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Nigerian politician arrested with cocaine

Politician Eme Zuru Ayortor was arrested at the international airport in Lagos, pictured here in 2007.
Politician Eme Zuru Ayortor was arrested at the international airport in Lagos, pictured here in 2007.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nigerian politician tried to smuggle almost five pounds of cocaine in his stomach
  • Authorities said he was trying to finance his election campaign
  • Eme Zuru Ayortor told officials he thought his status as politician would help him avoid arrest
RELATED TOPICS
  • Nigeria

A Nigerian politician has been arrested for trying to smuggle almost five pounds of cocaine in his stomach in a scheme to finance his election campaign, authorities said Monday.

Eme Zuru Ayortor, a 52-year-old pharmacist and a hopeful for Nigeria's Edo State House of Assembly, was arrested at the international airport in Lagos, drug officials said.

Officials became suspicious of the politician when a scanning machine in the airport revealed that he was carrying 2.120 kilograms (4.7 pounds) of cocaine in his stomach, according to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

Ayortor was trying to fly to Frankfurt, Germany, the agency said.

"After undergoing observation, the pharmacist turned politician excreted 100 pieces of powdery substance that tested positive to cocaine," the agency said in a statement.

"Preliminary check on him revealed that he was preparing himself financially for the forthcoming election into the Edo State House of Assembly."

The suspect told authorities that he was hoping his status as a politician would help him avoid being arrested.

"We do not look at faces in conducting drug screening and we are not moved by credentials. Whoever is dealing in narcotics shall be exposed and prosecuted," said Ahmadu Giade, chairman of the Nigerian drug agency.

 
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