NDLEA Docks Bizman For Importing 27.95Kg Of Cocaine, Bribery
A middle aged man, Ejiofor Felix Enwereaku, was today arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, by the men National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for unlawful importation of 27.95 kilogramme of Cocaine, with market valued of N8 billion.
The defendant was also arraigned for offering bribe of $24, 500, 00, to the agency’s Operatives during his arrest.
He was arraigned before the court presided over by Justice Nicholas Oweibo, on charges bordering on conspiracy, unlawful dealing in Cocaine and offering bribe to the officer of Law Enforcement Agency.
Th offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Austine Nwagu, are contrary to and punishable under Section 14 (b) and 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Arraigning the defendant, the prosecutor, Mr. Nwagu, told the court that the defendant was arrested on May 14, 2021 at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, while lawfully Imported 27.95 Kilogrammes of Cocaine into the country.
The defendant was alleged to have committed the offence with an Ethiopian namer Mr. MG, who is said to be at large.
The prosecutor also told the court, that the defendant in a bid to evade arrest, offered the sum of $24.500, 00 USD, as bribe.
Following the defendant’s not guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand him in the custody of Nigerians Correctional Services (NCoS) till the determination of the charges against him.
But the defendant’s counsel, Chief Benson Ndakara, told the court he is not objecting to a trial date, he submitted that he has a summon for bail and same has been served on the prosecution. He therefore pleaded with the judge to allow him move the application.
After moving the bail application and the prosecution reply by way of objection, Justice Oweibo in a Bench ruling, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N10 million with two sureties one of which must be a landed property owner within jurisdiction of the court why the second surety must be a civil servant not below grade level 12 in the service of the Federal Government or Lagos State .
He added that particulars of the sureties must be verified by the prisecution.
Justice Oweibo further ruled that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the NDLEA, for a period of one week to allow him perfect his bail conditions after which he should be moved the the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).
He subsequently adjourned the defendant’s trial till November 10, 2021.
In a related development, another businessman, Egbo Emmanuel Maduka was also arraigned before the court for attempting to export 50 grams of Cocaine.
According to the charge filed by the prosecutor, Mr Augustine Nwagu, Maduka was alleged to have on or about June 4, 2021 during the outward clearance of cargo for DHL Cargo Flight to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea at SAHCO Export Shed of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, !keja, Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Court without lawful authority exported 50 grammes of Cocaine and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
During the arraignment of the defendant today, Nwagu told the court that he has a two count charge before the court and pleaded with the court to allow the charge to be read, so that the defendant can take his plea.
Following the reading of the charge and the defendant making a not guilty plea , Nwagwu ask the court for a trial date and the remand of the defendant in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service.
However, counsel to the defendant, Dennis Warri, in his submission told the court that he would not be opposing a trial date as requested by the prosecution. But told the court that he has a bail application filed on behalf of his client which has been served on the prosecution. He therefore pleaded with the court to allow him move the application.
After moving the bail application and the prosecution reply to same by way of objection, the trial judge in his ruling held that he is of the view that the defendant is entitled to bail.
Justice Oweibo, therefore granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N5 million with two sureties one of who should be a landed property owner within the Jurisdiction of the court while the other surety must be a civil servant not bellow grade level 12 in Federal or Lagos State employment.
The judge further ruled that the defendant be remanded the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned till November 10, 2021 for the defendant’s trial