The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Thursday arraigned a 58-year-old alleged drug baron before a Jos Federal High Court for illegal possession of tons of hard drugs.
The Jos based accused, Jude Okoye alias Zuma, was arrested by officers of the agency on June 9, 2017 at his store in Apata quarters, Jos North Local Government of Plateau.
Okoye is being tried on an eight-count charge of unlawful possession of 1,372Kg of Tramadol drug, 1, 089 Kg of cough syrup containing codeine, 28. 3 Kg Diazepam injection.
Also in his possession was 16Kg of Pentazocine injection, all alleged to be Psychotropic substances similar to cocaine and heroin.
Others substances allegedly found in his possessions include; 18Kg of cough syrup containing codeine, 200gm of Lorazepam tablets, 250gm of Tramadol and 100gm of Pentazocine Injection.
The NDLEA prosecuting counsel, Mr Buhari Abdullahi told Justice Dorathy Agishi that by possessing such hard drugs the suspect had committed offences contrary and punishable under sections 19 of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Law of the Federation 2004.
When the charges were read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty, and the prosecution prayed the court to commence trial.
“My Lord, the frightening aspect is that most of the hard drugs found in the accused possession are expired drugs, which if they find their way into the market would have posed serious danger to the lives of innocent Nigerians, ” he said.
Two officers of the NDLEA gave testimonies of the arrest and substances found in the possession of the baron. Mr Etsu Daniel, the agency exhibit keeper told the court the exact quantity of each of the substances found in Jude’s possession and presented them to the court as exhibits.
Mr Umar Shettiem, the defence counsel, cross examined the witnesses on their testimonies against his client.
The prosecution later sought for adjournment to present more witnesses. Justice Agishi has adjourned the case to April 23 and 24 for continuation of hearing.