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Pilgrim Heading to Saudi Arabia Excretes 76 Pellets of Cocaine at Abuja Airport



Basira Binuyo

Basira Binuyo

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said that it has arrested one Basira Binuyo Iyabo, 55, a pilgrim heading to Medina, Saudi Arabia, to perform the annual pilgrimage, after she tested positive to narcotic ingestion at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

A statement by the agency said that it also arrested a 37-year-old father of three, Henry Okpalanem, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, who had inserted seven wraps of cocaine weighing 355 grammes into his anus.

“She (Binuyo) has so far excreted 76 pellets of drugs that tested positive for cocaine. Meanwhile, she is still under observation until the drugs are completely expelled,” Hamisu Lawan, NDLEA commander at the Abuja airport.

The suspect, who was arrested during the outward screening of passengers on an Emirate flight to Medina through Dubai, is a trader at Dosumu market, Lagos. She hails from Irepodun local government area of Kwara State and is married with three children.

“I wanted to expand my cosmetic business but I have no money. My sponsor offered to foot my expenses to Saudi on pilgrimage. I was excited until I was asked to take drugs along. I wanted to decline but considering the offer of a million Naira, I accepted. I swallowed the drugs in Lagos and took flight to Abuja on my way to Medina but I was caught in the process,” she said

Henry Okpalanem was apprehended during an outward screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight to Hong Kong, China through Addis Ababa.

Pellets of Cocaine found on Henry Okpalanem

Wraps of Cocaine found on Henry Okpalanem

“The name on his passport is Diara Sauduo while his Nigerian name is Okpalanem Henry. The case is under investigation,” said Ahmadu Garba, NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport.

He said that the suspect, who hails from Imo State, holds a dual citizenship of Nigeria and Mali.

The NDLEA said the suspect did not show any remorse upon his arrest.

“I know that there is capital punishment for drug trafficking in China but I was optimistic of safe passage. Unfortunately, I was caught with only seven wraps. Maybe that is my destiny,” Okpalanem told NDLEA investigators.

“We will continue to be on the alert in protecting all exit and entry points from drug trafficking organisations. I am glad that the suspects were arrested here thus preventing them from untimely death and also protecting the image of our country from disrepute,” said NDLEA Chairman, Colonel Muhammad Abdallah (Rtd).



  1. Candy

    September 2, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Hmmmm this is serious and the height of it. This economy is driving people nut. I so need help badly,working with a paint company and have been ttcing since last year. Doctor said I have to resign but no job out there. Hubby ask me to choose between the place of work or my home. Begging him to pls allow us save a little till December then I will resign to start a small scale biz but he won’t hear of this. Am so confused, I don’t know what to do the economy is too hard. I need help pls.

    • Madam

      September 3, 2016 at 6:31 am

      Candy how many times are you going to post this. Thought you claim to have resigned already. Make Una fear God oooo

  2. Oh please

    September 2, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    @Jide, I’m sure this one is Igbo too.

    • Common sense

      September 3, 2016 at 5:01 am

      Really no need, pathetic comment all things considered. Sickness continues what a damn shame.

  3. Egusi Soup

    September 2, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    ₦197 to a Dollar

    • Mr.A

      September 2, 2016 at 11:14 pm


  4. Err

    September 2, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Sad,Nigerians are passing through very challenging times.Drugs should not be the way out.

  5. seemesee

    September 2, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Am I on the same planet as these folks?

  6. Mystique

    September 3, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Ofcourse you’d find an Igbo person in the mix somehow….. on a serious note, something needs to be done fast cos all these crimes are a by-product of poverty and lack.

    • Mama

      September 3, 2016 at 12:52 am

      It is mostly a by product of moral decadence and greed. None of the people caught live in penury. Many of them already have established businesses but they want more. Putting it down to poverty exempts them of responsibility. As we speak, there are those who don’t know (literally) where their next meal will come from and they haven’t yet taken to crime. If we fail to re-evaluate our values and morals as a people, and stop this money “worship”, then I don’t see this ending even after things improve.

    • artklub

      September 3, 2016 at 10:47 am

      u said it all!

    • Common sense

      September 3, 2016 at 5:04 am

      Could be anyone, Igbo or marlian…misfortune does not discriminate. Come on people..evolve!

  7. Marlvina

    September 3, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Sighs! They don’t even consider their health when swallowing these pellets. It could damage an organ.

