The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended four suspected drug traffickers at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos. The suspects are Omidiya Taiwo, a 44-year-old that works in an automobile company in Barcelona, Anikwe Chukwudi Charles, 25-year-old hotel attendant in Lagos, Igwe Nelson Chidi, 24-year-old student in Cyprus and Agomuo Ekwutosi Basil, 44-year-old farmer in Imo State. A total of 6.135kg of narcotics were seized from them.
NDLEA Commander at the Lagos airport, Mr. Hamza Umar, gave the breakdown of the drug as 4.290kg of heroin, 570 grammes of methamphetamine and 1.275kg of cocaine.
“Omidiya Taiwo was found in possession of 525 grammes of cocaine and 1.540kg of heroin. He ingested 87 wraps and concealed others in his pants on his way to Spain. Anikwe Chukwudi Charles was intercepted with 570 grammes of methamphetamine concealed in his luggage handles on his way to Malaysia, Igwe Nelson Chidi was found with 750 grammes of cocaine hidden under his luggage and Agomuo Ekwutosi Basil was caught with 2.750kg of heroin hidden inside duty free bag inside his luggage while returning from Pakistan. They are cooperating with our team of investigators and will be charged to court soon,” Umar stated.
Omidiya Taiwo who works in Spain said that he was introduced to drug trafficking by a friend. “I have been living in Spain for the past 14 years where I work with an automobile company. My friend in Barcelona called me requesting that I should bring drugs to Spain. He even contacted somebody who gave me the drugs in Lagos. After swallowing 87 wraps, I hid the remaining in my pants because the wraps were many. I was sad when the drug was detected at the airport because I would have made a fortune from it,” Omidiya lamented. He hails from Ogun State.
Anikwe Chukwudi Charles said that he was on his way to Malaysia for studies when he was caught with the drugs. “I was working as a hotel attendant in Lagos when a customer asked me if I was a graduate. I told him that I have five credits but could not further my education because of lack of finance. He promised to help me and used to give me money any time he comes around. He called me that he has completed my admission to further my studies in Malaysia. That was how he paid my travel expenses and gave me a bag to take to Malaysia. According to him, his friend will collect the bag from me and assist me with my school admission. Unfortunately, drug was found inside the handle of the bag he gave me,” Anikwe stated. He hails from Anambra State.
Igwe Nelson Chidi who is a student said that he agreed to smuggle the drug for the sum of 5,000 pounds. According to Igwe who hails from Imo State, “I got admission two months ago to study Tourism and Hotel Management in Cyprus. While in Nigeria, a friend in Cyprus called me to bring narcotics for a fee of 5,000 pounds. That was how I got involved in drug trafficking. I wanted to use the money to settle my fees and buy books for my study. This is a big setback for my career”.
Agomuo Ekwutosi Basil said he was suffering in the village farming to survive when he was asked to go to Pakistan by a friend. “I am a farmer in Imo State. It was difficult for me to feed my wife and only child because of hardship. That was my condition when a friend invited me to Pakistan. He promised to sponsor my trip and help me secure a good job. When I got to Pakistan, he told me there was no job but that I should take drugs to Nigeria. He promised to give me half a million naira to start my business if I can take the drugs to Nigeria. Since life was becoming unbearable I decided to take the risk. I was however not lucky because I was arrested at the Lagos airport,” Agomuo stated.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, warned drug trafficking syndicates that the agency will continue to intercept narcotics, arrest traffickers and prosecute them. “We have put in place measures to intercept narcotics this end of year season. Drug traffickers planning to smuggle drugs through the country shall be apprehended and prosecuted. I am happy with the arrests particularly that of 25-year-old Anikwe Chukwudi Charles, a hotel attendant who was taking drugs to Malaysia where drug trafficking attracts capital punishment,” Giade stated.