By Ibironke Ariyo
A Mali based Nigerian, Okey Eze has been arrested by operatives of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA with 350 wraps of cocaine worth over N2.3billion in street value at Nnamdi Azikiwe International (NAIA) Airport, Abuja .
The illicit drug weighing 7.70kilograms was concealed in eight packs tucked in different parts of his luggage, NDLEA’s Spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, said in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
He added that 38-year-old Eze, who claimed to be a tiler by profession, an indigene of Orji River, in Oji-River Local Government area of Enugu State was arrested on Wednesday, Sept. 22 during an inward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian airline flight number 911 enroute Bamako-Addis Ababa- Abuja.
He added that the suspect, a resident of Bamako, Mali, in his confessional statement informed operatives that he traveled to Mali through Seme border in Badagry, Lagos state, in 2019.
“He further claimed that he came into Nigeria with the drug because he needed to raise money to take care of his late elder brothers’ four children.
“The suspect also claimed he asked his friend who is resident in Brazil to assist him with some money but who declined and instead told him to pick up a bag with the drugs from a friend of his in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“He said that it was for a fee of N500, 000 on successful delivery to someone whose contact would be sent to him on arrival in Nigeria.
“He also said the bag containing the drugs was given to him on Wednesday morning at Addis Ababa airport,’’ Babafemi said.
The spokesman quoted the Chairman, NDLEA, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the Commander, officers and men of the NAIA command for their vigilance.
Marwa said that the new NDLEA under his leadership would continue to deal decisive blows on the various cartels trying to turn Nigeria into a hub of illicit drugs.