A 32-year-old suspected drug trafficker based in Liberia, Maduabuchi Chinedu, has been arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency with 9.30 kilogrammes of cocaine estimated at over N2.7bn.
The suspect, who hails from Obaha Okigwe village, in the Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State, lives in Liberia, where he works as a miner.
A spokesperson for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, on Thursday, said he was arrested during an inward search of an Ethiopian Airline flight 911 at the Abuja airport on Wednesday.
He noted that the 9.30kg cocaine was in candy wraps and concealed in his luggage.
Babafemi said, “During his preliminary interview, Chinedu claimed he left Nigeria in 2018 to settle in Liberia, where he now has a residence permit. He, however, added that economic pressure and the need to raise money to treat his mother for an eye problem led him to seek help from a friend in Liberia, who introduced him to another friend based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who eventually gave him the drug to deliver in Abuja for a fee of N1m.
“He added that he was initially scheduled to deliver the drug in Ivory Coast, but was rerouted to Nigeria at the last minute.”
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Marwa (retd.), commended the officers and men of the agency for working in synergy with other security agencies at the airport.
He charged them to always be “two steps ahead of merchants of death who are desperate to make money at the expense of the image of the country and wellbeing of other Nigerians.”