A suspected drug baron, Olife Victor Chidi, who went underground for ten years after his arrest for alleged trafficking of 7.5 kilograms of heroin by operatives of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has been arraigned before a Lagos Federal High Court.
The suspect was arraigned before Justice Muhammad Liman on in a charge marked FHC/L/35c/2021.
He is facing a two-count charge of unlawful dealing in 7.5 kilograms of heroin, a banned narcotic.
The prosecutor, Mr. Oigoga Ichakpa, told the court that Olife allegedly committed the offence on May 27, 2010 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos alongside one Oke Ningo, who is still be at large.
Ichakpa said the suspected drug baron, became ‘fugitive’, after he was granted administrative bail by his agency.
He said it took the agency’s extra efforts in ‘fishing him out’ of his hiding place.
The offences, according to him, are contrary to and punishable under sections 14 (b) and 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The defendant denied the charge.
He however did not deny the allegation of becoming evasive after his arrest.
Following his not guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand him till the determination of the charge, while also asking the court for a trial date.
Responding, the defendant’s counsel Chief Benson Ndakara, told the court that he is not opposed to the trial date.
Ndakara told the court that he has filed his client’s bail application and same has been served on the prosecution.
Following his submission, Justice Liman ordered both parties to argue the application.
After listening to the submission of the parties, Justice Liman held that granting bail to a defendant is at the court discretion, especially, when the charge against the defendant is a bailable one.
Consequently, Justice Liman admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum.
He however ordered that the defendants must be landed property owners within the court’s jurisdiction.
The judge ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) till the fulfillment of the bail terms.
He adjourned the matter till April 14 for trial.
You want to share a story with us? You want to advertise? You need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp – +1 (317) 665-2180