A Nigerian based in South Africa, Ozoh Chukwuemeka, has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for trafficking N50m worth of cocaine.
The 45-year-old barber was apprehended at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos with 6.100kg of the substance.
The drug was detected during the outward clearance of Arik Air passengers to South Africa.
NDLEA Airport commander, Mr Hamza Umar, said the discovery was made at the baggage checking desk at the departure hall.
He said, “The drug which was neatly hidden in a false compartment of Ozoh’s luggage was discovered during routine check on passengers.”
Ozoh, a father of one, insisted on his innocence. He claimed he was made to believe the bag contained chemicals.
He said, “A friend of mine in South Africa requested that I bring a bag containing chemicals from Nigeria to South Africa for $3,000. I asked him if it was drug but he said it was just chemicals. He paid for my return ticket.
“I am only struggling to take care of myself with my barbing business. If I had known that things will turn out this way I would have rejected the proposal.”
NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, said Ozoh’s explanation was unacceptable. “At 45 years, he should have known better. In any case, ignorance is not an excuse and he will soon be arraigned under the NDLEA Act as soon as investigation is concluded,” he added.