NDLEA Arraigns 6 Drug Syndicates for Dealing In 309kg of Ephedrine

Six suspected hard drug syndicates, were today, arraigned by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, on charges bordering on conspiracy, unlawful production, storage, transportation of 309 kilograms of Ephedrine, a banned substance.
Members of the syndicates arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu led-court are:  Okeke Chukwuweike Celestine, 36, Sunday Nwokolo Amobi, 38, Ilelabayo Adelakun Oluwade, aka Bayo,50, Eze  Paul, aka Skipper, 39, Ezeh Christopher Ikechukwu, 36, and Ike Chukwuma Samson.
Arraigning the defendants, the prosecutor, Mr. Jonathan Ogwunbor, told the syndicates have on March 19, 2019, conspired among themselves to import the banned substance from Ghana to Nigeria, without lawful authority.
The prosecutor also informed the court that two of the defendants Okeke Chukwuweike  Celestine and Ilelabayo Adelakun Oluwade aka Bayo, stored the banned substance at Alabukun, Bus stop, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos. While four of Sunday Nwokolo Amobi, Eze Paul, aka Skipper, Eze Christopher Ikechukwu and Ike Chukwuma Samson dispatched and delivered 100 kilograms of the substance between Lagos and Enugu States.
Four of the defendants, Celestine, Amobi, Ezeh and Samson were also alleged to  be engaged in the possession of equipment and material for the production of another banned substance, Methamphetamine, which the kept in their laboratory, at 1, Zion Avenue, Phase VI, Trans-Ekwulu Industrial Layout, Enugu State.
The  offences according to Ogwubor, are contrary to and punishable under sections 14(b), 11(b), 11(a) 19, 20(1)(a) and 20(e) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N 30 Laws of The Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (as amended).
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to charge.
Following the plea of the defendants, the prosecutor urged the court to remand them in prison custody pending the end of the matter, while asked for trial date.
However, the defendants’ counsel, Chief Benson Ndakara, while not opposing the trial date as requested by the prosecutor, however, told the court that he had filed motion for defendants’ bail and same have been served on the prosecution.
The prosecutor admitted being served with the defendants’ motion for bail and told the court that he had equally filed counter to the applications.
With the submissions and arguments of both parties on the motion for defendants’ bail, Justice Saidu admitted each of the defendants to bail in the sum of N30 million with two sureties each in the same sum.
The judge ordered that one of the sureties must be a landed property owner with the court’s jurisdiction, while the second surety must be a Federal or Lagos State government worker on Grade Level 15 and above.
Justice Saidu also ordered that all the defendants and the sureties must submit their two recent passport photographs with the court. And that the verification of the bail terms must be dome by the prosecutor and the court’s registrars.
The matter has been adjourned till May 30, for commencement of trial.

About Paul Sanusi, Lagos

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