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NDLEA Tells Court How Drug Baron Smuggled 5.48kg Of Cocaine from Brazil After Released On Bail

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The scheduled trial of a suspected drug baron, Odogwu James Johnson, currently facing trial before a Lagos Federal High Court, for alleged trafficking of 300 grams of Cocaine, could not go on as planned on Thursday due to his arrest for another drug trafficking offence by the Port Harcourt Command of anti-narcotic agency, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The alleged drug baron, Odogwu, is being tried by NDLEA before Justice Nicholas Oweibo led-court on a count charge of unlawful importation of 300 grams of Cocaine.

The offence he denied and pleaded not guilty to. The development which allowed the court to admit him to bail with some terms and conditions.

However, when the trial of the alleged drug baron came up last Thursday, the prosecutor, Mr Abu Ibrahim, told the Court, that although the matter is slated for trial that day, but that the defendant after being granted bail on March 10, committed another offence for which he is facing trial at the Port-Harcourt, Rivers State division of the court.

According to the prosecutor, “immediately after the hearing of the 10th of March this year, wherein the defendant was granted bail, the defendant after being released after perfecting his bail conditions went and procure another International Passport and travel to Brazil and illegally brought in 5.48 kilograms of Cocaine despite facing trail for alleged importation of 300 grams of Cocaine at the Lagos division of the court.”

Abu said the Port-Harcourt division will on Tuesday (today) ruled on Odogwu’s bail application. Adding that events at the Port-Harcourt division of the court would determine the next step to take on the matter at the Lagos division.

Abu also told the court that it is either the commission will allow the Port-Harcourt trial to go on while that of Lagos division be suspended .

The prosecutor therefore pleaded with the court for the revocation of the bail earlier granted to the defendant and for a short adjournment so that the commission will determine the next step to take.
Addressing the court on the development, defendant’s lawyer, Dennis Warri, confirmed the position of the prosecutor and did not oppose the prosecution’s application for adjournment.
After the parties’ submissions, Justice Oweibo adjourned the matter till July 15, for parties to report to the court the outcome of the trial at the Port Harcourt division of the court.

The charge against the defendant at the Lagos division reads: “That you, Odogwu James Johnson, Male, adult, on or about the 11th of june, 2021 at the Arrival Hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, without lawful authorty Imported 300 grams of Cocaine, a narcotic, drug and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap N30, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

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