The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), today, arraigned one Uduekwelu Onyekachukwu, before a Lagos Federal High Court, on charges bordering on conspiracy and trafficking in 24.50 Kilograms of Ephedrine, a banned substance.
The alleged drug trafficker, of 7, Promiseland, Dansa, Abule Osun, Lagos, according to the NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, was arrested on January 30, 2023, during the examination of Cargoes to Congo, at NAHCO Export Shed, a Customs Area/Point of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos.
The prosecutor told the court that the defendant conspired with one Paul a.k.a. “Aku Powder”, who is now at large.
He also told the court that the defendant procured one freight agent, named Oladapo Olatunbosun, to export the banned substance.
He told the court that the offences committed by the defendant, contravened sections 14 (b) and 21 (2)(d) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 11(b) of the said Act.
But the alleged drug trafficker pleaded not guilty to the offences.
Upon his not guilty plea, the prosecutor asked for trial date, while also urged the court to remand the defendant till determination of the charges.
But his counsel, Mr. Dennis Warri, urged the court to admit his client to bail in the liberal terms.
Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa,in a bench ruling, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.
The judge ordered that the surety must be a landed property owner within the Court’s jurisdisction.
The judge while adjourned the matter till May 19, for trial, ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till the perfection of bail terms.
In a related development, Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke of the same jurisdiction of the court, has convicted and sentenced a man, Musbau Fashola, who was arraigned for transporting 57 Kilogrames of Indian hemp, popularly called marijuana.
The convict, a resident of Patey area of Lagos Island, Lagos State was first arraigned before the court by the NDLEA sometimes in 2018, on charges bordering on unlawful dealing and transportation of the banned weeds.
The offences which contravened Sections 11(c) and 21 (2)(d) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) Act, Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004
However, at the resumed hearing of the charge on Wednesday, the convict informed the court of his intention to change his earlier guilty plea, which was granted by the court.
Upon re-read of the charge which borders on transportation of the banned weed, the the convict pleaded guilty to the charge.
With his plea of guilty, the prosecutor Mr. A. Adebajo, urged the court to convict and sentence him in accordance with the NDLEA Act he was charged with.
Counsel to the convict, G. U. Okaka, however pleaded with the court to be lenient in sentencing his client. While also begged the court for an option of fine in lieu of custodian sentence.
Justice Aneke in his judgment, sentenced the convict to three years imprisonment. He however gave him an option of N500, 000, 00, in lieu of the jail term
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