By Kenneth Ehigiator
A drug trafficking suspect who said he needed money to bury his late father, ran into trouble as he was arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, with 62 wraps of 750 grammes of narcotics, which he swallowed in Benin City.
The suspect, Tony Ubebe, based in Italy, travelled from Benin to catch a flight to Europe when he was caught.
He said: â€œMy late fatherâ€™s corpse is in the mortuary and I need money for burial. I am confused because of the responsibility on me.â€
The NDLEA also arrested a caterer, Olawoye Oluwaseun, who created a scene at the airport, shouting at the top of her voice that she had no illicit drugs on her.
Oluwaseun was to travel to London aboard a Virgin Atlantic Airways flight when she was arrested by NDLEA operatives.
On screening, Oluwaseun was later found to have ingested 608 grammes of narcotics, which she expelled in the presence of the operatives.
Oluwaseun, a single mother from Lagos State, confessed to have ingested 50 wraps of cocaine for a fee of 3,000 pounds.
On why she initially engaged in a verbal war with NDLEA operatives, knowing full well that she had illicit drug on her, Oluwaseun said: â€œIt was a tough and difficult moment for me when the officer told me that I am positive for drug ingestion. I was shocked and devastated. When I considered the shame and vanity of my action, I did not even know when I engaged them in a hot argument that I had no drugs on me.
â€œI had financial problems because my mother has been very sick. I was in a saloon dressing my hair when I got a call that my mother was sick. Suddenly, I burst into tears because all I had on me was my transport money home and nothing more. It was while I was crying that a woman came to console me. She collected my phone number and gave me five thousand naira. That was few months ago. I did not know that she will lead me into this trouble. I feel bad.â€
The agency also arrested two other suspects, Madubuokwu Cyprian and Anoruo Uba Nick for ingesting 1.590kg and 1.630kg of narcotics, respectively.
I sold my land for drug biz
Mudubuoko claimed to have sold his landed property and invested about N3.8 million in the drug trade, and was arrested while attempting to board an Iberia flight to Munich, Germany.
He said: â€œI sold my land to buy the drug. I gave the boy N 3.8 million and collected the drugs in a polythene bag. I ingested all 78 wraps hoping to make a fortune but I was caught.â€
Similarly, Uba , a computer dealer in Togo, was about boarding an Alitalia flight to Italy with 89 wraps of narcotics when he was caught. He would have been paid $2,000 if he had succeeded in taking the illicit drug out of the country.
Reacting to the arrests, Airport Commander of the NDLEA, Alhaji Hamza Umar, said if drug barons would not stop dealing in drugs, the NDLEA would in turn continue to arrest and prosecute culprits.
According to him: â€œWe have a statutory responsibility to fight drug crimes. We hope that drug barons will turn a new leave. But if they fail, we shall have no choice than to arrest them, seize their drugs and prosecute them.â€