Customs officer docked for dealing in marijuana

NDLEA operatives

Akin Kuponiyi

A serving Nigeria Customs officer, Ugwoke Emmanuel was on Thursday arraigned before a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos by the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on charges of dealing in narcotics.

He was arraigned before the court on two counts charge of unlawful dealing and transporting 384 kilograms of cannabis sativa popularly called marijuana.

Emmanuel, according to NDLEA, was arrested with the marijuana on May 14, 2017, at Gbaji Customs check point, along Seme-Badagry road while transporting the prohibited ‘weeds’ in a Nigeria Customs Services vehicle.

The action of the accused who is currently serving at the Seme Border Post of Customs, according to NDLEA, is contrary to sections 19 and 20(1) (a) and punishable under section 20(2) of the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. Consequently, the NDLEA prosecutor, Mr. Aliyu Abubakar, while urging the court to fix a trial date, urged the court to remand him in Prison custody pending trial.

However his lawyers, Chief Benson Ndakara and Viviane Ekwegh, pleaded with the court to admit him to bail on liberal term as they have filed application for his bail.

But the presiding judge, Justice Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari, while adjourning till September 28, 2017 for ruling on the bail application, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody.