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Court orders trial-within-trial for man caught with 3.7 kg of Cannabis Sativa

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Abuja, March 11, 2019 The Federal High Court Abuja, on Monday, ordered a tria-within-trial to ascertain if  the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) officials obtained a statement from one Felix Onu under duress.

The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako made the order after Onu denied that the contents of a statement an NDLEA witness was being led to admit in evidence were his.

Onu’s counsel, Mr B.I Dike told that court that his client did not give the statement voluntary but was forced to write it under duress having been denied food and water.

“He was tied up with chains, detained for two days and denied food and water before he was forced to write that statement under duress.”

Dike also told the court that his client was maltreated because he refused to give the NDLEA officials the N500,000 they demanded from him.

The Prosecutor, Mr Mike Kasa said that he had no problem with the trial within trial.

But apparently miffed by the allegation that NDLEA officials demanded money from the defendant, said that the defendant’s counsel must prove the allegation.

Earlier while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, the prosecution witness, Mr Ige Oladipo told the court that Onu was arrested in connection with 23.7 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa (A.K.A Indian Hemp).

According to Oladipo, we stopped a GUO bus on the Abaji-Abuja expressway for routine check and found two bags containing compressed blocks of dried weed suspected to be Cannabis Sativa.

“When we showed it to the conductor, he told us that it was Felix Onu (the defendant) that instructed him to collect the way bill from Lagos.

” When we went to Onu’s office, he told us it was one of his customers that asked him to bring it in from Lagos for him.

“He then called the customer in our presence and when the man came, he waited outside but on our way to meet him, Onu screamed officer and the man apparently sensing danger, drove off so we had to take Onu into custody. ”

Ige also identified the bags and blocks of dried weed wrapped in yellow tape which were admitted in evidence as exhibits.

The judge then adjourned the matter until April 4 for commencement of trial within trial.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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