The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) has arrested one Okeke Uchenna Aloy Pascal, a ‘fugitive’ with 13kg of cocaine ‘cleverly’ concealed in packet shirts.
It was the first seizure recorded by the command in the year 2021 after making a total seizure of 3,413.463kgs of illicit drugs comprising Cocaine, methamphetamine, Cannabis Sative, Khat leaves, Ephedrine and psychotropic substances in the year 2020.
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Also no fewer than 60 suspects made up of 52 males and eight females were arrested last year, according to the NDLEA commander at the airport, Garba Ahmadu.
Ahmadu who briefed newsmen on Tuesday expressed concern that the drug peddlers seem to be getting more emboldened in their acts with the arrest of Uchenna on January 6, 2021 with ‘Grade A drug.’
Incidentally, Uchenna, 30, was initially arrested in 2014 for the same offence with his case still pending in court but he reportedly jumped bail only to commit the same offence.
He was arrested last week during the inward screening of Ethiopian Airline passenger flight from Brazil.
“The said Okeke Uchenna is a second time drug offender and also a fugitive wanted by Federal High Court Lagos for jumping bail for a drug related offence in 2014,” the commander said.
Also, one Azubuike Jeremiah Emeka was also arrested on January 8 with 7.8kg of cocaine neatly concealed in embroidery (tailoring) material. He was also arrested during inward clearance of passengers on ET flight from the same destination.
On the same day, one Abdul Musa, a freight forwarder, was arrested with 117 grams of cocaine destined for India at SAHCO export cargo shed. The drug was said to have been wrapped and concealed in hair relaxer labeled ozone.
The commander said all the suspects would be charged to court soon, describing the seizure early in the year as worrisome because “they are significant seizures and the drugs being seized are all Class A drugs which are cocaine.”
According to him, the last five seizures made from the end of the year till date are cocaine.
He said throughout 2020 despite the COVID-19 lockdown and passenger flight restrictions, there was no month that the command did not make seizure.
According to the figure of the 2020 seizure, the command intercepted 51.404 kg of cocaine; 103.84 Kg of cannabis sativa; 19.935kg of methamphetamine; 19.811 kg of ephedrine; 2993.350 kg of khat leaves.
Others are 158.632 kg of tramadol; 42.0 kg of diazepam and 24.491 kg of nitrazepam.
The commander explained that the successes recorded last year and in recent times were achieved “through the selfless sacrifice exhibited by the officers and men of the command even in the face of serious dangers/challenges.”
He said the leadership provided by the NDLEA management and the partnership with UK border force, British National Crime Agency which paved way for the creation of Joint Border Task Force Project (JBTF) which has transformed the NDLEA MMIA Command.