NDLEA Arrests ‘Notorious Drug Baron’ With Cocaine At Lagos Airport

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency
(NDLEA), on Friday, said it had arrested a
suspected notorious drug baron, Azubuike
Odugwe, over importation of 1.025 kilogrammes of
The agency’s spokesman, Mitchell Ofoyeju, said in
a statement made available to the News Agency of
Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the arrest was made
during inward screening of passengers on Emirates
Airline flight from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
It said that Odugwe was found with wraps of
powdery substances that tested positive for cocaine
at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport
(MMIA), Lagos.
“Odugwe, who is currently on bail over several
drug charges brought against him by the agency,
was found with wraps of cocaine at the MMIA,
“The wraps of cocaine were packed in duty-free
polythene inside his luggage. This mode of drug
concealment in duty-free bags is similar to the last
drug charge involving him,” it said.
The statement also said that the suspected drug
kingpin told investigators during interrogation that
he had made a big mistake.
It said that Odugwe had pleaded not guilty to
previous charges where drugs were not found on
him, alleging that his enemies were behind his trial.
It also said that Ahmadu Garba, an NDLEA
commander, described the arrest as a sign of what
to expect in the future and promised to make the
airport difficult for drug traffickers.
“I am happy with this high-profile arrest. It is a
good way to start and sign of better days ahead.
The suspect travelled to Dubai on September 6 and
was arrested on September 10 on arrival at the
Lagos airport,” Garba said.
Ahmadu Giade, Chairman/Chief Executive of the
NDLEA, was also quoted as saying that the arrest of
Odugwe was rewarding for the country’s fight
against drugs.
“The game is up for the suspect who has been
charged to court for sponsoring several drug
couriers. This latest arrest is like the icing on the
outstanding charges against him. He claimed to be
an importer of legitimate goods but his source of
income had been exposed.
“We shall diligently prosecute and dispossess him
of illegal drug proceeds,” he said.
Giade also assured Nigerians that no drug baron
shall escape the dragnet of justice.
NAN recalls that on May 12, 2010,Odugwe was
arraigned before Justice Mohammed Liman at the
Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos, on three count
charge of conspiracy, aiding and unlawful
importation of heroin.
The accused pleaded not guilty to all counts of the
charge and was remanded in prison custody.
Odugwe was nabbed in a follow-up operation to
the arrest of Josephine Olehi who was caught with
3.150kg of heroin at the Lagos airport on
December 29, 2009 on arrival from Dubai aboard
an Ethiopian Airline flight.
He had also been linked with two other cases
involving heroin trafficking. He was arrested for
sponsoring one Anagozie John Kennedy to
Pakistan on July 26, 2007 to import 1.296
kilogrammes of substances that tested positive for
Similarly, on March 11, 2009, Odugwe was
rearrested after another foiled attempt by him to
take delivery of 3kg of heroin from a drug courier,
Sodiq Hameed.
The drug was packed in a polythene bag and
concealed inside a duty-free polythene bag similar
to the mode of concealment adopted by Josephine
The statement further said investigation conducted
by the agency then pointed to the accused as the
mastermind of several cases involving unlawful
importation of narcotics into the country, adding
that Odugwe will be charged to court soon.

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