THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Wednesday, said a 32-year-old Lagos-based trader died at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, having ingested cocaine.
This is contained in a statement signed by the spokesman of the agency, Mr Mitchel Ofoyeju, in Lagos.
According to the statement, the suspect, identified as Emmanuel Obiefuna, collapsed at the departure hall and was taken to a nearby hospital.
“The suspect was an intending passenger on an Ethiopian Airline flight to China enroute Addis Ababa on July 5,” the statement said.
NDLEA commander at the Abuja Airport, Mr Hamisu Lawan, said the suspect confessed to cocaine ingestion at the hospital.
“The deceased collapsed at the departure hall and was attended to by Port Health officials. The collapse triggered our suspicion and a narcotic officer was assigned to monitor the development,” he said.
It said when the suspect’s condition stabilised at the hospital, he confessed to cocaine ingestion.
The statement said that at that point, the NDLEA took over the case from the Port Health Services.
It said that an interim investigation also revealed that until his demise, he was a trader living in Lagos.
“He collapsed immediately he notified the airline officials of his intention to cancel his trip,” the statement said.
The statement added that 55 wraps of substances that tested positive for cocaine with a weight of 1.20 kilogrammes was evacuated from his stomach at the hospital.
Chairman of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, who described narcotic ingestion as a suicide mission, reiterated his call for a drug-free society.
“Ingesting narcotics is a suicide mission and I sympathise with the family members. Drug trafficking is a serious crime, it is a threat to public health and safety.
“The current trend of drug ingestion by drug traffickers in disregard of the grave health implication must be condemned by all.
“We must collectively intensify counter-narcotics efforts by talking to at least one person daily on the dangers of drugs and benefits of a drug-free society,” Giade stated.
He said the agency had contacted the father of the deceased and urged members of the public to report any suspected drug dealer to the agency.