Two men, Okonkwo Victor and Bankole Johnson, were yesterday remanded in prison by Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari of the Federal High Court, Lagos, over alleged unlawful dealing in cocaine.
Okonkwo and Bankole, who also goes by the name Rotimi Adekunle, were arraigned before the court by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in account of unlawful dealing in the banned substance.
NDLEA prosecutor, Kunle Adebajo, informed the court that the defendants were arrested at the EMS section of Marina Post Office, on July 15, 2017, where they had gone to receive 200 grammes of cocaine sent to them by an accomplice.
He said the offences committed by the defendants were contrary to Section 11(b) of the NDLEA Act, Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The duo pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following the defendants’ not guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court to set a trial date and also to remand them in custody pending the determination of the case.
Lawyers to the defendants, Mr. Anthony Nnamoko and Chief Lilian Omotunde, jointly told the court that they were not opposing the prosecutor’s application for a trial date, but pleaded with the court to grant their clients bail in the most liberal terms.
Nnamoko and Omotunde told the court that they separately filed an application for their clients’ bail and attached to the said applications affidavits and written addresses.
The lawyers also told the court that their clients had competent surety to stand for them. In response to the defendants’ bail applications, the NDLEA’s prosecutor, Adebajo, urged the court to refuse the defendants’ bail applications due to the gravity of the offence committed by the defendants.
Justice Shagari, while adjourning the trial of the defendants to November 20, 2017, ordered that the two defendants be remanded in custody, pending when she would rule on their bail applications.