A mild drama played out at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, when a 48 year-old woman reportedly threw up 15 wraps of white, powdery substances that tested positive for cocaine.
The woman, whose name was given as Saidat Hassan and a mother of three, was arrested at the central screening section of the departure hall of the airport during the outward screening of passengers on an Egypt Airline flight to Jedda, Saudi Arabia, en-route Cairo.
She was immediately arrested by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) operatives, who later discovered that she had ingested 80 wraps of cocaine weighing 904 grammes.
In a statement on Friday, the NDLEA quoted its Abuja airport commander, Hamisu Lawan, as saying efforts were made to protect Mrs. Hassan from any harm resulting from drug ingestion.
“As soon as we discovered that the suspected wraps she vomited tested positive for cocaine, we took measures to ensure her safety by preventing any harm that may result from drug ingestion”, said Mr. Lawan.
“While under observation, she excreted sixty-five similar wraps. In all, she ingested 80 wraps of cocaine weighing 904 grammes; her case is under investigation.”
Mrs. Hassan, a native of Idiroko, Ogun State, who resides in Lagos Island, in her statement to the NDLEA, claimed to be a business woman dealing in clothing materials at Balogun market”.
“I used to buy my goods from Ghana. I was introduced into the drug business by a friend and business partner. The drug was brought from Abidjan, Ivory Coast and we were to share the proceeds equally.
“Until my arrest, I never knew that the cocaine I ingested would have led to my death in Saudi Arabia. I thank God for keeping me alive”, she said.
The NDLEA chairman, Col. Mohammad Abdallah (retd.), who expressed satisfaction with the arrest of Mrs. Hasaan, said her action negates every principle of good parenting.
“This is gross ineptitude on the part of a mother saddled with the responsibility of nurturing her children into future leaders”, said Mr. Abdallah.
“I am glad that she did not die from drug ingestion and she is alive to face trial. Besides escaping the risk of swallowing cocaine, this arrest also saved her because drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia is punishable by death.
“She will soon be charged to court because the law must run its full course. I expect the general public to learn lessons from this case that drug trafficking leads to pain, ignominy and untimely death”.
The NDLEA boss said his approach to drug control is both pragmatic and scientific.
“Every action taken must be based on best global principles while lessons learnt will influence our implementation strategies in our day to day operations.
“The Agency will continue to sensitize members of the public by presenting facts and figures of drug trafficking as well as the larger picture of its ruin and devastation”, he said.