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How Edo politician got nabbed with over 200g of cocaine . ‘I needed money to contest election’

Mr.  Ayortor was intercepted at the NDLEA centre screening area of the airport with the aid of a scanning machine when he tested positive to…

Mr.  Ayortor was intercepted at the NDLEA centre screening area of the airport with the aid of a scanning machine when he tested positive to drugs ingestion while attempting to export 2.120 kilograms of cocaine he allegedly swallowed. The pharmacist was about to board a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt before he was arrested. Head of Public Affairs of the NDLEA, Mr Mitchell Ofoyeju, said the suspect is one of the high profile people nabbed by anti-narcotic officials at the airport in recent times.

Speaking exclusively to Weekly Trust, Mr Ayortor said he taught at Baptist High School, Benin City, Edo State before going to the United States where he studied pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin. He returned to Nigeria in 2006 and in 2007, he contested a seat in the Edo State House of Assembly but lost. He said he had since been nursing the ambition to become a member of the Edo State House of Assembly.

“I contested the 2007 House of Assembly election in Edo State and lost. I also lost all my savings as a practising pharmacist in that election. Now, the coast is clear and I am being favoured to run in 2011 in my party. That was how I got involved in this mess. I needed to reposition myself for the 2011 election financially. I thought that with my position and appearance, there will be no problem at the screening at the airport. I do not know where to start from here,” Ayortor said.

Ayortor who hails from Orhionmhon Local Government Area of Edo south senatorial district, said this was his first trip with illicit drugs and he only wanted the proceeds to pave way for himself as a lawmaker in the state House of Assembly. He said though he laments his arrest, he solicited leniency from the agency as he was only aspiring to become a legislator so as to assist the less privileged, the weak, women and children.

Ayortor who is of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), said he got the nod from the leaders of his party in Orhionmhon local government to contest election in 2011 as a prospective member of the State House of Assembly from the area. But when contacted, the Chairman of the PDP in the area, Mr Lawrence Igbinosum, denied knowing Ayortor. The chairman denied anointing any person in that name to aspire for any elective position from the area.

Confirming the arrest, NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Alhaji Hamza Umar, said that the case is under investigation and that follow-up operation on the case has been positive. He said crack detectives from the agency have been on the trail of the syndicate linked to Ayortor’s involvement in drugs, adding, “a follow-up operation into the case is yielding very positive results and at the appropriate time, more facts shall be released to the public,” Hamza stated.

Hamza said after Ayortor was placed under observation, he excreted 100 wraps of powdery substances that tested positive to cocaine weighing 2.120 kilograms. The commander said the quantity makes Ayortor the highest drug ingesting suspect since January 2010. He lamented that Ayortor who is a practicing pharmacist should have teamed up with the agency to campaign against trading and consumption of illicit drugs rather than being a courier, adding, “I just hope that the pharmaceutical society will take appropriate action against him in addition to the wrath of the law we shall make him to face,” Hamza said.  

Commenting on the arrest, Chairman and Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Mallam Ahmadu Giade, assured that the Agency is determined to expose anybody dealing in narcotic drugs under any guise. In addition to their exposure, Giade also stressed that they will be appropriately charged to court under the NDLEA Act. “We do not look at faces in conducting drug screening and we are not moved by credentials. Whoever is dealing in narcotics shall be exposed and prosecuted in line with the Agency’s Act,” Giade warned.

Giade assured that the suspect will soon be charged to court. It will be recalled that the NDLEA had recently arrested and paraded a doctorate degree holder, an ex-councillor and a family of four at the Lagos airport for allegedly getting involved in drug trafficking. Operatives of the agency have been directed to ensure strict enforcement of anti narcotic laws in the country to ensure a drug free society.

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