The General Overseer of Christ Living Hope Church, Rev. Ugochukwu Emmanuel Ekwem, has been arrested for drug trafficking.
Spokesman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Femi Babafemi, who confirmed this, said Ekwem was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos State, while on his way to a three-week crusade in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to Babafemi, 54 sticks of drugs were wrapped around his body.
He said the youthful and popular preacher, who has his church headquarters in Isuaniocha, Mgbakwu road, Awka, Awka North LGA, Anambra State, and two other branches in Lagos and Abuja, was arrested on Monday 7th March, during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi via Addis Ababa.
“When tested, the 54 sticks proved positive to cannabis. The clergyman confessed during preliminary interview that he packed that quantity of illicit substance on his body to use during his three weeks crusade in Kenya,” Babafemi said.
On the same day, another passenger, Nnakeanyi Chukwuka King, who arrived the airport on Ethiopian Airlines flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, was intercepted during the inward clearance of passengers at the E-Arrival Hall of the MMIA.
During a search of his luggage, 40 parcels of Cocaine concealed inside bottles of body cream with a gross weight of 9.70kgs were recovered from the suspect.
Three days later, Wednesday 9th March, another passenger on Ethiopian Airlines flight to Italy, Mr. Edo Blessing, was intercepted at the Departure Hall of the airport with 2,090 tablets of Tramadol 225mg and Flunitrazepam.
The suspect who hails from Edo State but lives in Italy claimed ownership of the recovered psychotropic substances.
Also on the same day, operatives arrested a freight agent, Rafiu Abbas at the NAHCO Export Shed of the airport when he presented a cargo containing 19.15kgs cannabis going to London.
The illicit substance was concealed inside plastic containers labelled as ‘African Dishes’ and packed in a bag.
Meanwhile, a 63-year-old Vincent Obimma was on Friday 11th March arrested with 350grams of cocaine and 150grams of heroin by NDLEA operatives at a park in the Apapa seaport corridor in Lagos.
The drugs were hidden in industrial torch packets heading to Kano State. Also, a drug dealer in Kaduna State, James Okenwa, was arrested in a follow up operation at Central Market, Kaduna.
He admitted the ownership of 1,807 bottles of cough syrup with codeine that were earlier recovered from two suspects at tollgate.