By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Ndubueze Izuchukwu Wisdom who allegedly imported 1.110 kilogramme of cocain and attempted suicide at the point of arrest has been granted 10 million Naira bail; and his case adjourned to 12th March, 2018.
He is undergoing trial on a two count charge before Justice Saliu Seidu of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Count one read: “That you Ndubueze Izuchukwu Wisdom , 32 years old, male adult on or about the 9th day of November, 2017 during the inward clearance of South African Airways flight from Brazil to Lagos at the E-Arrival Hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja , Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, without lawful authority imported 1.110 kilogrammes of cocain, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11 (a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap No. 30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
Count two stated that the accused on the same day and place, did without lawful authority aided one Mr. Kelvin Okwuonu (now at large) who lives in Brazil to import 1.11o kilogrammes of cocain to Lagos, Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 14 (b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act, Cap No. 30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Ndubueze Izuchukwu Wisdom pleaded not guilty to the two-count charges.
In moving a motion for bail for his client, counsel for the defendant, Chief Benson O, Ndakara, drew the attention of the trial judge to several sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (ACJA) to buttress his claim. Ndakara cited Sections 158, 162, 165 of ACJA and also Section 36 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, among others, in support of his motion.
The defence lawyer further supported his motion with a 13-paragraph affidavit and a written address. He, therefore, prayed the judge to admit the accused on bail on liberal basis on issues raised which had been covered in the affidavit.
He told the court that there is no evidence to show that the accused has had a criminal record in the past.
In her counter-motion, prosecution counsel, Juliana Imaobong U. Iroabuchi (Esq.) filed a 36-paragraph counter-affidavit and also relied on the exhibits tendered against the accused in convincing the judge to deny the accused bail.
The medical report stated that the defendant attempted committing suicide, the NDLEA counsel told Justice Seidu. “My Lord, we didn’t want to bury somebody,” Iroabuchi stressed.
In her argument urging the court to disqualify the reasons adduced by the defence counsel, she said: “If he (the accused) is released on bail you may never see him.”
The trial judge in his ruling granted Ndubueze Izuchukwu Wisdom bail in the sum of 10 million Naira, saying he has to provide two sureties who will also deposit 10 million Naira each.
Other conditions for the bail are that one of the sureties must be a relation of the accused and has to own building in the jurisdiction of the court.
The judge told the prosecution counsel to verify the sureties properly and be satisfied with their status and character.
In addition, Justice Seidu advised prison officials to observe and monitor the accused closely so that he will not kill himself on their name.
He therefore adjourned the matter to March 12, 2018.
By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos