Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Lagos has fixed March 11, 2022, for the commencement of trial of a 54 year-old pharmacist, Okafor Christian Chibuzor and four others, who were accused of trafficking in 182, 000 brands of Tramadol.
Others to be tried alongside the Pharmacist Okafor are: Alhaji Siwidi Isyaku, 39, Aliyu Mohammed, 35, Emmanuel Bassey, 63 and Lawrence Ezekwe Nwachukwu, 42.
Justice Allagoa fixed the trial date after admitted them to bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety each in the like sum.
Justice Allagoa ordered that the surety could be a landed property owner with title documents, within the court’s jurisdisction or a senior civil servant from either the Federal or Lagos government establishment.
Pharmacist Okafor and others were arraigned before the court on February 6, 2022, by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on charges of conspiracy; unlawful dealing in the banned drugs, and obstructing its officials from carrying out their lawful duty.
NDLEA through its prosecutor, Umar Hussaine, had told the court that all the defendants were arrested on December 16, 2021, at Justrite area, Agege, Lagos, where they allegedly committed the offences.
Umar told the court that during the arrest, all the defendants unlawfully have in their possession the following brand and quantities of Tramadol; 50,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg, 46,000 tablets of Tapentadol; 50000 tablets of Ticmadol and 36,000 tablets of Fakadol.
The prosecutor also told the court that one of the defendants, Lawrence Ezekwe Nwachukwu, used his Toyota Camry Registration Number APP-193-GF, Lagos, to conveyed the banned drugs, which were concealed in two Ghana-must-go bags. Adding that in the course of arrest, the said Nwachukwu, obstructed NDLEA Officials from performing their lawful duty and also instigated others to attack the Operatives of the agency.
Barrister Umar told the court that the offences committed by all the defendants are contrary to and punishable under Section 14(b); 20(c); 11(c); 11(b) and 49 of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigerian 2004.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.