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Customs officer arraigned for trafficking cannabis

A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Thursday, ordered that a former Customs Officer, Mr Emmanuel Ugwoke, charged with drug trafficking, should be remanded in prison.

Ugwoke, resident in Badagry in Lagos State, was said to have been dismissed from service, and had served at the Seme border post of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

He was arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on two counts of drug trafficking.

The accused was alleged to have unlawfully trafficked about 394 kilogrammes of Cannabis Sativa otherwise known as Indian hemp.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecution alleged that the accused committed the offence on May 14, 2017, at Gbaji Customs’ checkpoint along Seme-Badagry road.

The accused, who was said to have driven the Customs vehicle that conveyed the consignment, was alleged to have knowingly transported the prohibited ‘weed’ in a Toyota Hilux belonging to the service.

The prosecutor, Mr Aliyu Abubakar, said that the offences contravened the provisions of sections 19, 20(1)(a) and 20 (2) of the NDLEA Act. Cap N30 Laws of the Federation, 2004.

After his plea, the prosecutor urged the court to order the remand of the accused in prison while he sought for a trial date.

Chief Benson Ndakara, counsel to the accused, pleaded with the court to admit his client to bail on liberal terms.

He told the court that he had filed a motion for bail and that same had been served on the prosecution which had also responded accordingly.

In a ruling, Justice Rabiu Shagari ordered the remand of the accused in prison and adjourned the case until Sept. 28 to decide on his bail application.

The NDLEA Act provides for a term of life imprisonment for anyone found guilty of drug trafficking.

Source: NAN

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