A prince of Obinuagwu community in Orlu Local Government of Imo State, Ilomuanya Uzoma Valentine a.k.a.Uzo, has been arraigned by the men of the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), before a Federal High Court, Lagos, for allegedly operating and financing a hard drug cartel, Drug Trafficking Organisation (DTO)
The 49 year old Orlu prince was arraigned alongside one Okeagu Osinachi Michael a.ka. Uwa, before Justice Saliu Saidu led-court, on a five count-charge bordering on conspiracy, operating a drug cartel, production of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of the banned drug
The second defendant, Michael and other said to be at large, was also alleged to have aided the first defendant in transferring funds which are proceeds of the drugs, to his Zenith and Diamond Banks’ account numbers 2081837218 and 00287821858 respectively, to his company named Ugojess International Limited.
Arraigning the two defendants on Tuesday, on the amended six counts charge, the prosecutor, Lambert Nor, told the court the defendants were arrested with 77.960 kilograms of methamphetamine in two drug laboratories situated at Obinugwu Village, Orlu local government area and 3, Barrister Declan Uzoma Close, New Owerri, Imo State, on November 9, 2018, where they were producing the banned substance in large quantity.
He also informed the court that the second defendant was arrested while aiding the first defendant in transferring funds from his company’s accounts domiciled in Zenith bank and Diamond bank.
Items recovered from the defendants including: bags of sodium hydroxide, bags of caustic soda pearls, mantle beaters, white nylon bags, gas burners, channel hoses, electronic weighing scales, protective masks, plastic funnels and other equipment.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Lambert Nor are contrary to and punishable under sections 11(a), 20(1)(e), 20(1)(f), 20(1)(g) and 14(b), of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N 30 Laws of The Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Upon this plea of not guilty, to prosecutor, Mr. Nor, pleaded with the court for a trial date. While urged the court to remand them in prison pending trial.
Responding, lawyer to the defendants, Chief Benson Ndakara, urged the court to allow the first defendant, Ilomuanya, to continue with the earlier bail granted him when he was first arraigned before the court.
Court had granted bail to Ilomuanya in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in the same when he was first arraigned before the court.
The court has ordered that one of the sureties must be a Grade Level officer in the federal government of Lagos State employment.
Justice Saidu also admitted bail to the second defendant in this same terms.
The judge however ordered that the second defendant should be remanded in prison custody pending the fulfilment of the bail terms.
Count one of the charge against the defendants read: “that you Ilomuanya Uzoma Valentine, M, 49, and Okeagu Osinachi Michael a.k.a Uwa, M, 26 years, on or about the 9th day of November 2018, at about 05.30 hours during a search at your Methamphetamine Laboratory in Obinugwu Village, Orlu Loca government Area of lmo State, with the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, without lawful authority did engaged in the production of 960 kilogrammes of Methamphetamine a narcotic drug, which you concealed inside bowls and jerrycans at your laboratory thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N 30 Laws of The Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Count two reads: “that you Ilomuanya Uzoma Valentine, Male 49 years on or about the 09 day of November 2018, at about 0:330 hours during the search at your residence of he 3, Barrister Declan Uzoma Close, New Owerri, Imo State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, without Lawful authority did possess mantle beaters, white nylon bags, gas burners, channel hoses, electronic weighing scales, protective masks, plastic funnels and other equipment (at your Boys Quarters) been Methamphetamine Laboratory equipment used in the production of Methamphetamine as listed in the Secord Schedule the of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 20(1)(e) of the National Drug Laws Enforcement Agency, Act Cap. of The Federation of Nigeria 2004, as amended.
And count six reads: “that you Okeagu Osinachi Michael, (aka UWA) Male, 26 years (and others now 0‘ at large) on or about the 1th day of January, 2018, through November 2018 at Obmugwu Village, In Oriu Local Government Area 0! lmo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without lawful authority aided Ilomuanya Uzoma Valentine, a.k.a UZO, to transfer funds from UGOJESS international Limited (being a Company floated by Ilomuanya Uzoma Valentine (aka UZO) as the Director) into your Zenith Bank Plc Account number 2081837218 and Diamond Bank Plc Account number 0027821856 for illicit from drug act and thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Sect on 14 b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap N30 Laws of The Federation on of Nigeria. 2004 (as amended)”.