A Nigerian pastor has been arrested at Victoria Falls Airport, Zimbabwe after being found in possession of more than two kilogrammes of cocaine stuffed in hats and jackets with a street value of ZW$126 752 000.
Desmond Onyii Onuoha (46) of Ruwa Paschoal 484 590 Paulo-Brazil or number 22 Samuel Eknola Street Lagos in Nigeria was arrested for drug trafficking on 23 October.
He appeared before the Regional magistrate, Mr Collet Ncube facing drug trafficking and possession charges, according to Chrronicle.
The court heard that on 22 October 2022, detectives from the Drugs and Narcotics Victoria Falls received information to the effect that Onuoha was travelling from Brazil via Ethiopia and was suspected to be carrying drugs with him to Victoria Falls.
The following day, detectives proceeded to Victoria Falls International Airport where they identified Onuoha as he went through the check-in process. He checked in using a Ghanaian passport. Detectives intercepted him and took him to the Victoria Falls Police Post.
A thorough search was conducted resulting in the recovery of cocaine leading to his arrest.
The recovered drugs had a total weight of 2 330 grammes and had a street value of ZWL126 752 000.
Onuoha denied the charge. Taking the witness stand during the opening of the defence case, Onuoha claimed he was married to a Zimbabwean woman and had come into the country to pay lobola for her. He said:
I’m a pastor in Nigeria and so I announced in church that I was travelling to Zimbabwe to see my mother-in-law for paying lobola in Bulawayo. I have been legally married to her since February of this year. One of my congregants then approached me and asked me to drop a bag for someone at Victoria Falls Airport since I had indicated that I would pass through there to see a friend. I don’t know anything about the bag especially its contents let alone the mentioned drugs. I was surprised when the police searched the bags and found drugs.
Judgement was set to be passed on Monday.
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