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NDLEA Arraigns General Overseer, 2 Others For Trafficking In Hard Drugs

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(L-R) High Priest Nnodu Azuka Kenrick, Oyoyo Mary Obasi and Udezuka Udoka

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) today, arraigned High Priest Nnodu Azuka Kenrick, the founder and General Overseer of Seraphic and Sabbath Assembly, Lagos, and two others before a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos for unlawful export of 14.90 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa and 204 Grams of Methamphetamine.

Others arraigned alongside High Priest Nnodu were Udezuka Udoka and and a lady, Oyoyo Mary Obasi.

The High Priest and his co-defendants were arraigned before Justice Akintayo Aluko on a count-charge of conspiracy, unlawful possession of the hard drugs.

While the High Priest was arraigned on fourth count-charge of conspiracy, unlawful export of the drugs and procuring both Udoka and Oyoyo to unlawfully export the drugs. Udoka and Oyoyo were arraigned on all the count charge of conspiracy, unlawful export of the drug

The prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, while arraigning all the defendants, told the court that they committed the offences with one Chisom, now at large, on February 9, 2023.

According to the charge the defendants were arrested with the drugs at the NAHCO Export Shed, a Customs Point of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos.

Tthe offences committed by the defendants, were said to have contravened sections 14 (b); 21 (2)(d) and 20 (1)(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under Sections 11 (b) and 20(2)(a) of the same Act.

All the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.

Following their guilty plea, the prosecutor after reviewing the fact of the matter, through an Exhibit keeper of the agency Mr , Fredrick Atoni, urged the court to convict and sentence the defendants in accordance with the relevant sections of the NDLEA Act under which the defendants were charged.

But the defendants’ lawyer, Chief Benson Ndakara, in his submission expressed rude shock over the defendants’ guilty plea, saying that he was taken by surprise with their change of mind, after dissipating efforts and time to prepare and filed their various bail applications.

Chief Ndakara however, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing the defendants on the ground that they are first time offenders without any record of previous conviction.
In particular, Ndakara urged the court to take pitty on the first defendant who is seriously sick.

Justice Aluko after taking submissions of parties convicted all the defendants as charged, and ordered that they should be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) till when the court will pronounce their sentence on the charge.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) arrested the general overseer also referred to as

“high priest,” Nnodu Kendrick, on February this year alongside others over attempt to export 283 parcels of methamphetamine and 14.90 kilogrammes of skunk to Dubai.

The agency said the illicit drugs were concealed in kegs of palm oil and passed through the NAHCO export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The cleric who is the founder of the Seraphic and Sabbath Assembly, in Ijesha, Surulere area of Lagos was arrested with his accomplices, Uzezuka Udoka, a student of Emmanuel College of Theology, Samanta, in Oyo and their freight agent, Mary Obasi.

“High Priest Nnodu was arrested on Saturday 11th February 2023 at his Seraphic and Sabbath Assembly Church located at No 1, Sabbath Close, Ijesha area of Lagos following the arrest of two other suspects: Oyoyo Mary Obasi and the theology student, Udezuka Udoka on Thursday 9th February at the Lagos airport in connection with the seizure of 283 parcels of skunk weighing 14.90 kilograms and 204 grams of methamphetamine concealed in four 25-litre kegs of palm oil for export to Dubai,” the statement reads.

“In her statement, Mary indicted the General Overseer of her new-found church, Nnodu and his son, Chisom Obi, who is now at large as the persons that gave her the consignments for export after being compelled to take an oath of secrecy as well as a sacrifice of chicken in the church while High Priest Nnodu prayed for her for the success of the transaction.”

Mary told the anti-narcotic agency she was threatened and compelled to take the illicit drugs “after they knew she had known their secrets, adding that High Priest Nnodu was always referring to the illicit drugs as Ice and Bible, (Street names for Methamphetamine and Cannabis) in their telephone text message chats.

”The other suspect, the theology student, was allegedly introduced to Ms Obasi to tutor her because she was new in the illicit business.

Udoka said he was paid two million naira for his role and had to play it because he needed the money for his education.

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