The General Overseer of the Seraphic and Sabbath Assembly, Lagos State, Priest Azuka Kenrick Nnodu and two others have been convicted by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos for drugs offences.
The operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, had in February arrested Azuka Kenrick.
He was arrested along with a student of Emmanuel College of Theology, Samanda, Ibadan, Udezuka Udoka and their freight agent, Oyoyo Mary Obasi over attempt to export methamphetamine and skunk consignments concealed in kegs of palm oil through the NAHCO export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The trio were arraigned by the NDLEA for conspiracy, procurement of persons to unlawfully export, unlawful export of 14.90 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa and 204 grams of Methamphetamine and unlawful possession of the hard drugs.
However, Justice Akintayo Aluko on Friday convicted Nnodu (58) and his two co-defendants Udezuka Udoka (26) and Oyoyo Mary Obasi (40), following their “guilty” plea to a six-count charge.
Abu Ibrahim, the prosecution counsel alleged that they committed the offences with one Chisom, now at large, on February 9, 2023.
The defendants were arrested with the drugs at the NAHCO Export Shed, a Customs Point of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, Ibrahim told the court.
The court heard that the offences contravened sections 14(b); 21(2)(d) and 20(1)(a) of the NDLEA Act, 2004, and were punishable under Sections 11(b) and 20(2(a) of the same Act.
All the defendants pleaded guilty.
Ibrahim reviewed the fact of the case and urged the court to convict and sentence the defendants in accordance with the NDLEA Act, Following their plea.
But the defendants’ counsel Chief Benson Ndakara expressed shock at the defendants’ guilty plea, saying he was “taken by surprise at their change of mind, after dissipating extra energy and time to prepare and file their various bail applications.”
Ndakara pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the defendants, on the ground that they were first-time offenders without any record of previous conviction.
Justice Aluko who convicted the trio, but reserved judgment till an undisclosed date, remanded the defendants in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), pending judgment.