Hardly any week goes by at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos without witnessing the arrest of suspected drug couriers as two suspects, Ugochukwu Nwafor and Chidozie Okonkwo were recently arrested by law enforcement agents there for attempting to smuggle 2.880 kg of a substance believed to be cocaine out of the country.
The duo were found to have ingested 175 wraps of the hard drug during the screening of outbound passengers on a British Airways flight to London.
According to the commander of the National Drug Law Emnforcement Agency at the MMIA, Mr. Hamza Umar, while confirming the arrest, said the suspects were caught after an alarm was triggered by the scanning machines.
“The suspects tested positive to drug ingestion and were placed under observation. Nwafor ingested 73 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.395kg while Okonkwo ingested 102 wraps weighing 1.485kg. They were detected on the same flight,” Hamza said.
Nwafor, 37, a phone dealer at the computer village, Ikeja, who resides at Igando, said a friend lured him into the business. “I used to be a successful businessman until I made a wrong investment three years ago in which I lost over N3.5m in China. As a result of the loss, I became indebted and was lured into drug trafficking by a friend,” Nwafor confessed.
Okonkwo, who claimed to have a Master’s degree in Innovative Management from the British Institute of Technology and E-Commerce in London and resides in East London blamed his lack of a job for his present predicament: “I was only trying to make ends meet. I live in East London where I had my post-graduate studies but joblessness turned me into another man. It was a tough decision for me to smuggle drugs but I really needed the £5000 I was offered. I feel bad that things have turned this way for me. It is like a dream.”
Both suspects who are said to be cooperating with narcotic investigators, would have been paid £4,000 (Nwafor) and £5,000 (Okonkwo), respectively had they successfully trafficked the drugs into Britain.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade attributed the involvement of a master’s degree holder in drug trafficking to moral decadence. “Parents should inculcate good morals in their children; I urge members of the public to eschew drug trafficking by joining the anti-drug abuse and trafficking crusade. Arrangements are in place for the suspects to be charged in line with the NDLEA Act,” he said.
Our goverment should make another law on drug traffiking. The penalty is not something to fear two to three year in prison is noting compared to saudi arabia our goverment should something fast.