By Dickson Pat
Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) has release of two convicted drug traffickers arrested by Police IRT and transferred to NDLEA namely Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne, who through a plea bargain, were sentenced to six years in prison, 2yrs for each of the 3 counts.
Both Umeibe and Ezenwanne were arrested by the men of the Inspector General of Police called Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in connection to 21.25kg of cocaine in January 2022.
In line with the plea bargain agreement, he okayed Umeibe and Ezenwanne to testify as witnesses in the trial of DCP Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubia and the other accused police officers, even as it ordered the NDLEA to ensure their safety in any correctional facility of their choice.
Justice Nwite had directed the NDLEA to constantly monitor the two defendants to ensure that they do not engage in any drug-related activity while serving their jail terms.
The duo, were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu while attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country, were arraigned before the court on March 7.
The police acting on intelligence moved in and arrested the men with the contraband after they were cleared by Conniving Officers in the Enugu Airport and moved them to Abuja.
Despite repeated pleas by the drug traffickers who offered large sums of money in addition to telling the police IRT to take the drugs, the police refused to compromise and insisted on due process and prosecution.
After obtaining voluntary confession, Recorded Video Confessions and making of necessary entry at the police office in Abuja, the police subsequently moved the men and the seized suspected cocaine to the office of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and handed them over to the agency for further investigation without exposing the activities of the NDLEA Officers in Enugu Airport to the Media, as the Drug traffickers clearly indicted NDLEA Officers for conniving with International drug Cartel members in bringing Heavy drugs several times into Nigeria Via the Enugu International Airport.
The affected police officers have been in prison without bail more than 15 months now without bail on Bailable allegations, which the law says is Bailable.
Deliberate use of judicial power to deny them bail despite repeated assurances that these are known men home and abroad that would not flee, especially with their international passports, will be in possession of the court. The Application of the Criminal Justice System calls for specific application of procedures in determining any case alleged to be criminal in nature.
Section 396 (3) provides that upon the arraignment of a defendant, trial shall proceed from day-to- day until the conclusion of the trial.
According to Sub section (4) of that section, it says “Where day-to-day trial is impracticable after arraignment, no party shall be entitled to more than five adjournments from arraignment to final judgement provided that the interval between each adjournment shall not exceed 14 working days.”
Subsection (5) says “Where it is impracticable to conclude a criminal proceeding after the parties have exhausted their five adjournments each, the interval between one adjournment to another shall not exceed seven days inclusive of weekends”
It leaves one to wonder why the judge has allowed long adjournment upon long adjournment, sometimes more than two months in a total of more than five times already.
however, in his reaction, Mr. Emaluji Sunday Michael of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights sees this as not only an assault on the sensibilities of Nigerians but on the sanctity of the court as well as deliberate manipulation to hide the key actors behind these convicted felons who were caught by the Police IRT red handed trafficking drugs into the country.
If the ACJA provides for accelerated hearing and its guidelines, why have there been long adjournments in such a manner that is far behind the recommended time frame?
Or is it truly a fact that the Druglord whom these convicted drug traffickers work for is so powerful that he’s manipulating the NDLEA whom the drug Traffickers confessed in wriiten and on video that they are on his Payroll, That is why he was never arrested or declared wanted nothwithstanding his name, Phone number and address was given to NDLEA. Or is the Big Baron indirectly manipulating the judicial process, especially as he has not been arrested despite the voluntary confession from the convicts? We have also seen how the Big Baron indirectly manipulated his ways for the Confessed Multiple drug Traffickers to be released in prison after just 16 months.
We add that the NDLEA knows those collaborating with drug cartels much as they know the convicted felons were just accessories. Umeibe and Ezenwanne confessed in court that their pictures are sent to the NDLEA operatives in Enugu for easy clearance whenever they return with drugs and that was why they always pass with heavy drugs full to the brink in carry on bags many times through the Enugu Airport before Police IRT Arrested them at the Airport Car Park on the 19/1/2022.
It’s interesting therefore to note that freeing Umeibe and Ezenwanne is to allow them to go back to their drug business while the police who arrested them, refused to compromise with them and transfered tbem to NDLEA are still being held in prison.
The public must also note that both Umeibe and Ezenwanne confessed in open Court that the 21.25kg was not tempered with by the Police anywhere in their Presence and Final Authentic Scientific test done at the NDLEA Lagos lab have also discredited the 17kg the NDLEA is claiming was tempared, The authentic test result is with the Court records. All these contradicted the complete falsehood and deceptive media trial embarked upon by the NDLEA.
Secure Your Future With With Skills, DG NYSC Tells Corps Members
Corps Members have been advised to utilize the opportunities of the service year to acquire skills through the NYSC Entrepreneurship Development programme and become employers of labour instead of searching for the unavailable salaried jobs.
The Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General YD Ahmed gave this advise on Monday while addressing the 2024 Batch ‘A’ Stream One Prospective Corps Members deployed to Kwara State during his visit to their Orientation Camp in Yikpata, Edu Local Government Area of the State.
He said most of their predecessors that acquired skills during their service year are now self employed with thriving businesses in different vocations across the country.
The Director General urged the Corps Members to participate actively in all camp activities and cultivate team spirit among themselves.
“We have organised important lectures for you in camp and all of them are very important.
Don’t miss any of the lectures, most especially SAED. This was designed to deliberately make you acquire skills of your choice and become employers of labour thereafter”, the DG said.
General Ahmed also warned the Corps Members against indulging in vices like cultism, drug abuse and hooliganism. He added that anyone caught engaging in any of such act would be prosecuted accordingly.
He urged them to fully dedicate themselves to national service by contributing their quota to the development of their state of deployment.
While presenting the camp situation report, the NYSC Kwara State Coordinator, Mr Onifade Joshua informed the Director General that the State Government has completed the second phase of the perimeter fence of the camp, adding that the third phase will soon commence.
He also lauded Kwara State Government for releasing 1,000 mattresses for camp use alongside other notable interventions.
Onifade stated further that the Corps Members have exhibited high level of discipline since they arrived camp.
As at the time of Director General’s visit, a total of 1,420 Corps Members comprising 695 males and 725 females have been registered.
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