Two staff of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Superintendent of Narcotics (SN) Daniel Goska and Chief Narcotic Agent (CNA) Ndubuisi Ughor have been linked to cartel activities alongside other accomplices at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA) Enugu.
Also arrested were Eddie Ifeanyichukwu Dayson, a key member of the drug trafficking organization, Emmanuel Lucky Okorie, Operations manager with Ethiopian Airline, Amaechi Henry, a supervisor at the passenger services department of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc and Ezeugwu Jacob who is a ticket and baggage staff at the airport.
NDLEA discovered its agents were part of the drug smuggling ring after investigations; especially as they were said to have absconded from duty the moment they got wind of the arrest of the others.
Chairman of the Agency, Ahmadu Giade said that the two indicted officers of the Agency, Daniel Goska and Ndubuisi Ughor who are currently at large have been summarily dismissed and that efforts are ongoing to arrest and prosecute them.
It was gathered that the activities of the group were exposed when narcotic officials aborted the exportation of 74.7kg of narcotic drug that tested positive for Ephedrine. The drug was packed in three bags. Two of the bags weighing 50.7kg were destined for Maputo, Mozambique while the third bag weighing 24kg was destined for Johannesburg, South Africa.
According to the Head, Public Affairs of the agency, Mitchel Ofoyegu said “The 74.7kg of Ephedrine had been properly marked as exhibits and tendered as evidence before a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu.
He explained that preliminary investigations revealed that the drug cartel had infiltrated some members of the airport community including two NDLEA staff who are currently at large.
Those indicted include Eddie Ifeanyichukwu Dayson, a key member of the drug trafficking organization, Emmanuel Lucky Okorie, Operations manager with Ethiopian Airline, Amaechi Henry, a supervisor at the passenger services department of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc and Ezeugwu Jacob who is a ticket and baggage staff at the airport.
It was gathered from investigation that whenever “the cartel has a consignment of drug, the airline operations manager will identify passengers on the flight whose bags are weighing less and tag the luggage in their names.
“Once this is done, they will contact their partners at the airport of final destination with the tag numbers to receive the consignments.
These findings were further corroborated by the statements of the innocent passengers whose names were used to tag the bags containing the 74.7kg of Ephedrine.
“When invited for questioning, it was discovered that they had no knowledge of the bags tagged in their names.
Meanwhile, the operations manager of Ethiopian Airline at the Enugu Airport, Mr. Emmanuel Lucky Okorie and three others Amaechi Henry, Eddie Ifeanyichukwu Dayson and Ezeugwu Jacob had been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Enugu in connection with the seizure.
The accused persons were charged before Justice V. D. Agishi for unlawful possession, exportation and conspiracy to export 74.7kg of Ephedrine via Ethiopian Airline flight. They all pleaded not guilty to the three count charge and remanded in prison custody as the case was adjourned until November 30, 2015 for bail argument.
In their statements, 47 year old Eddie Ifeanyichukwu Dayson who hails from Ubahazu Amiri in Imo State is a key member of the drug cartel. He had lived in Germany for five years and returned to Nigeria in June 2015.
In his statement, Eddie said that “I was not there when the bags were prepared. They brought the bags containing Ephedrine to me in my hotel room and I successfully took the bags to the airport where I was arrested”.
Chairman of the Agency, Ahmadu Giade while describing the mode of operation of the drug cartel as strange promised to adhere to global best practice in drug control.
“No bad egg in the Agency will escape justice. Notwithstanding the strange way the cartel operates, I am pleased that it was exposed and ultimately dislodged.
The NDLEA boss said He added that although drug barons are desperate, the Agency is committed to the dismantling of drug trafficking organizations in the country.
This is not the first time since the establishment of the agency that its officers will be involved in either assisting drug barons to be able to carry drugs without been detected or assist some to evade justice.
In 2014, grievous revelation of the activities of Ahmadu Giade, the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) was made in a petition written by the Chief Superintendent of
Narcotics of the agency, Taraba/Adamawa State Commands, Mr. Paul Audu, to President Goodluck Jonathan.
The petition accused Giade of fraternizing with drug barons, as well as encouraging serious rot in the agency.
Also in 2014, Justice Balikisu Bello Aliyu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sentenced a dismissed NDLEA Staff, Ibrahim Muazzam to seven years imprisonment for aiding a suspected drug trafficker, Eni Eze Itu then at large to export 3.7kg of heroin at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja. He was charged to court after his dismissal in 2009.