From Mitchell Ofoyeju, Head Public Affairs, NDLEA
Few weeks after a Lagos-based pastor was arrested for smuggling narcotics to South Africa at the Lagos Airport, officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA) Enugu have arrested another Lagos pastor over drug trafficking. The suspect, Daniel Lanre Akintola, 43, was found with 1.978kg of heroin concealed in a false bottom of his luggage. Another suspect, Onwuegbusi Tochukwu Victor, 48, was also found with 51.5kg of ephedrine inside his luggage.
NDLEA commander at the Enugu Airport, Mr. Nsikak-Abasi Udoh said that the 43-year-old pastor wanted to abandon his luggage at the arrival hall for fear of arrest. “Mr. Daniel Lanre Akintola unlawfully possessed 1.978kg of heroin while returning from Entebbe, a major town in Central Uganda. He wanted to abandon the luggage but we detected his intention. The drug was carefully concealed in a false bottom of his luggage. The second suspect is a businessman who had parcels of ephedrine weighing 51.5kg which he wanted to smuggle to Maputo, Mozambique. The suspects are being investigated” Udoh stated.
Daniel Lanre Akintola who claimed ownership of the bag containing heroin said that he was returning from a pastor’s conference. In his statement, Daniel said that “I am a pastor with Gospel Faith Mission International, Olayemi Assembly, Ipaya Lagos. I attended a minister’s conference in Uganda. This bag where heroin was found is my bag but I am a pastor and not a drug trafficker”. He hails from Oyo State.
The suspect who lives in Lagos could not produce evidence that he actually attended a minister’s conference in Uganda. Besides, he also did not give any reason for leaving Entebbe, Uganda en-route Addis Ababa to Enugu.
Onwuegbusi Tochukwu Victor said that he was asked to take the bag of ephedrine to Mozambique for a fee of 2,500 dollars. “I am a business man but after customs seized my goods I became stranded. They paid my return ticket and promised that the person that will receive the bag in Maputo will give me 2,500 dollars. I would have invested the money in import business” Victor stated. He hails Anambra State.
Chairman/Chief Executive, Ahmadu Giade said that there is no hiding place for drug traffickers. “Drug traffickers have no place to hide. Unless they quit their criminal act, the law will take its course. Let me appeal to members of the public to report drug dealers to the nearest NDLEA office” Giade stated.
It will be recalled that the resident pastor of the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim at Agodo-Egbe, Ikotun Lagos was recently arrested over unlawful exportation of 174 kilogrammes of narcotic drugs to South Africa. The suspect, Prophet Michael Raji was arrested following the interception of the drug at the cargo section of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) during pre-shipment examination.