If not that I need a lot of money to cure the diabetes afflicting me, what do you think I would be doing in drug business?” asked Solomon Okwudili Abazu while being interrogated by anti narcotics agents in Lagos recently.
Abazu, 44, sells assorted wines at Lagos State Fair Ground along Badagry Expressway, in Lagos. A native of Anambra State, Abazu could not be said to be doing badly in his trade of choice.
A known diabetic, Abazu, however, wanted more money to up his trade and hence ventured into drug peddling. He recently told his close business friends that he just got a business link in Brazil and would be heading to the South American nation to perfect it.
Unknown to Abazu’s friends and business colleagues in Lagos, he had just been introduced into the illicit drug trade. True to his words, Abazu reportedly left Nigeria for Brazil not long ago and was billed to return home with some consignments of hard drugs meant to be delivered to a cartel in Lagos. So recently, Abazu boarded an Etihad Airlines flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil en route Lagos.
During the inward screening of passengers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Abazu reportedly tested positive to drug ingestion. As is the practice with suspects, he reportedly denied ingesting any drugs claiming that the scanning machine must have detected his diabetes and not hard drugs. Not wanting to play to the gallery, anti-narcotics agents placed Abazu in observation room and monitored him. Before long after he was placed on observation, Abazu reportedly excreted 63 wraps of substances that tested positive for cocaine weighing 1.345kg.
Medical doctors were also brought in to examine his diabetic claim and reportedly administer some medications on him for that purpose. In his confessional statement at NDLEA Abazu, who claimed he was a first time offender, maintained that he ventured into the illicit trade because he needed money to cure his diabetes. “I am a businessman and doing very well in that trade. I supply provision and wine at the Trade Fair Complex, Lagos.
My parents are dead and I am now sick. I need money for my medication while my family members look up to me as the bread winner. “If not for my diabetes that I need a lot of money to cure, what do you think I would be doing in drug business,” he asked. Abazu also reportedly pleaded with antinarcotics agents that this was his first time in the illicit trade. But in his reaction to Abazu’s arrest, Chairman of NDLEA, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, called for stiffer punishment for drug offenders in the country.
Said he, “The Agency will continue to arrest drug traffickers and charge them to court. One of the ways of preventing drug trafficking is through stiffer punishment. I commend the arresting officers and urge members of the public to expose drug traffickers in their neighbourhood”. Head, Public Affairs of the agency, Ofoyeju Mitchell, said that the suspect would be arraigned in court upon completion of investigation”.