The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) on Friday, arraigned Taibat Bello (female) and Idris Alhassan at the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice John Tsoho for possession of 76 kilogrammes of ephedrine.
Both defendants pleaded not guilty to possessing the substance which is said to be psychotropic.
The dictionary defines psychotropic as having an effect on how the mind works.
The two-count amended charge read in part: “that you, Taibat Bello, female, on or about May 9, at Ekeson Motors, Utako, within the jurisdiction of this court, had in your possession 51kg of Ephedrine a psychotropic substance.
“(You) thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 20(1) (e) and punishable under section 20 (2) (a) of the NDLEA Act.
“That you, Bello, Idris Alhassan, and one man known as uncle B, now at large, on or about May 9, at Madalla within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired to conceal 25kg of Ephedrine.
“This was by moving same from a restaurant owned by you, Bello in Madalla to a tailoring shop to prevent detection and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 14 of NDLEA Act.”
Following the “not guilty” plea entered by the defendants, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Mike Kassa asked the court for a date to assemble witnesses and commence trial.
Counsel to one of the defendants, Mr D.A. Ariyoosu, prayed the court to allow the defendants continue to enjoy the bail they were granted by Justice B.O. Quadri when they were arraigned before him during vacation.
Justice Tsoho, in a short ruling granted the request of the defence and adjourned the matter until Jan. 14, 2019.