Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency were shocked to discover that one their latest arrest was a man who had twice been arrested and twice convicted and sentenced to prison.
The apparently unrepentant suspect, Ejike Martins, 53, was said to have been arrested twice for drug trafficking and sentenced twice, yet he is on his way back to prison following his present arrest.
The Kano State Command of the NDLEA apprehended Martins and one ThankGod Obums, 35, also an ex-convict, as they attempted to smuggle dried weeds, which tested positive for cannabis sativa.
The duo was caught along Emir Road, Sabon Gari, Kano with a dark green Mercedes Benz Car, marked AA809AJG, containing compressed 104 blocks of Cannabis sativa, weighing 66kg.
The NDLEA Commander in Kano State, Ahmadu Garba, said: “We responded swiftly to an intelligence report on the duo and when we got to their location at Emir Road, they were found to be in possession of compressed cannabis with a total weight of 66kg. They have claimed ownership of the drugs, stating that it was a joint business. They both contributed the start-up capital with which they invested in cannabis smuggling.”
According to the Agency’s spokesman, Mitchel Ofoyeju, preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects had earlier been convicted for drug trafficking.
Ofoyeju explained: “Findings on Ejike Martins are particularly disturbing. Ejike travelled to Lagos in 1982 in search of job opportunities after his primary education. He was first arrested by the NDLEA for drug trafficking in 2005 on his way to Spain at the Lagos airport. NDLEA charged him to court for attempting to export one kilogramme of cocaine to Spain. He was found guilty and sentenced to two and half years imprisonment but he mischievously evaded jail term. Three months after his criminal jail evasion, he was apprehended at the Kano airport with 4kg of cocaine.
“This second arrest made the NDLEA to uncover the jail evasion cartel in 2007. Ejike was sentenced to five years jail term for smuggling 4kg of Cocaine found on him at the Kano Airport. The charge number is FHC/IL/CR/183/2007, FGN VS Ejike Martins. In order for him not to go scot-free on the first conviction, NDLEA re-arrested Ejike at the gate of the Kano Prison after completing his four years jail term and took him to Lagos to serve the initial jail term that he evaded in 2006. After completing the arrears of his sentence, he regained his freedom in January 2014. Still not remorseful, Ejike went back to drug trafficking. This time around, he connived with one Obums to smuggle cannabis from Edo State to Kano. He is currently being investigated in Kano.”
Ofoyeju said that background check on Obums revealed that he gained admission into Delta State University in 2001 but dropped out of school at 300 level in 2003.
He was first arrested for dealing in cannabis by the NDLEA in Kano State.
He was convicted but after spending three months in prison custody, he regained his freedom after the wife paid the fine N350,000.
The NDLEA Chairman, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, reassured Nigerians that no drug trafficker would go unpunished in the country.
Giade said: “The case history of Ejike is a reflection of the rising capacity of the NDLEA as a strong institution. The data management system in the Agency has significantly improved. Our transition from a short term to a long term undercover operations is yielding very positive results. The foundation for effective policing is strongly established and I can reassure Nigerians that no drug dealer shall go unpunished in the country. Unless drug traffickers quit the criminal act, we shall continue to bring them to book.”