by Ben Ezeamalu,
A 39-year old man, who was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, with 59 wraps of cocaine, has told officials that he was under a magic spell.
Ifeanyi Okpue, who was returning from Brazil for his traditional marriage, was arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency operatives with 950 grammes of the narcotics.
“I work in a restaurant in Brazil. I am 39 years old and I sincerely want to get married and have a family,” said Mr. Okpue, who hails from Enugu State.
“In the process of trying to make more money, I was given 59 wraps of cocaine to take to Nigeria for N400,000 naira. Now I realized I have made a big mistake. I pray my woman will find a place in her heart to forgive me. I feel I am under a spell.”
In a statement on Thursday, the NDLEA said it arrested Mr. Okpue alongside four other suspected drug couriers, including a 26-year old student who hid narcotics inside a bag of garri.
Two of the suspects were coming from Brazil with cocaine while three others were going to South Africa, Dubai and Pakistan when they were arrested, the anti-narcotics agency said.
Ahmadu Garba, NDLEA Commander at the Lagos airport, said Mr. Anagor, the student, was caught with 2.810 kilogrammes of Tramadol on his way to Dubai.
”Lawal Monsuru Ademola, 33 year old trader, was arrested with 3.310kgs of methamphetamine on his way to South Africa while Ogbonna Donatus Chigozie was caught attempting to smuggle 610 grammes of cocaine to Pakistan,” Mr. Garba said.
“Two other suspects, Okoro Chibueze Augustine and Okpue Ernest Ifeanyi were caught with 2.575kgs and 950 grammes of cocaine from Brazil”.
Mr. Anagor, who was to board Rwanda Air flight, told investigators that he wanted to further his education in Dubai.
“I was travelling to Dubai to spend holiday and further my studies but they called me from Dubai that somebody will give me garri in Lagos,” said Mr. Anagor, who hails from Ayamelum local government area in Anambra State.
“When I got to Lagos, the person called me and gave me the bag of garri. This is my first time of travelling outside the country.
“At the airport, the garri was searched and 445 sachets of Tramadol were found inside the bag. That was how I was arrested.
Mr. Lawal, a trader selling clothes at Marina, said he holds a Diploma in Computer Installations and Repairs at the Lagos State Polytechnic.
His journey to South Africa was aborted after 3.310kgs of crystalline substance which tested positive for methamphetamine was found in his possession.
The drug was neatly packed in 26 parcels in a false bottom of his luggage, the NDLEA said.
“Similarly, Ogbonna Donatus Chigozie was nabbed with 610 grammes of cocaine while attempting to board an Emirate flight to Pakistan,” the NDLEA said.
Mr. Okoro, who was expecting N2.5 million, described his arrest as bad luck.
“I have lived in Brazil for a year and six months,” he said.
“I have suffered trying to make ends meet in Brazil. I got involved in drug trafficking so as to start a legitimate business. I expected to have made N2.5 million from the deal.
“Unfortunately, my partner who would have collected the drug in Dubai failed to show up so I had to come to Nigeria with the drug. That was not the original plan. This is a bad luck and I feel so sad,” said Mr. Okoro, who hails from Imo State.
Ahmadu Giade, NDLEA’s chief executive, while reacting to the recent arrests, called on Nigerians to shun drug trafficking and promote peaceful coexistence.
“Some of the lessons of Eid el Kabir are obedience and love,” Mr. Giade said.
“Let us love one another and obey the laws of the land by avoiding drug trafficking and abuse. This way we can promote safety and peaceful coexistence.”
All five suspects will soon be arraigned in court, the NDLEA said.