By Daniel Eteghe There was a mild drama as Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday arrested a mother of three, Mrs. Saidat Bola Hassan who vomited about fifteen wraps of white powdery substances that tested positive for cocaine at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
The 48-year-old suspect was apprehended at the central screening section of the departure hall during screening of passengers on an Egypt Airline flight to Jedda, Saudi Arabia en-route Cairo when officials of the anti-drug agency discovered that she had ingested 80 wraps of cocaine weighing 904 grammes. NDLEA Abuja airport Commander Mr. Hamisu Lawan said that efforts were made to protect her from any harm resulting from drug ingestion.
“As soon as we discovered that the suspected wraps she vomited tested positive for cocaine, we took measures to ensure her safety by preventing any harm that may result from drug ingestion.
While under observation, she excreted sixty-five (65) similar wraps. In all, she ingested eighty wraps of cocaine weighing 904 grammes; her case is under investigation” Hamisu stated. Chairman of NDLEA, Col. Mohammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd) who expressed satisfaction with her arrest said that her action negates every principle of good parenting. “This is gross ineptitude on the part of a mother saddled with the responsibility of nurturing her children into future leaders. I am glad that she did not die from drug ingestion and she is alive to face trial. Besides escaping the risk of swallowing cocaine, this arrest also saved her because drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia is punishable by death.
She will soon be charged to court because the law must run its full course. I expect the general public to learn lessons from this case that drug trafficking leads to pain, ignominy and untimely death,” Abdallah said. The NDLEA boss added that his approach to drug control was both pragmatic and scientific, noting that every action taken must be based on best global principles while lessons learnt would influence the implementation strategies in the day to day operations.
Col. Abdallah stressed that the Agency would continue to sensitize members of the public by presenting facts and figures of drug trafficking as well as the larger picture of its ruin and devastation”. Narrating her ordeal, Mrs. Saidat Bola Hassan, a native of Idiroko, Ogun State who resides in Lagos Island said that she is a business woman dealing in clothing materials. According to her, “I am a business woman and I sell women clothes at Balogun Market. I used to buy my goods from Ghana. I was introduced into the drug business by a friend and business partner. The drug was brought from Abidjan, Ivory Coast and we were to share the proceeds equally. Until my arrest, I never knew that the cocaine I ingested would have led to my death in Saudi Arabia. I thank God for keeping me alive”.
It will be recalled that a female drug trafficker, Ifeoma Daniel Joy a native of Ukwa in Ukwa Local Government Area of Abia State who vomited wraps of cocaine at the departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja, Lagos later died as a result of cocaine bust in 2007. Joy, aged 29, was said to have died after one of the wraps of drugs she ingested burst while preparing to board an Ethiopian Airline heading for Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She had ingested 79 wraps of substances that tested positive for cocaine with a weight of 1.32 kilogrammes.