Luck has run out for a cleric and General Overseer of a church who was arrested with wraps of drugs at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
According to the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, the pastor had on him at the time of arrest 54 wraps of cannabis which he confessed he intended to use during his three weeks of crusade in Kenya.
The pastor, who is the General Overseer of Christ Living Hope Church, Rev. Ugochukwu Emmanuel Ekwem was on his way to Kenya for a three-week crusade in Nairobi.
His church is said to be headquartered in Isuaniocha, Mgbakwu Road, Awka, Awka North LGA, Anambra State with two other branches in Lagos and Abuja.
He was said to have been arrested on Monday 7th March, during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi via Addis Ababa.
NDLEA, in its statement signed by Femi Babafemi, Head of Media and Advocacy, said, “When tested, the 54 sticks proved positive to cannabis. The clergyman confessed during preliminary interview that he packed that quantity of illicit substance on his body to use during his three weeks crusade in Kenya.”
He said on the same day, another passenger, Nnakeanyi Chukwuka King who arrived the airport on Ethiopian Airlines flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa was intercepted during the inward clearance of passengers at the E-Arrival Hall of the MMIA.
“During a search of his luggage, forty (40) parcels of Cocaine concealed inside bottles of body cream with a gross weight of 9.70kg were recovered from the suspect.
“Three days later, Wednesday 9th March, another passenger on Ethiopian Airlines flight to Italy, Mr. Edo Blessing was intercepted at the Departure Hall of the airport with 2, 090 tablets of Tramadol 225mg and Flunitrazepam. The suspect who hails from Edo state but lives in Italy claimed ownership of the recovered psychotropic substances.
“Also on the same day, operatives arrested a freight agent, Rafiu Abbas at the NAHCO Export Shed of the airport when he presented a cargo containing 19.15kg cannabis going to London. The illicit substance was concealed inside plastic containers labelled as “African Dishes” and packed in a bag.”
The agency also said that a 63-year-old Vincent Obimma was on Friday 11th March arrested with 350grams of cocaine and 150grams of heroin by NDLEA operatives at a park in the Apapa seaport corridor in Lagos.
NDlEA stated, “The drugs were hidden in industrial torch packets heading to Kano, Kano state.
Meanwhile, a drug dealer in Kaduna state, James Okenwa has been arrested in a follow up operation at Central Market, Kaduna. He admitted the ownership of 1,807 bottles of cough syrup with codeine that were earlier recovered from two suspects at tollgate. At the point of his arrest, another 152 bottles of the drug were recovered from his vehicle. He has accepted ownership of all the 1,959 bottles of the codeine syrup.
“In Yobe state, two fake security agents: Akalonu Justin and Azimbi Festus who were coming from Onitsha and heading to Maiduguri, Borno state have been arrested with 25 blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 12 .5kg and 1, 598 bottles of Codeine Syrup weighing 159.8 Liters, while 85kg of cannabis was also recovered from the warehouse of a notorious drug dealer in Pawari area of Damaturu, the state capital on Thursday 10th March.
“In Anambra state, a total of 38,605 tablets of assorted opioids were recovered from a 29-year-old drug dealer, Awoke Friday at Nkwelle junction, Onitsha on Friday 11th March with the support of men of the Nigeria Police.
“While commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Apapa Port, Kaduna, Yobe and Anambra Commands of the Agency for the impressive seizures and arrests in the past week, Chairman/ Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) charged them and their colleagues across the country to stay focussed and intensify efforts to rid Nigeria of illicit drugs and substances.”