General Overseer arrested over exportation of marijuana pleads “not guilty”
A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted bail in the sum of N2million to the founder and General Overseer of Christ Living Hope Church, Reverend Ekwem Emmanuel Ugochukwu, accused of exporting 40 grammes of Cannabis Sativa, also known as marijuana, to Kenya.
Justice Daniel Osiagor made the order following Ugochukwu’s “not guilty” plea to a one-count charge of unlawful export of the banned drug during his March 29, arraignment by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Following the cleric’s plea, Mr. Nwagu applied for a trial date and prayed the court to remand Ugochukwu in Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) custody.
The defendant’s counsel, Benson Ndakara, did not oppose the application for trial but contended that a remand order was unnecessary.
Mr. Ndakara notified the judge that he had filed an application for Ugochukwu’s bail and same had been served on the prosecution.
Justice Osiagor, after taking arguments on the applications, upheld Ndakara’s prayer.
He admitted the Ugochukwu to bail in the sum of N2 million with one surety.
The surety, the judge ruled, must be a Director in a Federal or Lagos State government establishment.
He remanded the defendant in NCoS custody till the perfection of his bail terms and adjourned till June 26, for trial.