Cocaine: NDLEA Witness Tells Court How Lagos Socialite, Ariket, Accomplice Was Arrested

* Arike Fumilola Ogundipe

 

The trial of suspected drug baroness, Funmilola Ariket Ogbuaya, popularly known in social circle as Ariket, and her Accomplice Mrs. Omolola Odeyemi, who are currently facing a four – count charge of trafficking in hard drug, resumed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, today with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, calling it’s second witness, Mrs. Iyabode Soriyat Sonibare to give evidence in the matter.

Sonibare, who arrested Ariket accomplice, Omolola,   while being led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Mr Abu Ibrahim, narrated how  Omolara was arrested at the departure/exit of the Muritala Muhammed Airport, Lagos on her way to Saudi Arabia.

The witness also identified the traveling bag in which the hard drugs were discovered, certificate of text analysis, results of text analysis, packaging of substance form, request for scientific analysis form as well as transparent evidence pouches all which were tendered and admitted in evidence by the trial court.

The matter has been adjourned till May 14 and 15, for continuation of trial of the Lagos socialite, Ariket, who also goes by the name Funmilola Ariket Ogundipe.

It would be recalled that both Ariket and her convicted accomplice, Mrs. Odeyemi, were arraigned before the court, sometimes in May, 2017, who was arrested on her way to Saudi Arabia, with 1.595 kilogrammes of cocaine, which was concealed in a traveling bag.

The court presided over by Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari, had on June 28, 2017, pronounced and sentenced Ariket’s accomplice, Mrs Odeyemi, to 25 years imprisonment, after she had pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against her by the NDLEA.

The socialite, is facing charges bordering on conspiracy, hoarding of hard drugs,

The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, are contrary to sections 14(b), 11(b) and 19 of the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Laws if the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

It would be recalled that the Lagos socialite Ariket, recently forfeited nine landed properties to the Federal government of Nigeria, when she evaded arrest over alleged drug dealing.

But later surrendered herself to the agency, and she was arraigned alongside the convict in an amended charge marked FHC/L/124c/2017.

Properties temporary forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria by the socialite includes: 146, Idimu Road, Alimosho, Lagos, 235, Ikotun-Idimu Road, Ikotun, Lagos; 18, Olayiwola Shittu Street, Abaranje, Ikotun; 13B, Ladipo Kuku, Off Allen Avenue, Ikeja.

Others include: 8, Olufemi Avenue, Omiasoro, Ilesa, Ilesa East LGA, Osun State; 6, Hakeem-One, Momoh Close, Governor’s Road, Ikotun; a plot of land at council area, Cele Bus stop, Idimu-Ikotun, and a plot of land along Papalanto-Shagamu Road, Omu-Penpe Village, Obafemi-Owode LGA, Ogun State.

The above-mentioned properties were ordered to be temporary forfeited to the Federal government by the Court, Lagos, sequel to a Motion Ex-parte filed and argued before the court by the NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim

In urging the court to grant the application the prosecutor had told the court that the application was brought pursuant to section 44(2)(k) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended in 2011), Section 3(1)(a)(c), 33(1)(a), 2 and 3, 36(b) of the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and undef inherent jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.

Ibrahim had urged the court to that the listed propeties of Mrs. Funmilola Arike Ogbuaya, a.K.a. Ariket; Funmilola Ogundipe, being investigated for Offences of conspiracy to traffic in narcotic drugs, drug trafficking, and money laundering.

Abu had also urged the court to permit or authorise his agency to place the said listed properties under seal pending the arrest and prosecution of Ariket.

 

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