In a recent judicial development, Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun, presiding over the Yaba Magistrates’ Court, has issued an order for the continued detention of five men who were arraigned on charges related to the possession of Indian hemp and fake foreign currencies. The suspects, identified as Francis Omwukei (26), Kingsley Ude (33), Umar Idris (37), Eyo (27), and Bright Ahamefula (26), faced a two-count charge involving the possession of illegal substances and counterfeit foreign currencies, specifically Pounds Sterling and US dollars.
The prosecutor, Rita Momoh, provided insights into the circumstances surrounding the case. She stated that the defendants were apprehended on August 9, 2023, at White Sand, Ijora, Lagos State. According to Momoh, the defendants were discovered to be in possession of substances suspected to be Indian hemp, which they were openly displaying in a public area. This act, she emphasized, had the potential to incite a breach of the peace, warranting legal action.
The charges against the defendants were read aloud in court, outlining the specifics of the alleged offences. “That you, Francis Omwukei, Kingsley Ude, Umar Idris, Eyo, and Bright Ahamefula, on August 9, 2023, at White Sand, Ijora, in Lagos, in the Lagos State Magisterial District, did unlawfully have in your possession leaves suspected to be Indian hemp and two bags containing fake US Dollar currency, and pounds sterling currency, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 329 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”
When the charges were presented, each of the defendants entered a plea of not guilty.
In light of the legal proceedings, Magistrate Olatunbosun issued an order for the defendants to be held in police custody for a period of seven days, in the absence of a remand warrant. The purpose of this custody period is to allow the police to prepare and forward the necessary case files to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.
As the case takes its course through the judicial system, the magistrate scheduled the next hearing for August 23, 2023, when the court expects to receive the legal advice from the DPP. This development underlines the ongoing efforts to address issues related to narcotics and counterfeit currency, safeguarding societal well-being and maintaining the rule of law.