A suspected drug dealer, Martins Okwor, 30, from Gwada in the Munya Local Government Area of Niger State, was recently arrested by the state police command after a tip-off from some members of the public. He tells ENYIOHA OPARA that he was in the business of selling marijuana to make fast money
How many times have you been arrested with illicit drugs in the state?
I have been arrested twice since the beginning of this year. The first time was on July 22, 2020 in Maitumbi, Bosso Local Government Area of the state. I was arrested by policemen attached to Maitumbi Division following a tip-off while the second arrest was carried out on October 16, 2020 by policemen attached to Gwada Division, Munya Local Government Area of the state. I was caught at Maitumbi while trying to escape with three sacks of marijuana loaded in a vehicle, along with five men working for me.
I pay my accomplices enough money to retain them in the business and they have worked for me for five years. The second time, I was arrested in a bush near Daza in Munya with 50 bags of marijuana out of the 70 bags supplied from Abuja. The remaining 20 bags of marijuana were in the possession of my business partner, who is now at large.
Did you have a job you were doing before you ventured into selling illegal drugs?
I had a chemist at Gwada but the business was not doing well. I was making little or no money and providing for my family was difficult. I had no option but to start doing what would give me quick money, at least to take care of my family. I managed the chemist for over seven years and it yielded nothing so my business associate taught me how to sell marijuana in all parts of the state and beyond.
How much money have you made from it?
Sometimes, I made between N700,000 and N1m but it depended on the number of bags of weed I got from my suppliers in Abuja. It could be between 50 and 150 bags in a month. To be honest with you, selling marijuana is lucrative. Once the consignment arrives, you start making money immediately because buyers are always available to buy weed. So within a short time, I’m able to request for more from my supplier.
How do you get the weed to your customers in other parts of the state?
I have my contacts in almost all parts of the state and outside the state. Once the weed arrives, I will be asked to pick it up at my shop in Gwada. I don’t have any problem with distribution and the good thing about it is that people pay before they get the weed. In this type of business, you don’t owe your supplier. I also never owed my business partner, who supplied the marijuana to me. But you won’t know when you will be caught, so it is ‘pay as you go’. You do not owe and if anything happens to you along the line or you are caught, you are on your own.
For instance, now that I am in police custody, none of them will come to rescue me. That is how it is. Even in my shop that was used as a collection centre, if I supplied weed to you and you got arrested by the police, you would bear the consequences.
How long were you in this business before you were caught?
I was in the illicit drug business for five years before I was caught. I started when my chemist could not give me enough money to feed my family. And I have been arrested twice. You must have a strong heart to do the business because it is risky. If you get caught, then that is how God wants it. But if you do not get caught, the sky is your limit as you will make quick money.
When you were arrested in July, what did you tell the police?
I lied to them. I was in Maitumbi in Bosso to distribute weed to my customers but I told the police that I was not one of the people they arrested me with. I said I was there to buy a plot of land and needed them to sign. Those arrested with me were identified as the brains behind the distribution of illicit drugs in the Bosso Local Government Area and other parts of the state. I’m sorry I denied them that day; they were my men, they worked for me. I was paying them between N60,000 and N100,000 for carrying out assignments effectively.
Was your wife aware that you were selling marijuana to members of the public?
No, she never knew. She only knows that I have a chemist at Gwada. She doesn’t even know that I am with the police now; it is unfortunate. I did not tell her about it because I knew she would discourage me. In fact, she would have reported me to family members. I know she will be extremely disappointed in me. Day and night, she prays for me to succeed in my business not knowing I have been involved in an illegal business.
Do you think she will divorce you when she knows the truth?
She will definitely divorce me because I lied to her about my business, which I was not supposed to do as her husband. I have wronged her; I can’t even approach her to ask for forgiveness. I hail from Enugu State; our culture abhors that. Who do I go to and who will believe my story that it was hardship that pushed me to start selling drugs? I am finished and ruined. I have dragged my family name in mud. I pray they forgive me.
What advice do you have for those who intend to start doing illicit drug business?
They should steer clear of anything that will mar their future and bring shame to their families. It is better to choose the right part in life when pursuing any goal.
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