The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday said it has uncovered a suspected drug trafficking cartel at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA) Enugu in which two of its officers were alleged to be involved.
The names of the two officers of the agency were given as Daniel Goska and Ndubuisi Ughor, according to a statement signed by NDLEA’s spokesman, Mr Mitchell Ofoyeju. Ofoyeju said the two who were indicted are currently at large and have been summarily dismissed and declared wanted.
Other members of the group include Eddie Ifeanyichukwu Dayson, a key member of the drug trafficking organization; Emmanuel Lucky Okorie, operations manager with Ethiopian Airline; Amaechi Henry, a supervisor, passenger services department of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc and Ezeugwu Jacob who is a ticket and baggage staff at the airport.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Ahmadu Giade while describing the mode of operation of the drug cartel as strange promised to adhere to global best practice in drug control.
“No bad egg in the Agency will escape justice. Notwithstanding the strange way the cartel operates, I am pleased that it was exposed and ultimately dislodged. The Agency will continue to adopt superior drug control strategies in line with global best practice. This is one sweet victory over criminal groups. The NDLEA is committed to the eradication of narcotics from our country and will continue to look both inwards and outwards for subversive elements”, Giade stated.
The NDLEA boss said that the two indicted officers of the Agency, Daniel Goska and Ndubuisi Ughor who are currently at large had been summarily dismissed and that efforts are ongoing to arrest and prosecute them. He added that although drug barons are desperate, the Agency is committed to the dismantling of drug trafficking organisations in the country.
The activities of the group were exposed when narcotic officials aborted the exportation of 74.7kg of narcotic drug that tested positive for ephedrine. The drug was packed in three bags. Two of the bags weighing 50.7kg were destined for Maputo, Mozambique while the third bag weighing 24kg was destined for Johannesburg, South Africa. The 74.7kg of ephedrine had been properly marked as exhibits and tendered as evidence before a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu.
It was gathered from investigation that whenever the cartel has a consignment of drug, the airline operations manager will identify passengers on the flight whose bags are weighing less and tag the luggage in their names. Once this is done, they will contact their partners at the airport of final destination with the tag numbers to receive the consignments. These findings were further corroborated by the statements of the innocent passengers whose names were used to tag the bags containing the 74.7kg of ephedrine. When invited for questioning, it was discovered that they had no knowledge of the bags tagged in their names.
Meanwhile, the operations manager of Ethiopian Airline at the Enugu Airport, Mr. Emmanuel Lucky Okorie and three others Amaechi Henry, Eddie Ifeanyichukwu Dayson and Ezeugwu Jacob had been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Enugu in connection with the seizure. The accused persons were charged before Justice V. D. Agishi for unlawful possession, exportation and conspiracy to export 74.7kg of ephedrine via Ethiopian Airline flight. They all pleaded not guilty to the three count charge and remanded in prison custody as the case was adjourned until November 30, 2015 for bail argument.
In his statements, 47 year old Eddie Ifeanyichukwu Dayson who hails from Ubahazu Amiri in Imo State, a key member of the drug cartel who had lived in Germany for five years and returned to Nigeria in June 2015 said that “I was not there when the bags were prepared. They brought the bags containing ephedrine to me in my hotel room and I successfully took the bags to the airport where I was arrested”. (Leadership)