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HOW DRUG DEALERS IN NIGERIA TURNED A 12-YEAR OLD NIGERIAN-AMERICAN KID INTO A COURIER WHO SWALLOWED 87 CONDOMS FILLED WITH HEROINE


The sad story of how Prince Nnaedozie Umegbolu, a 12-year old Nigerian-American kid was made to swallow 87 condoms filled with heroin from Lagos to New York. His Georgia-based African-American mother Alissa Walden says her son was made to work as a mule for Nigerian drug dealers because he was desperate to return to the United States. The boy's father, Chukwunweike Umegbolu, 40, of Atlanta, has served seven years of a 10-year sentence for his role in a heroin ring that trafficked more than $33 million into Atlanta.

Special to USAfricaonline.com
USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
NigeriaCentral.com
The Black Business Journal

April 12, 2002: The mother of the 12-year-old boy who swallowed 87 condoms filled with heroin to smuggle to New York said her son worked as a mule for Nigerian drug dealers because he was desperate to return to the United States.

Alissa Walden (an African-American), who lives outside Atlanta, said she sent her son Prince Nnaedozie Umegbolu two years ago to the Nigerian town of Abuja so he could be with his paternal grandparents and go to school.

Walden said the boy, born in Georgia, hated life in Nigeria but that she didn't have the money to pay for him to come home to Norcross, Georgia. "I talked to him on the phone and he said he was wanting to come home," said Walden, who was making the drive from Georiga to New York Friday to see him.

"He told me 'Mom, I want to be reunited with my family.' But I didn't have the money to get him."

Walden said that after speaking with her son Friday by phone she learned he took matters into his own hands after meeting Nigerian dealers only too willing to exploit the youngster.

In the call to her son at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens in Flushing, Walden said Prince told her that drug dealers in Lagos, Nigeria, told him they would help him go home if he delivered the drugs to Brooklyn.

The boy would later tell authorities he was given $1,900 and put on a flight, alone and without luggage, from Lagos to London that connected with British Airways Flight 179 to Kennedy.

After 16 hours of traveling, he arrived in New York around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. With about four ounces of heroin in his belly, the boy walked unimpeded to the Kennedy taxi stand. By 11 p.m. he was in the back seat of driver Ronald Manning's cab. Reading from a piece of folded paper, he directed the cabbie to an address in East Flatbush. When they got to the address they found the apartment where he was supposed to meet his connection didn't exist. Manning helped the boy call Nigeria and the boy was directed to go to LaGuardia Airport, where, he was told, a woman would meet him to take him to his mother.

The cabbie stopped at a restaurant so the boy could go to the bathroom, where he passed about 40 of the condoms. Retrieving the drugs from the toilet, the boy placed them in a tube sock.

Manning told Newsday that there was no one waiting for the boy at LaGuardia so the cabbie asked two police officers what he should do with the boy and was directed to the Port Authority police station.

On the way, the boy admitted he was smuggling drugs and started to cry, telling Manning, "All I wanted to do was come to the States. All I want to do is see my mom."

Around 2:20 a.m., police whisked him to the hospital. Walden said she called her son's grandparents in Nigeria and they told her that he had left a note that did not say where he was going and had taken his passport.

They knew nothing of his smuggling plan, she said. Walden said she only knew that her son was coming here when she got a call from authorities Thursday. Deborah Seidenberg, chief of the Family Court division for the city corporation counsel, said the boy's case has not yet been referred to the Law Department by the Probation Department, which prosecutes crimes by juveniles.

He faces charges of juvenile delinquency &emdash; possession of a controlled dangerous substance. When the boy is released from the hospital, where he was listed in stable condition Friday night, he'll probably be lodged by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Steve Coleman, spokesman for the Port Authority, said both Walden and her son "have been very cooperative."

He said Port Authority police will work with federal agents to track down the Nigerian drug sources.The boy's father, Chukwunweike Umegbolu, 40, of Atlanta, has served seven years of a 10-year sentence for his role in a heroin ring that trafficked more than $33 million into Atlanta.

