Tuesday, September 6, 2011

4 Nigerians escape death penalty in Malaysia

Like the biblical injunction which states that ‘the wages of sin is death’, in Malaysia, the punishment for trafficking in hard drugs is outright death by hanging; no appeal! Curiously, four Nigerians, Messrs Ugochukwu Emmanuel Innocent, Udeh Innocent Chukwuemeka, Olisa Kelvin Chukwuka and Mgbeajuo Alex Chigozie, perhaps, out of sheer greed or ignorance, would have increased the number of persons executed by hanging in the Asian country for allegedly trafficking in hard drugs. The suspects were rounded up at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos recently having been profiled to have ingested substances that tested positive for amphetamine weighing 5.715kgs.

Ugochukwu Emmanuel who travelled with a Nigerian passport bearing Gaye Jerry, 33, wanted to board an Ethiopian Airways flight when he was found to have concealed 600 grammes of Methamphetamine in the metal handle of his luggage while Udeh Innocent Chukwuemeka, 36, hid 2kgs of similar drug in a false compartment of his bag during the screening of Qatar Airways flight. Olisah Kelvin Chukwuka, 26, who was caught during the screening of passengers on an Egypt Air flight, ingested 1.300kg while Mgbeajuo Alex Chigozie, 31, who attempted to board an Emirate Airline, swallowed 1.815kg of Methamphetamine. All four suspects were destined for Malaysia.

Chairman of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade while reacting to the degree of involvement of Nigerian youths in drug deals urged the youths to join the anti-drug campaigns and make the world a drug -free place. The drug czar said, “While we celebrate the prevention of these four suspects from premature death, members of the public, particularly the youths, must make frantic efforts individually to resist drug trafficking. Another worrisome dimension is the number of Nigerians like Gaye Jerry with foreign passports and hidden identities who are on death roll in other countries. Everybody must be actively involved in this campaign.”

Sources at NDLEA intimated Crime Alert that Gaye Jerry, a native of Imo State but resides in Lagos, concealed 600 grammes in the metal handle of his luggage. The bag contained foodstuff meant to distract attention, still the drug was discovered during routine search at the luggage check desk. Gaye, a trader who sells clothes, lived in Gambia between 2000 and 2004. Like Gaye, Udeh Innocent Chukwuemeka who is a student in Malaysia, concealed 2kgs of methamphetamine in his bag. Udeh is studying English at Edutran College at Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia.

During interrogation, he confessed that he took the risk to improve his financial status. “I got involved in drug trafficking because I need money. I am an English language student in Malaysia. After my primary school at Central School, Nnobi, I was admitted at Madonna Commercial School also in Nnobi but I stopped in class two due to lack of fund. I also worked as a commercial motorcyclist and taxi driver in Abia State before I travelled to Malaysia in search of greener pastures. I regret my involvement,” he lamented.

Other suspects included two street hawkers who claimed that they were recruited by drug barons to smuggle illicit drugs out of the country. Messrs Olisah Kelvin Chukwuka and Alex Mgbeajuo Chigozie who hawk ice cream and musical disc respectively in Lagos ingested 72 pieces of Methamphetamine. The suspects who hail from Ebonyi and Anambra states respectively said they got involved in the devilish business for financial gains.


Related stories: 400 Nigerian citizens languish in Chinese prisons

NDLEA Arrests 103 Drug Traffickers

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