By Bukar Bolori
A Nigerian returning from Brazil, Igwedum Benson has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the arrival hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos with pellets of cocaine concealed in his private part.
Igwedum, according to a statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, was nabbed at the Lagos airport last Monday upon his arrival on Ethiopian Airlines from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa.
Babafemi said preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect had swallowed 50 wraps of cocaine before departing Brazil and excreted 48 pellets in Addis Ababa where he handed them over to another person.
According to the spokesman, Igwedum claimed he was unable to excrete the remaining two wraps at the hotel room in Addis Ababa before boarding his flight but later excreted them in the aircraft restroom during the flight from Ethiopia to Lagos.
Babafemi, also revealed that after three weeks of painstaking investigation and tracking, operatives of the MMIA command of NDLEA on Saturday night arrested a drug kingpin, Onyekachi Macdonald behind attempts to export 40 parcels of methamphetamine popularly called Mkpuru Mmiri locally to London, United Kingdom through the NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport.
He said Onyekachi was arrested at Manacola estate, Alakuko area of Lagos at the weekend, three weeks after his Mkpuru Mmiri consignment weighing 2.05 kilogrammes was intercepted at the airport and his freight agent, Peter Anikan arrested on 7th June.
He said during interrogation, the suspect said he had lived in Dubai, UAE for 10 years before returning to Nigeria in 2019, and that after his return to Nigeria he opened a phone accessories shop in Sango Otta, Ogun state but the business collapsed. He then started sending cigarettes to London and decided to conceal the illicit drug in the consignment after advice by a friend.
Babafemi also revealed the seizure of another consignment of 2 kilogrammes Mkpuru Mmiri at a courier house in Owerri, Imo state, adding that the cargo seized last Wednesday had ankara and lace fabrics in which two cylindrical cellophanes containing the drug heading to Hong Kong were concealed.
The spokesman said also intercepted at the Lagos airport last Friday was 500,000 tablets of tramadol 225mg packed in 10 cartons and labelled Tramaking imported from Karachi, Pakistan on Emirates Airline.
He said another consignment weighing 407.6 kilogrammes was seized during a joint examination with Customs and NAFDAC officials.
Babafemi said same day, a Dubai, UAE-bound passenger, a 21-year old Alegbeleye Taiwo was arrested at the departure hall of the MMIA with 40 ampoules of pentazocine injection.
He said two kingpins behind the importation of two recent drug consignments from Canada concealed in vehicle containers through the Tincan seaport in Apapa, Lagos have been arrested by NDLEA operatives.
According to him, one of them, Gboyega Elegbeji was arrested at his house, 14 Bakare Street, Idi Araba, Lagos last Wednesday for importing a 40ft container TRHU7874497 containing 33 parcels of cannabis indica (Colorado) weighing 16.5 kilogrammes.
The second suspect, Sunday Oyebola, (aka Otunba) with link to the importation of a 40ft container MEDU4389887 containing four vehicles used to conceal 290 parcels weighing 145kg cannabis indica (Colorado) from Montreal, Canada was arrested last Thursday.
He had been on the run since March and had in the course of the investigation alleged to have attempted to bribe officers with N10 million to influence the case.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Tincan, and Imo state Commands of the agency for the drug seizures and arrests especially of those who thought they could evade the long arm of the law.
He, however, encouraged them and their compatriots across other formations to intensify their efforts towards achieving set goals.