The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has recorded another success in its war against drug trafficking following its seizure of 6.6 kilograms of cocaine from two suspected drug traffickers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The narcotics agency put the estimated street value of the seized cocaine at N59 million.
The suspects – Michael Okwuma and Chidiebere Nwajagu – allegedly smuggled the drugs into the country from Brazil.
While Okwuma, a married father of one, hid the drugs inside wooden frames, Nwajagu was said to have concealed same in cartons of whiskey bottles.
They were intercepted by the NDLEA during an inward screening of passengers on board a South African Airways and an Emirates flight at the MMIA.
Okwuma, 31, in his confession, said he was introduced to the illicit business of drug trafficking by a Nigerian in Brazil, who was a father-figure to him and was paid $3,000 (about N600, 000).
He said, “I live in Sao Paulo with my wife and child. I work in a supermarket but my salary is not sufficient to take care of my family. The man that gave me the drugs is like a father to me.
“He usually renders me financial assistance. He was the one that bought my ticket and gave me the $3,000. I was very happy for the gesture. He also gave me a bag containing children’s clothes and wooden frames to take to Nigeria. When I got to Lagos, NDLEA officers opened the bag and found the cocaine”.
Nwajagu, 30, said he smuggled the cocaine to raise funds in order to start a new business, adding that a friend in Lagos introduced him to the drug trafficking trade.
He said, “I was in my village in Anambra doing menial jobs to sustain myself. I came to Lagos on a short visit when I met an old friend. He was very nice to me as he used to give me money, buy me drinks and food.
“He told me to travel to Brazil and help him bring a bag back to Nigeria. He said he would give me enough money to help me start a business. That was how I travelled out of Nigeria. On arrival, the bag was searched and the cocaine was found inside packs of Irish whiskey. I never knew I would end up this way”.
Confirming the arrests and seizure of the drugs, the Lagos Airport Commander of NDLEA, Mr. Ahmadu Garba, said “Okwuma was found in possession of 3.4kg of cocaine hidden inside wooden frames and Nwajagu Chidiebere was found with 3.2kg of cocaine hidden inside packs of Irish whiskey. The drug has an estimated street value of N59m.
“Okwuma took off from Guarulhos International Airport Sao Paulo, Brazil on a South African Airways flight through Johannesburg to Lagos. Nwajagu Chidiebere also left Brazil on an Emirates flight through United Arab Emirates to Lagos”.
Mr. Garba said both suspects will soon be charged to court.