Court convicts two Brazilians for importing cocaine

A Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday convicted two Brazilians, Lima Pereira Diego and Santos Marcia Cristina, for bringing into Nigeria 23.895 kilogrammes of cocaine.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun convicted the two Brazilians after they had pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against them by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The convicts, who were earlier arraigned before the court on April 26 on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and unlawful importation of the said narcotic, declined to take their plea on the ground that they do not have confidence in the interpreter, one Mr. O. Adeniran, who was provided for them by their country’s diplomatic service.

 Upon the objection raised against the interpreter and their plea-guilty to the charge, the court adjourned till yesterday for re-arraignment and plea-taken.At the hearing yesterday, the judge asked the convicts if they still want to plea guilty to the charge, they insisted that they are guilty of the charge.

Consequently, Justice Olatoregun pronounced them guilty as charged and adjourned till July 5, 2017 to pronounce sentence on the convicts.She also ordered them remanded in Kirikiri Prison pending the day.

In another development, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief Olajumoke Akinjide and a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olanrewaju Otiti, were yesterday ordered to be remanded in prison till September 12, 2017.

Akinjide and her accomplice were arraigned alongside former Senator Ayo Adeseun, who was not available in court, yesterday before a Federal High Court, Ibadan, over alleged illegal possession and disbursement of N650 million without lawful authority and handling the large sum of money without recourse to a financial institution as proscribed by the law.

Also, the presiding judge, Justice Joyce Abdulmalik, ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to produce him (third accused) at the next adjourned date.

Akinjide and Otiti pleaded not guilty to the 12-count charge preferred against them, but Justice Abdulmalik ordered them to be remanded in the EFCC custody when the substantive case filed against them would be heard.

The EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, had earlier told the court that Akinjide had agreed with the commission to enter plea-bargaining to refund the alleged money and so applied that she be remanded in the EFCC custody instead of Agodi Prison.

Meanwhile, before the plea of the defendants was taken, Akinjide’s lead counsel, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) and counsel to Senator Ayoade Adeseun (who is at large), Mr. Michael Lana, walked out on the judge when she refused to hear a pre-arraignment application Ayorinde had wanted to move before the charge could be read to the defendants.