NDLEA begins trial of SAHCO’s Manager, others charged for drug trafficking
The trial of Olajide Ahmed Kafidipe, an Assistant General Manager of Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) and seven other officials of the company charged before a Lagos Federal High Court for alleged drug trafficking commenced on Thursday, with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) calling it’s first witness.
The witness called by the NDLEA to testify against Olajide and others was Mr. Moses Dogo, an Exhibit keeper with the agency, who narrated the roles he played after the defendants were arrested.
It would be recall that the SAHCO’S Assistant General Manager, Olajide and others who include: Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele; Musa Mutalib Opeyemi; Sanamo Alla Daniel; Anuge Evans Isibor; Mahmud Agboola Musa; Udeh Felix and Obinna Henry, were arrested with the 1,440.90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, a prohibited substance, by the NDLEA operatives on October 25, 2023,
They were subsequently arraigned before the court presided over by Justice Deinde Isaac Dipeolu on January 16, on offences bordering on conspiracy, unlawful possession and transportation of the prohibited substance.
In commiting the alleged acts, the prosecutor, Abu Ibrahim, had told the court that the defendants conspired with the trio of Mubarak Sarki Salami, Abdullahi Aliyu a.k.a Aboki and Anwal Monday, who also staff of the company but now at large.
The offences the prosecutor told the court contravened sections 14 (b), 21 (2)(d) and 20 (1)(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. And punishable under sections 11 (b) and 20 (2)(b) of the same Act.
The offences Olajide and others denied and pleaded not guilty to the charges
At the resumed trial of the defendants on Thursday, Moses, who is the first prosecution witness, while being led by the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, told the court how he received the prohibited drug from the arresting officers for proper and safe keepers.
Dogo also tendered parts of the seized drug as exhibit, which was admitted by the court.
Meanwhile, further hearing of the charges against the defendants has been adjourned to May 5.
The court also fixed the date for locus inquo (visiting of site) where the bulk of the drug is currently kept.
The SAHCO’s Assistant General Manager Olajide and others were arraigned before the court on January 16, by the NDLEA on alleged charges of conspiracy, unlawful possession and transportation of 1,440.90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, a prohibited substance,
During their arraignment, the prosecutor Mr. Abu Ibrahim, informed the court The prosecutor further informed the court how Olajide and other staff of the company, conspired among themselves to transport the prohibited drug out of SAHCO Import Shed.
He also informed the court that the SAHCO’s Assistant General Manager, Olajide, conspired with Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele, and engaged one Lawal Itunu Temitope, to transport the prohibited substance from SAHCO Import Shed in a Mercedes Benz Bus with Registration Number LAGOS MUS 269 YC, owned by Platinum Pacific International Limited.