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NDLEA Arraigns 2 Brazilians for Importing 23.9kg Of Cocaine

Two Brazilians, Lima Pereira Diego, and Dias DOS Santos Marcia Cristina, were on Wednesday arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, Wednesday, for Importing 23.895 kilograms of Cocaine to Nigeria.

The duo according to the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, were arrested at the arrival Hall of Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, on April 18, 2017, during an inward clearance of passengers of an Emirates Airlines flight from their country, Brazil.

NDLEA in the amended charge marked FHC/L/138c/2017, alledged that the two Brazilians conspired with one one Benson Abiodun and others now at large to brought in the said banned drug to the country.

The first defendant, Lima Pereira Erick Diego, was alleged to have imported 14.495 kilograms of Cocaine, while the second defendant, Dias Dos Santos Marcia Cristina was said to have imported 9.4 kilograms of the same.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim, are contrary to and punishable under sections 14(b), 11(a) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Upon the reading of the charge which was interpreted by one Mr. Adeniran O, provided by the defendants' embassy, the two defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge of conspiracy, but the the first defendant pleaded guilty to charge of Importing the drug, while the second defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

After the pleas taken of the defendants, the NDLEA prosecutor urged the court to remand them in Prison's custody pending trial.

But the defendants' lawyers, Mr. O. G. Oyeleke (SAN), and Niyi Onifade, informed the court that they doubt the competence of the interpreter, despite the fact that the interpreter was provided by the diplomatic service.

The defendant's lawyers also informed the court that they are yet to be furnish with the Proof-of-Evidence of the matter, and that they were just briefed about the matter on Tuesday's evening. Consequently, they urged the court to let the defence provide the interpreter, whose competence they will not doubt.

The defendants' lawyers also urged the court to allow their client to be remanded in the custody of the NDLEA, pending hearing of the bail applications.

But the prosecution equally raised objection to the defence providing an interpreter in the case. Rather, the prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim urged the court to compel the court's Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR), to provide an interpreter.

Ruling on the submissions of the parties, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, ruled that the defendants should produce an interpreter of their choice at the next adjourned date, but said the interpreter provided by the defendants' embassy must also present when the charge will be reread to the defendants and their plea retaking.

Justice Olatoregun consequently adjourned the matter till May 15 and 16, 2017, for trial, but ordered that two Brazilians be remanded in Prison's custody.


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