Reverend Ekwem Emmanuel Ugochukwu, founder and General Overseer of Christ Living Hope Church, who was arrested for allegedly being in possession of Cannabis Sativa, has been arraigned before a Lagos Federal High Court.
Reverend Ugochukwu was arrested with the banned weed, on March 7, during the outward clearance of passengers of Ethiopian Airline flight to Kenya at screening 1, Departure Hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos.
The Man of God, was brought before Justice Daniel Osiagor, on Tuesday, on a count charge of unlawful export of the said banned weed.
The offence according to the prosecutor, Mr Augustine Nwagu, contravened Section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same Act.
The General Overseer pleaded not guilty to the charge. The development, which made the prosecutor to ask for a trial date and urged the court to remand him in NCoS’ custody.
But the defendant’s counsel, Benson Ndakara, told the court that he was not opposed to trial date as requested by the prosecutor but said he had filed his client’s bail application and same has been served on the prosecutor.
Upon taking arguments on the bail appllication from both parties, Justice Osiagor, admitted the General Overseer to bail in the sum of N2 million with one surety.
Justice Osiagor however ordered that the surety must a Director either in Federal or Lagos State governments establishment.
The judge, while adjourned the matter till June 26, for trial, ordered that the defendant be remanded in NCoS’custody till the perfection of bail terms.
The Charge against the General Overseer reads: “that you Ekwem Emmanuel Ugochukwu, male, adult, on or about the 7th day of March 2022 during the outward clearance of passengers of Ethiopian Airline flight to Kenya at screening 1, Departure Hall of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja-Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority exported 40 grammes of Cannabis Sativa, a narcotic drug similar to Cocaine, Heroin and LSD and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”