NDLEA Abuja Airport commander, Hamisu Lawan, confirming the arrests, said 32-year-old Ibeh was caught with 5.200kg of substances found to be methamphetamine hidden inside his luggage, while Onwurah, also of the same age, had ingested 1.235kg of substances that tested positive to cocaine.
The suspects, regretting their actions, told CRIME DIGEST how the search for greener pastures led them into drug trafficking. Ibeh reportedly left Nigeria in 2005 after his secondary education to Guinea Bissau and returned to Nigeria last January after a fruitless search for fortune.
The Anambra State native said, “When I left the country in 2005, I thought everything would be rosy. Unfortunately, this was never the case. I suffered hardship until my return to the country in January this. I now live in Lagos where I sell ladies’ clothes to earn a living. It was in Lagos that I met an old friend I knew in Guinea Bissau.
“He told me he was now an importer. During our discussion, he promised to make me one of his managers, managing his business in India. The agreement was for me to take a bag to India for $2,500 with all expenses paid. I was on my first trip when the methamphetamine was discovered in the bag he gave me.”
Onwurah, on his own part, ended up in an Algerian border detention facility while trying to cross into Europe.
He said, “I wanted to go to Europe in search of better job opportunities. Unfortunately for me, I was detained at the border detention facility in Algeria. I could not regain my freedom; I was totally at the mercy of the officials and had to rely on them for water and food.
“I remained there until a Nigerian man came and assisted me to regain my freedom. He bought me a plane ticket back to Nigeria; I was so grateful that I felt I owed him my life. When he asked me to smuggle drugs to enable him raise enough capital for me to settle down, I was glad to accept his offer. I did not even negotiate with him because of what he had done for me.”
Chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, urged members of the public to be self-driven and identify opportunities in their environment.
He said, “I want members of the public to support the campaign against drug trafficking. The story of these drug suspects is very sad. It is a warning that people should look before they leap. There are numerous opportunities in this country and I urge members of the public to shun drug trafficking.”
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