Drug Trafficking: NLC Protest Stalls Arraignment Of  SAHCO’s GM, Olajide Kafidipe, Other

Mr. Olajide Kafidipe, SAHCO’s Assistant General Manager Facing Drug Trafficking Charges

The scheduled arraignment of the Assistant General Manager of Skypower Aviation Handling company (SAHCOL), Mr. Olajide Kafidipe and one other on another drug trafficking related charges before a Lagos Federal High Court, on Thursday, was stalled due to the absence of his co-accused, Obinna Henry, as the men of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) did not produce him, due to the suspended strike of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).

The SAHCO’s Assistant General Manager, and his co-defendant, Obinna Henry, were slated to be arraigned before Justice Ayokunle Faji led-court on alleged charges of conspiracy and trafficking in 145. 10 kilograms of tramadol of 250mg.

At the resumed hearing of the charges on Thursday, the the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, informed Justice Faji that the prison authority could not produce the second defendant, Obinna Henry, in court due to the protest embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Civil Societies in the country.

Consequent upon the development, Justice Faji adjourned the matter to March 20, 2024 for the arraignment of the SAHCO Assistant General Manager and the other defendant.

Justice Faji also ordered that the prison authority be served with the defendant’s production warrant. 

According to the NDLEA charges, Kafidipe Olajide and Obinna Henry with others said to be at large on  or about the 28 November 2023 at SAHCO Import Shed, a Customs Area/Port of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja-Lagos conspired amongst themselves to import 145.10 kilograms of Tramadol 250mg, a Narcotic Analgesic using Airway Bill No. 074-62453392 and  thereby committed an act which is an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14 (b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap, N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. 

The count 2 of the charge reads: “That you Kafidipe Olajide a.k.a. Kafidipe Ahmed Olajide being staff of Skyway Handling Company (SAHCO), NAHCO premises and other persons now at large on or about the 28th November 2023 at SAHCO Import Shed, a Customs Area/Port of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja-Lagos imported 145.10kilograms of Tramadol 250mg, a Narcotic Analgesic using Airway Bill No. 074-62453392 and you thereby committed an act which is an offence contrary to section 20 (1) (a) and punishable under section 20 (2) (a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap, N30 of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

It would be recall that the Assistant General Manager was formerly arraigned alongside five others before Justice Deinde Dipeolu on another charges of drug trafficking.

Precisely, he was arraigned before the court on January 17, alongside Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele; Musa Mutalib Opeyemi; Sanamo Alla Daniel; Anuge Evans Isibor; Mahmud Agboola Musa; Udeh Felix and Obinna Henry.

In the previous charge, the SAHCO’S Assistant Manager, who is also known as Mr. Olajide Ahmed Kafidipe and others were charged before the court on charges of conspiracy, unlawful possession and transportation of 1,440.90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg.

Kafidipe and others were alleged to have committed the offences with the trio of Mubarak Sarki Salami, Abdullahi Aliyu a.k.a Aboki and Anwal Monday, who also staff of the company but now at large.

They were also alleged to commit the offences on or about October 25, 2023.

They have all denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following their plea of not guilty, Justice Dipeolu admitted them to bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in like sum.

One of the sureties according to Justice Dipeolu, must be a Grade Level 12 and above in the federal government establishment, while the second surety must be a landed property owner with Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) and among others.

The judge also ordered that all the particulars of the sureties must be verified by the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR).