By: Kingsley Omonobi
Abuja—A 56-year-old trafficker, Lawal Oyenuga, has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, while on a mission to deliver 400 grams of ‘Class A’ drug, concealed in a pair of black palm sandals, packed in luggage, en route Jeddah, via an Ethiopian Airways flight.
Oyenuga, who is a member of a major cocaine syndicate in Lagos, was arrested at the screening point of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
Mr. Femi Babafemi, NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, who revealed the arrest, yesterday, in Abuja, said a thorough examination of the sandals revealed they were used to conceal two parcels of cocaine weighing 400 grams.
He added that there was also a swift follow-up arrest at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Nov. 24 of a wanted notorious kingpin, Wasiu Sanni popularly known as ‘Teacher’.
This is barely a week after a 56-year-old widow and mother of four, Mrs Sidika Ajisegiri, was arrested at the Lagos airport while attempting to traffic 400 grams of cocaine to Saudi Arabia.
“She was scheduled to board a Qatar Airways flight with the drugs concealed in her footwear,” Babafemi stated.
According to Babafemi, Oyenuga claimed he was recruited to traffic the drug by Sanni popularly known as ‘Teacher’.
“He claimed that she was first given some pellets of cocaine to swallow but when she couldn’t do that, he was given the choice of concealing those found in the palm sandals.
“He said he resorted to the criminal trade to raise money to pay an examination fee for his daughter in Senior Secondary School Class 3,” Babafemi stated.
Babafemi added that NDLEA’s database showed that Sanni had been linked to some previous attempts to traffic cocaine to Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
He stated also that Sanni was earlier named as the one who recruited a BRT driver, Bolajoko Babalola for a Lagos socialite and hotel owner, Ademola Kazeem (a.k.a Alhaji Abdallah Kazeem) to traffic drugs to Dubai.
“Babalola was arrested on June 27 while taking 900 grams of cocaine to Dubai while Kazeem was nabbed on Thursday, Nov. 10, 10 days after he was declared wanted by the NDLEA.
“A follow-up operation in the early hours of Nov. 25 led to the arrest of the kingpin, ‘Teacher’ at his residence in Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
“’Teacher’ specialises in recruiting mules for drug barons in Lagos and its environs.
“The 64-year-old Sanni is a housing and property agent, with seven children and four wives, one of whom is now deceased,’’ he stated.
Babafemi added that in another follow-up operation, Hopewell Chukwuemeka, owner of seized 1.1kg of Indian hemp concealed in bottles of body cream headed for Dubai was arrested in Port Harcourt.
Chukwuemeka, arrested on Nov. 24 runs a boutique business in the Rivers capital city, he stated.
“At the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the move by a Brazilian returnee, Iroegbute Ejike Francis, 46, to smuggle 4kg cocaine soaked in towels and stuffed in his hand luggage, into the country, was foiled on Thursday Nov. 24, by NDLEA officers who arrested him, upon his arrival on a Qatar Airline flight from Brazil -Doha-Abuja.“