A Lagos Federal High Court, has convicted a businessman, Nwajagu Chidiebere James for smuggling 3.240 kilogrammes of Cocaine into the country from Dubai, United Arab Emirates capital.
However, the trial judge, Justice Abdullaziz Anka, defer the convict’s sentence, due to his disappearance from court since 2018 and had since refused to submit himself for trial till date.
The convict, Nwajagu Chidiebere James according to a one count charge filed against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, ( NDLEA), had on or about the October 13, 2015 at the inward clearance of Emirate Airline from Dubai at the ‘E’ Arrival Hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos, without lawful authority imported 3.240 Kilogrammes of Cocaine.
The offence according to the anti-narcotic agency, is contrary to and punishable under Section 11(3) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of 2004.
Delivering judgement on the charge on Tuesday, today, Justice Anka, said the prosecutor, Mr Augustine Nwagwu, had successfully proved the prosecution’s with the tendering of all the exhibits recovered from the convict, which includes; certificate of test analysis as well as the confessional statement of the convict.
Justice Anka added that the prosecution called six witnesses, four of which were not cross-examined by the convict’s counsel, Chief (Mrs) Lilian Omotunde.
The judge added that the convict mid-way into his trial in 2018 jump bail and never came back for his trial despite the issuance of warrant of arrest issued against him.
Justice Anka said that; “in view of the evidence placed before me by the prosecution, which were not controverted by the defense despite having several opportunities to do so, and the evidence of the witnesses called, am of the view that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“I hereby convict the accused as charged , however I could not go further to sentence the convict as he is on the run”.