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NDLEA charges two cousins with drug trafficking

Two cousins, Jude Edward Okeke and Ifeanyi Okeke, who were allegedly caught in possession of hard drugs, were on Wednesday brought before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arraigned the defendants before Justice Saliu Saidiu on a two-count charge of unlawful possession of the substances.

Prosecution counsel Mr Abu Ibrahim alleged that the duo committed the offence on or about September 6, 2019, at their residence, No. 45, Vincent Ogumba Street, Startimes Estate, Off Ago Palace Way, Okota Lagos.

He said the defendants, without lawful authority, knowingly possessed 24.9 kilogrammes of methamphetamine, a psychotropic substance under International Control and 16.9 kilogrammes of ephedrine, a prohibited precursor chemical.

The court heard that the substances were prohibited and criminalised under Section 19 of the NDLEA Act.

The defendants pleaded not guilty.

Ibrahim prayed the court to remand both men in prison custody pending commencement of trial.

But defence counsel Mr E.U. Nnolu opposed him.

“My lord, we have a bail application which has been served on the prosecution. We pray your lordship to allow us move the application,” he said.

Obtaining the judge’s permission, Nnolu applied that the defendants be granted bail “in the most liberal terms.”

He added: “The first defendant, Jude Edward Okeke, is not in a good state of health.”

In a bench ruling, Justice Saidiu upheld his prayer.

The judge admitted each defendant to bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties.

One of the sureties must be a property owner within Lagos while the order must be a civil servant not below grade level 14 in the service of the Federal Government or the Lagos State Government, among other conditions.

“The defendants are hereby remanded in prison custody till they perfect their bail terms,” the judge added.

The case continues on November 4.
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