The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Saturday announced that it has made its first arrest in the year 2013. 63-year-old veteran guitarist, Fatoke Abiodun who played for the King of World Beats, King Sunny Ade for thirty years was caught on his way to Italy on New Year’s Day with 1.57 kg of cocaine.
Two parcels of cocaine were detected in the false bottom of his suitcase while passengers waiting to board an Air France flight to Italy were being screened and he was promptly arrested by operatives at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
The Lagos Airport Commander of the NDLEA, Hamza Umar who made the disclosure said “we have made the first arrest in the new year. The suspect, a guitarist by name Fatoke Abiodun, was found with 1.575kg of cocaine. The drug was discovered in the false bottom of his luggage during the outward screening of passengers to Italy.
While speaking on how he got involved in the illicit act, the suspect who said he could play any type of guitar disclosed that he played as a member of King Sunny Ade’s band for 30 years before he was unceremoniously retired in 2007. “I was unprepared. And without severance money, I saw the bitter side of life. This is my first time of getting involved in drug trafficking. I did it out of frustration, because at my age I could not provide for my family. I am ashamed of myself”, he said.
He continued, “I live in Ibadan with my family. I was invited to Lagos where I was given N50,000. They promised that every arrangement would be ready for me to travel soon. They promised to pay me N 1 million. But for my condition, I would have turned down the offer. But it was my last hope to free myself from financial difficulty. I was given the bag and my ticket. But at the airport, NDLEA detected the drug. Since then, I have been in deep pain. I feel bad because I have no one to help me.”
NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade said it is “disappointing for a grandfather to be involved in drug trafficking”. He described it as a bad legacy to his children. He however stated that it is “a good start for the agency in the year and a sign that the days ahead will be tough for drug traffickers”. He also gave an assurance that the agency will continue to handle every case in accordance with the NDLEA Act.