By Abiodun Sanusi
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested a fake couple Mr Onyebuchi Ilonzeh and his partner in crime, who identified as Mrs Nonyelum Ilonzeh, purportedly going for medical treatment in India, for ingesting 184 wraps of cocaine weighing 3.322 kilograms with 100grams of the drug also concealed in the woman’s vagina.
The two suspects were intercepted at Screening Point 1, Terminal 1 of the international wing of the Lagos airport on Tuesday, August 1, 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 a 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 Onyebuchi Ilonzeh and the lady to be Nonyelum Ilonzeh, 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 Nkechi Ngogbike,” the spokesperson for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi revealed in an official correspondence on Sunday.
Babafemi further noted that during her interview, Ngogbike confessed that she was recruited in her church in Aba, Abia state where she lives.
The suspect, Ngogbike Nkechi aka Nonyelum Ilonzeh stated further that she is a divorcee, and that Mr Ilonzeh 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, July 31.
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 $5,000 upon successful delivery of the drug in India.
The spokesperson for the NDLEA further noted that Mr Ilonzeh, who was into the clothing business in Onitsha, Anambra state, in his own statement, claimed that he was promised $2,000 after a successful delivery of the drug in India.
“A further search of the agency’s crime database revealed that Kingsley also obtained his travel documents with a fake identity for the trip. Indeed, it was established that he was arrested by NDLEA operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on March 19, 2022, for ingesting 100 wraps of cocaine weighing 2.243kgs upon his arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on board an Ethiopian airline flight.
“His travel documents then contained his real name Ikenna Uwaezuoke. After his arrest at the Abuja airport on March 19, 2022, along with another suspect, Iro 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 court bail when he was arrested at the Lagos airport for a similar offence on Tuesday, August 1,” Babafemi added.
While Ikenna Uwaezuoke aka Onyebuchi Ilonzeh excreted a total of 82 wraps of cocaine with a gross weight of 1.822kgs in five excretions, Ngogbike Nkechi aka Nonyelum Ilonzeh egested 101 wraps in four excretions with a big size wrap of the substance recovered from her vagina, all weighing 1.50kgs.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation, 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 nethamphetamine also going to New Zealand neatly packed in an MP3 player after all the parts were removed and the substance stuffed as a 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, August 4, and Monday, July 31. 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 LGA, Borno state on Saturday, August 5.
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, August 4.