Court Summons NDLEA Officials Over Alleged N2.5m Bribe

Justice Akintayo Aluko of a Lagos Federal High Court, has compelled the appearance of three officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over alleged N2.5 million bribe.

The three officials the court compelled their appearance are: Quatu Mohammed (CSM), one officer Sanni, an Investigation Officer (IPO) and Umar Isa Adoro (ACGN), Lagos State Commander of the NDLEA.

Justice Aluko directive was sequel to a revelation made by a convicted drug dealer, who accused the officials of collecting the money from her with the promise of setting her free, which she said they failed to do.

The convict, Fatima Hassan, was accused of unlawful dealing in 33.5 kg of Cannabis sativa popularly called marijuana.

The offence is contrary to contrary to and punishable under Section 11(c) of the NDLEA Act. 

She pleaded guilty to the charge, and was sentenced to the term of four years imprisonment, with  an option of payment of a fine in the sum of N1 millions.

The judge however ruled that “if the convict elect to pay fine, in addition the convict is sentenced to perform community service by picking up refuse, sweeping and clearing drainages under Eti-Osa LGA Lagos for a period of one month. 

“She shall perform community service for 1 hour daily for 2 days of each week for 4 weeks. The convict shall produce guarantor who shall undertake to produce him if he absconds from such service.”

However, during the review of the charge, lawyer to the convict, Oke Ojakovo, had objected to the tendering of the monetary exhibit, the sum of N3.7 million, which the prosecutor, Mr. Lambert Nor, had told the court that it was proceeds of the illicit crime, recovered from the convict.

To explain the what money was meant for, the court called on the convict to enter witness box to testify, and she said: “The money Is actually N3.7 million. The officer said my family should bring N3.7 million for bail. My family brought the sum of N3.7 million and they did not release me. My family members are in Court.”

And the court proceedings went like these; Court = Prosecuting Counsel, do you have any question to ask the Defendant?
Prosecuting counsel = The money not for bail? 
Defendant = Its for bail 
Prosecuting Counsel = which officer asked your family to bring money 
Defendant = It was Office Sanni who asked my family members to bring the money.
Prosecuting Counsel = Defendant, you directed your mother to bring money from where you kept it to bribe the officers? 
Defendant —No, it was the officer named Sanni who asked my family to bring the money for my bail.
Prosecuting Counsel –Did you or your family report to any superior officer or the Police? 
Defendant  –Yes, I made report to officer(s) Hamza Ibrahim at Ikeja where we were kept at the time.
Prosecuting counsel —- I put it to you that you directed your mother to bring the money to corrupt the officers of the agency.
Defendant  –That is not correct, I didn’t ask my mother to bring the money.
Prosecuting Counsel —That is all. 

Following the revelations made, Justice Aluko ruled that: “In the main time, I order that the monetary exhibit shall be deposited in the Bank by the DCR in an interest yielding account until further directives. 

“I order that the persons mentioned in the course of the proceedings as Quatu Mohammed (CSM), officer Sanni the (IPO) and Umar Isa Adoro (ACGN) Lagos State Commander of the NDLEA, in charge of Lagos State ‘Command of the Agency shall appear in court at the next date, to explain what they know about the circumstances sum of N2.5m in this case.

“Case is adjourned to 11/10/2023 for further proceedings on issue surrounding the alleged monetary exhibit.”