A businessman, Orji Ekene Clement with the appellation Mandela, was today, arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, over alleged attempt to export 9.58 kilograms of methamphetamine, a banned hard drug to Malaysia.
The businessman was arraigned before Justice Muhammad Liman led-court, NY the legal department of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
His arraignment in court today, was sequel to the arrest of a customs clearing agent, whom he have the ‘cargo’ to for onward movement to Malaysia.
The clearing agent and the ‘banned drug, were arrested on August 5, at SAHCOL Export Shed of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos, during the examination and clearing of Cargo for export to Malaysia.
NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Fingere Disnney, the arrest of Mandela was made possible following the arrest of the clearing agent, who told the agency that the cargo was given to him by the defendant.
Disnney also told the court that the offence committee by the defendant contravened section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same Act.
The defendant whoever pleaded not guilty to the offence.
Consequently, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date and also asked the court to remand the defendant in prison custody pending the conclusion and determination of the charge.
However, lawyer to the defendant, Mr. E. U. Okenyi, told the court that he is not opposed to the trial date, but said defendant’s bail have been filed and same has been served on the prosecution.
The defendant lawyer’s position was confirmed by the prosecutor.
The presiding judge, after listened to the both prosecutor and defendant’s lawyer on the service of the application but not allow the to argue it.
Justice Liman also asked from the prosecution where the defendant had been kept since he was arrested. In response, prosecutor said he had being in their custody due to long investigation and as there was nobody come to take his bail.
However, the presiding judge admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N4 million with one surety in like sum and must be a landed property owner within the court jurisdiction.
The judge also ordered the Ministry of land to verified the genuineness of the landed property. While also ordered that all other bail conditions be verified by the Court’s Registrar.
The charge against the defendant reads; “that you Orji Ekene Clement a.k.a. Mandela, Male, Adult, on or about the 5th day of August, 2019 during the examination and clearing of Cargo for export to Malaysia at SAHCOL Export Shed of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court without lawful authority Exported 9.58 Kilogrammes of Methamphetamine, a narcotic drug similar to Cocaine, LSD or Heroin and thereby committed an Offence contrary to and Punishable under Section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.