A suspected smuggler arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency attached to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, has told investigators that he took to drug trafficking to send his children to school.
The 48-year-old suspect, Chukwuenyem Obi, was apprehended alongside a mother of seven, Ifeoma Ezeano and two others – Gilbert Kelvin and Michael Okafor– with narcotics weighing 41.6 kilogrammes.
The NDLEA said the street value of the drugs was N374.6m.
South Africa-based Chukwuenyem said he smuggled the drug to raise funds for his three children, who had dropped out from school.
He said, “I struggle to feed my family by selling foodstuffs. At present, my capital is so small that the business is almost moribund. A friend introduced me to drug trafficking. He promised to pay me 15,000 South African rand. My children are out of school because of my inability to pay their tuition. This is my first time of dealing in drugs and I regret everything. I pray to be out of this problem.”
Ezeano, who sold foodstuffs in South Africa, claimed to have been tricked into the crime by a man he had approached for financial assistance to expand her business.
She said, “I have seven children and I take care of them from the sales of foodstuffs. I came to Nigeria to buy foodstuffs like melon, vegetables and other local spices. There is a man in South Africa that I went to request financial assistance to enable me expand my business. He called me that somebody would give me some food items for him. When I got to the airport, NDLEA officers detected methamphetamine in the package given to me by the man.”
Okafor had 5kg of cocaine concealed inside silicon sealants on his way from Brazil. The 44-year-old music producer, who was based in Asaba, told narcotic investigators that he had gone to Brazil to promote his music label.
“I am a music producer. I travelled to Brazil to promote my music. I had a successful deal but on my way back, I accepted a bag from a friend I met in Sao Paulo to take to Nigeria. When I got here, 29 out of the 34 sealants were found to contain cocaine. This is a major setback for my career.”
In his confession, 37-year-old Kelvin said he was disappointed that the drug he had hidden inside a solar lamp was discovered.