National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, apprehended four suspected drug traffickers including a Birmingham based cleaner with 6.822kg of narcotics worth N61 million.
The seized drugs consist of 4.193kgs of heroin and 2.629kg of cocaine destined for Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, Birmingham, United Kingdom, Rome and Mumbai, India.
NDLEA Commander at the Abuja airport, Hamisu Lawan, said those arrested were caught attempting to smuggle drugs out of the country. According to him, “four suspected drug traffickers have been apprehended with 6.822kg of cocaine and heroin. The suspects include Umeh Chidiebere Gabriel, 36, going to Birmingham with 479 grams of cocaine, Ozoike Kelechi John, 34, going to Rome through Addis Ababa with 2.8kg of heroin, Azubuike Francis Okwochukwu, 38, travelling to Addis Ababa with 1.393kg of heroin and Okoro Godfrey Ogbonna, 42, going to Mumbai with 2.150kg of cocaine.”
Gabriel, who lives in Birmingham, United Kingdom, was arrested at the boarding gate of the airport after testing positive for drug ingestion, while trying to board an Air France flight to the United Kingdom through Charles De Gaulle, Paris.
While under observation, he excreted 30 wraps of cocaine weighing 479 grams. He claimed that the drugs were given to him by a man he met at his village. The suspect hails from Udi village in Enugu State and is married with a daughter. “They promised to take care of me financially after successfully delivering the drugs in London. I feel very sad,” he stated.
Another suspect, Ozoike Kelechi John, a trader at Alaba international market, Ojo, Lagos, was arrested while trying to check in a bag found to contain 2.8kg of heroin. The drug was cleverly concealed inside the passenger’s luggage. NDLEA agents made the discovery during the screening of passengers on an Ethiopian airline flight to Rome via Addis Ababa. John hails from Enugu State. He is single and an importer of electronics from Hong Kong.
“I needed more money to expand my business and that was why I had to smuggle drugs. They promised to pay me 10,150 euros upon safe delivery of the drugs in Rome, but I was given 1,200 euros as part payment.”
Ogbonna from Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, was arrested with 2.150kg of cocaine at the screening point during checking in of passengers on a Kenyan airways flight to India through Nairobi. Ogbonna is an importer of hair extensions from India to Nigeria. He is married with two kids and hails from Enugu State. He claimed that he was given the drugs by a friend he met in Lagos to deliver in India after which he will be paid N450,000. His travel expenses were all paid by his sponsors.
The last suspect, Okwuchukwu from Nnewi, Anambra State, ingested 65 wraps of heroine weighing 1.393 kg which he swallowed and attempted to export to Italy. He was arrested trying to board an Ethiopian Airline flight to Italy via Addis Ababa.
Okwuchukwu is married with two children and also a business man who imports mobile phones from Hong Kong and owns a shop in Oshodi, Lagos. He claimed that the demolition of his shop led him into drug trafficking after he was promised 5,000 euros upon delivery of the drugs in Italy.
NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, rtd, said the agency will investigate and arrest the sponsors of the suspects. “My target is to trace the drug barons, arrest and prosecute everyone involved in the illicit act,” Abdallah stated.

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