Drug peddling on the rise

Drug peddling on the rise

The recent arrest
of a deportee, Ene Patrick, 34, and eight others for allegedly
smuggling about 11.45kg of illegal substances have further confirmed
experts’ worries on the rising cases of drug trafficking in the country.

These concerns
follow the incessant arrests made by the National Drug Law Enforcement
Agents (NDLEA) officials at the Murtala Mohammed Airport 1 (MMA1) in
the last few months.

The NDLEA Airport
command in a statement on April 6th, said the agency seized a total of
52.845kg of illicit drugs at the MMA1 in April alone worth over
millions of naira.

Government’s laxity

revealed that more than ten people were arrested with about 70
kilogrammes of narcotics at the MMA1 between January and March 2010.

Ajitenisan, a drug counsellor and broadcaster, said illicit drug
trafficking is on the rise because government treats the issue with kid

Mr. Ajitenisan, who
expressed worries over the trend, said he had constantly through his
ministry as a pastor and counsellor preached against the dangers of
illicit drugs and their effects especially on youth.

“It is sad that the
government always talk about illicit drugs and they proud themselves in
the number of arrests they made but what happened at the end of the
day, the real kingpins, who are the barons are hardly arrested. Right
here at Egbeda (a Lagos suburb) where I live, some youth pride
themselves in taking hemp and cocaine.

“They sell the
drugs in broad daylight and when I tried to talk them out, they went as
far as burning me alive in my church, it was God who saved me. When I
reported the matter to the police, they treated it with kid gloves and
up till now that spot where they sell illicit drugs is still thriving
with even policemen and soldiers coming to smoke hemp there. So what
are they saying about arrest; where right under their nose, people buy,
sell and smoke hemp, Egbeda is not the only place there are so many in
Lagos and the police and the NDLEA have not done anything, “ said Mr.

More peddlers

According to a
statement by the NDLEA, the figure shows that more women are engaging
in drug trafficking and the sad outcome is a family who had used their
6 year old twin sons to have allegedly trafficked cocaine worth over
N20 million in April.

Investigations also
revealed that in the first quarter of the year seven women were
arrested; while thirteen male were also arrested.

This figure increased sharply when in April alone a total of 21 suspects, eighteen male and three women were arrested.

The total seizure for the first quarter stands at 70.98kg as against 52.84kgs of last year; revealing an increase of 18.14kg.

Jimoh Bashiri, his wife, and their twin sons were the first family to be arrested in April.

According to the
NDLEA spokesperson, Mitchell Ofoyeju, “The 46 year old father Jimoh
Oladega Bashir was alleged to have connived with his wife Jimoh Mulikat
Adebukola in concealing 350 grammes of cocaine each on the diaper of
their 6 year old twins. The wife also concealed 3.350kg on her bra and
under wear which brought the total quantity of cocaine to 4.050kg.

The couple will now
face multiple charges because of the nature of their case. Besides
being the first family to be nabbed over cocaine trafficking in the
country, they are also the first to use their twins in smuggling
cocaine. The likely charges hanging on their necks include unlawful
possession and exportation of 4.050kg of cocaine, money laundering as
well as child abuse for using their six years old twins in cocaine
smuggling,” Mr. Ofoyeju said.

Also arrested in
March was a three month old pregnant woman, 29 year old Osatohamen
Esohe, who ingested 27 wraps of cocaine weighing 350gramme.

Mr. Ofoyeju said
despite the numerous arrests made by the agency, drug peddlers had
continued to devise nefarious means to conceal drugs. Some of their
methods include, concealing hard drugs in bras, foodstuffs, under
wears, diapers, stethoscopes, hair, vagina and anus, shoes, seminar
bags and shoe laces.

Speaking on the recent arrest, Mr. Ofoyefu said the NDLEA is
determined to halt illegal drug trafficking with the prosecutions of
the suspects, adding that this will deter others from engaging in the

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