Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) say they have arrested two individuals — Mr. Ilonzeh Kingsley Onyebuchi and Mrs. Ilonzeh Roseline Nonyelum — who pretend to be hisband and wife.
The ‘couple’ claimed they were going for medical treatment in India, NDLEA said.
The agency claimed that the suspects had ingested 184 wraps of cocaine weighing 3.322 kilograms, with 100grams of the drug also concealed in the woman’s vagina.
According to a social media post by Director, Media and Advocacy at NDLEA Headquarters, Femi Babafemi, the two suspects were intercepted at the Screening Point 1, Terminal 1 of the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Tuesday 1st August 2023 while attempting to board an Ethiopian airline flight to India.
“Though their travel documents showed consistency in their names and depict them as a couple, an NDLEA officer however decided to subject them to 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 identified the man as Ilonzeh Kingsley Onyebuchi and the lady to be Ilonzeh Roseline Nonyelum, 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 Ngogbike Nkechi,” NDLEA stated.
The agency said that during her interview, Ms Ngogbike confessed that she was recruited in her church in Aba, Abia State where she lives.
The suspect, Ilonzeh Roseline Nonyelum (aka Ngogbike Nkechi) stated further that she is a divorcee, and that Kingsley 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 31st July.
“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,” NDLEA stated.
In his own statement, says NDLEA, Kingsley, who was into clothing business in Onitsha, Anambra State, claimed he was promised $2,000 after he migh have successfully delivered the drug in India.
“A further search of the agency’s crime data base revealed that Kingsley also obtained his travel documents with fake identity for the trip. Indeed, it was established that he was arrested by NDLEA operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on 19th March 2022 for ingesting 100 wraps of cocaine weighing 2.243kg upon his arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on board an Ethiopian airline flight. His travel documents then contained his real name: Uwaezuoke Ikenna Christian,” NDLEA added.
After his arrest at the Abuja airport on 19th March 2022 along with another suspect, Iro Elvis 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 the court bail when he was arrested at the Lagos airport for a similar offence on Tuesday 1st August.
While Ilonzeh Kingsley Onyebuchi (aka Uwaezuoke Ikenna Christian) excreted a total of 82 wraps of cocaine with a gross weight of 1.822kgs in five excretions, Ilonzeh Roseline Nonyelum (aka Ngogbike Nkechi) egested 101 wraps in four excretions with a big size wrap of the substance recovered from her private part, all weighing 1.50kgs.
In his reaction to the seizures and arrests of the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of MMIA, Kano, FCT and Borno Commands of the agency, as well as those of DOGI for their diligence, vigilance and professionalism in the discharge of their responsibilities.
He charged them and their compatriots across the country not to rest on their oars.