The operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA have arrested a suspected notorious drug baron, Chief Odugwe Joseph Azubuike over unlawful importation of 1.025kg of cocaine.
Azubuike, who is currently on bail over several drug charges brought against him by the Agency, was found with wraps of powdery substances that tested positive for cocaine at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA Lagos.
The arrest was made during inward screening of passengers on Emirates airline flight from Dubai.
The wraps of cocaine were packed in duty free polythene inside his luggage. This mode of drug concealment in duty free bags is similar to the last drug charge involving him. The suspected drug kingpin told investigators during interrogation that he had made a big mistake.
Chief Azubike had pleaded not guilty to previous charges where drugs were not found on him, alleging that his enemies were behind his trial. He hails from Umunya in Uyi Local Governmrnt Area of Anambra State.
NDLEA commander at the Lagos Airport, Ahmadu Garba has described the arrest of Chief Azubuike as a sign of what to expect in the future.
“I am happy with this high profile arrest. It is a good way to start and sign of better days ahead. The suspect travelled to Dubai on 6thSeptember and was arrested on 10th September on arrival at the Lagos airport”, he said.
He promised to make the airport difficult for drug traffickers.
In his remarks, chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade said that the arrest of Azubuike is rewarding for the country’s fight against drugs.
In his words, “the game is up for the suspect who has been charged to court for sponsoring several drug couriers. This latest arrest is like the icing on the outstanding charges against him. He claimed to be an importer of legitimate goods but his source of income had been exposed. We shall diligently prosecute and dispossess him of illegal drug proceeds”.
Giade also assured Nigerians that no drug baron shall escape the dragnet of justice.
In May 12, 2010 Azubuike was arraigned before Justice Mohammed Liman at the Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos on three count charge of conspiracy, aiding and unlawful importation of heroin. The accused pleaded not guilty to all counts of the charge and was remanded in prison custody.
Chief Odugwe was nabbed in a follow-up operation to the arrest of Olehi Josephine Otuochinma who was caught with 3.150kg of heroin at the Lagos airport on December 29, 2009 at about 1345 hours on arrival from Dubai aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight. The mother of three children allegedly packed the brownish powdery substance that tested positive to heroin in a transparent polythene inside a white duty free polythene bag.