By Lukman Olabiyi
Two officials of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have gave account of how Sakiru Kehinde Ashekun, a former Vice Chairman of Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area (LCDA), who is standing trial for trafficking 1.0 kilograms of cocaine was arrested.
Asekun is currently facing trial over the alleged offense before the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The two officials, Anebi Ajihma and Okwunjor Augustine, are the agency’s forensic expert and exhibits keeper respectively.
Th former council Chief was arraigned before the court on June 30, on a count charge of unlawful exportation of the banned drug.
The offence which according to the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, is contrary to and punishable under Section 11(b) of the said National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Though, the defendant denied the allegation and pleaded not guilty, but he was not granted bail, following strong submissions made by the prosecutor.
Consequently, the trial judge, Justice Ayokunle Faji, made an order of accelerated hearing, while also ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerians Correctional Services (NCoS), till the determination of the charge against him.
At the resumed hearing of the charge Thursday, the two witnesses while being led in evidence, narrated the roles they played in arrest of the former Council Chief
While the exhibits keeper, Okwunjor told the court how the seized drug was handed over to him for well and save keeping.
The forensic expert, Anebi, told the court how he carried out scientific test on the seized drug and confirmed such to be cocaine.
The two witnesses also tendered several documents, samples of test drug and others which were admitted by the court as exhibits.
Meanwhile, further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till September 21 and 24, for cross-examination of the second witness and continuation of the defendant’s trial.
The former Vice Chairman, popularly called Owoiya, was arrested on May 7, 2021, during the outward clearance of passengers on Virgin Atlantic Airlines flight from Lagos to London, Heathrow at the Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Aiport, Ikeja, Lagos.
He was alleged to have conceal the drug in some footwear.
The charge against the former Council Chief reads: “That you Asekun Sakiru Kehinde, Male, Adult, on or about the 7th May 2021 during the outward clearance of passengers on Virgin Atlantic Airlines flight from Lagos to London, Heathrow at the Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Aiport, IkejaLagos without lawful authority exported 1.000 kilogramme of Cocaine, a Narcotc Drug and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11(b) of the said National Drug Law Enforcernent Agency Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.