On Wednesday, Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun issued an order directing the detention of five individuals in police custody pending the availability of legal counsel from the Directorate of Public Prosecution. The men had been charged with carrying Indian hemp and two bags of bogus foreign currency.
The accused, Francis Omwukei, 26, Kingsley Ude, 33, Umar Idris, 37, Eyo, 27, and Bright Ahamefula, 26, were charged with two counts each of possessing Indian hemp and counterfeit US and British dollars in a Yaba Magistrates’ Court.
Rita Momoh, the prosecutor, informed the court that the defendants were taken into custody at White Sand in Ijora, Lagos State, on August 9, 2023.
Momoh claims that the defendants were found in possession of items believed to be made of Indian hemp and displaying them in public, an act that could have disturbed the quiet.
She continued by stating that the offense was against the law and was punishable by Sections 329 and 442 of the Lagos State Criminal Laws of Nigeria.
The charge stated, in part, “That on August 9, 2023, at White Sand, Ijora, in Lagos, in the Lagos State Magisterial District, you, Francis Omwukei, Kingsley Ude, Umar Idris, Eyo, and Bright Ahamefula, 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
The accused, however, entered a not guilty plea to the accusations.
The magistrate mandated that the defendants be held in police custody for seven days in the absence of a remand warrant while the police duplicate and transmit the file to the DPP for legal counsel.
Olatunbosun adjourned the case till August 23, 2023, for DPP advice.