Ondo: I cultivate Indian hemp, can’t do any other work, 27-year-old suspect reveals
A 27-year-old man, Monday Joseph, who allegedly cultivates an Indian hemp farm in Ijare forest reserves in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State, has said he cannot do any other work except Indian hemp cultivation.
Joseph, who was arrested by detectives from Ondo Police Command with one other suspect, Sunday Adefehinti, with 69 sacks of suspected Indian hemp, said he had worked all his life on the hemp plantation, which serves as a source of livelihood for him and his family.
He maintained that he would rather remain jobless than embrace any other job, saying, “This is what I know how to grow best, and it is either I plant this hemp or engage in robbery.”
While speaking with journalists, the father of two said, “This is what I do for a living. I don’t have another job. I would rather do this than be jobless.
“It’s either I work on the hemp plantation or go into armed robbery to make ends meet. So, as a man, you’ve got to engage in a job to survive. This is the reason I’m into this business.
I was born and brought up by my parents in the business. I’ve been spending over 27 years now in the business. It’s a common business we do in our community in Delta State.
“We plant and harvest this inside the forest reserve. I went to school, but this is where I make my ends meet. I make millions of dollars from this business. It also depends on your capacity to make the money.
“It’s from the business that I make money to feed my family. I’m a father of two children. We have our customers already, and they always come and buy it and travel back to their base across the country.”
He, however, said the arms found with him were used for his protection in the forest, and he never killed or shot at anybody.
While speaking, the second suspect, Adefehinti, who valued the seized items at N3.86 million, said a sack of Indian hemp costs N56,000, with customers ready to pick it up across the country.
Adefehinti, however, denied growing Indian hemp but said, “I am a tomato farmer, and my farm is located within Ijare Forest, but very close to the hemp plantations. I have been farming in the reserve forest since last August.
I was on the farm after contacting my customers in Akure for the harvested tomatoes when the police operatives invaded the area, and I was arrested while going to my tomato farm.
“They have packed the consignments into about 69 sacks and are only waiting for the vehicle to come in the night. The vehicles always come from Ibadan and Lagos, but I don’t know anything about them.”
Speaking on their arrest, the state commissioner of police, Abiodun, said a team of policemen attached to the CP’s Special Squad got intelligence that some young men were seen along Ijare Road via Akure, heading towards Ikota Junction along Ijare Road with vehicles suspected to contain incriminating items.
“Operatives of Special Weapons and Tactics swung into action and arrested Sunday Akinfisoye’m’, aged 23 years, and Monday Joseph, 27, at a criminal hideout.
“While conducting a search, 69 bags of weed suspected to be Indian hemp were recovered from the suspects. Suspects would be charged to court at the end of the investigation.”