Fatoke Abiodun, Nigeria’s veteran guitarist, who played alongside legendary musician, King Sunny Ade for three decades, has been arrested with cocaine, the anti-drug agency said on Saturday.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, said that Abiodun was arrested on 1 January while attempting to board an Air France flight to Italy at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
“We have made the first arrest in the new year. The suspect, a guitarist by name Fatoke Abiodun was found with 1.575kg of cocaine. The drug was discovered in the false bottom of his luggage during the outward screening of passengers to Italy,” said ,NDLEA Commander the Lagos Airport, Mr Hamza Umar
The agency said the 62-year old grandfather with four wives and many children, is helping narcotic investigators handling the case.“Fatoke has owned up to the alleged crime blaming his involvement on financial hardship,” said the agency’s spokesperson, Mitchell Ofoyeju.
NDLEA quoted Fatoke as saying: “I played for King Sunny Ade for 30 years before I was unceremoniously retired in 2007. I was unprepared and without severance money I saw the bitter side of life.”
He said his drug trafficking attempt is his first as he did it out of frustration.
“Because at my age I could not provide for my family. I am ashamed of myself,” he was quoted as saying.
NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade described the involvement of Fatoke in drug trafficking as sad and disappointing.
“It is sad and disappointing for a grandfather to be involved in drug trafficking. This is a bad legacy to his children. This is a good start for the agency in the year and a sign that the days ahead will be tough for drug traffickers. The agency will continue to handle every case in accordance with the NDLEA Act,” Giade was quoted as saying.
The suspect will be charged to court for unlawful exportation and possession of narcotics, NDLEA said.