Ekene was charged to court on one count of possessing the drug without lawful authority by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
NDLEA arraigns man, 28, for allegedly trafficking 4.1kg of cocaine
A 28-year-old man, Okoro Ekene, was arraigned before Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Thursday for allegedly trafficking 4.1 kilogrammes of cocaine.
According to the charge read to the defendant, the alleged crime was committed on April 17, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, during an inward clearance of a flight from Brazil.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecutor, Ms Bibiana Anago, told the court that in view of the defendant’s plea, he should continue to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre and a date fixed for trial.
Ekene’s lawyer, Mr Agwuama Ndubisi, however, prayed the court to admit his client to bail.
Ndubisi said that the bail application was based on the grounds that his client had taken a fresh plea following the amendment of the earlier charge against him.
The lawyer said that his client was committed to ensuring that he attended court throughout the duration of the trial.
He said that his client had an opportunity to evade trial, but decided not to take it.
“When there was a jail break at Kuje where he is being held, he could have decided to escape like others did, but he chose to stay and face his trial.
“This shows that he is willing to face his trial and will not jump bail.
“Also, investigation has been concluded into the matter. So, if he is released on bail, he will not tamper with the investigation in any way,” Ndubisi said.
He prayed the court to admit his client to bail to enable him to prepare his defence.
The prosecutor, however, opposed the application for bail and prayed the court to refuse the same on the grounds that the defendant had not placed any new fact before the court to exercise its discretion on bail in his favour.
Abubakar adjourned the matter until Friday to rule on the bail application.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: