â€¢Woman suspect inserts 840grams in anus
â€¢This is frightening,Â says NDLEAâ€™s boss
By Albert Akpor
THE arrest recently at the Murtala Muhammed International airport, Ikeja Lagos of one Patrick Ene a drug deportee who had served a jail term for drug offences in far away Afghanistan has been viewed as â€˜strangeâ€™ by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The 34 year-old jail bird who was deported into the country on May 18, 2010 with an emergency travel documents aboard Emirate flight after completing his jail term was also discovered to had swallowed an astonishing 88 wraps of heroin weighing 1,270kgs on arrival. Ene Patrick is the first deportee ever to test positive for drug ingestion. Eight others were also arrested for trafficking 10.185kg of cocaine on the same day; a development the chairman of the anti-drug agency has described as â€˜frightening.â€™
The agencyâ€™s boss has therefore, urged his men and officers to remain at alert to thwart any move by drug cartels to use Nigeria as a drug transit point. He attributed the discovery to security vigilance at the airport reassured Nigerians that the Agency is deeply committed to the fight against drug cartels. In his words, â€œOrdinarily who will expect a drug deportee who has served a jail term for drug offence, and was deported back into his country to also be discovered to have also ingested the same drugs for which he was convicted?Â We will therefore,Â remain extra-vigilant to stop the next move of drug barons.â€
The airport commander of NDLEA, Alhaji Hamza Umar gave the names of the eight other suspects as Popoola Yvone Adete, 50, she was reported to had ingested and inserted the hard stuff weighing 840grammes in her anus.Â Otheres are Mustapha Latifu Bolanle, 63 who ingested 1.420kg cocaine, Onyeze Emmanuel Chukwudi, 47, swallowed 1.185kg of cocaine; while Ndigwe Innocent Chukwuma, 47, ingested 1.405kg of cocaine.Â Nmah Michael Chukwu, 47, ingested 1.130kg of cocaine,Â Smith Romeo, 32, also ingested 1.360kg cocaine, Nwafor Ndubuisi Stephen, 35, ingested 1.555kg of cocaine while Alekusho Iyabode Ekundayo, 56,Â ingested 1.290kg cocaine.
Popoola Yvone Adete, the 50 year -old Edo state born mother of six who owns a restaurant in Paris said it was one of her customers that lured her into the illicit trade. â€œIf only I knew, I should have rejected her suggestion for me to smuggle drugsâ€ she stated.
Another suspect who identified herself as Alekusho Iyabode Ekundayo, a native of Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital who described herself as a petty trader was discovered to have ingested 80 wraps of illicit drugs. She claimed to sell children clothes and jewelleries at Mokola Ibadan. Her journey to Paris in an Iberia flight was terminated when scanning machine detected that she swallowed drugs. Upon further search, she was also found to have inserted another wrap weighing 200 grammes in her private parts.
In her words, â€œI am a divorcee with three children the eldest child is 30 years. One of my female customers introduced me to drug trafficking. It started when my shop got burnt and I lost everything. We usually talk on phone before she invited me to Lagos on several occasions where we meet at an eatery. I initially refused to do itÂ but she persuaded me that since I have been travelling, there will be no problem. They bought the return ticket and gave me 1,900 euros initial payment. My world is overâ€ she lamented.
Also, Mustapha Latifu the 63-year-old Osun state grandfather who was born and trained in Lagos state is the oldest drug traffickers arrested this year at the airport. The textile and jewellery merchant at Balogun market confessed to ingesting 100 wraps of illicit substances. Arrested on the same flight with Alekusho, he too was going to France. He was given the sum of 2,000 euros and was to receive another 2,000 euros on successful delivery.
Mustapha says it was poverty that pushed him into trying his luck in drug trafficking. â€œI lost my wife 14 years ago in a very painful circumstance. Since then my business collapsed and life has not been the same. It is poverty that made me to smuggle drugs. When I was confronted with the option of drug trafficking I felt I should try my luck. My nine children are my main concern. I do not want to be seen as a bad father because my intention is to provide for them. I hope they will find a place in their heart to forgive meâ€ he lamented.
For Onyeze Emmanuel Chukwudi the Imo state born father of one who was apprehended same day for attempting to board an Air France flight to Paris his final destination was Finland. He has lived in Finland for nine years and he used to import office equipment into the country for sale. According to Onyeze, he suffered a big loss in 2008 and had not recovered from the financial crunch. He told security operatives that he ingested drugs based on influence from his friend in Europe. â€œMy phone number was given to somebody in Nigeria. Since I arrived from Finland last month we have been talking until I was finally given the drugs. I swallowed 60 pieces for 2,500 Euros. I am married with a childâ€
However, the case of Ndigwe Innocent Chukwuma the 47-year-old Anambra state born trader whose criminal action is completely incongruous with his names, accepted to do the drug deals ignorant of the installation of scanning machines at the nationâ€™s gateway.Â He has been in south Africa since 2001 and is even married to a South African.
The father of three was nabbed during the screening of passengers on South African Airline.Â Â Said he,Â â€œI sell phone accessories in South Africa. I left the country in 2001 and did not know of the scanning machine. If only I knew the security situation I would not have smuggled the drugs. They offered me 2,500 dollars and I saw the deal as an opportunity to return to the country and see my mother and other relatives. I never knew it will turn out to be like thisâ€