NDLEA To Prosecute FAAN Driver, Cleaner, others
Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Ahmadu Giade said that the Agency has foiled a plot by some airport staff to aid and abet a suspected drug trafficker in circumventing security checks. The NDLEA boss warned members of the airport community against compromise calculated to undermine security measures at the nation’s airports.
This followed the arrest of a suspected drug trafficker, Adetunji Oladeji Joseph who wore an official tarmac reflective jacket posing as an airport staff. He ingested 100 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.350kg. Adetunji was illegally taken to the boarding gates at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos by a female cleaner.
The alleged mastermind is a driver with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Olatubosun Michael Olatunji. A female cleaner, Mrs Uzoma David and one Mr Ekene Victor Uchenna have been found to be part of the drug racket.
The anti-narcotic boss while describing the incident as an act of sabotage promised to prosecute all persons involved in the criminal act as deterrence to others. He however expressed disappointment over the lack of trust exhibited by the members of staff.
“It is disappointing for workers at the airport community to indulge in such high level compromise. Their action is inimical and a calculated attempt to undermine security measures at the airport. They will be prosecuted for others to see the bitter consequences of compromise. Drug barons always seek to corrupt officials through bribery but we are working to counter such acts of infiltration” Giade stated.
He thanked the management of FAAN and other security Agencies over what he described as excellent cooperation spirit. According to NDLEA boss, “I am very pleased with the support and excellent cooperation spirit of the management of FAAN and other Agencies. It exemplifies team spirit and synergy at its best. The arrest and hand over of Olatunbosun Michael Olatunji by FAAN for investigation is commendable”.
NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport Mr Hamza Umar said that the incident took place on the 7th of February 2013 but the main culprits were only arrested just this weekend. “This is a high level case of aiding and abetting so we took our time in trying to arrest all parties to the crime. Let me also appreciate the support of security agencies at the airport especially FAAN” Hamza stated.
Preliminary investigation revealed that one Mr Ekene Victor Uchenna, a staff with Avobridge who is currently at large gave his reflective jacket and on duty tag to the suspect. He also handed the suspect to a female cleaner Mrs Uzoma David who led him to the boarding gate to evade screening. The airport staff also collected an undisclosed amount of money to aid the suspect.
Mr Ekene has been declared wanted by the Agency. It was gathered that he was involved in examination fraud at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos where he is studying Mechanical Engineering at Higher National Diploma Level. Since the incident occurred, he had been on the run.
Another suspected member of the drug cartel, Peter Chidibere a trader at Trade Fair Complex, Lagos has been arrested by the NDLEA. He is currently being interrogated by narcotic officials. It was gathered that necessary arrangements for Adetunji Oladeji Joseph to smuggle the drugs.
Meanwhile, Giade said investigation is on-going and more arrests are expected.