By Emma Njoku
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested an ex-footballer, Okafor Emmanuel Junior, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, on his arrival from Sao Paulo, Brazil, via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on board an Ethiopian airlines flight with 1.40 kilograms of crack cocaine concealed in his bags.
Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr. Femi Babafemi, who made the disclosure in a statement, yesterday, said the 33-year-old indigene of Arochukwu Local Government, Abia State was arrested on Monday, September 26, 2022 after anti-narcotic officers discovered he concealed the illicit substance in the handles of his bags and padded the top edges of same with the Class A drug.
The statement further reads: “During preliminary interview, Okafor disclosed that he was an ex-footballer with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu FC, where he played for four seasons before leaving for Sri Lanka in 2014.
He further stated that he moved to Brazil from Sri Lanka after playing for two seasons, but could not advance his football career in Brazil due lack of official documents.
“Another Brazilian returnee, Ibeh Chinedu Damian, was arrested the same day upon his arrival at the Lagos airport from Sao Paulo, Brazil, via Ethiopian airlines flight. Ibeh, who hails from Ahiazu, Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, was found to have concealed 3.20kg black cocaine, popularly known as ‘Lucci’ in false bottoms of his two bags.
In his statement, he said he was to be paid N3,100,000 on successful delivery of the drug in Nigeria.”
In the same vein, an attempt by a 32-year-old businesswoman, Mrs. Pamela Odin, to traffic 2.150kg tablets of rohypnol through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja to Istanbul, Turkey has been thwarted by NDLEA operatives.
The mother of one was arrested on Friday, September 23, while attempting to board a Turkish airline flight with the drug concealed inside pepper and packed among foodstuff.
The indigene of Afiesere village, Ughelli North Local Government, Delta State, said she operates a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey, but came to Nigeria to see her relatives and buy food items for her restaurant business.
Meanwhile, two Malians: Mohammed Demoele, 38, and Coulibaly Maliki, 56, have been arrested by officers of the Marine Unit of NDLEA at Ebute Ero jetty in Lagos, for attempting to export 34.2kg bottles of new psychoactive substance, Akuskura, to Mali, through Cotonou, Benin Republic.
In Taraba State, operatives last Thursday, intercepted 100 compressed blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 73.500kg, concealed inside animal feeds, while their counterparts in Ogun State, on Saturday, arrested a physically challenged drug dealer, Abdulraham Mohammed, with 104kg of compressed cannabis sativa recovered from him.
Another suspect, Ms. Safiya Bello, was also arrested in the Sagamu area of the state with 27kg of the psychotropic substance.
Chairman, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) commended the officers and men of seaports operations, MMIA, Ogun, and Taraba Commands, for their resilience, while charging them and others across the country to intensify ongoing offensive action against drug cartels and traffickers, wherever they may be located.