The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has filed an application before a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, South-West, Nigeria, seeking the final forfeiture of two vehicles allegedly used as instruments of unlawful importation of illicit drugs.
In an affidavit sworn to by a Litigation Officer, Kareem Olayinka, attached to the Directorate of Prosecution and Legal Services of the NDLEA, and filed before the Court by Prosecutor, I.J. Igwubor, the deponent avers as follows:
“NDLEA by law is empowered to arrest, seize, investigate and prosecute offences relating to drug matters.
“That on December 31, 2022, 24 Cannabis Indica was seized from a Toyota Sienna Car contained in a Container from Montreal Canada along with other vehicles used for unlawful importation of the said drug from Canada.
“That upon conducting a thorough search on the Toyota Sienna Vehicle, which was brought in through a Container No: MSMU5082733, carrying about 24.5kilograms of dried weeds, which amounts to the total weight of the drugs found in the car.
“That the defendant, Steve Adigwe, popularly known as Obobo Isioma, who masterminds the unlawful importation, has since been convicted for the offence by the Court, after pleading guilty at the first instance of his arraignment.
“That Steve Adigwe was charged before the Court for unlawful importation of 24.5kilograms of Cannabis Indica on a count charge on January 27, 2023.”
Mr. Olayinka further averred in the affidavit that, “it is a requirement of the law that all instrumentalities of conveyance of illicit drugs be subjected to forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria, if the defendant is convicted of the offence.
“That the defendant in this case has been convicted by the Court for this offence.
“That the Toyota Sienna vehicle mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs is an instrumentality used in conveying the 24.5kilogram of Cannabis indica for which the defendant has been convicted.
“That both the consignee and importer of the container wherein the drugs were found vide attached bill of lading, having determined the charge that an order of final forfeiture be issued by this Court.”
Consequently, NDLEA prays the Court for Interim Attachment and Final Forfeiture of one Toyota Sienna with CHASIS NO: 5TDZA2955360882, 2009; Model: Green in Colour, used as an instrumentality of unlawful importation of 24.5kilograms of Cannabis indica, seized by the NDLEA at Tincan Island Port and vesting custody of same in the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, having been convicted of the charge, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The amended charge filed against the convict upon which he was convicted, after pleading guilty stated as follows:
“That you STEVE ADIGWE also known as OBOBO ISIOMA, Male, Adult on or about the 31st day of December, 2022 at Tin Can Island Port, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without lawful authority imported 24.5kilograms of Cannabis Indica, concealed in a Sienna Vehicle using Container No: MSMU 5082733 and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 11 (a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Act, Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
The matter was adjourned till March 23, 2023 for hearing of application by the Presiding Judge, Akintayo Aluko.