Court orders five remanded over drug allegations

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The Lagos Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the remand of five alleged drug barons, arrested in the Ikorodu area of Lagos state by officials of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

On Wednesday, Judge Peter Lifu ordered that the defendants be remanded at the correctional facility in Ikoyi till January 17, 2023, when their bail application will be decided.

People Gazette had earlier reported that officials of NDLEA busted a major warehouse stored with drugs worth over N194 billion inIkorodu, Lagos. 

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The defendants include; Soji Jubril Oke, Wasiu Akinade, Emmanuel Arinze Chukwu, Oguntolure Sunday, Christopher Smith. 

They all pleaded not guilty to six counts charge of conspiracy, unlawful importation of 2,139.55 kilograms of cocaine, engaging in the organization, management and financing of a drug trafficking organization and unlawful possession of illicit drugs.

The legal representative of NDLEA Umar Hussain, said that the defendants were arrested with the drugs between July and September 18 and 19, 2022 in Ikorodu.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by all the defendants are contrary to Sections 14 (b): 20 (1)(g); 11 and 19 of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (As amended) and punishable under sections 20 (2)(b) of the same Act.

After taking their plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date.

The prosecutor also urged the court to remand them in the prison custody till the determination of the charges against them.

The defence counsels, Benson Ndakara and Liliana Omotunde, asked the court to grant their clients bail in the most liberal terms.

Mr Ndakara told the court that two suspects  Soji Jubril Oke and Wasiu Akinade are suffering from serious health challenges.

After the counsels arguments on the bail application, the judge ordered the remand of all the defendants in the Ikoyi facility of the NCOS, till January 17, 2023, when a judgement on the bail application will be issued.

The judge asked the head of the correctional facility send the health reports of two defendants suffering from health related issues within two weeks.

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