A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State has refused bail to Kehinde Ashekun, a former Vice Chairman of Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area, over his alleged involvement in drug trafficking.
Ashekun, popularly referred to as Owoiya, was arrested on May 7, 2021, on the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Ikeja, Lagos, by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for trying to smuggle 1.0 kilograms of Cocaine hid in footwear from Nigeria to London.
The NDLEA had arraigned the accused earlier than the court docket on June 30, on a depend cost bordering on illegal exportation of the narcotics.
According to the prosecutor, Abu Ibrahim, the offence contradicted Section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable underneath the identical Act.
Upon his arraignment, Asheku had denied the allegation and pleaded not responsible to the cost.
Following his plea, his bail utility was argued by his counsel, Olasupo Shasore, which was strongly opposed by the prosecutor, whereas the court docket adjourned until Friday (in the present day) for the ruling.
Justice Ayokunle Olayinka Faji, dismissed Ashekun’s bail utility on the premise that it was missing in advantage and ordered an accelerated trial.
The court docket additionally dismissed a basic rights enforcement swimsuit, filed by the embattled ex-council chief towards the NDLEA, additionally for been deserted as argued by the prosecutor, Ibrahim.
The choose consequently ordered that the previous Vice Chairman be returned to the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), adjourned the matter until July 22, for graduation of trial.
The cost towards the previous Council chairman reads, “That you Asekun Sakiru Kehinde, Male, Adult, on or in regards to the seventh May 2021 through the outward clearance of passengers on Virgin Atlantic Airlines flight from Lagos to London, Heathrow on the Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos with out lawful authority exported 1.000 kilogrammes of Cocaine, a narcotic drug and also you thereby dedicated an offence opposite to and punishable underneath Section 11(b) of the stated National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
According to the company, a preliminary investigation revealed that the London-based suspected drug baron is a seasoned politician.
He was at totally different instances between 2004 and 2014 the vice-chairman of Lagos Island East LCDA. He had additionally contested and misplaced elections for the House of Representatives in 2007 and the Lagos State House of Assembly in 2015.
Also, an announcement issued by the NDLEA stated the suspect had been on the company’s wished record following the current arrest of some traffickers and drug seizures linked to him.
The assertion signed by the company’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, had learn, “The long arm of the law however caught up with the wanted baron at about 9.40 pm on Friday, 7th May, 2021 while trying to board a Virgin Atlantic Airline flight to London, the United Kingdom at the Lagos airport.
“At the point of his arrest, Asekun was caught with a kilogramme of cocaine concealed in five pairs of palm slippers packed inside his suitcase.
“He has been on the wanted list of the MMIA Command of the Agency in connection to a case involving one Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim, who was arrested with 6.45kg of cocaine in December 2020.”
NDLEA added, “Although he claims to be an international businessman who deals in automobiles, the investigation is yet to confirm that to be the source of his acquired wealth.
“In the course of tracking him, the sum of N131 million was seized from his account and another N14 million also blocked in the account of one of his traffickers, Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim, bringing the total sum recovered from him to N145 million.”