Fugitive Nigerian drug dealer rearrested at Johannesburg airport


A fugitive Nigerian drug lord who skipped bail and fled South Africa more than three years ago after failing to appear in court while attempting to re-enter the country on a flight from Nigeria, has been arrested by Hawks’ Serious Organized Crime Investigation Unit operatives.

EJES GIST NIGERIA learnt that on Thursday, January 21, 46-year-old Okonkwo Kingsley Nwabuike was rearrested at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

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On Friday, the Hawks spokesman, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, said that his arrest followed information obtained from Interpol about the suspect, who was circulated as wanted for drug trafficking in August 2017, said to be arriving from Nigeria at the Johannesburg airport. Shortly after his arrival, the Hawks pounced on him.’

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Nwabuike was initially arrested in Secunda on August 31, 2017, along with Cypriah Joshua Emeka, 31, during a search and seizure operation. Crystal meth, Kat and uncut rock estimated at R300,000 were found in their custody.

“Both of them were released on bail. While Nwabuike refused to appear in court and skipped bail, Emeka continued with his court appearances. The Hawks said, “He fled to his country and an arrest warrant was issued against him and he was flagged and circulated as a wanted suspect.”

On Friday, January 22, 2021, Nwabuike appeared before the Secunda Masgistrate’s Court and the case was postponed until January 26 for a formal bail application.

Meanwhile, Major General Zodwa Mokoena, Provincial Head of the Priority Crime Investigation Directorate, congratulated the team for the rapid response and the collaborative working partnership between the local police and INTERPOL that led to the arrest.


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