A Nigerian man on trial for a large importation of the drug ice inside three fish statues has told the ACT Supreme Court he thought he was helping a friend’s decor business.

Jackson Igwebuike, 34, said when he realised what was happening he was “petrified” and unable to back out, after threats were made against him and his wife, who was in Nigeria.

He told the court he was “set up” by his friend.

“They have ruined by my life. I can’t even get a job,” he said.

Igwebuike said he was helped by the friend when he came to Australia to study.

He said he agreed to collect the fish statues for the man, which had been delivered to a Canberra address, and take them to Sydney.

Igwebuike was arrested attempting to board a bus from Canberra to Sydney with about 10 kilograms of methamphetamine.

He told the court he believed his friend made money out of the statues which were a home decor item “that Australians like”.

But the court heard before Igwebuike left for Sydney, two men who had been involved in the arrangements came and broke the fish open.

Inside the statues were bags wrapped in black tape, which the men allegedly told Igwebuike to take to Sydney.

Igwebuike said he expressed concern about transporting the bags because he did not know their contents.

But he said one of the men lifted his shirt to show he had a gun and then brought out a phone to show him a picture of his wife in Nigeria.

“They made it clear that if I did not take these items they would be prepared to kill my wife and destroy me,” he said.

“I was petrified.”

Igwebuike rejected suggestions from prosecutors that he made up the story about the two men and he was in control of the process.

The case is expected to wind up tomorrow.

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