By Femi Babafemi
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested a fake couple: Mr. Ilonzeh Kingsley Onyebuchi and Mrs. Ilonzeh Roseline Nonyelum purportedly going for medical treatment in India for ingesting 184 wraps of cocaine weighing 3.322 kilograms with 100 grams of the drug also concealed in the woman’s private part.
The two suspects were intercepted at the Screening Point 1, Terminal 1 of the international wing of the Lagos airport on Tuesday 1 August 2023 while attempting to board an Ethiopian airline flight to India. Though their travel documents show consistency in their names and depict them as a couple, an NDLEA officer however decided to subject them to body scan. The scan confirmed they both ingested drugs as a result of which they were later placed on excretion observation at the Agency’s facility.
While their travel documents identify the man as Ilonzeh Kingsley Onyebuchi and the lady to be Ilonzeh Roseline Nonyelum, preliminary investigation revealed that the intending passengers were not a couple but obtained the travel documents in the same surname to beat security checks at the airport. The lady later gave her real name as Ngogbike Nkechi.
During her interview, she confessed that she was recruited in her church in Aba, Abia state where she lives. The suspect, Ilonzeh Roseline Nonyelum (aka Ngogbike Nkechi) stated further that she is a divorcee, and that Kingsley with whom she was travelling is not her husband but connected only for the purpose of the illicit drug business trip.
She revealed that her arranged husband, Kingsley brought the pellets of cocaine to her in her room to ingest in the hotel where they were both lodged in separate rooms the previous day Monday 31st July.
After their arrest, a thorough search conducted on her led to the discovery of a big size wrap of cocaine that weighed 100 grams she inserted into her private part. She confessed that she was promised Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) upon successful delivery of the drug in India.
In his own statement, Kingsley who was into clothing business in Onitsha, Anambra state, claimed he was promised Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000) after a successful delivery of the drug in India. A further search of the Agency’s crime data base revealed that Kingsley also obtained his travel documents with fake identity for the trip. Indeed, it was established that he was arrested by NDLEA operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on 19th March 2022 for ingesting 100 wraps of cocaine weighing 2.243kg upon his arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on board an Ethiopian airline flight. His travel documents then contained his real name: Uwaezuoke Ikenna Christian.
After his arrest at the Abuja airport on 19th March 2022 along with another suspect, Iro Elvis Uche who also ingested 65 wraps of cocaine with a gross weight of 1.376kgs, Uwaezuoke was subsequently arraigned before Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Federal High Court Abuja with charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/438/2022. He was eventually granted bail by the court pending the conclusion of his trial. He is still on the court bail when he was arrested at the Lagos airport for a similar offence on Tuesday 1st August.
While Ilonzeh Kingsley Onyebuchi (aka Uwaezuoke Ikenna Christian) excreted a total of 82 wraps of cocaine with a gross weight of 1.822kgs in five excretions, Ilonzeh Roseline Nonyelum (aka Ngogbike Nkechi) egested 101 wraps in four excretions with a bid size wrap of the substance recovered from her private part, all weighing 1.50kgs.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation, DOGI, attached to courier companies in Lagos have intercepted various quantities of Dextromethorphan mixed with heroin; Methamphetamine; Dimethyl Sulfone and Cannabis concealed in different objects going to Europe.
While 272 grams of dextromethorphan mixed with heroin going to Greece were recovered from white neck beads; 665 grams of cannabis being shipped to Hong Kong were hidden in bars of Dudu Osun black bathing soap; with 261 grams of Dimethyl Sulfone going to New Zealand hidden in reels of weaving threads and 1.5kgs of Methamphetamine also going to New Zealand neatly packed in an MP3 player after all the parts were removed and the substance stuffed as replacement.
In Kano state, a woman and four men: Ladi Peter,47; Umar Salisu, 38; Ahmed Naheeb, 36; Ibrahim Umar, 42, and Musa Suleman, 43, were arrested in connection with the seizure of 977.7 kilograms of cannabis sativa from them by NDLEA operatives along Zaria-Kano road, Kwanar Dangora on Friday 4th August and Monday 31st July. In the same vein, 2,445 kilograms of cannabis sativa were recovered from the warehouse of a fleeing suspect, Usman Nar at Madinatu area of Jere Local Government Area, Borno state on Saturday 5th August.
No fewer than 57,450 pills of tramadol, rohypnol and exol-5 as well as 4,082 bottles of codeine-based syrup were recovered from a suspect, Joseph Usman in a commercial bus coming from Onitsha, Anambra state to Abuja along Abaji-Abuja highway on Friday 4th August.
In his reaction to the seizures and arrests of the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retired) commended the officers and men of MMIA, Kano, FCT and Borno Commands of the Agency as well as those of DOGI for their diligence, vigilance and professionalism in the discharge of their responsibilities. He charged them and their compatriots across the country not to rest on their oars.
Views exclusive rights: Femi Babafemi, Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja, Sunday 6th August, 2023.