By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
A courier company, Cargo Naija Limited and its Export Manager, Odiache Chidinma Stephen have been arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, for exporting 13.8 kilograms of a hard drug called Methamphetamine.
Both the firm and it’s export manager were arraigned on a count charge of the offence by the men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA), before Justice Sule Hassan led-court.
In the charge marked FHC/L/320c/19, NDLEA alleged that both the courier company and Odiache committed the offence on August 23, 2019, at the NAHCO Export Shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja.
Arraigning the duo before the court, the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim told the court that the drug been exported by the defendants is listed as ‘Psychotropic Substance under International Control’.
The prosecutor also told the court that the offence committed by the defendants is contrary to 20 (1) (a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap. 30 Laws of the federation 0f Nigeria, 2004 and Punishable under Section 20 (2) (a) of same Act.
Odiache who also represented his employer, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following his plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date, he also asked the court to remand the firm’s Export Manager, till the conclusion of the matter.
Following the submission of the prosecutor and the defendants’ counsel, who pleaded with the court for a short date to enable him file the his clients’ bail applications, Justice Hassan, ordered that the firm’s Export manager be remanded in prison custody, while adjourned the matter till October 11, for hearing and determination of bail applications.
The charge against the defendants read: “that you Cargo Naija Limited and Odiache Chidinma Steven Male, Adult being the Export Manager of Cargo Naija Ltd. on or about the 23th of August, 2019 at NAHCO Export Shed without lawful authority Exported 13.8 kilograms of Methamphetamine, a Psychotropic Substance under International Control and you are thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 20 (1) (a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency
Act Cap. 30 Laws of the federation 0f Nigeria, 2004 and Punishable under Section 20 (2) (a) of said Act”.
In a related development, a businessman, Ugochukwu Godwin Chinnedu, has admitted before a Federal High Court, Lagos, for unlawful importation of 1.640 kilograms of a banned drug, Methamphetamine, into the country.
The businessman according to the NDLEA lawyer, Abu Ibrahim, unlawfully brought in the banned substance into the country sometimes in June, this year.
Abu told the court the the alleged hard drug importer was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Ikeja, Lagos, during check-in of passengers from outside the county.
The businessman, admitted commitng the offence and pleaded guilty to one count charge of unlawful importation of the hard drug mwhen he was arraigned before the court.
Following his guilty plea, Justice Sule Hassan, while adjourning the matter till October 18, for the review and fact of the crime, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.
The charge against the businessman marked FHC/L/25c/19, reads: “that you Ugochukwu Godwin Chinnedu, male, adult, on or about the 26th June, 2019, during check-in of passengers at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, without lawful authority imported 1.640 kilograms of methamphetamine, a psychotropic substance, listed under international control and you are thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 11 of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap. 30 Laws of the federation 0f Nigeria, 2004 and Punishable under the same Act”.