Gabriel Anthony Patrick, a 44-year-old father of three, has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for ingesting 96 pellets of cocaine, which he excreted in the custody of the agency.
A native of Nike in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State, Patrick was arrested on November 26, 2021 during an outward clearance of Turkish Airline at the boarding screening area of the airport en route to Abuja-Istanbul-Madrid.
He had travelled to Germany in 1996 for two years on asylum after which he relocated to Spain in 1999 where he currently holds a residence permit and works as a driver in a food manufacturing company.
He claimed he came into Nigeria on November 17 to sell clothes and car spare parts he had shipped to Lagos.
He, however, said he couldn’t sell his consignments, which cost him €4,000 excluding the cost of shipment because they were priced below the cost price at Ladipo Market in Lagos and he needed to travel back to Spain to resume work after the expiration of his annual leave.
This, he said, led him to accept an offer to traffic the drug for which he would be paid €1,500 when he successfully delivers the consignment to someone in Spain.
He claimed he left Lagos for Enugu to see his family members and then travelled on November 25 to Onitsha, Anambra State, where he was picked up from Upper Iweka park at night and taken to a house where he was given the 96 pellets of cocaine to ingest before leaving for Abuja to board his flight to Madrid in Spain the following day.
In a related development, NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, have arrested one Okorie Godwin Onyeribe over his attempt to export 21.85kg of Cannabis concealed in foodstuff to London, United Kingdom.
He was nabbed at the NAHCO export shed of the airport on December 3, according to a statement by Director of Media and Advocacy of the NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi.
The statement further disclosed that five students of American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State, and University of Maiduguri, Borno State, are among suspects arrested for drug offences in raids across nine states last week, the agency disclosed.
Two of the students; Emmanuel Thlama and Jonah Joshua, were arrested with 16.750kg Cannabis on the night of November 30 when operatives raided a settlement opposite Gate 4 of the University of Maiduguri.
The other three, all AUN undergraduate students: Ekene Asher; Daniel Alkali and Emmanuel Smooth, were arrested at 11:30pm on Thursday after taking delivery of Loud, a strong variant of Cannabis ordered by Ekene for them to smoke.
Earlier on the same day, operatives also intercepted a motorised concrete mixer truck used to conceal 2000.6kg of Cannabis loaded at Ogbese, Ondo State.
Two suspects arrested with the drugs; Matthew Donuwe and Friday Nborgwu, claimed they had spent a month on the road from Ondo hoping to deliver the consignment in Mubi, Adamawa, before they were arrested at Girei in the Girei Local Government Area of the state.
In Oyo State, operatives intercepted 608.40kg of Cannabis sativa concealed in a black Toyota Sequoia SUV with registration number —Lagos MUS553GN and parked around the toll gate area, Ibadan-Ife Expressway under Egbeda Local Government Area, on Friday.
The following day, operatives equally seized 85.90kg Cannabis recovered from the boot of a Nissan Primera car with registration Lagos FJK890DZ and in one of the rooms of an apartment where search operation was carried out at Adegbayi area, Alakia, Egbeda LGA.
Those arrested in connection with the seizure include Benson Uzoka, 46; Kafayat Adeyemi Uzoka, 40; Ndidi Uzoka, 39 and Christopher Uzoka, 42.
While the duo of Praise Emmanuel and Aminu Aliyu were arrested with 228kg Cannabis in Kano, operatives in Taraba stormed Cannabis farms in Changso Village, Kurmi LGA, located on the mountains between Nigeria and Cameroon, evacuated 364kg of the illicit drug and set the rest on fire.
Equally, ThankGod Danladi, who has just served out a jail term in October, was arrested on Wednesday with 67kg Cannabis in another raid in the state.
In Niger State, operatives intercepted a commercial bus with 215kg Cannabis concealed in a false bottom and side door of the bus along Mokwa-Jebba Road.
Two suspects; a driver and his conductor arrested, claimed they loaded the consignment in Ogere, Ogun State, and were heading to Sokoto.
In Delta State, a lady named Tina Ujene was arrested in Ibusa with 1.1kg Cannabis while another raid on her supplier’s home led to the recovery of 54.7kg of the same substance.
Different quantities of Cannabis, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Heroin, Diazepam and Exol-5 were seized in raids at AP-Eleme and Garki, Oil Mill areas of Port Harcourt, as well as Lewe and Kadiri in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State on Friday.
In Ondo State, a 72-year-old man named Emmanuel Akanbi was arrested at Odofin camp, Uso, Owo LGA with 2,050kg Cannabis.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has commended officers and men of the NAIA, MMIA, Adamawa, Borno, Taraba, Niger, Oyo, Ondo, Kano, Rivers and Delta commands of the agency for their recent efforts.
He charged them along with their colleagues in other commands to constantly focus on raising the bar of their achievements until the last gramme of illicit drug was taken away from every community in Nigeria.