When 43-year-old Anukaenyi Bob-Manuel Ogochukwu was caught on the suspicion of being a drug courier at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Wednesday, he initially denied having anything to do with drugs.
NDLEA Commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba, said the suspect was apprehended during the inward screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight from Nairobi.
Spokesperson for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said that hours after he was placed in seclusion and under observation, Ogochukwu excreted 66 wraps of heroine weighing 1.1kg.
That was when he started to beg officials of the agency.
The suspect, who was returning from Nairobi, Kenya, said his four-year-old son was on hospital admission over a life threatening ailment.
Ogochukwu, an Anambra State indigene, explained that he decided to smuggle the drugs to save the life of his son.
He said, “I teach in a computer school at Onitsha, Anambra State. This is my very first time of having anything to do with drugs. The doctor said that my child has a hole in the heart.
“I met many people for help but nobody was willing to help me except a drug baron. My son is currently at a hospital in Nairobi with my wife who is Kenyan.
“The baron who is from Tanzania promised to pay me $2,000 to take care of my child’s medical bills. I took the decision to smuggle the drugs into Nigeria because I am very worried about the condition of my son.”
The Chairman of NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Abdallah, said the excuse Ogochukwu gave for his involvement in drug smuggling was not tenable.
“No explanation is tenable for committing a crime. Drug trafficking is a criminal offence and the suspect will be charged accordingly. The suspect’s action only complicated his condition because he is here facing a criminal charge while the responsibility of taking care of his sick son now rests solely on the wife.”
If convicted, the NDLEA said the suspect is facing a minimum of fifteen years imprisonment.