Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday, arrested Ijeoma Ojukwu, a niece to late politician, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu and three others over the importation of 2.24 kilogrammes of cocaine from Brazil.
In a statement issued in Lagos, spokesman for NDLEA, Mr. Ofoyeju Mitchell said: “The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is currently interrogating one of its operatives over alleged conspiracy to import cocaine from Brazil.
The investigation commenced after an abandoned luggage from Brazil was found to contain 2.24kg of cocaine at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos. Five suspects, including a staff of the NDLEA, Ali Bala Adamu have been arrested. Others are Ijeoma Ojukwu, a niece to late Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Victor Umeh, Uche Igwelo and Egbuche Fidelis Osiita.
NDLEA Commander at the Lagos airport, Mr. Ahmadu Garba said that the cocaine seizure was the first in the New Year.
“This is the first drug seizure for the year. On December 28, 2015, a bag with a tag bearing Agina Fidelis Ejike was abandoned at the arrival hall during inward screening of passengers on an Emirates flight. On January 1, 2016, one Egbuche Fidelis Osita came with authority letter mandating him to collect the bag. In the process, some white powdery substance weighing 2.24kg that tested positive for cocaine was discovered. The drug was neatly packed in four parcels concealed in false bottom of four female handbags. Further investigation led to more arrests,” Garba said.
He noted that preliminary investigation by the NDLEA revealed that Ijeoma Ojukwu, 48, who owns a restaurant in Brazil, was a suspected member of an international drug trafficking organization.
“She allegedly conspired with other suspects to collect the abandoned bag from the airport with the intent to recover the 2.24kg of cocaine. She was said to have contacted a staff of the NDLEA, Ali Bala on how to facilitate the collection of the bag at the airport. The Agency also impounded the Acura MDX vehicle that the suspects drove to the airport,” he added.
According to Ijeoma Ojukwu: “I have a restaurant in Brazil where I sell African food. I am from Anambra State and I am married with three children. My brother came from Brazil and could not find his bag. It was in the process of trying to get the bag out that we were arrested.”
Speaking on the arrest, Chairman of the NDLEA, Mrs. Roli Bode-George said the agency would prosecute whoever was found guilty.
“The NDLEA is following every lead professionally and will exploit more opportunities towards getting every culprit arrested. We have also expanded the scope of our investigation and everyone involved in this illegal importation of narcotics shall be diligently prosecuted. The Agency will continue to uphold the rule of law and dislodge drug trafficking organisations in the country,” Mrs Bode-George said.
“NDLEA will not compromise its high standard of operation. We are working very hard with international and local collaborators in projecting the image of Nigeria in drug control programmes,” she added.