By Sedara Oluwadara
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested Okafor Emmanuel, an ex-footballer, at the Lagos airport over alleged cocaine trafficking.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, said Emmanuel arrived at the Lagos airport from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight with “1.40kg crack cocaine concealed in his bags”.
He said anti-narcotic officers discovered that Emmanuel concealed the illicit substance in the handles of his bags and padded the top edges of same with the drug.“
During preliminary interview, Okafor disclosed that he was an ex-footballer with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH Enugu FC, where he played for four seasons before leaving for Sri Lanka in 2014,” the statement reads.He further stated that he moved to Brazil from Sri Lanka after playing for two seasons but could not advance his football career in Brazil due to lack of official documents.”
Babafemi said another Brazilian returnee named Ibeh Chinedu Damian was arrested on the same day upon arrival at the Lagos airport from Sao Paulo, Brazil via an Ethiopian Airlines flight.
He said Damian was found to have concealed “3.20kg black cocaine popularly known as Lucci in false bottoms of his two bags”.According to Babafemi, Damian said he was to be paid N3.1 million on successful delivery of the drug to Nigeria.
In a related development, Babafemi said an attempt by Pamela Odin, a 32-year-old businesswoman, to transport 2.150kg tablets of rohypnol through the Abuja airport to Istanbul, Turkey, was thwarted by NDLEA operatives.He said Odin was arrested on September 23, while attempting to board a Turkish Airlines flight with the drug concealed inside pepper and packed among foodstuffs.
According to Babafemi, Odin said she operates a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey but came to Nigeria to see her relatives and buy food items for her restaurant business.
The NDLEA spokesperson also said two Malians, named Mohammed Demoele and Coulibaly Maliki, were arrested by officers of the agency’s marine unit at Ebute Ero jetty in Lagos for allegedly attempting to export 34.2kg bottles of Akuskura, a new psychoactive substance, to Mali through Cotonou, Benin Republic.Babafemi added that the agency also arrested other suspects in separate raids across the country.“
In Taraba state, operatives on Thursday 29th Sept. intercepted 100 compressed blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 73.500kg, concealed inside animal feeds, while their counterparts in Ogun state on Saturday 1st October arrested a physically challenged drug dealer, Abdulraham Mohammed, with 104kg of compressed Cannabis Sativa recovered from him,” the statement adds.“
Another suspect, Ms. Safiya Bello, was also arrested in Shagamu area of the state with 27kg of the psychotropic substance.”
He added that Buba Marwa, NDLEA chairman, commended the officers for their efforts and urged them to “intensify ongoing offensive action against drug cartels and traffickers wherever they may be located in any part of Nigeria”.-