BARELY a week after three Nigerians meant for hajj were nabbed in Saudi Arabia over drug smuggling where in that country the penalty for such crime is the death sentence by beheading, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) may just have saved the life of another Nigerian intending drug smuggler.This is just as the agency also saved another from the death penalty for same crime in China.
Officials of the anti narcotics agency arrested a 55-year-old female pilgrim to Medina, Saudi Arabia to perform the annual pilgrimage after tested positive to narcotic ingestion at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja and a 37-year-old father who inserted 7 wraps of cocaine into his anus en route to China from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos.
NDLEA commander at the Abuja airport, Hamisu Lawan who said that the female suspect, Mrs Binuyo Basira Iyabo has so far excreted seventy-six (76) pellets of substances found to be cocaine told newsmen that was immediately placed under observation
“Mrs Binuyo was arrested during the outward screening of passengers on an Emirate flight to Medina through Dubai. She has so far excreted seventy-six (76) pellets of drugs that tested positive for cocaine. Meanwhile, she is still under observation until the drugs are completely expelled” Hamisu stated.
Mrs Binuyo hails from Irepodun local government area of Kwara State. She is married with three children and a trader at Dosumu market, Lagos. In her statement, she agreed to smuggle the drugs for a fee.
“I am a trader in Lagos, married with three children. I wanted to expand my cosmetic business but I have no money. My sponsor offered to foot my expenses to Saudi on pilgrimage. I was excited until I was asked to take drugs along. I wanted to decline but considering the offer of a million Naira, I accepted. I swallowed the drugs in Lagos and took flight to Abuja on my way to Medina but I was caught in the process” she stated.
At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, officials of NDLEA also intercepted the 37-year-old with dual citizen ship of Nigeria and Mali, Diara Sauduo also known as Okpalanem Henry, who inserted seven wraps of cocaine weighing 355 grammes inside his anus.
He was apprehended during outward screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight to Hong Kong, China through Addis Ababa.
NDLEA commander at the airport, Ahmadu Garba said that the suspect who hails from Imo State holds a dual citizenship of Nigeria and Mali.
“An arrest has been made of a suspect travelling to Hong Kong, China. He hails from Imo State but was travelling with a Malian international passport. The name on his passport is Diara Sauduo while his Nigerian name is Okpalanem Henry. The case is under investigation” the commander stated.
The suspect who expelled seven wraps of cocaine on his way to China where drug trafficking is punishable by death did not show any form of remorse. In his words, “I know that there is capital punishment for Drug trafficking in China but I was optimistic of safe passage. Unfortunately, I was caught with only seven wraps. Maybe that is my destiny. I am married with three children”.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.) expressed satisfaction with the arrest stating that it is a product of diligence and vigilance.
“The arrest of the suspects is commendable. We will continue to be on the alert in protecting all exit and entry points from drug trafficking organizations. I am glad that the suspects were arrested here thus preventing them from untimely death and also protecting the image of our country from disrepute” he stated.
The NDLEA boss urged members of the public to join in the anti-narcotics campaign and avoid drug trafficking and other activities capable of undermining their good name and strong moral principles. He assured that investigation was ongoing in the reported arrest of Kwara pilgrim in Medina by Saudi authorities.