Drug trafficking: Court orders  Chinese Embassy to provide sureties for suspect

A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Friday, ordered Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, to provide sureties for one of its citizens, Liu Jianfeng, who is charged before the court for drug trafficking. 

Justice Saliu Saidu, made the order, while admitting the Chinese who was arraigned before the court alongside two Nigerians,  Collins Onwukwe and Ogbonna Nworie, by the National Drug  Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), of five counts charge bordering on unlawful dealing in 387.7 grams of Methamphetamine, a hard drug similar to cocaine and heroine.

In the charge against Jianfeng and the two Nigerians, NDLEA alleged that the accused had between 2015 and 2018 conspired together and formed, managed and finance a drug cartel, Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO), to process and export the said hard drug.

They were also alleged to have on November 14, 2018, at the DHL office at NAHCO, Ikeja, Lagos, exported 387.7 grammes of Methamphetamine, from Lagos to Lusaka, Zambia.

The offences according to the NDLEA’s lawyer, Jonathan O., is contrary to and punishable under sections 14(b), 20(1)(g), 11(c), 11(c) and 11(d) of the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency Act Cap. N 30, laws of the Federation, 2004.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following their plea, the prosecutor while asking the court for a trial date, urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody, till the determination of the charge.

However, lawyer to the accused, Chief Benson Ndakara, told the court that he did not object to the hearing date for trial, but informed the court about the accused bail applications which he said has been served on the prosecution.

The prosecutor, Jonathan,  admitted being served with the accused bail applications and informed the court of filling a counter affidavit to the application.

Upon hearing the submissions of counsel on the bail applications, the presiding judge, Justice Saidu said: “I have gone through the applications before me, am of the view that the defendants are entitled to bail.

“I therefore admitted bail to each of the defendants in the sum of N30 million each. The embassy of the first defendant, is to provide the two sureties. While one of the sureties to the second and third defendants is to be a blood relation to the defendants”.

The judge also ordered that the second surety to the second and third defendants must be a Grade Level 15 officers in the Federal or Lagos State Ministry.

The judge while adjourning the matter till March 32, for trial, ordered that all the the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending the fulfilment of the bail terms.

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