Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
Justice Hassan Sule of the Federal High Court, Lagos has granted leave to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to remand a suspected hard drug baron, Onuegbu Ozoemena Stanley, who has been declared wanted by Interpol since 2017, till January 21.
The Court granted leave to the NDLEA while ruling on an ex parte application filed and argued by the agency’s lawyer, Mr Fingere Dinneys.
In urging the Court to grant the application, NDLEA counsel Dinneys told the Court that the remand order sought for was pursuant to Section 35 (1)(C), 6 (6)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, and Section 41 (b)(iii) of the NDLEA Act Cap. N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004; Section 296 of the ACJA 2015 and Order 26 Rule 8 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court.
He also told the Court that the order of the Court for the remand of Stanley, who was arrested on December 27, 2019, is needed upon reasonable suspicion of committing an offence under the provision of the NDLEA Act.
Dinneys informed the Court that the order sought for was for further investigation of the arrested drug suspect, whose co-conspirator, one Onwuabor Chukwuemeka Emmanuel, was arrested on July 8, 2015, in Hong Kong with 1.52 Kilogrammes of cocaine. Adding that upon the arrest of Onwuabor, he mentioned his name as the sponsor and the owner of the 1.52 Kilogrammes of cocaine.
He also told the court that upon the revelation made by Onwuabor, the name of Stanley was sent to Interpol as a fugitive, which gave rise for his name to be placed on a watchlist by Interpol as a wanted person on February 23, 2017. He added that Stanley had been at large since 2017, but was, however, arrested on December 27, 2019, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on his arrival from Hong Kong.
He also told the Court that the order sought for is to enable the NDLEA and Interpol conclude investigations into the drug activities of the arrested suspected drugs dealer, which he said has commenced, with a lot of hidden issues being unravelled.
He urged the Court to grant the application as the suspect will not be prejudiced.
In granting the ex parte application, Justice Hassan held that: “I have carefully examined applicant’s ex parte application as well as an affidavit in support, the exhibits attached and written address. I have also listened carefully to the submission of the applicant’s counsel.
“The application is hereby granted. And the matter is adjourned till January 21 for a report of the investigation.”