2 ladies, 4 men arraigned for unlawful dealing in hard drug

Two ladies and four men have been arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, over unlawful dealing in 20. 160 kilograms of a banned substance, Methamphetamine.

The two ladies are: Awelesom Kings, who also goes by the name Busola Ashamu and Odoemena Chinonye Jessica. While their male counterparts are: Akpan Jacobs, Emeka Ozokechukwu, Okechukwu Remigius Menilu and Ekene Aleabo.

The defendants were arraigned on separate charges before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on charges bordering on conspiracy and unlawful dealing in the banned substance.

Arraigning the trio of Akpan Jacobs, Emeka Ozokechukwu and Okechukwu in a charge marked FHC/L/288c/19, the prosecutor, Mr. Austine Nwagwu, to the court that the three defendants on July 29, 2019, during examination and clearing of cargo for Etihad Airways flight to London, at SAHCOL Export Shed of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, lkeja Lagos, conspired among themselves to export 9.180 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Nwagwu also told the court that the duo of Awelesom Kings, also called Busola Ashamu, and Ekene Aleabo in charge numbered FHC/L/281c/19, on June 28, 2019, at the same SAHCOL shed of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, conspired among themselves to export 6.84 kilograms of the same substance. While Odoemena Chinonye Jessica, whose charge refs FHC/L/284c/19, was alleged to have on June 24, 2019, attempted to export 4.140 kilograms the same substance.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Nwagwu are contrary to and punishable under sections 14 (b) and 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

All the defendants in their separate response to the charges pleaded not guilty.

Following their not guilty plea, the lawyers who include Chief Benson Ndakara, urged the court to admit the defendants bail in the most liberal terms.

In asking the court to grants the defendants bail, Ndakara also told the court that the defendants are first time offenders, who did not have previous criminal record.

However, despite the opposition put up by the prosecutor, the presiding judge, Justice Oweibo, admitted each of the defendants to bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in like sum each.

Justice Oweibo also ordered that the sureties are to be residents of Lagos State, with evidence of three year tax payment with means of livelihood.

The judge, while adjourned the matters till October 3 and 24, for trial, ordered that the verification of the bail conditions is to be done by the prosecution and also ordered that all the defendants  be remanded in prison custody pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions

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