The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Friday arraigned seven Indians and three Nigerians before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly smuggling 43.1 kilogrammes of cocaine into Nigeria.
They were docked before Justice Ayokunle Faji on a two-count charge of conspiracy and trafficking of illicit drug.
The seven Indians are: Shedrack Yurama; Singh Vikash; Kunnaserypallam Ashraf Inzam; Xaiver Fernando Santhanaria; Mandal Surjeet Ashok; Tandel Pratikkumar Pravinbai; and Barthwal Rohan Sunil.
While their Nigerian co-accused are: Tobi Ojo, Kunle Animashaun, Omozusi Enorose Terry and a limited liability company, Oilways Logistics and Energy Limited.
The prosecutor, Theresa Asuquo, told the court that the defendants were arrested with the banned drug on February 8, 2021, at the Tin Can Port, Apapa, Lagos, on board a vessel named MV SPAR SCORPIO.
Asuquo claimed that the defendants conspired with Franklyn Pereowei Godwin and Peter Odigie Ozasuwa, said to be at large, to commit the crime.
She insisted that the offences are contrary to and punishable under section 11(a) and 14(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004.
However, after their arraignment on Friday, Justice Faji permitted the foreigners to continue to enjoy the terms of their administrative bail earlier granted them by the NDLEA.
The judge, however, admitted the Nigerians to bail in various terms.
Justice Faji further ordered all the defendants to submit their traveling passports to the Court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR) and that they must seek the permission of the court before they can travel out of the country.
The defendants’ trial has been fixed for September 27 and 28, 2021.
Charges against the defendants Read: “that you Tobi Ojo (M), Kunle Animashaun (M), Franklyn Pereowei Godwin (M), presently at large, Peter Odigie Ozasuwa (M), presently at large and Oilways Logistics and Energy Ltd (A company registered in Nigeria) on about the 8th of February 2021, at the Tincan Port, Apapa, Lagos State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority imported 43.110 kilogrammes of cocaine , a narcotic drug, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004.”