NDLEA arraigns’ Brazilian’ returnee over alleged 2.05kg cocaine smuggling
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday arraigned one Ezekiel Chibuzor, who allegedly brought into Nigeria, 2.050 kilogrammes of Cocaine from Brazil without lawful authority.
The defendant was arraigned before Justice Akintoye Aluko of the Federal High Court, Lagos on a count charge bordering on the offence.
The prosecutor, Abu Ibrahim, told the court that the defendant was arrested with the drug on April 16, 2021, at the arrival hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, during the inward clearance of passengers on a Qatar Airways flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
He said the offence contravened Section 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Upon the defendant’s plea, the prosecutor, Abu Ibrahim, asked the court for a trial date and also asked the court to remand the defendant in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) till the determination of the charge.
Opposing the remand application, the defendant’s counsel, Mr. Benson Ndakara, urged the court to admit his client to bail in the most liberal terms.
He explained that the defendant is a first-time offender and that the offence that he was charged with is a bailable one.
Ruling on the bail application, Justice Aluko held that the charge against the defendant is a serious one and that the punishment for the offence is life imprisonment.
He, however, agreed that the offence is bailable, adding that the court has the discretion to admit a defendant to bail.
The judge consequently granted him bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum.
He, however, ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Correctional Services till the perfection of the bail terms.
The sureties, the judge said, must be a landed property owner and the second surety must be a businessman with the bail sum standing in his account till the determination of the charge.
He added that the defendant must report to the office of the prosecuting agency once a month and adjourned the matter till October 14, for trial.
MEANWHILE, NDLEA has expressed deep worries about the involvement of youths in drug trafficking and warned that the Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu was a wrong route for illicit trafficking.
The agency stated that it would not compromise in the responsibility to ensure a drug-free society, stressing that its eyes were wide open to tracking anyone found dealing in illicit drugs.
NDLEA’s Commander of Narcotics, Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Rosana Nnodim, stated this yesterday in Enugu in reaction to the recently held International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking,
She stressed that until the closure of the international wing of the airport in 2019, her agency made drug seizures worth 346.267kilo grams.
The drugs, she said, were mainly Cocaine, Cannabis, and Heroines among others, strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
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