The Federal High Court in Lagos Thursday ordered an interim forfeiture of the N4,413,110.03 found in a bank account linked to a Brazil-returnee, Okoewo Ikechukwu.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke placed the funds in the Federal Government’s custody following an ex parte application filed by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) through its counsel Juliana Imaobong Iroabuchi.
Iroabuchi, relying on Sections 44 (2)(K) of the 1999 Constitution, Sections 31(A) and (C); 3; 34 and 36 of NDLEA Act, 2004, said the order would prevent the disposal or dissipation of the said funds by the defendant during and pending the conclusion of his prosecution.
She told the judge that Ikechukwu is awaiting sentencing on July 5 after pleading guilty to an amended five-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful importation of 48 kilogrammes of cocaine, which he ingested.
He was also accused of failure to fully disclose his assets to the NDLEA.
The NDLEA listed his alleged conspirators as Obi Nonso and Okoro Steven Ameachi.
According to Iroabuchi, the defendant was arrested with the drug on January 17, 2022, while returning from Brazil through Ethiopia, Addis-Ababa, via Ethiopian Airline.
The anti-narcotics agency, in an affidavit deposed to by one of its litigation officers, Olayinka Kareem, stated that it traced the bank accounts listed in the motion ex-parte to Ikechukwu, adding that the accounts warehoused proceeds of his alleged illegal drug trafficking and processing.