Story By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos presided over by Justice Tijjani Ringim today, dismissed the bail appllication filed by an alleged drug lord, Stephen Afam Ikeanyionwu, who was arrested in a Pentecostal church, Ojodu, Lagos.
Justice Ringim refused and dismissed the drug lord application, for lacking in merit and unmeritorious.
The defendant was arraigned before the court on September 9, by the men of the National drug Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), for attempting to smuggle combined hard drugs of Cocaine, heroin and Indian Hemps, weighing 66.65 kilograms,to the United Kingdom (UK), through his logistics and freight forwarding company, named Farawell Company Limited.
He was arraigned on a six count-charge offences bordering on conspracy and unlawful dealing in the said banned drug.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, contravened sections 14(b) and 21(2)(d) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same Act.
During his arraignment, the prosecutor Mr. Abu informed the court how the agency’s Operatives detected the banned drugs on August 22, at NAHCO Export Shed, a Customs Area/Point of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos.
Abu also told the court how all efforts to nab the alleged drug lord failed , as he relocated from his known residence, No. 1, Mike Ajeri Street, Ojodu-Berger, Lagos, but was later apprehended at a Pentecostal church in Ojodu, where he had gone for a Thanksgiving service.
The prosecutor also told the court that the defendant conspired with one Uche and Emekau, who resides in Nigeria, and the dou of one Sunny and Salaja, who resides in United Kingdom, all now at large to commit the unwholesome act.
Upon taking the not guilty plea of the defendant, the court had ordered that he be remanded in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), while adjourned till today, for ruling on his bail appllication, which was filed, moved and argued by his lawyer, Mr. Dennis Warri.
Ruling on the bail appllication today, Justice Ringim while refusing the application held that: “the mere denial of the claim of the ‘flight Risk’, by the applicant/respondent was not enough to controvert the ‘flight Risk’of the complaint. Consequently, the application is thereby refused”.
Upon refusal of the bail application, Justice Ringim also ordered that the case file shall be returned to the Court’s Administrative Judge, for reassignment.