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Court Refuses Bail For Qatar Returnee Accused Of Ingesting 650 Grammes Of Cocaine

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday refused the bail application of a Qatar-based Nigerian, Agudozie Peter Ihie, accused of smuggling into Nigeria, 650 grammes of cocaine, by ingestion.

Justice Tijjani Ringim upheld the argument of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) that Ihie was a “flight risk’ and may abscond from the trial.

The judge remanded Ihie in Nigerian Correctional Services custody pending trial.

Ihie was arraigned by the NDLEA on January 25, 2022, on a two-count charge of unlawful importation of the banned drug.

Prosecution counsel Juliana Imaobong-Iroabuchi alleged that the defendant unlawfully imported the banned substance and was arrested on May 25, 2021, at the ‘E’ Arrival Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos, onboard a Qatar Airways flight from Kenya, en route to Nigeria.

She alleged that the defendant, while aboard the aircraft, excreted some of the substance and hid it in his socks and private part, adding that upon his arrest, he also excreted more of the substance while under observation.

The alleged offences, Imaobong-Iroabuchi said, contravened section 11(a) of the NDLEA Act, 2004.

Ihie pleaded not guilty.

His counsel, Chief Benson Ndakara applied for his bail following which the court adjourned till February for hearing of the application.

At the commencement of the proceedings, Ndakara moved Ihie’s bail application, but the prosecutor opposed it.

In a bench ruling, Justice Ringim dismissed the application and ruled that the charge would be given an accelerated hearing.

He remanded the defendant and adjourned till May 25, for commencement of trial.

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