The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Thursday opened its case against a former Vice Chairman of Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Kehinde Ashekun, accused of trafficking in 1.0 kilograms of Cocaine.
The NDLEA commenced the trial by producing two of its officials, Anebi Ajihma and Augustine Okwunjor, the Agency’s forensic expert and Exhibits keeper to testify against Ashekun before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The politician, popularly called Owoiya, was arrested on May 7, 2021, at the Murtala Mohammed international Airport Ikeja, Lagos, by some operatives of the agency for allegedly attempting to smuggle 1.0 kilograms of Cocaine concealed in footwear, to London, United Kingdom.
He was later arraigned before Justice Ayokunle Faji on June 30, on a one count charge of unlawful exportation of the said banned drug.
The NDLEA prosecutor, Abu Ibrahim claimed that the defendant concealed the drug in some footwear.
The offence according to the prosecutor is contrary to Section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same Act.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Justice Faji, however, refused to grant the defendant bail on the ground that his application was incompetence and lacking in merit.
The judge instead ordered an accelerated hearing of the matter while directing that defendant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerians Correctional Services (NCoS) pending the hearing and determination of the charge against him.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, the first witness, Ajihma narrated to the court the processes that led to the arrest of the former Council Chief.
While the Exhibits keeper, Okwunjor told the court how the seized drug was handed over to him for well and safe keeping.
The Forensic Expert, Anebi, told the court how he carried out a scientific test on the seized drug and confirmed it to be cocaine.
The two witnesses also tendered several documents, samples of test drugs and others which were admitted by the court as Exhibits.
The trial judge has adjourned the case to September for the cross-examination of the second witness and continuation of the defendant’s trial.