A 47-year-old man, Odili (other names withheld) has been arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, over unlawful exportation of illegal substance which tested positive to cocaine.
This was disclosed by the chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, while admonishing youths to shun drug trafficking and related criminal acts and contribute to nation building, at a programme to celebrate Nigeria’s 56th Independence anniversary.
The NDLEA chairman said the arrest was made during the outward screening of passengers on a Kenyan Airways flight to Ivato International Airport Antananarivo, Madagascar. The suspect, Metro gathered excreted 25 wraps of cocaine weighing 270 grammes.
According to Abdallah, “as our country marks political independence, we should strategise on the way forward. I call on youths to support the anti-narcotics campaign and make giant strides towards nation building. “The agency will continue to disappoint those hoping to get rich quick from drug trafficking through the use of latest technology in drug control. We are constantly increasing our capacity to detect concealed drugs and trace criminal wealth of drug cartels.
“Available record clearly shows that Madagascar is not a regular drug route, yet we were able to detect the drug. Appropriate measures have also been taken to diligently prosecute suspected traffickers.”
NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba, said this was the first seizure of cocaine destined for Madagascar at the airport this year, saying: “This is the first arrest and seizure in the year heading to Madagascar from this airport. The suspect, Odili James Onyekwere successfully excreted 25 wraps of cocaine he ingested while under close observation. He is cooperating with our team of investigators and the case will soon be charged to court.”
The suspect, who hails from Rivers State, in his statement blamed his involvement in drug trafficking on economic hardship, declaring: “I am married with two children and I sell shoes in Lome, Togo. As a result of the economic downturn, my capital kept depreciating until I lost everything. This is my first attempt at smuggling drugs.
“It was the frustration of not being able to provide for my wife and children that made me resort to smuggling cocaine. They promised to pay me a thousand dollars.”
The NDLEA chairman urged members of the public to report suspected drug barons to the agency.
His words: “Getting involved in drug trafficking is merely making a bad situation worse. Today, this suspect is more concerned about his criminal charge than the welfare of his family he claimed to be protecting. Members of the public should, therefore, avoid complicating their situation and report suspected drug cases to the NDLEA.”