Two suspected smugglers have been arrested after they were found transporting parcels of hard drugs believed to be worth N62.4 million.
The suspects, Itobo Egede and Munirudeen Ikumapayi, were arrested by Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service at different Locations –
one at the Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode Expressway, Ogun State and the other at Gbeaji Customs check-point, Seme Expressway in Lagos State.
One of the suspects, Egede, while narrating his ordeal to Vanguard, implicated two soldiers as accomplices in the crime. He explained that he is a taxi driver from Cross River State who came to Lagos to visit his sister and was travelling back home. According to him, he stopped a bus travelling to Calabar and after negotiating the fare to N4,000 from the N10,000 at which it was placed, he got into the bus which had only the driver and two soldiers in it.
The bus they were travelling in was stopped by Customs Officers at a check point in Ijebu-Ode leading to the discovery of the goods. Egede said he was arrested together with the driver and put in a patrol van but after a while, he did not see the driver anymore. He claims that the soldiers asked him to provide money so they could bribe the Customs Officers. “I was carrying N100,000 my sister gave me, but the soldiers asked me how much I had on me so they would give the Customs Officers to release us. I then gave them N50,000 but they refused to collect the money from the soldiers.”
It has been gathered through a security source that the soldiers were handed over to the military authority for in-house disciplinary action.
The second suspect, Ikumapayi, has also claimed to be innocent, stating that he was a commercial driver who plied the Osun-Lagos route and the drugs found in his bus belonged to a woman who paid him to deliver the parcel to Osun State.
“I was loading my bus at Oshodi when one woman came with a parcel concealed in a wrapper and asked me to deliver it to someone in Osogbo, Osun State. I charged her N2,000 but she gave me N1,000 which I collected. She also gave me the phone number of the receiver and collected my phone number too. But I did not check the parcel before taking off.”
Both suspects will be charged after the substance suspected to be Canabis has been subjected to scientific examination, said Lawal Opeloyeru, Principal Staff Officer, PSO, of NDLEA, Chief Superintendent of Narcotics.