The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency is taking covert steps to monitor specific Nigerian celebrities moving in and out of the country, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
Spokesperson for the NDLEA, Mitchell Ofoyeju, who dropped the hint during a telephone interview with our correspondent on Thursday, did not reveal the names of such celebrities.
He was reacting to reports that some people in the entertainment industry find it easy to traffic drugs in and out of the country.
Ofoyeju said, “We have some people we are working on but it is not for us to say who is under our surveillance. The purpose of the investigation will become defeated. We have some credible leads that we are working on.
“This is not to say the NDLEA is relaxing its surveillance on ordinary Nigerians or other categories of travellers to ensure the eradication of drug trafficking in this country.
“You need to remember that the agency is an elite organisation that works basically through investigation. We don’t totally discountenance rumours, but such must have some leads we can work on.”
Ofoyeju said the increasing successes of the agency’s war against drug trafficking was the main reason the United States removed Nigeria’s name from the list of “drug major states.”
Asked if the renewed focus on celebrities was a result of the alleged drug ingestion saga involving Yoruba actor, Babatunde Omidina, popularly called Baba Suwe, Ofoyeju said the agency had always ensured that no Nigerian was treated as a “sacred cow” in combating drug trafficking.
He stated, “It is not even about Baba Suwe. The man was picked because there are no sacred cows. Our effort is a continuous thing. The issue of being a celebrity does not come in at all in the fight against drug trafficking.
“Everybody must be subject to the law of the land. Investigations that have to do with celebrities could take a long time depending on the mode of operation. It is a gradual process.”
Ofoyeju did not also give the reason for the choice of particular celebrities under investigation but promised that the outcome would be made known in due course.