An operative of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Ali Adamu, and a 48-year-old woman, Ijeoma Ojukwu, have been arrested in connection with the discovery of 2.2 kilogrammes of drug that tested positive for cocaine.
The woman, according to the NDLEA, claims to be a relative of the Ojukwus of Anambra State, while the drug, estimated at about N20m was sent by one Agina Ejike from Brazil.
It was learnt that Adamu and Ojukwu were arrested with three others – Victor Umeh, Uche Igwelo and Egbuche Osita – for assisting in the smuggling of the drug into the country.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the drug was discovered in an abandoned bag at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, during an inward screening of passengers on board an Emirates flight.
Our correspondent learnt that Ojukwu and the three other suspects had met with Adamu at the airport to facilitate the collection of the bag when they were rounded up. An Acura MDX vehicle reportedly driven by the suspects to the airport was also impounded.
Ojukwu, who also hails from Anambra State, said she had come to collect the bag on behalf of her brother.
She said, “I have a restaurant in Brazil where I sell African food. I am a relative of the popular Ojukwu family and married with three children. My brother came from Brazil and could not find his bag. It was in the process of trying to get the bag out that we were arrested.”
Thirty-six-year-old Igwelo, a graduate of Public Administration, told investigators that she had accompanied Ojukwu to the airport to assist her in the recovery of the bag.
“Ijeoma (Ojukwu) met me that I should help her to collect a bag at the airport. We were trying to get the bag when NDLEA officers arrested us,” she said.
Osita, 37, said, “I am a 400-level student studying English Education at a university. My friend, Victor Umeh, asked me to help in claiming the luggage at the airport. I was given a letter of authority and other documents of the passenger that came with the luggage. I was arrested in the process of trying to collect the bag.”
The NDLEA Commander at the MMIA, Ahmadu Garba, said Osita had come to the airport with an authority letter, mandating him to collect the bag, adding that the drug was discovered in the process.
He said, “This is the first drug seizure for the year. The drug was neatly packed in four parcels concealed in false bottom of four female handbags. Further investigation led to more arrests, including the NDLEA official.”
The agency’s spokesperson, Mitchell Ofoyeju, said Adamu had yet to confess to the crime. He said investigation had commenced into the case to determine the level of the suspects’ culpability before they would be prosecuted.
“The drug is worth over N20m,” he added.
The NDLEA acting Chairman, Mrs. Roli Bode-George, said, “The NDLEA will not compromise its high standard of operation. We are working very hard with international and local collaborators in projecting the image of Nigeria in drug control programmes.”