The suspects, who were handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Lagos Command for further investigation and prosecution, were arrested in different locations at Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode Expressway, Ogun State and Gbeaji Customs check-point, Seme Expressway in Lagos State.
According to the Customs Area Comptroller, CAC, of the Command, Haruna Mahmod, who was represented by Acting Deputy Comptroller, Administration, Adamu Abubarkar, the suspected substance with Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N62.4 million, was heading for Cross River State before it was intercepted by eagle eyed officers of the command through intelligence gathering.
Receiving the suspects, Principal Staff Officer, PSO, of NDLEA, Chief Superintendent of Narcotics, CSN, Lawal Opeloyeru Isiaka, assured that the substance would be subjected to scientific examination after which the suspects would be charged. Customs officers refused to collect bribe from soldiers —Egede Narrating his ordeal to Vanguard, Egede said he was a taxi driver from Cross River State and had come to Lagos to visit her sister, who is a police woman.
According to him, “when I wanted to go back, I went to the bus stop, stopped buses that were travelling to Calabar before this one finally stopped for me. I told them that I was going to Calabar and they asked me to pay N10,000 but I pleaded with them before they agreed to collect N4,000.
There were two soldiers inside and a driver and were carrying a lot of goods but I managed to sit.
“When we got to Ijebu-Ode, Customs officers at a check point stopped us. When we opened the booth and they saw the goods, they started beating me and subsequently arrested me and the driver and put us inside their patrol van. Along the line, I didn’t see the driver again. They now brought me to their office.
“I don’t know about the driver now. I was carrying N100, 000 my sister gave me but the soldiers asked me how much I had on me so that they would give the Customs officers to release us. I then gave them N50,000 to bribe the Custom officers but they refused to collect the money from the soldiers. The soldiers did not give the money back to me. I don’t know what happened to the two soldiers thereafter.”
Vanguard gathered, through a security source, that the soldiers were handed over to the military authority for in-house disciplinary action as it is the usual practice between the military and para-military agencies.
I did not know I was carrying drug —Ikumapayi Another suspect, Ikumapayi, who claimed to be a commercial bus driver plying Osun-Lagos route, said he did not know that the parcel one woman gave to him in Lagos to deliver to Osogbo, Osun State, was not actually the clothes she claimed.
According to him, “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.
“As usual, while going, any police check point I passed, I gave them N50, N100 but when I got to Customs road block, they stopped me and searched all the goods loaded inside. Everybody showed his or her own. So they asked me to open that one. When I opened, they discovered that it was drug. I did not know that I was carrying trouble because; I did not check the bag.”