The founder and General Overseer of Seraphic and Sabbath Assembly, High Priest Nnodu Azuka Kenrick, alongside two others have been arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State, for drug trafficking.
The High Priest, his co-defendants Udezuka Udoka and Oyoyo Mary Obasi, were arraigned before Justice Akintayo Aluko, on Friday, May 12, 2023, on a count-charge of conspiracy and unlawful possession of hard drugs.
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While the High Priest was arraigned on fourth count-charge of conspiracy, unlawful export of 14.90 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa and Methamphetamine and procuring both Udoka and Oyoyo to unlawfully export the drugs, the duo were arraigned on all the count charge of conspiracy, unlawful export of the drug.
The prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim told the court that they committed the offences with one Chisom, now at large, on February 9, 2023.
Mr. Ibrahim told the court that all the defendants were arrested with the drugs at the NAHCO Export Shed, a Customs Point of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos.
He told the court that the offences contravened sections 14 (b); 21 (2)(d) and 20 (1)(a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under Sections 11 (b) and 20(2)(a) of the same Act.
All the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.
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Following their guilty plea, the prosecutor after reviewing the fact of the matter, through an exhibit keeper, Fredrick Atoni, urged the court to convict and sentence the defendants in accordance with the sections of the NDLEA Act they were charged with.
But the defendants’ lawyer, Chief Benson Ndakara, expressed rude shock over the defendants’ guilty plea, saying that he was taken by surprise with their change of mind, after dissipating extra energy and time to prepare and file their various bail applications.
Chief Ndakara however, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the defendants, on the ground that they are first time offenders without any record of previous conviction.
Justice Aluko after taking submissions of parties convicted all the defendants as charged, and ordered that they be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) till when he will pronounce their sentence on the charge.
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Photo Credit: Getty