A 34-year-old commercial bus driver, Edwin Ozoani, died of an accidental overdose after a wrap of cocaine ruptured in his stomach.
Spokesman for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mitchell Ofoyeju, said the deceased returned from Brazil aboard a South African Airline flight and was picked up by agency operatives when he tested positive for drug possession during a screening at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos.
“He excreted 10 wraps of substances that tested positive for cocaine, weighing 180 grammes,” while he was still in NDLEA custody, Ofoyeju said.
But the drug trafficker soon started complaining about stomach pains and was rushed to the hospital where he died.
“A post-mortem examination showed that the death was due to one of the wraps of cocaine he ingested that ruptured in his stomach,” Ofoyeju said.
Ozoani had travelled to Brazil in March this year in search of better job opportunities, but found the drug trade instead when he faced hardships in the foreign country.
Chairman of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, called the death of the suspect “sad and painful”, and urged members of the public to “shun drug trafficking and make quality choices that will enable them to maximize their destinies”.
However, he noted the importance of government action, saying that if the government fails to implement more strident penalties for it, “drug trafficking will remain attractive”.
“Every case of drug trafficking involving drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine is worth several millions of naira. We must therefore wield the big stick against offenders to serve as deterrent. I’m optimistic that adherence to stringent bail conditions and minimum of 15 years jail term will turn the tide of events.