20180402

Big "Drug Baron" Nabbed By NDLEA, Arraigned In Court

Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arraigned a 58-year-old suspected drug baron at a Jos Federal High Court for alleged illegal possession of hard drugs.

Jude Okoye, alias Zuma, was arrested by officers of the agency on June 9, 2017, at his store in Apata quarters, Jos North Local Government of Plateau State.

The suspect is being tried on an eight-count charge of alleged possession of 1,372kg of Tramadol drug, 1,089kg of cough syrup, containing codeine, and 28.3kg of Diazepam injection.

Also, in his possession was 16kg of Pentazocine injection, all alleged to be psychotropic substances.

Other substances allegedly found in his possession include 18kg of cough syrup containing codeine, 200gm of Lorazepam tablets, 250gm of Tramadol and 100gm of Pentazocine injection.

The NDLEA prosecuting counsel, Mr. Buhari Abdullahi, told Justice Dorothy Agishi that by possessing such hard drugs, the suspect committed offences contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Law of the Federation 2004.

When the charges were read, the accused pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution prayed the court to begin trial.

He said: “My Lord, the frightening aspect is that most of the substances found in the accused’s possession are expired drugs. If they find their way into the market, they will pose danger to people’s lives.”

NAN reports that two officers of the NDLEA gave evidence of the arrest and substances found in the possession of the baron.

Mr. Etsu Daniel, the agency exhibit keeper, told the court the exact quantity of each of the substances found in Jude’s possession and presented them as exhibits.

Mr. Umar Shettiem, the defence counsel, cross examined the witnesses on their testimonies against his client.

The prosecution later sought adjournment to present more witnesses.

Justice Agishi adjourned the case till April 23 and 24 for continuation of hearing.