Sometimes in life, you don’t get a warning about what’s ahead of you. Some things show up, and you are expected to make tough decisions that have to weigh many factors, such as love, the law, societal norms, and moral values. Suppose you find yourself in an online dating scenario where you only want a good time, and a drug trafficker shows up and asks for your help. Will you stake it all out for love? For Navigating Nigeria this week, Citizen spoke to Angela*, who narrated how she almost unknowingly became a drug courier.

*Name redacted to protect their identity

Editorial Note: Navigating Nigeria is a platform for Nigerians to passionately discuss the Nigerian experience with little interference from individual opinions. While our editorial standards emphasise the truth and endeavour to fact-check claims and allegations, we are not responsible for allegations made about other people based on half-truths.

Walk us through your experience

This was in April 2021. It had been years since I had a boyfriend or someone to call a lover. It also didn’t help that I’m an introverted person. Parties and nightclubs weren’t scenes I was accustomed to. 

Because of this, I used Tinder, the dating app, to connect with people within my neighbourhood. Call it naïveté, but I wasn’t particular about the age of the guys. I was looking for anyone with a fine face and a sexy body.

Lol. Any luck?

I found the profile of this fair-complexioned and handsome man named David, who happened to be in his 30s. I swiped right to accept, and after a few minutes, I got a notification that he swiped right on my profile too. Boom, a match! 

We then got talking, and he mentioned that he worked as a project manager in London and was coming to Nigeria for his sister’s wedding the following weekend. 

He then asked me if I was single or in a relationship, as he was looking for a cool lady to “settle down with” and that he “admired me.” I began to suspect that things were fishy because how could he admire me after only two days of knowing each other? But I went along with it. 

A few days later, he came to my DMs to ask if he could buy anything for me since he was coming to Nigeria. I told him it wasn’t necessary, and he sounded cool about it. 

The following week, I woke up early in the morning to receive a call from a freight agency saying that I had a package from David. That morning, David had also sent a message that he had sent me gifts despite my earlier insistence that it wasn’t necessary.

The gift items included an iPhone 11, wigs, shoes, and a sealed box. I won’t lie, I was so excited and started planning how to receive the package from Customs. 

Three hours later, I got a call from Customs asking me what was in the box. I told him it was £300 as David told me, and they didn’t believe me. They had dogs sniff the package, and they had every reason to suspect that there were drugs in it. 

I confronted David about it, and he told me that he had kept both £300 in the box for me and also five grammes of methamphetamine, aka meth, which is a banned substance. 


He wanted to sell it to a firm in Nigeria to produce certain pills. David also told me things had been difficult for him in London, and he was planning to relocate to Nigeria. He had to use the drug to get money for relocation. It was then that I knew that I had been interacting with a drug trafficker all along and that I was in serious trouble if this matter proceeded any further. 

He begged me to tell them it was just money, but I refused and left Customs to confiscate the package. We never spoke again after that day.

What was your takeaway from the whole experience?

The primary emotion I felt was anger, not even fear. Because if I had known that the guy was a drug pusher, I wouldn’t have gone through this wahala. Thankfully, I wasn’t there when the dogs were sniffing the package. It was the Customs guy who informed me of the arrival of the goods and told me everything via phone.

I only got away without much trouble because I was crying hot tears on the phone. And this was after I paid #10k or so. Even then, I had to plead my innocence with them, using my age as a young girl who’d never met the man in my life. Since then, I’ve not used Tinder again. I prefer making real-life connections.

***In April, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime released its Global Cocaine Report for 2023. The report revealed that Nigeria played a significant role in the smuggling of drugs—particularly at mid-level and dealer levels—in Africa and beyond.

ALSO READ: Is Nigeria the Cocaine Capital of Africa?



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