Seven Indians, three Nigerians were on Friday arraigned before a Lagos Federal High Court, by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), for allegedly smuggling 43.1 kilogrammes of cocaine into the country.
The seven Indians are Shedrack Yurama; Singh Vikash; Kunnaserypallam Ashraf Inzam; Xaiver Fernando Santhanaria; Mandal Surjeet Ashok; Tandel Pratikkumar Pravinbai; and Barthwal Rohan Sunil. Their Nigerian accomplices are Tobi Ojo; Kunle Animashaun and Omozusi Enorose Terry.
Also arraigned before Justice Ayokunle Faji led-court alongside the defendants was a limited liability company, Oilways Logistics and Energy Limited.
The defendants were arraigned on two counts of conspiracy and unlawful importation of the said banned drug by NDLEA prosecutor, Theresa Asuquo.
The defendants, according to the charge marked FHC/L/100c/2021, were arrested with the banned drug on February 8, 2021, at the Tin Can Port, Apapa, Lagos, onboard a vessel named MV SPAR SCORPIO.
The defendants were alleged to have conspired with Franklyn Pereowei Godwin and Peter Odigie Ozasuwa, said to be at large.
The offences according to the anti-narcotic agency are contrary to and punishable under sections 11(a) and 14(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004.
However, after their arraignment, Justice Faji, following the submissions of Femi Atoyebi, Tunde Adejuyigbe both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), Obatayo Aina, Richard Aina, and Usuala Nwagbara, allowed the Indians to continue with the administrative bail terms earlier admitted to them, while he admitted bail to the Nigerians in various terms.
Justice Faji, however, ordered the defendants to submit their passports with the court's Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR) and that they must get the court's permission before leaving the country.
The defendants' trials have been fixed for September 27 and 28, 2021.
Charges against the defendants read: "That you Tobi Ojo (M), Kunle Animashaun (M), Franklyn Pereowei Godwin (M), presently at large, Peter Odigie Ozasuwa (M), presently at large and Oilways Logistics and Energy Ltd (A company registered in Nigeria) on about the 8th of February 2021, at the Tin Can Port, Apapa, Lagos State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority imported 43.110 kilogrammes of cocaine, a narcotic drug, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act Cap N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004.
"That you Tobi Ojo (M), Kunle Animashaun (M), Shedrack Yurama (M), Oilways Logistics and Energy Ltd (a company registered in Nigeria), Omozusi Enorose Terry (M), Singh Vikash (M), Kunnaserypallam Ashraf Inzam (M), Xaiver Fernando Santhanaria (M), Mandal Surjeet Ashok (M), Tandel Pratikkumar Pravinbai (M), and Barthwal Rohan Sunil (M), sometime around 12th January 2021 and 8th February 2021 conspired, with one another and with Franklyn Pereowei Godwin (M) and Peter Odigie Osazuwa (M) who are both presently at large to import 43.110 kilogrammes of cocaine, a drug aboard the vessel MV SPAR SCORPIO without lawful authority, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(b) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 (LFN) 2004."