By Bukar Bolori
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested an ex-footballer, Okafor Emmanuel Junior at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on his arrival from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa.
Okafor who was arrested last Monday on board an Ethiopian airlines flight had 1.40 crack cocaine concealed in his bags.
According to a statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, the 33-year-old was arrested after anti-narcotic officers discovered he concealed the illicit substance in the handles of his bags and padded the top edges of same with the class A drug.
Babafemi said during preliminary interrogation, Okafor disclosed that he was an ex-footballer with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH Enugu FC, where he played for four seasons before leaving for Sri Lanka in 2014.
He further stated that he moved to Brazil from Sri Lanka after playing for two seasons but could not advance his football career in Brazil due to lack of official documents.
The spokesman also revealed that another Brazilian returnee, Ibeh Chinedu was arrested same day upon his arrival at the Lagos airport from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Ethiopian airlines flight. Ibeh was found to have concealed 3.2 kilogrammes black cocaine popularly known as ‘Lucci’ in false bottoms of his two bags.
According to Babafemi, Ibeh in his statement, said he was to be paid N3.1 million on successful delivery of the drug in Nigeria.
In the same vein, attempt by a 32-year-old businesswoman, Mrs. Pamela Odin to traffic 2.15 kilogrammes tablets of rohypnol through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to Istanbul, Turkey has been thwarted by NDLEA operatives. Odin, the mother of one was arrested on Friday 23rd September while attempting to board a Turkish airline flight with the drug concealed inside pepper and packed among foodstuff.
She disclosed to operatives that she operates a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey but came to Nigeria to see her relatives and buy food items for her restaurant business.
Meanwhile, two Malians: Mohammed Demoele, 38 and Coulibaly Maliki, 56, have been arrested by officers of the Marine Unit of NDLEA at Ebute Ero jetty in Lagos for attempting to export 34.2 kilogrammes bottles of new psychoactive substance, Akuskura to Mali through Cotonou, Benin Republic.
In Taraba state, operatives last Thursday intercepted 100 compressed blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 73.5 kilogrammes concealed inside animal feeds, while their counterparts in Ogun state last Saturday arrested a physically challenged drug dealer, Abdulraham Mohammed, with 104 kilogrammes of compressed cannabis sativa recovered from him. Another suspect, Ms. Safiya Bello, was also arrested in Shagamu area of the state with 27 kilogrammes of the psychotropic substance.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of Seaports Operations, MMIA, Ogun, and Taraba Commands for their resilience, while charging them and others across the country to intensify ongoing offensive action against drug cartels and traffickers wherever they may be located in any part of Nigeria.