On August 16, five men were brought before the Yaba Magistrates’ Court to face a two-count charge. The charges included possession of illegal substances, specifically Indian hemp, and possession of counterfeit foreign currencies, namely British Pounds Sterling and US Dollars.
Rita Momoh, the prosecutor, informed the court that the defendants were apprehended on August 9, 2023, at White Sand, Ijora, Lagos State. They were caught in possession of suspected Indian hemp, which they were displaying in public. This action had the potential to disrupt public peace. The charges filed against them were in violation of Sections 329 and 442 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, Nigeria.
The charges stated, “Francis Omwukei, Kingsley Ude, Umar Idris, Eyo, and Bright Ahamefula, on August 9, 2023, at White Sand, Ijora, Lagos, within the Lagos State Magisterial District, were found unlawfully possessing leaves suspected to be Indian hemp, as well as two bags containing counterfeit US Dollar currency and British Pounds Sterling currency. This act is in contravention of Section 329 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”
Upon entering their pleas of not guilty, Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun ordered that the defendants be held in police custody for seven days. During this time, the police would prepare the necessary documentation and send the case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice.
The case was adjourned by Olatunbosun until August 23, 2023, to await the advice from the DPP.