A Nigerian preacher who was on his way to Nairobi for a three-week crusade was arrested with 54 joints of marijuana wrapped around his body at Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed Airport.
Reverend Ugochukwu Emmanuel Ekwem is the General Overseer of Christ Living Hope Church, reports indicate.
A General Overseer is a Nigerian who is in charge of a church that is either national or international.
Ekwem was reportedly apprehended while boarding an Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Monday, March 7.
The pastor had packed the marijuana rolls with the aim of using them while in Kenya, according to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) spokesperson Femi Babafemi, who confirmed the arrest.
“When tested, the 54 sticks proved positive for cannabis. The cleric confessed during a preliminary interview that he packed that quantity of illicit substance on his body to use during his three-week crusade in Kenya,” said Babafemi.
Ekwem is a well-known preacher with churches in Isuaniocha, Mgbakwu Road, Awka, Awka North LGA, Anambra State, as well as two other locations in Lagos and Abuja.
During the British Colonial East African Protectorate, cannabis production and consumption were prohibited in Kenya under the Opium Ordinance, a regulation that went into effect on January 1, 1914.
However, a bill, which is still being debated in Parliament, aims to decriminalize cannabis possession and use, expunge earlier cannabis-related convictions from criminal records, establish a lawful and controlled commercial sales program, and enact progressive taxation measures.