By Kenneth Ehigiator
A native doctor who fortified himself with charms to beat security screening at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, is now in the net of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, for attempting to smuggle cocaine out of the country.
The suspect, Longe Moshood Adewale, was attempting to board an Iberia flight to Paris, France, with 77 pieces of the substance when he was arrested.
His arrest came at a time an ex-convict, Oliver Uzoaru, was also caught at the same airport for trying to take 915 grammes of cocaine out of the country, after having been caught with 1.273kg of cocaine in April 2009, charged to court and jailed for eight months.
In his confessional statement, the 58-year-old native doctor, who hails from Ogun State, said he was shocked to his bone marrow that he was caught, despite fortifying himself with potent charms.
He said: â€œI am a traditional doctor and prepared myself before the trip, so it is shocking that they were able to detect me.â€
The other suspect, Uzoaru, was arrested at the Lagos airport while attempting to board an IberiaÂ flight to Madrid.
Uzoaru, who lived in Padova, Italy, for nine years before returning to the country last year, said he got back into the drug trade due to frustration resulting from lack of employment.
He said he had already been paid 2,000 Euros for his efforts, and would have been paid more money had he succeeded in taking the drug out of the country.
â€œAll I know is that it was a big mistake. It is not a good thing to be in this condition, but I was frustrated and could not explain how it happened again.
â€œWhen I came out of the prison, there was nothing for me to do. I even begged for transport money to get home. In the process, I met a contact that prepared another international passport for me because NDLEA seized my first passport.
â€œI would have been paid 2,000 Euros but unfortunately I was caught again. It is a mistake and I regret everythingâ€ he lamented.
NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Ahmadu Giade, saidÂ Uzoaruâ€™s case would have been prevented if the court had sentenced him to 15 years as stipulated by the Act.
According to him, â€œthis unfortunate situation where drug convicts get re-cycled is avoidable; the re-arrest of the ex-convict is an indication that light sentences do not deter.
â€œThis is a collective responsibility and we must all work towards a drug-free Nigeria of our dream because a crime that is highly lucrative requires stiff penalty to enforce complianceâ€.
Aside from the two suspects, five others were also arrested at the airport for attempting to smuggle various quantities of drugs out of the country.