Justice Akintayo Aluko of a Lagos Federal High Court, has ordered the remand of two alleged drug mules, at the Ikoyi-Lagos facility of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till Friday, when their bail application shall be heard and determined.

The two alleged drug mules ordered to be remanded by Justice Aluko are, a-39 year-old woman, Nnochiri Chidinma Promise and Edward Omatseye, 37.

The court ordered their remand, after they pleaded not guilty to two counts charge of conspiracy and unlawful importation of 32.70 Kilogrames of Cannabis Sativa, a prohibited substance, made against them by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

NDLEA through its prosecutor, Mr. Augustine Nwagu, told the court the two defendants and a freight agency, Ben’s Cargo International, listed as first defendant, had November 19, 2022, during the inward clearance of cargo on Turkish Airline flight from United States of America at NAHCO Import Shed of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos conspired among themselves and unlawful imported 32.70 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa popularly called marijuana.

The prosecutor told the court that the defendants had conspired with the dou of Benjamin Isikwel and Igho Ubiribo, who are said to be at large.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the defendants contravened Sections 14(b) and 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under the same Act.

The two defendants however pleaded not guilty to the charges. The development which prompted the prosecutor to asked the court for a trial date, as we urged the court to remand them till the determination of the allegations against them.

The defendants were represented by Ralph I. and Anthony Nnamoko; Oluwaseun Awonuga and Pius O. for first, second and third defendants respectively. 

While Oluwaseun, lawyer to the second defendant, informed the court that his client’s bail application has been filed and served on the prosecutor, Pius, lawyer to third defendant, asked the court for a short date to enable him file his client’s bail application.

Responding, the prosecutor admitted being served with the second defendant’s application, which he said was being served while in court and needs time to go through it and file his counter.

Justice Aluko after hearing parties, ordered the remand of the two defendants, while fixed Friday, January 27, for hearing of their bail applications.

Meanwhile, Justice Aluko has ordered interim forfeiture of a Toyota Camry Car with registration Number APP 175 GD, allegedly used in transporting the smuggled 32.70 Kilogrames of Cannabis Sativa.

The car which was said to belong to the second defendant, Edward Omatseye, was allegedly used to transport the prohibited weeds from the airport.

Justice Aluko made the interim forfeiture order, following an application filed and argued by the prosecutor, Mr. Augustine Nwagu.

The prosecutor told the court that the application was pursuant to SECTIONS 44 (2)(k) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria (as amended) Sections 31(A)(C) 28, 33, 34 and 36 of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 Laws Of The Federation Of Nigeria 2004, and under the court’s inherent jurisdiction. 

Nwagu told the court that the order sought would be pending the conclusion of the prosecution of the charges against the defendants.

Upon hearing the prosecutor, Justice Aluko ordered that the car in the interim be forfeited to the federal government of Nigeria, till the determination of the charges against the defendants.