Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency said on Saturday that it arrested a 57-year-old grandmother, Omolara Morayo Odeyemi, with cocaine at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos on her way to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
NDLEA said the suspect, a textile merchant at the Balogun Market in Lagos, who claimed to be going on a pilgrimage had all the paraphernalia of a pilgrim “save for the narcotic content in her luggage.”
The Head, Public Affairs, NDLEA, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, in a statement on Saturday, quoted the agency’s commander at the airport, Mr. Ahmadu Garba, as saying that two parcels of white powdery substance, which tested positive to cocaine, were “carefully” concealed inside her luggage.
Garba said, “A female passenger, Odeyemi Omolara Morayo, with a valid Egypt air ticket from Lagos to Saudi Arabia has been arrested with 1.595kg of cocaine.
“The cocaine, which was concealed in a false bottom of her bag, was discovered during routine check on passengers at the departure hall. We had to cut the bag open to recover the cocaine because of the way it was neatly concealed. She was immediately arrested and the case is currently under investigation.”
The suspect was quoted as saying that her friend and customer introduced her to drug trafficking.
Odeyemi, an indigene of Ogun State in her statement allegedly said, “I am a textile merchant at Balogun Market, Lagos. I have two children and my daughter is married with children. Recently, I told my friend that I loved to go on pilgrimage this year and she promised to sponsor my trip.
“That was how she collected my international passport, processed my travel documents and bought a return ticket on Egypt Airline. The only favour she requested from me was that I should take a bag to Saudi. She also told me that somebody would collect the bag from me at Jeddah.
“It was an empty bag, so I kept my personal effects inside it. On getting to the airport, officers discovered cocaine inside the bag during search and I was arrested.”
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.), described the suspect’s action as condemnable.
He was quoted as saying, “Smuggling cocaine to Saudi Arabia under any guise is condemnable. It is good that she was arrested here because drug trafficking attracts capital punishment in Saudi.
“Apart from saving her from execution in Saudi, the prompt arrest also protected our country from disrepute. The agency will not relent in the fight against illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse.”