Justice Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court in Lagos has remanded two accused drug traffickers in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) until the hearing and determination of their bail.
The defendants: a 39-year-old woman, Nnochiri Promise and Edward Omatseye were arraigned before the court on a two-count charge of conspiracy and unlawful importation of 32.70 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa, a prohibited substance.
They were docked before the court by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
NDLEA through one of its prosecutors, Augustine Nwagu, had told the court that the defendants and a freight agency, Ben’s Cargo International, listed as the first defendant, had on November 19, 2022, during the inward clearance of cargo on a Turkish Airline flight from the United States of America at NAHCO Import Shed of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos conspired among themselves and unlawfully imported the said banned drug.
Nwagu had also informed the court that the defendants had conspired with the duo of Benjamin Isikwel and Igho Ubiribo, who is said to be at large, to commit the crime.
The prosecutor claimed that the offences contravened sections 14(b) and 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and were punishable under the same Act.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The development prompted the prosecutor to ask the court to fix a trial date and for the court to remand the defendants in prison.
The defence counsel, Anthony Nnamoko and Oluwaseun Awonuga urged the court to grant their clients bail because the offences for which they are charged are bailable.
Responding, the prosecutor admitted being served with the second defendant’s application in court and that he needs time to go through it and file his counter.
Justice Aluko after listening to the parties remanded the defendants and also fixed January 27, for the hearing of their bail applications.