By Christipher Oji
A 36-year-old man has been rearrested for the same offence of drug trafficking, a crime for which he is already standing trial in court. Nnaemeka Benjamin, who is standing trial for cocaine smuggling at the Lagos High Court, Ikoyi, was re-arrested with 1.820kg of heroin by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
Nnaemeka, who just completed the excretion of heroin he ingested, tested positive for narcotic ingestion during the inward screening of passengers on an Etihad flight from Pakistan last weekend.
The accused was first arrested in August 2009 with 1.796kg of cocaine on his way from Brazil. He was charged to court but later released on bail. He was re-arrested for importing 1.820kg of heroin on his way from Pakistan. According to NDLEA, preliminary investigation indicated that the suspect excreted some of the drugs in the flight. In 2009, Nnaemeka was caught with Nigerian international passport number A00052663 while in 2013 he was caught with another Nigerian passport number A02349133. It was also gathered that the suspect was recruited to smuggle the drug for a fee of N4 million.
The suspect, in his confessional statement, told NDLEA officials that he went back to drug trafficking because of unemployment.
“I am long overdue to marry but I have no wife. I know that what I did is bad but it is due to unemployment. I was first arrested in 2009 when I went to Brazil to smuggle Cocaine. When I came out on bail, there was no job for me to do. Although my case with the NDLEA is pending in court; I decided to try again hoping that I might be lucky.
This time around they promised to pay me four million naira. My intention was to settle down because I want to be working rather than staying idle. I am still single at my age. It is not that I do not want to be married but there is no money and no job”, he stated.
NDLEA Airport Commander, Hamza Umar said that the suspect was arrested after he tested positive to drug ingestion. “Nnaemeka Benjamin Anayo tested positive for drug ingestion during the inward screening of Etihad passengers. While searching his luggage, some wraps of drugs which he excreted on the flight were found on him. He excreted a total of 100 wraps weighing 1.820kg” Hamza stated.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Ahmadu Giade in his reaction called for stiffer penalties for drug offenders. In his words, “the Agency will continue to press for stiffer penalties for drug trafficking. In criminal justice, unless punishment is certain and commensurate to the crime committed, offenders will always be attracted by the financial incentives”. Giade also urged members of the public to shun drug trafficking. The suspect would soon be charged to court soon.