It was the end of the road for 48-year-old mother of three, Saidat Bola Hassan after she allegedly vomited 15 wraps of white powdery substances that tested positive for cocaine at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Friday, February 12, 2016.
The incident occurred at the central screening section of the departure hall as passengers on an Egypt Airline flight to Jedda, Saudi Arabia, through Cairo were screened.
She was immediately apprehended by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officials. While under observation, it was discovered that Mrs. Hassan ingested 80 wraps of the substance, weighing almost one kilogram as she excreted another 65 wraps.
ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with the agency’s spokesperson, Mitchell Ofoyeju who gave us insight into how she was arrested and the latest on the case…
What’s the latest on the woman who vomited some wraps of cocaine at Abuja airport last week?
She’s in good health condition and she’s due to appear in court soon.
How soon, can you give us a time line?
Before the end of the week.
How was she arrested, what were the circumstances surrounding that?
I would say nemesis. She ingested the drugs with the intention of concealing it. But nature in its own way made her to throw up. It was quite interesting to see that what we were looking for with screening machine is just being thrown up on the floor. It was an easy and interesting task.
So your operatives took it up from there…
Exactly. The moment we recovered the substance, we immediately went to confirm if it was actually narcotics. And as soon as that was done, we invited in medical practitioners, because we had a similar case in 2007 where a lady threw up some drugs at the Lagos airport, unknown to her that one of the wraps had burst in her stomach, so she died. In the case of Saidat, I think she’s quite fortunate.
Usually, there’s someone else involved in the deal, has she made a confession to that effect?
No, she hasn’t. But from her statement, the person that connected her is actually a business partner in Ivory Coast. And since it’s another country, it might not be that easy for us to breakthrough, unless in partnership with the law enforcement agents there to track the person down.
Would you say drug trafficking is on the rise?
Statistically, we won’t say it’s on the rise. But people need to understand that life is not just about money. People need to understand that a good name is better than riches. And you and I need to join hands to create awareness among the people to make them understand that. That way they will not be involved in such things.
In Mrs. Hassan’s statement to the NDLEA which was made available to ENCOMIUM Weekly, she claims to be a business woman dealing in clothing materials at the popular Balogun market. She also revealed that she is a native of Idiroko, Ogun State and resides in Lagos Island.
Her words, “I am a business woman and I sell women clothes at Balogun market. I used to buy my goods from Ghana. I was introduced into the drug business by a friend and business partner.
“The drug was brought from Abidjan, Ivory Coast and we were to share the proceeds equally. Until my arrest, I never knew that the cocaine I ingested would have led to my death in Saudi Arabia. I thank God for keeping me alive”.