Drug Trafficking: Court refuses bail of 2 hard drug cartel members
A Lagos Federal High Court, has refused the bail application filed by a Brazil-based Nigerian, Christian Chinedu and his Nigeria-based accomplice, Salako Omolara, who are members of a drug cartel.
Justice Yelim Bogoro who presided over the court, however ordered accelerated trial of the two drug traffickers.
Justice Bogoro refused their bail applications as well ordered accelerated hearing of the charges filed against them by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Wednesday.
It would be recalled that Christian Chinedu and his co-defendant, Salako Omolara, a widow, were recently arraigned before the court for alleged conspiracy, unlawful export of 1.4 kilograms of methamphetamine and failure to declare assets.
The offences the prosecutor Juliana Imaobong-Iroabuchi, said contravened Sections 11(b) and 35(3)(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap No, 30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004
During thier arraignment, the two defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following their plea of not guilty, the prosecutor and their lawyers Mr. Anthony Nnamoko and Dennis Warri, argued their respective application for the defendants’ bail.
Upon taken parties’ arguments on the bail application, the Judge, consequently adjourned till Wednesday for ruling, while ordered the defendants’ remand in the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) facility.
However, Justice Bogoro while ruling on the bail application, upheld the submission made by the prosecutor, saying that the applicants/defendants failed to contradict and controvert all the prosecution’s averments.
Consequently, Justice Bogoro refused the defendants’ application and ordered accelerated hearing of the charges against them.
The matter was subsequently adjourned to October 18, 19 and 20, for trial.
The prosecutor, Juliana while arraigning the two defendants told the court that they were arrested on November 25, 2022, at the departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos, during the outward clearance of Qatar Airways passengers to Brazil Via Doha.
She told the court that the first defendant, Salako Omolara Fausat, and second, Christian Chinedu, a Brazil-based, conspired with one Tosin Dolapo, an alleged drug baron and Head of a drug cartel, who are based in Brazil, to unlawfully export the said banned substance.
She further told the court that the defendants concealed the drug in seven containers of custard powder and further concealed inside two multi-coloured sack bags.
Juliana also told the court that the second defendant, Chinedu, after his arrest, failed, refused and declined to disclosed his account numbers in First bank, UBA bank and GTB bank, and also deliberately refused to mention or reveal his illegal drug transaction with his co-head drug baron.
The prosecutor added that the defendant also refused to fill and sign NDLEA’s Assets Declaration Form.
Parts of the charges against the defendants read: “That you Salako Omolara Fausat, female, Adult, 34 years old a citizen of Nigeria and Christian Anyanwu Male, Adult, 39 years old a citizen of Nigeria, who lives in Brazil and Tosin Dolapo, Female Adult, a notorious and the head drug baron of a notorious hard drug cartel, who lives in Brazil (now at large) and one unknown woman you claim to be the one that delivered the conceal hard drug to you on the instruction of the drug baron Tosin Dolapo your childhood friend and business partner which you refuse to mention her name (now at large) on or about the 25th day of November 2022 at the gate ‘B” departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos, during the outward clearance at Qatar Airways passengers to Brazil through DOHA within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and without lawful authority exported 1.40 Kilogrames of methamphetamine concealed inside two multi-coloured sack bags concealed in seven containers of custard powder and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap No, 30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“That you Christian Anyanwu, Male, Adult, 39 years old a citizen of Nigeria who lives in Brazil, a notorious and a hard drug baron and a member of a dangerous hard drug cartel and unrepentant criminal, on or about the 25th day of November, 2022 in the Joint Border Task Force of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, MMIA Special Area Command Ikeja, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowing fails to make full disclosure of your asset and liabilities, after your arrest, and seizure of the 1.40 kilograms of methamphetamine which you exported from Nigeria to Brazil and you knowing refuse to disclose your First bank, UBA bank and GTB bank accounts/account numbers to NDLEA and you also deliberately refuse to mention and reveal your illegal drug transaction with your co-head drug baron between you and other members of your dangerous hard drug cartel to NDLEA and you thereby committed an offence contrary and punishable under Section 35(3)(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N 30 Laws of the Federation f Nigeria 2004.”