Speculations that artistes are willing couriers of drug barons become rife with the recent arrest of ace guitarist of King Sunny Ade, Fatoke Abiodun, by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) with wraps of cocaine. The suspect who played guitar for music star, King Sunny Ade for three decades before he retired five years ago, was caught on January 1, 2013 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos while attempting to board an Air France flight to Italy. This followed the detection of two parcels of cocaine industrially hidden in the false bottom of his luggage. While confirming the arrest, NDLEA Commander the Lagos Airport Mr Hamza Umar gave the name of the suspect as Fatoke Abiodun. “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,” Hamza said. The 62- year- old grandfather who is married to four wives with many children is helping narcotic investigators handling the case. Fatoke has owned up to the alleged crime blaming his involvement on financial hardship. According to Fatoke, “after my primary education, I only did one year in the secondary school before I went into music. I can play any kind of guitar but my music career is a sad story. I played for King Sunny Ade for 30 years before I 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 involving myself 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”.
Speaking on how he got involved in drug trafficking, Fatoke explained that he got a call from a friend. “I live in Ibadan with my family. I was invited to Lagos where I was given 50,000 naira and they promised that every arrangement will be ready for me to travel soon. They promised to pay me one million naira. If not 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” Fatoke regretted.
NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade described the involvement of Fatoke in drug trafficking as sad and disappointing. In his words, “it is sad and disappointing for a grandfather to be involved in drug trafficking. This is a bad legacy to his children. This is a good start for the Agency in the year and a sign that the days ahead will be tough for drug traffickers. The Agency will continue to handle every case in accordance with the NDLEA Act”. The suspect will be charged to court for unlawful exportation and possession of narcotics. If convicted, he could spend the next 25 years in prison custody.
SOURCE: E 24-7 Mag.