By Robert Egbe
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has opened its case against a former Vice Chairman of Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Sakiru Kehinde Ashekun.
Ashekun is standing trial before Justice Ayokunle Faji for alleged attempted exportation of 1.0 kilogrammes of cocaine to the United Kingdom.
He was arraigned on June 30 and pleaded not guilty to a one-count charge but was denied bail on July 17, following which the matter was adjourned for trial.
At the resumed hearing of the case, the NDLEA presented two of its officials – Anebi Ajihma and Okwunjor Augustine – as its first witnesses.
Ajihma, a forensics expert, and Augustine, exhibits keeper, narrated the roles they played in the arrest of the former Council chief.
While Okwunjor told the court how the seized drug was handed over to him for safekeeping, Anebi told the court how he carried out the scientific tests on the substance and confirmed the same to be cocaine.
Both witnesses also tendered several documents, samples of the tests, among others.
Upon admitting the exhibits, the court adjourned the case till September 21 and 24, for cross-examination of the second witness and continuation of the defendant’s trial.
Ashekun was arrested on May 7, 2021 during the outward clearance of passengers on a Virgin Atlantic Airlines flight from Lagos to London, Heathrow at the Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Aiport, Ikeja, Lagos.
He was alleged to have concealed the drug in five pairs of slippers.
The offence, according to NDLEA prosecutor, Abu Ibrahim, contravened Section 11(b) of the NDLEA Act, 2004.