NDLEA Intercepts N2.7bn Cocaine at Abuja Airport


Michael Olugbode in Abuja

A 32-year-old Liberia-based Nigerian, Maduabuchi Chinedu, has been arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) with 9.3 kilogrammes of cocaine worth over N2.7 billion on the street.

According to a statement by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, the suspect hails from Obaha Okigwe village, Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State but resides in Liberia where he works as a miner.

Babafemi said Chinedu was arrested during an inward joint search of Ethiopian Airlines flight 911 at the Abuja airport on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 with 9.3 kilogrammes cocaine with each pellet wrapped in candies wraps and concealed in his luggage.

He said during preliminary interrogation, Chinedu claimed he left Nigeria in 2018 to settle in Liberia where he now has a residence permit, but 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 N1 million.

Chinedu also confessed 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 NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), while commending the officers and men of the NAIA Command of the agency for their vigilance and working in synergy with other security agencies at the airport, charged them and their colleagues in other commands to always remain two steps ahead of merchants of death who are daily getting more desperate to make money at the expense of the image of the country and Nigerians’ wellbeing.