Pakistani remanded over importation of cocaine into Nigeria

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday remanded a Pakistani, Iftikhar Muhamma Arslan, in prison for allegedly importing cocaine into Nigeria from Qatar.

NDLEATrial judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, ordered that the foreigner be remanded in prison after he was arraigned on a one-count charge bordering on the offence by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

According to the charge numbered FHC/L/143C/14, the Pakistani was said to have committed the offence on April 5, 2014, and was arrested the same date at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja.

The charge reads: “That you, Iftikhar Muhamma Arslan, male, adult, a Pakistani, on or about the 5th day of April, 2014 during the inward clearance of Qatar Airways flight from Doha, Qatar at the E-Arrival hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja – Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, without lawful authority, imported 25.4 kilogrammes of Heroin, a narcotic drug and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11 (a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act, Cap N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

After the charge was read to him, the accused pleaded not guilty, while the prosecutor, Vembe Emmanuel urged the court to remand the suspect in prison and grant a trial date.

Defence counsel, Benson Ndakara did not oppose the application, while Justice Aneke acceded the prosecutor’s request.

The matter was subsequently adjourned till September 26, 2014 for trial.