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Majority of Our Celebrities Are Drug Peddlers—NDLEA

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said that majority of Nigerian celebrities were actually into hard drugs peddling.

Commenting on the latest on the arrest of the former lead guitarist with a popular Juju music maestro, King Sunny Ade, last year with cocaine at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, the NDLEA said the arrest was an indicator that more arrests within the category of such persons would be carried out this year.

Speaking with our correspondent in a telephone interview, the Chairman of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, said more attention shall be paid to personalities, celebrities and the likes who have found succour in drug trafficking lately.

He said as long as many of them still think they are sacred cow and that, drug trafficking is the only way to make money, “then they should wait for us, because we are ready for them this year. You may not know, but this is their trade. They do it with impunity but this year the game is over. I have decided any of our celebrity passing our airport or arriving must under-go 100 percent screening.”

Operatives of the NDLEA last year apprehended a veteran guitarist and former aide to a popular Juju Music maestro, King Sunny Ade with cocaine.

The suspect who played guitar for  King Sunny Ade for three decade was caught on January 1, 2013 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos while attempting to board an Air France flight to Italy.

According to him, the case against Sunny Ade's aide is currently in court.

Statement by NDLEA spokesperson, Mitchelle Ofoyeju, had said the arrest followed the detection of two parcels of cocaine clinically hidden in the false bottom of his luggage.

NDLEA Commander at the Lagos Airport Mr Hamza Umar, who confirmed the development also gave the name of the suspect as Fatoke Abiodun.

“We have made the first arrest in the new year. The suspect, a guitarist by name Fatoke Abiodun was found with 1.575kg of cocaine. The drug was discovered in the false bottom of his luggage during the outward screening of passengers to Italy”, Hamza said.

The 62-year-old grandfather who is married to four wives with many children is helping narcotic investigators handling the case. Fatoke has owned up to the alleged crime blaming his involvement on financial hardship.

According to Fatoke, “after my primary education, I only did one year in the secondary school before I went into music. I can play any kind of guitar but my music career is a sad story. I played for King Sunny Ade for 30 years before I was unceremoniously retired in 2007. I was unprepared and without severance money I saw the bitter side of life. This is my first time of involving myself in drug trafficking. I did it out of frustration because at my age I could not provide for my family. I am ashamed of myself”.

Operatives of NDLEA said they doubt if Fatoke is a first time trafficker as he claimed. “We doubt the sincerity of his claim when he said he is a first time trafficker because investigation has actually proved him wrong. He also said that financial difficulty pushed him to do it but we doubt because his former employer has told us that he was adequately retired with all benefits.”

The source added that, his former employer still takes good care of him even in retirement, so he cannot attribute his present predicament to financial difficulty. It is greed and pure greed that made him do it.”

NDLEA said the suspect would be charged to court soon. “We are making frantic effort to get his accomplices but he would cooperate with us, so we have resolved to charge him to court soon,” said he NDLEA chairman.

Nigeria Political Economist