Walden said she divorced Umegblou two years before he went to prison, when the boy was three.
Special report by Sean Gardiner and Herb Lowe of New York Newsday and Joshua B. Goode of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Copyright © 2002, Newsday, Inc.


APPRECIATION
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."



DEMOCRACY DEBATE
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy livecast on February 19, 2002. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.

How Obasanjo's self-succession charade at his Ota Farm has turned Nigeria to an 'Animal Farm.' By USAfricaonline.com contributor Prof. Mobolaji Aluko
Obasanjo's late wake to the Sharia crises, Court's decision and Nigeria's democracy. By Ken Okorie
Obasanjo's own challenge is to imbibe "democratic spirit and practice," By Prof. Ibiyinka Solarin
Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's challenge and crises? By USAfrica The Newspaper editorial board member, attorney Ken Okorie. This commentary appears courtesy of our related web site, NigeriaCentral.com
Obasanjo's late wake to the Sharia crises, Court's decision and Nigeria's democracy. By Ken Okorie

Sharia-related killings and carnage in Kaduna reenact deadly prologue to Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967. By Chido Nwangwu.
Jonas Savimbi, UNITA are "terrorists" in Africans' eyes despite Washington's "freedom fighter" toga for him. By SHANA WILLS

Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa  
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials

TRIBUTE
A KING FOR ALL TIMES: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.




DIPLOMACY Walter Carrington: African-American diplomat who put principles above self for Nigeria (USAfrica's founder Chido Nwangwu with Ambassador Carrington at the U.S. embassy, Nigeria)
DEMOCRACY'S WARRIOR
Out of Africa. The cock that crows in the morning belongs to one household but his voice is the property of the neighborhood. -- Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah. An editor carries on his crusade against public corruption and press censorship in his native Nigeria and other African countries. By John Suval.
ARINZE: Will he be the FIRST BLACK AFRICAN POPE? By Chido Nwangwu
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY
How far, how deep will Nigeria's human rights commission go?
Rtd. Gen. Babangida trip as emissary for Nigeria's Obasanjo to Sudan raises curiosity, questions about what next in power play?
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game 
It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers

Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are Keys to prosperity in Africa


Apple announces Titanium, "killer apps" and other ground-breaking products for 2001. iTunes makes a record 500,000 downloads.
Steve Jobs extends
digital magic

Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam

Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu

USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston 2001 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.

Africa suffers the scourge of the virus. This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (above) in a hospital in the Kalafong township near Pretoria, South Africa, on October 26, 1999, brings a certain, frightening reality to the sweeping and devastating destruction of human beings who form the core of any definition of a country's future, its national security, actual and potential economic development and internal markets.


22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting

Why Bush should focus on
dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide. By Chido Nwangwu
NEWS
5 students from Nigeria at Abilene Christian University killed in March 31, 2002 one-car accident.18 year-old Kolawole Oluwagbemiga Sami was identified as the driver of the Isuzu which had 2 other men and 3 women. One of those female passengers in the 1994 Isuzu Rodeo SUV had an identification card stating her as Iyadunni Oluwaseun Bakare. She is also 18 years old. USAfricaonline.com special report by Chido Nwangwu
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability. By Chido Nwangwu
Tragedy of Ige's murder is its déjà vu for the Yoruba southwest and rest of Nigeria. By Ken Okorie
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
NEWS INSIGHT
CNN, Obasanjo and Nigeria's struggles with democracy.
Why Obasanjo's government should respect
CNN and Freedom of the press in Nigeria.
Jonas Savimbi, UNITA are "terrorists" in Africans' eyes despite Washington's "freedom fighter" toga for him. By SHANA WILLS


Lifestyle
Sex, Women and (Hu)Woman Rights. By Chika Unigwe

What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Africans reported dead in terrorist attack at WTC
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
Bola Ige's murder another danger signal for Nigeria's nascent democracy.

In a special report a few hours after the history-making nomination, USAfricaonline.com Founder and Publisher Chido Nwangwu places Powell within the trajectory of history and into his unfolding clout and relevance in an essay titled 'Why Colin Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.'

AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS
Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
CONTINENTAL AGENDA
Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents."

These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.'
Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president.
By Al Johnson