided to cultivate Indian hemp because it matures within six months and highly profitable.”