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NDLEA arraigns soldier for drug trafficking in Lagos


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has arraigned a 49-year-old soldier, Olanrewaju Lawal, before a Federal High Court in Lagos State for alleged trafficking of tramadol and other illicit drugs. 

 Lawal, who was arraigned before Justice Akintayo Aluko, on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, is facing six-count bordering on conspiracy and unlawfully engaging in the transportation of the banned substances.

 The prosecutor, Mr. Lambert Nor, who is the head of NDLEA’s legal/prosecution department of the Lagos State Command, told the court that the defendant and others now at large, have been operating a drug trafficking organisation between September 15, 2022, till January 12, 2023, when he was arrested at Ago Palace Way, Okota, Lagos State.

 Nor told the court that the defendant was arrested with high volumes of the banned substances including Tramadol hydrochloride 250mg weighing 223.65 kilograms; Tramadol hydrochloride 225mg weighing 28.40 kilograms; Pregabalin weighing 169.4 kilograms, and Codeine Based Syrup weighing 1,469 litres.

 The prosecutor further told the court that all the banned drugs were listed as “designated by the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 and its Protocol and the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988.”

 According to the prosecutor, the offence committed contravened Sections 14(b) and 11(b) of the NDLEA Act Cap N 30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him. 

 Following his not-guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date and also to remand him in prison custody.

 Responding to the prosecutor’s request, lawyer to the defendant, Bolanle Kolawole, told the court that her client’s bail application had been filed and the same had been served on the prosecutor.

 She also pleaded with the court to allow her client to be in NDLEA’s custody till the determination of the bail application.

 Justice Aluko, after taking arguments from both counsels, ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services.

 Meanwhile, the prosecutor also moved an ex parte application seeking to forfeit in the interim, the vehicle used by the soldier to transport the said banned substance, as well as some of his monies kept in some banks.

 The prosecutor told the court that the investigation revealed that the monies were proceeds of illegal acts.

 Consequently, Justice Aluko adjourned the case till March 17, 2023, for ruling on the ex parte application. 



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