… moves against illicit drugs
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has signaled its resolve to hold down any Airline from take-off on grounds of reasonable suspicion for illicit drugs.
This followed the arrest of a suspected drug courier, Harriet Bolatito at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja with substances suspected to be prohibited drugs while on board a flight.
Solabi was recently intercepted with a total of 5.5 kilogrammes of the illicit substances.
According to the Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs, Jonah Achema in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP, Solabi was recalled after she had checked in two giant bags said to have contained personal effects and had boarded an Ethiopian Airline flight No.910 to Addis Ababa, while awaiting take-off. The drugs were concealed in the false bottom of the bags.
The flight was held down from take-off until all the personal effects of Solabi were evacuate for security and investigation purposes, an action that is consistent with Aviation Policy.
Solabi, aged 34, has travelled severally to South Africa without hitches until her arrest on her way to Johannesburg, South Africa, with 3.9 kilogrammes of Ephedrine and1.6 kilogrammes of Methamphetamine.
A single mother of a ten-year old daughter who holds a Higher National Diploma from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Solabi claimed to be a trader in fabrics, which she normally travelled to South Africa to bring to Nigeria and distribute to her customers.
A resident of Abaranje-Ikotun, Lagos, she claimed ignorant of the content of the bags, which she was requested by her contact in Pretoria, South Africa to collect from an unknown person in Lagos.
She had arrived Abuja from Lagos on a local flight for an onward flight to Johannesburg.
Victor Chukwu, aged 44; and a primary school drop-out was also arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, upon arrival from Malawi with 59 wraps of Heroin weighing 865 grams, which he had ingested.
According to him, a black woman met him in a restaurant in Malawi and talked him into bringing the illicit substance to Nigeria.
He was to call her upon arrival in Nigeria before a recipient would be directed to him. He said he had knowledge of the illicit substance, but that he has been unemployed for years and to feed his family has been a problem. “Under my condition, I have to do anything that come my way to survive”, Chukwu said.
He hails from Ata-Orlu, Imo State and is married with a child.
According to Lawan Hamisu, Commander of NDLEA Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, recent seizures by the Command have showed South and East Africa route becoming more attractive to West African Drug Trafficking Organisations, with Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania featuring prominently as source of transiting Heroin from Pakistan to Nigeria with Ethiopian Airline as most preferred by these criminals.
NDLEA at the Abuja Airport has in the last three months intercepted 26 kilogrammes of illicit drugs consisting of Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine and Ephedrine through Ethiopian Airline alone with almost 50 per cent of the seizures going to South Africa.
MR OHIS EHIMIAGHE, REGIONAL MANAGER NORTH WEST & CENTRAL AFRICA , SAA; HALIM BLESSING OF PRINCETON COLLEGE, 3RD PRIZE WINNER; YINKA BANJO VICTORY ALSO OF PRINCETON COLLEGE, 1ST PRIZE WINNER; OJO PURPOSE OF LIZ COMPREHENSIVE COLLEGE, 2ND PRIZE WINNER; AND MRS. KEMI LEKE-BAMTEFA, NATIONAL SALES MANAGER, SAA