Nigeria’s Drug Law Enforcement Agency, said today that Friday Ogbonna, 33 (China bound), David Famolu, 34, and Joy Osamunyi, 26, (both Dubai bound) were arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, during screening of passengers on China and Dubai bound flights with packages of cannabis sativa.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said Friday Ogbonna had 35.115 kilograms of Cannabis sativa hidden inside sausage rolls packaged for a china bound flight. David Famolu, 34, and Joy Osamunyi, 26, on their way to Dubai had 4kg and 19.640 kilograms of cannabis sativa respectively.
Ahmadu Giade, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA’s Chairman, said the arrests were made following intelligence reports and intense covert operations by the agency.
“It is pertinent to alert members of the public of fresh plot by drug barons to smuggle cannabis to countries with capital punishment for drug trafficking because of the high profit involved. Drug barons are wicked and callous. They are only interested in making money even at the risk of others sacrificing their precious lives.”
According to the anti-narcotic agency, Mr. Ogbonna confessed to investigators that he was given N100,000 to smuggle the drugs to China:
“My friend in China gave me N100, 000 to take a bag to China. The last time I travelled to China, he assisted me,” said Mr. Ogbonna, a trader at the Onitsha main market. When he gave me the money to take the bag containing gala to China, I thought he was doing me a favour I never knew he was digging my grave. After my arrest, I feel bad and regret my action. I am married with a child.”
Mr. Famolu, a laptop dealer in Lagos, also confessed to the anti-narcotic agency:
“I bought the cannabis myself for N44, 000. I was introduced into drug trafficking by a friend who assisted me with my travel documents.
He told me that if I can bring 4kg of cannabis to Dubai that he will pay me half a million naira. That was what encouraged me to take the risk. I blame myself because I should have listened to my conscience.”
The third suspect , Ms. Osamunyi from Benin city in Edo State, told investigators of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency she was unaware her bags contained illegal drugs.
“I lost my parents and I sell shoes and female clothes and bags to earn a living,” said Ms. Osamunyi, who hails from Benin, Edo State.
My friend in Dubai told me that somebody will give me foodstuff to take to him. That was how I collected the bags from the person she sent to me. I still find it difficult (to believe) that this will happen to me but I have learnt a bitter and painful lesson in my life.”
Mr. Giade said the suspects will soon be charged to court and also noted that the NDLEA had foiled several attempts by drug barons to smuggle cannabis packaged in foodstuff outside the country.
Native to the warm climates of Mexico, Central America, and Southeast Asia, Cannabis sativa is a tall, scraggly looking cannabis plant with wiry stocks and thin leaves. In contrast, it’s first cousin, Cannabis indica plants are short and bushy. Cannabis Indica leaves are usually broad and full. Cannabis Sativas and Cannabis indicas are both psychoactive varieties of the cannabis plant
The natural equatorial habitat of sativas means that these plants love the heat and the outdoors. While they normally grow between 8 and 12 feet high, a healthy sativa plant can reach up to 18 feet tall in optimum conditions. Many marijuana users choose sativa when they’re looking for an uplifting and creative buzz even though it’s use is illegal in most jurisdictions. They prefer it to Cannabis indica “sleep effect”. The demand for Cannabis sativa also fuels the risks taken by the growers and smugglers.