But Okonkwo (44) and Ifedigbo (37) had different stories to tell on why they embraced drug trafficking. The suspects inserted seven wraps of cocaine each, weighing 350 grams into their alimentary canals to evade arrest.
Okonkwo said that he accepted to smuggle drugs because of frustration and also because he needed money to leave Brazil. On the other hand, Ifedigbo said he became a drug courier because he was looking at the profit margin. NDLEA agents arrested the suspects at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, on Nigeria-Brazil route.
They were arrested during the inward screening of passengers on a Royal Air Maroc flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil through Casablanca, Morocco. The agency recovered 700g of powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine from the two suspects.
Okonkwo said: “I was stranded in Brazil where I worked as a waiter in a restaurant for two years. Life was awful as I struggled daily to feed myself. When I was contacted to smuggle cocaine to Nigeria, I was very happy because it was an opportunity to return home.
"My sponsor also promised to pay me N500,000, with which I had planned to start a business.” Ifedigbo, who has also spent two years in Brazil, described his arrest as a stroke of ill-luck.
He said: “I’m a businessman. I import female shoes from Brazil since 2014. This arrest is just bad luck for me because I was already calculating my profit from the deal.”