  8. Fols

    September 3, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Madam be happy that you didn’t make it to Saudi; they would have caught and executed you!

  9. Sugabelly

    September 3, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Bish doesn’t know how lucky she is.
    Had she reached Saudi Arabia, she would have been beheaded.

  10. dupsy

    September 3, 2016 at 4:26 am

    Thank God the NDLEA people and Nigerian border officials are catching these ignorant people really fast! Don’t they watch news or even still You Tube to see how they kill drug traffickers in the countries they are taking these illegal drugs to? In Indonesia they take you to the thickest part of the forest in the middle of the night, tie you to a tree, blindfold you and then shoot your heart out. In China they hang you like a frog from a pole! In Saudi Arabia, they bring you out into the village square called chop chop head square in front of thousands of people and read your offence out in Arabic before they make you to kneel down, blindfold you and then poke you at the back with a sharp knife before one huge man uses a medieval sword to chop off your head!
    Is this how these people want to leave this world and put your family in so much sorrow and shame for a couple of million naira????

    Please we all are feeling the economy but I would prefer to drink my garri and eat my epa now and hope for a better tomorrow for me and my children instead of stupidly and ignorantly going on a death and shameful errand! Please familiarize yourself with Google, YouTube and videos on the Internet to see what happens to drug mules! A word is enough for the wise! I don say my own

  11. Aribaba

    September 3, 2016 at 4:43 am

    She should be lucky that she was caught in Abuja. If she was caught in Saudi, it’ll beheading straight. No begging

  12. Bodunade

    September 3, 2016 at 7:47 am

    This economic is driving more and more Nigerians to crime.

    I’m at crossroads too, should I be happy I’m finally moving forward or sad it’s a trap. Well, 48 more hours to decide.

    • artklub

      September 3, 2016 at 9:14 am

      yes its not her fault that she decided to traffic drugs .its God & Buhari’s fault. well i guess passing the blame is an ingrained nigerian characteristic.

    • Bodunade

      September 3, 2016 at 10:31 am

      I wasn’t trying to apportion blame though. Just general talk. You got God and Buhari from?
      Oh and the sarcasm, nice one.

    • dupsy

      September 3, 2016 at 5:17 pm


      Don’t go please abeg it is a real trap o! Don’t let anyone deceive you o! They will catch you o! Go and watch YouTube videos and see what happens to drug mules! Please think of your family and the life you would have lived. Don’t let anyone use your life to enrich themselves, it is not worth it at all. May God open your eyes!

    • Bodunade

      September 4, 2016 at 9:22 am

      Not drugs. Go as per taking a decision not trafficking. Amen to your prayers. Thank you.

  13. artklub

    September 3, 2016 at 9:16 am

    this falling economy will annoy long throat people because they will not be able to carry on with conspicuous consumption and shakara. i feel sorry for the real poor but not for the greedy. and why is this the 2nd 50+ year old caught trafficking in 1 week? these are our elders abi?

  14. Nakoms

    September 3, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Nigerians pkeade lets stop blaming thingso like this on the economy. The problem here is our values. We place a greater value on material things and assess people based on how much they consume and not on what they produce, hence we have an epidemic of consumption exhibitionism.
    One of the richest men in the world came here and and was walking around on t-shirt and jeans even getting a commendation from the president himself regarding his simplicity.
    Our warehouses have closed down to be occupied by churches
    Coming back to the woman, if she had succeeded she would have flaunted her I’ll gotten wealth even in church singing na God win o.

  15. Prince

    September 3, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    The same people they sold dollar to at N199 in the name of religion. The thunder wey go fire una go first tap una for back before e scatter una life.

    • artklub

      September 3, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      di thunda! di thunda! 😀


    September 4, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Yet these pligrims are beneficiaries of dollars rates which genuine manufactures have no access to. Down with the zoo!

  17. Xoxo

    September 4, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    These are the people that we are subsidizing dollars for embarrassing themselves and Nigeria up and down. A privilege real business owners don’t have access to. Please enough with the excuse of the terrible economy. More than half of Nigerians are hit hard by the recession. So if the half of us decide to go about stealing, killing and pushing drugs who will be left? Yes things are hard but get off your butt and stop looking for quick money. Our leaders are very corrupt that is true but we the masses are we not equally corrupt? In our businesses, way of life, etc. there can never be change in Nigeria if we don’t start to act. It is very obvious our leaders are there for show so how about we start the change in our daily activities.

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