Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, have apprehended a Nigerian barber living in South Africa with 6.100 kilogrammes of powdery substance which tested positive to cocaine.
The NDLEA Airport commander, Mr Hamza Umar, said the discovery was made during the clearance of Arik Air passengers to South Africa. A statement signed by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Mr Mitchel Ofoyeju, stated that the drug had an estimated street value of N50 million
However, the 45-year-old suspect, Ozoh Chukwuemeka, who has lived in South Africa for 10 years, was said to have allegedly told narcotic investigators that he was made to believe the bag contained chemicals.
According to Ozoh, “a friend of mine in South Africa requested that I bring a bag containing chemicals from Nigeria to South Africa for 3,000 dollars. I asked him if it was drug, but he said it was just chemicals. “He paid for my return ticket and came to Nigeria. I am only struggling to take care of myself with my barbing business. If I had known that things will turn out this way I would have rejected the proposal. I have a daughter, but I am separated from my wife.”
Meanwhile, chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, described the suspect’s explanation as unacceptable. “In any case, ignorance is not an excuse and he will soon be arraigned under the NDLEA Act,” he stated. The release, however, assured that the suspect would soon be charged for unlawful exportation of cocaine as soon as investigation was concluded.